Here's A 3-Step DIY Sugar Wax Recipe: Everything You Need & How To Use It
Jamie Schneider is the Beauty & Wellness Editor at mindbodygreen, covering beauty and wellness. She has a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan, and her work has appeared in Coveteur, The Chill Times, and Wyld Skincare.
As far as hair removal services go, sugaring is hailed by many, whether they're in dire need of a full wax or just looking to clean up some bits. For good reason: It's all-natural, low maintenance, and can even minimize the amount of angry ingrown hairs. Add this to the list of sugar paste pros: It's incredibly easy to make at home.
If the thought of a DIY wax makes you cringe (understandable), rest assured that all salon-grade sugar pastes have the exact same kitchen ingredients, and the process isn't so daunting once you get the hang of it.
Behold, a homemade sugar wax recipe for smooth, hairless skin—nary an ingrown in sight.
Wait, what is sugar wax?
Sugar wax is a hair removal paste that actually dates back to ancient Egypt (even Cleopatra, herself, supposedly sugared throughout her reign). For those with fine, sparse hairs and sensitive skin, it's unparalleled: Not only does the paste have 100% natural ingredients (just sugar, lemon, and water), but the process itself is quite gentle—that's because sugaring extracts hair in the direction of growth rather than against the grain. "Removing hair in the same direction of growth significantly reduces the tension put on the hair, making it less likely to break during the removal process," Amanda Mulea, licensed esthetician at SUGARED + BRONZED, previously told mbg. And thus—minimal ingrown hairs (bye, bumps!) and, for some, a far less painful experience.
Although, we should note that sugaring isn't for everybody—specifically those with coarser hairs. Peek our full sugaring guide to see if the all-natural paste is right for you or if waxing is the better go-to.
How to make a DIY sugar wax recipe.
Since the ingredients are minimal and all-natural, why not DIY the paste in the comfort of your own kitchen? Trust us when we say: It's not so difficult to make your very own jar of goop.
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ⅛ cup lemon juice
- ⅛ cup water
- Pour all the ingredients into a saucepan on medium-heat and lightly swirl to mix. Stir frequently and feel free to lower the heat if need be, as it can burn quickly.
- Keep swirling until the mixture turns into a warm, honey-colored caramel, then remove from the heat.
- Let it cool to a lukewarm temperature before using straight away; if you don't need it at the moment, you can pour the mixture into a container (like a bowl or jar) before the gloop thickens. If you're using glass, just run some hot water inside the jar first so the glass doesn't shatter from the heat.
How to use it.
OK, so you've made your sugar wax. Sweet. But if you're looking to actually, uh, use the natural paste, the recipe itself is only half the battle. Here's the secret to sugaring success: Mold, then flick. Simple, no?
Actually, it's a bit of a process (one errant flick of the wrist, and it can quickly turn into a sticky mess). Here are the basics from our step-by-step sugaring guide:
- First, make sure your hair is at least ¼ inch long, so the sugar paste is able to actually extract the hair. Most professional studios will recommend letting your hair grow out for 14 days after shaving and a month after a previous sugar session or wax.
- Pick up some sugar and rotate it between your pointer finger, middle finger, and thumb to work the tacky paste onto your fingertips (it should stay in a ball).
- Spread the gloop on your skin in the direction of hair growth, layering it multiple times.
- Flick the sugar paste forward (read: forward, not upward) in the direction of hair growth. "It's almost like a parallel swat with your wrist," Kelly Vela, another licensed esthetician at SUGARED + BRONZED, has told us.
If you've always wanted to try sugaring, you can easily create your own paste at home. Just three simple ingredients, a mere saucepan, and you've quite literally got an all-natural wax on your hands.
But let's be clear: As easy as the recipe is to create, the sugaring process takes a bit of practice to truly master. So don't be discouraged if your first try results in some sticky limbs—study up on tutorials, practice your mold-and-flick, and you're bound to become a seasoned sugaring pro.
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Jamie Schneider is the Beauty & Wellness Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan, and her work has appeared in Coveteur, The Chill Times, and Wyld Skincare. In her role at mbg, she reports on everything from the top beauty industry trends, to the gut-skin connection and the microbiome, to the latest expert makeup hacks. She currently lives in New York City.