Is It Safe To Shave With An Old Razor?

While there's no shortage of electric razors to choose from, sometimes a tried-and-true disposable razor is just what we need to get the job done. However, disposable razors are not meant to last forever and should be replaced after a certain amount of time. But just how long is the lifespan of a disposable razor? And are there risks in using an old razor too many times?

The lifespan of a razor will vary based on the type of razor, how often you shave, and how you care for the razor (via The English Shaving Company). Over time, your razor blade will become dull, and the duller the blade, the increased risk for it catching on the skin. That said, if you're using a disposable razor, you'll generally want to change it after three to seven shaves, according to Redbook. However, if you're not getting a close shave, if your razor's covered in gunk, or if you're getting sore shaving bumps, it's likely time to swap it.

But what if you continue to use your razor past its prime? Are there any health risks in doing so?

Shaving can increase the risk of infection

Continuing to shave with an old razor is not only unsanitary, but it leaves you susceptible to bacterial infection (via Redbook). The longer an old razor sits in your shower, the more hair, dead skin, bacteria, and shaving cream residue it collects. Because razor blades dull over time, you're more likely to cut yourself from the added pressure you're placing on the razor to get a clean shave. With an open cut, this gives all that razor gunk buildup a means into your body.

Even if the cut isn't immediately apparent, it doesn't mean you didn't nick yourself. ​​Dr. Jessie Cheung, director of the Dermatology & Laser Center in Willowbrook, Illinois, explains to Redbook, "You'll have more microscopic tears in your skin and bacteria with an old blade, so the risk of infection will increase." While it's understandable to want to get the most out of our toiletry products, making sure they're routinely replaced will help keep us safe and healthy in the long run.