The Shadow
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The Shadow

Skip the Pink Tax, Grab a Safety Razor Instead

Your razor subscription service isn’t letting you skip the pink tax.

Pink bath tub filled with rippling clear water. Pink bathroom tile and silver faucet. Dark purple tube of Curology “the Cleanser” body care product on the right side of the tub faucet.
Photo by Curology on Unsplash

A few years back I started getting inundated with a lot of ads for shaving subscription services. All promising, “no pink tax.”

As a woman, finding a product I use without the pink tax is always a plus. None of us want to have to pay more for a product because of our gender. Alas, we all know it’s a thing.

Sure, there are several ways around this. You could skip shaving altogether. You could get a wax or you could get laser hair removal. All are viable options.

You could even buy the razor geared towards men. Except, those razors are all designed to support face shaving and not leg shaving.

I know, a razor is a razor.

Thus, I was pretty excited about all the new subscription services claiming, “no pink tax.” This was exactly what I had been looking for. Never running out, getting exactly how much I needed and when.

I’d also be reducing my waste by only replacing the cartridge and not the handle. A complete win for sustainability and women’s rights.

Think Again.

The Disposable Razor and Sustainability

The average woman shaves 1–2 times per week, according to me.

According to Look Young Atlanta, the average woman shaves 3–4 times per week. We’ll take the average and say 2–3 times per week. This means, in a year, a woman will have shaved 156 times, at 3 times per week.

How many razors does that equate to?

We all know we play the balancing act of how long can we go before replacing our blade. If we listen to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, we should replace it after 5–7 shaves.

That’s 23–30 blads per year. This becomes a lot of waste when compounded with every American disposing of the same amount.

Americans throw out more than 2 billion disposable razors each year, According to the EPA’s Environmental Consumer’s Handbook.

As a note, the EPA published this book in 1990 and hasn’t continued tracking that statistic. The number of razors thrown away is likely much higher than 2 billion.

I hadn’t realized until recently how wasteful some of our “smaller” plastics are. I’m referring to items like toothpaste tubes, shampoo bottles, and disposable razors.

Until recently recycling wasn’t an option for disposable blades.

Sure the blade is metal. The rest is a bunch molded around the blade. This makes it very difficult for the average recycling center to recycle.

Today, recycling is an option through TerraCycle. It’s still not the easiest.

It requires one of 3 things. Determining if your local facility has a TerraCycle day, if there is a local drop-off, or paying to ship your old razors to a facility.

This is great if you live near a drop-off location. Yet, requiring someone to pay to recycle their blade isn’t that great of a program. It’s not convenient. It’s not easy enough.

Hello, Safety Razors

More sustainable and safer to use than your standard disposable.

Jungle Straws puts it best, “It’s true that the blade of a typical double edge safety razor is sharper than disposal equivalents. But it’s actually harder to cut yourself when you use a DE razor.”

I was one of those people, nervous to use a safety razor. Afraid I’d end up dicing my leg into tenderized meat. After using a safety razor for the past year, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

I also wanted a more sustainable razor. I found that safety blades are recyclable. No plastic surrounding the metal.

As a note, you can recycle the blades if your city/county recycles them, which not all cities do.

This is one area where safety razor companies differ. I had to do a bit of digging but found a company that has a take-back program, Albatross Designs’ Shave Shop. A zero-waste product for all regardless of location.

The initial price also shocked me quite a bit. How is this beating the pink tax?

The “Pink Tax”

“There has been a lot of research on the pink tax that found overall, women were paying more than men 42% of the time,” according to Candice Elliott, Listen Money Matters.

Not only are we making less money on the dollar, but we’re also required to spend more on personal upkeep. On the same products.

When I saw those ads for subscription services and the promise of, “no pink tax”, the ads got me. I wanted my “pink tax” free razor.

I still felt like I was spending a lot of money each year. That I wasn’t saving anything by switching from supermarket to subscription.

Then I started seeing information on safety razors.

Most of the ads I saw promised a pretty razor for $70+. That was insane. How is this saving money? Also, what if I hated it and ended up dropping $70 on a one-time use razor?

I love it, and I am saving money.

I purchased the $30 razor from Albatross Designs’ Shave Shop. Which got me the razor and 10 blades.

The interesting thing is, all the blades are the same for safety razors. It’s somewhat of a universal design unless you get the double blade from Leaf. Even with this razor, it’s a standard safety blade but broken in half.

Me being me, I did a yearly price comparison. I wanted to know if the cost of a safety razor and the yearly cost of blades was still less than a subscription service.

Was the subscription service I had been using eliminating the pink tax as promised? Or was the safety razor a better bet?

I’m saving about $40 per year by switching to the safety razor.

That “no pink tax” subscription has a $40/year tax. It might not be a pink tax, it might convenience tax. Except, I still have a yearly subscription for my safety blades and am saving $40.

Switching to a safety razor is a win against the “pink” tax while also upping your sustainability game.

Silver safety razor with safety blade and enclosed circular, metal shaving soap tin.
Photo by Nacho Fernández on Unsplash

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