What's so special about Preserve's razors?
The company is cruelty free and the razors are made from BPA free, 100% recycled #5 plastic, and the handle is, itself, completely recyclable after you're done with it. The package can double as a travel case and is made from renewable wood sources, and the blade features a gluten free lubrication strip that's made of only aloe, vitamin E oil, a vegan colorant, and a plastic compound to hold everything together. Do you know what goes into mainstream razor lubrication strips? I sure don't, although I do remember a certain Gillette razor a couple years back whose package proudly listed propylene glycol as a selling feature. (And if PG is considered a plus, I really don't want to know what else is going in there!)
How does it work?
Unfortunately, this is where I ran into a couple snags. The feel of the razor - both in my hand and while shaving - reminds me very much of disposable razors. Preserve advertises that their blades "flex and pivot to prevent nicks and cuts," which confused me for a minute, since, before going to their website, I had just finished writing that the head was stationary. On closer examination, the blade has maybe a couple millimeters of wiggle room, but it isn't anywhere near the pivoting action you get from a Venus or similar razor. It also tends to alternately skip and drag as you go.
I rarely buy dedicated shaving creams, opting instead for conditioner or body wash, but those haven't been cutting it here. (Get it, cutting it?) I've started using Kiss My Face's Key Lime Moisture Shave and while the razor works significantly better with an actual shaving product, I still find it next to impossible to get a close shave under my arms. I also think I've had more nicks, cuts, and razor burn in the last two months with Preserve than I've had in the last five years of shaving with other razors. Could it be a combination of the razor + shaving products + my shaving skills? Absolutely, but take it as you will.
Finally, if, like me, you noticed that Preserve doesn't exactly disclose full ingredients for their lubricating strip either - a vegan colorant and plastic compound are hardly INCI specific - I will say that it performs differently from any other lubricating strip I've used, which gives me hope that the ingredients are pretty different as well. Preserve's strip is very solid and it doesn't break down or get gummy the way that mainstream ones do.
The Bottom Line
I love what Preserve stands for as a company and that they're providing a more environmentally friendly option, but the razor itself has left me pretty underwhelmed. All in all, it's created a lot more stress than I need with my hair removal, so I'll likely be looking elsewhere when I run out of blades. Now, if Preserve were to come out with a deluxe model with a real pivoting head and greater flexibility, that's something I could see myself getting fully behind. I also hope that we'll see a switch to recyclable blades in the future, since that's the part that gets disposed of regularly, not the handle.
What do you think? Have you tried Preserve before?
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