Thursday, October 4, 2012

DIY Sugaring Paste for Hair Removal

Since my armpit hair needed to be gone before my sister's wedding, I decided to try sugaring, a method of hair removal that appears to be far less intrusive than other types.  Fighting the Hairy Beasts that dwell under my arms was going to be a daunting, and even frightening action, but sugaring seemed to be the least terrifying option.

I was going to tame those ferocious beasts!

hairy beasts living in my armpits

There are two ways you can go about using the sugaring method to remove body hair.

One way is to warm it up and use it as a wax, complete with the joy of ripping it off of your body with "tape" strips. In this case, the gel is to be warmed up, but not at as high a temperature as would be used in typical waxing.  This is a plus for a chicken like me, but the idea of ripping anything off of my body inspires fear.

I chose the second method.  

The second method is to create a paste that gets applied to your body at room temperature.  This is actually the traditional way of doing it, and appears to lessen the chances of ingrown hairs and irritation.

Lessen the chances of pain and suffering?  This is something I can get behind!

I used a tutorial that I found to be clear and easy to follow.

First, gather your ingredients.

sugaring ingredients

There isn't much.  All you're working with is sugar, lemon juice, and water.  Specifically, according to Naomi Torres of,  the writer of the spectacular tutorial I discovered, you'll need:

  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1/4 cup of lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup of water

Simple, right?  I thought so, too.

Unfortunately, after plopping my ingredients into my pot, I realized I was going to have a bit of difficulty.

The steps are easy, but

The recipe calls for a pot with a thick bottom, and Ms. Torres was using standard sugar.  I, on the other hand, had a pot made of thin metal, and pure cane sugar.

The pot was a problem because my sugary goo was going to cook at a much faster rate, unless I was very vigilant.

Yeah...  we know that won't happen!

The other problem was the choice of sugar.  Standard sugar is a blend of sugar cane and sugar beets.  My raw cane sugar was going to have a different appearance as it cooked.  Ms. Torres did a great job of explaining what to expect of the appearance - complete with pictures - but I knew that mine wouldn't have the same coloration.  Oops.

That's ok, though... I have a tendency to wing it, anyway, right?


So that's exactly what I did.

I threw my 3 ingredients together in my way-too-thin pot, and set the burner temperature to medium, stirring often.

  1. Stir the ingredients together in a pot set to medium heat until it begins to boil.
  2. Once you hit boiling, reduce the heat to low, and allow it to simmer for 20 to 25 minutes.  If you're using standard sugar, it'll take on a rose colored hue.  If, like me, you're using pure cane sugar, this color change won't occur.  You'll be staring at something that resembles maple syrup, instead.
  3. Remove your pot from the heat, and allow it to cool for about 10 minutes.  This is the hard part.  You're going to keep staring at it, hoping time will speed up.  10 minutes of inactivity feels like twenty.  This is a good time to lick the spoon clean, not because that'll serve any real purpose, but because it's pretty yummy, and you have nothing else to do anyway, right?  Right.
  4. Once the eternal wait is complete, pour the mixture into an air tight container.  The writer was very specific about this.  She used plastic, but I prefer glass.  Either way, as long as it's air-tight you're good to go.  
  5. Let it cool completely.  I let it sit overnight, just to be sure.  I didn't want to take any chances.  I mean, this is my skin that it's going to be covering, right?  The last thing I want is to apply it too soon!
In the end, mine looked like this.

resulting mixture in a glass container

There were quite a few bubbles on the top, but since the writer didn't mention anything about this being a problem, I figured I was doing ok.  Only time would tell, so I waited until the next day and took a glob of it out to examine the texture.

glob of sticky sugaring mix

It seemed a bit different than the sugaring result that she displayed, but it didn't seem too stiff, either.  I worried that it may be too sticky to work with, but decided to see what would happen.

One quick note:  She mentioned in an update that some people had a problem with their sugaring mixtures ending up too solid to work with.  If this happens, she suggests adding a small amount of water and heating it up a bit to get it to soften.  Then, of course, you're going to have to let it cool again.

Tomorrow I'll talk about the actual process of hair removal, and don't worry... I won't hold back.  I'll tell you all about any pain, mess, or lack thereof.  I'll be sure you know it all, so there won't be any surprises.

You'll know exactly what to expect.  

And in the end, that's really what we all want to know, right?


  1. Very informative article. It answered very well all the question that a potential patient may have in mind when considering a laser hair removal.

  2. To be honest, laser hair removal rather scares me, which is why I elected to try out sugaring. There are so many options out there! Finding just the right one for a given situation can be quite interesting.

  3. Does this really work? How frequently we need to do this?

  4. It does work, but you have to be very careful about temperature of the mixture when you're cooking it. My original recipe here didn't turn out as well as it should have, because I used a thin metal pan. As Naomi Torres mentioned in her tutorial, a thin pan can cause the mixture to heat too quickly, creating a mess - that mess still works... but not as well as it would if done in a thick pan.

    It needs to be done whenever the hair grows back out, but over time much of the hair stops growing back. It's a process. :-)