• Safety Razor 101 – How To, Care and Zero Waste

    October 4, 2017 • BEAUTY, GUIDES

    How to care for your safety razor

    With our new (and already much-loved) reusable safety razor range, we wanted to show what makes these metal shaving instruments so great, how to care for yours, and which ones you can choose from.

    Shop our range of safety razors and blades online here >

    Why are Reusable Safety Razors so Great?

    Zero Waste

    Our metal safety razors are 100% plastic free. They each have a genuine brass frame and are plated in chrome. This includes the Parker 29L Women’s Safety Razor in pink and lavender, which have a pink or lavender anodized and chrome plated extra grippy handle, as well as the Parker 45R Men’s Safety Razor in brown marble, which has an enamel plated handle.

    The replaceable razor blades can be recycled too! So every part of the razor is truly zero waste.

    The chrome plating means it’s corrosion resistant – although this doesn’t mean extreme water and chemical exposure will leave it pristine, it does mean it will last a very long time with proper care.

    Save Money

    This one-purchase-lifetime-use feature of our reusable safety razors means you can potentially save hundreds of dollars every year.

    Think of all the money you currently spend on disposable razors every month. How much is a packet? $15? $20? With this one-time purchase, this razor pays for itself in two months’ time, and replaceable blades are cheap too – that’s the great thing about reusable, zero-waste products.

    If you’d like to save even more money, you can shop all our zero-waste alternatives here >

    They’re Better for your Body

    A common feature in disposable razors is the lubricating strip, and this lubricating strip is generally made from polyethylene oxide.

    The manufacturers selling these razors are quick to tell us that this strip is non toxic. However, the polyethylene oxide Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) carries several warnings:

    1. After contact with skin, wash immediately with plenty of water.
    2. Not for use in Food, Drugs or Cosmetics.
    3. May cause skin irritation.
    4. May be harmful if absorbed through the skin.

    Our reusable safety razors do not contain this lubricating strip, so they are safer for you.

    Furthermore, many disposable razors have multiple blades to get you the “best shave possible”. But multiple blades dragging across your skin means a greater chance of razor burn, irritation, redness and ingrown hairs.

    While the safety razor may take more time to use, its one blade means you’re left with a nice, clean, non-itchy shave.

    They’re Easy to Use!

    You may still feel unsure– a safety razor seems great, but how does it work? Will it be a lot of work to maintain? Do I have to be super careful not to cut myself?

    The best thing is, safety razors are super easy to use and care for, so you can ditch the plastic disposable for good.

    How to Use Your Safety Razor

    While everyone’s shaving needs are different, here’s a set of steps to get you started.

    How to Prepare for Your First Shave

    Unpack your safety razor – you can recycle the cardboard box, and the soft plastic wrapping can be recycled at your Redcycle collection point.

    Screw the handle clockwise and watch the razor head open like a butterfly.

    Get a single razor blade and carefully unwrap it – take care to hold the blade at the sides (the short ends) and not from the long, sharp sides.

    Get some rubbing alcohol or similar, put it on a clean cloth, and rub down the blade and safety razor (to disinfected for your first shave).

    Slot in the razor blade through the metal bar in the open razor head.

    Once the blade is sitting level, screw the handle anticlockwise to close the head, turning it tightly to secure the blade.

    The blade should now be protruding from under the head cover (or the “butterfly wings”).

    Your razor is now ready to use!

    How to Shave with a Safety Razor

    If you’re not showering during or after shaving, warm up your skin with some hot water or a hot towel – this will soften hairs and make for an easier shave.

    Lather up your skin with your favourite shaving soap – Biome has heaps! For beards, we have a Men’s Face and Shave range. We also have the Cedar + Stone Shave Bar, Dr. Bronner’s Shaving Soap, Dindi Shaving Soap, and Olieve Shave Gel.

    Warm up the blade under warm water.

    There’s a few tricks to shaving with a safety razor, but once you master them, you’ll be using yours effortlessly for decades to come (seriously).

    Firstly, apply as little pressure as possible. Your razor, being made of metal, is heavy enough for the blade to work on its own. If you press any further, you may cut yourself. If you want to counter your natural tendency to apply pressure, try holding the razor by the tip of the handle.

