Over the years, the marketing of blades has significantly changed. We now have both safety and disposable blades. Blades are a very economical option to go with, though you have to replace them after a couple of uses.
I know many blade users will prefer to buy their blades in bulk rather than dashing out to the store each time they need a blade. But the question is, if you have them in bulk, will an unused blade expire over time?
The truth is, it depends. If you haven’t opened the blade, then it is still good as new. However, if opened, it’s already exposed to air and will likely expire after a while.
This post will shed more light on why people use blades and what happens if your blades aren’t used for a long period, and whether they expire or not, among other things.
Shaving Blades Basics
Shaving is the act of using a razor blade to remove hairs that have grown up through your skin. There are different types of blades, and they come in different forms. There are electric and standard blades that need to be replaced regularly if used.
Using an electric blade is very quick and convenient, but some guys have reported that a standard razor gives a closer and accurate shave. You can’t take the convenience away from the list of benefits of an electric razor. It is very easy to use! You just need to turn it on while you move it around your face. That being said, the closeness of a standard razor can be such a pleasure.
If you use standard razors, there are a few rules to take note of:
- You need to make use of a clean and sharp blade.
- Never shave with a dull and expired blade. Even if you try, it will only give you an uneven shave, leaving you with patches of unshaved hair all over your face, blotches, and redness. It can even cause damage by removing a part of your skin along with the hair.
- If you are using a disposable kind of blade, don’t be afraid to change it, especially if you shave frequently. It may cost you some bucks, but your facial hair and the sensitive skill underneath it will be happy you did.
Do Blade Blades Expire If Left Unused?
Like I mentioned earlier, it depends on if you have opened the blade’s package or not. An opened blade’s package will allow air to come in and, in this process, it will get exposed to elements such as water and air. If they come in contact with any of these elements, they will wear out even without you even using them.
However, a packaged and unused blade will last forever or more if left unopened and still sealed. It hasn’t come in contact with any elements and will remain the same as when it was packaged.
Unlike what many people believe, blades don’t wear out that often. It is when blades become rusty during a process called oxidation that they wear out. The oxidation process is the reaction of the blade’s metal coming in contact with oxygen.
Oxygen is found in both water and air, so you understand that as soon as you take the package off, there is contact with oxygen, and the razors may succumb to corrosion with time. Sealed packages will never undergo oxidation, making them last for a very long time without expiring.
Blades are made from an inorganic substance (aluminum, iron, and steel). They are made with chromium, martensite, and carbon. These are all metals that don’t expire except when they come in contact with external elements. Saying that blades will only become dull and expire due to oxidation is true.
How Often Should I Change My Blades?
Figuring out the right time to change your blades isn’t hard at all. The best indicator for this is when you notice the blade you are using is dull. If it’s dull, it will start pulling at your hair and feel rough on your skin. This can be discomforting or even trigger more skin irritation than a bad after-shave product.
If you don’t shave frequently, there shouldn’t be a need to change your blades very often. Let me give you a quick guide on when you should change your blade based on how frequently you shave.
|How Often Do You Shave?||When Should You Change Your Blade?|
|Daily||1 to 2 weeks|
|Three times a week or more||2 to 3 weeks|
|Twice a week or less||4 to 5 weeks|
How To Make Your Blade Blades Last Longer (Step-By-Step)
After shaving, we don’t really care what happens to the blade until we want to use it next time. If water remains on the blades after shaving and it isn’t cleaned, the remnants of salt from your skin and oxygen will make it rust. This will eat away your blade and make it dull. If you want to extend your blade’s life, keep it clean and dry it immediately after use.
Below are ways you can extend your blade’s life:
- Immediately after you finish shaving, shake off the excess water from the blade. You can even use a blow dryer to ensure that the blade is dry if you have one. Apply a single second blast of hot air to it. You can also use a dry and soft cloth to wipe off any water. Blades are sharp; you will need to be careful when handling them.
- The next thing to do after the blade is dry is to dip it into mineral oil or almond oil. Surprised right? These oils will act as a sealant to prevent oxygen from reaching the blade. Repeat this process each time you have a shave.
- To take it further, you can place the blade in a plastic bag and store it in a cool, dry place. I know most people leave their blades in the bathroom, but you shouldn’t do that. The bathroom can be humid and hot from taking showers, so avoid storing blades there. Your bedroom closet or closets in the hallways is cool and dry; store your blade there.
If you carefully followed the steps I have given, you will notice that your blade is feeling close to brand new against your skin after every use. Blades don’t last forever, so expect elements to come in contact with the blade at some point. These precautions are only to guide you and make your blades last longer.
If you follow these precautions, your blades will last longer than if you just leave them to dry in your bathroom.
Other Ways To Extend Your Blade’s Life
Besides following the step-by-step guide on extending your blade’s life that I’ve just given, there are even more ways you can extend your blade’s life and prevent it from going rusty after just a few shaves.
Look at the label of your shaving cream before making a choice. Shaving creams that contain acids, such as salicylic acid or glycolic acid will only wear down your blade quickly, resulting in expired blades. Instead, buy shaving creams that have low acid content or even ones without any acids at all.
If you haven’t shaved for a while or if you are shaving a thick beard, stop at intervals to clean up hairs that have accumulated under the blade. You can use a toothbrush you no longer use for your teeth to clean between the blades. This technique gets fast results.
Doing this is good for several reasons. As you shave, there will be a build-up of hairs, which will make the blade dull. You will need more blade strokes than when the blade was still very sharp. The build-up of the hairs will also make the blades unable to get close to the skin for the removal of hair.
Recommendations On Disposable Blades
If you want recommendations on blades that won’t get dull super-fast, then you are in luck! I’ve used some really nice blades for years now without complaints, and I will be sharing them with you.
I use Gillette Fusion Power Men’s Razor Blades because the blades are sharp, and I don’t have skin irritation after use. The cartridge lasts for months! That’s incredible, right? Yeah, I know. Though I keep a long beard, I still need those blades to shave my cheeks and parts of my neck.
I think it’s a better choice to invest in blades that will last you longer than those that won’t last long and end up covering your face in nicks.
Using an expired blade shouldn’t be an option you even consider. It will cause you more harm than good. If you’ve left your blade package open for a long time, or you’ve left your blade out in the bathroom for a long time, it will definitely expire, and you will need a replacement.
Shaving takes off your skin’s natural oil. It’s best to use a product such as shaving cream or gel to keep your skin moisturized and reduce the friction from shaving blades. Pick shaving creams or gels that suit your skin so that you have a good experience. Some shaving creams or gels have menthol, and this may cause skin irritations for some people. Others find it a nice, clean, refreshing feeling.
If you experience irritation, you shouldn’t worry; it doesn’t mean you can’t still use shaving blades and creams. You just need to switch to non-mentholated shaving cream. No matter what you use, make sure that you don’t use expired blades!
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