Hair removal, especially from the face, is a personal process. As the unwanted hair is on the face, women are likely more careful about the type of treatment used compared to removing hair on the legs; any aftereffects and the overall effectiveness of the procedure are more carefully considered. Sugaring, used in ancient Egypt, is popular in many parts of the world but has only recently been made popular in Western cultures. Many regard this as a more natural, and therefore safer, approach to facial hair removal.
Sugaring is used in much the same way as traditional waxing for removing unwanted hair. Though a wax version is available and is used similarly, the traditional sugaring substrate is a paste made of sugar, lemon and water. Some recipes call for honey or other ingredients, but the base ingredients are natural, don't have long scientific names and can be found in your own kitchen. No matter how "natural," waxes must contain various resins, chemicals and preservatives to perform, whereas sugaring contains only a few basic ingredients.
The natural makeup of sugaring means less likelihood of allergic reactions or sensitivities. Sugaring may be more compatible than waxing with sensitive skin, especially since there are no chemical preservatives to cause irritation, especially on the face. Sensitivities on the facial area are more obvious and can lead to outbreaks of acne.
Proponents of sugaring claim it can be done more frequently than waxing and yet give the same long-term benefits because the paste grabs onto shorter hair regrowth. The sugar paste is removed in the same direction as hair growth, which causes less breakage of the hair, less skin irritation and subsequently less pain. It adheres to the hair and not the skin, causing much less discomfort and damage than waxing; waxing tends to remove the top layer of live skin cells with the hair. On the face, any hair removal method that causes less redness or other irritation is advantageous.
Sugaring is a process that is offered in many salons and spas by a professional, but it can also be performed at home. It is generally safe because the sugaring substrate is not heated like waxes, and therefore isn't likely to lead to an unsightly burn on the face even when performing at home for the first time. It is fairly easy to perform compared to other hair removal techniques and can provide salon-quality results without the wallet-busting prices.
It is advised by beauticians not to get sugaring done during your menstrual period, as this is a time when the body is more sensitive to pain. Also try and avoid oil-based moisturizers for the three days before sugaring to make the process easier.
Mwenya Kasonde is a freelance writer who specializes in writing for the health and beauty disciplines. She has been writing professionally since 2006, and writes primarily for LIVESTRONG.COM. She holds a Bachelor of Medicine, Surgery, Obstetrics and Gynecology from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, and is currently preparing a manuscript for her first comprehensive guidebook to depressive illness.