Beauty Talk: Jasmine Yong, Founder Of Singapore's First Sugaring Studio, Sugar(ed)
Shaving, IPL, epilating, waxing—everyone has a favourite method to deal with their hairy problem, but we can all admit that there’s no one perfect way. The painless solutions like shaving and IPL either grow back too quickly, or involve a long-term process, while the painful solutions like epilating and waxing are, well, painful. But what if you could have the best of both worlds—the fast and enduring results of waxing, with a lot less discomfort? Enter sugaring, the not-so-new hair removal solution.
Also known as oriental waxing or Persian waxing, sugaring has been in use since 1900BC, originating from the Middle East. The method involves an all-natural paste of sugar, lemon juice and water, which is applied to the area at body temperature, and then removed in the natural direction of growth. The same ball of sugar can be used to remove hair from the whole area (and body, even), making this an eco-friendly alternative to wax strips and spatulas.
Having stayed under the radar for centuries, the organic hair removal technique is seeing a revival of sorts in recent years, with people who have tried it swearing by the method—take it from Sugar(ed) founder and master sugarist Jasmine Yong, who found it so life-changing that she has since built a career around it.
“I was simply looking to get a Brazilian done when I stumbled upon sugaring in Seattle,” she says.
“It was a completely different experience to have my hair removed without heat and barely any pain. Even after waxing for several years, I had never experienced regrowth results that were of the standards of sugaring. In a nutshell, it was enough to change my life.”
After earning herself a certificate at Alexandria Professional Body Sugaring, Jasmine returned to Singapore and started Sugar(ed) from home in 2012, offering her services to just a handful of clients.
“That customer base grew to 500 in a span of three years. When I could no longer accommodate the demand, I opened my first brick-and-mortar studio at Bukit Timah. The rest is history,” Jasmine shares.
As the first local body sugaring studio and the only one in Singapore exclusive to Alexandria Professional Body Sugaring’s patented sugaring technique, we find out more from Jasmine about sugaring, and what’s next for Sugar(ed).
Who should try sugaring and who shouldn’t?
Jasmine Yong (JY) Since sugaring is safe for all skin conditions, anyone and everyone can get sugared. Sugaring is a popular option for people who wax but wish for less discomfort, pregnant women who prefer an all-natural way of hair removal, and even people with sensitive skin conditions like eczema.
Why is it less painful than other forms of hair removal?
JY Unlike waxing, sugaring only adheres to dead skin cells and removes hair in the natural direction of growth, so there is no damage to live skin cells and far less breakage of hair.
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What are the do’s and don’ts before and after sugaring?
JY Before sugaring:
- Your hair should be at least 3mm long. This will ensure a more thorough removal process. Don't shave or trim a thing—the longer, the better!
- Avoid exfoliating the areas to be sugared three days before the sugaring session.
- Come in comfortable clothing, preferably lotion, oil, or make-up free on the areas to be sugared.
- Hydrate the skin every day and be sure to use non-comedogenic skincare products.
- Wait three to four days after your session and exfoliate regularly, about once to twice a week between sugaring sessions.
- Avoid exposing the skin to high heat (e.g. tanning, saunas or hot baths) and sports for at least 24 hours after sugaring. Give the pores time to close up without being clogged with excessive bacteria, oils and sweat.
You started a home business in sugaring when the technique was even lesser known. Were there challenges in bringing a new concept to Singapore?
JY Absolutely. Sugaring is not a well-known technique in general, let alone in our region. Educating potential clients was the biggest hurdle I had to encounter. But with the small handful of customers who trusted me came a level of word-of-mouth beyond my imagination.
How has the business direction for the studio evolved since then?
JY Given the impact of word-of-mouth to Sugar(ed)’s continual expansion, we have since let the art of sugaring speak for itself. You have to try it to believe and commit to it. Sugar(ed) is more than just that hair removal studio you visit every month; it is a natural, holistic approach to skincare, wellness and living.
Why is going organic in beauty important?
JY With skin care products being an integral part of our daily lives, it is important to remember that what we apply on the skin ultimately affects the whole body. Going organic simply promises natural beauty on the outside and inside, while doing good for the environment, so why not?
What’s your favourite beauty product?
JY Phenomen-all Skin Repair by Alexandria Professional—it truly is phenomenal.
With four studios under your belt, what are your future plans for Sugar(ed)?
JY With our fourth studio location newly opened at Upper Thomson in June, we are definitely looking towards further expansion in Singapore as well as overseas. We will let nature take its course for the future of the brand.
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