In the midst of our busy lifestyles, we are always looking for better and easier ways to remove unwanted hair. As awareness grows about the environmental impact of the products we’re using every day, there’s even more reason to try new methods and new approaches to this common problem.
But this method of hair removal isn’t actually ‘new’ at all – it’s been around since 1900BC! I’m talking about sugaring or sugar waxing, which was even used by the Ancient Egyptians to achieve smooth and hair-free skin. But this isn’t a history class, let’s talk about why this is such a good method of waxing!
- Firstly, sugar wax is made up of 3 simple ingredients: just sugar, water and lemon juice.
- Sugar wax is applied at skin temperature, so there is no risk of burning yourself.
- Easy to clean up with no stickiness left behind, like some traditional waxes.
- Less likely to cause ingrown hair, as hairs are pulled out in the direction of their growth.
- Sugar wax can be used repeatedly on different parts of your body and exfoliates your skin at the same time.
- There are no wax strips or wooden spatulas needed when using sugar wax.
So what will you need to make your own wax at home?
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp water
- glass jug
- jar to store the sugar wax in
- a little oil to wipe around the inside of the jar
When I was doing my research on DIY sugar waxing, I came across a lot of comments from people struggling with the stovetop method. I had two attempts and ended up making candy… by accident of course! However, I came across an easier method that many found to be easier and much more successful.
The most helpful resource I discovered was the YouTube channel ‘abetweene’, full of great tips and tutorials centred around sugaring. She was the first YouTuber I came across who used the microwave technique and it saved so much time!
So here’s how I made my sugar wax:
- Pour the sugar, lemon and water into a glass jug and pop it in the microwave for 30-second intervals.
- After every 30 seconds, I removed the jug and gave the syrup a stir, then returned it to the microwave for a further 30 seconds.
- You will need to eyeball this as everyone’s microwave is different. I microwaved it until it was a syrup/honey colour, around 5 minutes for me.
- I prepared the glass jar to store my wax by wiping oil around the inside. This helps with removing it and allows it to come away from the edges more easily.
- When the sugar wax was the right colour, I removed it from the microwave and poured it into the glass jar. Please note – be careful with pouring hot liquids into glass jars, as they can shatter with the heat. If needed, allow the wax to cool enough so that it is still pourable.
- Add hot water to the jug to clean and the sugar wax will dissolve! Easy cleaning!
I allowed the sugar wax to cool completely afterwards, as I was aiming for a cold wax. In terms of application, you can use the paste alone or apply it with a spatula, and you can also use a reusable wax cloth. Reusable wax cloths are a fantastic alternative if you don’t like the feeling of wax on your hands – just pop the wax cloth in warm water after use and the sugar wax will melt away. However, these tools aren’t required for the sugaring technique – the paste can safely be applied and removed with your hands once cooled.
One thing that is important to note before applying your sugar wax is that if there is any moisture on the skin, the wax will not stick to it, so you’ll want to use an absorbent powder such as cornstarch or arrowroot. I used arrowroot powder and had it close to hand through the whole process to keep the skin moisture-free.
When waxing with sugar, it’s crucial to take note of the direction your hair naturally grows in. This will determine the direction you apply the wax and the direction you pull in. You want to apply the sugar wax AGAINST your hair growth, unlike typical waxes. Press firmly and go over the area two or three times – you want the wax to really get hold of those hairs.
Now, when you remove the sugar wax, you want to use a flicking motion – YouTube tutorials are great to see this technique in action. You want to flick it off in the direction of the hair growth, so you are waxing it off in the opposite direction that you applied it. When you are about to remove the wax, hold the skin taut. If you don’t, it’ll hurt more and you could bruise yourself – ouch! If you happen to miss any hairs, sugar wax is gentle enough to be reapplied to that area without causing damage to your skin.
So you’ve started waxing with your sugar paste and you find that the sugar wax has gone a creamy colour. Well, this is because it’s also exfoliating your skin as well! This 2-in-1 benefit helps keep your waxed skin nice and smooth, while causing minimal irritation to the healthy skin cells. Win, win!
Once you have finished waxing, take a warm damp cloth and gently wipe over the area. The sugar will simply dissolve and wipe away, making clean-up quick and easy. If you have an aloe vera plant, use the gel from inside the leaves on your freshly waxed skin, but an aloe vera cream or gel will work just as well. Witch hazel will also help to close the pores, stopping any bacteria getting into your skin.
This was the first time I’d personally used sugar wax for hair removal. Being a qualified and working beauty therapist, I absolutely loved this wax! I found it much more painless and genuinely effective at removing the hairs. This is a game changer in the beauty industry – an easy, gentle method of hair removal using simple and natural ingredients, replacing the need for plastic razors and disposable wax strips altogether.
Have you tried sugaring at home or in a salon? Leave a comment and let us know!