The Sugar Show

Mastering Sugar Paste Texture: The Impact of Humidity and How to Control It with Courtney and Ben Leddy

September 10, 2023 Shannon "The SugarMama" Episode 80
The Sugar Show
Mastering Sugar Paste Texture: The Impact of Humidity and How to Control It with Courtney and Ben Leddy
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Are you wrestling with the sticky challenges posed by humidity in your sugar waxing room? Do you dream of mastering the perfect sugar paste texture, regardless of the weather?

Courtney and Ben Leddy, the dynamic sugar duo, come to the rescue in this enlightening episode, armed with their valuable insights and experiences. They pull back the curtain on the often-overlooked topic of managing humidity levels in the treatment room, revealing how this vital aspect can significantly impact your sugar paste's texture and overall results.

The Leddys don't just stop at the problem; they delve into the solution, discussing the various tools you can leverage to manage these humidity levels, and, in turn, your sugar paste.

However, this episode isn't just about sugar paste and humidity. Courtney and Ben also share their inspiring journey into the sugar business, a tale of dedication and persistence that's sure to sweeten your day. They wrap up the episode with a rundown on where to find sugar goddess products. So, cozy up and prepare to get your world sugar-coated!

More About the Leddy's:
Courtney and Ben Leddy are the owners/operators of Sugar Goddess since 2017. Courtney operates the salon side of the business while Ben does the manufacturing and shipping of all the products Sugar Goddess offers to professional Sugarists. Working together in tandem, both have left their careers and dedicated themselves strictly to the art of Sugaring. Courtney and her husband have three children. Ben is an avid golfer 5 months out of the year when there is no snow in Minnesota, and Courtney spends much of her free time reading.

Buy a Humidity Gauge Here

Check out Sugar Goddess Here

If you’ve connected with or been inspired by this episode in any way, leave us a review and let us know your biggest takeaway - I’d love to hear how you embrace Sugaring For All!! And while you've got your phone out, make sure to follow us on Instagram @Love2Sugar.

If you are interested in learning more about Radeq Lab's Premium Prebiotic Sugar Line of products, you can find them at www.radeqlab.us.

Cheers to your Sweet Success!

Speaker 1:

Welcome back to this sugar show, my beautiful sugar babes. It's Shannon, your sugar mama. I am really excited to be back. I had a really nice summer, not only relaxing but really engaging with our clients at Sugar Mama's Beauty Collab in Folsom, as you know my shop is called. I got to spend a lot of time with my clients, kind of getting them ready for their vacations and weddings and just really focusing on them, and now we are ready to put our focus back on to love to sugar and making sure that our students and our alumni are really, really prepared to kick butt in their sugar business. So I do welcome you back and it's good to be here, and I am really excited to share with you that we will be coming to you twice sometimes more depending on what I have to say, but at minimum twice a month with guests and sweet success stories and ingredient information and business coaching, things like that, so that you can really take your sugar business to the next level. It is an absolute honor to have some of the guests that you will hear, and I have been studying my friends and I am going to share in the next few months my studies and what I've been working on and really taking my own knowledge. I was a student, it was great, and I'm taking my own knowledge to the next level to really bring you some cool information about skin health and as it relates to sugaring. So this next episode is with Courtney and Ben Letty. I had a really great conversation with Ben about the troubles that you all were having over the summer and still continue to have because it's warm pretty much for the next couple of months as well. For a lot of you humidity a lot of you struggle with Poor Texans, man, y'all are having struggles in the South. So if you struggle with humidity, ben and Courtney have so graciously spent some time with us to really educate you on sugar paste. As you know, it is temperamental and sugar paste and how it reacts in the treatment room and what you can do, and they are just a fountain of information. So cheers to all of you in your humid treatment rooms that have been hanging in there all summer and I hope you enjoyed this episode as much as we did recording it. Welcome to this sugar show. I'm Shannon O'Brien, body sugaring expert and licensed esthetician, who's taken my own skincare business from zero to multiple six figures and has helped over 3,000 students learn how to do the same. Now let me tell you it wasn't all that long ago that I lacked the time, budget and knowledge needed to grow my small business as a body sugaring pro. If we were to press rewind, you'd see the many failed attempts and lessons learned that have helped me build the profitable business that I have today, one that runs on its own and gives me the lifestyle and freedom that I only used to dream of. I created the sugar show to hand you my secrets and give you the simple, step-by-step strategies to help you do the same. So if you're a cosmetologist or esthetician or wax professional who's looking to fill your books, make more money in your business and enjoy greater balance between your work and home life, you are in the right place. Let's dive in. Courtney, welcome back. First of all, thank you, and this time you have brought your partner in crime. We've referred to Ben before and people see Ben inside the app answering questions and various things, but we thought we'd bring him on this time to chat a little bit about the science behind the paste. So welcome, ben, thank you. Thank you for having me. So, ben, I take it you don't actually physically sugar. We know that, courtney. How did you get him in the mix?

