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Category: Skincare

5 Best Razor Blade Brands

Almost every household around the world has at least one razor blade in the home, with a lot of us shaving at least once per week while many people use razors on a daily basis. Because of this, the razor industry is incredibly competitive and is now producing well over $4 billion in yearly revenue.

With all of the razor companies getting their hands in the action, they have been able to maintain a high quality for mass consumption. There are dozens of razor blade brands that are making millions of dollars each, but only a handful stand out as being the best. Here are the five best razor blade brands on the market right now and a little bit about what makes them great.

Gillette

Gillette is one of the more affordable brands of shaving razors that doesn’t skimp on quality. Based in Boston, Massachusetts, The Gillette Company merged with the Procter and Gamble company in 2005 and has been producing shaving razors since the early 1900s. Among all of their products, Gillette now pulls in over $10 billion in annual revenue.

Many publications have selected a variety of Gillette razors as the best razors a man can buy. They’re relatively inexpensive as far as quality safety razors are concerned and they do a fantastic job of giving you the perfect close shave. There are plenty of Gillette razors to choose from to find your perfect fit. 

Schick

Schick was founded by U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Jacob Schick in the mid-1900s and is second in sales behind Gillette. However, they’re top in sales in Japan. Schick came up with his idea for the product after sustaining an injury. 

He had difficulty shaving and with all the time on his hands, he come up with the Schick razor. Schick primarily sells safety razors, like their competition Gillette, and is around the same price. Customers enjoy the glide the lubrication of the razors gives and the ease of use. There are many options to choose from when you’re looking for the most comfortable and efficient razor to get the job done. 

Merkur

Based in Germany, Merkur is a subsidiary of the DOVO Steelware company.  DOVO manufactures scissors, straight razors, and manicure equipment. Merkur has been around for more than 120 years and employs skilled workers who give incredible attention to detail, producing high-quality razors. 

The look of the razors is classic and sleek. They are more expensive than the typical American-brand straight razors, but the quality makes up for the price. You can find the razors at shaving supply shops around America, or through online retailers. 

Harry’s

Harry’s is based in New York and is a relatively new company, formed in 2012 by Jeff Raider and Andy Katz-Mayfield. The pair bought out the Feintechnik razor factory in 2014 for a whopping $100 million, giving them complete control over their product.  

Harry’s razors are sold in Target and Walmart stores as well as offering a subscription service where you can receive a variety of different products like hair care, deodorant, body care, face care, and of course shaving razors. You can purchase plans that renew and send you products you love every two, three, or five months. 

Leaf Razors 

Focused on producing plastic-free and sustainable razors, Leaf is a small company run by two guys named Adam. They pride themselves on handling customer service and packaging, delivering a more personal experience for the buyer. 

The razors are pretty pricey, but for the quality, longevity, and care put into the product by the founders of the company, it’s not a bad choice when it comes to picking the right shaving razor for you. The variety of razors is great for shaving all the different areas on your body you want smooth and hairless. 

Guide to Shaving: The 5 Types of Razor Blades

For a large portion of the population, shaving is something that’s done each and every day. In fact, more than one-third of people in the United States alone report that they shave at least once per day, while more than half shave at least once per week. 

Because of this, the razor industry is surprisingly large since you can find them in just about every household. You’ve likely seen a few different types of razors in your lifetime, too. What are all the razor types, though? Here’s a guide that shows the five types of razor blades that are used every day:

Cartridge Razors

For those that want a permanent handle that they’re comfortable with but want to use new blades, the cartridge razor is the way to go and it’s among the most frequently used types of razors. With these razors, there are several cartridges with blades that come in a package and one handle to house them.

When the blades start going dull in one cartridge, a user simply pops the cartridge out and replaces it with another one. About half of people who use razors each day opt for the cartridge type compared to the other forms due to the cost and convenience.

Disposable Razors

There was a time when almost everyone you knew had a disposable camera and used disposable razors. Though disposable cameras are almost nonexistent these days, there are still plenty of people who use disposable razors. This is one of the cheapest options for shaving and comes through in a pinch when you’re traveling.

Disposable razors typically aren’t the sharpest and come with a plastic handle, making them easy to simply throw away after they’ve been used a few times. Also known as shavettes, disposable razors became popular in the mid 20th century, but are being used less frequently.

Straight Razors

Perhaps the most nerve-wracking type of razor to use is the straight razor, which is only fitting since another name for it is the “cut-throat razor.” These blades that can be folded back into their handles were the standard for centuries, dating back to ancient Egypt. It wasn’t until the 17th century that they became commonly manufactured, though.

