On The Razor's Edge

If you want to get a close shave, you'll need the right razor. But there are so many options out there these days. Cheryl Kramer, beauty editor at Redbook magazine, visited The Saturday Early Show as part of its "Just Perfect" series to suggest ways to find the razor that's right for you.

Here's what to look for in a razor.

  • The number of blades (men and women). More blades do give you a closer shave, but after three, there's a diminishing rate of return. There is a much bigger difference between two vs. three blades than three vs. four or five.

    Some examples:
    • 2-blade: Duane Reade Disposable Twin Blade Plus, $4.99 for six, duanereade.com
    • 3-blade: Bic Soleil Citron Shaver, $5.69 for a four-pack, drug stores and mass retailers
    • 4-blade: Schick Quattro Disposables for Men, $7.49 for a three-pack, drug stores and mass retailers
    • 5-blade: Gillette Fusion, with two razor cartridges, $9.99, drug stores and mass retailers

  • Disposable vs. cartridge (men and women). Disposables are lighter-weight and great for travel. But only the cartridge razors have the latest, cutting-edge technology (like 5 blades).

    Some examples:
    • Schick Quattro For Women Disposable, $7.49 for a three-pack, drug stores and mass retailers
    • Bic Comfort 3 Advance, price $5.19 for a four-pack
    • Schick Quattro For Women GO!, with two razor cartridges $8.99, drug stores and mass retailers
    • Gillette Mach3 razor, price $9.49 with two cartridges, drug stores and mass retailers.

  • The Handle. Here's where men's and women's razors differ the most. While women shave in a wet environment (the shower) and tend to reach much more with their razors (ankles, backs of legs), the grips are designed for the many different places women hold their handles. Men shave in a dry environment (over the skin) and shave a smaller area so they want tighter control of the razor.

    Examples:

    For women: Bic Soleil, with two razor cartridges, $6.99, drug stores and mass retailers

    For men: Schick Quattro Titanium Razor, $9.49. Four-pack of razor cartridges, $11.49, drug stores and mass retailers

  • Do you need bells and whistles? Some of them do work, like a razor with a built-in dispenser for shaving cream. And if you have sensitive skin, a vibrating razor might be best for you, since there's less friction between the blades and your skin. It's the modern-day electric shaver, but you get a much closer shave.

    Examples:
    • Venus Breeze with two cartridges, $9.99, drug stores and mass retailers
    • Schick Intuition Plus, $8.99. Three-pack of cartridges, $9.59, drug stores and mass retailers
    • ShaveMate Titan and ShaveMate Diva For Women, with built-in shaving cream, $3.99 each, www.shavemate.com or 866-GO-SHAVE
    • Gillette Fusion Power Phantom, with one cartridge and one AAA battery, $11.99, drug stores and mass retailers
    • Venus Vibrance, with one cartridge and one AAA battery, $9.99 - $11.99, drug stores and mass retailers


  • What about the really expensive razors?

    They look terrific in the bathroom, but they work the same way as drugstore razors, even using the same cartridges. The best thing about them are the badger-bristle brushes, which lift the hair away from the skin for a closer shave.

    Examples:
    • Truman's Razor and Shave Brush, $150, trumans-nyc.com
    • C.O. Bigelow Premium Shave Cream, $10, bathandbodyworks.com
    • Billy Jealousy Shaved Ice After-Shave Balm, $25, billyjealousy.com
    • St. Ives Healthy Brilliants Brighten & Glow In-Shower Exfoliating Body Polish, $6.99, drug stores and mass retailers
    • Whish Lemongrass Shave Crave, $32, whishbody.com

  • Tips for getting a better shave

    Men: Wash your face first to soften hair and remove razor-clogging debris. (Better yet, shower first.) Use a shaving cream or gel, and leave it on for three minutes so it can do its job. Follow up with after shave to calm skin and prevent in-grown hairs.

    Women:Exfoliate before you shave to lift hairs away from skin (but don't scrub after you shave). Prep with a shave cream to soften hairs.

    Everyone: Change blades more often than you do now. You press harder with a dull blade, irritating skin.
  • Ellen Crean

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