There is nothing quite like the smooth feeling you get after shaving your legs, but it can get really expensive. Buying razors month after month, year after year can seriously add up. But keeping yours in good condition can cut costs. Use these professionally approved tips to get the most out of your razors and prevent rusting for as long as possible.
1. Cut first, if necessary.
If you are shaving for the first time in a long time, or if you are shaving a part of your body with more hair than others, such as the bikini area, Gabriel Davidov, JF Men Master Barber at Julien Farel Catering Salon & Spa, recommends using a trimmer beforehand to avoid clogging the razor several times.
2. Prepare your skin properly before shaving.
Just as important as how you treat your razor is what you do with your skin before you shave. For example, exfoliation before shaving removes any dead skin cells that can clog it and can also help you avoid razor burn. “Using the proper shaving oils and shaving cream leaves you with a smooth finish,” explains Davidov. “Make sure to use lukewarm water before shaving to open pores and soften hair.” This will put less stress on the blade, extending its life.
3. Rinse the blades completely after shaving each time.
One thing that wears out your razors: the soapy products you use to lather your skin. “Most blades are coated with Teflon, so shaving cream residue can dissolve the coating and cause the blades to weaken and rust,” Davidov explains. Clogged razors can also result in a less smooth shave. Ouch!
4. Store razors in a cool, dry place.
Moisture can rust razors, so keep them cool when it comes to storing them. “The worst thing you can do is store your razor in a warm, humid place, with the blades facing down in a puddle of soapy water,” says dermatologist Dr. Whitney Bowe. Not only can this rust the blades, but Dr. Bowe warns that it can also increase your risk of bacterial or fungal infection – yuck. Gently dry your razor after shaving, then choose a place outside the shower to hang it.
5. Protect it when you travel.
It’s easy to just toss your razor in your bag when packing, but Dr. Bowe warns that the more your blades are exposed to friction and trauma, the faster they will become dull. She adds, “Many fancy razors also have fancy hinges and pivots, and the more fringing this razor has, the less smooth it will glide over all of your body contours.” Davidov recommends keeping your razor in a case while you travel, or at least wrapping it with a paper towel to prevent it from hitting anything hard and getting bumpy or dull. In addition, do you really do you want it to hang on to your clothes?
Bonus: How to know when it’s time to throw it away.
While following this routine will keep your razor in peak condition for as long as possible, it’s important to know when it’s time to throw it away. “Be careful not to overuse the razor for too long,” said a spokesperson for Gilette Venus Good Housekeeping. “Not only will you not get a good shave, but shaving with an old, dull blade can cause more nicks and cuts.” If your blade becomes dull or rusty, replace it as soon as possible.
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