What is Histamine Intolerance? - Waxing

What is Histamine Intolerance?

Hey, Starpil Fam! We’re back with another discussion on a primary key in an esthetician’s life—histamine intolerance and the possibilities of an allergic reaction to waxing. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered on how to treat, care for, and prevent them, and we’ll go over that and more. We’ll also cover hives after waxing and go over the differences between bacterial, allergic responses, and a histamine reaction to waxing. Now, let’s get into it. 


What is Histamine? 

Histamine is a compound of the immune and neurological systems and found in cells throughout the body. Histamines induce swelling and produce a red color on the skin. When the skin is affected by trauma, allergy, or infection (in our case, waxing is a superficial trauma), histamines boost blood flow to the sensitive area as an inflammatory response. 


What is a Histamine Reaction to Waxing? 

Waxing (especially for those having it done for the first time) is different for everybody. Everyone’s skin is different. We have to remember that when we are waxing, we are shocking the hair follicle, and for first-timers especially, it is likely they may experience a histamine reaction. There are several types of histamine reactions. A histamine reaction to waxing could materialize as hives after waxing, or tweezing after an eyebrow wax, for example. Discussing these things along with the best pre and post waxing care to help relieve an allergic reaction to waxing with your clients is very important.

READ: 5 Tips for How to Wax Sensitive Skin

Histamine vs. a Bacterial or Allergic Reaction to Waxing

There is a difference between histamine causing post-waxing redness or hives after waxing, both of which are par for the course when it comes to waxing. Both of these are small potatoes when it comes to what is a histamine reaction to waxing vs. what is an allergic or reaction to waxing? A mild histamine reaction could cause your client to feel sensitivity or mild itchiness on their skin. This histamine reaction could last minutes to 24 – 48 hours at most.


When experiencing an allergic or bacterial reaction, your client may experience sensitivity, itchiness, and have raised white pus-filled bumps. If you see this, you can be sure it’s not a simple histamine reaction and should seek further medical attention.


Relieving the Reaction and At Home Care 

Starpil waxes are formulated with the highest quality polymers, rosins, and ingredients to be gentle on the skin and cause minimal redness and irritation. But a big win toward avoiding hives after waxing or a histamine reaction to waxing is through directing the client to practice proper at-home skincare routines and for you to bolster skin’s support as much as possible when the client is in your care. 


Your awareness of when the skin is particularly dry or sensitive before waxing is essential. Does the client’s skin turn red quickly when you’re just touching them? Does hair feel brittle? Both dryness and redness factors are indicators that this person has skin sensitivities. Use the best pre and post-wax care according to their skin type. From hypoallergenic Starsoft to a Starpil Original, start with a post-wax care oil before using a pre-cleansing gel to soften hair and revive dry skin. 


READ: Waxing and Dry Skin


After waxing your clients, you should immediately see if the client has a histamine reaction to waxing. We recommend using either Starpil Post-Wax Care Lotion or, for more sensitive skin, Starsoft Post-Wax Intensive Care Lotion, which is specially formulated to speed up skin’s PH level recovery after waxing. Oat extracts help restore skin moisture levels while relieving potential irritation caused by waxing. If you see hives after a Brazilian wax, you could soothe it with a Starpil Brazilian Waxing Mask. 

For at-home care, recommend anti-histamines like Benadryl or hydrocortisone cream, which help bring an allergic reaction to waxing or a histamine response down quicker. If your clients want something more natural, lavender essential oil contains anti-inflammatory properties that may reduce redness and sensitivity. 

WATCH: What is Histamine Intolerance?


The Final Verdict

A histamine reaction to waxing is normal! At the end of the day, waxing means pulling a pretty good amount of hair from the root all at once, multiple times—skin has every right to protest and protect itself with these responses. It’s important to share this knowledge with all of your clients, especially those with sensitive skin. If they can understand what’s going on with their skin, they can trust that they are in good hands—and most importantly, that it wasn’t your method or wax itself that caused the issue. The next day everything should be back to normal!



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