I went to go post this review and found, to my frustration, that a number of pictures I have taken over the past year of the low waste products I’ve purchased have disappeared. Not cool! I like to try stuff out and really get a feel for them before reviewing them so I tend to have pictures hoarded on my phone for a while. Or, I thought I did! For instance, I purchased my shave kit from The Package Free Shop back in February and made sure to take pictures right when everything arrived (without plastic packaging! Always a plus!!) and when it was all shiny and new. Now, everything is significantly less shiny and new but alas, here I am taking pictures for you. *deep sigh* One day, I’ll get better at this. Until then, please forgive the less than pristine condition of my shaving kit.
ANYWAY! Today we are talking zero-waste shaving. This was one of my later switches. I started really focusing on going low-waste for Plastic-Free July 2019. At the time, to avoid burning out (and, let’s be honest, draining my bank account!), I made a list of swaps that I felt were important to me and that would be easy to do and those that I felt would be challenging. My goal was to slowly purchase non-plastic, zero-waste items as my traditional products ran out, prioritizing the easy or important swaps first, and the challenging swaps last. Shaving items were not quite the very last thing but it was pretty close to it.
Honestly, boxes of razor blades felt very intimidating. And like I should be rocking out to a song by The Used. Also, it’s an expensive switch. I was more of a shave-with-a-6-month-old-blade-cartridge-and-body-soap kinda girl. Also, pre-COVID, I had a nasty habit of shaving my legs balanced at a weird angle in my gym’s teeny, tiny shower. Switching to real razors that didn’t have 12 thousand moisturizing strips just seemed like it would require more time and concentration than I was ready to give.
Turns out, this was a much easier switch than I thought.
When I finally decided to purchase a reusable razor, I ended up going with The Zero Waste Shave Kit: Pivoting Razor from Package Free Shop. This kit comes with a Leaf Razor, so many replacement blades, a shave bar and a little cloth bag for $82. You can also purchase the Leaf Razor directly on their website. I opted to purchase it at the Package Free Shop because I had a few other things I needed. I live in the boondocks so end up doing a fair amount of online shopping. The more items I can buy in one place, the less I have to pay in shipping and the lower my carbon footprint.
The razor works great! I would highly recommend this product. It’s incredibly easy to load the blades into the razor. The razor holds three blades that snap in magnetically. Once the blades are in place, you tighten the screw in the back and that’s it. Super easy! I have yet to lose a finger or even cut myself during this process.
In terms of shaving, this operates very similarly to the plastic razors I was used to. I am MUCH more careful with this and probably wouldn’t shave as haphazardly as I did previously, but I really do like this razor. It has some heft, which I like. You are spending more money for a tool you will, theoretically, have for quite a while and this razor feels like it will be around for a while. It’s three blade system gave a close shave with no nicks. The head also pivots up and down so it moves like a disposable razor would.
I do find that you cannot use a traditional bar soap with this. I could never justify spending more money for shave lotion when I was already paying SO MUCH for a purple plastic razor and the disposable blades so I tended to use whatever body soap I had in my shower. Without the moisturizing strips, you can’t really do that with this razor. You do want a shave soap.
With that said, I do not love the shave bar that came with this kit. It doesn’t really lather so I found the most challenging part of this new shaving routine was seeing where I had already shaved. There were definitely some leftover hairy patches after the first few tries with this kit! I got the hang of it, though. I think going forward, I would try something like a shaving soap that you lather up with a brush and apply.
Despite a few flaws with the shave bar, it was very moisturizing and left my legs feeling soft afterwards. I am not prone to ingrown hairs so I didn’t see any difference there. I also have light, thin hair on my legs and don’t have to shave very often. The bar came with no packaging at all so I’m not sure if there is a brand associated with it. I don’t see anything on the website.
As for after life care, for the Albatross Blades (which did come with my kit), a Take Back Envelope was included with my order. You can send 40 blades back in their envelope and they will upcycle the blades and make something new! Currently, their website has travel utensils listed, which they made with upcycled blades and that is pretty cool. I really appreciate when companies take responsibility of their products throughout it’s entire life cycle.
If you receive Leaf blades with your package (my kit came with both) , or you opt to buy your razor from Leaf directly, they have a tin that you can purchase for only $4 and they also take back their blades and responsibly recycle them for you. I plan to purchase this when I need replacement blades.
So, where does shaving fall in your low-waste swaps? Are you excited to give this new razor a try (I do find it an oddly attractive addition to my bathroom) or are you intimidated by the blades?
Feel free to ask me any questions you may have on how to use it!