Gillette SkinGuard Sensitive Review

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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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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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
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.
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.
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.