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.
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.
The Truman Razor's rubberized handle promises precision and grip even when wet, and the weighted core makes the whole thing more substantial, lessening the likelihood you'll knick yourself or accidentally graze a place you didn't intend to. Plus, the razor itself comes in three bold colors and with one German blade already intact. Equipped with a lubricating strip, five sharp blades and a flexible hinge, you'll get a great shave with this one.
Perfect for individuals with skin prone to ingrown hairs and razor bumps, the Bevel Safety Razor comprises a single, doubled edged razor blade attached to a weighted, bronze-filled handle. The weight makes shaving with the grain easy and safe for sensitive skin. Plus, this option's entirely free from plastic, which not only guarantees it'll last longer but makes it 100-percent recyclable.
If you’re testing the waters but don’t know which type of cartridge razor you’d prefer, then start with DSC’s more spacious 4-blade, which tackles shaving anywhere you need it to. Plus, this starter kit comes with four blade refills and a buttery shave cream that reduces friction and facial blemishes like ingrown hairs and razor bumps.
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.)
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.
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’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.
Athena's unisex razor is dermatologist-approved, meaning it's less likely to cause irritation (like bumps or ingrowns). It comes in an array of colors, each with a water-activated serum on the blade head. It makes the razor glide over edges and smooth areas all the same. This starter kit comes with two five-blade cartridges and a magnetic holder for safe storage.
Gilette Labs wants to make your morning routine more luxe. That's the point of its Heated Razor, which rises to a comfortable 120 degrees Fahrenheit with a few presses of a button on the razor's handle. The handle itself is heavier and longer than a disposable, and it attaches to a dock to charge. At a steep $150 dollars, you're definitely saving yourself money on repeat barber visits with special hot towel treatments, but the heated blade doesn't blanket the face with warm steam like you'd imagine. It softens the skin and hair as it goes, but little more. For people wanting a nicer razor, this is surely one, but it doesn't sub for a special treat-yourself-trip to the shop.
If you've spent any amount of money on your at-home shaving setup, you surely don't want to lose it on a trip — whether it's a week away for work or a weekend trip into the woods. Up your disposable inventory with Gilette's Sensor2 Plus, the best-reviewed disposable razor we've come across. Each one lasts about a week, or roughly three shaves, which makes sense given this is a pack of 52 (aka one for each week).
Although aesthetically old-timey, D.R. Harris' Safety Razor surely gets the job done. Compatible with standard, single blade razors by Gillette, Wilkinson or Merkur, this option comes with a polished, ivory-colored handle and shiny blade head. Whether you shave every morning or once a week (like me, because I don't grow much facial hair), treat the routine like a ritual with this retro-tinged option.
Up your knowledge about blade replacement, cleaning, post-shave hygiene and storage.