What’s the Best Safety Razor for Sensitive Skin? (2022)
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Sensitive skin can keep you from enjoying old-school shaving with a safety razor. Each time you try, you are left with grossly irritated skin covered in nasty rashes and bumps.
Well, a lot goes into having the best shaving experience. Despite this, choosing the right shaving tool is the most important step. There’s no side-stepping this. The razor you choose forms your primary line of defense against irritation. No wet shaving technique you master will help you achieve an irritation-free shaving experience while wielding a whack safety razor.
To help you, we’ve taken the liberty of reviewing the best safety razors for sensitive skin. We’ve also shared some tips and tricks to help you reduce skin irritation.
Let’s dive into it. But first:
Top 3 Best Safety Razors for Sensitive Skin at a Glance
Last update on 2022-08-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Which Is Better for Sensitive Skin – Closed or Open Comb Safety Razor?
Safety razors aren’t created the same. Some will provide your sensitive skin with more protection than others. The biggest contributor to this difference in protection is the comb design. Here’s an overview of how safety razors work to understand this better.
First, safety razors are called ‘safe’ because of their bottom guard/comb they have. This is the metal plate closest to the handle. Every safety razor’s comb extends beyond the blade to offer protection against accidental cuts. The comb design can be closed or open. Here’s how the two are different.
The open comb design was patented in the 1800s and was included in the original safety razors. Its name comes from the baseplate’s guard appearance. The teeth were constructed like combs such that they exposed the blade.
Open teeth let more of the blade reach the skin while protecting you from accidental cuts. Since the blades are very close to the skin, open comb safety razors tend to be aggressive. Here aggressive means that the razors cut more hair with every stroke. While the design is efficient, it comes at a cost – skin irritation.
In a closed comb safety razor, the bottom guard is designed as a simple straight bar that runs across the razor’s length. These razors have a little more room between the blade and the guard’s outside edge.
Closed comb safety razors made their debut in 1930. They are slightly less aggressive than open comb safety razors because the blade is further from the skin. While this is great, closed comb safety razors don’t yield a close shave like open comb razors do. Overall, they carry a lower risk of agitating the skin.
From the comparison, one can conclude that closed comb razors are better for men with sensitive skin. However, this isn’t necessarily true for all safety razors since many factors contribute to a razor’s aggressiveness.
For instance, the gap between the top and bottom plates matters. With that said, if you’re a wet shaving beginner, you prefer closed comb safety razors as they’re more forgiving.
Best Safety Razor for Sensitive Skin at a Glance (Summary)
Last update on 2022-08-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
1. Merkur Adjustable (500 series) 2-piece Double Edge Safety Razor – Best Safety Razor for Sensitive Skin
Merkur 500 series is a very popular safety razor with an adjustable head. It can be adjusted to 5 different levels of aggressiveness and thus be adapted to your preference.
The classic Merkur Progress razor has a shorter handle than the siblings Merkur Futur and Merkur 34c. The Progress has an adjustable gap between the blade and the guard.
Merkur Progress has a thick and heavy handle. The Merkur Progress is a 2-piece design that has been around for over 50 years. People like it because it just works.
Merkur 500 adjustable safety razor is cast from brass and has a polished bright chrome-plated finish. It feels good and solid in the hand and sports a nice classic look.
Merkur Progress is also available in a long-handle version called Merkur 510.
Read review: Merkur Progress
2. Merkur 34C – Best Budget Safety Razor for Sensitive Skin
A safety razor is a perfect tool that comes in handy when you have sensitive skin. Though safety razors do have more of a learning curve than disposable and cartridge razors, the Merkur Classic 2-piece is a perfect choice for newbies to safety razors as well.
The Merkur Classic 2-piece razor comes in a thick and short handle (if you have big hands, you should go for Merkur 38c instead). Its head is heavier than that of other razors. But the beauty of the extra weight is that it allows you to apply minimal pressure when shaving. And if you think about it, this is a great feature to have, especially when you are still learning how to use safety razors.
It’s worth pointing out that this is a 2-piece safety razor. What this means is that it features the head and the handle as detachable pieces. The head has a closed comb design. These are features that are perfect for ensuring you get a close shave without irritating the skin.
In addition to the above, the razor has knurling on the handle. This ensures that you will have a good grip (again, this is perfect for men whose skin is sensitive and beginners to safety razors).
And the last thing about this safety razor is the fact that it’s durable. But this doesn’t come as a surprise since it is made in Germany. Merkur has been around for more than a century. Over the years, they have mastered the art of producing quality items.
Read review: Merkur 34c
3. Merkur 37c – Best Choice for Experienced Users
If you’ve wrapped your head around using safety razors and are looking forward to an elevated shaving experience, then the Merkur 37C is perfect for your needs. While many safety razors cut facial hair straight, the Merkur 37C adds a vital twist to it – cutting at an angle.
