A zero waste shave – Muhle safety razor review

Have you ever thought about using a safety razor? I hadn’t until my husband expressed an interest in using a traditional razor and I bought him one as a present. After he raved about his, curiosity got the better of me and I decided to take the plunge. The big advantage of a safety razor is a reduction in waste, although I wouldn’t consider myself anywhere near “zero waste” yet, I have been taking small steps to reduce to the amount of waste coming in to the house for some time now, so this seemed like another great step. I have used the same razor for years and although I feel like I got my moneys worth from the handle itself, I was sick of having to repurchase costly blades that were surrounded in plastic.

I love purchasing items that are built to last and I am more than happy to spend a bit more on these items if they are well made. I took a little bit of time to choose a razor that I was happy with, but I think I made a good choice. They vary quite a bit in price, weight and length of handle, as it was my first razor I decided to go for something similar to my Husband’s as I had a chance to handle it and knew that I liked it.

I picked the Muhle Tradional Rose Gold razor. Muhle are a reliable and trustworthy brand and the Rose Gold razor is really beautiful to look at, far more beautiful than any Gillette! It features a textured handle to give grip and you take the whole razor apart to replace the single blade. Something I think that is worth mentioning is that although the razor itself is more expensive than its plastic counterparts, the blades themselves are much, much cheaper. Add to that that this razor is designed to last years and years, overall I feel like it is a cost effective option.

Muhle R41 Safety razor with Rose gold handle* (£36.50) – Muhle Blades* (£2.50 for ten)

The razor overall is easy to assemble and use. I will confess though, that the first few times I used it I was baffled as to why I couldn’t get a close shave when my husband could. After showing him the razor, he pointed out I had put it together wrongly, so it is worth double checking you have assembled it properly before getting started. Unlike plastic razors, the head of the safety razor doesn’t move as you shave, so it does require a little bit of adjustment of your technique. I found that shaving my legs in the bath rather than the shower, how I had always done it before, allowed me to get the best angle. Like any shave, you need to pay extra attention around the knees and ankles, as these are areas that you are more likely to cut the skin.

A safety razor requires a slightly slower shave than it’s plastic counterparts, especially at the beginning, but the results are long lasting and very smooth. You need to hold the razor at a 30 degree angle to the skin and let the weight of the razor do the work rather than pushing down, which is what I was used to doing with a plastic razor. I make sure to rinse the razor well and dry it after every use to prevent rusting and I keep it in a little cotton pouch out of reach of the children. I have been experimenting with different bars of soap and shaving gels to use with my safety razor, I will report back on my favourites in another post. I will say though that something creamy works well at protecting the skin and giving the best shave.

Every few weeks (how often exactly depends on how often you use it) I change the blade, we have been saving ours to take to a recycling facility. If you are adding them to your general waste, make sure to wrap the blades well to avoid injury. If Rose Gold doesn’t appeal to you, these razors come in a variety of handle colours, such as silver or black. If cared for properly a safety razor handle can last a lifetime, so is a brilliant investment. I love the look and feel of the Muhle and I am so pleased I took the plunge, I would never go back to a plastic razor now. For more ways to reduce waste in your beauty routine see my post – Simple swaps for a zero waste beauty routine.  Have you tried a safety razor? Has this tempted you to make the switch?

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Ana Green

Written by Ana – A beauty industry professional who is passionate about product and helping people navigate the marketing hype in the beauty industry.