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Beauty

I Tried Sugar Waxing: Here’s How It Went

It’s been all over TikTok and the internet recently – waxing body hair using this melted sugar mixture method. It doesn’t sound all that safe – a little more like baking than a personal hygiene method – but I was willing to give it a go. So, I watched TikTok after TikTok (I say that like it’s a bad thing, but I was going to do that anyway) as “research” and I think I’ve found the best and safest one to try.

From what I’ve seen, the most common reason why sugar waxing doesn’t work is that it usually involves pouring the hot, melted sugar into a glass container, which usually breaks because of the intense heat. The video I found does it without the dangerous pouring, plus the woman who is doing the sugar waxing looks like she gives good advice. Following what appeared to be a full-proof method for silky soft skin, here’s how it went.

The method:

In preparation for this waxing adventure, I didn’t shave for almost two weeks for my leg hair to be long enough to wax, which I hated doing because I hate body hair. (Note: this is the author’s personal preference regarding body hair. Whether you choose to remove body hair or not, body hair is natural and not something to be ashamed of.) But I had to do it right to see if it would work, so I took one for the team.

On a stovetop on medium heat, I melted 1 cup of sugar and ¼ cup of lemon juice and let it simmer until it was a dark, caramel color. I was afraid to burn it because it takes a while for the mixture to darken, but I like to bake and I make caramel frequently, so it’s kind of like that. Then the video instructed me to pour the hot sugar onto an oiled countertop and kneed it, sort of like bread, to cool it down. The woman in the TikTok did it with her bare hands, but it was way too hot to touch (please be careful in this part) so I moved it around using a silicon spatula instead.

I’m not sure if it’s because I don’t have granite countertops, like in the video, or if I didn’t oil my counter enough but the sugar stuck to my counter so bad! I think my roommate might have wanted to move out after this experience (it’s OK, we’re good now), but it took some serious scrubbing to get it off. Pro tip: sugar is water-soluble, so if you just soak whatever has the hardened sugar on it, it should come off.

As the sugar began to cool it did not like to move around and started to stick, but it wasn’t quite cool enough for me to pick up either, so I still had to keep it on the counter. It was all madness. In the TikTok, it looked like she poured it immediately from the pan to the counter, which is what I did, but I would suggest you wait a few minutes so it’s easier to manage once you pour it. It eventually did cool, and then I pulled it, like taffy, with wet hands until it was cool enough to put on my skin. This is where things went wrong.

The results:

Once the sugar was ready, I stretched it thin over my leg, and spread it thinly on the edges, like I was instructed, and then pulled. Nothing happened. No hair came out, not even a single one. However, it didn’t hurt as much as other waxing methods I’ve tried, so that’s encouraging if I ever wanted to try it again. That might be because I didn’t remove any hair, though. I might try it again, with a different recipe to see if it works.

Because I was woefully unsatisfied with the results of the homemade sugar waxing, I decided to purchase a sugar wax to see if It would be any better.

The alternative:

As one does when they have beauty questions and a deep desire to buy unnecessary things and experiment with makeup, I went to Ulta Beauty and purchased what looked like the most effective sugar wax I could find. From the research I had done, the Nads Natural Sugar Wax kit, which is sold for $12.99 on Ulta.com and comes with the wax, reusable cotton waxing strips and a pre-wax cleansing bar, was effective and was less painful than traditional hard wax.

This is a little different than homemade sugar waxing in that it doesn’t use outside heat, but rather just uses the heat from your skin to melt the wax slightly before you pull off the strips.

I used this product a few times on different parts to see which would work best. I thought that if this worked then my faith in sugar waxing might be restored. The instructions said to wash with the pre-waxing bar to remove any body oil from my skin, so I did that. Then I used the applicator sticks to apply it, quickly put the cotton strip on the wax, pressed it down a little, and pulled. It worked better than I was expecting.

The Nads wax did remove hair, surprisingly compared to the homemade sugar wax performed. I tried it on my lower legs, my thighs, and my bikini line. It removed the most hair on my thighs, I’m not exactly sure why. It worked OK on my lower legs, removing some of the hair but not nearly all of it. The Nads wax did nothing for my bikini line except irritate it to no end and give me serious razor burn (I use that term loosely). But to be fair to the product, I should probably be using something designed for bikini area waxing.

Overall, I would say the Nads natural sugar wax performs well on thinner hair that’s not as coarse, like upper-leg hair or maybe arm hair, if you use it at all. Even though this product only semi-worked, it did a way better job than the homemade sugar wax did. I’m all about making beauty products and using natural ingredients, but it’s not that effective and seems a little dangerous. Honestly, I think it’s just easier to shave. When I shave, I get less irritation, granted it doesn’t last quite as long as waxing does, and it takes less time to just shave than to go through the trouble of making the wax. Not to mention how much less painful it is.

But don’t let this dissuade you from trying sugar waxing for yourself. Just because it didn’t work for me doesn’t mean it won’t work for you.

Delaney is a fourth year English major at the University of Florida, with a focus on children's and young adult literature. Her favorite articles to write are book reviews and anything about women's issues, including writing about her often disastrous college dating life. When she isn't reading vampire novels or sipping tea, she can be found buying second-hand clothes or baking cookies.
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