How To Tell If You Histamine Intolerance

Histamine what is it
Are hives, headaches, rhinitis, fatigue, or sudden skin breakouts a recurring event in your life? If you don’t already know, you may have histamine intolerance. Histamine Intolerance is a tricky condition mainly because it seems harmless enough to be ignored. It can also be a sign of  diamine oxidase deficiency (DAO). And chances are, you have been ignoring it, or “curing it” by taking Benadryl or other antihistamine medications that work for you by alleviating the symptoms and most often, make you feel drowsy.  Don’t get us wrong, there is nothing wrong with these medications nor are we against them. After all, all these symptoms, whatever they may be (as they are different for everybody) are just minor inconveniences. You will learn later on as you continue reading, that these minor inconveniences can lead to more serious consequences if you keep masking them, ignoring the root of the problem. Know that over-the-counter medications are not a cure. Instead, they are there to provide instant relief by relieving you of symptoms to help you get through the day- Like getting through work, picking up your kids from school, or to hold you off until you get the chance to rest. Based on our research and experience, the key to beating DAO deficiency histamine intolerance once and for all is making better life choices. Unfortunately, this post is not about diet. But you may check this link to learn more. Today, we are focusing on histamine intolerance and skincare products. 

Histamine is an essential component in defending the body against disease-causing agents such as bacteria and viruses. They are produced and stored within our white blood cells. When the immune system is activated in response to let us say, a highly contagious virus entering the body, histamine serves as our first shield. Inflammation is the clinical evidence that the immune system is responsive. That is the reason we get sore throats, inflamed nostrils, and hives. If our histamine is fighting extra hard on the daily due to intolerance, it will lose its ability to shield our body against viruses and bacteria. 

Histamine intolerance, in a nutshell, is the over-accumulation of histamine levels in the body due to external factors such as absolutely anything and everything you ingest orally and apply topically to your skin, hair, and even nails. But what causes this over-accumulation?

Diamine oxidase is a molecule and enzyme inside our body that is highly reactiveto the chemicals that enter our system. These come from food, drinks and the products we use that are directly absorbed by our skin, scalp and nails. Other than histamine, several biogenic amines enter our body and share the same degradation pathway with histamine: They are alln degraded by the enzyme diamine oxidase (DAO). The problem is that DAO degrades other 

amines before it degrades histamine. As the DAO is busy with breaking down other biogenic amines, the breakdown of histamine is blocked, leading to over-accumulation, thus causing histamine intolerance.

If all this information is new to your ears and you don’t know if you have histamine intolerance, chances are you’ve been living with it if you have any of these conditions or symptoms recurring in your life:

  • Dandruff, flaky scalp and hair loss
  • Sudden fatigue and headaches
  • Eczema and sudden skin inflammation
  • Dermatitis
  • Unexplainable chronic itching 

Histamine and Skincare: What The Labels Don’t Tell You

It is a sad fact that hair and skincare products “regulated by the FDA” do not carry much weight when it comes to the true state of our overall health and wellness. The same goes for products that are labeled “vegan”, “natural”, “organic”, “non-toxic”, “hypoallergenic”, “dermatologist tested” and so on. You may read our think piece on that <here>. What’s worsening the situation is that all of these misleading words companies claim their products to have absolutely no legal implications or punishment. These histamine rich ingredients are everywhere. From your shampoo to your make up, and even nail polish. These are things you apply to your hair, skin, or nails on a daily basis.

This could seem a bit intense and confusing if you know nothing about it. But if you’ve made it this far, congratulations and keep reading as the information we will be giving you is essential to your journey in becoming a conscious consumer, or if you just want to put a stop to the inconveniences histamine intolerance brings to your life.   



These are common preservatives found in your everyday household products. They are known to disrupt hormone function, have been linked to cancer and reproductive health issues, especially in women. Common parabens appear in ingredient lists as methylparaben (E number E218), ethylparaben (E214), propylparaben (E216), butylparaben and heptylparaben (E209).


This is the same ingredient used to stop the decay of lifeless objects such as corpses can also be found in your favorite nail polish, hair spa treatment creams, and even body soap. 

Citric Acid and Ascorbic Acid

Citric acid is a clear and odorless liquid found in perfumes, body wash, and moisturizing creams. Ascorbic acid is just another term for Vitamin C. Although most versions of it are not actually synthetic, its acidic formulation makes it a common trigger for allergic reactions. 

Sodium Triphosphate and Potassium Triphosphate

These are potassium and sodium in a salt form mainly used to prevent kidney stones. They can also be found in soaps, dental, and hair care products.

Fragrance and Synthetic Colorants

There are over 3,000 ingredients that are labeled as “fragrance” in the ingredients list of numerous body care products in the market. What are they exactly? No one knows for sure but most of them are synthetic and are one of the leading causes of allergic reactions. It is best to go for the unscented options if possible. And if not, MOST essential oils are a better alternative for scent options. Why most and not all, you ask? Find out in the next paragraph. 

Benzyl Benzoate and Benzyl Salicylate

These two are common fragrance enhancers and are used in perfumes and personal care for their sweet, balsamic scent. Although they are usually naturally derived, they contain high levels of histamine that trigger unwanted reactions. Avoid them at all costs.

Some Pure Essential Oils That Create Strong Skin Reactions

Linalool, cinnamon, basil, citronellol, and clove can be quite toxic to the skin in its purest forms. Even when mixed with carrier oils, it is still not advisable for people with sensitive skin or histamine intolerance.

Aluminum, Lead or Mercury

There is absolutely no good reason for these products to come into contact with our body (ever heard of mercury and lead poisoning?) yet, the sad truth is most deodorants, hair dye and cosmetics are still ladened with these heavy metals. Aluminum, in particular, has been linked to several brain disorders and breast cancer. Opt for aluminum-free deodorants and hair colorants and cosmetics free of lead acetate. 

Recommended Products For Histamine Intolerance

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Recommended Products For Histamine Intolerance Starter Kit

Congratulations on making it this far into the article. If you know for a fact or suspect that you are indeed histamine intolerant, you may feel a bit overwhelmed. I understand that it will take a lot of research, testing new products, as well as ditching products you may have been using for years or even decades. That is why we came up with this basic histamine

intolerance starter kit with products handpicked to soothe your skin sensitivity. So grab a box, do your research, ditch the toxic products lying around your home and let true healing begin with these truly clean, paraben-free, and non-toxic products. The proof is in their ingredient lists. 

Hair Care

100% Pure Honey Virgin Coconut Restorative Shampoo and Conditioner


Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castille Liquid and Bar Soaps

Waterfall Glen Soap Company Incognito Noir Soap 


Schmidt’s Fragrance Free Deodorant