Sugaring vs. Waxing

Sugaring vs. Waxing: Aren't they the same thing?  Both are hair epilating methods.  But when it comes to the pain aspect, the two methods are very different.  Sugaring is also a cheaper, homemade alternative.

sugaring mixture in a gar

The sugaring paste is made up of all-natural ingredients like sugar, lemon juice, water and sometimes essential oils.  Most waxes are made mainly of resins and contain artificial fragrances, dyes, chemicals, and preservatives.  Even though you can be allergic to any given ingredient, natural or not, it’s more common for people to be allergic to artificial fragrances and ingredients.

Sugaring paste is water-soluble; therefore you can simply wash it off with water.

Sugaring will only take away dead skin cells, unlike waxing which also removes live skin cells.  This means that you don’t have to worry about the sugar accidentally removing skin!

teaspoon of sugar

There are various sugaring recipes; I am going to give you a basic version, one I used myself.

  • 2 cups sugar
  • ¼ cup lemon juice/apple cider vinegar (whichever you prefer)
  • ¼ cup water

lemon cut in half

You will need; a saucepan, an air-tight glass jar and a candy thermometer (optional).


Combine the ingredients in a saucepan and heat on low.  Heat the mixture to a hardball candy stage.  The hardball stage refers to cooking candy to a certain temperature, usually between 250 oF and 265 oF (or 121.11 oC - 129.44 oC). You can use a candy thermometer to determine when you've reached this stage. This should happen after about 25 minutes of simmering; the sugar mixture result should be a dark amber colour. Remove it from the heat and let it cool for about ten minutes before placing it in an air-tight glass container. Be careful it's hot.

Once the product has cooled, you are ready for hair removal. 

How to use:

Wax is applied warm but sometimes overheated causing a skin burn. Sugar paste is used either lukewarm or at room temperature, so there’s no chance of burning the skin. Some people heat the mixture and remove it with a cloth strip, just like you would use hot wax. However, I suggest using the sugaring mixture at room temperature.

Dip your fingers into the container of sugaring paste and take out a small amount (roughly the size of a quarter). Flatten the paste in your hands until it feels slightly warm. Apply it to the area you wish to epilate. Smooth it along the area until it is approximately ¼ inch thick. You don’t need to use any cloth strips for this method. 

As you probably know, wax is applied with the direction of hair growth, but removed against the grain of hair growth. However, with sugaring, the past is applied against the grain of hair growth and then removed in the same direction of the growth, putting less strain on the skin. This means less pain.


  • Take a bath/shower beforehand and use a body scrub, this will prepare the skin for epilation.
  • Make sure the hairs are about ¼ inch long; you won’t be able to remove hair if it’s too short.
  • If you don’t use up all the mixture the first time, you can keep it refrigerated and warm-up/thaw when you want to re-use.
  • Sugaring can be done on all body parts. 
  • Sugaring is much gentler to the skin than waxing. I suggest you give it a try if you haven’t already.




I'm a vegan with a passion for sustainability and clean, cruelty-free products. I mainly write lifestyle, wellness and self-care articles. Since I'm a true crime enthusiast, sometimes I also write about true crime and post videos on my two YouTube channels.


Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment! If you ask a question I will answer it asap. – Cosette

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