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How To Stop Cutting Yourself With A Safety Razor

How To Stop Cutting Yourself With A Safety Razor - Almost Zero Waste

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How to shave with a safety razor without cutting yourself?

There are several ways to prepare your skin to avoid unnecessary cuts. In this article, I’ll share with you tips on how to safely shave ANY area of your body with a safety razor.

We will go through:

  1. Why do I keep cutting myself with a safety razor? 
  2. How to shave with a safety razor without cutting yourself
  3. Additional tips 
  4. Shaving kit (all you might need)
  5. FAQ
  6. Sum up

Now, let’s begin! 

Why do I keep cutting myself with a safety razor? 

If you keep cutting yourself with a safety razor, you might be making some of the following mistakes – 

  • Wrong approach: You are more prone to cut yourself if you don’t prepare your skin. If you go against the grain it is easier to cut yourself, too.
  • Passing multiple times: If you go through the skin over and over again, you will irritate it more, and you will increase the chance of accidental cuts. 
  • Adding too much pressure: Many safety razors are heavier for a reason; let the natural weight of the razor work for you, and cut through the hairs without pushing it too hard. If you put too much pressure, you will cut yourself.
  • Rushing through it: It is pretty straightforward; If you are in a hurry, and you are trying to shave with fast & careless moves, it is highly possible to cut yourself.
zero waste shaving

How to shave with a safety razor without cutting yourself:

You can use these tips for any area of your body – face, legs, armpits, or any other sensitive areas you want to shave. I will give additional recommendations for specific areas below, too!

1. Prep the skin. Consider pre-shave oil.

Even though some people (including me) skip this step, it is essential to prep the skin before shaving. It is a great way to reduce the risk of unnecessary cuts.

You can do that by:

  • Take a shower before the shave. The best time for shaving is right after (or during!) a warm shower, as your skin will be soft, moist, and free of excess oil and dead skin cells. 
  • You can prep your skin even further with a pre-shave oil. If you use one, leave it on for 20-30 seconds before applying your soap lather. A good one that you can consider is this one from Lather & Wood – it contains natural oils, including rapeseed oil, organic olive oil, sandalwood oil, etc. You can use any pre-shave oil you have on hand, too.
  • Alternatively, if you are in a hurry, you can wash the area you’re going to shave in warm water for a few minutes. The goal is to soften it before the shave, reduce irritation, and minimize possible micro-cuts. 
shaving with safety razor

2. Always use shaving soap or cream.

Using a high-quality shaving soap that lathers well is essential. Put the shaving soap upward and work up the lather, to give a lift to the hairs.

This will help the safety razor to glide easily over the skin, and it will make it easier to cut the hair. Some great shaving soap options that create a lot of lather include:

zero waste shaving products

3. Make sure your blade is sharp.

If your razor isn’t sharp enough, you’ll need to pass it through the skin more times, which increases the chance of razor burn, skin irritation, and cuts.  

The amount of use you can get out of your razor blade depends on how often you shave. You can use razor blades between 5-10 shaves as a rule of thumb. 

For example, I don’t use it daily (maybe once a week), and I usually change it after ~ 9 or 10 shaves.

how to shave without cutting

4. Make short strokes & use less pressure. 

Whichever area you want to shave, never apply too much pressure – the blade is sharp enough to cut through the hairs without your additional help. Also, keep a 30-degree angle, and use short strokes.

Follow these tips, and proceed accordingly to the area you want to shave:

  • Face: Use short, gentle strokes, between 1-3 cm. Hold the razor at about a 30-degree angle and maintain it. Shaving with the direction of hair growth will minimize irritation. If you want to complete a second pass for a closer shave, keep it across the direction of hair growth, and add a fresh layer of lather. You can use a Shave brush to add more lather easily.
  • Legs: Keep short strokes, and shave gently from the ankles up. Be extra careful on more sensitive and bony areas, like the knees.
  • Underarms: Shave in all directions your hair grows. Pull the skin tight before shaving, as wrinkled skin is hard to shave.
  • Bikini area: Shave carefully in the direction of the hair growth. If necessary, pull the skin tight so the blade can slide smoothly. Avoid shaving the same area more than once to minimize skin irritation and cuts. Take your time, and don’t rush!

5. Wash the access soap.

After every stroke, put the razor under running warm water to wash out the soap and hair.

