One of the nice things about living in the Philippines, combined with working from my house is that I sometimes go a couple of days between shaving. Just yesterday, John Miele wrote an article about body hair, and this article was not planned to be in competition with that, nor in conjunction with it. I just happened to have an experience at the store the other day, which led me to write this article. Anyway, yes, I do sometimes just shave a couple or three times per week, admittedly. That said, if I am going out to the mall, or anywhere out from the house, I do make sure that I am not too scraggly, because the “5 o’clock shadow” look is not really looked upon kindly here in the Philippines. Especially in Davao, a respectable person is expected to dress neatly and also be well groomed, and I try to follow the local customs as much as I can.
For years, I have been shaving with a Gillette Mach 3 Turbo razor. It is a triple blade system, and I’ve been very happy with the job that the Mach 3 does for me. My only complaint about the Mach 3 is the cost! I have two nice Mach 3 handles, which were given to me by a visitor from the States as a gift. The blades themselves, though, are very expensive here in the Philippines. I just looked on Amazon and found that the blades are not only expensive (by my standards, anyway) here in the Philippines, but they are expensive back in the States too! I regularly pay about P450 for 4 replacement blades for the Mach 3. That’s $10 for 4 blades, or about $2.50 each. To me, that is expensive.
Another downside on the Gillette blades, aside from the cost, is that about 25% of the time when I buy replacement blades, the blades are dull. I don’t know for sure why that is, but I figure that either they are sending 2nd quality blades to the Philippine market, or that perhaps some local vendors are selling fake Gillette blades, I can’t say for certain.
I have, for a long time, really wanted to go electric for shaving, but I have never been able to get good results with an electric razor. I own two electric razors, and they are both high end ones. One is a Norelco and the other is Remington, each is one of the higher end models from the respective manufacturer. I just never feel like I get a close shave, though, from an electric razor. Sometimes, I will use an electric razor to “touch myself up” in between blade shaves, though, if I am going out to the mall or something, and just shaved the day before. I can get a close enough shave on the day after using a blade, but for regular shaving, an electric razor is just not for me. Another problem with an electric is that they are harder to find here, and getting replacement parts like new blades and such is not easy, and also expensive.
In the past couple of months, I have been experimenting with different, less expensive razors. I have tried cheaper Gillette razors, some of them twin blades instead of three, and such. I have also tried some Schick products. Since all of the razors I have tried have been “lower end” products compared to what I have been using, I really have not been happy with the quality of shave that they would give me, though.
Yesterday, though, I was in the grocery store, and I saw a razor on the shelf that I was not familiar with. It was called a “SuperMax Swift 3” razor. I looked at it, and it was a 3 blade razor like I was using from Gillette, and it looked pretty good. I was shocked when I looked at the price. For the razor handle and 4 replacement blades (3 blades on each one), it was P57. Yeah, that’s right just P57! That’s just roughly $1.25 for 4 blades! I couldn’t believe my eyes. My natural feeling was that it must be a pretty inferior product, but for P57, I didn’t have much to lose if I tried it, so I bought one. I thought it was a Philippine made product, but after getting home and looking at it, I noticed on the package that it was made in India. A lot of inexpensive products here come from India, especially in the health care field, and prescription medicines.
Well, I was kind of anxious to try out my new razor and see if a P57 razor could do a decent job for me or not, so I gave it a try. I needed a shave anyway (I had broken my rule and gone to the grocery store with a 2 day “shadow”), so I gave it a try. I was shocked at the results. Frankly, it was way better than any of those “cheaper” Gillette and Schick products that I have been testing and not been satisfied with (and these were all way more expensive than this Swift 3). It was not quite as good as the Gillette Mach 3 that I have been using for years, but frankly, it was pretty close! Considering that the blades are about 1/10th of the cost, heck, it was good enough for me. So, I have decided that I am going to make the change to the SuperMax Swift 3 Razor!
My only thing is that I will continue testing this to see how long the blades last, that would be the only thing that might make me switch back – if the blades are dull after only a shave or two. Frankly, though, even if I needed to change to a new blade after each shave, it would be cheaper than the Gillette that I’ve been using.