FFS shaving subscription review: 'An indispensable part of my bathroom routine'
We test the eco-friendly, high-quality shaving accoutrements available direct to your door
The rise of eco-conscious shopping has been a rapid one in recent years, and rightly so; in the midst of the climate crisis making changes from single use-plastic to sustainable long-lasting products is a small and mighty accomplishment. Reducing bathroom product waste is getting easier with shampoo bars, refillable shower gels, compostable loofahs and single-use plastic-free and recyclable razor blade subscriptions. FFS aka Friction Free Shaving, promises not only to eliminate razor rash and remove hair with no complaints but also to provide a convenient, flexible and fuss and waste-free service. You'll never have to go to the shop for blades, or bin a plastic razor ever again, how does that sound?
Reassessing the impact of life's many routines, changing my shaving habits proved an easy one. I ditched plastic razors some time ago and had been struggling with an old-school safety razor complete with its terrifying, fiddly blades for a few years. It's fair to say discovering FFS couldn't have come at a better time.
My starter kit came with an engraved handle (nice touch!), four easy to load blades, a clamshell cover, a storage bag and cruelty-free shaving cream. The reusable handle is slick-looking and holds up as a sturdy piece of kit. Unlike a safety razor, FFS blades are effortless to load, clean and store. FFS recommends using one blade per week to avoid razor rash and achieve the best results – I personally stretch a blade out for two weeks. A single-use razor would have taken a layer of skin off my legs by the last shave but FFS' results remain consistent – the blade cuts closer and doesn't wreck my sensitive skin.
Having used FFS for two months now, and received a second delivery of blades, I love the convenience of my subscription. Gone are the days of trying to find razors or blades in stock, on offer or at short notice (date night hello!) then whacking them in the bin. Instead, effective blades appear through my letterbox once every two months. The only notable pitt-fall is the cost of shipping the blades back for recycling. Other similar services offer free postage, saving their customers a few pounds that could put people off using the scheme. (Becki Crossley)
Thanks to our pals Sir David and Greta, reducing the amount of plastic in our lives has never been a more pressing issue. We can all do our bit for the planet, and for most of us, that starts at home: whether it's reducing the amount of packaging in our weekly grocery shop, or finding eco-friendly alternatives to fast fashion. Speaking to my friends on the subject, however, one area that we've all struggled to rid of plastics is in the bathroom, as so much of our hygiene routine centres around disposable plastics.
Enter FFS. They deliver high-quality shaving accoutrements direct to your door, centred around their reusable metal razor handle. Their subscription service sends regular shipments of their diamond-coated razor blades through your mailbox in recyclable packaging. When you're done with the blades, simply send it back to the company via the FFS Blade Recycling Scheme, so that they can be safely recycled rather than end up in a landfill.
Upon opening my starter kit, the first thing that grabbed my attention is the metal handle, which is undeniably stylish. There's a nice weightiness to it that my plastic razor lacked and this subtle heft, plus FFS' free monogramming service, immediately elevates the shaving experience. The blades come in a plastic cartridge, which is not ideal, and unfortunately there isn't any information about whether it's recyclable, but hopefully this can be sent back to FFS to be recycled along with the blades.
In regards to the shave itself, the experience wasn't immediately revelatory. The shave maybe felt a bit closer and more frictionless than my previous disposable razor, but not immensely so. It was only in the hours and days after that my FFS razor's main virtue revealed itself: my skin, which usually feels red, bumpy and itchy after a shave, needed little-to-no aftercare. I usually have to lather my legs with moisturiser for a day or two afterwards to keep the itchiness down, but after a shave with my FFS razor, my skin didn't feel irritated at all. This was the case when I used both plain soap and the Friction Free Shave Cream that came with my starter pack.
Overall, though the FFS experience wasn't quite as life-changing as the many plaudits had me believe, the convenience and price, coupled with the company's recycling programme and how good my skin felt afterwards, has made it an indispensable (and non-disposable!) part of my bathroom routine. (Deborah Chu)