It was a “warm” week here in New England (if you consider mid to high 40s warm) and it got me thinking of the struggles of upkeep, especially that lovely, luxurious fur we allow to grow during the long winter months. Some time in the spring we all break out our razors and get to work, but I happened to stumble across an article talking about how the ancient Egyptians had already solved this problem 6000 years ago. Their method of sugar waxing kept hair from coming back for 6 weeks!
The Ancient Egyptians were famous for many things and one of them was introducing the world to cosmetics and the art of beauty. Men and women both wore makeup, applied perfume, wore wigs, and kept their bodies free of hair. The climate of Egypt meant that they had to take care of their skin very well. By using oils, aloe, and honey, they protected themselves from the sun and harsh sand and dirt. Ancient tombs that have been unearthed contained vials of perfumes, henna dyed hair, and little containers of makeup.
Today, we still use one of their methods for getting rid of excess hair: sugar waxing. Sugar wax is really just the soft ball stage of candy making and made from (surprise!) sugar and honey. It is applied to the area, a piece of cotton applied on top, wait til cool then peeled (ripped) off. Some people prefer this method to hot wax because it is less painful, all natural, and better for sensitive skin. It’s best for places like arms, legs, back, and chest but not so great with coarser hair like underarms and bikini area (though it can still be applied there).
You can follow the recipe below or you can order it on Amazon.
This recipe for sugar wax was taken from the Dr. Axe website.
• 1 cup organic raw cane sugar
• 2 tablespoons raw local honey
• 2 tablespoons water
• 5-8 drops lemon essential oil or fresh lemon juice
• Small pan
• Soft towel
• Popsicle stick or small plastic spatula
• Small pieces of thin cotton fabric (about 1 inch by 3 inches each)
• Airtight container for storage of leftover wax
1. Put the lemon juice and water in the pan on the stove. Heat slowly.
2. Add the honey and the sugar and stir.
3. Reduce the heat. Continue to stir and allow the mixture to simmer until it turns smooth and golden in color.
4. Once heated and well-blended, remove from heat and transfer to a heat-safe glass or stainless steel bowl.
5. Wash and dry the skin to be waxed.
6. Use a popsicle stick or small spatula to apply a thin, even coating of the wax to a small area of the skin you plan to wax. Apply in the direction of hair growth.
7. Place pieces of fabric over the wax firmly by rubbing and pressing down. Allow it to cool against the skin.
8. Pull fabric pieces off quickly in the opposite direction of hair growth.
9. Repeat as needed to remove unwanted hair.
10. Refrigerate any leftover wax in an airtight container for up to four to five weeks. Reheat to use.
For more information on ancient Egyptians and cosmetics, check out this interesting article from Ancient.eu.