DIY Natural Sugar Wax for Hair Removal and Smooth Skin

DIY Natural Sugar Wax for Hair Removal and Smooth Skin

 Hair Removal isn’t most people’s favorite past time, but luckily you don’t have to shave as often when you wax! The downside of waxing is that it is extremely painful and when you have sensitive skin (like me) it can leave you with some pretty unpleasant experiences (more on that in a minute). Sugar Waxing is a little bit different than regular waxing and it is still painful but not as much! It’s also SOOOO easy to clean up compared to other waxes.

What is Sugar Wax and How is it different from regular Wax?

Sugar Waxing has been around for ages and all it takes to make it is white sugar, water, and lemon juice. You don’t even need to use waxing strips or sticks to wax but they can be helpful at times. Sugar waxing is much cheaper than buying hair removal wax at the store. Sugar wax is also extremely easy to clean up and the wax itself dissolves with water, and dissolves even quicker with warm water. You know those times you decide to wax then the signals in your brain are telling you, “ARE YOU CRAZY! YOU ARE ABOUT TO CAUSE US PAIN and A LOT of it!! STOP IT NOW!”…then you totally have second thoughts, but oh wait you already put the darn wax on your leg! Fear not my friends with sugar wax, you can actually wash it off pain free! Another benefit of sugar waxing is it doesn’t rip your skin off especially for those with sensitive skin.

I mentioned that I personally have sensitive skin and I have had my fair share of bad experiences with waxing. I can’t tell you how many times I have burned myself with microwavable waxes or even the waxes that you place in the fool proof wax warmers. Not so fool proof for me I guess.  I even went to get my legs waxed at a waxing salon once, and I’m not sure whether the wax was too hot or just too strong but it was overall way more painful than normal. The lady finished waxing my legs, I paid and left and it wasn’t until I got home, I noticed areas on my legs literally looked like layers of skin were missing, they eventually scabbed up and healed but I was pretty traumatized. I did eventually find an Esthetician who did a great job and totally knew what she was doing (with no problems) and I still go to her sometimes. But, if you are looking to save money or just DIY methods, the sugar wax is the way to go. You always let it cool to room temperature before use (so no burning) and I could be wrong but I always felt like usual waxes pull of more than just hair (skin too) but the sugar wax doesn’t feel that way at all.

The process is pretty quick too, and I have used this wax on my legs, arms, underarms, eyebrows, bikini line, and yes I have done  Brazilian waxes (on myself) with it too. Although I prefer going to my esthetician for that since I don’t have to result to doing yoga and bend in every which way to uhhmm wax, or convince myself to rip the wax off every single time, but hey, it is doable if you were wondering 🙂 


Sugar Hair Removal Wax

Step 1: Pour Sugar In a pan,

Step 2: Add water

Step 3: Add Lemon Juice

Step 4: Stir and Turn on High Heat

Sugar Hair Removal Wax

Step 5: Once its boiling or bubbling reduce heat to medium

Step 6: You want it to lightly produce bubbles but if it starts bubbling up like step 5 then lower the heat a bit and make sure you constantly stir

Step 7: Once it starts to get golden in color turn off heat and take a spoon full of wax and put it in your fridge to test consistency (once its cooled it should be thicker than honey) (you should be able to put it in your hand and roll it around) If its still too runny or sticky bring back to medium low heat for a few more minutes and test again (You also don’t want it to burn because it will completely solidify when cooled)

Step 8: Once you have the right consistency pour into a bowl and allow to cool for about 30 minutes. Just check on it after 30 minutes and if it still is too warm or hot wait a bit longer.

Here is a great how to video if you need more help

How to Apply

Using a butter knife, Spoon, Your hands, or a thick wooden popsicle stick; scoop out a glob of wax and roll into a ball (for legs I generally make a golf ball size wax ball) (but for smaller areas you would need less)

Press the ball onto area you need to wax and using your palm and fingers, or using a popsicle stick flatten out the wax over the area you are waxing, until the wax is about 1/4″ thick,

If you choose to use waxing strips; apply sheet over the wax and quickly rub back and forth over the waxing strip while applying some pressure (heat from friction is key)

Take a deep breath; then pull! (you should be able to pull the wax off with your fingers if you are not using a waxing strip)

You can reroll the same wax you just used and apply again or you can start a new one. *I usually re-use the same one 3-4 times* (If you do use the waxing sheets you wont be able to reuse the wax)

Waxing Tips

For underarms I tend to apply a small amount of baby powder to absorb the moisture prior to waxing, but you can do this on any area baby powder recipe here it is also very soothing when you apply it to the areas after waxing