    Angle the blade as far from your skin as possible. As you’re using a singular blade and the razor head doesn’t pivot or automatically contour to your skin, you need to do the contouring yourself. A trick for this is holding the razor parallel to the floor, putting the razor head onto your skin, and slowly tilting the head down until the blade starts cutting the hair. Then stop – you’ve found the right angle. People usually recommend holding the razor at a 30-degree angle, but everyone’s different, so we recommend finding your own angle too.

    Shave with the grain. Shaving against the grain creates ingrown hairs and irritation, and pulls the skin with the hair you’re going against, so you might end up cutting yourself. We suggest shaving with the grain, and if this doesn’t get all the hair, go over it again. Going softly over the same area a few times is also recommended for people with sensitive skin.

    With these things in mind, start off with light, short strokes, getting yourself accustomed to the razor.

    Rinse the razor regularly so hair doesn’t clog the blade, and remember to take your time.

    After you’re done shaving, pour some cold water over the shaved skin to close up the pores.

    Put on some moisturising body lotion to rehydrate and protect the skin. Or you can use a nourishing aftershave, like Dindi Aftershave Oil, Miessence Aftershave Balm, or Cedar + Stone Aftershave Oil.

    Aftercare for your Razor

    To ensure its longevity, it’s important to take good care of your safety razor.

    Twist the handle and open the razor head. Gently take out the blade by the short, non-sharp sides, and rinse both the blade and the razor to remove suds and hair.

    Completely dry the razor and blade, close it all back up, and store it in a dry place for next time. Although the chrome plating means little likelihood of corrosion from water, keeping something in a warm and wet place is never a good idea if you want to make it last.

    If you want to clean it further, you can wipe the razor and blade with the rubbing alcohol and let it dry before popping it away.

    The Blades

    Basically, use a singular blade until it becomes dull and/or rusty. The blade is dull when it takes a few goes to get the hair off, or if it tugs at the hair.

    At this point, you can either store the blade for recycling, or sharpen it for further use.

    To recycle a blade, you need a Blade Bank: get a used metal tin (like a washed-out baked bean can) and tape a metal lid onto the can that has a slot for popping the blades through (this can be made by cutting the slot in the original lid of the can).

    You pop a blade through the slot when it’s kaput, and when there’s enough blades in the bank, you tape over the slot and take it to your local recycling facility.

    This proper blade packaging is important to stop people getting hurt.

    Remember, keep this Blade Bank as dry as possible and write ‘razor blades’ on it – you want to warn people about what’s in it.

    Biome’s Safety Razor Range!

    We stock a huge range of reusable safety razors and replacement blades at Biome. You can find the entire range here >

    Note that a “Women’s” razor can also be used by men. In fact, as these razors are lighter than regular safety razors (and the regular ones are a little hefty), some men may find them easier to manoeuvre around their face.

    Parker Women’s Safety Razor – Silver

    Zero Waste Reusable Safety Razors

    Our bestseller! This razor has a long, textured handle for better grip in the shower.

    Shop the Parker Women’s Safety Razor in silver here > 

    Parker Women’s Safety Razor – Lavender

    Zero Waste Reusable Safety Razors

    Like the silver variety above, this razor has a lavender-coloured handle instead of one with a silver finish. This razor has a genuine brass frame, and a lavender anodized and chrome plated handle.

    Shop the Parker Women’s Safety Razor in Lavender here > 

    Parker Men’s Safety Razor – Gun Metal

    Zero Waste Reusable Safety Razors

    A heavier razor with a strong gunmetal finish and a riveted handle design.

    Shop the Parker Men’s Safety Razor in Gun Metal here >

    Parker Men’s Open Comb Safety Razor – Silver

    Zero Waste Reusable Safety Razors

    This razor is a little different to our other three. It has an open-comb head, which stretches the skin and provides a closer shave, making it good for beginners of wet shaving (a practice common for men’s beard shaving).

    It also has a three-piece design. To use, simply unscrew the handle to remove the razor head completely. In this head, there’s the blade sandwiched between two metal plates. To change the blade, you open up the “sandwich”, carefully remove the blade, and slot another one in through the columns. Then close up the sandwich, line everything up, and screw the handle back onto the main column going through the entire head.

    Shop the Parker Men’s Open Comb Safety Razor in Silver here >

    Overall…

    There’s many ways that plastic can sneak into our lives, and a disposable plastic razor is definitely one of them.

    But with these lovely safety razors, not only are you guaranteed a healthy shave for decades to come, but you’re helping to save the planet and the money in your wallet.

    Now that’s what we call a clean shave.

    Shop our range of safety razors and blades online here >

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