I've always wondered if the body sugaring hair removal method really works. So when my razor entered that "way too old to use, don't even try it" stage, I realized that it was either a trip to Rite Aid in the snow or attempt the ancient Egyptian art of body sugaring. This technique, which involves using a natural sugaring paste to remove unwanted body hair, has been used for centuries in the Middle East. Without the help of razors, modern-day waxing kits, and laser hair removal procedures, body sugaring was allegedly the go-to method of Cleopatra and friends. With such a lengthy history, I couldn't help but be quickly sold on this new-old treatment.
The procedure is similar to waxing because it removes the hair at the root, making the hair growth come in smoother, softer, and slower. Body sugaring sounds like a recipe for alleviating the painful ingrown hairs that I'm faced with on the regular. After reading about several failed attempts at body sugaring from various beauty bloggers and very few success stories, I was ready for the challenge. Honestly, I've never taken issue with the process of waxing, but I know that it will be a cold day in hell when I travel outside, take a subway, and pay a bunch of money for someone to remove my hair. So, if my at home body sugaring experiment doesn't work? I'll be back to shaving with hope alone.
Here's how I tried body sugaring in the comfort of my own kitchen:
Making The Sugar Solution
My excitement about this technique only grew after I realized that all I needed was two cups of sugar, a quarter cup of lemon juice and a dash of filtered water to pull it off. This has to be the cheapest "waxing" kit I've ever tried. I double boiled my water just to be sure that any strange bacteria that I'm drinking in my tap water was removed before this hair removal experiment.
2. The Juice
While many recipes call for fresh squeezed lemons, I sincerely doubt that purchasing lemon juice will make a massive difference, as long as lemons are the only ingredient listed and it's not from concentrate. You can do like I did and spend some serious time hand squeezing lemons (you'll need about five) or you can take three lemons, remove the skin, and use a blender to get your juice.
3. The Sugar
Measure out two cups of white, granulated sugar. I've tried body sugaring with brown sugar and it was a sticky mess, so I'd advise you stick with the white stuff.
4. The Cooking Process
Right now, you have a highly sweet lemonade and you're probably wondering WTF I'm doing. Well, I felt the same the way until I took my lemonade and put it on a heavy saucepan. Here are some tips while you're heating the "wax":
- Cook on medium-high heat and do not walk away or you may come back to a stove covered in sugary paste and an empty pot.
- The intent is to gradually bring the paste to a boil, so use whatever temperature on your stovetop that you would normally to do this.
- If your sugar paste is loose and watery, that's OK!
5. Letting Your Paste Cool
Let your sugary paste cool for about 15 minutes before using it directly on your skin, even after that amount of time it will still be incredibly hot.
1. Pick A Large Area To Shave
Remove any lotion, oil, or product from the area of choice. When I first attempted body sugaring, I went for my legs, where the hair is lighter and less coarse. I didn't remove a single hair... but I was also using brown sugar. TBH, the only reason I chose my armpits for my third experiment is because they are already messed up because I do test patches for natural recipes to make sure there are no skin reactions before I apply on my face. My poor armpits...
I suggest applying the paste in a thick layer; some methods even suggest making a ball with the paste and then smearing on a large layer so that you can remove the sugar with your bare hands. If your paste is thick enough to make into a blob, I say go for that method.
2. Remove Paste From Area
To remove waxing from the area, I cut up small pieces of cotton fabric. I kept the wax on for a full minute to allow it to seep into my pores, before patting the fabric down under my arms and quickly removing it like you would a wax strip.
I'm fairly confident in my DIY beauty skills. I removed most of the hair under my arm and I'll most likely continue to tweak the recipe for better results. So, while I have to say that body sugaring does work, it may not be the best hair removal method at home. Fortunately, there are plenty of skilled body sugaring professionals if you want to continue waxing naturally. If you are in the business of trying at home hair removal remedies, removing hair with honey is less time consuming and I found that it worked straight away. I'll file this sugaring recipe under "Beauty recipes I may need in the apocalypse in case I meet someone I want to sleep with."
Image: Kristin Collins Jackson (9)