Why I Waited Until Fall to Try DIY Sugaring — Plus, How It Really Went

A $20 kit made it happen.

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DIY Sugar Wax Kit
Photo: Getty Images

I first learned about sugaring after a botched waxing appointment led me down a rabbithole in search of alternatives. I'd just had the hair around my bikini line stripped off for the first time, and my skin was left raw, bright red, and pocked with ingrown hairs that itched for weeks. Since then, every venture I've taken into waxing or shaving my pubic hair has ended similarly. Needless to say, when hair removal brand Parissa offered to send me its at-home sugaring kit, I was so desperate for a solution that I jumped at the chance.

Parissa's organic sugar wax contains five ingredients: sugar, water, moisturizing glycerin, calming chamomile extract, and citric acid for preventing dark spots. The resulting formula is gentler than standard hair removal wax, so it lifts hairs out from the root without taking skin with it. And though it may be sticky, it washes off with water in a matter of seconds. The brand's kit also comes with three wooden spatulas for spreading the warmed wax, plus 30 reusable epilation strips, which can be placed on top of the sugar wax for a streamlined removal.

As someone who lives in New York, fall felt like the perfect time to test the system out — with swimsuit season now just a distant memory, no one would notice if I wound up doing horrible damage to my intimate areas.

The Process

Before I began my sugaring journey, I read the directions on Parissa's website multiple times and skimmed YouTube for tutorials. In theory, the process is simple — microwave the sugar wax (or place it in a wax warmer, like I did) for 30 seconds, then stir it with a spatula. Apply a thin layer in the direction of hair growth, press an epilation strip on top, and zip it off quickly, keeping the strip close to the skin while removing. If any sticky residue remains on the skin, just add water.

Once I worked up the confidence, I patch tested a spot on my shin, but the hair was a bit too short (Parissa recommends sugaring on hair that's at least 2 millimeters long). I was still too nervous to jump to my bikini line, so I went on to the tops of my feet and toes, where the sugar wax worked like a charm. I know it sounds idealistic, but I hardly felt a thing as I ripped rows of unwanted hair away.

Eventually, I moved to my upper inner thighs, albeit apprehensively. My first few passes didn't remove the hair as evenly as I would've liked, and it was tough to keep my skin taut as I pulled off the strips from such sensitive areas since I was no longer working on an even plane of skin. The removal got cleaner as I continued on, but a few pieces of hair remained in the patches I sugared. I was tempted to go over them again, but Parissa advised against it, as it could irritate the skin. Even so, the entire operation was nowhere near as painful as I expected. To close it out, I took a shower to rinse off the few sticky spots that remained and topped it all off with my favorite unscented lotion.

The Aftermath

If I were to do it all over again — and I do plan to do it again — I'd sugar my bikini line in increments over a week or so, waiting a day between going over the same spots. I imagine I'd have much cleaner results the second time around; after all, my technique improved over the course of just one session. I'd continue to use Parissa's wax warmer, which was incredibly helpful for keeping the sugar at the perfect honey-like consistency every time I reached for more. I received it for free, but I'd go back and buy it for $40 if I had to, especially because it's a one-time investment.

Two days after sugaring, I noticed the redness in my bikini area was almost completely gone. Around that time, I went back in and tweezed away the hairs I missed with the strips, which took all of 10 minutes and left me with the smoothest skin I've ever had down there. As for the promise of less ingrown hairs, I'd have to agree that the damage is nowhere near as bad as it's been with waxing or shaving. I've lightly exfoliated with a clean washcloth every day, and it seems to have done the job. A few lighter-colored hairs have returned, but they've all grown in the way they should — with no itching — which feels like a miracle.

Sugaring my feet and bikini line required no more than a tablespoon of sugar wax in all, so I'd say Parissa's 8-ounce jar is well worth its $20 price. And since the included epilation strips can be rinsed off with soap and water, you'll never need to buy replacements. Give it a whirl while the cool weather can still cover up your mistakes.

Home Wax Kit

Available at Parissa and Ulta

Home Wax Kit

Available at Parissa and Ulta

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