Sugaring Versus Waxing

Sugar, Sweeter To Your Skin

Sugaring Paste. Photo: Getty Images

 aren’t they the same? Often they're put in the same category of hair removal because they’re somewhat similar in the way they get rid of hair. Yes, both are designed to uplift hair out from the follicle.

However, they are very different from one another when it comes to one aspect extremely important- pain! Discover why even the people that cringe at the thought of the tiniest bit of discomfort are saying, 'Pour some sugar on me.'

Waxing Vs Sugaring: Sugar Formula Is Superior

What’s in the pot? Real sugaring is made up of all natural food-grade ingredients like sugar, lemon juice, water and sometimes essential oils, salt and/or honey. Most waxes are made primarily of resins. And although they also may contain natural ingredients like beeswax, honey, and essential oils, you'll also find artificial fragrances, dyes, chemicals, and preservatives in most of the formulas on the market today.

Although you can be allergic to any given ingredient, natural or not, it’s more common for people to be allergic to artificial fragrances and ingredients like those found in waxes.​ Allergic reactions can make skin red, irritated, and break out into a rash. Ouch!

Then there are those not allergic to these ingredients, but they can cause general irritation and make skin cry like it would similarly to an allergy. Combine this with the process of removing hair, and you don't have a pretty picture.

Sweet, but not sticky. Sugaring paste (get directions to make your own) is water soluble, meaning you can wash it off with plain old water. A very different story with wax that needs to be taken off with a special wax remover, baby oil or petroleum jelly. Because of the chemical structure of wax, it needs something containing oil to break it down and remove it.

Claims of sugaring not attaching to live skin cells. ​I can't personally back this one up. However, it has been said that sugaring will only take away dead skin cells, unlike waxing which also removes live skin cells. If your skin isn’t already over-exfoliated (using glycolic, Retin A or peels) you don’t have to worry about the sugar accidentally removing skin.

The Technique

There are two types of sugar for hair removal: paste and gel. The paste is just as it sounds, it's very thick and has that type of consistency. It's applied with the hands first in the opposite direction of hair growth and removed the same way the hair grows. With hair being removed in the way that it grows, there is less pulling on the skin, which makes it less painful. It's applied at room temperature and because it removes hair in the direction it grows, it can remove hair as short as 1/16th of an inch.

The gel is a similar consistency to wax. It's heated up in the microwave or a warmer and is applied just like wax- in the direction of hair growth and removed in the opposite way with a muslin or cloth strip.

Sugar paste is never hot. Wax is applied warm, but sometimes overheated causing a skin burn and then you know what follows- scabs.

Sugar paste is used lukewarm so there’s no chance of burning the skin. Sugaring gel, however, can get overheated like wax.

Less strain, less pain. Wax is applied with the direction of hair growth, but removed against the grain of hair growth. But the traditional sugaring technique using the paste is removed in the same direction hair grows, putting less strain on the skin- always a plus for the pain management department.

The Bottom Line

Perfect for all parts. Certain areas of the body are just more sensitive than others. The highest pain offenders are the upper lip, chest, bikini and genital areas. Sugaring, especially with the paste, comes in extra handy when ridding hair in these zones.