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Women's razor reviews

Which women's razors shed those unwanted hairs and leave your skin silky smooth?
 
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01 .Introduction

womens-razors-lead

We have test results for 13 women's razors from Gillette Venus, Schick and Bic, priced from $0.70 to $16.

We've rated each razor for:

  • shaving
  • skin protection, and
  • ease of use.

The test involved a shaving assessment of the legs and armpits, as well as an assessment of shaving comfort, by a panel of experts and triallists. 

The panels considered the feel of the razor while shaving, whether there was burning after shaving and signs of any redness or cuts as part of a “skin protection” score. For ease of use, changing of the blades (except for disposables), handling, storage and cleaning were considered.

At-home IPL and laser device reviews

As part of this review, we've also tested five at-home IPL/laser hair removal devices, due to their growing popularity. Read more about this test, or take a look at the comparison table to see whether these devices are all they're cracked up to be.

For more information on hair removal, see Beauty and personal care.

Our findings

Gillette and Schick dominate the women’s razors shaving system category with 45.8% and 54.2% of market volume respectively according to Retail World’s 2012 annual report. They offer razors that claim results such as “long-lasting smoothness”, “a close shave and silky smooth skin” and “lathers and moisturises as you shave”.

Most of these razors score well for shaving and skin protection and are unlikely to cause a burning sensation or redness after shaving. However, the four razors at the bottom of the list (see the table) only score OK for the way they leave the skin feeling after shaving. These razors also score only OK for shaving armpits and the Schick Silk Effects is only OK for shaving legs too.

The Schick Quattro for Women Trimstyle is the only battery-powered razor in the test, combining an all-in-one razor and adjustable bikini trimmer with various length settings. Gillette and Schick both offer a razor that doesn’t require separate shaving cream – the Gillette Venus Spa Breeze and Schick Intuition Naturals each have a built-in shave gel bar. While the Gillette is very good across all assessments the Schick is let down by its ease of use and only scores OK for shaving armpits.

If you’re after a disposable razor, we found two of the five we tested to be good overall and worth considering. 

Razors tested

  • Bic Soleil Bella
  • Bic Twin Lady Sensitive
  • Gillette Simply Venus 2
  • Gillette Venus
  • Gillette Venus Embrace
  • Gillette Venus Pro Skin
  • Gillette Venus Spa Breeze
  • Schick Exacta2 for Women
  • Schick Intuition Naturals Sensitive Care
  • Schick Quattro for Women
  • Schick Quattro for Women Trimstyle
  • Schick Silk Effects
  • Schick Xtreme 3 Sensitive for Women

How we test razors

Shaving is assessed by an expert and triallist. They shave their legs and armpits and also look at shaving comfort.

Skin protection the following aspects were assessed to determine the overall skin protection score: the skin feeling while shaving, picking or pulling of hair while shaving, burning sensation and redness after shaving, cuts and other injuries and the number of severe cuts.

Ease of use was assessed by looking at the ease of handling, usage in the arm pit, changing of blades (for shaving system razors) and cleaning.

IPL and laser hair removal devices tested

  • Philips Lumea SC 2001/01
  • Remington I-Light IPL 5000
  • Rio IPL 8000
  • Silkin Sens Epil
  • Syneron Me My Elos

How we test IPL/laser devices

Performance The effectiveness of hair removal was assessed after 28 and 70 days, as well as a self-assessment from a user panel of 30 female adults, covering ease of use and liklihood of buying the product.

Dermatological assessment Is conducted by a dermatologist after two and a half months who notes all functional symptoms (burning, tearing, itching, etc) and clinical signs (depigmentation, redness, etc) associated with adverse effects of using the treatment.

Safety assessment the safety mechanisms of each device are assessed. These safety systems are designed to prevent accidental flashing.

 
 

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05.At-home IPL and laser device reviews

 

We review five at-home IPL/laser hair removal devices, priced from $48 to $64.

Through our rigorous testing, we reveal which devices:

  • are the most effective at removing hair, and
  • are the safest.

For more information about hair removal, see Beauty and personal care.

The growing demand for IPL/laser hair removal

Many beauty salons now offer laser or IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) hair removal treatment and we’re now starting to see at-home laser treatment products which claim to achieve similar results. So we’ve taken a look at five of these to see if they are all they’re cracked up to be.

The test involved an expert assessment of the effectiveness of hair removal after 28 and 70 days, as well as a self-assessment from a user panel of 30 female adults. A dermatologist also assessed the skin after two and a half months looking for symptoms such as burning, tearing and itching, as well as clinical signs such as depigmentation, oedema and redness. Each device is equipped with a safety switch to prevent accidental “flashing”, so these systems were also assessed.

After two-and-a-half months of use all devices showed some signs of effectiveness. However, with a reduction of hair density of 67% and speed of regrowth reduced by 68% the Silkin stands out as the best performing, even though it’s still only OK overall. The rest perform poorly, except the Philips which is OK. Following the dermatologist’s assessment, it was found that members of the panel had experienced redness, sensation of burning, rubbing/friction and warming/electric shock. The Silkin was the most problematic when used at maximal power. However, when the panel was asked if they would buy it, 74% said they would because “beauty is pain”. They were less likely to buy any of the other products.

Ultimately, we wouldn’t recommend any of these devices. They range from poor to just OK overall, and while the Silkin stands out for performance its borderline dermatologist assessment score means we can’t recommend it.

How does it work?

IPL works by applying pulses of light to areas of skin, targeting the hair follicle. The light heats the melanin (a colour pigment) in the hair, stimulating the hair follicle to go into its resting phase. The hair is then shed and regrowth is inhibited.

These products don’t make you completely hair free, but rather work to reduce hair density and thickness. IPL isn’t for everyone, so consult your doctor and read the instructions carefully before you commence this sort of treatment. If you have red, light blonde or white/grey hair then IPL won’t be effective for you. These hair colours have low levels of melanin and this method depends on the amount of melanin in the hair for effectiveness. If you naturally have a very dark skin tone, tattoos, birthmarks, scars or varicose veins, IPL is also not suitable. Medical conditions and medications should be taken into consideration before using one of these products.

Last year we investigated the safety of laser and IPL hair removal. For more information, see the article.

Models tested

  • Philips Lumea SC 2001/01
  • Remington I-Light IPL 5000
  • Rio IPL 8000
  • Silkin Sens Epil
  • Syneron Me My Elos

How we test

Performance The effectiveness of hair removal was assessed after 28 and 70 days, as well as a self-assessment from a user panel of 30 female adults, covering ease of use and liklihood of buying the product.

Dermatological assessment Is conducted by a dermatologist after two and a half months who notes all functional symptoms (burning, tearing, itching, etc) and clinical signs (depigmentation, redness, etc) associated with adverse effects of using the treatment.

Safety assessment the safety mechanisms of each device are assessed. These safety systems are designed to prevent accidental flashing.

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