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By now, you likely know you have options when it comes to hair removal. Rather than constant shaving, hair removal alternatives like epilators and removing hair permanently are likely in your recent Google search history. One method of hair removal you may not have looked into? Sugaring! Using sugar wax has become a popular way to get rid of unwanted hair, which may have you wondering what the difference is between sugaring and waxing. Instead of reaching for your razor, keep reading to learn just that—and get ready to say hello to smooth, soft, hair-free skin!
Ready to dive into a lesson on hair removal? First thing’s first, according to a study from the Journal of the American Medical Association Dermatology, there are two main types of hair removal: depilation and epilation. Depilation refers to removing the hair shaft above the skin’s surface, per the study, and includes methods you’re likely familiar with like shaving and hair removal creams. Epilation, on the other hand, removes the hair from the root, allowing for a longer period of time before hair growth, according to the study, and includes techniques like tweezing, threading, waxing, and sugaring.
Since waxing and sugaring fall under the same type of hair removal, you may be wondering where they differ. Well, the main difference is in the type of wax used. In order to better explain their similarities and differences, let’s talk about what each process entails.
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) states that waxing involves applying a layer of melted wax to the skin, allowing it to harden, and then quickly pulling off said wax in the opposite different of the hair growth. This uproots the hair in the process, leaving you with smooth, hair-free skin.
Cold waxes can also be used when waxing. These waxes are soft at room temperature, allowing the melting and hardening steps of the process to be skipped, per the FDA.
What about sugaring? Well, sugaring is pretty similar to waxing. If you’re wondering what sugaring wax is made of, it’s exactly as it sounds. Sugaring wax is a heated sugar mixture that is used to wax off hair in a similar fashion to traditional waxing. According to the FDA, the process involves spreading a heated sugar mixture on the skin, covering it with a strip of fabric, and then lifting the strip to remove hair from the root.
So, as you can see, these two hair removal techniques are nearly one and the same—minus the type of wax used to uproot the hair.
As with any skin care procedure, there are precautions you should take for both sugaring and waxing.
Precaution #1: If you’re diabetic, steer clear. According to the FDA, waxes shouldn’t be used on those with diabetes and circulatory problems.
Precaution #2: Keep in mind other skin issues. There are certain skin concerns, such as varicose veins, moles, and warts, that waxes should not be used on, per the FDA.
Precaution #3: You can’t wax everywhere. While you may be used to shaving wherever needed, the FDA advises against using waxes on eyelashes, the nose, ears, genital areas, or on irritated, chapped, or sunburned skin. If you wish to remove hair in one of the aforementioned areas, be sure to use a safe method of hair removal to do so.
Precaution #4: You can get an infection. The fact of the matter is, when not done properly (and without the proper precautions taken), both of these techniques may cause skin irritation and infection, per the FDA.
Now that you know more about sugaring and waxing, what each process entails, and how they differ, perhaps you’re ready to book an appointment. Smooth skin lies ahead! Of course, if facial hair is your focus, it's wise to continue your research. Click through to our article, Girl Talk: Your Guide to Removing Unwanted Facial Hair, for what you need to know about removing facial hair.
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