Is Sugaring Better Than Waxing?

Reviewed on 7/7/2021

Sugaring process
Sugaring is a process that uses sugar along with ingredients such as lemon juice and water to remove unwanted body hair.

Unwanted body hair is a big concern for many people. And regardless of the cause, many have tried all kinds of things to remove unwanted body hair and achieve smooth and supple skin, whether that’s shaving, waxing, electrolysis, or laser hair removal. But what about sugaring? Is it better than waxing?

Why is sugaring better than waxing?

Sugaring is a process that uses sugar along with ingredients such as lemon juice and water to remove unwanted body hair. Some aestheticians add honey or essential oils to the sugaring mixture, with the goal of lightening and softening the skin. 

While similar to waxing, sugaring is generally considered a safer and more natural option due to the following reasons:

Process

  • Waxing typically uses hot wax to remove unwanted hair, and the process can be quite painful. Regular wax needs to be hot to be able to remove hair, but too hot when applying it to the skin and can result in skin burns. Waxing is also harsh to the skin, as it pulls and stretches. 
  • Unlike waxing, sugaring involves the application of the mixture when it is at room temperature, thus eliminating the risk of burns. Sugaring is also generally less painful and gentler to the skin, although some people may get rashes from sugaring.
  • Both waxing and sugaring must be avoided if you have sensitive skin or you are using certain anti-acne medications, such as isotretinoin and tretinoin. These medications make your skin more sensitive and can increase the risks of skin irritation and rashes.

Ingredients

  • Sugaring uses natural ingredients that are safe for the skin. 
  • Waxing, however, often uses mixtures that contain additives and resins that can cause skin irritation and damage.

Results

  • People have reported that sugaring has comparable results to waxing, with results lasting for several weeks. Some also experienced less re-growth with sugaring.

How does sugaring work?

In this all-natural method of hair removal, the ingredients are heated and blended to make a thick mixture. The mixture is then cooled until it is lukewarm or room temperature, applied to the skin and removed to pull off hair with it. 

Some have claimed that regular sugaring can make the hair thinner with each application so that hair may not grow back at all. According to dermatologists, however, electrolysis and laser treatments are the only methods to permanently remove unwanted hair (except for a woman’s facial hair).

When to talk to a dermatologist

If you have excessive growth of unwanted hair on your body, you may want to consult a board-certified dermatologist, as it could be a sign of an underlying health condition that needs treatment. For example, some may have excess hair on their body and face, a condition called hirsutism, which could be caused by polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), Cushing syndrome, or certain medications. Your dermatologist can recommend safe and effective ways of hair removal according to your skin type and medical history

It’s important to remember, too, that body hair is natural, and having it doesn’t mean you are unhealthy or unhygienic. Don’t fall prey to the pressure to remove body hair just because others are doing it, or resort to harmful methods that could cause damage to your skin. If you do decide to try hair removal methods, seek a qualified dermatologist’s opinion to talk about options that are right for you.

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References
American Academy of Dermatology. 7 Ways to Remove Unwanted Hair. https://www.aad.org/public/everyday-care/hair-scalp-care/hair/remove-unwanted-hair

Sugar Goddess. Body Sugaring. https://www.sugargoddess.org/what-is-sugaring

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