There are a lot of zero waste swaps that you can make while transitioning to a low-waste lifestyle. Many of these changes have HUGE financial savings! One of my fave swaps was ditching my plastic razor and disposable blades for a safety razor and stainless steel blades. Shaving with a safety razor is not scary or difficult (contrary to popular belief), and it’s way easier on the wallet! Talk about a #winwin
I don’t know about you, but I was spending a couple hundred dollars a year on razor blades and shaving cream. I cringed every time I saw the price tag for my new blades. It had never occurred to me to buy a safety razor before going zero waste because they aren’t available at the drugstores where I bought razor blades. Plus, the blades are over-packaged and my shaving cream came in an aerosol can. GASP. Talk about so much waste going to the landfill!
Your legs, armpits, and lady bits (or man bits) do not need to be trashy!
Safety razors are legit. They’ve been around for over a hundred years, and you can find them second hand or buy new (prices seem to vary from $10 to $100). Check out your local thrift stores or shop online, and you may find some sweet vintage styles. They’re such good quality that your razor may last a lifetime. The razor blades can last for quite a few shaves too, and are WAY less expensive than their fancy 5-blade counterparts. I have seen 100 blades available for less than $20!
Another bonus is that you don’t have to worry about the latest and greatest razor and blade options that come with mainstream disposables. One minute you’re shaving with 2 blades, the next they’ve come out with 3 or 4 blades, and now you can buy 5 blades, all boasting the best shave of your life. This is the result of planned obsolescence. With new blades comes new razor styles, and you’ll end up replacing them often over the years (that or you may be shaving with single-use razors, which is still money down the drain and trash in the can). To that I say, “NO THANKS!”
Okay, so investing in a safety razor and the stainless steel blades is easy on the wallet and creates less trash. But, and there’s always a but, “it’s scary and I might cut myself all over and it could look like a murder scene in my bathroom.” Those are valid concerns, for real.
Let’s break it down into some easy steps:
Get to know your razor: This is the first step to becoming comfortable with a safety razor. Feel its weight, and practice holding it. Check out some YouTube videos on how to install the razor blades, and get it ready for its first shave!
Get comfortable: If it’s your first time using a safety razor, run a bath or fill the sink with water. Throw on some good tunes and maybe even light a candle. This is the ultimate self-care opportunity!
Lather up: You can buy shaving cream in the form of a soap bar, which is zero waste – and less chemicals – compared to the aerosol options. You can use the shave soap by itself with water to create lather on your legs, or use a brush to create the lather. The bonus of using a brush is that your shave soap will last way longer, but it’s not necessary.
Shave: This is the fun part!! Safety razors need to be held at a 45-degree angle to shave. Let the weight of the razor do the work, there’s no need to apply pressure.
Take your time: When it’s your first shave, take your time and don’t rush. I nicked myself once with my first shave (which is average for me anyway!), but I was incredibly mindful of the entire process. Eventually shaving with a safety razor will become second nature, and it will be quicker. But for now, go slow to get the hang of it.
Moisturize: Your legs will be noticeably dry after you shave, perhaps more than normal. Body butter or moisturizing cream will do the trick, and you’ll feel super pampered afterwards too!
Cleaning and Storage: Rinse off your razor when you’re done shaving to get rid of any shave soap left on the blade, and then store it in a dry place. Every once in a while, wash your razor thoroughly. I’m new to the safety razor, but I’ve read that soaking a razor in water and vinegar (1:1 ratio) for about 5-10 minutes, then scrubbing the grit and grime off with an old toothbrush will do the job.
Disposal: How and where you dispose of your dull razor blades will vary depending on where you live. Contact your municipality to find out how you can recycle the blades. You can store your used blades in a ‘blade bank’ (you can even use a mason jar for this purpose) until you’re ready to dispose of them properly.
Shaving with a safety razor is a transition in and of itself. Once you get in the swing of things, you’ll be rockin’ this zero waste routine in no time. Ultimately you’ll save money, and by recycling your blades, you will create less waste. Good luck and have fun!
Have any recommendations on shaving with a safety razor? Comment below!