Finding the best razor for sensitive skin is an important mission. Many people who have sensitive skin avoid shaving altogether because of a fear of irritation. That’s understandable and you’ve probably faced the same issues. But the answer is easier than you think.
Our Top 5 Best Razors For Sensitive Skin
Artisan Shaving is independent and reader-supported. We may earn a commission from these links to support this site.
Why Is Your Razor Causing Irritation?
The big razor brands tell you that sensitive skin can be solved with a more complex cartridge razor – more blades or a different lubricating strip.
The fact is that since the 1970s we’ve all been told that the best razors involve more blades. In reality, they use a system whereby the first blade pulls the hair and the blade behind it cuts it so that the cut end snaps back beneath the skin. That can seem like a close shave that lasts longer.
However, the result is a lot of skin irritation. That cut hair has been tugged and buried back under the skin. If it grows in the wrong direction it becomes ingrown, the cause of razor bumps.
Meanwhile the rest of the skin has had anything up to five blades scrubbed across it. And the proposed solution to this? Lots of shaving creams contain chemicals and additives that do very little to help the skin.
Given those razor blades are so expensive, it’s no surprise that you’re probably also shaving with dull blades. That makes the problem worse because you aren’t getting the shave you want – so you try harder. You use more force against your skin. Meanwhile dull blades are catching on the hair rather than cutting it, turning that gentle lift and cut process into a painfull mess.
But back in the 1960s just before the advent of the cartridge razor, the safety razor had reigned supreme for 60 years. And those 60 years were not full of constant attempts at adding in more blades because it used just one.
Is a Traditional Double Edge Safety Razor Better?
The height of safety razor development were two models by Gillette – the Fatboy and later the Slim (which would be used by Sean Connery in 1964’s Goldfinger).
But there was a problem. These razors were so good that people weren’t buying more. And that was how razor companies pivoted towards disposable cartridge razors.
Single edge razors are the best razor for sensitive skin because they don’t pull the hair before cutting it. Nor do they drag multiple blades across the skin. One blade simply cuts cleanly and close to the skin for the most comfortable shave.
But aren’t safety razor dangerous? If you’re careful with a safety razor there is no reason to fear it. Most closed comb razors feature a safety bar that limits how much blade is exposed.
Lock your wrist and let your arm do the shaving, holding the razor at a 30-40 degree angle and using no more pressure than its own weight. This clean and smooth shaving experience should mean less harsh treatment of your skin and a single pass with a perfect blade.
The Best Razor For Sensitive Skin Top 5
Now if you’re still reading you’ve probably reached the conclusion that we’re very biased towards traditional safety razors like many wet shaving snobs across plenty of blogs and forums online.
And we don’t deny it.
But we have to say that for the majority of people simply looking for the best razor for sensitive skin – who aren’t looking for some higher level of shave or a nostalgic barbershop experience – there are modern options that don’t make you think about your Grandpa. The Supply single edge razor is one of those.
The Supply razor is made from premium materials that are made in a process called Metal Injection Molding normally used for aerospace and medical machinery. But before we go fetishizing materials, balance and build quality, all we really have to say is it gives a very good mild shave. The startup is committed to ending razor bumps by incorporating a single razor blade in a beautifully designed handle.
It uses injector razor blades which are readily available from themselves or a few other brands and they are very cheap. So like we said about bad shaves being the result of stretching out dull blades to save money, with the Supply razor you can replace the blade every couple of shaves and still recoup the upfront cost of the razor in no time. Supply have a handy price comparison with cartridge razors here about half way down the page.
You can also read a more in depth Supply razor review here.
Now we’ve recommended the best razor for sensitive skin as a sleek modern design, it’s only fair we recommend a traditional safety razor.
Merkur is a legendary razor manufacturer based in the Solingen region of Germany – a blade making hotspot like Sheffield in the UK or Seki in Japan.
The Merkur 23c – also known as the Merkur 180 – is their most popular razor, mostly due to its elegant long and slim handle. That makes it a popular choice among women especially.
In terms of why its one of the best razors for sensitive skin it is a very mild shave. In fact its top criticism is that it is too mild. If that is the case you can upgrade it with some Feather razor blades for a more aggressive shave.
Read our full Merkur 23c review here.
The top complaint of the Feather AS-D2 is that its a very mild shave. That’s most likely because Feather make some of the most aggressive double edge razor blades which really belong in an AS-D2 so they level each other out and meet in the middle.
But the Feather AS-D2’s mild reputation makes it great for sensitive skin. And that’s besides the fact that it’s a very high quality safety razor made from surgical grade stainless steel.
Read our full Feather AS-D2 review here.
Rockwell are another Kickstarter startup like Supply determined to help people make the change from cartridge razors to safety razors without cuts or irritation.
They honed their designs over a long time to make them as effective as possible for this purpose.
The Rockwell 6C comes with three different base plates and each side of each base plate represents a different level of aggression. That means you get 6 different settings so you can find the right level of comfort for you. That also means if you have only certain sensitive areas like the neck you can treat them gently and then upgrade to a more aggressive comb for coarser areas like the cheeks.
The Edwin Jagger DE89 is another classic safety razor and comes in a huge array of handle designs. Made in Sheffield in the UK, the DE89 is renowned for being a very smooth and comfortable shave that’s great for sensitive skin.
Read our full Edwin Jagger DE89 review here.
Alternatively see our list of the best safety razors to buy now here.