Here’s the funniest part, though. Gillette’s new SkinGuard and its two blades will cost $8 for a handle and one cartridge. Four additional cartridges will cost $18 through Gillette’s razor blade subscription service. The three-blade Mach3 is $10 for four cartridges. That means the two-blade Gillettee razor costs almost twice what the three-blade one costs. Put differently, you can buy the Mach3 for almost half the price of the SkinGuard and get 50 percent more blades. Again, it’s quite the marketing strategy!

Gillette’s definition of innovation is creative, at best. This has been the case for years, as the company continues to come up with reasons for men and women to buy new types of razor blades. A few years ago, it was a spring-loaded hinge device called the FlexBall that was supposed to keep you from missing spots. Before that, it was a battery-powered device called the Fusion Power that vibrated when you shaved. The shaking was supposed to cut the hairs more easily or something. It’s been a dozen years since Gillette released the original five-bladed Fusion razor, and it’s been a full two decades since the launch of the Mach3 and its triple-blade design. So if, to Gillette, innovation has historically meant adding things to its razors, now it means taking them away.

Image for article titled Gillette's Latest Innovation Is Removing Blades From Razors
Photo: Adam Clark Estes (Gizmodo)

None of this makes it easier to figure out which razor isn’t going to cut up your face or legs or whatever you like to shave. The thing really worth considering is that innovation can be a tricky word, when you’re talking about basic goods like razors. At the end of the day, Gillette’s job is to talk you into thinking you need the new thing that it’s selling. In this case, the new thing looks a lot like the old thing, because it’s all marketing. It’s up to you to buy into it or, in this case, just laugh about it.