Wet Shaving Routine - How to Use a Safety Razor
Shaving with Safety Razor
If you are nervous about making the switch to a safety razor we get it. Yes, they offer a brilliantly close shave time and time again. Yes, they beat any cartridge razor hands down on value for money. And yes, they are better for the planet. But they are a bit scary looking.
The good news is there is really nothing to worry about. In fact, shaving with a safety razor can:
- Help eliminate razor burn.
- Save yourself some money.
- Minimise or eliminate ingrown hairs.
- Reduce acne associated with shaving.
- And do your bit for the planet.
Safety Razor Can Help Eliminate Razor Burn
If you are someone who suffers from razor rash when you shave, then a safety Razor may be just what you need. Double edge razor blades are super sharp so cut cleanly and give a closer shave. There is only a single blade which means less chance for hairs to get caught between blades which cause irritation and rash.
The double-edged safety razor blade itself does most of the work and leaves little room for cuts or nicks which can lead to infection unlike electric razors or a disposable cartridge razor.
Save Yourself Some Money with a Safety Razor
If you are looking to save some money on your shaving products then this is also another great reason to use a safety razor. There's no need for any fancy latest must-have multi-blade gadget. They are designed with durability in mind and will last you literally a lifetime. You just need to pop a fresh blade into the razor head and bingo! The used blades are easily recycled and cheap replacement blades are easily acquired.
Minimise or Eliminate Ingrown Hairs When You Shave
If you have sensitive skin, this may cause ingrown hairs which are not only painful but also unsightly! But with a safety razor, the blades do less damage to your body when removing hair so there is less chance of leaving behind damaged follicles or causing infections in places where they shouldn't be. A sharp single blade is much more effective on thick hair, where there is more likelihood of hair getting caught between multiple blades which is causing ingrown hairs.
Reduce Acne Associated With Shaving
If you are someone who suffers from acne breakouts in places where you shave like your face, neck or chest then there is another great reason to use a safety razor. The fact that the blades cut closer to the skin means less damage was done and therefore less chance of leaving behind any dirt.
Do Your Bit for the Planet
Finally, if you are looking to do your bit for the planet then this is another great reason why a safety razor should be at the top of your list when it comes time to shaving. There is a huge issue with disposable plastic razors which are not recyclable and will stay in landfills for hundreds upon hundreds of years!
Embrace the Blade Angle with Safety Razors
Yes, there’s a bit of a learning curve as shaving with a safety razor is all about the angle of the blade. Modern cartridge razors have a pivoting head allowing the blades to always be at the perfect angle. Double edge razors do not. But once you have got used to a new style of shaving you will never look back.
Safety razors do not have a pivoting head so it is all about the angle of the blade and your own personal grip.
Getting to Grips With Your Safety Razor
There are many safety razors on the market but getting one that suits you can be tricky as they come in different sizes, weights and even costs! So take the time to do some research and read reviews to get an idea of what is available in your price range before making any snap decisions.
Getting the right razor handle for you is important. For women, a longer lighter handle is best, but ensure they have a good 'grip'.
Other than that, there's not much else you need to know about shaving with a safety razor. They are just like regular razors but without all the bells and whistles! So whether you are looking to reduce your carbon footprint or save some money, there really is no reason not to give a safety razor a try.
Shave with Confidence and Get Better Results!
Your wet shaving routine
We know that razors, and safety razors, in particular, are generally marketed more towards men or facial shaving, than women who tend to shave other parts of their body. Girls get a few nice shiny (often pink) disposable or cartridge razors, or they use a “man’s” razor. So with that in mind, we will look at both options for your shaving ritual.
A traditional wet shaving routine
Step one: Preparation
Male or female, face, legs or intimate areas, preparation is key if you want a successful shave. The goal is to soften the hair (whether facial hair or body hair) and preparing the skin by gently exfoliating.
Hot water softens and hydrates so shave after a shower or use a hot towel or cloth pre-shave. A hot towel will also open pores, which allows for a closer shave.
Step two: Moisturise
Next, you may choose to use pre-shave oil (like the one from bathing beauty). This is especially useful if you have sensitive skin as the oil helps your razor to glide across the skin minimising irritation. A pre-shave oil also further softens the hair and lifts it away from the skin for a closer and more comfortable shave.
