Sunday, February 3, 2013

Review: Schick Hydro Silk Razor Review

 When I'm reviewing a product like this, I tend to consider two main things in my evaluation: (1) the marketing claims made by the packaging, advertising, and/or press kit; and (2) my own expectations and experiences with similar products that I like. Note that I don't have especially sensitive or dry skin, and my leg and armpit hair is fairly fine and light, so your experience may vary.

(Scroll down to the bottom if want to skip ahead to my verdict. Also there's a really fucking useful link to help you extend the life of your razors down there.)

What Schick says the Hydro Silk Razor will do (bolding mine):

Only Schick Hydro Silk razors include Water-Activated Moisturizing Serum to hydrate your skin for up to two hours after shaving and 5 Curve-Sensing blades with Skin Guards to help reduce irritation. Couple that with a soft touch handle and compact oval cartridges that fit the contours of a woman's body, and you can see why the Schick Hydro Silk razor was last year's most awarded new razor.
  • Each cartridge is filled with Water-Activated Moisturizing Serum that's infused with marine extracts and shea butter and hydrates longer than any other razor*
  • 5 Curve-Sensing blades move independently from each other to deliver an incredibly smooth, efficient shave and blade guards help protect skin from irritation (fewer strokes helps reduce irritation!)
  • Contoured oval cartridges allow for a closer shave around hard-to-reach places like ankles, knees and underarms
  • An ergonomic, soft touch handle with rubber grips provides ultimate control while shaving
  • Schick Hydro Silk razors are stocked at grocery stores, drug stores and mass retailers; the Starter Kit sells for an average retail price of $9.49, while 4-packs of refill cartridges retail for around $15.11
*Moisturizes for up to two hours after shaving.
Smooth out your shower routine
Tired of unsticking your razor from random surfaces every time you shave? Then you'll love the Schick Hydro Silk razor's unique, raised handle rest. It'll keep your razor cartridges out of water and intact for a premium shave!
What I expect:
I have been using my beloved Schick Intuition for what must be 10 years by now. I am a huge Intuition devotee, and I find it hard to believe that I'm going to find anything else that I like as much as that razor. Here's why it's my favorite:
  • I don't have to fuck around with shaving cream/gel. It has moisturizer/lube attached to the head, so I'm good to go. That's one less expense and one less bottle of shit cluttering up my house.
  • It gives me a really smooth shave without any irritation. It basically feels like I'm stroking a bar of soap across my skin. I don't want to feel any metal.
  • No razor burn.
  • It's useful for travel, since I don't have to pack an extra bottle of shaving cream or anything.
The downside of the Intuition is that it's pretty bulky and the lubey-soapy stuff (I don't know what to call it) doesn't last that long. The cartridges are also pretty expensive, so I tend to only stock up on them when there's a good sale. I know it's not the thriftiest choice, but these things are worth it to me, since it makes shaving so much less of a chore.

What I think of the Schick Hydro Silk Razor:

First things first: the packaging and design. It comes with a little hanger thingy with a suction cup. The suction cup is small and would not stay attached to the tile surround in my tub for more than 10 seconds. The second time it fell off, the cartridge popped off the razor handle. I was all wet and slippery in the shower with my glasses off, and it was a huge pain in the ass to try to get the blade back on. I'm standing there holding the thing, jamming the two pieces together, trying not to cut myself, and I couldn't figure out how to get it back together. After 5 minutes, I actually got out and went to look at the package, but that didn't help. In the end, it turned out I was trying to put it together backwards, but even the right way, it wasn't easy. You have to depress this tiny button while lining things up, etc. Okay, not a huge deal, but shavers are going to fall the shower, and I don't want to have to fuss with this every time. The suction cup is essentially useless - it's way too small.

The handle is nice. It feels good, looks good, and it is designed so that if you sit the thing on the edge of the tub or a counter or whatever, the gooey part around the blades won't stick to the surface. Nice feature. I do really wish it had a cover, though. I prefer to just throw my shaver in a basket with my other shower things, and this isn't ideal for that - especially since the holder doesn't work. Even if it did, not everyone can leave their shit in the shower (think: college students in a dorm). It also makes it less useful for travel. I guess I'd just stick it in a ziplock bag, but a blade cover would be 2935729082 times more practical.

Okay, blah blah blah, how does it shave? I couldn't figure out from the packaging or the website if I was supposed to use this with shaving cream or not (though now I've found this on the website: "For best results, apply your favorite shaving cream, gel or foam when using the Schick Hydro Silk razor."). Anyway, since I was comparing it to my sweet baby Intuition, which does not require shaving cream, and I'd used a Gillette Venus razor with a similar design in the past without cream, I decided to go for it bareback.

It was great! It felt as smooth and comfortable as my Intuition. It was as easy to use as anything else. I got a really close, smooth shave and no razor burn. My legs are still pretty smooth the second day after shaving. So I'd say in those aspects it lives up both to my expectations and to the marketing claims.

As for hydration? That isn't really a quality I care too much about in a razor. I will say that my legs felt fine afterwards, and I didn't feel the need to put on lotion when I got out of the shower. After I went to bed, my arms and back felt a little dry and itchy, but my legs didn't. I don't know if they ever do, though. 

It should be easier to get around "contours" than the Intuition, since it's smaller, but I generally don't have a problem with that anyway. In the end, I think it matched all its marketing claims (see! this is why companies shouldn't make outlandish promises!) and exceeded mine. I like it just about as much as my Intuition. The only place where the Intuition beats it is for travel/storage. The Intuition has a blade cover - the Hydro Silk does not. But then the Hydro Silk is much less bulky, so maybe it evens out.

Finally, the Hydro Silk is more affordable. You get one Hydro Silk handle with two cartridges for about the same price as one Intuition handle and one cartridge. You get twice as many (6) Hydro Silk refills for just slightly more than the 3 Intuition refills ($15 vs. $10-13). So a win there.

But I'm not finished. I'll have to see how long the Hydro Silk blades last. Can I continue using them without shaving cream for as long as the Intuition? I want to get at least a month's worth of use out of it. I'll report back in a few weeks.

Oh, and here is how to keep your razors from getting dull and irritating for a long time. It works, trust me. This keeps them sharp for as long as the lubey crap lasts. If you use un-lubed razors, you could keep them going for months.

Verdict (after first use): 5 out of 5 stars. If it can keep going as long as my Intuition without needing shaving cream, I may (GASP!) consider converting, since this system is more affordable.

Disclosure: I got these products free from BzzAgent.

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