Shaving is a vital part of many people’s routines. However, conventional shaving methods produce a significant amount of waste. Most disposable razors last for just 5-10 shaves before ending up in our bins, and as razors tend to be made from both plastic and metal which are hard to separate, they are difficult and expensive to recycle. As a result, it is estimated that, in the US alone, 2 billion poundsof disposable razors end up in landfill every year — with the number only going up.
The production of razors also requires the use of non-renewable resources, which has a negative impact on the environment. Not to mention that some shaving foams and gels contain chemicals that are bad for both the environment and our skin. The good news is that it's possible to perfect a sustainable shaving routine, and we're here to help you do just that.
What Is the Most Sustainable Razor?
The best razor for a guilt-free, green shave, is a safety razor that is made with a built-to-last metal handle and replaceable razor blades. When you’re done with the blade, you can pop it in a blade bin — a small tin with a slot for inserting used blades — and take it to an eligible recycling point to be recycled. Individual metal razor blades can’t be put straight into your recycling bin, as they pose a threat to recycling workers and machines.
To make your reusable razorlast, you should invest in a safety razor standthat helps prevent water damage and encourages ventilation, to keep the blade sharper for longer.
Most safety razors will have a long handle and textured grip to allow for a safe shave — even in those hard to reach areas — as well as grooved edges for clean and gentle precision. To safely use your razor,
Hold the safety razor at a 30-degree angle against your skin. This is the optimal angle for a close and comfortable shave.
Gently glide the razor across your skin, moving in the direction of hair growth. Avoid applying too much pressure, as this can cause irritation and nicks.
Despite advertising campaigns being targeted towards men, safety razorsare unisex — anyone can use them, and achieve a perfect shave.
What About Electric Shavers?
Electric shavers are more sustainable than disposable razors because they don’t have to be thrown away after every use. However, this will still end up in landfill, and more materials will be needed to produce a new electric razor. This means that a longer-lasting, reusable safety razoris still your best bet for reducing your footprint.
What Can I Use Instead of Shaving Foam?
Shaving foams and gels often contain synthetic chemicals and artificial lubricants that can pollute water sources and be bad for our skin. The aerosol containers themselves are also bad for the environment if not disposed of in a responsible manner.
Instead of shaving foam, you could switch to a zero-waste and biodegradable shave soap or cream. You’ll achieve the same flawless finish, and encourage healthier, moisturised skin. Alternatively, you can use coconut oil, aloe vera, shea butter or essential oils instead of conventional shaving foams and gels.
What About Shave Brushes?
Some conventional shave brushes contain badger hair, boar hair or other animal fibres. Although synthetic brushes are available — and are cruelty-free, more affordable, and a better option if you have sensitive skin or allergies to animal hair — these sometimes contain plastic. The ideal option then, is to find a shave brush that has plastic-free bristles and a natural handle made from bamboo or another sustainable material.
This helps to create a rich lather with a shaving soap or cream, and encourages the hair to lift from the skin. The bristles also exfoliate the skin, removing dead skin cells and debris, and softening your skin and hairs. For an even smoother finish, dry-brushyour skin after shaving to encourage skin circulation, unclog pores, and even skin tone.
How to Shave Without Wasting Water
The biggest culprit for shaving waste after the razor and foam is water. To cut down on your water usage when you shave,
Fill a cup or bowl with water and use that to wet your face.
Turn the tap off while you shave, to prevent large amounts of water being wasted.
Use a shaving soap or cream to create a thick lather that lifts and softens your hair, reducing the amount of water needed to rinse.
Use a clean, damp cloth to wipe away excess lather or hairs.
Rinse your razor in the cup or bowl of water that you used earlier.
We hope this guide helps you to master your sustainable shaving routine! Got more tips, tricks or product recommendations? Feel free to share them below.
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