As the weather warms up (ever so slightly) on campus, we bid farewell to layers and leggings and say hello to shorts and sundresses. For those that prefer the bare look, spring marks the the grueling beauty ritual of daily shaves. But don't pick up the razor quite yet—want another way to get silky smooth skin? Enter sugaring, the latest trend in hair removal.
The beauty treatment, which actually dates back to centuries in Egypt and Turkey, consists of a mixture of only sugar, lemon, and water. The preparation process is similar to waxing in that hair should be grown out to about a quarter inch long. However, the process differs in more ways than one. Sugaring providers claim that it is more hygienic, longer lasting and can be less painful than waxing. According to the Green City website, “unlike waxing, there are no sticks or strips and the sugar paste does not adhere to live skin cells. It’s never hot and limits the risk of abrasion while acting as a form of exfoliation since only dead skin cells are removed.” Unlike waxing, the treatment sticks only to the hair rather than the skin. This leaves skin both hairless AND baby–smooth.
In Philadelphia, the procedure is available at both Green City, an independent salon specializing in organic beauty, and Sugared + Bronzed, a popular California chain that has now arrived on the East Coast. At Sugared + Bronzed, the salon offers sugaring services prior to their airbrush tanning for a less streaky application. "Usually it is a mix of people getting [a tan or sugaring] separately. But if it's for a vacation, people will come in to get both done on the same day." Liz Jones, an employee at Sugared + Bronzed, said.
Sugaring, like wax, can used in all the same places: from eyebrows to underarms and even chest. For a Brazilian treatment, the price will run for $60 at Green City and $49 at Sugared + Bronzed, comparable to the price of a Brazilian wax ($50+) at on–campus salon Joseph Anthony Hairstyling. According to Liz, the Brazilian and the bikini sugaring treatment are by far their most popular: "I'd say they make up about 90% of their treatments."
While the process is called “gentler” than waxing, hair is still pulled from your skin, so it is by no means painless. With ingredients you can find in at home, is this beauty trick easy enough to DIY? With many YouTube videos and articles on how to make it yourself, it is possible to do your own body sugaring. While online commenters report mixed results on the effectiveness of at–home treatment, the non–allergenic formula and lukewarm temperature decrease your chances of a major fuck–up. It might even be easy enough to try at your next spa night (with a glass of wine to ease the pain). However, for guaranteed results, leave it to the professionals.