Gillette SkinGuard Sensitive Review

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9,093
Location
Halifax, Republic of Yorkshire
Hi guys - I've been shaving with the new Gillette SkinGuard Sensitive system recently.

My thoughts ...

The razor itself is a two blade cartridge head on a fixed Fusion-style handle. The cartridge is the newer ProShield format with lubricating strip before and after the blades, while the blades are reduced to just two with a rubberised fin before each blade - a finer fin before the first blade. Colourised silver, grey and white, it alludes to the overall marketing towards purity.

The gel is packaged in a white can with blue cap. The gel itself is white and foams up as per other Gillette gels into a thick cushion. Less is more as this is indeed thick. The ingredient list is both long and full of chemical words, but that is to be expected. Gillette market this as "no dyes" and "no alcohol", and you'd be forgiven in thinking that this is just their regular Fusion Sensitive gel without the aqua dye. I notice that Gillette have also released a (new?) Mach3 Sensitive gel as well as a Fusion Hydra Gel Pure & Sensitive without dyes and fragrance, so I guess they're making the most of their new technology.

In-shave, I have to say the gel does feel different to other gels in the present range from which I've used the Fusion Hydra Gel Sensitive, the Fusion ProGlide Sensitive and the Series Sensitive. It feels thicker, causing the razor to literally glide as if on a cloud! It really does! You've to take some care not to go over and over the same area as you genuinely do not feel the razor at first. The glide strips on the cartridge head do fill in the glide if you do, though and the gel itself does seem to have extra glide over and above older gels in the range. It does have aloe in the mix and it does have eucalyptus oil which gives that cooling feeling and helps quell any irritability that folks get from shaving. The cooling is well pitched, not too much and definitely not too little - you feel cooled.

The shave itself is fine. It doesn't deliver a really close shave, but close enough. I guess that's what they're after as this is indeed for folks with sensitive skin, those prone to razor burn and so on ... the kind of folks I've long recommended the Gillette Guard for. Close enough, clean and presentable with a dramatically lessened risk of ingrowers and itchiness for those prone otherwise. Single pass versus single pass, it's not as close as a DE, nor an SE and certainly not as close as a Fusion 5. I think the fixed head is a good move as when all said and done, the FlexBall perhaps works against folks who know their own contours.

Versus the regular Fusion range, be it the regular, ProGlide or the ProShield, it gives a further choice. Personally, I've not felt much difference between the ProGlide and the ProShield, but both do have subtle improvements over the original Fusion. Versus the Mach3, I think the Mach3 wins - it delivers much the same without all the fluff and a closer shave. In terms of closeness, from least to most it's the SkinGuard, the Mach3 and then the Fusion regular, Fusion ProShield and closest, the ProGlide.

Post-shave, I've been rinsing off with hot water, then cold water and generally leaving it at that, otherwise a splash of vintage Gillette Series Cool Wave. Prep has been with L'Oreal Men Expert Pure Power Black Charcoal Wash. Post-shave feel is just right. Skin fed enough by the ingredients, but not mushy or puffy, which often comes from moisturising agents in this kind of product. I like it! Maybe not as much as the Fusion ProGlide Sensitive that I have been using. Perhaps it's the extra glide in this new crop of gels which has a faint reminder of that gloopiness that earlier cartridges had, something which is not evident in the current range of Mach3 and Fusion cartridges.

Enjoyed, and I'll carry on until this initial cartridge is done but I think I'll just return to the Fusion ProGlide thereafter. Whether I'll re-buy the gel is also open to question as I'm likely to try the Fusion Hydra Gel Pure & Sensitive that I've not yet tried. I wasn't sold outright, but it's a format I could recommend.
 
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Messages
543
Location
England
Started to see these about now. All Boots has is a massive display consisting solely of the handle & one cart pack at £6. Same thing £9 at Superdrug. That shop had all the cards out that you take to the till but the prices were blank. I had to go and ask, then have the staff root around under the till looking for them. Price of 8 carts was about £21. No sign of the 4 packs. Other option was a ‘starter pack’ with handle & 3 blades. Didn’t seem to have them in stock yet you were able to take the card for it to the till. Seemed very disorganised. Nearly went back to Boots but wasn’t in the mood for paying £6 for a handle I don’t need and one single cart. Nothing in Morrisons.

Edit: It looks like the starter pack with handle & 3 carts is £9 in Boots, though it’s not in stock here
 
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Messages
915
Location
UK
I picked up the £5.89 pack at Boots. I didn't look too closely, as above I got only one blade and another Fusion handle to add to the 20 odd I have already. Poor value, quite cynical on P&G. The Americans had freebies for trial.
 
