By Samantha Faragalli
Updated Oct 25, 2015 @ 3:00 pm
Sharing Razors
Credit: Getty Images

Perhaps you share a bathroom with your roommates or siblings, which in that case, everyone getting dibs on the same shower essentials is sometimes unavoidable. However, sharing razors is high up there with sharing loofahs on the list of things not to do. To learn about the difference between men and women’s razors and why we really shouldn’t be dual-using this shaving essential, we checked in with Whitney Bowe, MD.

First off, men and women’s razors are designed differently, so aside from sanitary reasons, they should not be shared anyway. “Women’s razors are designed to help shave large surface areas whereas men’s razors are made for shaving their face,” Bowe tells InStyle. “The handle found on women’s razors usually contains a grip and a curve to provide comfort when shaving at an angle, and although some men’s razors have a pivoting cartridge, almost all women’s razors have a pivoting cartridge that helps make the shave easier for those curvy and hard to reach areas like the ankles and knees.”

However, there’s also a real sanitary reason as to why you should never share a razor with anyone. “Shaving results in tiny nicks in the skin and those openings can allow bacteria to enter and spread infection,” Bowe adds. “Not only that, but you’re vulnerable to warts and bacterial and fungal infections, and if there’s blood on the razor from a previous cut, it could result in transmitting blood viruses.”

Grossed out yet? Time to look for a solution. But we know mistaking your razor for someone else’s can be tough. To avoid the possible risk of infection, try color coordinating so you always know which is yours. In addition, to prolonging the life of your razor, keep it clean by rinsing it in warm water immediately after every use and keeping it in a dry place (not the wet, dewy shower) after bathing to prevent rusting.