People who use safety razors tend to criticize men who shave with a cartridge razor. Despite their criticisms, cartridge razor sales have never been higher. Companies like Gillette and Schick make billions every year, thanks to this product in particular. These modern disposable razor blades are extremely convenient for the super busy, 21st-century man.
While cartridge razors may not offer as smooth a shave as a safety razor, there are numerous techniques to help you get the most out of them. In this article, we’ll take a brief look at what exactly the best cartridge razor is and then tell you how you can get a closer shave using one.
What Exactly Is a Cartridge Razor?
Most people get cartridge razors mixed up with disposable razors. These are the kind of razors that typically consist of plastic and have a small number of blades or even a single blade. Once the blades dull after several times wet shaving, you dispose of the entire product.
However, cartridge razors have a design that allows the user can keep the handle and just replace the actual razor. The two main selling points for cartridge razors are that they are low cost and that they take almost no time to learn how to operate.
There are all different kinds of cartridges available today with various amounts of blades. These razors have a design that offers more convenience than quality. However, there are ways to get an almost professional shave using a cartridge razor. We’ll explore some great tips for shaving success below.
6 Tips for Shaving Successfully with a Cartridge Razor
Shaving with cartridge razors may be effortless for most people, but less effort can lead to lackluster results. For a successful, closer shave, it’s important to add a few extra steps to your shaving routine.
This is especially true if you have sensitive skin. If you want to keep your sensitive skin from getting irritated, implement the following tips. You will see an improvement in the quality of your shave that you won’t want to give up!
1. Prepping Your Skin the Right Way
The key to a great shave with a cartridge razor is simple. Moisturize your skin, and you will see many problems vanish. We’ll return to this phrase over and over again every time someone asks us how to shave properly. Since the blades on even the best cartridge razor brands don’t have as expert a design as a safety razor, you need to make sure your face is well lubricated before you even think about shaving.
To help achieve the goal of moisturized skin, it’s a good idea to purchase a pre-shave oil. You apply this solution right on your face before applying your traditional lather. (Whether you lather up with a shaving brush and soap or shaving cream is up to you.) The oil will both help your skin retain moisture and protect it from the razor.
However, be sure the product you choose has ingredients that won’t dry out your skin. If you have sensitive skin, you should also steer clear of irritating ingredients. Usually, some quality oils include shea butter, grapeseed oil, jojoba oil, and sunflower oil. Your product shouldn’t have spices like thyme, pine, ginger, cinnamon, peppermint or lemon balm. While all these spices smell great, they don’t help your skin retain moisture.
2. Choosing a Stainless-Steel Cartridge Razor
Nowadays, most of the best cartridge razor brands consist of stainless steel. Consequently, if you come across a razor that is not a stainless-steel product, you’ll be better off avoiding purchasing or using it. Stainless steel is brilliant because it creates sanitary medical gear and surgery tools. That’s because this material can keep bacteria away.
Therefore, if you want to be on the safe side and maintain proper hygiene during your shaving process, choose wisely. Another aspect to consider is the quality level of your stainless-steel cartridge razor. Keep in mind aspects such as diameter, thickness, grinding, and cut when you purchase a new shaving razor.
3. Trim Your Beard
This step is necessary if you have a long beard or thick facial hair. You might think that the blades of a cartridge razor are basically invincible. Well, that might be true for most men. However, if you let your beard grow for a couple of weeks, you should consider trimming it before shaving with even the best cartridge razor.
Before using the razor, you should make sure your beard has reached a manageable length. Still, this step also depends on how quick your facial hair grows and how thick it is. You can choose one of the best beard trimmers to obtain the ideal results.
Trimming your beard will allow your razor to work properly and cause less damage to your skin. Even those without sensitive skin will notice a difference once they do this.
4. Follow the Grain
You might have heard this advice before, and it might sound obvious to you. Still, you should always shave with the grain. Sometimes, going against the grain provides a smoother and closer-to-the-skin shave. However, make sure that you shave your entire beard by going with the grain before applying the cartridge razor against it.
Once you have shaved with the grain, you can go across it and against it to achieve the closest shave possible. Just keep in mind that this can be irritating to the skin.
5. Keep the Cartridge Razor Clean at All Times
Don’t just clean the razor after you are done shaving. For best results and proper hygiene, you must rinse the cartridge razor several times during wet shaving. This type of tool is well-known for the clogged hairs and shaving cream that get stuck in it. Therefore, rinsing the razor’s blades almost after every single stroke is essential.
If you don’t keep your razor clean, the risks of getting razor burns will get higher. This can further lead to clogged hairs under the skin and even infections.
6. Rinse Your Face and Reapply Shaving Cream
Shaving smoothly right from your first attempt is almost impossible with even the best cartridge razor. Because you will most likely need to go over your hairs the second or even the third time, rinsing off the shaving cream residues before applying a new cream layer is important.
You must especially consider this tip because the second time you use the razor, you will be required to go against the grain. This makes your skin more vulnerable to cuts or irritations.
Make the Most of Shaving with Cartridge Razors
Hopefully, this article has helped you understand what cartridge razors are and how you can use them. Again, a cartridge razor isn’t as “high-quality” as a safety razor because you need to do a lot of prep work to get a world-class shave using these razors. However, cartridge razors keep receiving new updates now more than ever. You just can’t beat the convenience these razors offer.
If you’re not in the mood to learn how to use a safety razor properly, then cartridge razors are your best bet. To get an even higher quality shave with these razors, just add a hot shower, oil, good shaving cream, and aftershave balm to your daily routine. All of the products detailed in this article are easily available in convenience stores and online.
Do you have any additional tips for getting a high quality shave from a cartridge razor? Tell us about your experience in the comments section.