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A good razor is a women’s best friend.
Face, legs, armpit, eyebrows, bikini areas, name it, shaving has become a daily religious beauty regimen. However, each time we shave with a single-use disposable razor, we contribute at least two non-biodegradable razors a week to the landfills. This is estimated to be around 2 billion razors in the US alone, and refill blades get thrown each year.
Because of this, one of the most challenging problems for shavers is to find the best eco-friendly razor for women available. After many hours of research, we’ve put together this list to help save you time and energy.
5 Eco-Friendly Methods Of Shaving
Use a rechargeable electric shaver.
Rechargeable electric shavers have built-in lithium-ion rechargeable batteries that give you a lasting battery charge compared to detachable batteries. It has become more affordable these days. And even if they cost you more upfront, you’ll save in the long run.
My husband has a rechargeable electric shaver. He bought it only for US$30 online and has been recharging it only once a month. I did not like it for my armpits, but in other parts (legs, and that front down there), these electric shavers are fantastic. His disposable razor has been out of our grocery list items ever since.
However, because of its bulky size, rechargeable electric shavers are probably not practical for your bikini areas.
You can find a variety of rechargeable electric shavers on amazon here
Use solar-powered shavers
The solar-powered shavers are highly rated for sustainability and longevity—no need for batteries and chords for recharging. You just need the sun. It probably might not have the same result as you would with a straight razor or blade, but as far as convenience and speed go, it rocks!
The only downside of solar-powered shavers is, of course, if it is winter or cloudy. And they can’t also be used in your bikini areas due to its bulky size.
Use a reusable razor instead of a disposable one.
Disposable razor seems to offer a cheaper alternative to a reusable razor. However, it cannot outweigh the environmental impact associated with its disposal.
Replacing disposable razors with reusable ones is right for you and the environment. They usually come in two kinds: 1) cartridge razors or 2) safety razors. Their blades can be replaced whenever they become dull. Not only would it save you time and money but reduces tons of disposable razors in landfills.
If you opt for reusable eco-friendly razors, you may choose between those made from durable stainless steel or those with bamboo handles. They can be a bit pricey, but they are a significant investment. Not only will it save you money over time, but they are also designed to last. There are some pretty good options on Amazon. Find them here.
Use organic and compostable razors.
If plastic-free, zero waste, and reusable razors interest you but need something affordable and lightweight, then opt for disposable but compostable razors.
Only a handful of brands sell disposable razors made from wheat, cornstarch, or recycled wood. Thanks to the innovative minds of their eco-entrepreneurs. One of them is Green Vibe’s eco-friendly razor consisting of 88% of all raw materials. The primary material is made from bio-resin and wheat straw. The 3-layer shavers’ blades, on the other hand, are made of high quality Swedish stainless steel that lasts longer compared with the disposable razors of top brands.
The other one is the EcoShave with 3 premium blades. The handle is made of recycled wood, while the head is made with a soft organic aloe vera strip. It comes with synthetic-free natural shaving gel to complete your environmentally-friendly shaving.
As a frequent traveler, having compostable razors on your travel pack would liberate you from any worries about your environmental footprint wherever you go.
Use recyclable plastic razors.
The least and the last option you should take, recyclable plastic razors are available in the market. These shavers can be recycled, and they are also made from recyclable materials.
POPi (Preserve Ocean Plastic Initiative) eco-friendly razor by Preserve is perhaps the most famous among the razors’ recyclable line. It is made from #2 HDPE plastic recovered from clean-up efforts in the oceans or beaches. It is BPA free and underwent a process that passed the food-grade applications.
Moreover, 25% of POPi products sold are donated to nonprofit organizations that clean up oceans and beaches. It also supports marine conservation efforts and researches in plastic pollution.
POPi is U.S.-made and was never tested on animals. You would also appreciate that the handles can be sent back to the manufacturers under its “Gimme 5” Recycling program.
