Double Edge, or DE safety razors are a fantastic way to shave whether you’re a man or a woman. Learn how to shave your legs with a safety razor, including skin preparation tips and how to handle the razor.
Safety razors are one of the most traditional forms of wet shaving. They not only produce a much closer shave than disposable razors, but they are also considerably more environmentally friendly. DE safety razors are often plastic-free and will last for years. Only the blade is replaced to keep it sharp and this can also be recycled. (You can read about the history of shaving here if you're interested!)
We also have a guide on safety razors for women if you're looking for even more top tips!
The first step in shaving your legs with a safety razor is learning about the razor itself. Make sure you have got a quality razor and know how to keep it sharp as these are important if you want to achieve the best possible shave.
The Safety Razor
Why should you shave your legs with a safety razor? There are two primary reasons why many women choose to use a safety razor:
1. Plastic Free Shaving
Plastic is a big problem for our planet so cutting down on plastic use and waste is really important. A safety razor is often made from entirely metal components and, unlike disposable cartridge razors, isn’t thrown away once it loses its sharpness. Instead, only the blade is replaced -- and this can be recycled. Swapping to a safety razor is a great way to reduce your plastic use and waste and be more environmentally friendly, which is why so many women are making the swap.
2. A Smooth and Close Shave
The second reason people choose a DE safety razor is because it offers a much closer shave than many cartridge razors do. Because the blade is so sharp, it cuts the hairs more closely and also exfoliates your skin. It results in smoother legs and a great finish!
Choosing Your Safety Razor
The important thing when it comes to shaving your legs with a safety razor is getting one that feels good in your hand. You don’t necessarily need to choose a DE razor that’s specifically for women, but these are usually designed with slightly longer handles to make shaving your legs easier. Search out safety razors with long and/or textured handles to provide better grip and handling of the razor.
Keep the Blade Sharp
When using a safety razor, for your legs or otherwise, it’s important to keep the blade sharp. This minimises any irritation and helps to produce a close shave without nicks.
It depends on how often you shave your legs as to how often the blade will need changing - between one and seven shaves is right for most people - but there are certain things you can do to keep it sharp for as long as possible.
While the actual cutting of your hair does dull the blades, the main culprit is water. After your shave, ensure your razor is dry and that you store it in a dry environment -- not on the shower shelf! If you use a razor cover, only put it on when the blades are completely dry.
Prepare Your Skin
It’s essential with any kind of wet shaving that you prepare your skin and hair. This will help the razor to work effectively and will minimise any post-shave irritation.
Take a Bath or Shower
It’s best to soften your skin and hair by having a hot shower or bath. If you’re using your safety razor to shave your legs for the first time, you might prefer to take a bath. Some people find that sitting down provides more control when you’re trying it for the first time.
Cream, Soap and Foam
You’ll need to use some kind of lubricant to allow the razor to glide smoothly over your skin and to protect your skin from the sharpness of the blade.
It’s up to you what kind of lubricant you use. We recommend applying cream or soap with a shaving brush over shaving foam straight from a can as this can dry out your skin. Creams and soaps designed for shaving are great as they are formulated not only to help the razor work effectively, but also to moisturise your legs giving you a smooth, comfortable shave and great post-shave feel.
Once your skin is prepared, you’re ready to shave. There are two main differences between shaving your legs with a safety razor and with a cartridge.
1. Pressure and Weight
With a cartridge razor, you apply a small amount of pressure to the blade as you shave which helps it to catch all the hairs.
With a safety razor, on the other hand, you don’t need to apply any pressure to the razor. Instead, you simply let the weight of the razor do the work as you guide it over your skin.
With cartridge razors, the blades are held at the optimum angle within the razor head. With a safety razor, the blades are in a set position that’s 90 degrees to the razor handle. This allows the blade to be changed easily, giving the razor its sought-after benefits. However, it does mean that you have to hold the razor at the correct angle yourself in order for the blade to catch and cut the hairs. This is at 45 degrees to your leg.
In practise, this is a very natural way to hold the razor so it isn’t too hard to achieve, particularly as you become more experienced in using it.
Another thing to be aware of is gripping the razor. Plastic razors often have more grip than metal ones when wet, but as long as you’re aware of maintaining a good grip there shouldn’t be any problems! While men can keep their hands dry more easily when shaving at a sink, shaving your legs in the shower can mean the handle of the razor is slippy. If you think this might be a problem for you, look for razors with rubber coatings or textured handles which will provide enhanced grip.
It’s best to try to keep the handle as dry as possible to make sure you have control over the razor and don’t slip while shaving. Keep a towel within reach so once you’ve prepared your skin you can quickly dry your hands before shaving.
Finishing Your Shave
Once you’ve finished shaving, rinse off any residue from your shaving soap and pat your legs dry. Because the razor blade is so sharp, it will have exfoliated your skin during shaving and therefore patting your legs dry will prevent the skin from undergoing too much exfoliation which can lead to dryness, itchiness or redness.
Once your legs are dry, apply a moisturiser or body lotion. This prevents your skin from drying out and keeps it soft. It ensures the smoothest finish to your shave!
Using a safety razor to shave is a fantastic way to get soft and smooth legs while also being more environmentally friendly! If you have any more questions about how to shave your legs with a DE razor, then leave us a message in the comments!