Updated: Oct 2, 2022
An honest, detailed review of The Leaf Razor by Leaf Shave from a real person living with ridiculously thick body hair.
Toxins are found everywhere, especially in skincare and during the shaving process. Most think the toxins when shaving comes from the shaving cream without realizing their razors are just as toxic. Your skin is the largest organ of the body, and its derivatives make up the integumentary system, responsible for protecting your organs, bones, muscles, ligaments, nerves, and blood vessels (1). Unfortunately, suppose you have a moisture strip in your razor. In that case, the probability of toxins in your razor is relatively high, from polyethylene glycol (PEG) to aluminum salts to petroleum, even fragrances, and common allergens such as soy. That's not even counting the detrimental effect razors have on the environment.
Before we discuss specific ingredients found in ordinary razors, I want to expand on why it matters — dermal absorption. Dermal absorption occurs when a chemical penetrates the skin and travels into the body, leading to potential organ damage if they infiltrate the skin and enter the bloodstream. One study examined the skin’s absorption rates of chemicals found in drinking water, indicating that the skin takes in an average of 64% of the total contaminant dosage (2). Other studies discovered the face to be several times more absorbent than the general body surface, with an absorption rate of 100% for underarms and genitalia (3). Another peer-reviewed study exhibited 100% absorption of fragrance ingredients (4). So although the absorption rate percentage differs, one thing is for sure, these toxins are being absorbed and potentially negatively affecting our health.
Polyethylene Glycol (PEG)
Polyethylene Glycol often referred to as PEG, is made from ethylene glycol (ethane-1,2-diol), the main ingredient in antifreeze (5). PEG is often at risk of being contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, a potentially damaging by-product. In fact, 1,4-dioxane is a known animal carcinogen that penetrates readily into the skin. Furthermore, this ingredient has been linked with skin allergies. There is such great concern regarding this contaminant that a class-action lawsuit was filed in New Jersey against manufacturers of children's bath and personal-care products (6). Additionally, PEG is an active ingredient in laxatives like MiraLAX with a long list of side effects, including:
Abdominal distension and pain
Perianal inflammation and soreness
Severe or bloody diarrhea
Blood in your stool
Painful or worsening stomach pains (7)
Some research suggests that deodorants containing aluminum, which is frequently applied and remains on the skin close to the breast, may be absorbed by the skin and affect the hormone estrogen (8). Estrogen can encourage the growth of breast cancer cells, and some scientists have said that the aluminum-based compounds in antiperspirants could contribute to the development of breast cancer. In addition, it has been implied that aluminum may have direct activity in breast tissue (9). I think it's safe to assume that would be the same for shaving the underarm area.
Petroleum, also known as crude oil, clogs pores and often causes acne breakouts and rashes, but aside from that, petroleum has also been linked to estrogen dominance. Estrogen dominance is a common condition in which sufferers have a high ratio of estrogen, with little to no progesterone to balance its effects in the body (10). Health effects from petroleum exposure vary depending on the concentration of the substance and the length of time that the individual was exposed. Inhaling petroleum vapors can provoke nervous system effects such as headache, nausea, dizziness, and respiratory irritation. Very high exposure can cause coma and death. Some petroleum products that come in contact with the skin can irritate and be absorbed through the skin. Chronic exposure to petroleum may affect the nervous system, blood, and kidneys (11).
Fragrances are derived from petrochemicals. These chemicals include benzene derivatives, aldehydes, phthalates, and many other known toxins capable of causing cancer, congenital disabilities, nervous-system disorders, and allergies. These chemicals could contain any number of the 3,100 or so stock chemical ingredients used by the fragrance industry (12). Environmental Working Group (EWG) researchers found more than 75 percent of products listing the ingredient "fragrance" contained phthalates which have been shown to disrupt hormone activity, have been linked to breast cancer, and so much more (13). Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) actually has the direct authority to regulate harmful ingredients in cosmetics and personal care products, the FDA doesn't exercise it. To learn more regarding The Truth About Fragrance, click here.
Additionally, in 2012 a study showed that 99% of breast cancer samples contained parabens, a common carcinogenic ingredient in most deodorants and antiperspirants, as well as toxins such as aluminum chlorohydrate, aluminum zirconium, tetrachlorohydrex GLY, talc, petroleum, caprylyl glycol, stearic acid, and fragrance (14).