Speaker 3:

With the humidity piece of it, with the sugar piece of it.

Speaker 1:

How did you convince him that this little ball of lemon, sugar and water he should get involved in the biz?

Speaker 3:

Well, because he's very mathematical and I'm like, like I had said before, it's just sugar, lemon and water, so it can't be hard for us. We'll just pick a recipe off the internet and tweak it. So then, yeah, we decided we were going to try, and then it wasn't easy like we had thought, like I'm sure a lot of people think you can just make it on it.

Speaker 2:

You're doing, playing your persistence, a lot of persistence, and then there was a lot of trial and a lot of error, just keeping and getting frustrated and trying again, and trying again, until finally finally getting to a point where it was where she wanted it.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it does take a lot of tweaks and I really appreciate that you have joined your beautiful wife to really support her and raise this business up to the next level, because it's really hard to do it on your own when you're in the treatment room and you're sugaring the masses. To also have a production arm of this business, that's no small feat. So kudos to you both and thank you, ben, for being so supportive of this badass boss babe that you have been so lucky to marry. But thank you for being just a positive force in our community, because you're answering questions in the app and in the community and we really appreciate you and we're glad that you're here.

Speaker 2:

It's? I don't know. I've never thought I'd be here to say that, yeah, I'm making sugar and this is what we now do, for our life is just. It blows my mind it really does.

Speaker 1:

Hey never say never and you never know where your life is going to take you for sure. So Courtney and I have been sugaring for a long time and we get questions all the time about humidity, and before we started recording the show, I admitted to them that I am very blessed with living in California where we don't have crazy humidity problems. We do have temperature fluctuations and if we do have humidity it's like a fluke thing and you can really tell the difference in your paste. And so, ben, when you started talking about this in the app, I was overjoyed because I know enough. I was telling them, I know enough to be dangerous. But the actual science and what to do about a super humid climate is just not what I deal with every day. So Courtney and I were talking about it as well, and that paste can be tricky if you don't know what you're doing in the humid months for sure. So talk about where you are, what your climate is, where your treatment room is, and then, ben, we're going to let you take it away on exactly what is happening with the paste and what we can do. So, courtney, tell the audience where you're located and kind of when your seasons are that this is really a struggle for all of you.

Speaker 3:

So we're located in central Minnesota and in the summertime that has been a huge struggle with the highs and lows of the humidity. So the paste is getting super soft throughout the summer and fall and then once winter comes, then it gets super stiff because of the lack of the humidity. So all winter long it was very stiff and I was switching out my balls of sugar more often, when I can use one ball of sugar for one whole leg at least, and I was using like five balls, which is like this is ridiculous. So then, yeah, so then we found Ben helped me find our sweet spot and where the humidity levels should be, and ever since we have figured that out it has been a game changer. Yeah, for those of you that are listening in the audience, it's not just whether or not the room is warm or cold.

Speaker 1:

