If you want to remove your body hair and have a zero tolerance for pain, razors are the easiest way forward, but is there a way to use them that's a bit more environmentally friendly and saves you money in the long term?
I've been using disposable razors to shave my legs for almost a decade now; I'd use one two or three times, and then throw it into the bin, opening up a brand new one straight away. I never used to give them a second thought until I started to study Environmental Science and became more aware of my personal impact upon the Earth. Nowadays, I always use refillable razors - despite the extra cost, I feel better knowing that I'm only throwing away the blade part instead of the whole thing, but I was curious to see if there was a way to be a bit more environmentally friendly with them. After some online research, I came across a few tips that I wanted to share so that you too can reduce your own carbon footprint - it's surprisingly easy and saves you a lot of money in the long run. What's not to like?!
Tip 1 - Always Use Refillable Razors & Try To Buy Recycled Razors Where Possible
If you read my recent Green Beauty post on trying out a more natural based dental hygiene routine (here), you'll have spotted a great company called Preserve who make their products from recycled materials. As well as toothbrushes, they make some pretty nifty razors such as the one you can see above. Each Preserve Triple Razor* (£6.99, comes with an extra blade head, link) has a handle that's made from 100% recycled, BPA-free plastic and has a clever ergonomic design for easy gripping and control. The head features triple Titanium-covered blades and a lubrication strip which gives you a super close shave and having compared this to the likes of my other razors from Gilette and Wilkinson Sword, it gives very similar results, if not better ones.
The icing on the cake with the Preserve Razor is that you can send it back to the company when you're done with it, and they will recycle it into another product, thus avoiding yet another razor ending up in landfill. But only do this once it's completely worn out as you can change the heads with a pack of Preserve Triple Razor Blade Cartridges* (4 pack, £9.99, link), and it's also compatible with Gilette Sensor and Personna Acti-Flex blades too.
Tip 2 - Use A Blade Oil To Lengthen The Life Of Your Razors
During my research for this feature, I came across the most genius product, a blade oil which helps to prolong the life of your razors. Genius, no?! The idea behind it is that razor blades corrode more quickly due to oxidisation between shaves. This could be because of not drying the razor properly after using it, water getting trapped between blades, or not putting the cap on the head back on. Exposing the razor to the air when it's wet or not properly dry, causes them to become dull and jagged, leading to nicks and cuts, and ultimately has you throwing away the razor or replacing its head before you really need to.
I tried out Pacific Shaving Company Blade Oil* (7.5ml, £6.49, link) which is composed of mainly natural ingredients and aims to extend the life of your razor blades by 95% - saving you a lot of money in the long term. I followed the directions and was really surprised by how well this has been working! After shaving, I now blot my razor dry on a clean towel and apply a thin layer of the blade oil directly across the razor blades, leaving it on to do its magic (don't wipe or rinse off). I've trialled it over a month of regular shaving and can confirm that I've had to replace my razor heads a lot less often than I used to because they are staying sharper for longer. Such a clever product and each bottle lasts for up to 160 shaves.
Tip 3: Swap Your Regular Shaving Foam For A Greener/Natural Alternative
I made the switch to shaving with more natural products a while ago, due to finding out that most mainstream shaving foams and gels were loaded with SLS which was playing havoc with my dry, sensitive and eczema prone skin. Not only is using a 'greener' shaving product better for your skin in generl, but I found it was better for my bank balance too. I did a little experiment and noticed that regular shaving foams were causing my blades to corrode and get duller faster than when I used greener alternatives such as coconut oil etc. On top of that, I also realised that I was going through bottles of shaving foam much quicker than a more concentrated, all natural formula so it made sense to switch for monetary reasons as well!
I'm currently using John Masters Organics Birch & Cedarwood Cleansing & Shaving Bar* (128g, £7, link) on my legs and it lathers up beautifully, despite being free from SLS. It's a multipurpose bar so you can use it for shaving, all over your body as a soap, and it's even gentle enough to use on your face, though I have to admit that I haven't tried it this way yet. It smells great and lasts ages - have been through a bar of it in the past and wouldn't be without it now.
For those extra tricky areas like bikini lines and around the ankles, I'll use Pacific Shaving Company All Natural Shaving Oil* (15ml, £6.49, link). You only need to use a few drops at a time, so don't be fooled by the small bottle, this a very concentrated formula. I love it because it helps me get a cleaner, closer shave and doesn't irritate my sensitive skin.
What do you think?
Have you tried any of these eco-friendly shaving products?