I know it’s not a particularly glamorous thing to admit, but I am a hairy gal. My hair is thick, dark and grows at a very impressive rate. It’s not something that I have ever felt particularly self-conscious of, mind you. Rather it’s just a part of life that I have come to accept. Body hair is, after all, very normal.
Having said that, I wish I could be one of those people who embrace it because I really have zero hang-ups with the way it looks. The truth is though, I find body hair uncomfortable and as a result, do everything I can to get rid of it. I’ve tried waxing, sugaring, laser and threading, meaning that my pursuit for silky-smooth skin has cost me a bomb over the years. And while I have always been impressed with the results of the aforementioned hair removal methods, I must admit that they are painfully expensive in both time and energy, too.
When lockdown hit in 2020 and I couldn’t get into a salon for my usual appointments, I returned to shaving. As first, I found it a nuisance. My legs were constantly rashy, irritated, dry and speckled with red inflammation. But with some serious spare time on my hands, I started to do some research into what makes for the ultimate shaving routine.
I spoke to virtually every hair removal expert I know and asked them where I was going wrong. The feedback was unanimous: while a good pre-and-post-shave routine will help keep skin soft, the key to a quick, easy and successful shave is down to the razor you use. So, I decided to do some market research. Over the the course of the past two years, I have tried virtually every razor out there and have subsequently developed a list of the very best around.
Since discovering the best razors, I haven’t felt the need to book in for a single wax or laser appointment. In fact, I am more than happy to keep shaving for the rest of my life. Whatever your skin type or hair removal preference, keep scrolling to discover the 7 best razors.
1. Estrid The Razor Starter Kit
You will likely have seen this razor all over your Instagram feeds. Estrid appear to have pummelled money into social media advertising, and I'll admit it has paid off. Even I, as a beauty editor, found myself itching to try this razor after seeing every influencer I know rave about it. And I can absolutely confirm that it is not all style, no substance. In fact, I will happily declare this as the best razor around. It gives the closest, quickest and easiest shave of my life. And the best bit is, you can sign up to a subscription so that you're never without heads. Oh, and it looks really pretty. My only grip is (and I mean my only one) is that the wide head makes it a little more difficult to get into tricky to reach areas than a small disposable razor might.
2. Gillette Venus Extra Smooth Sensitive Razor
This razor has been a long-time favourite of mine and is one that I consistently come back to. The metal handle feels weighty and luxe, while the five-blade head complete with a hydrating lubrastrip delivers a super-close, non-irritating shave. As someone that regularly struggles with shaving rash and red dots on my legs post-shave, I can categorically say this is a stand-up choice for those with skin prone to sensitivity.
3. Wilkinson Sword Intuition Complete Women's Razor
I had really, really high hopes for this razor as I loved the look of the super-thin head and thought that a bulkier handle would make the process of shaving easier. And while it is a very good razor (and looks very pretty), I must admit that the closeness of the shave doesn't quite compare to others on the list. I'm not sure if it's because the thicker handle takes some getting used to or because it doesn't contain amped-up moisture strips. If you have super-sensitive skin, I'd recommend something more moisturising, but if you're just after a simple razor that gets the job done, this is a good option.
4. Gillette Venus Comfortglide Coconut Razor
This razor is fancy. It contains Olay moisture bars to flood the skin with soothing nourishment as it glides, basically eradicating any need for shaving gel or a post-shave moisturiser. I absolutely love the results but have a couple of gripes with the razor itself. First of all, the pretty handle is sort of wasted on a bulky head that starts to look a bit grim after first use. Secondly, it's really rather hard to store as the moisture bars turn quite sticky and risk harbouring bacteria. I love the results, but the execution isn't quite there.
5. BIC Soleil Scent Disposable Women's Razors
No, these razors aren't the nicest to look at, and yes, their disposable nature does make them significantly more damaging to the environment. Having said that, they really are exceptional. They deliver the closest shave out of any disposable razors I've ever used and are thin in design, making them easy to angle. They don't have any fancy lubricating strips, so you have to be careful not to nick troublesome areas (knees and ankles, in particular), but the closeness of the shave really does make up for the rest.
6. Gillette Venus Extra Smooth Razor
I'll be honest, I'm not totally sure what the major difference is between this razor and the aforementioned Venus Deluxe Smooth Sensitive. I think that perhaps this one has an extra moisture ribbon to help give an even closer shave, but I can't tell a difference in results. The glaringly obvious difference is the handle. This one is plastic and feels a lot bulkier in the hand making the whole shaving experience a little less enjoyable, but not massively so.
7. Flamingo Razor
My boyfriend swears by subscription-based brand Harry's for his shaving needs. Flamingo is Harry's cool, younger sister. Ditching the subscription basis for women, the razors can easily be picked up in Boots (this suits me just as well). I love the way the razor looks, and its heavy handle makes the whole shaving process feel like a dream. However, the shave it gives isn't quite to my tastes. It doesn't contain any moisture strips (that I can tell) and this means you really feel the blades doing their thing, rather than slipping effortlessly over the skin. It's not necessarily a bad thing, I just prefer the feeling of something more hydrating.
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If your skin is sensitive to scrubs, this one will help condition the skin and provide some gentle exfoliation at the same time.