It might sound like a minor adjustment, but the changes it makes to your shaving experience are great. The unique cutting motion is similar to how a scythe works. The results are reduced pulling and tagging on hair roots. Moreover, the Merkur 37C has a blade gap that works wonders; compared to the 34C; it cuts facial hair more aggressively with minimal effort.
Given their efficient cutting angle and razor aggressiveness, we feel the Merkur 37C is perfect for men who are already comfortable with safety razors and have mastered the art of wet shaving.
Aside from an efficient cutting angle on the blades, the two-piece razor has the following features that contribute to a quality shaving experience:
- It has a knurled handle like the Merkur 34C, which assures you of a firm grip even in wet hands
- The two-piece design is simpler to assemble than a 3-piece design
- It has a short handle at 3.3 inches, making it ideal for men with short hands. If you have larger hands, then the bigger sibling Merkur 39C would be perfect.
Read review: Merkur 37c
4. Feather All Stainless Steel Safety Razor – If You Want Nothing but the Best
This classic is presented to us by Seki, a company based in Japan. Coincidentally, Japan is the origin of the samurai sword. As such, you at the very least are assured that the razors are sharp and of top quality.
However, there is a lot more to this masterpiece than just the blade. The extra features are what makes it best for men with skin problems. When compared to other razors, it is on the expensive side. But do not be duped, this product is worth every penny you will spend on it. Let’s get into the details of this unit.
First and foremost, this unit is constructed of stainless steel. This is evident from its name. It is worth pointing out that this safety razor was among the very first to be manufactured this way. But what is the big fuss about this? Well, for starters, it does not tarnish with time or even show signs of losing its appearance. This makes it a good choice for its price point.
It is designed to last for a long time – if not forever. All you will need to do after a couple of shaves, or as often as you deem necessary is to replace the blades when they turn dull. For this reason, it is a long-term investment. And once again, its price point is justified.
Now, while its blades are comparable to samurai swords, the razor is generally reckoned to be less aggressive when compared to other units. Is this a good thing? Yes. Because it means that you get to apply slight pressure while you are shaving without having to worry about cuts, nicks, and irritating the skin. If your skin is sensitive, you will give thanks for the creation of this product.
Below are additional aspects that need to be mentioned about this razor.
We have spoken at length about its unique and high-end construction. So we shall not get into that again. But in addition to the solid steel manufacturing, the unit features a 3-piece design and has a closed comb. The balance of the razor is impressive. It weighs about 3.25 ounces.
Among its many likable features is the knurling on the handle. The knurling design features horizontal grooves which work to improve the grip. In total, there are 6 grooves intelligently spaced along the length of the handle.
The shaving head has been designed to tilt to about 45 degrees. This is pretty impressive especially given the fact that many razors tilt only to 30 degrees. This makes it easier for its blade to be aligned with your needs. Also worth pointing out is the fact that it makes for a great beginner choice. The reduced blade exposure to the skin leaves a lot more room for small mistakes without serious consequences.
The Feather comes in velvet or wooden box. The packaging you get is dependent on your location. Inside the packaging are 5 Feather blades. Again, these are among the sharpest blades you will come across.
Read review: Feather AS-D2
5. VIKINGS BLADE The Chieftain Double Edge Safety Razor – Great Choice
When you think of little underground Australian companies, Vikings Blade should be the first company that comes to mind. Despite its size, the company opened its doors to the public more than three decades ago. As such, you shouldn’t let the ‘underground’ description fool you.
Of the many popular and successful products Vikings Blade has made, the Chieftain Double Edge Safety Razor is by far one of the best based on quality. The safety razor is designed from high-quality stainless steel sourced from Sweden. Vikings Blade’s idea was to create a razor that would last for ages. And to back up its belief in the quality of its product, Vikings Blade offers a lifetime warranty for manufacturer defects.
Experts love the razor because it has a superior look. It has a manly design but is still affordable. Moreover, it will not give you unexplained cuts all over your face.
Below is a quick list of everything experts love about this product:
- The safety razor is designed with a micro-comb. This feature gives newbies to wet shaving an easier time handling the razor. To top it all off, its blades are ‘hidden’ to protect beginners from sustaining accidental cuts.
- It has a new-age butterfly head. This head allows you to replace a dull blade in a few seconds
- It is ideal for sensitive skin. If you struggle with ingrown hair, especially when you shave with an electric razor, this is the perfect razor for you.
- The handle has deep knurls which offer a superior grip. The razor won’t slide off even if your hands are sweaty.
- Its head is small. This makes it easier to reach the hard to shave spots
- It has an excellent and well-distributed weight. It is heavy enough to allow you to shave using its weight and light enough to afford you control.
- The razor comes in a suede and leather casing along with five steel blades (platinum coated)
Safety Razor Buying Guide for Sensitive Skin
If you come across a safety razor whose brand claims it’s good for sensitive skin, you should consider the following. These considerations will help you see through marketing ploys.
