Which is better: sugaring or waxing?

Even though sugaring has been around since ancient Egyptian times, it's making a long-overdue comeback (and giving waxing a run for its money as the king of hair removal techniques). Sugaring is clean, efficient, it hurts less than you might expect, and it does it with all-natural, hypoallergenic materials.

What exactly is this thing you call "sugaring"?

Sugaring is a hair removal technique performed using a sugar paste or a sugar gel. You might also find sugaring formulas made from wax mixed with sugar, but that’s not the real sugaring formula. Sugaring using a sugar gel is similar to waxing – the gel is applied to the area you want sugared in the direction of hair growth, and removed using a strip in the opposite direction.

Sugaring with a sugar paste instead of gel is a bit different. The paste is first applied against the direction of hair growth, then again the other way, and is removed without the use of a strip. Sugaring paste is thicker than the gel, and can be used on much shorter hairs – perfect for when you need an urgent waxing and don’t have time to grow your hair out for a regular treatment.

How is sugaring different from waxing?

Sugaring hair removal is considered to be less painful than waxing. That doesn’t mean that it won’t hurt, especially when doing Brazilian sugaring or full bikini sugaring, but the wax used during waxing sticks to both your hair and your skin, whereas sugar paste or gel only sticks to the hair, making it much easier to remove. When the wax is removed, it isn’t ripped quickly like with hot wax, but slowly, which removes hair more deeply and can lead to a less painful experience. Sugaring also leaves less room for irritation, as the materials used in sugaring are hypoallergenic.

What should I expect during an appointment?

The sugaring paste or gel is applied at body temperature. After the technician applies and removes the paste or gel, you might need another coating to catch any missed hairs – although this is less likely if sugaring paste is used. Any sugaring paste that’s left on your body after the hair is removed is easily washed off.

Although less painful than waxing, sugaring is not painless. The level of discomfort you will experience depends based on the area you’re having sugared, the thickness of hair, and on how many times you’ve had waxing or sugaring before.

Don't leave me hanging! What should I do for aftercare?

Your skin will be more sensitive to irritation and infection after sugaring. Sugaring will leave your pores clean, clear, and a bit vulnerable, which is why you should avoid swimming pools for a couple of days after sugaring. You should also skip using products that contain any type of chemical irritant for a day or so after a treatment, and no matter how tempting it may be, avoid using a tanning bed (or nude sunbathing) for a couple of days, too.

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