Sugaring, A Bikini Wax Alternative
If you have considered having a bikini wax but are concerned about the pain and the possibility of experiencing an infection or other side effects, then there is an alternative. Since ancient times, sugaring has been an all-natural approach to hair removal technique that involves less pain.
Why try an alternative to the bikini wax?
If you have ever had a bikini wax or heard stories from friends who have undergone the procedure, you already know the process can be not only painful, but potentially harmful as well. After all, a bikini wax involves tearing out your pubic hair, which cannot be pleasant.
Even in the hands of professional cosmetologists or aestheticians, a bikini wax may result in an inflamed pelvic area, irritation and redness, itching, fever, ingrown hairs, and infection.
If you still want to remove pubic hair but want to reduce or eliminate the risk factors, then sugaring may be the bikini wax alternative for you. Two types of sugaring approaches are available, gel and paste, and you can use commercially available products, make your own, or visit a professional for the hair removal.
Sugaring paste is the traditional approach and involves using a warm (not hot, like waxing) mixture of sugar, lemon juice, water, and possibly essential oils. A recipe for making your own sugaring formula is below.
The paste is applied against the hair growth and then in the direction of the hair growth. After the mixture is allowed to stay on the treated area for a few minutes, it can be removed with the fingers in the direction of the hair growth.
Sugaring gel is applied in the direction your hair grows but removed in the opposite direction. Unlike bikini wax, the sugaring gel and paste can be cleaned away from the skin with plain water and does not contain any chemical additives that may irritate the skin.
Another advantage of sugaring over waxing is that the former can be applied to a larger area and removed quickly. Most waxes must be applied to a smaller area and removed before they dry out.
Did you or the technician miss a spot or two? If you use a sugar formula, reapplication is not likely to cause irritation, although putting on more wax in a similar situation can.
Speaking of technicians, fewer hair removal experts are familiar with sugaring than with waxing, so be sure to shop around for a professional. If you plan to do sugaring yourself, you should follow the basic rules of safety and cleanliness a technician should follow, namely:
- Sanitize your hands before you start sugaring
- Wear gloves during the sugaring process
- Use a clean spatula or other device for each application. That is, do not double-dip your applicator because you risk exposure to bacteria and infection
Sugaring is generally safe, but if you have a chronic condition such as diabetes, do not practice this technique. Also, if you have used the acne medications tretinoin (Retin A) within the last 3 days or isotretinoin (Accutane) within the last 12 months, you should not do sugaring. In any case, you should consult your healthcare provider before trying this form of hair removal, whether you do it yourself or at a professional facility.
A sugaring recipe
If you are a DIY type of person, you might try making your own sugaring paste. Achieving the right consistency can be challenging, however, and if it is not right, it will have an impact on your level of success, but you can always buy a kit.
That said, here is a recipe and instructions to consider. There are several different slight variations available on the Internet.
¼ cup lemon juice
2 cups white sugar
¼ cup water
Mix the ingredients in a heavy sauce pan over medium-high heat and stir frequently. When it comes to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for about 25 minutes, stirring frequently. The mixture should turn to a dark amber color. Allow the mixture to cool before storing it in an airtight container or use.
Sugaring can be used to remove more than pubic hair: underarms, legs, and the hairs above your upper lip all respond to sugaring. Although not entirely pain-free, sugaring is a natural alternative to a bikini wax or waxing as a form of hair removal in general.