Closed or Open Comb Safety Razors
Overall, closed comb safety razors are ideal for sensitive skin. They have a metal layer for added protection that prevents direct blade and skin contact. Because of this, the original closed comb safety razors don’t give close shaves. Luckily, closed comb safety razors are now fitted with adjustable head angles that fix this problem while still being easy on sensitive skin.
Type of Safety Razor Edge
Safety razors sport two types of safety razors: Single edge and double-edged safety razors.
Single blade safety razors are rare hence they are more of collectibles. The transition to standard shavers has led to a fall in demand for Single edge safety razors. The latter use more massive blades than safety razors with double edge razors and provide a closer and more aggressive shave. As such, beginner wet shavers should tread with caution.
On the other hand, double-edge safety razors have a cutting edge on either side. This feature allows you to use either hand when shaving. Aside from this, there’s much of a difference. Although double-edge safety razors aren’t as sharper as single-edge razors, they are safer and cleaner since there’s always a free edge you can use.
If you’ve read this far, you’ve picked up on the fact that aggressiveness determines whether a razor is good for sensitive skin or not. Safety razor companies include aggressive ratings for all their razors ranging from mild to strong. For your sensitive skin, go with mild or medium.
Aggressiveness is more about a razor’s efficiency than how much damage it causes to your skin. It tells you how well the blade cuts on every stroke. Efficient razors cut more hair but cause more irritation.
The size of your hand will determine how big the safety razor your purchase should be. It might seem petty, but it affects shaving comfort. Often, men with large hands cannot stand using safety razors with smaller form factors because they are uncomfortable and risk you losing their wet shaving form. On the other hand, a larger safety razor will lead to skin cuts and nicks or cause you to hold it at the wrong angle.
The goal is to have a good balance between your palm and the razor – the handle should be large and a little long if you have large hands.
Adjustable safety razors are a good option if you want a product that adapts to the contours of your face or that you can calibrate to suit different parts of your face. Although they cost more, they work wonders, especially for men with sensitive faces.
Consider this a selling point; you have a sensitive neck, but your cheeks are okay (like most men). With an adjustable safety razor, you can shave your neck with the higher sensitivity setting and recalibrate when shaving your cheeks.
Easy to Use
The last thing you want is a safety razor that’ll be a nightmare to use. Secure grips are key for safety razors and are intended for sensitive skin. This is often guaranteed when you get a quality, well-balanced safety razor.
The immediate result of superior geometry is perfectly balanced blades. This way, you don’t have to exert too much pressure to get a close and smooth shave.
Just because a safety razor is small doesn’t mean it’s not heavy. These two are mutually exclusive. We cannot leave out the weight when considering a blade’s cutting speed and efficiency.
Heavier razors hit the face harder compared to lighter razors. Moreover, the weight adds stability to a razor. Heavy razors are solid, and you are less likely to misuse or drop them.
Are Safety Razors Better for Sensitive Skin than Cartridge Razors?
When it comes to comfortable skin, safety razors are beasts. The most important factor to consider when getting safety razors is your experience level using them. Understanding how to properly adjust the shaver is key to getting the desired results on sensitive skin. Some blades are more aggressive than others in different positions hence not perfect for such use.
Suppose you want a safety razor that’s perfect for your sensitive skin, preferably one that’s similar to your current razor. For instance, if you are moving from a cartridge razor, find a safety razor that feels more like a cartridge razor.
These are by far the most used razors. Because of this, you need to put extra effort into researching the best cartridge razors for sensitive skin. Unfortunately, this is often harder than it sounds. While some men swear by cartridge razors that have been around for decades, others prefer newer models. You might have to try many different options before landing one that works for your sensitive skin.
What Type of Materials Are Used in Safety Razors?
There aren't too many options here. The most common material is metal which comes in different colors, including silver and chrome. The metal handles are often rough to improve the grip. However, some brands go the extra mile and add rubber lining to their handles for an even better grip. Other materials you may see used include animal horns and wood. These give safety razors stylish looks and make good gift items.
Do Safety Razors Cause Less Irritation?
Generally, shaving with a safety razor results in lesser skin irritation, ingrown hairs, and shaving bumps that you may experience with electric shavers and cartridge razors. The main reason is that safety razors pass a single blade across your skin. As such, a single pass counts as that. With multi-blade razors, a single pass is equivalent to the number of blades contained. Remember, the fewer the passes, the happier your skin.
How Do You Clean a Safety Razor?
The most effective method is using sanitizing alcohol to sterilize your razor. If you don't have this, soap and water will do just fine. Don't forget to lubricate your razor using shaving oil after cleaning, especially if you use rubbing alcohol.
How Can You Maintain a Safety Shaver?
You don't need maintenance tools to maintain your safety razor. After use, wash your razor, dry it and keep it in a dry spot. This will help the razor last long without rusting. However, depending on your shaving frequency, you'll have to replace the blades every so often.
The moment you start using a safety razor designed for sensitive skin, you’ll appreciate the experience and care your skin gets. But this is assuming you have all the products necessary for wet shaving, including shaving cream and aftershave.