Straight razors are the most effective way of shaving, even if it is a bit more anxiety-inducing compared to other razors. Outside of shaving, straight razors have been used in pottery and leather crafting, but aren’t nearly as popular as they were hundreds of years ago.

Electric Razors

An electric razor will be handy for those who don’t need to be shaven but want to get the job done quickly. There are a few different types of electric razors, too, with some designed with rotary blades while others are foil-type. There are also different parts of the body on which electric razors focus.

This can include the top of your head for people who want to go with a buzzcut, all the way to nose hair trimmers and beard shapers. The original electric razor might be older than you think, too, with the patent first being granted in 1898. It wasn’t until 1915, though, that the electric razor became fully operational and exploded in popularity throughout the mid-20th century. Now, about more than one-third of men use an electric razor each day.

Safety Razors

Not all of us have a steady hand and are able to use a straight razor, and for that, we thank the inventors of the safety razor. Equipped with a guard between the edge of the blade and a user’s skin, a safety razor prevents amateur shavers from cutting themselves with the blade. 

While they were introduced in the 18th century, it wasn’t until King Camp Gillette’s version in the early 20th century that they became popular. This is especially true in the 1970s, with safety razors becoming the standard when used with disposable and cartridge razors.

5 Fundamentals of Good Skincare

Let’s face it: Not everyone was blessed with naturally beautiful glowing skin. Most of us have to work for it. 

But with the myriad of creams, serums, balms, exfoliators, rollers, lights, and other products out there … it’s hard to know what actually works.

Below, we’ve outlined 5 fundamental tips for good skincare. These are the tried and true tips — the tips you need when all others fail, the first tips you should learn if you are a total skincare newbie, the tips that will make you look your best. 

Let’s get started. 

1. Wear sunscreen every day. 

The simple act of wearing an SPF every day can keep some of the most common skin issues at bay. It will prevent fine lines and wrinkles, sun spots and aging spots, sunburn, and (most importantly) skin cancer.

If you don’t like the idea of applying a separate SPF product every morning, consider purchasing a moisturizer that has sunscreen already in it. Most dermatologists recommend an SPF of 50 or higher for the face.

2. Always wash your face at night.

Although it probably often seems easier to just go to sleep without washing your face, don’t make this mistake. This is especially true if you wear makeup.

Leaving your makeup on all night can clog your pores, exacerbate acne, and cause other skin issues. If you just hate washing your face at night, consider purchasing some makeup remover wipes, which are easier and faster to use. 

Even for those who don’t wear makeup, it’s still important to wash your face before bed as sweat, oils, and pollution from the day can build up and also cause skin issues. Even just giving your face a quick splash or two with cool water is better than doing nothing.

3. Cleanse and moisturize morning and night.

If you only do two things to your face every day (other than applying sunscreen), make them cleansing and moisturizing. You need to do this every morning and every night.

You don’t need fancy cleansers and moisturizers. In fact, you want something quite simple that your skin can rely on. Take a look at what type of skin you have (dry, combination, or oily), and find a simple cleanser and a simple moisturizer that are made for that type of skin. 

Give these initial products a try, and if they don’t work, move on to other products until you find a cleanser and moisturizer you like. 

4. Periodically exfoliate.

Once or twice a week, use an exfoliator. Do not use an exfoliator sponge or brush, and do not use an exfoliating cleanser with microbeads. Use a chemical exfoliant — a skincare product with exfoliating properties. One with AHA or BHA as the main active ingredient will work best.

5. Change your skincare with the seasons.

Finally, keep in mind that you should switch skincare products and routines as the seasons change. Our skin tends to be drier in the winter and more oily in the summer, so adjust your products accordingly. 

You may also want to skip using your cleanser in the mornings when it’s winter. Your skin shouldn’t need it, and that extra cleanse can be extra drying.

As you can see, most people don’t need fancy serums, expensive injections, and special lights to have a strong, solid skincare routine. What it’s really all about is a few simple products, consistency, and trial and error when necessary. Whether you’re new to the world of skincare or just want to get back to the basics, use these fundamentals to build a skincare routine you can feel good about.

Ways to Beat Sunburn No Matter How Much Sun You Get

You need to get outside and spend time in the sun to be healthy. All the doctors say it. But, if you get too much sun, that’s also bad.

 

After all, no one wants a sunburn. Even worse, skin cancer is a real threat, and it turns out that getting sunburns dramatically increases cancer risks. What is a person to do?

 

With a little knowledge, you can spend a lot of time in the sun while mitigating burns and cancer risks. Here are four bits of knowledge that will help.

