Sugaring Vs Waxing: Which One Should You Opt For?

Waxing is a painful affair. Period.

If you struggle with fuzz and hair on your arms and legs, you might want to know about sugaring.

Made from natural ingredients, the sugar paste removes hair in a manner that is less painful than waxing and gentler on your skin.

But even if waxing makes you go ouch every time, it still seems to be a popular method for hair removal. Let's find out why and weigh all the pros and cons of waxing vs sugaring to make your hair removal decision easier.

What Is Sugaring?

Sugaring is an ancient Persian method to remove body hair with a paste made from natural ingredients.

Process And Ingredients Used For Sugaring

  • The paste for sugaring is made with water, sugar and lemon juice.
  • Heat all the ingredients together till it has a paste like consistency.
  • The paste is cooled to room temperature and applied on the skin (after cleaning the skin and applying talcum powder to it) opposite to the direction of the hair’s growth.
  • It is then pulled off in the direction the hair is growing.
  • It is done in stages with the paste being pulled off the skin in small patches but in quick movements.

How Long Does The Sugaring Process Take?

Depending on the growth of your hair, it can take about an hour to remove hair from the usual body parts such as the arms, legs, underarms and upper lip.

What Is Waxing?

Waxing is a more contemporary form of hair removal that pulls the hair out from the root using wax.

Process And Ingredients Used For Waxing

  • Soft wax is made with oils, additives and rosin. The hard wax which is applied to the skin after it cools is made from resin, oils and beeswax.
  • It is often heated before application and needs strips of cloth or disposable fibre sheets to remove hair.
  • Some salon owners also add other ingredients such as herbal extracts or essential oils.
  • Azulene oil, which is a chamomile extract is sometimes used in the wax for its natural anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Wax is applied to large areas of the skin, a strip is placed on the wax and pressed down several times in the direction of the hair growth.
  • Once it is stuck well, the strip is pulled back, in the direction opposite to the hair growth.

How Long Does The For Waxing Process Take?

The process doesn’t take more than an hour because waxing covers larger areas of the body faster. A Brazilian wax would take longer though.

How Painful Is Waxing?

Waxing causes extreme pull on the skin, making it quite painful. However, the degree of pain depends on your tolerance level.

Sugaring Vs Waxing: Pros And Cons



The paste is made with lemon juice, water and sugar and is completely natural. Nothing from this paste sticks to live skin cells.

Wax is made with several chemicals, preservatives and resins. Resins are known to stick to skin cells which are alive.

Can be applied at body temperature and will not burn your skin.

Wax needs to be heated as it can cause burns or scars on application.

Does not leave any sticky residue. It is water soluble and easy to clean up.

You need chemical solvents or a toner to remove the residue and clean up.

It is less painful as the hair is removed in the same direction it grows in.

As wax is pulled in the direction against which the hair grows, it can be painful.

Sugaring does not cause any burning, redness or irritation.

Can cause a rash or irritation to sensitive skin if used repeatedly.

It can be applied repeatedly as it exfoliates the top layer of the skin.

Can be applied only once or twice though it also exfoliates the skin.

The paste only sticks to the hair and the dead skin cells. This decreases the chances of ingrown hair, irritation or hair breakage.

Wax sticks to the skin’s surface and repeated pulling hurts the skin, can break hair follicle, and cause ingrown hair.

Minimal wastage occurs as no strips or spatulas needed.

The wax pots, disposable strips and applicators cause waste.

No bacteria as it cannot survive or multiply in the presence of sugar.

Can have the presence of bacteria which may cause an infection.

Heals skin naturally.

Damages the cells of the fine tissue of the skin.

Hair grown up to one-eighth of an inch can be removed with sugaring. Hence can be done every two or three weeks.

Hair needs to be longer at least one-fourth of an inch before removal. Need to wait for at least a month for hair to grow to that length.

Can be done for people who are pregnant or those who have diabetes.

Cannot be done for people with diabetes and for pregnancy, you need to check with your doctor.

Does not harden even when left on skin.

Needs to be removed quickly before it hardens on the skin.

Skin remains soft and clean even before you use any after care products.

Leaves the skin feeling taut and irritated and needs after care immediately.

Who Is Eligible For Waxing Or Sugaring?

For those of you with no pre-existing health conditions, it is safe to opt for either waxing or sugaring. If you have sensitive skin however, it is best to ask your salon professional for before and after procedure care that you need to take.

If you are undergoing chemo or radiation therapy, waxing and sugaring are not recommended as those therapies make the skin more sensitive and dry. It is better to consult your doctor before following any hair removal regimen.

Your skin may have a reaction to waxing or become more sensitive to it if you are pregnant, on hormone replacement therapy, taking antibiotics or hormone-based birth control, accutane and if you are using topical creams containing retinoids.

Sugaring Vs Waxing: Which One Is More Comfortable?

Waxing is the more painful option while sugaring doesn’t hurt as much. Sugaring hurts a little in the beginning, but over time, hurts less. Waxing, because of the nature of the wax and the fact that the wax is applied over larger areas, is less comfortable than sugaring.

Wrapping Up

If you have sensitive skin or a low pain threshold, you might want to check out sugaring instead of waxing. For those who like to minimise the use of chemicals in their lives too, sugaring is a better option. But if you are always short on time and can take the pain, waxing is your no-hair go to formula.

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