• How to reduce waste using a safety razor (and avoid nicks!)

    February 26, 2020 • BEAUTY, GUIDES, PLASTIC FREE / WASTE FREE

    The stainless steel safety razor is back in a big way, and will help you put an end to throwaway plastic razors!

    So, why are they so great, how do you use them, and how do you avoid nicking yourself? Read on to find out.

    How to use a safety razor (and avoid nicks!) | Biome Eco Stores | Eco friendly and zero waste in the bathroom

    Why are reusable safety razors so great?

    Zero waste

    Our metal safety razors are plastic free and completely recyclable. They each have a genuine brass frame and are plated in chrome. Some styles also feature a coloured anodised handle or an enamel plated handle. The box they come in is cardboard (see image below).

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

    The replaceable razor blades can be recycled too! Store the blades in a tin or metal container for safety and once it’s filled, seal container and contact your local council for the location of your nearest recycling facility.

    We stock two types of reusable razor at Biome:

    Parker fixed head razors: the lower priced option, but an excellent, great-functioning alternative to disposable razors. Holds one blade.  Requires a little more care with soft pressure and angling the head (compared with the Leaf razors).

    Leaf pivot head razors: distinctive pivoting head and cold-forged, hardened steel blades—holds one, two or three of them—hug each contour to give you the smoothest results, every time.

    How to use a safety razor (and avoid nicks!) | Biome Eco Stores | Eco friendly and zero waste in the bathroom

    Save money

    The buy for life feature of our safety razors means you can potentially save hundreds of dollars every year. Think of all the money you spend on disposable razors every month. How much is a packet? $15? $20? With this one-time purchase, your safety razor pays for itself in two months’ time, and replaceable blades are cheap too.

    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 metal safety razors do not incorporate this lubricating strip, so are safer for you and will likely cause less irritation than a disposable razor.

    Their single blade design further reduces the chance skin irritation.

    How to use a safety razor (and avoid nicks!) | Biome Eco Stores | Eco friendly and zero waste in the bathroom

    How to use a stainless steel 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

    1. Unpack your safety razor and recycle the cardboard box.
    2. Screw the handle clockwise and watch the razor head open like a butterfly (see image below).
    3. Take a single razor blade and carefully unwrap it – take care to hold the blade at the sides (the short ends) as the long ends are sharp!
    4. 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).
    5. Slot in the razor blade through the metal bar in the open razor head.
    6. Once the blade is sitting level, screw the handle anticlockwise to close the head, turning it tightly to secure the blade.
    7. The blade should now be protruding from under the head cover (or the “butterfly wings”).
    8. Your razor is now ready to use!

    How to use a safety razor (and avoid nicks!) | Biome Eco Stores | Eco friendly and zero waste in the bathroom

    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 – see some of our faves here!

    Wet the blade under warm water.

    Now you’re ready to shave.

    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.

    Find the right angle. 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.

    How to use a safety razor (and avoid nicks!) | Biome Eco Stores | Eco friendly and zero waste in the bathroom

    Looking after your safety 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, store the blades in a tin or metal container for safety and once it’s filled, seal container and contact your local council for the location of your nearest recycling facility.

    How to use a safety razor (and avoid nicks!) | Biome Eco Stores | Eco friendly and zero waste in the bathroom

    What do our customers think?

    Here’s a 5 star review of the Leaf Razor by Sheridan:

    I had quite high expectations given the price and was a little nervous to splurge on this razor as I didn’t want to be disappointed. But, this is better than I ever imagined! I used water and a light soap lather and had the cleanest, smoothest shave. My skin feels almost exfoliated after using and there are absolutely no nicks or cuts around my knees or ankles. It’s so easy to use given the pivoting head, even great for underarms and bikini line. I am honestly blown away. The razor itself is very solid and has a great weight and feel to it, you can tell it is high quality. It was so easy to load the blades. Would absolutely recommend you purchase this over a safety razor purely for how easy it is to use, it’s worth the investment! 5 stars!!

    (My only regret is not purchasing the stand as well, but that is next on my wish list!)

    Where to buy metal safety razors in Australia

    You can find a huge range of metal safety razors and replacement blades at Biome.

    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 weighty), some men may find them easier to manoeuvre around their face.

    Discover the range here >

    3 Responses to How to reduce waste using a safety razor (and avoid nicks!)
    1. Michael Reed
      January 9, 2019 at 7:54 pm

      Excellent. Absolutely loved reading and very helpful at the same time !!

    2. Jasmine
      February 28, 2020 at 12:35 pm

      Great article thanks. I just wish I’d read it before I bought my safety razor a few months ago. Clueless, I bought the fixed head razor and cut myself every time trying to shave underarms and legs despite being really careful and gentle to the point that I wasn’t getting a decent shave. I no longer use it as a result. Wish I’d bought the leaf pivot head one instead. 🙁

    3. Ingrid Sernig
      March 6, 2020 at 7:26 am

      I’ve just started using the safety razor. I did get a couple of nicks ( which I didn’t feel) the first time. The second time I realised I didn’t need to use any pressure at all. I let it gently slide. The result is so smooth! I’m really impressed. Under arms is a little tricky but just need to take it slower. The fact that it’s better for the environment is even more of a plus!🤗

    Leave a Reply to Ingrid Sernig Cancel reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *