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How to Make Sugaring Gel at Home

How to Make Sugaring Gel at Home

In a previous article I described the process known as “sugaring” which uses a sugar-based gel or paste to trap hairs and yank them out at the root as a means of epilation. This is similar to waxing, and yet better: you can make the sugaring concoction at home for pennies and apply it yourself easily without the embarrassment of having someone else do it for you (especially in those private places!); it doesn’t stick to your skin so the pulling is actually less painful; and it’s sugar based, so cleanup is quick and easy.

Perks of Sugaring

Sugaring isn’t perfect, though; it can take time to master the technique used to quickly and effectively remove large amounts of hair. (The way I see it, though, if you’re still shaving you’re spending a lot of time involved in hair removal right there.) Once the technique is mastered, especially using the gel, you can remove large swathes of hair swiftly with almost no mess, no heating, no fabric strips and no cleanup, and very little pain. As I said before, making your own sugaring paste or gel is simple and very, very cheap, and uses all natural ingredients. The result of the recipe below can be used either as the solid, room temperature gel or a liquid, heated paste you can combine with fabric in the traditional waxing format, if such is your preference.

Making Your Own Sugaring Gel

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 c. white sugar

1/8 c. (2 TBs) lemon juice or concentrate

1/8 c. (2 TBs) water

(That’s cups and tablespoons in case you weren’t sure.)

Combine all three ingredients in a shallow saucepan with a heavy bottom, to ensure even cooking. Stir the sugar until it is completed moistened by the wet ingredients, then turn on the heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Stir constantly to ensure the sugar doesn’t burn at this point.

Once you’ve reached a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer. There should be lots of small bubbles appearing that almost completely obscure the mixture underneath. Stir occasionally, and cook for approximately 20 to 25 minutes. What you’re really looking for is a change in color: the mixture will dark to a light amber after 10 – 15 minutes, and a darker amber still after 20  – 25. (Some people also say it will also smell very lemony once it’s done.)

It’s possible to overcook, so once it’s good and dark remove it from heat and let it cool for a few minutes. It will congeal rapidly, so don’t wait too long before you pour it into an air tight container and place in the refrigerator to cool. Once it’s cooled completely, set out so it can warm up to room temperature for use.

And that’s it! If done properly, it will be slightly sticky and soft enough to grab a hunk from the container and roll it into a ball. Very little should stick to your hands. This is actually half of the typical recipe you’ll find online; I find it beneficial to start small, since it can take some practice to get just the right consistency. If you end up having to scrap your first one or two attempts, it’s fewer wasted ingredients. To make a larger amount, just double each ingredient. Good luck sugaring!