No matter how seasoned you are in hair removal (I, personally, am more seasoned than I'd like to admit), the razor aisle can be an intimidating place. There are so many different options to choose from, so much bright packaging covered in smiling women, and all of those weird locks on the shelves that require help from a store employee. Between all of the pretty logos and buzzwords like "multiple blades!" and "ergonomically modified," figuring out how to choose the right razor is a really tough decision.
Apparently, there are some things you should know that will help make the whole razor selection process a lot easier. I spoke to the people from BIC, the manufacturers behind a lot of the cute pink razors you see in the razor aisle, about their tips for how to pick out a razor.
According to the BIC team, all razors and blades are not created equally, and it's important that you know what you're getting into before investing. For those of us who haven't quite adopted the whole "we don't shave our legs anymore" thing (though for those of you who have, I salute and envy you), here is BIC's advice on everything you need to know before buying a razor.
1. The Number of Blades Actually Means Something
It may seem like one razor blade can achieve the same goal of getting rid of your body hair the same way two, three or four blades would, but that's not exactly true. If you're looking for a close, smooth shave, consider opting for a razor with 4 or 5 blades.
2. You Should Choose A Razor That Moves With You
You know when you're using a cheap razor and slice your leg on the way up your calf? Apparently, it's the razor's fault, not yours (phew!). When blades stay stationary during your shave, the more likely you are to cut yourself. Flexible blades individually adjust as you shave and help provide you with a flawlessly smooth shave, so look for those key words on packaging before you purchase. A razor that has an ergonomically designed handle also helps, because it's easier for you to hold and will give you better control shaving.
3. Lube Is An Important Factor
As anyone who grew up with Skintimates commercials (remember those?!) knows, moisturizing before you shave them is super important. Along with shaving cream, the BIC team suggests opting for a razor with a built in lubrication strip to help avoid nicks from too-dry skin. The BIC Soleil Shine, pictured above, features a lubricating strip with cocoa butter and vitamin E to help you feel extra smooth.
4. You're Probably Not Changing The Blade Enough
If you're anything like me, you're guilty of trying to squeeze one or two (... or ten) extra shaves out of the same old razor blade. Yes, new blades are expensive, and yes, it is really annoying to get out of the shower to change them, but you're doing yourself a disservice by overusing the same shave head. If you have thicker or coarser hair, you shave every day or every other day, you may have to change your razor more frequently than someone with thinner or finer hair or someone who shaves less often. You know it’s time to change when you need to put more effort than usual to get the perfect close shave, or find you have to go over the same spot multiple times to get good results. You should also regularly change your razor if you have sensitive skin.
5. There Actually Is A Difference Between Men's & Women's Razors
It's not just the cute pink packaging. There are actually some real technical differences between shavers made for males and females that may not be visible to the naked eye. Handle weight, handle design, lubricating strips, and blade flexibility are all uniquely designed because men's and women's razors are technically intended to be used on different body parts (though we all know face shaving for women is definitely a thing). Even though the products are different, don't worry — the BIC team assured me that the shave performance between men's and women's products will be basically the same, so feel free to continue stealing your boyfriend's razor in case of emergency.
Images: Courtesy of BIC; Dawn Foster/Bustle