For more tender areas like underarms or if you are waxing bikini line it helps to pull the skin and then apply the wax

To ease pain apply pressure with your hands to just waxed area

If you do need to remove the wax just run it under warm-hot water until it dissolves

To clean up bowl and pan let them soak in water until wax dissolves

If you have a few leftover hairs you can use tweezers to remove them or you can even use your fingers if you haven’t washed the wax off yet

If you don’t need much wax I generally make half of the recipe; 1 cup sugar, 1/8 cup water, and 1/8 cup lemon juice


Sugar Hair Removal Wax
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  1. 2 cups White Sugar
  2. 1/4 cup Lemon Juice (preferably bottled)
  3. 1/4 cup water
  1. Add all of the ingredients in a pan and mix together with a wooden spoon
  2. Turn on high heat and watch it until it starts to get really foamy/bubbly
  3. Reduce to medium heat and continuously stir
  4. Cook until wax is a medium golden brown (can take anywhere from 5-10 minutes)
  5. Remove from heat and allow it to sit for 5 minutes (meanwhile take a spoonful of wax and put it in the fridge, wait until it has cooled and check consistency) *if it is still too runny return to heat for another couple minutes
  6. Once you reach correct consistency remove from heat and pour it into a bowl to cool
  7. Allow to cool for about 30 minutes
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      1. toni

        hi, your link to funny waxing is pointing to an article of 71 year old male with erection problems that he was able to resolve. i think your link is no longer valid. but it was also funny to land on that page.

          1. Anna-Mart Burger

            If you pour the wax into a glass jar and you heat up some water and put the glass jar in the water that’s heated it melts again.

          2. Dee

            Actually I watched videos and other people who have made this wax is able to save it but to get the left over was soft you just have to warm it up

        1. Angelina Arellano

          Something that I discovered is you can reheat it using the double boiler method. Fill a pot with water and put the bowl of wax in the pot of water, and it melts it again.

        2. Lamizylia

          I’ve been able to keep the left over in the fridge for up to 3 weeks. When I’m ready to use it again I microwave it in 5-10 second intervals until it is soft enough to use. However, it will work less well the longer it sits and every time it’s microwaved. I found unless I’m planning to wax again in 2 weeks it’s not worth making extra.

        3. Ness

          Actually you can, I put it in a dollarma jar with a latch lid and I put it in the bathroom, when I want to use it.. I boil water in the kettle and place the jar of sugar in a glass bowl preferably one with a handle and I keep dumping and pouring hot water into the bowl all around until I can see the sugar move/fall if I hold or tilt upside down for 2 seconds. It’s reusable, it doesn’t affect the consistency of the sugar. It takes usually around 30 minutes if you’re consistent.

  1. Chanel

    What a wonderful post! I currently use a sugar wax I bought from Whole Foods, but since its 12.99 for a small container, and now my family loves to use it too… this recipe will become very handy! I can’t wait to try it! If I don’t use it all right away, can this be stored and used at a later date? (Possibly in a glass jar or something?) Thank you so much for sharing this!

    1. Author

      Thank you Chanel! It may last in a jar but generally when it sits out it completely hardens. Although you may be able to soften it back up in the microwave and by adding some moisture (maybe by adding a Tablespoon or two of water… Hope that helps, I’m interested in finding out for myself if you can store it. I will def. try it next time I make some and let you know 🙂

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  3. lala

    hye nessa. had trying this recipe, but unfortunately it became hard and cannot use even im reheat it. so how to resolve ? sad.. 🙁

    1. Author

      Hi Lala , once the wax is cooked too long it pretty much gets hard and you can’t really fix it at that point. It’s safer to take it off early because if it’s too soft you can cook it a little longer to make it just right. Sorry! Hope that helps!

    1. Author

      That happens to me sometimes also if the wax gets overcooked at a low temperature or if I use the same piece of wax too many times over. It takes a while to learn how to make the right consistency unfortunately even with a recipe. Hope you have better luck next time!

  4. Lc

    Hi! I’m looking for a safe alternative to bleaching my arms because I’m pregnant. This seems like it would be safe…… Anything you may have read or seen that would say otherwise?


    1. Author

      I’m not sure about bleaching but the sugar wax is equivalent to normal waxing. As long as your doctor or midwife allow you to wax I don’t see why this would be an issue but I would always recommend asking them if it’s okay. Congratulations on your pregnancy!

