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Designing for Sensitive Skin

R&D Scientist Nick Harrington Explains How SkinGuard Razors Work

— January 28, 2019 — Business
Gillette's SkinGuard razor is the brand's first design that's specifically made for men with sensitive skin, with its innovative technology helping to decrease any irritation users might experience when shaving. To find out more about the development process behind the razor, the consumer reception so far, and more, we spoke with R&D scientist Nick Harrington.

How is Gillette’s SkinGuard technology able to absorb the pressure the user applies to their razor for a safer shave? Does this prevent them from getting a closer cut?

Gillette SkinGuard is designed for men with sensitive skin who are looking for a comfortable shave. Other razors transfer the pressure from the razor to the blade edges, whereas the SkinGuard technology slightly raises the two Low Cutting Force blades and absorbs the pressure. With this technology, SkinGuard delivers men with sensitive skin a close and comfortable shave. For men with less sensitive skin who want the closest shave possible, I’d recommend one of the Fusion family razors.

Can you explain a little about what went into the development process?

The inspiration for the Gillette SkinGuard razor came from our very own employees who shared their shaving struggles that have resulted from issues associated with sensitive skin, such as razor burn and bumps. The R&D team iteratively tested prototypes over a period of approximately three years. During that time, we tested the razor with men all over the world and optimized the technology until we created a razor that’s “clinically proven for sensitive skin.” Any man can shave with Gillette SkinGuard, however it’s specifically designed for and appreciated by men with sensitive skin who are looking for a comfortable shave.

Specifically, an independent clinical study was conducted in the U.S. on behalf of P&G to evaluate the safety of SkinGuard, and found that the razor was well tolerated and safe for men with sensitive skin. Over a period of 28 days, men between the ages of 21 and 54 with self-assessed sensitive skin shaved daily with SkinGuard. Prior to their first shave with the product, a dermatologist graded the men’s sensitive skin for redness and dryness, while men self-reported their subjective symptoms of other sensory reactions like burning, stinging, itching and tingling. At the end of the 28-day trial period, none of the signs or symptoms of irritation increased, and all visual and sensory attributes had a very low score.

Are there any additional steps consumers can take when using Gillette SkinGuard to further prevent irritation?

Sensitive skin protection can be further enhanced with a consistent shaving regimen that starts with properly hydrating. Whether that means you shave in the shower or directly after, hydrating the hairs makes them more receptive to being cut. Just like the hair on your head, wet hair is easier to cut than dry hair. It’s also important to lather a generous amount of shave product onto your face before you go in with a razor. The new PURE by Gillette shave gel is a great option that’s recommended by the Dermatology Review PanelTM, a division of DRP Dermatology Inc. PURE is infused with aloe and is formulated without alcohol, dyes, parabens, and sulfates. When shaving, make sure you don’t press too hard with your razor either, just allow the razor to do the work. Following the direction of the hair will result in the most comfortable shave with least irritation. Replace your blades regularly and when you start to experience a decrease in performance. Gillette SkinGuard blades are designed to give you about a month of great shaves. Finally, be sure to use a post-shave product like moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated after the shave.

What has the response been to the new technology so far?

During the development period of Gillette SkinGuard, we were delighted to hear overwhelmingly positive feedback from men with sensitive skin who were surprised to have finally found a razor that was designed to help stop their irritation. We are still early in the launch, but we have continued to get positive responses from men globally who are getting a comfortable shave, even on sensitive skin.