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Let's face it, there's nothing remotely comfortable about waxing. Tired of pre-wax anxiety and post-wax blisters, I sought out a gentler alternative: sugaring.
Sugaring is a form of hair removal performed with a natural sugar and water-based paste. There are two sugaring methods widely available: one in which paste is applied at lukewarm temperature and pulled off with strips, and another in which cool paste is massaged into the hair follicles in the direction of growth, slowly exfoliating new hair from its roots. As the latter version is hard to find in Manhattan (and takes longer to perform) I opted for the warm paste. Let the games begin.
In a lot of ways, lukewarm sugaring is similar to waxing. The honey-like paste is applied to hair with wooden sticks, and cloth strips are rubbed onto the area and then pulled off quickly, taking unwanted hair with them. The treatment can be performed all over the body, including the face, and falls into the same ballpark price-wise as waxing. However, there are some key differences:
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Sugaring paste is generally made from a few basic ingredients, including sugar, water, and lemon juice (some formulas also contain moisturizers or glycerin). That makes the treatment and safe for both your body and the environment, and ideal for those with sensitive, allergy-prone skin.
It hurts a lot less
Because sugaring paste does not adhere to live skin cells the way most waxes do, it pulls up only hair - not skin - minimizing topical pain. Plus, the paste itself is only heated to lukewarm temperature, making initial application more comfortable (especially important in sensitive areas like the labia - hello, Brazilian!).
There is less redness and blistering after treatment
Sugaring is visibly gentler, too. Whereas it usually takes at least a day or two for my skin to calm post-waxing, sugaring got my bikini line back to its normal hue within 6 hours. That's good news for those of us with sensitive skin; even better news for those who have a hot date after treatment.
Statement Eyes at Malandrino and Derek Lam Fall 2011
It doesn't leave a sticky mess
Sugaring paste is water-soluble, so any residue left behind can be easily washed off after the procedure. Some sugaring technicians even apply powder to the treated area to soothe and calm the skin. Perfection.
The verdict? I'm a convert. Sugaring isn't exactly comfortable (you're still having hair yanked out of your most sensitive areas), but it certainly reduces overall pain, and left my bikini line smoother and calmer than it's ever been after waxing. For a girl on the go, that's pretty sweet.
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