OUR REVIEW of the new Wilkinson Sword Hydro 5 Sense Energize Razor:
I put the new Hydro 5 Sense razor from Wilkinson Sword through its paces with a strict, thorough test (meaning I took one home, and used it for my morning shave…)
Firstly - the official blurb. Anytime that a new product is released, the marketing-speak that goes along with it always takes a few re-reads to understand what it is saying. The more innovative the manufacturer, the more wordy and complicated the spiel becomes.
For this new razor, it was somewhere in the middle - Wilkinson Sword have used a few terms to describe their razor that you wouldn’t normally associate with a wet shave, but what they’re saying makes sense. See it for yourself by watching the Hydro 5 Sense TV ad:
In short, the Hydro 5 Sense has a shock absorber built into it. This stops you pressing too firmly against your face or neck while you’re shaving – reducing skin irritation. Something about a ‘Double Pivot Point’, apparently…
In practice, this is achieved by a pivot/hinge that forms part of the razor’s handle. When too much pressure is applied, the top part of the razor flexes away slightly from the face - reducing the pressure that’s applied to the skin. This function can be turned on and off (there’s a lock button to stop it flexing).
Secondly, the shaving head itself performs a similar movement – flexing away from the skin when the user is being too heavy handed.
Next, the shaving head itself has been given a workover. Razors have had for a while a ‘hydrating pool or strip’ built into them – something that essentially helps to lubricate the skin as your shaving, and deliver moisture to it as the razor head passes through. This latest incarnation features 7 hydrating gel pools (placed along the top strip), containing menthol. It’s intended to better protect the skin from irritation, and hydrate throughout each shave leaving your skin feeling energized.
These are great - they work really well. Afterwards your face is left with a gel-like substance on it that you'll need to rinse off - but that's the Hydro 5 Sense Energize Shaving Head really doing its job right.
Replacement shaving heads can be expensive - but when you understand the technology that goes into them (like these hydration pools) and the great shave you can get from them - you can begin to understand their expense, and appreciate how it can be justified paying such a sum for replacement blades. Personally - I'd have no hesitation in paying for these blades - IN FACT I've decided to use this razor ongoing myself.
Suppose a refill/replacement blade costs £3.50, and you get around 7 shaves with it (this is on average the number of shaves Wilkinson Sword suggest you'll get. The blades will stay properly sharp for much longer than this - it's the hydrating pools that will require replacing). 50p a shave makes a lot of sense to me - particularly when the shave is this good (read on for more on this...)
The shaving blades (the actual razors) also have been developed. Protecting ‘Skin Guards’ smooth the skin’s surface, preventing it from getting caught between blades (this also considerably reduces irritation).
All in all - the intended result from this new Wilkinson Sword Hydro 5 Sense Energize? A shave that irritates the skin LESS than any other.
Let’s see how the Hydro 5 Sense does…
To give this a proper test, I allowed around 3 days growth to build up before I shaved. That way if I was going to discover any problems with this razor, I was a lot more likely to do so than if I'd come at it baby-faced and clean-shaven.
I must say that initially, I was very tempted to lock the pivot/joint on the razor’s handle. I’m not used to this in a razor, and I’m by nature suspicious of change. However - telling myself that “there must be a reason it bends like this” - I left it in full flex mode.
When I was shaving, it felt initially as though I wasn’t using enough pressure. When I tried to do so, the razor flexed away from my skin slightly. So I applied a bit more pressure, and it flexed away even more. After a short moment of getting acquainted with this, it began to feel normal and natural – after a few strokes I’d forgotten all about it.
In fact, using this ‘reduced pressure’ on the area I was shaving turned out to shave just as closely as I’d expect. I didn’t have to repeat my shave once I was finished; there weren’t any areas where I had to go over them again and again – it shaved pretty effortlessly and smoothly.
Typically when I wet shave I’ll find that I’ve to go over the area on my neck twice. Usually, this leaves my skin feeling sore and tight, and looking a bit red. With this razor – I went over the same area twice as usual, but there wasn’t any irritation afterwards. No need for a post-shave balm or moisturiser – and I’d reiterate that I was shaving 3 days of growth. I’m impressed.
I’m fortunate that I don’t have particularly sensitive skin; all I can say about this razor is that in the one area would I would normally experience some irritation (my neck), I didn’t when using the Hydro 5 Sense.
I’ve used this on 4 occasions since this initial shave, and have found the same each time – a close shave that I’m pleased with, and no irritated skin afterwards.
And, I'm yet to experience a nick or shaving cut - which I'll attribute to the technology that goes into the 5 blades (something about Protecting Shaving Guards).
Ticks the boxes! Definitely, definitely - I will be using the Hydro 5 Sense razor.
One other thing I discovered when reviewing this razor – it’s just not possible for someone to take a video of themselves AND look good while they’re shaving. I’d an image in my head of what this would turn out like – maybe a guitar riff, slo-mo water being splashed onto my freshly shaven, rugged jawline. Instead – odd looking angles and hands in the way…