Body sugaring is an effective and ancient alternative to waxing; it leaves our skin feeling smooth and hair free. We might start to wonder-with all of the wonderful effects of body sugaring, is there a downside? We know in this day and age that many activities we take for granted can be harmful to the environment; is that the case with body sugaring? What happens to the sugar paste once the treatment is over?
Body sugaring is actually extremely environmentally friendly. Most body sugar is a combination of sugar, water and lemon juice, though it can be made up of other naturally sourced ingredients. This means that body sugar is 100% biodegradable; even after use, it only picks up our hair and dead skin cells, so when it’s washed off in lukewarm water, it won’t leave any negative environmental impacts. There’s even a zero-waste blogger who calls it the waste free alternative to waxing!
Waxing, on the other hand, can leave strips and other waste from the packaging. Home products are especially problematic for the environment, as they are packed in smaller sizes and will contain cardboard, instruction manuals and other waste. Razors are probably the worst offenders, as metals need to be extracted from the earth and refined, a resource and energy intensive process. These razors are then often disposed of right away, but hairs grow back quickly; if we’re environmentally conscious, razors are certainly not the best way to go.
Laser hair removal is problematic, too. Lasers take a tremendous amount of energy to function, and it’s often multiple sessions before hair growth begins to subside; the energy used could be coming from coal plants or nuclear facilities, and can be extremely harmful to the environment. Epilators and other machines can also have serious environmental consequences; like razors, they are made out of laboriously extracted and refined metals, they must be sanitized for repeat use in a commercial setting, sometimes with chemicals that aren’t eco-friendly, and when disposed of aren’t nearly as biodegradable as sugar.
The Guardian calls bare body sugaring the “greenest method” of body hair removal, and it’s easy to see why. When we compare sugar, which can be washed off with lukewarm water, to any of the other methods, it comes up the most environmentally friendly. This is because it is not resource intensive to extract the sugars, they are completely biodegradable, and they can be applied without an excess of packaging or cleaning supplies. When these sugars are washed off, they go back into the environment; highly biodegradable substances can encourage plant growth and other positive impacts.
What happens to sugar paste once the treatment is over? It goes back into the environment as though the sugaring had never taken place. It is reintegrated into the natural life-cycle of the planet. When we’re environmentally conscious, body sugaring is the best way to get soft, lovable, hair-free skin.