Among these five environmentally-friendly ways to shave, the most recommended is the use of reusable razors. One because it does not need electricity to operate it, it is not made from plastic, and lastly, replacing its blades is affordable and has a small environmental footprint.
The next question we would ask is whether we will use the safety razor or the cartridge razor.
Should women use safety razors vs. cartridge razors?
Now that we have presented various eco-friendly options, we will narrow down our choices based on plastic-free, eco-friendly, and skin-friendly razors.
A safety razor got their name from the old classic straight razors in the 1800s that the barbershops used to shave men’s faces. Straight razors are quite intimidating to use, so brilliant minds developed a portable safety razor that anyone can use anywhere.
Safety razors are usually made of a metal casing that protects the skin by placing the metal blade inside its head – exposing only its 2 edges. The replaceable metal blades are skinny and are way cheaper than a cartridge. On the other hand, the handles have various eco-friendly materials to choose from, like steel or bamboo. If you are lucky, you would only need to buy 1 safety razor in your lifetime.
Since you are only using one blade at a time, there is less friction and irritation on the skin. You don’t even need to use expensive foams to prepare the skin for shaving. Warm water and soap are enough to soften the hair strand.
Safety razors cut back only the hair above your skin, preventing hair ingrown that causes folliculitis (i.e.damaged hair follicles), razor burns, bumps, or irritation. Also, you don’t need to apply pressure while using safety razors. You just need to guide the razor to areas you want to shave and make sure to replace it with new metal blades when it gets dull.
The only downside of safety razors is that their heads are pretty static, so you need to learn how to use it at proper angles (i.e., 30-40 degrees). This is except for some brands that market safety razors with tiltable heads.
Cartridge razors are a more popular shaving system that consists of multiple layered blades that can range from 2 blades to 7 blades. Some cartridges also have a built-in moisturizer so the blades can easily glide through the skin.
Cartridge razors also look less intimidating than grandpa’s classic safety razor. It is easy to use, and you can choose from various eco-friendly cartridge razors in the market. Albeit, cartridge razors are more expensive than metal blades.
However, the leading brand that sells cartridge razors has successfully made us believe that the more blades, the more efficient it is for shaving hairs. While there is some grain of truth in this, multiple blade razors have been established to irritate the skin.
“Women’s body hair is not as thick as a man’s facial hair. For women, I’d say you want to go with the closed comb [safety razor],” says Kevin Kish of West Coast Shaving.
With multiple blade razors, the first blade pulls the hair while the subsequent blades cut the tugged hair and remove the skin’s hair. But imagine having 3 to 7 blades dragging at the surface of your skin at a time, not to mention we repeat it 3-5 times (that equals to 35 blades at the maximum in contact with our skin). It can scrape layers of our skin, causing razor burn.
Because multi-blade cartridges cut back the hair way deep below the skin, the hair grows inward and curls back, causing ingrown and razor bumps.
As one author puts it, “while cutting the hair below the surface of the skin results in what feels like an extremely close shave, this is what causes razor burns, bumps, and irritation (see the diagram below).” On the other hand, single-blade razors shave only on the skin’s surface, not beneath it.
So far, having to choose between an eco-friendly safety razor and an eco-friendly cartridge razor, I’ll go for the latter. Not only is it better and safer for my skin, but it is also way cheaper than a cartridge razor (around only US$0.20 per metal blade as compared to the cartridge razor refill, which is around US$1.5).
Are metal razors better for the environment?
Now that I have been convinced to use eco-friendly safety razor over cartridge razor, my next question would be, will I be using metal or organic handles?
Hardcore anti-mining groups would probably contest the use of metals. But metals are rarely wasted since the whole world has nearly perfected its recovery system. You would be surprised that 80% of the virgin metals mined long ago are still being used today. Metal, especially stainless steel, is 100% recyclable. Metal recovery facilities are also almost present in all countries.
