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In the past, it was always women who opted for various hair removal methods. But not anymore! More and more men are now looking at hair removal techniques to remove body hair, thin out dense growth on their back and shoulders, or groom their unibrows and beard.
This kind of hair growth is the result of androgens or male hormones, particularly testosterone. Since men naturally have more androgens, they tend to get denser, coarser hair on their face and body.
The unwanted hair can make a woman too conscious of her appearance and is one of the most common cosmetic complaints. Several hair removal techniques can get rid of this problem, which include bleaching, threading, waxing, and laser treatments.
You need not put your skin through such treatments just to get rid of tiny or mild body hair. Instead, you can try home-based methods that can gently remove unwanted hair without damaging the skin.
The Sugar Mask
One natural hair removal technique that has gained a lot of popularity is sugaring. Sugaring is an alternate form of waxing that started in the Middle East and has now become common practice around the world.
Sugaring uses a sticky solution made with all-natural ingredients such as sugar, honey, rose water, and lemon juice instead of regular wax. These ingredients not only are gentler on the skin but also nourish it in the process. Thus, sugaring is a far-safer option for people with sensitive skin as well as for prolonged use.
You can get this treatment done at a salon, but it is also very easy to do it yourself. The solution can be quickly made at home with ingredients that are found in most kitchens, but you must learn the proper technique before proceeding.
How to prepare and use the mask
- Take 2–3 teaspoons of any sugar in a bowl.
- Add 1 teaspoon of honey to it and a little bit of water. You can also use rose water or lemon water instead of plain water. To prepare lemon water, simply add 2–3 teaspoons of lemon juice to water.
- Heat the bowl for about 25 minutes or until the mixture begins to bubble and turns dark.
- Let the mixture cool but only slightly as, if left for a longer period of time, the mixture will solidify and the mask won’t be of any use.
- When slightly warm, apply it to the area with unwanted hair.
- Let the mask sit for about 20–25 minutes.
- Remove it in the direction opposite the hair growth by keeping the skin pulled tight.
- The speed of the pulling should be of medium level. If done too slowly or gently or too quickly, the hair that you intend to remove would remain intact.
Sugaring versus waxing
Sugaring has quite a few advantages over waxing:
- Sugaring is less painless than regular waxing. Unlike normal wax, the warm liquefied sugar sticks to the hair and not to the skin. So, when you peel off the sugar mask after it dries, it pulls out the hair from the follicle without irritating the skin.
- Another reason sugaring hurts less is the solution is only slightly warmed for application whereas wax has to be heated.
- Another aspect where sugar solution fares better than wax is that its residue can be easily removed from the skin. Wax is much more stubborn and can only be cleaned with an oil-based remover.
Benefits of the sugar mask
- The sugar mask works for all skin types.
- The honey used in the sugar mask gives it a wax-like consistency but with skin benefits. For starters, it contains high concentrations of natural sugars such as sucrose and fructose, which bind moisture to the skin to provide long-lasting hydration. (2) Honey is also an antimicrobial agent that helps prevent skin infections such as acne.
- Lemon exhibits bleaching properties that can help lighten the skin and any stubborn hair that is left behind. (3)
- Rose water has a cooling effect that soothes irritated skin and restores the normal skin pH to make it slightly acidic, which is inhabitable for infection-causing microbes.
- Both lemon and rose water work as natural astringents that absorb the excess oiliness from the skin and shrink your pores for smooth skin. (4)
- Be careful not to overheat the sugar solution, and apply it only when it has cooled down enough not to burn your skin.
- If you have normal skin, leave it on for no more than 30 minutes before peeling it off. But if you have dry skin, it’s best to get it off 20 minutes after application.
The Egg-Cornstarch Mask
The egg and cornstarch mask for body or facial hair removal is also quite popular among many users.
In this mask, the egg white is left to dry and turns into a waxy liquid that sticks to the hair when applied to the skin. It sits like a mask as it dries. When you peel off the mask, it uproots the stuck hair from the follicles as it separates from your skin.
Cornstarch is mainly used to thicken the consistency of this mask, but it also helps pull out the more stubborn hair.
How to prepare and use the mask
- Put 1 egg white in a bowl.
- Add ½ tablespoon of cornstarch and 1 tablespoon of sugar, and whip all the ingredients to form a thick, smooth paste. If you don’t have cornstarch, you can use gram flour, sandalwood powder, or corn flour instead.
- With clean fingers or a spatula, spread a layer of the paste all over the hairy area that you wish to target.
- Let it dry for about 25 minutes.
- Once it dries, peel the mask in the direction opposite the hair growth. You may not remove the entire mask in one pull, so do it gradually but firmly at medium speed. If done too slowly or gently or too quickly, the hair that you intend to remove would remain intact.
Benefits of the egg-cornstarch mask
Egg whites are also nourishing for your skin especially if you have dry skin as they bind moisture to it. They also help tighten the pores of your skin and nourish your skin due to the presence of nutrients such as vitamin A. (5)
The sugar crystals used in the recipe exfoliate the dead skin cells and assist in the hair removal. This leaves your skin smooth, clean, and glowing after the treatment.
- If you are allergic or intolerant to eggs, do not use this mask to avoid dermatitis. This mask is also not suitable for oily or acne-prone skin.
- Raw eggs are often contaminated with the salmonella bacteria, which can transfer to your skin and eventually make their way inside your body, which may lead to a salmonella infection. The best way to avoid this is to use organic and pasteurized eggs. If you do not have such eggs, you may use regular eggs and wash your skin with a disinfectant after the treatment.
- Since egg whites are quite runny, they can drip on nearby surfaces as you move around the house with the mask on. So, try to stay in one place for the entire hair removal procedure and clean all the equipment and surfaces used once you are done.
There are several hair removal methods available out there, ranging from simple threading to laser-based hair removal treatments. But no hair removal method will eliminate unwanted hair forever, and salon treatments have some disadvantages.
Homemade hair removal masks are simpler, easier, safer, and more cost effective than salon treatments. The ingredients used not only remove the hair but also nourish the skin. You can add these masks to your skin care regimen.
But remember that unless your body or facial hair is troubling you, there is no need to remove them at all in the first place. You can simply embrace them as a part of your natural self.