I've never understood the phrase "smooth as a baby's bottom" to describe a really close shave. I mean, have you ever touched a baby's cheek? It's even smoother and a lot more sanitary. It just doesn't spew off the tongue as nice.
But whatever you say, getting that close shave means money. Lots of it, no matter if you're a man or a woman. There are all kinds of fancy razors with "Top Gun" sounding names, and most will run you around $10 to $15 each, and when that razor blade dulls, the replacement packs can cost upwards of $45 for 16 measly blades.
On average, 16 blades will last you about 3 months if you shave every day, which means about $180 out of your pocket for replacement blades each year. And when you add shaving cream, aftershave, and a brush if you're fancy, you're looking at a bunch of money towards your pretty face. Or, legs. Or, whatever it is that you shave.
How can we shave down these expenses?
Subscription sites like Dollar Shave Club will save you money compared to buying from the store on a regular basis, but then you're forever depending on them for your supply of razors.
If you're smart about your blades and maintaining them to their maximum lifespan, though, you can stay independent. These tricks will work for women's blades as well as men's.
After we shave, most of us rinse down our blade with cold water (warm water dulls the blade and decreases lifespan) and put it back in the medicine cabinet. While you are keeping your razor visibly clean, you still need to get in on the blade. That's where denim becomes your new best friend.
Grab a pair of old jeans and rub the blade in the opposite direction you would to shave. That would be moving the razor up, with the sharp end facing down. This process is called stropping, and it works because it helps to remove any little nicks or indentations in the metal that dull the blades over time.
Denim is perfect for helping to clean and keep your blades honed. To make it quicker, you can also cut a small portion out of some old jeans and keep it in a bathroom drawer or cabinet for easy access.
We all know that proper lubrication can help things run smoother, and the same goes for your razor blades. Purchasing a good quality shaving cream with the right kind of oils can make a world of difference for your blades and your skin. Do some research and splurge a little on your shaving cream. It'll be well worth it in the end.
Shaving with cold water has been said to set up an easier shave, both for the razor and yourself. The cold water keep the hairs on your skin "harder" then if you used hot water, thus making them easier to cut. It's also said to compress the blades, making them less malleable and firmer to shave with.
Plus, hot water dries out your skin. So, if you want that smooth, soft feel, cold water is where it's at. And I'm not the only one who's making this argument—people have been touting the advantages of the cold shave since the 1800s.
This is something I never really did because I didn't know I was supposed to. After rinsing your blade, make sure to dry it thoroughly. There are most likely microscopic minerals that get deposited onto your blade when you let the water sit and dry, especially if you have hard water. Wiping down your blade will extend the life of even the cheapest disposable razor, and prevent it from rusting.
This is the no-messing-around method. You can buy a canister of compressed air from Walmart or Office Depot and dust bust the hell out of your blades to keep them clean. This should be done after every shave. The super cold air will also help harden your blades and eliminate any stubborn particles.
If you're diligent about taking these steps every time you shave, you'll definitely notice the difference in the health of your blades, your skin, and your wallet.
Did we miss any other tips? Let us know in the comments section below.
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