Along with paying taxes and lawn care, one of adulthood's more vexing responsibilities is having to deal with all that hair that won't stop growing out of our faces. Even if you can get away with cultivating a beard or mustache, you still need to spend a lot of time grooming (if you've gone that route, click here for our expert guide to beard trimming). And adding insult to injury, shaving creams, lotions, and especially blades, are absurdly overpriced: Consider that most of us drop about $4 a pop per cartridge (which cost pennies a piece to manufacture, by the way). This means we're paying as much as a buck a day to remove unwanted follicles from our faces. It's insane.
There is a better way, though. In its typical disruptive fashion, the Internet has created a host of new competitors to the old guard – products and services that shake the old shaving pricing model to its core – which translates into serious savings (or should we say, shavings). And there are a few additional ways you can, say, make your razor last longer using products you already own. You can go on being a sucker and pay full price, or you can read on for nine easy ways to stop pouring precious ducats down the drain.
HYD for Men Razor Shield
What is it?
A skin-soothing oil – made of sunflower, jojoba, and tea tree oils, along with aloe vera and vitamins A, E, and D – that also coats and protects your blade against moisture and bacteria growth. Smacking a cartridge against a sink to dry it will distort and bend the blades, and even tiny amounts of water will cause blades to corrode. Glopping on a drop of this viscous oil after a shave prevents corrosion completely. Note, however, that HYD Razor Shield uses the controversial preservative BHT, which the FDA has okayed in the low levels found here, but in high levels, it has been traced to liver, kidney, and lung problems in rats and is a potential allergen to humans. Just make sure to use it as directed.
Does it save?
HYD claims of helping one blade stay sharp for a full month of regular shaving rang true. There are up to 90 coatings in a bottle, so you don't have to buy this more than a few times a year.
The coating actually helped the blade to glide more smoothly than even a glide strip – almost like a pre-shave oil that you don't have to put on your face. [$18 for .5 oz; hydformen.com]