I had a client call to book a waxing appt and after I hung up the phone I felt un easy about taking her appt. She came in later and was LATE!!! and did not say anything! I was going over her intake form before her brazilian waxing service and I noticed she checked yes for using Retin -A. So I asked her when was the last time she used it. She said 2 weeks. I told her unfortunately that was a contraindication for waxing and that I would not be able to wax her until she was off of it for at least 6 months. She looked at me and said you can't be serious! I've been doing this for 10 yrs. I told her I am not sure who was waxing her before but I would not be able to perform the service. She told me again how stupid it was and I told her... Sorry you feel that way but I am sure that the person who had been waxing you should be able to continue your services. She was pissed but I felt like I had to stand my ground. I told her I did not want to be responsible for lifting, bruising or tearing her skin and if she did not believe me she could google it! 

I hope people can understand that I am not willing to sacrifice my business or my integrity! Right? 


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Comment by Kimberly on September 18, 2012 at 12:22pm

You may want to to rethink your position on not waxing a clients va jay jay while she is using retin A on her face! Wrong end to worry about! You may also want to take Brigitte's suggestions on doing small areas to monitor skin response and/or find a wax that can be used for ultra sensitive skin. If the client is visibly red and peeling suggest discontinuing product for 7-10 days and rebooking right that moment. It is impossible to know all the contraindications for every topical medication prescribed by a Dermatologist and or any facial creams or serums the client maybe using a home. Any creams the contain a higher level of AHA's, Glycolics, etc..., can produce the same response as being on a retinol product whether prescribed or otc. Best advise is to learn what a negative waxing response looks like and go from there!


Comment by Brigitte McDonald on September 7, 2012 at 7:34pm

You have the right to refuse service and if she made you feel uneasy from the phone call, there may have been other issues as well.  On the other hand you could always tweeze a clients eyebrows if you are worried about the waxing contraindication.  This is what I do, I test my clients on retin a with a small rice grain size patch of skin near the brow with wax and look at the skin under the magnifier after I pull off the strip to see if there are any tears or reactions, if OK I do a little larger patch nearer and test one more time and WAIT to see a reaction if nothing then I wax, if reaction, then I tweeze, comb, or cut to shape the brows.  The clients have always appreciated this extra attention I pay to their skin.  Sometimes it lets me segue to talking about skincare to a waxing only client and maybe even interest them in booking a facial.

Comment by Robin Arsenault brown on September 7, 2012 at 7:10pm
Retin A used on your face does not effect your bikini area! The oral form of Retin A "aka" Accutane, can and will effect the entire body for up to a year. No waxing on any part of the body for one year.
Comment by Eva Sandoval on September 6, 2012 at 9:52am

Hello Tiffany

I think you did the right thing going by what your gut told you.  I would of done the same.  It is def better to be safe than sorry.  Thanks to Dianne for her feedback on this situation.  I personally was not sure on the contraindications.  This is why I love this site.  

Eva ;0)

Comment by Tiffany Carmona on September 2, 2012 at 10:58am

Thanks to everyone for their reply. I really feel like I made the right decision especially with this client. She seemed a little sketchy. Miss Dianne, I am so glad you replied. I know she was using Retin-A and I know that some people do wax on it. I just felt really uneasy about it. I would never wax her face or anyone face on the acne med but I have been hearing that you should not wax on that acne med or any acne med UNLESS you have been off of it. 

I think if she did not seem so sketchy from the beginning (i'm talking the phone call to book) I may not have had a problem but my gut told me no. I think I would maybe have done it if not for being really uncomfortable with her... 

Comment by Soynia Cosby on August 31, 2012 at 11:28pm

Hey Tiffany, I'm super late to join in, but I am so happy for you. I have been scolded by an older Esthetician for the same thing. It was probably someone familiar with her skin, and unafraid of lawsuits, that made the client so stubborn to your advice. I'm happy for you, and this client has now been educated, she may come back after validating your statements. 

Comment by Dianne McCurdy on August 29, 2012 at 9:42pm

I am a medical esthetician and use and recommend RetinA all the time.  If the RetinA is being used only on face, it would be fine to do a brazilian wax. I am wondering if you have confused Accutane with RetinA.  Accutane is an oral drug unlike RetinA which is topical and the recommendation is that no exfoliation be done for 6 months after finishing the course of Accutane.  I use Retin A daily and get bikini waxes monthly with no problem.  On the other hand, if I were to get an eyebrow wax, I would stop using RetinA for at least l0 days prior --- even if I don't apply the RetinA anywhere near my eyebrows.  Sleeping at night can cause the RetinA to move from any area at night to the eyebrows.

Comment by Carrie Patrick on August 29, 2012 at 9:01am

This was the right thing to do! It is always hard to deal with someone who is being angry or rude, but that reaction was her choice and not your fault.

Comment by Lauren Snow, ASCP on August 24, 2012 at 2:06pm

I think you've got a good precautionary mindset! It's always better safe than sorry!

Comment by Tiffany Carmona on August 24, 2012 at 1:49pm
That is true. It's is a topical used on the face but from what I've read the skin all Iver the body can lift... And I could not be responsible for that! It was a Brazilian wax but I just felt uneasy about it and she seemed like the type of lady who would blame me and then file a claim. So when in doubt I just say no!

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