Sugar waxing is a great way of getting rid of excess hair. It will keep you hair free for weeks at a time.
You can have this done at a salon or buy a sugar wax kit to use at home, though there’s really no need to shell out big bucks on hair removal treatments and products unless you want to, as you can easily make sugar wax at home.
You probably don’t even need to go shopping for this recipe as the ingredients to make your own sugar wax are pretty easy to find in most kitchens. This a purely natural, non-toxic eco-friendly recipe which costs next to nothing.
Homemade Sugar Wax Recipe
Despite the cost of home sugaring kits, all you actually need to make enough sugar wax to wax your legs, underarms, bikini line or anywhere else is
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup lemon juice (bottled is fine)
- 1/4 cup water
Not much is it for something that costs a bomb in salons? Course, you do have to pull the sugaring wax off yourself so there is a reward for being brave…
You will also need
- a heavy saucepan for heating the wax
- a glass jar for pouring the wax into. It’s best to use a container like a preserving jar, that can be reheated in the microwave or pan of hot water to soften the wax again if needed.
- a wooden spatula for applying the wax. Disposable flat lollipop sticks are fine. If you want something that can be reused, you would need a tiny silicone spatula or something like that
- cotton strips for pulling the wax off. Don’t use stretchy fabric for this – just plain cotton like an old cotton sheet or something. You can reuse the strips if you wash them after you are finished waxing as the sugar just dissolves from the fabric. Cut the strips into pieces about 2 inches by 3 inches if you’re a novice waxer, or smaller, depending on the area you want to wax. You can graduate to larger pieces for your legs later when you get used to the process
|Sugaring vs Waxing
The only tricky part when making your own sugar wax is heating the wax to the right consistency as it needs to spread easily onto your legs (or wherever you want to wax) without dripping off. The best way to do that is to use a candy thermometer so that you get the temperature right.
If you don’t have a candy thermometer, don’t worry, there’s a video below with a method that works without one.
How to Make Sugar Wax
The more times you do this, the easier it gets but it’s pretty simple even the first time you do it!
- Add all the ingredients to the pan and heat gently, stirring until the sugar dissolves
- Continue to heat the mixture, stirring occasionally. Once it looks like it is thickening up, measure the temperature of the mixture with the candy thermometer, continuing to heat the wax until the temperature reaches 250 degrees F. Make sure that you don’t let it boil over – so don’t answer the phone and forget about it or anything or you’ll have a mess and have to start again
- Once the wax mixture is cool enough, pour it into your clean glass jar
- Let it cool a bit more before using on your skin, though not too much that it hardens. It needs to be soft and sticky to get rid of the hair. Test a tiny bit on a less conspicuous/sensitive area once you think it’s about right rather than slapping on a lot of wax and burning yourself
- If the wax hardens too much, at any time during the sugar waxing process, reheat it by placing the jar in a pan of hot water (like a bain marie) to soften it or gently heat the jar in the microwave on the defrost setting. Make sure the wax is not too hot again before using
If you don’t have a candy thermometer, you can follow the directions in this sugar wax hair removal video instead
How to Wax Your Legs With Sugar Wax
Protect the Area
Once the wax is at the right stage you can begin. Although sugar wax is easier to remove from carpet and other surfaces than normal wax, it’s still easier if you protect the area with a sheet or towel so you can just dump your sheet or towel in the washing machine once you’re finished.
Clean Your Skin
Prevent any kind of infection by cleaning the skin you’re going to wax before you begin. Also, make sure your skin is dry before you apply the wax.
Smear on, Pull Off
Use a wooden spatula to smear a thin layer of wax onto your leg in the direction of hair growth, then place a cotton strip on the wax almost as soon as you have applied it and press down. Leave the strip for a few seconds and then pull it off in one swift movement against the direction of hair growth. (See the video below for a demo)
For legs this means you smear the wax on down the leg towards your feet and pull the wax off towards the body. When removing the wax, keep close to the skin rather than pulling upwards and outwards.
If you smooth the skin with your hand after removing the strip, it takes some of the sting away.
Do this one small section at a time so that you are applying a bit of wax just a bit smaller than your cotton strip, applying the strip and removing it, before moving on. Try and work methodically down your legs so that you don’t miss bits out.
Get Rid of the Strays
After you have more or less finished waxing your legs, you may find patches that have escaped attention, or stray hairs that the wax did not pull out. You can go over these areas again or pull out strays with tweezers.
Remove any Residue
Remove any sticky wax residue with warm water and a soft cloth.
Apply a gentle body lotion to soothe your legs so that they can get over the trauma! They will probably be quite red and have a few bumps but these should disappear within a few hours. It’s not a good idea to wax the same day as a hot date though. If you remove hair at night, by the next day your legs should be looking good again.
One problem with waxing can be ingrown hairs. You can keep these at bay by a program of gentle exfoliation, once your legs have settled down. (Don’t do this right after waxing). See this article How to Exfoliate for the best ways to achieve soft smooth skin.
Nervous About Sugar Waxing?
- Swallow the cost and have one treatment at a salon to see how they go about it and you’ll easily get the idea so you can try it yourself next time. Or see the video below for a demo.
- Buy a sugar waxing kit which has a wax heater with in-built thermostat. This reduces the worry about getting the temperature and consistency right – it just costs a lot more.
This video shows sugar waxing in action and you can see how hair is removed from toes, legs and underarms. You can even see how you can use the wax without cotton strips – though I find you end up with very sticky fingers with this method, so I don’t like it so much.
In the video, you can see it’s possible to remove hair from the legs in large strips. Do this once you have a bit of experience at waxing and you’ll get your legs done very quickly!
Can leftover wax be saved for later use?
I haven’t tried to save sugar wax as the ingredients are so easy to put together again. I don’t think it would go off as it is almost pure sugar, but it would harden and have to be reheated and I’m not sure how well that would work after a while. It’s worth an experiment if you made too much.
What am I doing wrong? I made two batches of this and had to throw them both away. I halved the recipe because I didn’t need that much. I cooked two min to boil. Seriously reduced heat and cooked 5 more. I let it cool. But by the time it cools enough that my skin can tolerate the heat of it, it’s way too solidified to spread. What do I do?
It may not be for you if you can’t tolerate hot wax. The wax should be hot (to help open up the pores) just not so hot that it burns you. If it hardens place the jar you have it in, in a bowl of hot water to melt again. If you have not been exact with the measurements, that may be the problem with small quantities.
How long should the hair on your legs be to wax them? In the video is said 1/4″ but that was when she was talking about the armpit hair. Can the leg hair be shorter?
1/4″ is about right for legs too. You can get fairly good results sometimes with shorter hair – but you probably won’t get all the hair and then you end up having to wax more frequently as the hairs that were missed become obvious quite quickly.
Okay I’ve tried this twice now and by the time it feels warm enough for me to use its already hard. Should I put it in a bigger container because the one I have it in is small. I’ve thrown it away twice. When I tried I read on another video to put 2 cups of sugar, 1/4 of water and a tablespoon of lemon juice maybe that’s why? Idk? I need help lol. 🙁
Hard to tell without being there, but try experimenting with different recipes if that one does not work for you. I don’t use this recipe myself – it was just recommended to me. I have a home laser hair removal machine these days. I’m still trying to see if it will work permanently or not and If it does I’ll review it.
What to do if sugar wax dont stick onto your skin???
I can’t really tell where you went wrong from that. If you think about syrup and treacle that’s the kind of consistency you’re going for and they never fail to be sticky!
Can u use wax heater to heat the sugar wax??
I wouldn’t use one unless the instructions say you can otherwise the guarantee will be void.
So i made the sugar wax but whenever i heat it up to start using it and take some out of the jar it starts to harden quickly and isn’t sticky enough. I made two batches, the first time i thought i over cooked it so i made another batch and made sure not to make that mistake again but both turned out the same way. What should i do?
Not sure what you are doing here, Kirstin, sorry. Normally it is fine.
If it starts to harden its also possible to use it like a kind of putty…. can even use it cold. You sorta need to wrestle a blob out, roll it between your palms until its softer and then stretch/squidge it onto the hair… pull it off. I’ve seen instruction to squidge in direction of hair and pull in opposite direction, and also to squidge in opposite direction of hair and pull in direction…. its been a while since I did it, so I dont remember which is more effective! Anyway, hope this helps. I think its technically the more traditional way this recipe was used… who kbows.
Thanks for your helpful comment, Sam. I have been experimenting with a laser gadget lately, so not much waxing.