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What is sugar hair removal and
how is it different than wax?


Sugaring is a method of temporary body hair removal. It involves using a paste, which is made up of a combination of sugar, lemon juice and water (hence the name). That paste is then applied to the skin against the direction of hair growth. Think of sugaring as a slightly less painful version of waxing.

Sugaring vs. Waxing: What’s the Difference?

If you’re familiar with waxing, you might notice that it shares a number of similarities with sugaring. There are also a few key differences—with the main one being application and removal. While a sugaring paste is applied in the opposite direction of hair growth and removed in the same direction of growth, waxing involves application in line with hair growth and then removal in the opposite direction. Additional differences include:

  • Sugaring may be less painful than waxing.  

  • Sugaring can remove shorter hairs than waxing. 

  • Sugaring may have limited side effects. A 2022 J. Institute case study looked at the effects of waxing compared to sugaring on one woman and found that sugaring resulted in lower skin dryness, redness and irritation of pores compared to traditional hard waxing[2]. However, because this case study was done on only one individual, and the study was not peer-reviewed, it’s important to talk to your esthetician or dermatologist prior to sugaring to make sure it’s right for you.

  • Sugaring paste is more natural than hard wax. “Traditional waxing uses combinations of beeswax, essential oils, resins and other preservatives, Sugaring uses just sugar, lemon juice and water.

  • Sugaring doesn’t pull on the skin the same way waxing does. Sugaring is warm, not hot, which brings less of a risk of thermal injury. 

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