It doesn’t hurt any less than any other hair removal technique, but “sugaring” is at least all-natural. The Mother Nature Network recently covered the technique in their blog.

Sugaring uses water, sugar, and lemon juice to create a chemical-free wax. You can use it just like you’d use normal wax.

Similar to conventional waxing, sugaring lasts longer than shaving but has the major advantage of being water soluble. Any residue that’s left on your skin dissolves in a little warm water. Plus, it smells nice.

“It’s really good for sensitive skin,” says Matthew Miller, manager at The Spa at The Out in NYC Urban Resort. Their facility offers sugar hair removal for those who want the professional touch. He also ads that the sugar technique is more hygienic, because bacteria can’t grow in the paste.

All-natural or not, sugaring is just as painful as any other waxing technique. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce and manage that pain.

You could, for example, apply a topical anesthetic like Lidum 4%. You’d need a prescription to get a topical anaesthetic that’s any more powerful than this formula, which means that you don’t have to suffer through the full agony of hair removal all day long.

The good news about waxing (with sugar or with wax) is that the results can last up to 4 weeks. That’s four whole weeks you don’t have to think about excess hair, a record that beats shaving by leaps and bounds.

For many people, the short-term discomfort of sugaring or waxing may be well worth it, especially when there’s a product that can help you manage the pain.