Messages
543
Location
England
I picked up the £5.89 pack at Boots. I didn't look too closely, as above I got only one blade and another Fusion handle to add to the 20 odd I have already. Poor value, quite cynical on P&G. The Americans had freebies for trial.
Yes, I haven’t seen the 3 blade & handle ‘starter pack’ anywhere yet but the tight Yorkshireman in me didn’t want to pay £6 for a handle I don’t need and one cartridge. Stuck the cart on the Flexball handle I already have. Not tried it yet but I am hoping this will be the one for when I need a quick and simple shave
 
Messages
543
Location
England
Had a couple of goes with the Skinguard carts now. Not a big fan. Left me with MORE irritation than a DE, and noticeable bumps, which I don't generally get with a closed comb DE. It wasn't a particularly close shave either. I did a 2-pass WTG / XTG & touch-ups. A single pass and it would have looked like I hadn't shaved. In fact after 2 passes I had black spike marks all over my cheeks. Perhaps its the usual cart thing of applying too much pressure due to the pivot. So much for the flexball gathering & slicing more stubble. It seemed to just somehow skip over the hairs.

As the 2-blade cart feels so gentle at the time, perhaps the tendency is there to over do it as it slides easily across your face. I shaved one mid-morning and was so cheesed off later in the day that I did something I've never done before which is to shave twice in a day, this time with the Razorock Game Changer, and then went to bed feeling like I never want to use another cartridge again.
 
OP
pjgh
Messages
9,093
Location
Halifax, Republic of Yorkshire
The SkinGuard handle is non-flexball. I've not tried the SkinGuard cartridge with a flexball handle. I guess there's a reason.

Certainly agree - the shave is not especially close, but probably good enough. I do a single pass, whatever the format: cartridge, DE, SE, straight. I'm still on my first SkinGuard cartridge having shaved with it for well over a month now with only a handful of days where I haven't shaved. I can't say that I find missing areas or any unevenness but for someone who would otherwise shave every other day with an SE (and the ProGlide cartridge I was using prior to the SkinGuard), it's every day with this cartridge.
 
Messages
543
Location
England
I bought the carts only so placed one onto flexball handle I already had. I don’t imagine anything earth shattering happening were I to use a Gillette fixed handle instead
 
OP
pjgh
Messages
9,093
Location
Halifax, Republic of Yorkshire
Either way, not enamoured with it ... doubtful I'll buy more of that cartridge.

I think the Guard is a better recommendation for sensitive skin - single blade, forgiving to folks who press too hard, doesn't go too close if shaving against the grain, permits polishing and gives a close enough shave to be presentable.

I'll no doubt carry on with this specific cartridge and then go back to the ProGlides I was shaving with before.
 
Messages
543
Location
England
Having a run of cartridge shaves out of curiosity as I get irritation with a DE regardless of what I do (Polsilver SI blade left my face red raw for ages, and no I wasn’t pressing too hard or going ATG!) Pleased enough with a couple of Mach 3 ones, but just had another go with the Skinguard. I am a massive non-fan of this nonsense cart.

Feels ok at time of use, soon after skin is quite irritated (isn’t this meant to have the opposite effect?) with bumps galore. Did 2 x WTG pass and then an XTG pass as it looked like I hadn’t shaved. Couple of hours post shave I notice I have black spike marks all over the place. Probably one of the most ineffective cartridges out there. I think I’d even take a 5 blade Fusion over this
 
OP
pjgh
Messages
9,093
Location
Halifax, Republic of Yorkshire
Two and a half months on, the top gloop strip has just dropped out.

I've had probably 35-40 shaves off this initial cartridge and consider it got better over time. Perhaps that's just me getting more used to the format or perhaps as the blades dull, more pressure can be applied. Either way, the shaves I've been getting for the last couple of months have been perfectly acceptable - not close, but close enough. I can equate the results with the Gillette Guard.

Off a single pass, as I do with all razors, it's okay. Growth after a day would certainly warrant daily shaving, if not twice daily if you were after smoothness. I've shaved daily over this period as well as every other day when presentation has not especially mattered.

I've not encountered irritation or ingrowers, the latter to which I am quite prone. Wearing a sweaty fencing mask with reasonable frequency and for prolonged periods, I can get in a mess around my chin/jawline if I don't pick and choose my shaves carefully. With the Fusion Sensitive, I've just shaved and got on with it ... I guess that's an endorsement, of sorts.

That said, I'd still recommend the Guard for all of the reasons that Gillette have brought this razor to market.
 
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