It's the air in the room and that's what the humidity is, and Ben's going to talk about that in a minute. But it's also the way different companies make their paste and whether they hold up when that humidity happens. So you know, it's not just sugar, goddess paste, it's all pastes, because it's lemon, sugar and water Condensed down into a paste. It's food, and if food changes temperature or humidity, it's going to change the consistency of the product. It just is. So, ben, this is your time to shine. My friend, help us to understand the humidity piece and then the second piece will be what we can do about it. So, yeah, really, in the wintertime, courtney was struggling to find the humidity.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, really, in the wintertime Courtney was struggling and she had to start wearing braces because she was going through a lot of sugar, and she's wearing braces on her wrists at night, so she's still on me. What's going on? We went through all different things. We're trying to figure out what was wrong with sugar. Eventually, as I eliminated all the stuff where it wasn't my product, it wasn't what was being made in the process of that, but it had to be something else. So I started looking into scientific properties of sugar, and sugar is hygroscopic, which means it absorbs moisture from the air. There's also a coefficient where, if like where you're at where there's not a lot of humidity, then it will draw moisture from there. So that's why it gets a little bit more hard when there's very little humidity, which was what Courtney would do. But so as I looked into that, I found out that, yes, that comes a huge thing. We started, I got a hygrometer to measure the humidity levels in the room it also does the temperature and we started playing with it. And once we started because when we did it we did in the wintertime we were working with about 20% humidity level, which is similar to a no-transcript. Once we started putting some moisture in the air, she noticed a big difference. And as we kept going and playing with it, trying to find that sweet spot, we were able to dial it in through enough workings of just multiple days and trial and error and finding out where we like, where we don't like, and then threw it out to the app and to other sugars to try and see if we had similar results to them and then so that they could also use different pastes. Because my theory was that, as you said, all sugars the same Basically. I mean it's all lemon, sugar and water. So it's all going to be affected. Yes, but it depends upon how much sugar or how much water, how much lemon juice is put in there. It's all going to vary. So our levels are specific for ours, where other ones are going to be a little bit different. But once we found that sweet spot, it's been awesome. It's made a huge difference for Courtney.

Speaker 1:

Which is the most important part of this story. Yeah, right, right, okay. So let's talk about what we can do. So you're someone that lives in humid conditions, how can we tell how humid our room is? Because maybe you're someone who, like me, doesn't live in humid conditions, but you're having a humid day. How can we measure the humidity? And you mentioned that a moment ago and we're going to put that in the show notes but how do you measure the humidity? And then what do you do about it? What is there to do with the paste?

Speaker 2:

but also in your room, so the way you measure humidity is with a hugrometer. That 15 bucks on Amazon gives you real time as to what the humidity level is in your area room, wherever you're at. So if our range is 30% to 40% humidity, so as we were at 20%, that means we needed to add moisture into the air.

Speaker 3:

You get a humidifier.

Speaker 2:

You can find those on Amazon. There's all different kinds of prices in that, where most people are going to be in the higher humidity range. So if you're above 40%, your sugar is going to be softer, it's going to be stickier, it's going to be you're going to get stuck more. You need a dehumidifier that takes moisture out of the air. It's really and that's all it is. It's not hard to control your environment. Most people already sugar in a salon, or have their own room or something. That's temperature controlled. The environment, though, is, I mean, once the moment your sugar is open to air, it is reacting to its environment because of its hygroscopic nature. So if you need to yeah, if you need to put moisture in, you need a humidifier, and if you need to take moisture out, you need a dehumidifier. That's really all it is, and the hygrometer is simple. If you read real time, it's super simple to see, and if you don't have something that will either put in moisture or take it out, you can at least use that hygrometer to give you an idea like okay, my levels are at 45% humidity today. I know I'm going to need to use some more firmer paste, or I can mix and blend, as your sugar is seen to love to do and get to hear a lot about blending. So if, yeah, if it's a higher one, then you know that you need to use a higher paste, so at least you can have a game plan for that day, whereas if it's lower than okay, I'm going to have to go with a softer paste so that it will just make for a better day, because, I don't know, I would not want to work with a tool that doesn't work the way it's supposed to and that just makes it harder day and you notice, efficient. It costs time, money and sugar and gloves products.

Speaker 1:

And frustration and client comfort, all of that. So, courtney, what's your typical in the middle of summer? It is hot, it is humid. What is your typical day look like when you get in? For the temperature as it relates to like keeping the paste and the temperature and all of that about right.

