Some might argue that being green means embracing body hair, and that's great. But if you're looking for a hair removal method that doesn't involve disposable razors or unidentifiable chemicals, then sugar waxing might be the answer for you.

Also known simply as sugaring, sugar waxing is an all-natural hair removal method that you can make at home with just three simple ingredients: sugar, lemon juice and water. Similar to conventional waxing, sugaring lasts longer than shaving but has the major advantage of being water-soluble. Any residue that's left on your skin dissolves in a little warm water. Plus, it smells nice.

"It's really good for sensitive skin," says Mathew Miller, manager at The Spa at The Out NYC Urban Resort. Their facility offers sugar hair removal for those who want the professional touch. He also adds that the sugar technique is more hygienic, because bacteria can't grow in the paste.

If you're ready to DIY, watch this how-to video above and follow the instructions below.


1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons water

Cooking tip: It's better to take your wax off the heat too soon rather than too late. If it's not thick enough, you can always heat it more, but if it overcooks it will turn solid.

Sugaring works best with hair that's at least 1/8 inch or about a week's worth of growth. There are two methods for using the wax: the paste method and the strip method. Both approaches can be used on your eyebrows, legs and bikini line. Just like regular waxing, it's not a good idea to use sugaring on any part of your skin that has cuts, burns or irritation. You should also avoid sugaring directly after exfoliating your skin.

Paste method

The paste method is used at the The Spa at The Out, and it's considered to be the more traditional sugaring technique. Once your wax is completely room temperature, grab a scoop and roll it into a ball. This will take some practice; it gets stringy easily if it's too warm. As you roll the wax, it should start to turn opaque. My roommate and I tried this version first, and it definitely took a lot of patience. We both ended up with big blobs of wax stuck to us a couple of times. Pulling the hair off in the same direction as the growth can be less painful.

Strip method

The other option, which is much easier but slightly more painful, is to treat your sugar wax like conventional wax. Spread the sugar wax in a thin layer directly onto your skin, then smooth a cloth over the wax. Then rip the cloth off: the wax and hair will come with it. You can re-use your cloth strips by just soaking them in warm water.

Related on MNN:

Sugaring: An all-natural approach to hair removal
This simple hair-removal recipe has just 3 ingredients.