Friday, October 15, 2010

Homemade leg wax recipe

I haven't shaved my legs for...oh, probably 8 years. I never particularly liked shaving. It only lasted a day or two, and the stubble was prickly and uncomfortable. I almost always gave myself nicks and scrapes. Then I discovered hot waxing and quickly switched over.* I've had good results with the hot wax kits found in pharmacies and grocery stores, but the price has crept up from $5 to $11 as of last week. I just can't handle spending that much money!

A few years ago I tried making my own sugar wax, but I overcooked it and it didn't work right. After having sticker shock at the pharmacy last week, I decided to give it another go. I borrowed a candy thermometer from a friend and cooked up a batch. It's ridiculously simple; I used a variation of this recipe:

Homemade leg wax:
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup water

Boil the ingredients together until the syrup reaches 250 F (121 C). Let syrup cool. Extra wax will store indefinitely at room temperature, so double or triple the batch and save yourself some time down the road.

Use like any hot wax. Heat syrup in a microwave until it is hot, but can still be applied comfortably to your skin. Reheat as necessary in a microwave for 5-10 seconds at a time. Apply in the direction of hair growth with a wooden paddle or, preferably, a rolling applicator. Place cloth strip over wax and rub a few times. Pull off quickly in the opposite direction of hair growth. Place the used cloth strips in a bowl of hot water. Soak and then swish to remove wax and hair (or put them in the wash). Hang to dry.

The verdict: I used a rolling applicator and cloth strips saved from store-bought waxing kits. I got excellent results when I applied the wax with the roller. When I applied the wax with a wooden paddle, the results weren't as good; the hair didn't all come off, and I had some bruising (I've found this to be true with purchased kits, too).
 Homemade leg wax in roll-on applicator. 

Definitely use a candy thermometer. It's easy to overcook the syrup without one. 

You can make your own cloth strips by cutting rectangles from muslin, old sheets or pillowcases, etc.

Overall cost to wax both legs: $0.25

Worth the effort? Definitely

*The majority of the time I still let my leg hair grow, because I'm lazy and leg hair doesn't bother me. I probably wax twice a year. Since I've started wearing compression hose again--yay for varicose veins--my leg hair itches like crazy when I take the hose off at night. So I need bare legs at least until the baby is born.


  1. Ok, so is that a roller thingy that you bought and refilled? So are you just reheating the whole shebang every time?

  2. Yes, it's a roller thing that came in a waxing kit. I saved it and have reused it a few times, filling it with more wax when it gets empty. You can put the roller thing right in the microwave to heat the wax.

  3. So, I'm finally getting around to catching up on all that's been happening with you. (I'm 17 weeks into my second pregnancy...and it's keeping me exhausted and busy).

    If I actually cared about leg hair, I would definitely try this. Maybe one day I'll give it a go. I also hate shaving.

    SO, I was reading about your sleep deprivation, and I have had the exact same issue the entire 9 months with my first, and so far with my second as well. The first pregnancy, I was just miserable and exhausted. I remember after having the baby, I actually slept so much more and was more energized than I had been in 9 months. This time around, while chasing a 15 month old and being in school full-time, there was just no way that I could survive without sleep. I have resorted to taking Tylenol PM at night. I still wake up to go to the bathroom once, but not more, and I go RIGHT back to sleep, feeling like I never woke up to begin with.

    I am very anti-medication, but at this point, it's a matter of survival and not losing my sanity!! So, just wanted to pass on my experience in case it might help you out. = )

    Best wishes for a happy and healthy pregnancy, and more sleep!

  4. Caroline,

    I definitely can sympathize with feeling anti-medicine, but then finding it so useful at times! The past few weeks I've been sleeping so much better. My body adjusted to side-sleeping and now I'm getting up once, maybe twice at the most, to pee. Ahhhh....amazing. The most annoying thing now is a persistent semi-stuffy nose that only starts at night when I lie down. I think it's going away though.

  5. I've been wanting to try this ever since I read that the average american woman uses the equivalent of two olympic-sized swimming pools worth of water JUST ON SHAVING HER LEGS in one lifetime. That's a lot of water.

  6. I love sugar waxing... when I do wax, which is like you a couple times a year... lazy lump that I am. This is something used amongst most Arabs and I learned after I moved here to Algeria, which is mostly Arabs. They do it a bit differently however, but I like this method better.

  7. I stopped shaving about two months ago because I was really tired of doing it. No one ever sees my legs anyway. The hair is still bothering me a little bit, but I hope over time it won't be an issue for me anymore. I've been curious about waxing, but I don't think I can handle the pain.

  8. My mother was told that waxing contributes to varicose veins and she told me that hers almost stopped appearing after she stopped waxing.

    I was afraid of genetics so I never waxed.
    (But maybe she was wrong, who knows)

    1. Vericose veins are generally hereditary. My has them and now so do I, only I shave and she probably waxes once or twice a year.

  9. .02. I have varicose veins, born with them, mom too and none of us wax. My neighbor has them too and heavens knows HE never waxed!If I ever do I wil try the homemade version. I don't like supporting the beauty companies, because of politics.

  10. I doubt that waxing affects or causes varicose veins. I waxed for years and wasn't even waxing during my second pregnancy (when my VV first cropped up). In fact, I first discovered my VV when I was waxing my legs for the first time at around 20 weeks pregnant...I was like "what are THOSE THINGS ON MY LEGS!?"

  11. It is medically proven that shaving could cause dark spots on your legs; and the fact that some women usually grow their hair back in matter of days makes shaving less effective for them. I did my very first waxing solution a couple of months before, and at the same time it, was also my first time to wax. I was afraid of the pain that would come, but as soon as I pulled the cloth, I was surprised to know that the pain was tolerable. Since then, I have been waxing at the comfort of my own house. :)

    Justine Cricks

  12. Do you put the wax inside the roll on as soon as you make it (i mean very hot) or you wait to cool off first?

    1. It doesn't matter when you put it in the roll, but you need to wait until it's cooled off before you put it on your legs. You want it as warm as possible without being so hot that it hurts your skin.

  13. How did you clean out your wax roller I can't seem to get the wax off completely.


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