Despite what the Venus adverts might tell us, there’s nothing fun about shaving your legs. It’s time-consuming, it irritates your skin, and it’s annoyingly expensive. Expensive, that is, if you’re using disposable razors – but why waste money on these throwaways that can’t even be recycled?
A safety razor, which can be used time and time again, is not only better for the environment but also gives you a smoother shave, and saves you tons of money!
If you're nervous about nicks, we’re here to help with this step-by-step beginner’s guide on how to use a safety razor. Your legs will be silky-smooth and your conscience will be clear. No wonder it's one of our favourite zero waste bathroom swaps.
Step one: Prepare your skin
You want the best possible canvas for your safety razor to work with, so make sure you prepare your skin thoroughly. We know, it’s time consuming, but see it as self-care. Start by taking a long, hot shower or bath to help your pores open – open pores mean a closer shave.
Then exfoliate off any dead skin. If a razor pushes a dead skin cell into a pore, it can block growing hair and cause an ingrown hair or bump. Shaving is sexy, right?
Step two: Lather up
It’s always nice to use shaving cream or soap when shaving your legs, but with a safety razor it’s even more important as you won’t have the lubricating strip so common in disposable razors (thankfully, as they’re part of what irritates your skin).
Choose a luscious-smelling soap, preferably without plastic packaging, of course! Enjoy working it up into a thick lather and then smooth it evenly over your skin. A shaving brush is useful for this, and it also adds to the luxury feel of the routine. Reapply the lather each time you shave, even with a second pass.
Remember there’s no protective guard with these types of razor, so there’s no need to apply any pressure when you use a safety razor. Simply position the blade at a 30 degree angle and take short, careful strokes. No TV-ad-style pulling the razor up your entire leg – that’s a sure-fire way of injuring yourself, even with a disposable.
Slow and steady wins the race, so take your time around the ankle and knee areas in particular. Ensure the angle is correct each time you reposition. If you’re braving the bikini line or your armpit, good on you, girl - just pull the skin taut (and if you're a beginner, practice on your legs first!). You might also need two or three passes on these areas.
Step four: Take care of your razor
To ensure your blades last longer – saving you even more money! – take apart your safety razor after shaving, wipe it down and leave it somewhere safe to air dry. Leaving it wet will make it go dull, which is the last thing you want.
When the blades need replacing (around every 5-10 shaves), make sure you recycle the old ones. You’ll probably have to research your area’s guidelines before this rather than just chucking them in the recycling bin.
Step five: Enjoy!
You have to try it to believe it, but a single-blade safety razor will give you a much closer shave than any multi-blade monstrosity, and limit your landfill waste as well. So, now that you know how to use a safety razor, you'll never look back. Take that, Venus girls!
Have you made the switch to a safety razor? How did you find it? Share in the comments below and help others make the switch!
SHAVING WITH A SAFETY RAZOR - FAQ
Is shaving with a safety razor better?
A safety razor provides a smoother shave - it reduces skin irritation, ingrown hairs, and bumps that are common with disposable cartridge or electric razors.
Is it hard to use a safety razor?
No! Shaving your legs with a safety razor does require a little practice up front, but you'll find that after a few times practicing the technique they rarely have any nicks.
What angle do you hold a safety razor?
Position the blade at a 30 degree angle and take short, careful strokes.
When should I change my safety razor blade?
Safety razor blades need replacing around every 5-10 shaves.