How Do I Make Sugaring Paste?

N. Swensson

Sugaring paste is a thick, sticky substance that can be used as an alternative to waxing for hair removal. As the paste can be made at home from common and inexpensive ingredients, sugaring can be a more affordable way to take away unwanted body hair. There are a variety of ways to prepare sugaring paste, but most formulations contain sugar, water, and lemon juice. The ingredients are heated on a stove top until they reach the desired consistency and then cooled to room temperature. The process may require some trial and error before the best results are achieved, and some people prefer this method of hair removal to waxing.

Woman holding a book
Woman holding a book

Most sugaring paste preparations begin with sugar and water, although other recipes may contain lemon juice, corn syrup, or honey. To make the paste, heat the ingredients slowly in a saucepan and simmer until they reach the desired consistency and color, which is usually a light amber. It may be difficult to achieve the correct consistency right away, but the goal is to create a paste that can be easily spread on the skin and will attach to the hair. A large batch of sugaring paste can be made and refrigerated for later use.

To use sugaring paste, a thin layer should be spread across the skin where hair is to be removed. The hair should be long enough to adhere to the paste; the method may not work well on very short hair. After applying the paste, a thin cotton strip is placed over it and then quickly pulled off, taking with it the paste and hair. The process may need to be repeated a few times to take away all the hair, and different methods may work best for certain people. Sometimes, the paste is applied in the direction of hair growth and sometimes in the opposite direction. The cotton strip may also be removed in either direction.

Although it may take several tries to correctly make a sugaring paste that works, many people prefer this method of hair removal to waxing. It is believed to be a safer, all-natural alternative to depilatory wax, which is usually petroleum-based and can contain other chemicals. Also, because sugaring paste does not need to be continually heated, there is less risk of burns than with waxing. Finally, as body sugaring can be done at home, it is often a less expensive alternative to salon procedures.

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Discussion Comments


I go to a pro to get big areas waxed but I usually use sugaring paste to do my upper lip and occasionally a part of my stomach. I keep some in the fridge and just pull it out when I need it. I would rather not mess with the larger waxing jobs, I'm happy to leave the work and mess to someone who knows what they are doing. But on little stuff I am happy to use a homemade substitute that seems to work just as well.


@summing - I have to disagree. I have been using sugaring paste for years and have only had good results. It took me a few tires to get the recipe down but once I did it has been smooth (pun intended) sailing ever since.

I love how cheap it is. I have to confess that I hate body hair and wax pretty regularly. If I had this done professionally it would add a lot to what is already a pretty big bill. Sugaring paste coasts less than a few dollars for each application.

I also like the natural aspect. We live in a really dirty chemical world and we put a lot of things into our body that we don't really understand. Who knows what all that body wax will do over time. I know with sugaring paste that I have nothing to worry about.


Take my advice, never use sugaring paste. I had a horrible experience with it when I was in high school and I swore I would never use it again. I only use real wax and I only pay professionals to do it.

So here is what happened. One of my girlfriends read in a magazine about sugaring paste and we decided to try it. It was right before summer and we all wanted to have really smooth legs.

We followed the recipe and I was the first one to try it. I spread it all over my calf and then ripped the strip off and started screaming. It took off the hair but also at least a later or two of my skin. It burned so bad and my leg was red for at least a week after that.

I don't know what went wrong but something definitely went wrong. Don't fool around with this homemade substitute. Just go out and get the real thing.

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