For Florina Winter, head of Gillette Asia's reseach and development, the shaving razor is not simply about removing unwanted hair from the face, but also about the science behind the tool. As a project leader for Gillette products like the Mach 3, it might be seem unusual to people, especially men, to know that a female engineer is actually behind the product they use every day.
"If you look as a woman," Winter explains, "you can see it much easier without bias. But if you are a man, you have your own habits. I have been looking at the razor with different eyes. Shaving involves a complex interaction between skin, hair and blade."
Gillete has been helping men get a clean shave for more than a century and Winter's job is to ensure ongoing innovation. With specially designed nano-thin blades, the Mach 3 is designed to give a comfortable shave to avoid damage to the irregular soft surface of the skin regardless of the thickness of skin or hair.
No matter how revolutionary the razor, men still need to do it right. Here are Gillette's tips on six steps to the best shave.
The Gillette Mach 3 with nano-thin blades.
1. SHOWER BEFORE YOU SHAVE
Wash your face and neck with warm water and a mild cleanser or scrub to help remove the natural oils, perspiration and dry skin cells that inhibit water penetration.
2. APPLY PLENTY OF SHAVING GEL
Although warm water is the essential softening agent, the water absorbed by the hair quickly evaporates, leaving the hair in its original rigid state. Shaving gel provides a protective blanket that prevents the evaporation of water and keeps beard hair soft during the shave.
3. USE A LIGHT TOUCH
According to a clinical study, 67% of men tested characterised their skin as "sensitive". Use light, gentle strokes when shaving. Rinse the razor frequently to prevent the build-up of hairs and shaving gel on the blade edges and in the cartridge.
4. MAKE SURE YOUR BLADE IS FRESH
Some men have very thick facial hair which can make the blade dull faster. So make sure that you change your blade when you feel the razor drag on your face.
5. SHAVE HARD-TO-REACH SPOTS LAST
Shave the cheeks, sides of the face and neck first. The toughest whiskers grow on the chin and around the lips. Shave these areas last, as more time soaking in the shaving gel will soften the hair further.
6. AFTER THE SHAVE
After shaving, rinse your face and neck with cool water to close the pores and pat dry. Apply aftershave to moisturise your face but do not use a product that contains alcohol. At the end of every shave, rinse the blade thoroughly and shake off excess water before storing. Do not wipe the blades as this can damage the fine shaving edge.