    2. Kim

      Hey Lc! Best way to bleach any skin area ( I do this on my inner thighs to lighten those rub patches too 😉 ) is lemon juice and baking soda. Just mix a paste and leave for up to 3 minutes. You’ll notice results right away but you can repeat daily as long as the skin doesn’t become irritated for more stubborn areas. I like to apply a little vaseline after to make sure it doesn’t leave my skin dry or itchy.

      … This mix also whitens teeth nicely but personally i prefer baking soda and peroxide.

  5. Jenna

    Thank you for this! I tried it today, and it worked perfectly. I just need to perfect my technique of actually removing hair using it.

  6. Jen

    It’s very nice and informative.
    I used this sugar wax before but when I make my own sugar wax..i just can’t make the right consistency.. i’ve tried like 7x already. Feeling hopeless..hahaha.. but i’s okay.
    Try and try until u succeed.
    Better luck nxt tym for me then. Lol!.

    1. Author

      Sorry that it isn’t working out for you. It took me a while to figure out the correct technique too. Hope it works for you the next time you try it.

      1. Caroline

        I made the wax and set it in the fridge for about an hour to cool. When I reheated it for use it was almost useless for hair removal. The wax would cool too quickly and was hard to manipulate, but if I heated it more the wax burned me. Where did I go wrong?

    1. Author

      The length should be about the same as you would have it for a normal wax. I think the rule of thumb is longer than 1/4 of an inch for thinner hair and for more coarse hair it would need to be slightly longer. Hope that helps.

    1. Author

      I would recommend the lemon juice or bottled lemon juice. You probably wouldn’t get the same results using anything else.

    2. RachaelB

      I read that you can use vinegar in place of lemon juice, but not sure what the link is‍♀️ You can probably google it. That’s what I did….

  7. Faith

    Is the wax supposed to be warm when you apply it, or should it be room temperature? Even after mine had cooled for 30 minutes, it was still pretty warm.

    1. Author

      It’s still slightly warm when I use it. I wait until it cools to where the consistency is easy enough to pull apart but pliable enough to apply it.

  8. Vivian

    Hi! I’ve tried sugaring on my face, arms, and underarms and it used to work just fine. It took me such a long time to find a recipe that worked. Then a few months ago, I tried sugaring again, and it didn’t work at all. I tried it once more and it didn’t work. I noticed that it wouldn’t work in my leg hair. But I know it should work because I’ve seen youtube videos where men’s hair is removed. I really don’t know why it isn’t working on my leg hair, but I hope this recipe is the one to remove it!!

  9. Brandalyn J Watts

    This worked perfectly for me. Took a little while to get it right and definitly can only use one ball per leg as it starts to fall apart after that but thank you so much!

  10. Valeria

    Hi Venessa! I was wondering if this recipe takes off coarse hair. I have hair on my legs and I’ve tried sugaring with a different set of instructions which took off my facial, arm, and underarm hair successfully. But once I tried it on my legs, it didn’t take them off! I was wondering if this sugaring recipe will finally be the one that takes off my leg hair!!

    Thank you!

  11. Amie

    Sugar does very different things at different temperatures, have you ever used a candy thermometer while you make this? I would love to know the exact temperatures to make it perfect the first time! Thank you for posting the recipe!

    1. Author

      Very true. I have not used a candy thermometer while making the wax but I would be happy to do so in the future. I will be sure to update with the results when I do. Thank you!

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  13. Bler

    Hello, i tried to prepare this but the sugar after i start to use gets too hard like a stone…. do you know why this happen?

    1. Author

      Usually this has happened to me when I overcook it or at too high of a temperature. Try cooking it at a lower temperature and not as long. If you take it off too early you can always add it back to the heat and cook it for a little longer. Hope this helps. Good luck!

    1. Author

      The sugar wax doesn’t store very well but you may be able to store it for a day and attempt to reheat (no promises that it will still work). If you do decide to store it I would recommend storing it in microwavable bake ware. That way you can attempt to reheat if necessary.

  14. rvbics

    Just tried this ! It really works !!! Some tips: keep a box of tissues next to you. You can use them to wipe away sweat (which will act as water to dissolve the sugar-wax and can make the job more difficult). Stop using the wax when it gets too cold (if it’s making cracking noises it’s time to stop). Don’t forget to lay something under you so you can minimise the mess. And, finally, it will hurt like a b**** (not different from other waxing techniques) so mentally prepare for that. Good luck !!!

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  16. jessica

    I have looked at many diy on this sugar wax! And finally last night I decided to give it a go …I used one cup of water 2 cups of sugar and 1/4 cup lemon ! Then lost the link!! And found your cooking instructions! The candy thermometer probably saved the experience!! I ended up finishing up at 12 am! But a little dripped on.the stove ..and silly me (who never thought this would work) rubbed it on my arm! I don’t even remove the hair on the arms! It’s blond and thin ..but omg.I was amazed ..I stayed up till.1 am and done …I forces to bed ! I will.never buy razors again ! Also ….first time.with a waxing experience and I’m in love ! for sharing this !

