Body Sugaring hair removal … the new Waxing
Body sugaring or sugar waxing is a hair removal method that uses a sugar paste instead wax. Ancient civilizations such as the Romans and Egyptians used sugar waxing to remove their body hair, unfortunately somewhere along time this method of hair removal was lost or forgotten. In the last decades sugaring have been slowly replacing traditional waxing because of its many advantages.
Sugaring vs Waxing
- The sugar paste is 100% natural and gentle on the skin because it is made of sugar, water and lemon. Wax on the other hand is made of chemicals and petroleum derivatives that can cause skin allergies and irritations.
- When sugaring, the sugar paste is removed in the same direction of hair growth, so the hair comes out more easily and complete with sheath and root. With wax it is the opposite which causes lots of hair breakage.
- With sugar waxing ingrown hairs are reduced because the sugar paste exfoliates the skin removing dead cells and unblocking pores.
- Sugaring hair removal lubricates the follicles facilitating hair extraction and diminishing pain.
- Hot wax can burn the skin. The sugar paste is applied at body temperature.
- Sugar waxing is safe on varicose veins, psoriasis and eczema.
- It is easy to clean with just water.
- It is antibacterial and 100% free from cross contamination.
- Unlike wax, sugar only sticks to dead cells so it is safe to sugar the same area more than once. There is also less likelihood of lifting the skin.
Body Sugaring hair removal is done by hand, without strips or spatulas. You take a ball of paste with your hand and spread it on the skin against hair growth and then you remove it with a flick of the hand in the direction of hair growth. However, the hand technique can also be done in a similar fashion using a wooden spatula instead of the hand. The important factor to consider here is that the hair must be pulled in the direction of growth.
Please beware that some depilatory products in the market that claim to be sugar waxing, are not really sugaring. They are waxing, and in most cases the paste is made of a mixture of sugar and wax. They are also handled in the same way than waxing. They are slightly better for the skin than normal waxes because they cause less irritation and allergies, however they loose some of the advantages of Sugaring because they pull the hair against hair growth. Pulling the hair against its natural growth direction causes breakage, the hair doesn’t come out complete and sometimes the follicle gets deformed causing ingrown hairs.
Some beauty salons that offer Sugaring or Sugar Waxing also use a sugar gel or wax mixed with sugar and use the spatula/strip waxing technique. Before you book in your treatment ask the following:
- Do you use a 100% natural sugar paste?
- Is the hair pulled in the direction of growth?
Things to consider before sugaring:
- If you have recently been under the sun, you may want to wait a couple of days before doing sugaring hair removal. Specially if you got a sunburn or tan, your skin may lift up when sugaring.
- Certain medications can affect your skin and increase sensitivity and the likely hood of peeling off the skin. Do not sugar if you are taking Accutane, Roaccutane or Acne prescription medicines. Some antibiotics can also affect the skin, so it may be advisable to do a test patch before sugaring hair removal.
- If you suffer from an immune deficiency condition sugar waxing may not be recommended. Your body may interpret the pulling out of the hairs as an attack on your immune system and you may get a bad histamine reaction or worse.
- If you are having cancer treatment your immune system will be weaker and sugaring is not recommended.
- If you have hepatitis, AIDS, genital herpes, cold sores or any contagious decease, make sure you let the sugarist know before the treatment. You can still get sugared, however your therapist will take extra precautions to ensure her safety and the safety of others. If you are sugaring yourself ensure you wear gloves to take the sugar and if after working on an
area you need to take more sugar dispose of the used glove and take a new one. This way you won’t contaminate the left over paste.
- Exfoliating between treatments will facilitate the hair removal, however it is best not to exfoliate for at least 24 hours before sugaring or you run the risk of overworking and irritating the skin.
- Don’t put on moisturizer or deodorant the day of your sugar waxing.
- Drinking alcohol or lots of caffeinated drinks 24 hours before waxing or body sugaring hair removal can increase sensitivity.
- Taking a paracetamol or aspirin before sugaring will not ease the pain, however it will help reduce redness and inflammation.
- If your hair is long it will hurt when you spread the sugar paste. You may be able to diminish the pain by working slowly. You could also trim the hair to about 6mm long before sugaring.
- Do not exfoliate for 72 hours
- It is best to avoid swimming in the beach or chlorinated pools for 24 hours
- Avoid spa baths and saunas for 24 hours
- Your pores will remain open for 12-24, so do not apply lotions or perfumes to the area during this time.
- Do not sunbathe or use a solarium/tanning bed for 24 hours
- Although body sugaring hair removal is very gentle on the skin you may still develop a histamine reaction. The lip and chest are the two areas most prone to a reaction. You will be pulling lots of hair at the same time which your brain will interpret as an attack. Your body’s immune system will then start producing histamine, causing inflammation. The histamine function is to increase the size of the blood vessels in the area to allow an easy passage of the white blood cells sent by your brain to combat the attack.
The redness usually subsides by itself within a few hours. For some people, however their skin may breakout in hives or little like-pimples and it may take a few days for it to subside. You may consult your pharmacist about using a topical hydrocortisone cream to reduce the reaction.
Applying heat to the area also helps flush out the histamine and diminishes the redness. Apply a face towel dipped in hot water to the area (make sure that it is not too hot that you will burn your skin).