Enough about the toxins in razor blades let's briefly discuss how razor blades, although not categorized as “single-use,” are affecting the environment.
The Environmental Protection Agency once calculated that roughly 2 billion razors and refill blades get trashed in the U.S. yearly (15). Since razors are sharp objects that can’t be recycled due to being assembled from mixed materials, an ordinary disposable razor is good for 3-10 shaving sessions before it gets dull and clogged — then off to the landfill, where it goes to accumulate on top of the estimated 2 billion pounds of disposable razors trashed in America in the 1990s (16).
Enough about disposable razors' effects on the environment; let's discuss what you're here for, The Leaf Razor by Leaf Shave. The Leaf Razor is the world's most advanced plastic-free razor. This safety razor is like no other, with an ergonomic all-metal design featuring three interchangeable blades for a personalized shave, a pivoting head that's easy and safe to use while remaining friendly to the environment, and the lack of a moisture strip, which allows it to be safe and free of toxins.
How I Have Tested The Leaf Razor by Leaf Shave
I started by loading my razor with all three blades for the closest shave possible. To do this, I unscrewed the blade holder with my fingers before loading the blades lower, middle, then top blade. I ensured all blades were sitting flat and aligned with the notch guides on the razor. Additionally, the blade trays are magnetic, making it an even more straightforward loading process. As I said, I loaded all three blades for the closest shave possible, but removing the bottom blade is recommended to dial things back for sensitive skin or areas. Once I was sure the matching notch on the side of the blade aligned with the notch on each blade level, I tightened the blade holder again with my fingers.
When I was ready to shave, I used my favorite toxin-free Nourishing Shave Soap by Earthley Wellness. For my first time shaving with The Leaf Razor by Leaf Shave, I wet the area, then applied my shave soap and used the traditional shaving method of lifting the blade between each stroke and rinsing the blade in strokes of hair removal. I did get nicked once, and it bled for less than one minute. My Leaf Razor experience was a much smoother experience than my first attempt at my last safety razor from Bambaw, which was so disastrous that I returned it. I gave up on safety razors until I could afford one from Leaf Shave.
I tried a different technique for my second time shaving with The Leaf Razor by Leaf Shave. Again, I used my favorite toxin-free Nourishing Shave Soap by Earthley Wellness, but this time after I wet the area, I did a quick exfoliation and applied my shave soap. Then, when I was ready for the shaving process, I used a less traditional shaving method where I never picked up the razor. I stroked up and down my leg against and with the hair follicles and did not get cut once. I have since continued with that method when shaving all regions and have been nick-free.
Pros to The Leaf Razor by Leaf Shave
Blade notch guides make it easier when loading the blades
Magnetic assistance makes it easy to clean the blades between each use
Blades last approximately 3-4 full-body shaves before needing replacements
No moisture strip, so it's toxin-free
The all-metal design gives it weight making it easier to adjust to a no-pressure shave
Lots of colors to choose from, making your razor more personal
Blade recycling program keeps your shaving experience eco-friendly
Free shipping in the U.S. on orders over $25
30-day satisfaction guarantee
Cons to The Leaf Razor by Leaf Shave
A bit costly, costing $84 for the razor and a 10-blade starter pack (larger kits available)
There is a learning curve for using a safety razor
Final Score of The Leaf Razor by Leaf Shave
Considering how thick my body hair is and how infrequently I tend to shave, the results I yielded from The Leaf Razor by Leaf Shave are undeniably astonishing.
Overall, I genuinely enjoy this razor and highly recommend it; I give it 5 out of 5 stars. I have found The Leaf Razor by Leaf Shave to be the ultimate best shave I have ever had. The Leaf Razor by Leaf Shave has delivered the closest and easiest shave I've ever experienced, and I couldn't imagine adding to the landfills after experiencing such a flawless shave time and time again. My biggest regret is not buying one sooner; it's worth all 8,400 pennies!
Of course, this is my personal experience, and not everyone may have such luck, but that's why the 30-day money-back satisfaction guarantee is there and can be utilized.