While there are a number of different methods for removing body hair, many people choose sugaring, also called sugar waxing. Sugaring is a process, similar to waxing, that removes body hair by plucking hairs out of the follicle.

Honey sugar wax

Although sugaring typically uses granulated white sugar, some people add honey to the mix.

According to a 2016 review, honey has been scientifically recognized for its potential dermatological benefits. These include:

  • antimicrobial properties
  • immunomodulatory properties
  • potential wound healing
  • treatment of skin disorders such as rosacea, atopic dermatitis, and acne

Although there are no FDA-approved guidelines for DIY sugaring to remove hair, advocates of the practice commonly use a simple recipe, such as:

  • 2 cups white granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice

Those who feel that honey should be included commonly modify the recipe:

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice

Some proponents of DIY sugar waxing or honey waxing will add a few drops of scented oil to the mixture as it cools, prior to application.

How to use sugar wax

The ingredients are typically heated and blended together. Then it’s cooled until an appropriate temperature to apply to your skin without burning — until warm but not hot.

The warm mixture is then applied to the area of skin and covered with a strip of cloth or paper. When the mixture has sat and cooled, the cloth or paper is quickly removed with the hairs stuck to it.

Although there’s minimal clinical research to support their claims, people who recommend sugaring instead of traditional waxing often support their position with anecdotal evidence, such as:

  • Basic sugaring paste or honey wax doesn’t typically include additives, chemicals, or preservatives that are commonly found in traditional waxes.
  • Residue left behind after using a sugaring mixture can be rinsed away with water, while residual wax must often be removed with post-wax treatments or oils.
  • Typically, the sugaring mixture is applied warm while wax is applied hot, making sugaring more comfortable and less likely to burn the skin.
  • While wax is typically applied in the same direction that the hair grows and then removed by pulling in the opposite direction, a sugaring mix is commonly applied in the opposite direction that the hair grows and removed in the direction that it grows. It’s been suggested that this makes sugaring less painful than waxing.

Sugaring or waxing aren’t the only other ways to remove unwanted body hair. Below are a handful of other hair removal methods:

  • Shaving. After the hair has been moistened with water and a lotion or foam, a sharp razor is used to cut the hair just above the skin. Shaving can also be done with an electric shaver on dry skin and moisturized after with a lotion.
  • Waxing. Melted wax is applied to the skin. When it hardens, it’s quickly pulled off in the opposite direction that the hair grows, taking hairs and their roots with it.
  • Laser hair removal. Hair follicles are destroyed with heat from a laser.
  • Needle epilators. Hair follicles are destroyed at the root by a fine wire with an electric current placed in the follicle. The hair is then removed with tweezers.
  • Tweezer epilators. Hair follicles are grasped close to the skin by tweezers. An electric current is sent through the tip of the tweezers which also removes the hair.
  • Electrolysis. Hair follicles are destroyed by a shortwave radio frequency sent through a thin probe placed in the follicle.
  • Depilatories. A highly alkaline or acidic gel, cream, or lotion is applied to dissolve the hair at the skin’s surface.
  • Threading. Hair is plucked out of the follicle with a loop of thread that’s rotated across the skin.

If you have unwanted body hair, you have a number of removal options with varying degrees of permanence. Different methods may be preferred for different parts of the body.

If you’re considering DIY honey wax, make sure you understand the safest and most effective techniques. Consult with your dermatologist to make sure that honey wax is a good solution for your hair removal needs.