Speaker 3:

Well, since we just started doing that, 70 degrees is my sweet spot for temperature-wise, but then humidity it's usually about 40%. That's what I find the paste is perfect. Today when I got to work, it's been really warm here, unusually warm. It went from freezing cold last week to 80 degrees today and the so back. When it was freezing cold last week I would come in. Temperature was still was that 70, but then the humidity levels, because it was so cold, were at 24%. So then I would come in and I turned on my dehumidifier excuse me, my humidifier and brought the humidity up to 40% and then I would turn it on really low and so then it just can stay consistent 40% all day. Then today when I come in, still 70 degrees, but because it's 80 degrees outside, the humidity level was 50% today. So starting off trying to bring that down, it was sticky, it was stickier. I did a half a leg and it was my smooth was a lot more sticky than normal. So definitely that 40% is definitely that sweet spot for us.

Speaker 1:

How long does it take to get your room humidified or dehumidified, would you say?

Speaker 3:

For me. I have a decent size room and a smaller humidifier. It takes a couple of hours, probably like an hour and a half, but I have it on full blast and then once it hits that, then I just turn it down. Either turn it off or I just turn it on very low, just so it stays consistent throughout the rest of the day. Do?

Speaker 1:

humidifiers or dehumidifiers have like a thermostat.

Speaker 2:

They will have. There's some that have digital control on it, so you can put the exact percentage that you would like. There's also an option of a controller that if, depending on which one you have, if you don't have one with a digital readout, you can plug it into a controller which then plugs into the wall, and then you will set the percentage on the controller and that will run the dehumidifier or humidifier at that level.

Speaker 1:

I would imagine that's super helpful, huh? Because then you're not having to kind of adjust or get in there. Maybe you get in at 10 am instead of 8 am one morning and you realize your humidifier hasn't gone on. You have, you're playing catch up almost at that point, yeah so that at the you know the same.

Speaker 3:

My warmers are always at a consistent level, depending on you know how much sugar is in the jar. But it doesn't matter what your sugar paste is set at, and the warmer it's still gonna be stickier due to the humidity levels.

Speaker 1:

Right, right. So you would say it takes a couple of hours to if you're super prepared, especially if you know it's hot, humid season and then it takes. Does it can stay consistent pretty well in your room, or is it kind of a battle throughout the day?

Speaker 3:

You know we I just ordered the dehumidifier, so, being that we're just starting to play with this, the humidifier, that piece that if you gotta watch it throughout the day it will dip if I turn it off, but it doesn't take that long to bring it right back up.

Speaker 1:

Okay, okay. So I know that if it's a little bit humid in my room and we're talking a little bit which is why I ask all these questions because where I am a little humid is like a breeze for you guys, you know. So you're up in Minnesota, there's a lot of Texas and Florida and the Southern states that listen into the sugar show. That's why I ask all these questions, because some people maybe have just been doing facials and the humidity doesn't really bother them, you know, and they don't realize that sugar is really temperamental. So I think there's a lot of people that are listening to the show thinking no wonder why my pace felt different yesterday. You know, they're like because I get people that say, oh, I think I got a bad batch of sugar, it's sticky all of a sudden, and the answer is not oh, probably. The answer is probably check the humidity of your room or the temperature of your room. You're not at 68 or 70, you're gonna be in trouble.

Speaker 2:

It does it makes a huge difference, yeah.

Speaker 1:

Do you find that you switch to firmer pastes, courtney, like will you switch to hardened medium because your medium will just get so soft, or can you stay with like medium and soft, for example? Can you stay there, or do you really have to switch to the firmer paste in the summer?

Speaker 3:

I got a switch. Now it's gonna be a game changer because now I'll be able to use my smooth way more. It'll be so nice, it won't be so sticky, whereas, like by Brazilians, I use soft for by Brazilians across the board, but when that humidity levels high, I have to go to a firmer paste and grab the medium. This could, yeah, just don't want to get stuck in that area, you know.

Speaker 1:

No, not at all. Not only got. Always have your strips on hand, just in casers Whoo, because if you get stuck, sweat dripping down your back and it's humid. Yeah, there's almost nothing worse for a sugar pro.

Speaker 3:

Nope, and the sugar knows. Like I told my students, I'm like the sugar knows when you're stuck and you're anxious because you're just going to get more stuck. You know, it's just prepared. Yes.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah. So then obviously you're using your powder, your cleansing. You have to make sure if you're listening to this make sure you cleanse properly, make sure you have ample amount of powder. You don't want to overdo it and have it be cakey and kind of gum up on you, because then you got a whole powder mess too. So there really is. Now let's talk about shipping. So there's probably a Ben question because you are the man behind the scenes.