The best part about safety razors is that if the hairs are stuck, you can open the head of the safety razor, take out the blade, and run warm water to clean it well.

safety razors

6. Add aftershave balm or moisturizer. 

Once you are done with shaving, take a washcloth and pat-dry your face (or another area you shaved).

Then, you can add aftershave balm for your face, or use this moisturizing body lotion, to soothe and soften the skin.

You can also DIY a body butter bar by following my easy tutorial.

Additional tips:

  • Exfoliate your skin. It will be a fantastic thing to do, especially if you have a lot of ingrown hairs. Exfoliation before shaving will remove surface-level dead skin cells, which can often clog the hair follicles. Exfoliation will help the safety razor glide effortlessly over your skin, resulting in a better & long-lasting shave. You can use this exfoliating soap by Ethique or simple DIY coffee scrub
  • When you apply your shave soap or cream, do so in an upward motion. Doing this will help lift the hairs up and away from the face/skin.
  • When needed, pull the skin to straighten it. Some areas like your knees will require flattening the skin. If the skin is wrinkled, the shave won’t be smooth, and you can easily cut yourself.  
  • Shave “with the grain” in the same direction that the hair grows. This will provide a more gentle shave, and you can achieve a clean shave, too; it just may take a few extra passes. After you shave with the “grain,” you can go perpendicular to it. Even though going against the grain might give you a cleaner shave, it makes it easier to cut yourself.
  • If you shave your face, use a Shave brush. It is soft to the touch and will help you create more lather fast.
zero waste shaving

Shaving kit (all you might need!)

Sometimes, it can be confusing what you need and where you can buy it. So here I will add all the required items you’ll need when shaving with a safety razor:

  • Pre-shave oil – Suitable for sensitive skin and ideal for anyone who wants to reduce ingrown hairs, irritation, or razor burn. Buy from Rockwell / on Amazon
  • Safety razor – The Rockwell R1 is set to the most gentle setting, making it nearly impossible to cut yourself, even when shaving sensitive areas. It is made with superior alloy for long-lasting, rust-proof shaving. It comes with 5 Rockwell razor blades. Buy from Rockwell / on Amazon.
  • Razor blades – Made with premium rust-proof Swedish stainless steel and specially treated to retain exceptional sharpness. They’ll last up to 8 shaves. Buy from Rockwell / on Amazon
  • Shaving soap/shaving cream – Buy from Rockwell / on Amazon
  • Shaving face brush – High-end synthetic bristles with perfect water retention to build a great lather yet dry quickly after use. Buy from Rockwell / on Amazon
  • Blade bank – An easy way to dispose of used blades safely. The tin is recyclable and can fit over 50 used razor blades. Buy from Rockwell / on Amazon
zero waste shaving products


Do safety razors hurt? 

No! shaving with a safety razor doesn’t hurt. It cuts the hair at the skin level, resulting in less razor-burn skin irritation, and it can also give you a smoother shave.

Are safety razors better than cartridge razors? 

They are better for the environment. Safety razors are made from stainless steel, so if you take proper care of them, they can last you a lifetime. They are also easy to recycle, in case they break. 

Keep in mind that it is essential to take great care of your safety razor & razor blade to extend its life. After using it, I wash it with warm water to remove all the soap and hair. Then dry each piece thoroughly and store it in a small bag, away from water and moisture. Find more tips on how to take care of your safety razor.

They are better for you. Cartridge razors are more likely to cut, irritate, or cause ingrown hairs than a single razor blade. Shaving with a safety razor results in less skin irritation and fewer ingrown hairs.

They are better for your pocket, too. Once you buy your safety razor, the only thing you have to keep buying is the incredibly cheap razor blades (a pack of 100 can last approximately 2 years!) 

Find more amazing benefits of safety razors here.

Can you dry shave with a safety razor?

Yes, you can. I do it if I’m in a hurry and want to shave a few spots. However, it is not the best, and I wouldn’t recommend it since it is easier to cut yourself and irritate your skin.

How often do you cut yourself with a safety razor?

I don’t shave too regularly, so for the three years I’ve used a safety razor, I probably cut myself 4 to 5 times in total. Also, it wasn’t ever a terrible or deep cut, but a small nick. Additionally, it only happens if I am not careful or I rush. 


While cutting yourself with a safety razor is possible, it is improbable if you follow the tips from this guide and are careful when you shave.

Possible minor nicks can occur, but you’ll see that using a safety razor isn’t much different from using cartridge razors with time and practice. 

Do you have any additional tips you would like to add? Feel free to share them in the comments below!

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