Many of us don’t think about how our shaving habits could affect the environment, but the beauty industry, particularly the razor market, is waking up to the impact that plastic waste can have on the future of our world.
Every day an estimated 15,000 pieces of plastic find their way into the ocean worldwide, according to statistics by ocean crusaders, with 100,000 marine animals dying from plastic pollution every year.
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So if you want to make a difference, instead of buying plastic disposable razors that aren’t recyclable, you should look to brands that are investing in sustainable materials, such as metal handles and recyclable blades. The benefits for us are longevity in our razors, and of course, knowing that we’re doing our bit for the environment.
Razor subscription boxes are also becoming a trend, with companies providing us with all the basics we need on a regular basis – so we never have to worry about running out or harming the environment with unwanted waste.
In our round-up, we looked at brands that are being eco-conscious when it comes to their razors while also helping us stay fuzz-free. We tested the razors on their appearance, whether they are valued for money, how close a shave they give and, of course, how environmentally friendly they are.
You can trust our independent round-ups. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.
Nuddy full body safety razor
This bright pink offering really stands out – presented in a pink box, Nuddy’s zero plastic razors is fuss-free but has a pretty design. The handle, which is made from solid brass, is decorated with small diamonds, which makes it non-slip while you’re in the shower, and the top screws off to enable you to place the blade in carefully.
The blade section also has a grooved design, giving you a better shave but also providing the razor with a bit of personality. We loved the close shave with the single blade – the result with the vegan-friendly razor was super smooth legs with no irritation. To clean we just unscrewed the top a little and rinsed it.
We think the razor is a great investment as it could last for years but, when it comes to the blade subscription – which costs £9 a month or bi-monthly for five blades – we think the bi-monthly option would be the most cost-effective. Buy now £29, Nuddy.co.uk
Morramas allbody razor
As the name suggests, the body is a razor designed to shave anywhere and unisex. The razor, which arrives in plastic-free packaging and comes in both champagne and black, is designed so that you can add on their plastic-free blades. We loved the sturdy metal grip, which didn’t feel too heavy, and with its butterfly door compartment for the blades, it was also easy to open and clean.
It gave a close shave, sometimes too close when we forgot it wasn’t a normal razor. However, it left no irritation and we were able to pop the old razors in the tin provided, ready for recycling. It’s one of the more expensive razors we tested – costing £45, then £8 every three months for extra blades – but we think it would stand the test of time. Buy now £45, Morrama.com
Lane 44 razor
The all-metal and zero-plastic razor, which comes in a pretty rose gold, chrome or charcoal colour, also comes with a stand to keep your razor from getting wet or rusty in the shower.
We found that the metal design was quite heavy but gave a very close shave with no irritation on the skin. The detailed design of the handle, which has grooves at the top and bottom, made the razor stand out and gave it a great grip. And a year’s supply of blades for just £12 is very reasonable, especially when some of their competitors are charging nearly the same every month. Buy now £26, Lane44.com
FFS razor subscription
FFS, a subscription-based razor, was one of the first to be designed with a metal handle specifically for women, while also being vegan-friendly and 100 percent committed to being animal cruelty-free. We love the rose gold look of the razor handle, which is made from zinc alloy metal, while the grip, which has grooves for your fingers, is also well designed.
We loved the vitamin E-infused conditioning strip though which, although very thin, helped to keep our legs smooth as we shaved. All the packaging is recyclable and there’s also a blade recycling scheme. When you initially sign up, you’ll receive a razor and blades, and you can then choose how often you receive the blade heads. However, if you’re receiving them every month or other month – for £9.95 per month or bi-monthly – we think it could work out quite expensive per year.
After a few uses, we were disappointed when the rose gold coloring started to peel off. The detachable blade heads, with six blades in total, are quite tiny and good for shaving, but not as great for cleaning, as we found that some of our hairs got stuck in between the blades and wouldn’t wash out. Buy now £6.95, Ffs.co.uk
Gillette venus extra smooth sensitive
We love how the brand has reverted to a metal handle and, although it does feel slightly heavier than their normal handles, we were excited that it could be recycled. It can last up to five years if looked after properly and another plus is its curved design and crisscrossed grip.
The five-blade razor heads, which can be clipped onto the handle, last around one month and feature Gilette’s skin elixir lubricating gel – we loved how smooth it made the shaving experience and our skin didn’t feel dry after we shaved. We think it’s a great step in the right direction but we’d love to see all of Gillette’s razors go down the same route, as it would create more awareness around sustainability for their customers. Buy now £12.99, Boots.com
- Amazon£12Buy now
Estrid razor subscription
Another subscription service, where you start by picking a razor, Estrtid offers a range of five bright colours and you can also choose whether you would like to receive new blade cartridges every one to three months. We loved the heavy metal design of the handle, while the thin design felt really comfortable in our hands. The material felt really durable and we think it would last us for more than a year before it started to provide wear and tear.
The razors have a five-blade cartridge which you attach to the head of the handle and surrounding the blades you will find aloe vera and shea butter, which really conditioned our legs and underarms when we were shaving. It is a quality razor for a reasonable price – £7.95 for the razor and two blade cartridges, and then £9.95 every one to three months for cartridge top-ups loves how you can control how often you receive the top-up blades. Buy now £7.95, Estrid.com
Launched last March, these razors offer a no-frills, fuss-free shave. Available in pink and teal, the 100 percent recyclable razors, including the blades and packaging, come with a non-slip spongy handle, which sits well in the hand. The shave was good and managed to catch all our hair.
The razor has a thin conditioning strip at the top too, but we could see it starting to wear away after a few shaves. They are definitely the lightest razors we used and even though they offer reusable razor heads, we think their handles would wear out easily and have to be replaced within a month or two. Perfect if you want something to pack for a holiday to recycle as you head home. Buy now £8, Boots.com
UpCircle plastic-free safety razor
UpCircle is known for its environmentally friendly, no-waste products and its safety razor is no different. Arriving in a small recyclable box with a couple of single blades, the razor is plastic-free, made from 100 per cent chrome and can be used on the face as well as the body. It has a similar design to the Nuddy razor, with a criss-cross grip and a twist function to add the blade safely.
We loved the close shave the razor gave but we found it slightly heavier than some of the other designs. However, for a razor that could possibly last you a lifetime, we think it’s great value for money, a pack of 10 refill blades comes to £3.49, making it cheaper than some of its competitors.Buy now £24.99, Upcirclebeauty.com
- Amazon£17.56Buy now
Wilkinson Sword Xtreme 3 beauty eco-green
Wilkinson Sword has launched its first sustainable razor for women. The grey and purple razor comes in FSC certified packaging made from over 90 per cent recycled paper, while its handle is made from 95 per cent recycled plastic.
The handle has a good grip and design but looks quite flimsy. The razor’s three blades, which sit next to aloe vera and vitamin E strips to protect the skin, give an average shave if you’re in a hurry but it did miss some hairs on our legs.
For a disposable razor, which doesn’t cost much, it does its job and we love how bigger beauty brands are becoming more environmentally friendly. However, in the long-term disposable razors seem a bit pointless – especially when you have so many other brands offering more sustainable choices. Buy now £5, Morrisons.com
The verdict: Environmentally friendly razors
We loved the Nuddy razor, as its color, design, and durability really impressed us. The razor is 100 percent environmentally friendly and its blade subscription service means you’ll never run out. Estrid’s vegan-friendly and fully recyclable offering is also a great option – we loved the result and easily cleanable blades – plus its subscription service takes the fuss out of razor shopping for the foreseeable.