As someone who chronically struggles with both eczema and razor burn, my sensitive skin makes hair removal a bit of a challenge. Since puberty, I've tried shaving, depilatory creams, and waxing — all of which have resulted in flare-ups, rashes, and an unrelenting itchiness. In fact, out of all the hair removal methods I've tested, there's only one that has worked for my sensitive skin: sugaring.
Compared to waxing, sugaring is an all-natural alternative that doesn't require strips or dipping. Instead, the esthetician rolls the sugaring paste — made from lemon, sugar, and water — onto the skin, and uses a flicking motion to remove the hair follicles from the root. The process works on any area of the body, is safe for those who are prone to allergies or ingrown hairs, and is beneficial for people who typically experience razor burn or rashes.
Though this method is particularly popular with people with sensitive skin (cue hand raise), there are plenty of benefits that let sugaring compete head-to-head with more traditional methods — and come out on top. In addition to being all-natural, sugaring is long lasting, has a reduced chance of redness, and can be performed more frequently. With sugaring, there's no need to grow the hair out for weeks or endure stubble in between treatments (thank God, amirite?).
But don't just trust me — trust the expert. To find out more about how and why sugaring is quickly competing with waxing as a top hair removal solution, I spoke with Danielle Correia, owner and CEO of Sugaring LA.
1. It's better for your skin.
While hair removal wax can often include chemicals, synthetic ingredients, or fillers, sugaring paste is all-natural and made of just three completely organic and biodegradable ingredients: sugar, lemon juice, and water. Following the philosophy of putting on your body what you would put in your body, Danielle notes that the sugaring blend is not just safe for your skin — it would also be safe enough to eat (though we wouldn't recommend it).
Thus, the paste is ideal for all skin types, hair textures and skin sensitivities. As Danielle says, "If you've had a bad wax and you're afraid to test the hair removal waters, then sugaring is where it's at!" I concur.
2. It's more sanitary.
No fear of double-dipping here as sugaring is done with a single ball of paste per client. It eliminates possible infections or contamination.
As Danielle notes, "Our application is much different than traditional waxing. We use a smooth ball of paste that gently rolls onto the skin. The sugar is applied in the opposite direction of the hair growth while seeping into the hair follicle and adhering to it. It is then flicked off in the natural direction of the hair growth."
After the first flick and removal strip, the paste is stretched and folded back into itself, working the removed hairs towards the centre of the ball and surfacing a fresh section for the next application. Thus, the entire sugaring treatment is completely self-contained within one portion of paste and ensures that there are no concerns about sanitation or cross-contamination.
3. It has a lower chance of prompting a rash and redness.
There are two main reasons that sugaring leaves less rash and redness than waxing: the all-natural formula, the fact that it's free from the irritating additives in wax, and the way that sugaring paste bonds when applied to the skin.
In fact, sugaring is more than just a hair removal method, it's also a light exfoliant (this again, helps reduce the chance of rash and redness). Danielle explains, "Our paste adheres only to the hair and dead skin cells, minimising any redness or discomfort after treatment." This is one of the main differences between sugaring and waxing: while wax bonds to both the hair follicles and surrounding skin area, the sugaring paste doesn't pull on or irritate the skin.
4. It doesn't leave residue.
If you've ever had a wax, then there's a good chance you've experienced the struggle of picking off leftover bits of wax hours — or even days — later. But with sugaring, there's no stress about taking some of the treatment home with you.
Since the paste is water soluble, it's much easier to remove than wax and doesn't harden onto the skin. Danielle noted that any small amount left from the treatment can be removed in seconds with warm water and a towel.
5. It lasts longer.
While wax often breaks the hairs at the surface, sugaring paste pulls the follicles from the root. This ensures that the hair will take longer to grow back.
But that's not the only way that sugaring provides long-term benefits — the process also offers long-term hair refinement and reduction. As Danielle told me, "Our skin has three stages of hair growth cycles, and sugaring, at its best, grabs hairs at the beginning cycle — which does the most damage to the follicle in facilitating the hair growing back thinner and finer. Over time, your hair will become more sparse and you will be able to space out your appointments longer and come in to get sugared less often."
Compared to waxing, sugaring pulls hairs in this early stage because its formula allows for removing very short hairs. While waxing often requires a certain length, sugaring can be done with even minimal growth, especially when receiving treatments on a regular basis. Can't argue with that.