Dos and Don’ts: What You Need to Know About Waxing Contraindications

While all wax professionals know the benefits of a proper wax treatment beyond hair removal, there are times when waxing is just not a good idea for your clients. From the definite don’ts to those situations that raise red flags, here’s how to make sure you are doing what’s best for your clients every time.  

  • Health Conditions: 
    • Pregnancy: The skin may be more sensitive when pregnant so we recommend a patch test on the skin to see how it reacts the first 24 hours before a full procedure.
    • Smokers: Waxing can irritate dilated capillaries which are often found in smokers. Take a look at the area you are waxing. If the capillaries are more red than normal, you’ll want to avoid waxing. 
    • Diabetics, Cancer Patients or other chronic conditions: With any serious conditions, have your clients get their doctor’s approval first. The skin can take longer to heal and should be watched closely to make sure it doesn’t react.


  • Medications: 
    • Birth Control, Hormone Replacement, Antibiotics: Many medications can have adverse effects on the skin, so like pregnant clients, it’s important to do a patch test and wait 24 hours to ensure they do not have a bad reaction. 
    • Acne Medication: It’s recommended that clients discontinue use of acne medications such as Accutane (for face and body waxing) and Adapalene or Retin-A (for face waxing) A for a minimum of three months prior to waxing, with some such as Accutane for up to a year. 

  • Other Situations:  
    • Chemical Peels, Retinol or Exfoliation Treatments: Because waxing is another form of exfoliation, if your clients have just had a peel treatment waxing could over exfoliate and irritate the skin.
    • Sun or Tanning Bed Use: Make sure your clients wait at least 24 hours if they’ve been exposed to the sun for long periods of time. Getting a wax treatment right after coming home from the beach is not the best idea. 
    • Alcohol: Coming to a wax appointment right after brunch or a night out could also affect the skin. Encourage clients to abstain from alcohol or for at least a few hours before their appointment.  

  • Skin Conditions
    • Rosacea: Just like with smokers, waxing clients with Rosacea can irritate the already dilated capillaries and cause a flare-up. 
    • Eczema or Psoriasis: Cracked or open skin is open to infection and should be completely healed before any wax treatment. 
    • History of Cold Sores or Fever Blisters: Waxing can cause a flare-up. 
    • Severe Varicose Leg Veins: These are known to make waxing more prone to “skin lifting” or wax burn. 

No matter what your client's situation, good pre-and post-wax care is an important part of any treatment. Be sure to review the proper steps with them as part of their ongoing wax care before and after each appointment.