When it comes to hair removal, I’m Team IPL. I mean, if I’m going to have body hair removed, I might as well strive for permanent results.
But even with IPL, there are pesky clusters of hair that just don’t go away. So I shave between my sessions, which take place every six weeks. My therapist isn’t a fan of this practice because shaving can interfere with the results, but ain’t nobody (me) walking around with weird little hairs.
Shaving is convenient, but it’s given me lots of ingrown hairs. I’ve also nicked myself with a brand new razor blade one too many times, especially at the knees (how tricky is that area?!)
So when I heard about sugaring—an all-natural hair removal method a gentler alternative to waxing—I was excited to give it a go. It involves using a paste of sugar, water and lemon to remove hair, and is gentle enough for people with eczema and psoriasis.
The service is currently available at Sugar(ed), which opened its doors in Bukit Timah just last year and recently established a second outlet in Katong. I quickly made an appointment with the founder and master educator, Jasmine Yong, to remove hair off my legs and do a Brazilian.
And if you’re wondering, Jasmine has actually been sugaring a long time—she was operating a home-based studio for a couple of years before opening her outlets. So, yes, very experienced.
Scroll the gallery to find out how my sugaring experience went.
Everything in the cosy treatment room was neat and clean. Pop hits playing softly in the background helped me to just relax after a long day at the office. A wet tissue was offered so that I could clean up before doing the Brazilian.
Jasmine left me alone for a few minutes to settle down and remove whatever articles of clothing I needed to. She also turned down the lights so that I could get comfortable. The room was kept cool to prevent the sugar paste, which are kept in tubs, from melting.
First up: my legs. Jasmine sprayed on some tonic to open up the cuticles, then powdered my skin to keep it dry. The powder ensures that the sugar would have a better grip on the skin.
She then scooped out this ball of sugar paste and told me that this would be all that was required to sugar my legs fully. OK, I didn’t have particularly hairy legs since I’ve been going for IPL, but I still had stubborn patches of hair, so the small size was surprising.
One great thing about sugaring is that it’s super hygienic. Unlike waxing, there’s no double dipping, and because of the high concentration of sugar, bacteria can’t breed.
Jasmine spread the pliable paste across one leg and skilfully manipulated it such that with every tug, hair was removed. Sugaring removes hair in the natural direction of growth, which means less breakage and fewer ingrown hairs. And for the more sensitive areas, it can even mean less pain.
But the biggest bonus to sugaring? The paste also removes dead skin cells. And at the end of the 30-minute leg-sugaring session, I could tell that my kneecaps (which are darker than my legs) appeared slightly brighter from the exfoliation.
“I like to say that sugaring is really about conditioning the skin, and it so happens to remove hair at the same time!” joked Jasmine.
Next was the Brazilian Virgin. I’ve never been a fan of waxing down there and much prefer to trim when necessary. Shaving is an option sometimes, but aside from the increase in ingrown hairs, shaving also causes razor burn, so I try not to use a blade around the bikini area too often.
Did sugaring the area hurt? Yes, it did. After all, hair was being removed at the follicle—but the pain wasn’t intolerable. Of course, there was a sharper sting around the more sensitive areas, but Jasmine had a few tricks up her sleeve that really helped the process.
For one, she’d press on the area immediately whenever she yanked off the sugar paste, and the pressure definitely eased off the pain. She also got me to take a deep inhale whenever she was working with a more delicate area, and bracing for the discomfort made it easier to handle.
Naturally, the bikini area was pretty sore after the deed was done, but Jasmine applied a Hungarian mud mask to cool it down and reduce inflammation. The treatment usually costs $18 on its own but every Sugar(ed) Brazilian first-timer gets it on the house. Sweet.
The entire experience down south took an hour, and Jasmine then introduced to me this Alexandria Skin Conditioning Kit so that I can “do homework at home”. It includes four different skincare goodies but the one I was to apply that very night was the Phenomen-all, which replenishes moisture, calms irritation and, very importantly, treats ingrown hairs.
I love that my legs and bikini area got baby-smooth and fuzz-free in an all-natural way. Jasmine was warm and attentive, and my entire time there was nothing short of enjoyable (if not indulgent). And here’s the thing: long-term sugaring can also reduce hair growth.
“You need to feed hair for hair to grow. And every time you remove hair from the follicle, you’re actually making the wall thinner and thinner. One day it might just close,” said Jasmine.
“Treat the hair follicle as a house. If you remove bricks bit by bit, one day it will collapse!”
And in the name of take extra care of the area around my lady bits, I returned two weeks later to Sugar(ed) for a (V)acial—a facial for the area around the vagina (how cute is that name tho?)
Just like an ordinary facial, the 30-minute treatment is all about pampering the skin. And let’s admit it: it probably is necessary once in a while since most of us never ever give the area down there some TLC.
A (V)acial should be done between sugaring sessions and comprises six steps: cleansing, exfoliation, steaming, extraction (of ingrown hairs), mud masking and moisturising. It’s really to soften the skin to facilitate better hair growth so that there will be lesser ingrown hairs.
I only had one ingrown hair to be tweezed out, and my treatment was relaxing yet swift. If you don’t know how soft and supple the skin around your bikini area can be, you’ve got to give this one a go. Besides, bae would probably be reeeally impressed too.
A (V)acial is usually priced at $38 but there’s a 20 per cent discount that runs till the end of November.
With all there is to love about sugaring, I no longer want to shave off my wild hairs every other week. Ingrown hairs be damned! This sweet treat is just the addition I need to add to my routine.
Sugar(ed) is located at Bukit Timah and Katong. For more information, visit their website here.