In contrast, bamboo plantations and processing facilities are available in less temperate areas globally, particularly Asia-Pacific. The footprint for transporting bamboo to the other side of the world just to provide you with an eco-friendly razor might be an anti-thesis due to the carbon footprint from transporting the goods.
The metal razors are also for lifetime keeps, mostly if they are made of metals that are corrosion resistant (e.g., stainless steel, aluminum alloy, copper, bronze, brass, and galvanized steel). With bamboo handles, you have to replace it after some time since they decompose.
Metal is undoubtedly good for the environment. Your choice of its versus organic ones like wood or bamboo depends probably on your personal requirements.
TOP 5 Eco-Friendly Metal Safety Razors For Women
Our top choices are all:
- single blade safety razor
- made of stainless steel (rust-proof and highly recyclable metal)
Our top 5 picks for an eco-friendly, reusable, stainless steel safety razor for women.
Probably one of my top picks, the Zomchi double-edged eco-friendly razor with a free butterfly mechanism for ease of blade replacement offers the best experience for shaving. The open butterfly razor, which is a closed comb system, can easily be opened. You just need to twist the bottom part of the handle to open the razor head.
Very stylish and sleek, it is made from stainless steel that would give you lifetime durability. Plus, it has a unique texture grip that offers excellent control and precision when you shave. The total length of this butterfly safety razor is 4.17 inches, with a weight of 72 grams.
Zomchi, a butterfly safety razor, can be used for your underarms, legs, and bikini areas. Just do not take too much pressure on the razor, as it will gently shave off your hair, and they grow back very smoothly.
Fendrihan Mk II’s eco-friendly razor is a closed comb safety razor that prides itself as one of the sturdiest safety razors you could ever get in the market. The handle is solid stainless with a satin finish and cleanly cut beads or knurling for a comfortable grip.
A product of Taiwan, the reviewers lauded the cost of the product and its quality. For a closer shave, one of the reviewers says that “it is a mild, but very efficient razor that consistently gives a three-pass, irritation and weeper free shave.”
Comes with a limited edition of the bronze-colored head if you are particular with girly style and color.
Made from Germany, this stainless steel, Oui Shave’s blade, and eco-friendly razor are designed to cut women’s unwanted hairs at clean angles. This prevents hairs from growing back inside the skin, which causes ingrown.
It is also kind of weighty, so no need for added pressure for a close shave. You can use it for legs, underarms, and even bikini lines without worrying about nicks or skin irritation.
It comes in 2 color options: rose gold and matte gold.
This sleek and minimalist eco-friendly razor is made from stainless steel and can provide you with a cleaner and safer shave. It is made from an environmentally conscious factory in China.
The razor also has a bit of weight, so you don’t need to drag it off unto your skin as you do with a disposable razor. If you dry the razor after each use, this will give you optimum performance. This safety razor could last for a lifetime if you take care of it properly.
The 10 replacement blades that come with it can be sharpened with denim. If dried properly after each use, each blade can last up to 6 months.
Instead of disposing of the blades after use, you may collect them in a closed metal container for safety and send them to the nearest recycling company or nearby metal scrap recycler.
Made from high-quality stainless steel and in two stunning colors, this may just be the [in my case, the first] and the last eco-friendly razor you’ll ever have to purchase. In fact, this razor comes with a Lifetime Guarantee, so you know it will last!
Each blade will last several weeks of daily use and are cheap to replace. Plus, the blades are metal, so they are entirely recyclable. Just wrap your old blade in the paper wrapper from the new blade to cover the edges, and throw it in the recycling bin.
Each Razor comes with free 10 double-sided razor blade refills.
For years, I have been buying the 3-pack lightweight, disposable razors each month. I never noticed until now that I have been throwing away my precious money in the landfills. I was shocked that I am becoming part of the tons of waste problems the world is confronting by just buying it unmindfully. These eco-friendly razors are just what we needed in this day and age.
I hope this article has become exceptionally eye-opening for all the women out there regarding their choice of beauty regimen tools, as it has become for me.