  17. Elise m

    How long should it take for it to turn dark? I’ve been working on mine for a while and it still hasn’t turned dark .

    1. Author

      You may need to increase the heat slightly. You also don’t want it turning too dark because it won’t work well. The photo also makes it look a little darker than it actually is.

  18. Sigh

    I deeply regret having tried this. All I got was a second degree burn on my hand and sticky legs (not a single hair removed). The wax hardened and became like hard candy, even when it was still warm, and broke like glass.

  19. Sigh

    I probably overcooked it or something, I’m sure the recipe is fine, it’s my first time and my philosophy is that the first try will most likely flop. But still, I think I”ll need a while to work up the courage to try again

    1. Author

      Sorry to hear you burned yourself! From what it sounds like, you may have overcooked it. It took me a few tries before I got the hang of it but usually when I overcooked it, it would be too hot to use when soft and it would harden quickly. Hope this helps and hope you have better luck next time.

  20. LOTF

    Very descriptive and helpful ! Thanks Nessa for this great recipe post! it made my life easier . Hoping to see more recipes from u . cheers 🙂

  21. Shannon Miller

    This is the fourth recipe I have tried for sugar waxing… Different recipes that didn’t work. It wasn’t until this one! It’s the way you described everything that finally made sense to me 🙂 Happy watching!!

  22. Gretchen Vickers

    Just tried this for the first time and it worked like a charm! So tired of razors and so happy to have tried this. Thank you!!

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  24. cat

    Hi Nessa
    I thought I had the right consistency but after I let it cool completely, I tried to form a ball and it was gooey & stringy. Please tell me what I had done wrong. Is the batch no good at this point? Thank you

    1. Author

      That usually means it isn’t quite ready yet. You are extremely close though. You can return to heat for another minute and try it again.

  25. Cat

    Hi Nessa
    I thought I had achieved the golden brown and proper consistency but once it cooled I tried to form a ball and it was too gooey and stringy.
    The batch has not hardened. Should I cook it again on a low heat?

    1. Author

      Yes, I would return it to heat again for about another minute. I wouldn’t say any longer just in case it overcooks it. I’ve had to repeat a few times in the past myself.

  26. Maggie

    I used a dash of salt along with this and I got my recipe from a diy video with a Chinese girl and it worked wonderfully took all my hair off my lower back. So how long are you suppose to cool mixture for?

    1. Author

      Interesting about using the dash of salt. Did they say why they added salt? I generally let it cool until it feels warm to the touch.

    1. Author

      I don’t see why not. It might be painful though. It washes out easy with warm water so if you have second thoughts you can always wash the wax off.Good luck!

  27. Cath

    I have to say – this is by far, the best ever home remedy for hair removal that I have ever used. Even better than the waxing products I’ve bought from the supermarkets. I made the mix, following instructions to the t – and the mix came out perfect. Yes, I’ll have to refine my hair removal technique, but this stuff seriously bloody works. I’m so impressed with it.

    I poured into a small plastic container, where the mix has become quite firm, but I was able to go back and prize out another glob. It was quite firm, but often playing with the mix by stretching and folding, it was able to be used again. Next time I will spray an ice cube tray liberally with cooking spray, and pour the mix in these to keep, hopefully making it easier to go back and use the mix after it has hardened.

    I took quite a bit of skin off in the bikini area, so if anyone has any tips on how to prevent this, I would really appreciate it.

    Totally sold and I don’t think I’ll be visiting a salon any longer.

    1. Author

      Thanks for the comment! I’m glad to know you were able to store it. I will have to try next time as I didn’t think you would be able to. That sounds painful that the some skin came off. I’m not sure of a good way to prevent this. You could try applying a bit of baby powder, corn starch, or arrowroot flower to your skin before applying the wax. Sometimes this can help the wax not stick to the skin as much. The downside is you may not be able to get as much hair off or the wax might not be able to be used as many times. Good luck!

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  29. A. DaSilva

    Which direction should the wax be smoothed? With the direction hair growth or against the direction of hair growth?
    Also which direction should I pull off the wax on my legs? Toward me or away from me?

    1. Author

      I generally apply the wax in the same direction as the hair growth then pull in the opposite direction of the hair growth.

