Beauty

Everything You Need To Know About Sugar Waxing And How To Do It At Home

By Simone Sydel··  9 min read
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If you’re tired of razor cuts, discoloration, and prickly hair after each shaving session, it's time to turn to a DIY grooming habit that has been around for thousands of years.

Hair removal has been a thing for a long time, as even the Ancient Egyptians were attempting to smooth out hairy areas of the face and body. This led to the invention of an efficient hair-removal method called sugaring, a technique that has withstood the test of time and is still popular today.

But how does sugaring differ from traditional waxing? And is it really better and safer for the skin? 

Sugar Waxing vs. Traditional Waxing

If you've ever been to a salon for a wax, you know that there are different types of waxes that can be used. One of these is sugar waxing, which is becoming increasingly popular as it’s said to be less painful and gentler on the skin. But what exactly is sugar waxing, and how does it differ from traditional waxing?

Sugar waxing, or sugaring, is a type of hair removal that uses a sugar-based paste to remove hair from the root. The sugaring method is similar to traditional waxing, but sugar wax is made with natural ingredients and doesn't adhere to the skin as much as conventional waxes do. Traditional waxes are made with resins and chemicals that can cause skin irritation as well as allergic reactions in some women, whereas sugar wax is made with sugar, lemon juice, and water, and the potential of irritation or an allergic reaction is extremely low.

However, when it comes to the pain, both sugaring and traditional waxes do the same thing: pulling the hair out from the root, so the pain levels are pretty much the same. Waxing pain becomes more tolerable over time as the hair weakens, but this isn't necessarily due to the material used.

Sugar Waxing Pros

So, sugar waxing may not necessarily be any less painful than traditional waxing, but there are definitely some benefits to sugaring.

As we mentioned before, sugar wax is made with natural ingredients, so it's gentler on the skin and has a very low risk of causing irritation or an allergic reaction. It's also good for sensitive skin as it removes fewer layers of the skin as opposed to traditional waxes which are harsher and can strip the skin pretty intensely. Another great thing about sugar wax is that it's less messy than traditional wax and can be easily cleaned up with water.

Sugar wax is made with natural ingredients and doesn't adhere to the skin as much as conventional waxes.

Sugar wax is more hygienic than traditional waxes and can also be reused several times, whereas traditional wax needs to be thrown out after each use. Sadly, as this is something that many salons don't do, re-using traditional waxes often leads to skin concerns such as infections and irritation.

Sugar Waxing Cons

There really aren't too many cons when it comes to sugar waxing, but one thing to keep in mind is that sugar wax (much like traditional wax) doesn't work on very short hair. If the hair is too short, the sugar paste won't be able to adhere to it and will just slip off. So, if you're thinking of sugar waxing, make sure that you allow your hair to grow out for at least a quarter of an inch, or 6 mm.

How To Do Sugar Waxing at Home

Now that you know what sugar waxing is and the benefits of sugaring, you may be wondering how you can do it at home. Luckily, sugar waxing is pretty easy to do, and all you need are a few simple ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen.

Preparing the Sugar Paste

The sugar paste is made with sugar, lemon juice, and water, and it's pretty much as simple as that. The supplies would cost you less than $10, depending on your area and how much you decide to buy.

Start by mixing together 2 cups of white or granulated sugar (powdered won't work), 1/4 cup of lemon juice (fresh or bottled), and 1/4 cup of water in a pot over medium heat. Stir the mixture until the sugar has dissolved, and then continue to cook it until it becomes a thick syrup.

Once the sugar syrup has thickened, remove it from the heat and let it cool for a few minutes before applying it to the skin. During this time, you can do the following preparations before applying the mixture to the areas you want to wax.

Cleansing and Exfoliation

Before sugar waxing, you must cleanse and exfoliate the area you want to wax. This will help remove any dirt, oil, or dead skin cells that could prevent the sugar wax from adhering to the hair properly.

Remove any dirt, oil, or dead skin cells that could prevent the sugar wax from adhering to the hair.

You can use a gentle cleanser or just plain water to cleanse the area and then follow up with a sugar scrub, loofah, a brush, or any other type of exfoliator of choice. Exfoliation is also important because it will free any ingrown hairs trapped beneath a surface of dead skin cells so they can be removed with waxing. Once you're done cleansing and exfoliating, make sure to pat the skin dry.

Checking the Hair Length

As we mentioned before, sugar waxing doesn't work on very short hair, so make sure that the hair is at least a quarter of an inch (or 6 mm) long. If the hair is too short, your only option is to wait for it to grow out a bit more or try some other means of hair removal, such as Intense Pulsed Light or laser, which are more efficient in removing short hair.

Powdering the Skin

The next step is to powder the skin, which is done to absorb any excess moisture from the skin so that the sugar paste can adhere to the hair better. For this step, you can use cornstarch, baby powder, or even arrowroot powder. Once you've dusted the area with powder, you can go ahead and start applying the sugar paste.

Applying the Sugar Paste

Applying the sugar paste is easy, and you can do this with your hands or with a spatula. During application, you want to make sure that the sugar paste is applied in the direction of hair growth and in smaller sections so that you can then pull it with ease.

Once you've covered the area with sugar paste, press a piece of muslin cloth or strips of waxing paper over the sugar paste. Then, smooth over the muslin cloth or waxing paper in the direction of hair growth to adhere it to the sugar paste. Applying pressure and smoothing over the muslin cloth or wax strips will help make sure that the sugar paste adheres to all hair follicles.

Removing the Sugar Paste

Removing the sugar paste is pretty simple, and all you need to do is pull the muslin cloth or wax strips off in the opposite direction of hair growth. As you're pulling off the sugar paste, make sure to hold the skin taut with your other hand to prevent discomfort. Once you've removed the sugar paste, you can go ahead and tweeze any remaining hairs if necessary.

Aftercare

Since waxing leads to a damaged skin barrier, giving your skin extra care and attention by soothing and preventing irritation afterward is important. You can do this by applying a thin layer of a nourishing cream of your choice that doesn't contain irritating ingredients such as alcohol or fragrance.

Apply a thin layer of a nourishing, hydrating cream that doesn't contain irritating ingredients.

Instead, opt for something soothing, such as the Cicaplast Baume B5 by La Roche Posay, as this product contains nourishing and barrier-repairing panthenol, anti-inflammatory zinc, moisturizing propanediol, and plenty of other calming and repairing ingredients.

It's also important to avoid sun exposure and hot showers immediately after sugar waxing, and definitely avoid going to a pool for up to 48 hours as they’re usually treated with chlorine which can be very irritating to the skin.

Sugaring in Sensitive Areas

Sugaring in sensitive areas is generally the same as anywhere else; however, you need to be extra careful when waxing your eyebrows, other parts of the face, or bikini line.

Waxing the face isn't recommended if you’re using potent topical retinoids such as Retin-A because this type of retinoid pushes new skin cells to the skin's surface, and removing them will leave the skin red, inflamed, and sensitive. Additionally, avoid exfoliating your face 48 hours before and after waxing, and make sure that the wax paste isn't too hot when applied to the face.

Another instance where waxing isn't recommended is if you’re currently undergoing medications for acne such as Accutane or antibiotics that are prescribed for acne, as well as if you’re currently dealing with active acne, as waxing will cause them to pop and will lead to bacteria spreading around, and subsequent scarring.

Lastly, don't forget to pay special attention to your sensitive bits after waxing by applying soothing and nourishing creams that don't contain irritating ingredients such as alcohol, fragrance, and dyes.

Closing Thoughts

Sugar waxing is an excellent alternative to traditional waxing, and it's definitely worth giving it a try if you're looking for a more hygienic, gentler, and non-irritating option for hair removal. Not to mention, sugar waxing is also much cheaper than going to a salon, so you can definitely save some money by doing it at home. Give it a try and see for yourself how sugar waxing can benefit you!

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