Speaker 2:

I'm the Coke and I'm the shipper. Yes, yeah.

Speaker 1:

So let's talk about the shipping of product in the summer. What is your recommendation? Is it best, when you live in humid areas, to order a lot of it early, like they should be ordering now for the whole summer, or is it better to order in smaller batches? Just order firmer paste.

Speaker 2:

First, I would say it depends on what your environment is. How controlled is it? If you don't have control, is it going to be where you're storing it then as well, is that going to be stored in a completely different area? Whether or not to buy more or less, I wrap all of my sugar so that no air can get into it, whereas sitting with a different kind, if it's open to the air, it is going to react to there. So it's sitting on the shelf for three, four months. If you're down in Texas or in Florida, where the humidity can get extremely, extremely high, which you can't do too that could definitely do something to the base. You open it up and you see spots around it and stuff. It does get affected that way.

Speaker 3:

It's that gummy layer on top, probably when people are talking to you saying they're getting a bad batch of sugar.

Speaker 1:

And for those of you that are in the audience, you really should need to understand too that make sure that you have it delivered somewhere, especially if you live somewhere hot, that it's not going to be sitting on the porch, Because so many times I'm sure you get this, we get this with the training pace. People say, oh, like you said, this paste is no good and it's literally been sitting for three days on your front porch and 100 degree weather. In essence, cooking on your porch it's like overcooking your meat. If you leave it out there, it is going to keep cooking. So really be mindful with your mailing address too. So if you can send it somewhere where it'll be delivered and brought inside, like my shop, I wouldn't leave it somewhere that it's going to sit on the porch, Because I bet you get calls a lot in the summer, huh.

Speaker 2:

It's not too bad. We've gotten a couple, but I've been one of the jinxed myself. I've been quite lucky with everything that goes through so far, so I'd love to keep it that way. Because obviously I always want everyone to get their sugar and have it be. Oh, what is it supposed to be? I don't want to know. Returns or no fun. I don't want to have to do that With what I'm able, I mean we do shipping within 24 hours. Usually everything that is sent out is within two days getting it. So people know that it's coming and hopefully they kind of wait and take it so it's not sitting out on the porch in 100 degree weather.

Speaker 1:

So anything else we need to know about humidity? I mean, it seems like a really simple topic, but it can literally be the bane of our existence as sugar pros.

Speaker 2:

I would say definitely. It's not expensive at all. I mean, we got our dehumidifier and dehumidifier. The dehumidifier was like 80 bucks, humidifier was $50. It's not hard, it does not take a class to do it all. You just have to pay attention a little bit and it makes such a difference Even for new sugarists that are doing the Ice Shred University. If you're struggling, there's a reason, and it could very well be that the humidity levels are not where the sugar pace is supposed to be used at, which is good to struggle.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah. So get with your educator folks, get with your educator. Get with your company. Make sure that you are ordering the proper amount of paste in the proper formulas for your area. Open your mouth, talk to Courtney and Ben, ask them inside the app or the Facebook community, or message them. We have everything that you need in the show notes and you, too, can have a successful summer season, even if you live in the humidity. So thank you so much. You guys. I just, I just love you too. I just you're my favorite humans in the sugar world. I think I just love you guys, and I am so honored to have you always on the show and to be supporting you, and so thank you for doing this hard work, ben. We really appreciate you.

Speaker 2:

I enjoy this stuff.

Speaker 1:

That's my kind of thing, so well, we'll leave the nerdy tech stuff to you.

Speaker 2:

I'll leave the sugar into you guys' profession that's there you go.

Speaker 1:

Ask Mr Ben when it comes to humidity or nerdy science stuff. He's got you covered. You need sugar stuff. You call Courtney. All right, y'all thank you so much and we look forward to seeing you God, I hope live at some point soon. The pandemic really got us in a in a tizzy and I really can hope to see you at a show or something sometime soon, because I can give you a hug, live. And for those of you that are wondering how to get sugar, goddess, like I said, you can go down into the show notes and all the links will be there. Have a fabulously sweet week.

Humidity and Sugar Paste
Managing Humidity for Sugar Professionals
Tech vs Sugar