Sunday, August 23, 2009
Ancient Egyptian Art of Body Sugaring
a Care2 favorite by Annie B. Bond
Body sugaring is a method for removing body hair that is a cheap, homemade alternative to waxing (or shaving). The theory behind body sugaring is that the hair is removed by the root, and when it grows back there will be less of it, and it will be softer and not stubbly as it is if a razor had been used.
Body sugaring is done by making a paste of sugar, water, and lemon juice that has been heated to the softball candy stage.
After you have let the paste cool enough so that it won’t burn, you spread it on your skin, cover it with cotton strips of cloth, and then rip the cloth off like one does a bandage. Most find sugaring less painful than waxing.
Due to many requests from readers for this recipe, I have looked hard for what I have finally found and give you here, what I think is the best formula:
2 cups sugar
¼ cup lemon juice
¼ cup water
Equipment: Candy thermometer
Combine the ingredients in a heavy saucepan, and heat on low using a candy thermometer. Watch the mixture very carefully so that it doesn’t boil over. Heat the mixture to 250 F on the candy thermometer; this is the hardball candy stage.
Remove from the heat and let cool enough to pour into a jar without breaking or melting the jar. (Note that this jar will be reheated in the future. Make sure it is safe for whatever form of reheating you plan to do—in the microwave, or in a pan of water.
Rip clean cotton fabric in 1-inch strips. Make sure the cotton isn’t too coarsely woven.
This next step is very critical: Let the mixture cool enough so that it won’t burn your skin. The first time I did this I didn’t let the blend cool enough and I burned myself! Test the mixture on the palm of your hand, knowing that is much tougher than the sensitive skin under your arms.
Using a dull knife or Popsicle stick, spread the cooled sugar onto your skin. Cover with the cloth strips, let set for a few minutes, and then rip off quickly as you would a bandage.
In the future you can reheat the mixture to a warm and not hot temperature (see above), and reuse. Note that reheating will thicken the paste.