Everything you need to know about at-home sugaring

Posted by
Chloe Burcham
backgroundLayer 1
Add this article to your list of favourites

Sugaring is fast becoming one of the most popular at-home hair removal techniques… but is it safe? We asked the experts to weigh in. 

While salons remain closed, we’ve all had to somewhat adapt our beauty routines to cater to lockdown life. From perfecting facial massage techniques to nailing that at-home manicure, it turns out that with a few tweaks, many of our favourite beauty treatments are actually pretty easy to do in the comfort of our own homes. 

Yet some beauty treatments are probably best left to the professionals and TikTok’s viral sugaring trend might be one of them. We asked the experts to weigh in on what’s quickly becoming one of the buzziest hair removal techniques of 2021. So before you start cooking up your own sugaring solution, make sure you read this first…

What is sugaring?

“Hand sugaring (also known as flick sugaring) is a method of removing unwanted hair by applying a mixture of lemon juice, sugar and water to the skin by hand, before peeling it off together with the hair,” explains Tanja Westendorff owner of Treatwell salon partner, Sugaring London

The paste is applied with the fingertips against the hair growth and removed with a flick action, pulling along the direction of the hair growth. No sticks or strips are required, making the process extremely eco-friendly, and thanks to its natural formula, sugaring is suitable for all skin tones and types, even the most sensitive of skins.

“The main difference between sugaring and waxing is the ingredients in which they’re made from,” explains Rosie Khandwala, founder of Aqua Natural, a company which provides strip sugar products for professional use. “Waxes are usually chemically formulated from various polymers and resins, whereas sugaring uses completely natural ingredients meaning it’s completely water-soluble and instantly biodegradable.”

You may also like

Suffering with ingrown hairs? Here’s how to treat them

Why has at-home sugaring become popular?

Noticed a spike in sugaring content on your social media feed recently? You’re not alone. A video uploaded on TikTok in February 2021 went viral after showing how to perform sugaring at home. It racked up 5.3 million views in just four days, spurring others on to try the hair removal technique themselves. But while the trend has only recently come to the attention of TikTok, the beauty practice is nothing new. 

“It’s believed that sugaring was developed by ancient Egyptians who considered a hairless body synonymous with royalty, class and prosperity,” says Westendorff. 

The #sugaring hashtag on TikTok now has 354.6 million views and counting, with users showcasing their at-home sugaring techniques.

What are the risks to at-home sugaring?

As with a lot of DIY beauty hacks, there are some things to be aware of before giving it a go yourself. 

“If you’re going to attempt sugaring at home, it’s important to always opt for a professional home sugaring kit rather than making your own formula,” says Westendorff. “These come with clear instructions and, if you’re not sure about something, you can reach out to the brand before using the product.” 

“Cooking your own sugaring paste without knowing the exact quantities means you can get the consistency wrong, which can not only affect your results but the temperature at which the sugar heats up. You’re then at risk of over-heating the formula and potentially burning your skin.”

Sugaring also requires a certain technique to pull off the paste and if it’s done incorrectly, it could lead to bruising.

“You should not sugar if you’re on certain medication (such as Accutane) or if you have open skin or raised moles. This is the same as with most home waxing products, so a clear instruction leaflet with warnings from a professional brand is important.”

“If you’re nervous about at-home sugaring, why not book your first sugaring appointment with a professional from 12 April and experience it first hand.”

Want to be the first to hear about our exclusive reader competitions, offers and discounts? Sign up for the Competitions + Offers email

By entering my email I agree to Stylist’s Privacy Policy

Image credits: Getty