Sugaring – Cleopatra’s Waxing Alternative


Sugaring, or removing body hair with caramelized sugar goes back centuries! Some say the art goes all the way back to Cleopatra. Whenever it started, sugaring definitely takes a different view on hair removal.

Waxing your skin requires you spread sticky hot stuff all over your skin, and rip it off like a Band-Aid. However, you can use sugar paste at room temperature. You also pull the hair out in the direction of the hair growth. These huge differences make sugaring the way to go.

Sugaring – Cleopatra’s Waxing Alternative

  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1/8 cup Water
  • 2 tsp Guar Gum (optional)
  1. Combine the sugar, juice, and water in a saucepan over medium-high heat until the sugar dissolves.
  2. Constantly take the temperature until your caramel reaches 115°C (240°F), and the mixture makes a soft ball when you take it out.
  3. Take the mixture off the heat and vigorously stir in the guar gum.
  4. At this point, I pour it into my Pyrex bowl so that it can cool, and I’m not worried about it cracking the borosilicate glass. I suggest waiting a little bit if you only have a regular container, as thermal shock will break stuff.
  5. Allow the recipe to cool to room temperature and it’s ready to go!

DIY Sugaring

Start by taking a nice warm shower and exfoliate thoroughly. Dry yourself off completely and wait a couple of minutes before you begin the next step. You can also lightly dust the area with talcum or baby powder to help make the hair adhere better.

Take about a quarter cup sized scoop of the sugar paste, and spread it against the direction of growth. If the pulling bothers you, keep in mind sugaring works on short hair too; you can trim you hair before you begin to avoid pulling at it as you apply the stuff. Allow it to rest once you’ve applied it for a few seconds before continuing.

Begin pulling the sugar in the direction of the hair growth. Avoid pulling it up or backwards out and it feels so much less painful than waxing. The motion should feel like you’re flicking your wrist. DO NOT trying to remove everything from your toe to your naval at once. That hurts! Use your other hand to hold your skin tight as you go, to avoid even more pulling and discomfort.

Just so you know, the sugaring paste begins as a darkish red caramel color. It slowly turns an opaque sort of off white as you go. When the paste is opaque and/or it begins to feel more like a gooey play-dough, replace the paste.

If you have any comments or questions, please let me know in the comments below. 

I grew up in Colonia Juarez, Chihuahua, México, where people either owned cattle ranches or fruit orchards. Much of my work ethic came from working on Rancho La Mesa (my family’s ranch). That ranch also sparked what grew into my wild imagination. I read somewhere that you should write the story you want to read, and that stuck with me. My writing began in sixth grade, around the time I began learning to type.