    2. Erin S

      Everything I have read says that with sugaring you apply opposite the hair growth and remove in the same direction the hair grows. When I had my legs sugared professionally that is how she did it.
      Also, hair can be shorter than with waxing (the sugarist said about the size of an uncooked grain of rice), which actually makes it less painful as there is less drag when the sugar is applied.

      1. Author

        Good to know. Thank you for the tips. Applying opposite of the hair growth may work better. I just play around with the wax until I find what works best.

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  31. Lina Ayesh

    HI Nessa, women in the middle east have been doing this for centuries. Just a bit of advice, after it cools, you must knead, pull it out so it softens. After it turns a tan/light brown color, then it can be stored for months. All you would need to do is microwave it. That’s it. Because of the kneading, it is already soft. Of course, adding a bit of water softens it again too. Just thought your readers should know.

  32. Thomas

    I’m a guy who shaves my head every week. “Because I’m going bald ” so I’m gonna give it a try hope it works.

  33. Keri

    Thanks for the recipe. But I’m clearly doing something wrong. It turned out gooey and like melted away when I tried using it on my upper lip. How do I fix this or cook it better? Like how long should it be on the stove overall?

    1. Author

      It’s hard to give you an exact time frame because depending on you’r stove & even the temperature you set it on it can be different every time. If it is too gooey I would say give it another minute or two on the stove. If it is still too gooey I would repeat.

  34. Kerri

    I just tried this and it worked…kind of. I know it was error on my part so I’m wondering what I need to do differently. I tried it while it too hot and realized I needed to let it cool over an hour. It’s like it went from being too hot to all of te sudden being hard to get out of the bowl to use. I only had one maybe two times that it actually took off all the hair I applied it too. Everywhere else I tried multiple times in the same spot and couldn’t get it to remove my hair. I used the whole batch on just my calf area and still have hair. I’m not sure if I’m applying it wrong but it kept sticking to my fingers and when I scraped it on with a spoon it seemed like it should work perfectly but didn’t remove any hair. I really want it to work because I love waxing and it would be so affordable!! At this point I’m just frustrated I went through all that and still have lots of hair haha. Please help!

    1. Author

      Sorry to hear it didn’t work. From what it sounds it may have been cooked a little too long. Usually when it hardens like that it means it heated up too much and was over cooked. I’ve done this plenty of times myself and had to remake. As far as it not pulling the hair off, sometimes applying a small amount of baby powder to the skin and hair can help the wax “grab” or “stick” to the hair a bit better. If there is moisture on the hair it may prevent the wax from sticking to it. Hope that helps and you have better luck the next time! Best wishes.

  35. MB

    First try and it’s a win, did half legs in 30 min before going to work, used strips but definitely can work without it !!! Thanks a lot Nessa !!! Amazing !!!

    1. Author

      If you have thicker hair possibly close to 1/2 an inch, if it’s finer hair you can get away with it being a bit shorter. I’ve had luck with 1/4 of an inch.

    1. Author

      I haven’t attempted using ACV, some people say anything acidic would work but I am not positive it would. If you tried it I would love to hear how it turned out. Thanks!

    1. Author

      I’ve never tried with brown sugar but I don’t think it would turn out the same. Could be worth a try, maybe I’m wrong.

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  37. Habeeba

    Hi Nesse! Nice blog you had! I would like to ask about this sugar wax.. Will our hair grow even thicker than before after we’ve done waxing for 2 or 3 times? Thanks! May you had a wonderful journey!

    1. Author

      I never noticed the hair growing back any thicker. I’ve heard that hair growing back thicker is just a myth but with shaving it did seem to grow thicker, not with waxing though.

  38. Heather B

    Hi Nessa,
    Should I trim any hair to be removed down to 1/2 inch? Or, is it ok for the hair to be longer? Thank you for the recipe! Can’t wait to try it once I get this answer.

  39. Racial Dcruzz

    I have had problems with unwanted upper lip hair since my teens due to a medication. No longer on the medication but it’s been a problem all my life. I believe I’ve tried everything over the counter. My current method is a Q stick which is similar to threading along with periodic waxing from my hair stylist.
    I’m definitely going to try a couple of these. Thank you

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    1. Author

      It shouldn’t ruin the bowl. If you soak it in water it totally dissolves the wax no matter how hard it is.

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  42. Caroline

    does necessary have to white sugar could be any kind sugar or have you not tested in other sugars that get same result?

    Then gives this me not necessary wax because there is no wax in there what your using really is sugar…literally its more syrup or taffy your putting on remove your hair issues.

    1. Author

      I haven’t tried other types of sugar but I don’t think the result would be the same. Yes, it isn’t really a “wax” it’s just called that because you use it to wax your hair.

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