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.
Best Overall RazorLeaf The Leaf Razor Read More
Best Upgrade RazorSupply The Single Edge 2.0 Read More
Best Affordable RazorHarry's The Truman Razor Read More
Best Safety RazorBevel Safety Razor Read More
Best Disposable RazorGilette Sensor2 Plus (52-Pack) Read More
What to Know
Folks with dry or easily irritated skin need specialized razors. A regular razor will wreak havoc on sensitive skin. Razors with hydrating heads, gel coatings or weighted blades help reduce friction, resulting in a smoother shave with fewer hiccups and less of a headache afterward.
That being said, as much as a good razor will help you, proper technique can prevent irritation, too. “Shaving against the grain will get the closest shave, but is also the most irritating and can lead to ingrown hairs and inflammation if not done carefully,” our expert says. “Shaving with the grain won’t get quite as close of a shave but is far less irritating and much easier on your skin.”
Certain razors will work better for different hair types. Safety razors, for example, and especially Bevel’s, are gentler on coarse, curly hair and help prevent ingrown hairs. For folks with thin or wispy facial hair, just about any razor will do, but it’s important to pick one that works well for your skin type, too.
Types of Razors
Cartridge razors come in two parts: the reusable body and the disposable razor head. Once worn, the head can be thrown away and a new one can be attached back onto the body.
Safety razors are easier to use than regular razors, and, in fact, they’re what first helped men shave beyond barbershops. As for its construction, there’s a safety mechanism that locks in a disposable razor blade.
Our expert stresses that if you plan to invest in a good razor, consider switching to a single-blade safety razor: “They give you the most control as far as following the grain of your facial hair,” he says. “And they have a much more forgiving learning curve than a straight razor (although those can be great too if you are willing to put in some practice).”
Disposable razors come in one piece. They’re designed to be thrown away once the razor blades wear down.
Warm skin is more susceptible to razor bumps and burn, but the experience of a hot shave feels far superior. You can try using a heated razor with a hydrating blade, like the one below.
Weighted razors do most of the work for you. You glide across the skin without applying any pressure because the weight of the razor lowers the blade to your skin on its own. These are best for long stretches of skin, like the legs, arms or back.
A straight razor is by far the most dangerous way to shave your face at home, but it’s an art form if mastered. Straight razors are also more hygienic because there are no extra blade chambers, plastic heads or bumpers to collect shave foams or gels, dead skin and other debris.
I tested, along with freelance contributor Adam Hurly, the top razors from each of the aforementioned categories. We shaved at our normal cadence, shaved after growing a little more than stubble and touched up our facial hair designs.
Afterward, we reflected on our experiences and curated this list, which even covers razors for folks with sensitive skin.
Up your knowledge about blade replacement, cleaning, post-shave hygiene and storage.