If your skin isn’t picky about what kind of blade you use, then you’ve been blessed. That’s because there are a lot of guys whose skin demands a certain type of shave if any at all, less he wants to wallow in redness, irritation, ingrown bumps, and more.
It’s these kinds of conditions that make shaving miserable for some men. It feels like a gamble each time to try the task, no matter how well they prepare for it. But shaving should be a smooth process, and it should be a cathartic, soothing one, too. Perhaps if you’re here, you’re looking for a prescription of sorts—the right blade for your type of skin. Well, let’s count our blessings because here are the best ones for those core complications.
Best Overall Razor
The Leaf razor can do pretty much whatever you want it to do. It can shave your head and pivot to all of the contours. It can give you a standard face shave. It can detail with a single blade, or give you a much closer shave with up to three blades. It’s a masterclass in product design and eco-consciousness since it allows the shaver to load 1-3 safety razor blades at a time, in order to customize the shave to his or her needs. The task is handled like a familiar cartridge shave, and the brand sends a razor recycling tin for all of your toss-outs, helping to eliminate unsafe disposal while also encouraging plastic-free waste.
BaBylissPRO Barberology Cordless Double Foil Shaver
Best Upgrade Razor
If you came here looking for the best razor for sensitive skin, then here’s some news: There truly isn’t one. Yes, there are 100 that will suffice, but the best? It’s an electric shaver, and while it may not give you a baby-smooth shave that lasts a couple days, it does play whack-a-mole with your stubble in order to get you through each day with a fresh face. Best of all, it never breaks the surface of the skin, so you can cut out the entire regimen, then kiss ingrown hairs and irritation goodbye. Of the many options you’ve got, we’ll nudge you towards the BaBylissPRO. It carries a 3-hour runtime and glides up and down your face with ease — not to mention, the gold foil heads and the shiny silver body are as sleek and attractive as you, post-shearing.
Dollar Shave Club 4-Blade + 6-Blade Trial Pack
Best Affordable Razor
I’m not one to readily suggest a 6-blade shave, as I think a perfectly close and effective shave can be achieved with a single blade (just look at any safety razor). Still, some guys swear by the ‘more is better’ principle and prefer the 4-plus blade range. And when you start getting that high in count, the difference between 4 razors and 6 (!) is fairly significant, given how spaced out those blades can possibly be. If you’re testing the waters but don’t know which type of cartridge razor you’d prefer, then start with DSC’s pack of two: a more spacious 4-blade razor tackles shaving anywhere you need it to, while the 6-blade razor has a "trimmer blade" that helps whack through the coarsest of scruff to deliver a smooth, resistance-free face shave. You’ll get a low-investment feel for which blade suits you best, and then can load up on cartridges accordingly.
Supply Single Edge Safety Razor 2.0
Best User-Friendly Razor
The marketing industry really pushed cartridge razors on consumers over the past few decades, but true heads stuck by the safety razor all the while. It’s proof that a single, sharp razor can give as smooth a shave as anything touting 4, 5, or 6 blades, and with far less drag, accumulation, and bacterial buildup. What I love about Supply’s single-edge safety razor is that it’s a 101 in safety shaves. Because most safety razors have a learning curve — and one with sharp consequences, though don’t let that deter you — this one’s design is user-friendly right out of the gate. Oh, and another benefit: Sure, the initial handle price looks steep, but you’ll earn that back through the low-cost of blades. (Another thing the true heads know.)
Merkur Mk34c Double Edge Razor
Best Razor for Ingrown-Prone Skin
Speaking of true heads, they sure do love the Merkur. Specifically, this 34c model is a favorite, for its well-distributed weight: There’s a heavy head with a short handle that practically coaches the blade to the right angle and pull. It makes shaving easy with this double-edged device. It’s certainly the best option for learning how to use a standard-fare, classic safety razor, too, though it’s unlikely you’ll ever shelve it out once you get the hang of things. Few other safety razors have mastered physics like this.
King C. Gillette Neck Razor
Best Razor for Sensitive Skin
If you want a cartridge razor ready for the occasional detailing tasks — a neck shave, a back shave, a cheek-line trim, then King C. Gillette's blade is sensitive to your needs. It has two blades for a low-friction, low-drag shave, and even has a detailing trimmer on the backside of the blade head (careful how you handle it) to help draw clean lines at the neck or on the cheeks. I like it for shaping my mustache, too, to precisely snip away at a few select hairs under the nose and at the edges.
Schick Hydro Skin Comfort Dry Skin Razor
Best Razor for Dry Skin
Schick’s latest upgrade features seven "gel pools" atop its blade, each containing coconut oil and moisture-trapping ceramides to quickly condition the skin as soon as it’s been shaved. Guys with dry skin (permanent or seasonal) will like this blade for its shock absorbency and sensitivity to any excess pressure. Like the King C. Gillette razor above, this one houses an additional single-blade detailer (in its head), for any precision tasks around the mustache, the neckline, or the cheeks. And here’s a tip for any dry-skin shavers: Start the shave with an exfoliating cleanser — a scrub with some grit — to help dust off any dead skin cells that might get trapped in the blade (or worse, trapped in your skin). And, take all the time you need to soften and condition the skin before and after the shave, with all the right products.