 

Radiation Safety

 

Sunburns come from the UV light in sunlight, and UV is ionizing radiation. It’s dangerous for the exact same reasons as x-rays, so radiation safety rules apply. Here are the three rules of radiation safety:

 

  1. Maximize distance
  2. Use shielding
  3. Minimize exposure time

 

We’re assuming you’re on earth, so you can’t really change your distance from the sun. That means you need to focus on shielding and exposure time. Shielding comes down to the stuff you already know: sunscreen, hats, clothing, and sunglasses. 

 

So, the real lesson here is exposure time. The longer you are in the sun, the more you burn, but there’s a trick. If you can break up sun exposure with periods of rest, your skin can recover from minor sun damage and reduce the risk of sunburn. If you’re working in the yard, take cover in the shade every 10 minutes or so until your skin no longer feels like you’re glowing.

 

If you’re hiking, bring an umbrella or other good source of shade. Every time you stop for rest, get in the shade. 

 

Polarization

 

You’ve probably heard of polarized sunglasses, but do you know what they do?

 

They actually employ a principle of quantum optics. Light travels in waves, but those waves can be oriented in any different direction. Polarized filters basically block any light that isn’t oriented correctly.

 

In effect, polarized filters block about half of all light (including UV). When they are combined with additional protection (like the tint in your sunglasses), then they’re adding a powerful layer of sun protection.

 

This is why polarized sunglasses are much better for your eyes, but there’s another trick. Did you know that polarized clothing exists? You can get polarized clothes that offer enhanced sun protection if you’re sensitive. Or, you can get clothes that let a little more UV through, allowing you to gently take in sunlight for natural vitamin D and melanin production.

 

Food and Drugs

 

Things you imbibe or put on your skin can change your UV sensitivity. Obviously, a higher sensitivity will lead to faster and more severe sunburns, so let’s look at what you might need to avoid.

 

There are more than a few foods and supplements that can increase UV risks:

 

  • St. John’s wort
  • Ginkgo biloba
  • Topical vitamin C
  • Scented soaps and perfumes
  • Glycolic acid
  • Retinols, benzoyl peroxide
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Cumin
  • Coriander
  • Dill

 

This is not an exhaustive list, but those are some of the most common troublemakers. 

 

There are also medications that can increase solar sensitivity:

 

  • Antibiotics
  • Antihistamines
  • Antifungal medications
  • Oral contraceptives
  • Hormonal treatments

 

Again, this doesn’t cover absolutely everything. The simple lesson is if you’re having trouble with sunburns, talk to your doctor to see if a change to diet, supplements, or medications can help.

 

Optics

 

Lastly, you need to know a little bit about how sunlight works if you really want to beat it. First, not all sunlight is equal. You can make great use of the UV index to figure out what days and times put you at the highest risk.

 

Beyond that, it helps to know that UV is more intense near the equator and at higher elevations. That’s because in either case, there’s less atmosphere absorbing UV photons before they can get to you.

 

Also remember that sunlight reflects off of surfaces. Even in the winter, skiers often get bad sunburns because so much UV bounces off of the snow (and they’re on top of mountains). Lakes, metal surfaces, and even light-colored sand are all highly reflective.

 

How Many Ingredients Are Actually Scientifically Proven To Help Your Skin?

There are so many skincare products on the market that it can be hard to choose between them. Did you know that very few skincare components are scientifically proven to benefit your skin? Most products sell promises instead of dermatologically-tested ingredients. Here are ten science-backed skincare ingredients to look for. 

1. Retinol 

Retinol is a concentrated derivative of Vitamin A that helps to promote cell turnover and renewal. It works like an antioxidant to reduce free-radical cell damage. Retinol is best used once or twice a week at night. 

2. Alpha-Hydroxy Acids 

Alpha-Hydroxy Acids are naturally occurring acids in fruits, vegetables, and milk. In particular, glycolic acid and lactic acid are proven to help moisturize the skin by acting as a humectant. These acids draw moisture from the environment to your skin, which helps to prevent dryness. 

3. Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid is often considered the "holy grail" of skincare ingredients. It’s a naturally produced substance in the body and helps the skin to retain moisture. This powerful ingredient can hold as much as a thousand times its weight in water! It also works for both dry and oily skin. 

4. Vitamin E 

Vitamin E is a group of fat-soluble antioxidants and is inexpensive and plentiful. This makes it a popular ingredient for many skincare products. Vitamin E works as a powerful anti-inflammatory to reduce redness and puffiness in the facial area. However, it shouldn’t be used for people with heavy acne or very oily skin as it may exacerbate these issues. 

