Gross Things That Happen When You Don’t Change Your Razor

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When do you know it’s time to replace your disposable razor? When the blade is too dull to battle with your knee hair? When you accidentally get a good look at all the gunk in there?

Blades aren’t cheap and your ankle hair seems to get darker and more powerful every time it grows back, so it’s tempting to try to extend the life of your razor as much as possible. But holding out too long isn’t good for your shave… or your health.

1. Your razor gets covered in grime. The longer you hold on to your old razor, the more bacteria, dead skin cells, shaving cream, and hair crops up in there. That goes double if you’re also not rinsing well in between strokes.

2. You get a worse shave. Who wants to spend more time shaving? You, apparently, if you’re unwilling to let an old blade go. “Using an old razor really does take more time and effort, since you’ll be shaving over the same area multiple times to get a close shave,” says Jessie Cheung, MD, director of theDermatology & Laser Center in Willowbrook, Illinois.

3. You risk razor bumps galore. A dull blade tugging at and nicking your skin causes inflammation around your hair follicles and ups your odds of razor bumps, says Dr. Cheung. At best, they’re painful and annoying, but temporary. But some cases are pretty severe, causing pain and scarring.