For reasons I can't remember relating to Razor Gillette from "The Young and the Relentless," the Gillette commercial about toxic masculinity, and the hilarious outcry against it, I wrote up a cost assessment of various shaving products I've tried, then forgot all about it until I was going through my scratchpad app today. The response to the Gillette commercial from various angry men feeling threatened by the idea that bullying and sexual harassment are bad led to the hashtag #getwokegobroke, a complaint that Gillette products are too expensive.
I think I wrote the below to sort out how much Gillette products cost each year, but I can't recall how it relates to the Razor character at all.
Rotary Electric Razor (Philips)
I've found that rotary razors with their rounded, rotating blades, provide at best a perfunctory shave. They leave the face with a low level of stubble and the results are that the user goes from unshaven to slightly less unshaven. The only point on which I can recommend them: they don't irritate sensitive skin and as their ineffectual nature makes them exceedingly gentle. I keep a cheap $10 in my desk at work, though, so that if I need to go from my office to an evening event and want to look morning-fresh, I quickly can go from unshaven to slightly less unshaven.
You'd spend about $40 a year on replacing the shaving head annually plus the $60 - $140 for a long lasting shaving unit itself.
Gillette Disposable Sensor Dual Blade Razors
These manual cartridge razors are an adequate single use product. Most of these lack modern razor technology: lubrication strips, pivoting razor heads to adjust to the contours of the face or microfins to press the skin down smooth for the blades. They provide one shave, but after that, the blades are dull and shouldn't be used again or they'll tug at facial hair and cut up the skin.
You'd spend about $365 a year on this as these single use blades amount to about $1 each.
Gillette Fusion5 ProShield Power Razor
This manual cartridge razor is the pinnacle of shaving technology: detachable razor heads for easy replacement. Dual lubrication strips. A pivoting shaving head that goes left/right and up/down for all contours of the face. A comb to catch hair and direct it into the blades. A motor in the handle that creates soft pulses in the razor head to increase cutting and sooth the face. And five blades, allowing an initial blade to catch the hair, the subsequent blade to cut it, and for the process to repeated three times where a dual blade razor does it once.
It's too big. I shave best by raking the razor against the grain of my facial hair, creating the smoothest results. But a five blade razor is so large that I can't use it to shave the skin between my mouth and nose; the head occupies the entire surface area of the space I'm trying to shave. I have no space to move it.
The Fusion5 includes a "precision trimmer," a single blade on the edge, but it keeps giving me shaving cuts because the trimmer has no lubricating strip or microfins. The micropulses ensure a gentle touch to the razor, but unless I want to grow a mustache (and I don't), the Fusion5 is too big.
You'd spend about $45 a year on replacement blades plus $15 for the handle (which comes with one blade).
Gillette Triple Blade Safety Razor
The company actually sells a wide range of disposable and cartridge-detachable triple bladed razors. The gentlest is the disposable Sensor 3 Sensitive. The sharpest is the cartridge-replaceable Mach 3. The Sensor 3 Sensitive has a stronger lubricration strip; the Mach 3 lasts longer and has sharper blades, and three blade razors work best for me in being small enough to maneuver in smaller spots on my face and offering a close shave.
However, in order to make the best use of these triple blades, it requires small, precise blade strokes to produce a stubble free face. The Sensor 3 stays sharp for about 10 shaves per blade and the Mach 3 for 15, so it's important to have a regular supply as continuing to use dulled razors leads to cuts. The sharpness of the blades and the lubricating strips allow shavers to use cheap shaving foam instead of pricier lubricating gels; the skin needs a protective layer of foam, but the blades don't need much extra layering to glide across the face.
You'd spend about $45 a year on the Sensor 3 Sensitive razors or about $40 a year on the Mach 3 refill cartridges plus $8 for the handle (which comes with three blades).
Gillette Shaving Foam
It works great with manual razors, it's super inexpensive at $3 -5 a can every three months (so, $20 a year) and it's very reliable.
Braun Series 3 Electric Foil Shaver
A foil shaver has motorized blades going left and right instead of in the circles of a rotary shaver. The Series 3 is one of the cheapest, and it's pleasingly effective, especially when combined with shaving gel. It provides a very close shave that's just as clean as triple blade manual shaving and the shaving head is advertised to last for a year and a half. It's much faster than manual shaving, but it's harsher on the skin than manual and rotary razors. To avoid skin irritation, it needs to be combined with high lubrication shaving gel; the light and inexpensive foam that works fine with manual blades don't provide enough protection. Definitely the most convenient option.
You'd spend $17 a year on a replacement head (really $25 - $26 over eighteen months) and $40 for the shaving unit.
Gillette Fusion5 Shaving Gel
This gel is thicker than Gillette's foam and it adds a high level of cushioning that Gillette's blades don't really need, but Braun's electric foil shavers definitely do. There's a great cooling effect to offset any irritation from an electric razor. It's $4 a can for about a two month supply, so that's $24 a year.
I prefer to use triple bladed razors and foam, but I generally can't. I'm always in a hurry on weekday mornings, so I use the electric foil (not Gillette) and depend on the gel (Gillette) to protect my skin from the foil blades. Spending two minutes on shaving instead of five gets me out the door sooner and helps me beat the traffic.