You might be wanting to do a quick wax at home, only to find that you are all out of wax strips, or you might be keen to try some DIY and make your own wax strips to save some money.
One of the recommendations that pop up is to use paper towels as an alternative to normal wax strips, but does this actually work? Unfortunately, no. If you use paper towels, the towel will soak up some of the wax and stick to the skin, and with the paper towel being thin, it would tear the moment you try to pull it off. This will leave you with a bit of a mess, and not enough wax stickiness left to be removed with a proper wax strip.
The short of it is no, you cannot use paper towels as wax strips.
However, there are some other DIY waxing alternatives that do actually work, and they can save you some time traveling to a salon, and some money from not having to buy the store-bought wax strips.
What Can I Use As Wax Strips At Home?
If you do not have any wax strips at home, one of the best options to use is a discarded magazine! Homemade waxing alternatives do not only have to mean homemade wax strips, but you can actually make your own wax as well.
This gives you so much freedom to decide the type of wax you use, and if there are any special additives you wish to include or anything you wish to leave out that might harm your skin.
Here is a guide on how to make your own DIY waxing kit at home, with minimal cost and minimal effort.
Types Of Waxes
First, you need to decide what type of wax you want to use. There are 3 main types of waxes that can be made at home, each working differently, while still effectively removing hair from targeted areas.
The 3 types of waxes that you can make at home are:
- Hard wax
- Soft wax
- Sugar wax
Different waxes work well for different areas, and for different skin types. So deciding which one to use will be more of a personal choice than anything else.
Hard wax is probably the most commonly used type of wax, mainly focused on the more sensitive areas of the body. Hard wax is mainly composed of beeswax and rosin, but other ingredients such as oils and vitamins can be added.
The one benefit to using hard wax is that it does not require removal strips, and hardens enough on the skin to be pulled off as is. It is great to use on the face for the upper lip and eyebrows, as well as for the bikini area and underarms.
Making Hard Wax
Making hard wax at home is wonderfully simple, and only requires a few ingredients. You are easily able to purchase beeswax and rosin online, and that is pretty much all you need to get started.
You will need to melt the beeswax and rosin before use, and you should use a ratio of four parts of rosin to one part of beeswax. Melt the wax just enough to have a consistency that is easy to work with, but not hot enough to burn the skin.
You can also add in olive oil or coconut oil which will help nourish and smooth the skin during the waxing.
Hard wax simply needs to be applied to the targeted area, left to harden and then pulled off in the opposite direction of skin growth.
Soft wax works well for larger areas of the body, such as the legs, arms and other areas that aren’t too sensitive.
The ingredients in soft wax are similar to that of hot wax, including oils and rosin, but the difference comes in with soft wax needed strips for removal.
The soft wax, as the name hints, is too soft to be removed without strips, so the strips need to be applied to the wax as it is applied to the skin in order to adhere to it properly to be pulled off easily.
Making Soft Wax
If you want a simple recipe for soft wax to start off with this natural, simple recipe which is sure to get the job done.
- 1 cup of granulated sugar
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 tbsp. lemon juice
Using a pot, melt the sugar on medium heat. Once the sugar has melted down and caramelized, slowly add in the honey and lemon juice. The wax should have the consistency of batter. If it is too thick, you can add a small amount of water.
The wax is then applied to the skin when at a lukewarm temperature, and a strip will be applied over the wax.
The glossy front and back pages of a magazine adhere wonderfully to the wax and have little chance of tearing when pulled off the skin.
The honey sugar wax has great antimicrobial properties and has potential wound healing benefits as well!
Sugar wax is possibly the most versatile type of wax and can be used all over the body, and for all different skin types.
It is a more natural, and less painful, option compared to hot wax and soft wax. It is a mixture of sugar, water, and some citric acid.
Making Sugar Wax
Here is a simple recipe on how to make sugar wax at home, with ingredients that you probably have lying around waiting:
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 tbsp. water
Simply melt all the ingredients together over medium-high heat, and stir the mixture when it begins to boil. Continue to cook the mixture until its caramelized and has a honey color. Allow it to cool and then apply it to the skin.
If the sugar wax is too soft to remove as is, you can once again use a strip of a glossy magazine to help it along.
Bonus: Pre-Waxed Strips
If you are looking for the most convenient option available, then it doesn’t get any quicker than pre-waxed strips. These ones are my favorite. They only take a few minutes to warm by hand, and there is no mess!
I use these when I travel because they don’t require any heating elements apart from your own body. Once they are at body temperature, they are ready to apply. They are an easy, discreet option for those of us to want the least amount of hassle possible.
Benefits Of Waxing At Home
So not only can you make your own wax strips using old magazines, but you can make your own wax as well. There are quite a few benefits that come along with making your own waxing kit at home, and here are a few of them:
- Low cost – You will save so much money making a batch of wax at home and using some old magazines as wax strips. Making your own wax has a minimal cost, and you can store some to be used over and over. Going to a salon for wax can at times cost up to $100, so imagine the money you would save doing it yourself!
- Better choice of ingredients – At the salon, you run the risk of having wax used that isn’t made with natural ingredients. Making your own wax gives you complete power as to what goes into your wax, and what doesn’t.
- Privacy – For some, it might be uncomfortable having someone wax the more intimate areas of your body, regardless of them being professionals. Giving yourself a bikini wax at home saves you the awkwardness, and allows you to be more comfortable during the waxing.
Can I use parchment paper as a wax strip?
Parchment paper might seem like a good choice, but it really isn’t ideal. It is very thin and will tear easily when removed from the skin.
What can I use as a homemade wax strip other than magazines?
You could always use homemade cloth strips. These are reusable if washed and are thick enough to stick to both the wax and the hair, and will not break when pulled off the skin. You can use an old T-shirt, cut into strips, to be used over and over again for waxes. This is also a very eco-friendly option!
Can you wax with duct tape?
If for some reason, the desire comes over you to use duct tape to wax, you can try it out. Duct tape is really strong and sticky, and if used on long hair, it will probably work. However, it will be really painful and your skin will more than likely be damaged from the rough waxing.
Can you reuse wax strips?
Most wax strip instructions say that you can use one wax strip twice, any more than this will see the wax strip losing efficiency and you will be leaving your skin vulnerable to bacteria and infections that the wax strip might pick up between uses.
Paper Towels For Waxing
Paper towels are not a good idea as an alternative to wax strips. The paper towel will soak into the wax and tear, and you will be left with a very sticky mess.
Instead, you can cut up the front and back pages of a glossy magazine, or make your own reusable cloth wax strips from an old T-shirt. Make sure to clean these both before use to ensure there are no bacteria or impurities present, but other than that you should be ready to go.
Save yourself some money by making your own wax strips, and wax at home!