5. Vitamin C 

Ascorbic acid is a type of Vitamin C that is commonly found in skincare products. It has been scientifically proven to help the body generate more of its own natural collagen, making it an extremely popular ingredient for anti-aging products. When used in conjunction with Vitamin E, both vitamins become significantly more effective. 

6. Algae 

Algae are found in many high-end skincare formulas due to their powerful antioxidants. Red algae specifically work to boost the skin’s moisture by more than 100%! Green and blue algae work to brighten and cleanse the skin. Astaxanthin is a type of red microalgae that works similarly to Vitamins E and C to improve the elasticity of the skin. 

7.  Ceramides 

Ceramides are a type of long-chain lipids that works as a barrier to help protect cells from bacteria and other foreign matter outside cell walls. Ceramides are components that occur naturally in the body but deteriorate over time. Skincare products that contain ceramides can help replace these lost lipids, resulting in a 100% or greater boost in moisture retention.

8. Vitamin B3 

Vitamin B3 has been shown to help reduce inflammation and even skin tone, creating a smoother and more consistent appearance. It’s also an effective acne-fighting ingredient that works by preventing outbreaks in the first stage of development before blemishes even arise. Studies show that this ingredient markedly reduces the appearance of sun spots, age spots, and other forms of hyperpigmentation after just four weeks of consistent use. 

Understanding Your Skin Type

Your skin can make up to 15% of your body weight, and a lot of people forget that it’s the body’s largest organ. Not only does your skin kind of keep things like your muscles, bones, and other organs all held together, but it’s also the key factor in regulating your body’s temperature. 

 

Your skin is also full of nerves, which is important for us humans to feel and touch things too. 

 

Needless to say, your skin is a pretty important part of your body, but not all skin is the same.  

 

There are actually five different skin types and the more you understand what type of skin you have, the better you can take care of it and keep it healthy.

 

Normal

 

Normal skin is what it sounds like. It’s not too dry, it’s not too oily, and it functions, looks, and feels the way it’s supposed to. People with normal skin do not tend to have dermatological issues, their skin is clear from blemishes and other irritations. 

 

Normal skin is smooth and generally just needs a minor level of cleanliness, attention, and care. 

 

Dry

 

People who have dry skin tend to be more susceptible to factors like climate, weather, elevation, and dehydration. Things like a dry environment, low air humidity, or high elevation can cause skin to dry out at an alarmingly fast rate, causing physical cracking and even bleeding if not addressed immediately. 

 

People who are in certain jobs that expose them to chemicals, hot water, or constant washing of hands will also notice their skin becoming drier and drier if they are not careful. All of these factors strip away natural skin oil meant to protect the skin from drying out. 

 

Dry skin is itchy as well and often feels tight and rough to the touch. 

 

If you suffer from dry skin, physical hydration is key both in terms of water consumption and additional moisturizing throughout the day. If you deal with hot water or chemicals, wearing protective gloves might also help.  

 

Oily

 

Oily skin is typically genetic, but it is also connected to age and puberty. Excessive skin oil is caused by sebaceous glands’ overproduction, and people with oily skin tend to battle acne more so than others. 

 

Someone with oily skin can physically feel a sheen or layer of oil on areas like their face, for example, and their skin tends to be shinier. People with oily skin tend to need hygiene products that help dry their skin out and need to be more aware of washing away dirt and grime to avoid things becoming trapped in their pores which leads to breakouts. 

 

Oily/Dry

 

A combination of oily/dry skin means that certain areas deal with the dry features discussed in #2 while others deal with the oily features in #3. 

 

People with combination skin need to have a skincare routine that is different based on the area being addressed as the relief for dry skin is not the relief for oily skin and vice versa. 

 

Typically, if you have a combination of oily/dry skin you will notice patches of dry areas and areas that are excessively oily. You might also notice that your skin pores vary in size based on the location on your body, in particular your face. 

 

Sensitive

 

Sensitive skin is also genetic, but it can be caused by external factors such as medication. 

 

This type of skin is extremely susceptible to irritation, redness, and other dermatological issues like blotchy skin, itchy sections, rashes, eczema, and even allergy-like symptoms.  

 

People with sensitive skin often need specific body and hygiene products that are free of chemicals and certain ingredients. They also might need special detergents for fabric, clothes, and sheets. 

Skin Health

 

While skin type is primarily determined by your genetics, there are other factors that affect how your skin looks, feels, and functions:

  • Hygiene Habits
  • Hydration
  • Moisturizing Habits
  • Exposure to Sun
  • Exposure to Chemicals
  • Diet
  • Hormones
  • Medication 

It’s also recommended to schedule routine appointments with a licensed Dermatologist to ensure that you have the correct skin hygiene routine in place.