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Safety Razors 101

Posted by Elizabeth Scott on
Safety Razors 101

Safety razors are such a simple zero waste swap and are also actually cheaper than cartridge razors in the long run. I brought a safety razor about 6 months ago, and it's safe to say I will never go back to using anything other than my safety razor, and once you master the ritual of shaving with one of these too, you won't either .. not to mention they also look amazing!

If you don’t know about the safety razor yet, don’t worry, I am here to advise you.



+ Safety razors are literally ZERO WASTE, as long as you know what to do with your used blades (more below on this).

+ They are built to last a lifetime, so should only ever have to buy one - as long as you care for your safety razor well, it should last you your lifetime. The razors are over-built and incredibly durable with a chrome plated brass frame, which creates a highly rust and corrosion resistant product.

+ Shaving with a single blade reduces skin irritation, shave bumps, and ingrown hairs that are common with cartridge or electric razors

+ Cheaper in the long run - the price of a safety razor can be anywhere between about $30 and $70, depending on the style and brand of your safety razor. However, replacement blades are only about 40 cents each, so making the switch will be better on your pocket too!



Because these are built to last a lifetime, you will obviously want to get one that you will be happy to use for the rest of your life.

There are so many great sustainability focused online stores where you can buy safety razors, and any safety razor is great compared to cartridge razors.

I own an Albatross butterfly style razor with an extra long handle. I absolutely love it, and Albatross have a great blade take back programme too, which doesn't just take albatross specific blades, so no matter the razor you buy, you can send the used blades to them.

I brought mine from an online store called Daily Use, which is based locally to me. Here are some links to a few NZ online stores where you can buy safety razors from:

Daily Use

The Eco Society

Natural Things 



Everyone is different, so I think it’s really about finding what suits you and works best for you.

Loading the razor:

To load blade in a butterfly style handle: Twist the bottom of the shaver handle to open the wings of the blade holder.  Place a blade (be careful it's sharp!) on the opened platform and twist the bottom in the opposite direction to tighten the blade holder wings over the blade.

To load blade in a 3-piece style handle:   Unscrew the handle from the two blade holding plates.  Place blade between the blade holding plates and screw in handle.

Prep your skin:

+ Shave in the shower - The warm moisture of a shower makes hairs soft and plump and opens your pores for a better shave.

+ Exfoliate – this helps to open pores, prime follicles and raise stubs for a closer shave. Exfoliation also removes dead cells and impurities that can cause acne, ingrown hairs and infection, and will also smooth and renew your complexion - We have a great range of cleansing and moisturising exfoliators in our store you can check out.

Using the razor:

When shaving with a safety razor, always use a nourishing and moisturising soap, or a botanical oil to lift the hair and create a smooth surface for your razor to glide over.

I personally absolutely love using an oil when shaving and find it easier to shave than when I use soap (just make sure your hands aren’t oily, and that you have a good grip on your razor).

When you're all oiled (or lathered) up and ready, hold the blade at a 30 degree angle from your skin, and using the weight of the handle allow the razor to glide across your skin. Use short strokes (especially when you’re learning), take your time and concentrate.

It is recommended that the blades should be changed after every 5-6 shaves. 


Looking after your razor after you use it will keep it in good condition, and is really important if you want your razor to last.

It is recommended after each use to:

+ Rinse the blade and razor to remove soap and hair

+ Dry your razor completely and store in a dry place for next time. Even though safety razors are chrome plated, keeping your razor in the shower in a warm, moist environment will not be good for it.

+ If you want to clean your razor further, you can use rubbing alcohol to wipe it down before putting it away.



You could either:

+ Collect them in a jar or an old can, and when full, take this to a recycling centre which recycles old razor blades.


+ Place the used blades back into the envelope your blades are purchased in, then send these blades back to albatross, who have a closed loop production cycle. They then make other environmentally beneficial (non-razor) products with this metal, and they even have a place on their website that you can offer your own ideas on what to do to up-cycle the blades.

They really appreciate you sending blades to them, and they don’t even have to be Albatross specific blades too, which is really cool!

To find out more about the Albatross take back programme head here >>

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