Sugaring: An All-Natural Way to Remove Unwanted Hair
Sugaring can take the ouch and burn out of waxing
Sugaring dates back to Egyptian times. Hair removal was a fundamental part of their grooming habits. They used a simple honey-based paste to gently remove hair without sticking to the surrounding skin, which is a practice now referred to as “sugaring.”
Today, sugaring uses an all-natural paste made of sugar, citric acid (e.g. lemon juice), and water. The paste only sticks to the hair and dead skin cells on the outermost layer of skin. Sugaring is a gentler option than waxing, as it is less likely to irritate or cause trauma to the skin. Sugar is a fantastic and effective alternative to wax. The sugaring paste can penetrate deeper to pull out the entire hair. The sugar paste is warmed to body temperature; it is never too hot and almost impossible to burn the skin.
Two of the biggest benefits of sugaring is that it is less irritating to the skin and the hair grows back finer, less dense, and with fewer ingrown hair issues than other methods of temporary hair removal, even after the first service.
Sugaring Can Be Used Anywhere on the Body
Anything you can wax, you can also sugar! It is great for all areas of the body. The paste can be made into different consistencies to address the various types of hair we find on the body, from the finer and softer vellus hair to the strong, deep-rooted terminal hair.
Typically, thinner pastes are used for more delicate hairs and areas of the body, while pastes with thicker consistencies are used for stronger hairs. Sugar will not damage even delicate facial skin.
How Does Sugar Differ from Wax?
- All natural. Organic options available too.
- No resins or dyes
- Less traumatic to the skin
- Safe for sensitive skin conditions
- Bacteria resistant
Is It Less Painful Than Waxing?
The sugaring technique removes hair in the natural direction of growth while waxing usually removes hair in the opposite direction of natural hair growth. Often, clients find it less painful, especially if the technique has been perfected, though the first time is the most uncomfortable. However, many factors come into play in terms of pain and tolerability, including personal pain tolerance, genetics, and the size of the hair roots. The larger the root, the more likely it will be for the sugaring service to be uncomfortable. It is hair removal, so it is normal to feel pain when the hair is being pulled out. However, sugaring should NOT be painful when the esthetician is applying it or molding it onto the skin.
What to Watch out for Before Sugaring
Most of the contraindications to waxing apply to sugaring services as well. Topical retinoids (eg. tretinoin and retinol), isotretinoin (popularly referred to as Accutane), topical and oral steroids, and oral antibiotics can all leave the skin more sensitive. Estheticians have clients fill out a consent form that asks about medical conditions, allergies, skin sensitivities, and medications. They will also ask if there have been any issues or problems with previous hair removal services. Clients should be asked to list all personal care products they may be used for anti-aging, acne or rosacea as these could render the skin sensitive. Estheticians should always closely analyze the skin before performing any treatment, looking for bruising, rashes, open sores, sunburn, and cold sores. A patch test is another option to determine skin sensitivity to the sugaring paste.
In my experience and professional opinion, sugaring is a better way to temporarily remove unwanted hair compared to waxing. There are many benefits to the esthetician using this technique, including easy clean up since it is water soluble, all natural ingredients, and it is generally more comfortable for sensitive skin. It is important to go to an esthetician who has received formal training in sugaring and has received an official certificate.
A Cleaner Clean-up
No solvents are necessary for clean up, ever! Sugar simply dissolves in warm water; it just melts away clean with a warm towel. It is never a sticky mess on the warmer, sheets, aprons or floor, and it saves time on each service. By using one ball of sugar per area, we eliminate the time-consuming process and cost of getting the wax on the stick, cooling it down, and getting a new piece of wax each time.
It is important to advise clients on how to maintain the area after their service. They need to find a balance between exfoliation and hydration. As the hair will be re-growing and trying to come through the surface of the skin, it needs to be balanced, allowing it to grow up through the skin easily. An esthetician should always supply a sugaring aftercare advice sheet after the service. Some general sugaring after-care tips include:
- Avoid the beach, gym, and jacuzzi on the day of service since this could increase your risk of infection.
- Avoid using soap or fragranced cleansers on the skin, as they can be too drying. Instead, opt for a moisturizing body wash.
- Exfoliate 2-3 times a week using an exfoliating glove; do not spend more than 1-2 minutes exfoliating.
- Keep the skin moisturized with a natural oil such as jojoba oil, or a lotion designed for sensitive skin.
Striking the proper balance between hydration and exfoliation is key for providing an ideal environment for new hair to grow through the skin.
I am a self-proclaimed Sugar Evangelist and I love the art of sugaring. It falls in line perfectly with my philosophy of life:
If we can get amazing results with less trauma? I’m all in!
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