Just because the beach won’t be booming this spring as per usual due to the pandemic doesn’t mean grooming has gone out of style. For ladies, this often means waxing, which is generally unpleasant and painful. Besides the obvious discomfort associated with it, waxing can be problematic because of residual hair breakage and skin irritation. Thankfully, sugaring is the new and much-improved method of hair removal that offers a solution to waxing's pesky problems.
The eye-watering mechanics of sugaring are still similar to waxing (sorry ladies), but there are a few key differences that make it better, first and foremost being the direction in which the hair is pulled. Hot waxing mixtures are applied in the same direction as natural hair growth and then pulled off going in the opposite direction. Sugaring is performed in the opposite manner. Cooled sugar paste is applied against the natural direction of hair growth and removed so that the hair is pulled out as it would grow, thus minimizing hair breakage and irritation of pores. This reduces the chance of in-grown hairs.
Regular wax also adheres to the skin, while sugaring blends do not. This means that when sugaring paste is removed, it picks up the hair, but not live and healthy skin cells as wax does. However, sugaring does perfoms a light exfoliation of dead cells and dirt sitting on the skin, leaving it cleaner and smoother than before. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, this exfoliation helps renew the appearance of the skin in addition to causing hair to grow back softer and thinner.
Side effects of sugaring are limited, but still important to keep in mind. Temporary redness and irritation—though it may be less than that of waxing—is to be expected. Like regular waxing, sugaring should not be performed on sunburned skin. Being on your period or having genital jewelry (which is best removed when having sugaring done) should not have an impact on the effectiveness of sugaring paste. If you're pregnant, it's always best to consult a doctor before trying anything new and inform your sugaring technician so they can tailor your treatment if necessary.
You can also DIY sugar paste at home with a few pantry ingredients. All you need to do is combine 1 cup white sugar, 1/8 cup water, and 1/8 cup lemon juice in a pot and bring to a boil. Constantly stir the mixture to avoid burning. Once it is bubbling, turn the heat down to medium and continue to cook until it turns golden brown. Once it turns a caramel-like color, take it off the heat and carefully put it in a heat-safe glass container (no plastic). Let the paste cool for at least until it is lukewarm. It should be comfortable to handle and malleable to the touch. Then, you're very own sugar paste is ready to be used.