Step three: Lather it up!
Finally, apply a good quality natural shaving soap or shaving cream using a decent shaving brush. This really is so much better than using shaving foam from a can, not only from an environmental and cost-saving perspective but because you exfoliate the skin and lift your hairs in the process. Shaving lather is best made with a shaving brush and shaving soap rather than purchased in plastic packaging.
- 1. Wet the brush, you can even soak in warm water while you shower.
- 2. Use the brush to pick up a little soap and swirl around in a bowl to create a really good lather of shaving cream.
- 3. Apply the lather to your skin using the brush.
- 4. Use circular motions to help lift the hair away from your skin.
Step four. The Shave
A safety razor shave is a slightly different process to using a multi-blade but it’s really nothing to worry about. Once you have done one shave with a safety razor, honestly, you will never look back!
- Make sure the blade is sharp and clean. If it’s looking dull replace it. Read How often should you change your safety razor blade? if you are unsure when to change your blades.
- Warm the blade under the tap.
- Hold the razor to your skin at an angle of 30-45 degrees. You do have to think about the angle a bit more with a safety razor as it doesn’t pivot in the same way as a cartridge razor.
- Let the weight of the razor do the work when you start shaving. This is another difference between styles of shaving. With a traditional, double-edged razor, you don’t need to apply any pressure. Just rest it against the skin and let gravity and the weight of the razor do the work using short strokes. It's a much 'milder shave' than you might be used to but it gives a much smoother shave, just nice gentle strokes without applying too much pressure.
- Make sure you rinse the blade between passes and if the razor starts to hang you need to flip to the other side or replace the blade.
Step Five: Rinse and moisturise
The final step in your shaving process should be a cool rinse, pat dry and a nourishing moisturiser. Regardless of which part of your body you are shaving. This will close up your pores and reduce redness or irritation.
Step Six: Clean up your gear
You should clean and dry your safety razor after every shave so it doesn’t rust or corrode. You might want to keep it somewhere out of the way and dry to avoid accidents or blade exposure.
Step Seven: Buy more blades and supplies
You will need new double-edge safety razor blades every week or two depending on how often you shave. You can also buy shaving soap, cream, pre-shave oil and aftershave. It’s important to remember that traditional shaving is a long-lasting skill, so don’t be discouraged if you have some bad shaves at the beginning.
Shaving Tips for Sensitive Skin
Shave before showering - You can shave in the shower but not all men find it helpful because of the steam. Shaving before showering means that your facial hair is softened by the water, making it easier to shave and reducing irritation.
Use shaving oil - This keeps blades sharp while also protecting your skin from the blade. It’s especially good for men with sensitive skin because it reduces nicks, cuts or razor burn.
Use a shaving brush - This is another way to lift your facial hair, which makes it easier for the blade. Shaving brushes are also great at exfoliating skin and help with circulation making them super useful in winter when you might have dryer skin. Use light strokes - When using a safety razor go slowly because you don’t want to cut yourself. Remember that the weight of the double-edge safety razor does all the work for you and in most cases, it doesn’t pivot in the same way as a cartridge razor.
Don’t press down - As we mentioned earlier applying too much pressure can cause nicks or cuts so you need to let the weight of your razor do all the work.
Rinse with cold water - This will close up your pores and reduce redness or irritation. It’s also good for your skin in general because it constricts blood vessels, which reduces swelling after shaving.
Use aftershave - It’s good for closing your pores and also has anti-inflammatory properties that reduce swelling and redness. You don't need much, just a little splash on the back of your hand to be applied with fingertips in a circular motion.
Use an aftershave balm or natural moisturiser - If your skin feels dry and tight then this is a great way to restore the natural moisture balance of your skin. Once again, use fingertips in a gentle massaging motion until it’s absorbed into the skin. And always remember that safety razors are a long term investment so you need to take care of them. Make sure your razor is clean and dry before storing it, as damp blades can rust or corrode over time.
The safety razor may seem intimidating at first, but once you get the hang of it, you'll never want to shave with anything else. Enjoy your new eco shaving routine!