How to Use a Safety Razor: A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Not Cut Yourself

Low Waste Shaving Skin Care Zero Waste

Are you curious about using a safety razor, but concerned about the possibility of cutting yourself? I see you, I’ve been there.

I’ve also used a safety razor and cut myself. But really, who here has been shaving with a plastic razor and hasn’t cut themselves? It’s the risk we take for hairless skin. My goal is to make sure you learn from my mistakes without having to make them yourself.

Shaving can be costly and full of waste. The EPA estimates 2 billion razors are thrown away every year. If you're using plastic razors and switching out the blades every 3 weeks, you could be spending $100 a year on razors.

This rose gold razor is $40. The cost of replacement blades depends on where you buy them, but I've seen a pack of 100 blades being sold for $8 online. If you're switching your blade out every 3 weeks, you're using 17 blades a year. I'm not very good at math, but those savings seem pretty clear to me.

Here’s my step-by-step guide of how I use a safety razor and keep those annoying cuts down to a minimum. 

The Assembly

When you take your safety razor out of the box it will be assembled without the blade. To insert the blade, hold onto the head of the razor and unscrew the handle. The head should come off in two parts and you place the blade between the two parts and screw the handle back on. 


Razor disassembled


The Skin Prep

You do not want to shave on dry skin. This could lead to a very uncomfortable shave. I use this shave bar. It works like soap, but is gently exfoliating while it adds moisture to the skin for the razor to glide over. 


Shave Bars


The Shave

Do not - I repeat - do not push down on the razor. Hold the razor at a 30 degree angle and let it glide across the skin. Only push down hard enough so the razor stays on the skin as you shave. 

If you've done this and your razor is pulling (or you cut yourself), it is probably time to change the blade. 


Using razor to save leg


After Shaving

Moisturize your skin! I use this body butter. It literally goes on like butter and smells like chocolate lavender. (They make a eucalyptus scent too.) It will help your skin be silky smooth after the shave. 


Body Butter


Proper Razor Care

Don't leave your razor in the shower or tub and dry it off after every use. We don't want the metal to rust. Store the razor in a dry place on a stable surface away from children and animals. 

Here's how often you should change your blades according to Venus's website. If you shave daily, change your blades every 1 to 2 weeks. If you shave every other day, switch your blades out every 2 to 3 weeks. If you shave twice a week, change blades every 4 to 6 weeks.

Changing your blades is very important because using a dull blade increases your chances of nicks, razor burn, ingrown hairs and irritated skin.

Blade Recycling

This part is a little tricky. Razor blades cannot be recycled in curbside bins. You need to collect your blades and recycle them separately. You can buy a razor bank, a metal container with a slit in the top to insert your blades, or you can use a clean, dry steel can. Collect the used blades until the container is full, tape it shut and then recycle them using one of these two options.

1. Take them to a transfer station that handles metal recycling with machines only.

2. Find a razor and blade recycling box near you. 

What If I Hate It? 

You’ve used the safety razor and decided it’s not for you? No worries. Sterilize the safety razor and pass it on to a friend. If you wish to continue shaving, Terracycle has a plastic razor and blade recycling program.

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