Bring the Spa Home: Making Your Own Sugar Wax
Before I tried sugar waxing, I thought that the cheapest and easiest solution for hair removal was shaving. However, now that I’ve tried it and had great results, I’m ready to say goodbye to disposable razors and shaving cream for good.
This guide to making and using homemade sugar wax is complete with a simple recipe, instructions, and tips. It'll also give you salon results at a fraction of the cost—while leaving your skin feeling baby-soft and your wallet feeling pretty full.
Ready to try it? You’ll need to gather a few ingredients and supplies that you probably already have in your home. If not, they can be easily bought for cheap. Have fun!
- 1 cup of brown sugar
- ¼ cup of honey
- Juice from ½ of a lemon
- Measuring cups
- Lemon juicer or squeezer (if you have one)
- Microwaveable bowl
- Butter knife
- Two washcloths
- Baby powder
- Fabric strips
Before Starting: Notes and Tips
- Substitutions. Some substitutions can be made—like white sugar for brown sugar and cornstarch for baby powder. It will still work with these substitutions, but I recommend using my listed ingredients, as the results that I got with my recipe were fantastic.
- Squeezing lemons by hand. If you don’t own a lemon juicer or squeezer and don’t want to buy one, you can always squeeze the lemon by hand.
- Fabric strips. The fabric strips will be applied on top of the wax when removing hair. The best material for this is cotton—you don’t want it to stretch. You can use old cotton sheets, thin cotton t-shirts, or inexpensive fabric from a fabric store (half a yard should be plenty). Make sure the fabric is clean and cut it into strips. If you're waxing larger portions of skin (like on your legs or arms), each strip should be about an index finger’s width and as long as the span from your pinky to your thumb is stretched out. If waxing smaller areas (like eyebrows or upper lip), use smaller strips that are about the width and length of two pinky fingers. These are rough estimates, and the size of the strip is ultimately up to you.
- Hair length. The hair you want to wax should be about ¼ - ½ inch long for optimal results. If it's any shorter, the wax probably won't pull it out. If it's any longer, the removal process will most likely be messier and more painful.
Making the Wax
- Combine sugar, honey, and lemon in a bowl. Stir until thoroughly blended.
- Microwave the mixture for about 1.5-3 minutes. Microwave times may vary since microwaves do, so I suggest starting with the lowest time and checking your mixture. When it’s done, it should be bubbly and somewhat thicker than it was when you first mixed it (about the consistency of melted peanut butter). You don’t want it to be too thick, because that means your wax is overcooked and then it won’t work properly.
- Stir the mixture a few times. Check it every so often, stirring it to test its consistency. It should be about the consistency of honey, maybe a little thicker or thinner. The important thing is that it doesn’t burn you, so it should be cool enough to put on your skin. You can test it by putting a small amount on your fingertip and having a sink handy. If it’s too hot, quickly wash the wax off with cold water. If the temperature feels okay to you, then it’s ready to use.
If you want to use it later, pour it into a jar or tight container, seal it, and store it in your fridge. If you want to use it now, just let it cool for a few minutes.
Using the Wax
- Prepare your skin first by making sure it’s clean and dry—but don’t wax immediately after taking a hot bath or shower. A good way to prepare your skin is to have two washcloths handy—one wet and one dry. Wipe the wet cloth over the area of skin you’d like to wax and then pat it dry with the dry cloth. Then, lightly dust your skin with a small amount of baby powder or cornstarch and evenly spread it over your skin.
- Using a dull butter knife, apply some wax onto your skin in the direction of your hair growth (i.e. if your hair grows downwards, you should spread the wax downwards). You don’t need a lot of wax—as long as it evenly covers your skin, even if the layer is thin, it should be fine.
- Apply a fabric strip directly on top of the wax, making sure you cover all of it. Rub the strip with your hand up and down 4-5 times, applying a little pressure so that the fabric sticks to all of the wax.
- Hold your skin taut with one hand. With the other hand, quickly pull the strip off of your skin in the opposite direction that you spread the wax (if you spread the wax downwards, pull the strip upwards).
- Repeat this procedure on other areas of your skin until all the unwanted hair is removed. If the wax gets too thick to use, put it back in the microwave for 10-20 seconds, stir, and wait until the temperature is right.
- Once you’re done, clean your skin by taking a bath or shower, or simply wiping it down with a clean, wet cloth and patting it dry. Apply lotion, body cream, or baby oil to make your skin extra smooth.
- If you notice some red bumps, don't be alarmed. Red bumps are normal and should disappear within a few hours to the next day. If redness, bumps, or irritation persist for more than a few days, consult a physician or dermatologist.
Enjoy your smooth, hair-free skin! Continued waxing should cause your hair to grow back finer and slower over time.
Brandy on June 01, 2020:
How long should you wait before applying it to your skin am a bit concerned about the burns
Sema on June 14, 2017:
This is a great recipe! There r only two reasons for it not to work. Either u have over cooked it or under cooked it. I put it in the microwave for 3 min. Stirring after every minute. This is my goto recipe from now on. Thank you so so much. I had no idea brown sugar would work so much better than white suger. Keep up the good work!
Kelsey on March 06, 2016:
Mine came out as straight up liquid after I heated it up. Was this supposed to happen?
Kara on July 06, 2015:
Super messy and no luck even after trying all the above tips. Bummer
shahana on June 01, 2015:
gosh with all the bad reviews im not even gonna take a chance
Lorelei on March 12, 2015:
You're supposed to apply it against hair growth and pull it off in the opposite direction.
Clara on February 22, 2015:
Ohhh ,really excited to try this ..
Teresa on January 05, 2015:
I cut the recipe in half. Follow the directions but it did nothing for me. First I thought it was too cold so I warmed it up and try again. But not even one hair. I will give it another try tomorrow when I have time. But I do not have a good feeling.
anonymous on August 17, 2014:
It worked great for Me!
Hi on July 26, 2014:
This did not work at all. After a few seconds it burnt and was a bobbly ugly ball. Nontheless I tried it and it lefta huge ugly burn.
Dumb and Scared on March 04, 2014:
This little recipe unleashed the pits of hell in my microwave and I'm now teetering on the edge of insanity, poking at a towel on top of a melted bowl of black tar with a scrubber, and choking on smoke!
Viviane on March 01, 2014:
I'm Brazilian and I wax myself with my own recipe :
4 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 cup lemon juice.
Mix and cook the ingredients in medium heat (stove!!) stiring sometime until it shows a dark caramel color . Store in glass jar. This recipe gives about 2 jars.
Now the fun part: gather some of it in a wood spoon and turn it around while blowing. Test before applying ! Make a big patch and wait until it hardens. Well, now pull it off from down to up direction!!!
pinky on July 24, 2013:
does this work on the upper lip?
Bella trix avior on August 10, 2012:
I wanna apply the wax on my skin but its so hot! So i waited for couple of mins then its started to get so thick. What do i do now? :(
jasmine on August 03, 2012:
I have been doing this for months now because I got so tired of using tweezers to get the hairs off my under arms. Yes, underarms! So after trial and error, what really works for me is to use a cotton fabric that doesn't stretch (like pillow case fabric, not the cotton t-shirt type of fabric.) After applying the wax and laying the fabric on top of it, I put an ice pack over it for 30 seconds or so. That way it tickens the wax and traps the hairs even better and at the same time, it doesn't hurt as bad when u pull the cloth. I find this method more effective because the wax doesn't leave sticky residue on the skin and it really pulls MOST of the hairs out. It will work if you have patience to learn how to do it right. All I know is that my under ams are smooth as a baby's bottom and razor bump free.
candice on July 08, 2012:
It was horrible it was either to hot or it didn't take up any hair where I wanted waxed so i said screw it and just shaved my legs. Plus after you ripped the cloth off it left your skin extremely sticky!!!!!
Marion on June 17, 2012:
Also try 1 cup of sugar,1/8 cup of water, and 1/8 cup of vinegar, lemon, lime, or orange juice and heat it up on a stove
cheerchic996 on May 01, 2012:
Horrible!!!! i tried this and it almost blew up in my microwave!! then when i cleaned it up it cut my finger!!! Dont even try it!! its not worth the time:(
Veronica on April 23, 2012:
Simply terrible and a waste of ingredients it gets super hot and once it starts to cool down it gets too hard to spread evenly. I'd rather go to the salon and spend money than waste my time with this again
Sun-Girl from Nigeria on May 25, 2011:
Lovely and quite an educative tips in here which i so much enjoyed.
Deborah Demander from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD on May 23, 2011:
Congratulations on your hubnuggets nomination. I look forward to trying this, however, I do not look forward to growing out my leg hairs. Can't wait to try it.
Ireno Alcala from Bicol, Philippines on May 22, 2011:
My niece, a fourteener, is having problem due to hairy legs (more darker than mine, LOL!). I'm sure this will be a great help for her. I'll saved it for future referral.
Thanks a lot and congrats on your nomination.
Michelle Simtoco from Cebu, Philippines on May 22, 2011:
Oh this sounds easy enough to prepare. I could use it to wax leg hairs. I usually shave because my previous experience with wax gave me lots of allergies due to the open pores. I'm curious. Will this kind of wax help?
Congrats on your Hubnuggets Nomination! Do participate in the Hubnuggets forum and click the link found there to read and vote for your favorite hub, including your own! https://hubpages.com/forum/topic/75680#post1639180
Kyrie on April 18, 2011: