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What's Does a "Lubricating Strip" Do?

When cartridge razor systems first came out, the first "improvements" made by Gillette were to add a "lubricating strip" to the cartridge and call it the "plus" version. As in Atra Plus, etc. They did it too with the Good News/Good News Plus disposable.

I don't understand what a lubricating strip is supposed to do, since it follows rather than precedes the blades on a stroke. Anyone have any insight on that?
 
Shrug, on women's razors, I think they're called moisturizing. Either way, I suspect they're really to help moisturize the skin afterwards. So the fancy 3+ blade razor doesn't appear to scrape up your skin as badly.
 
Nothing. Marketing hype.

When cartridge razor systems first came out, the first "improvements" made by Gillette were to add a "lubricating strip" to the cartridge and call it the "plus" version. As in Atra Plus, etc. They did it too with the Good News/Good News Plus disposable.

I don't understand what a lubricating strip is supposed to do, since it follows rather than precedes the blades on a stroke. Anyone have any insight on that?
 
I used a Mach 3 from its inception until a few years ago. I would shave for an entire month (sometimes longer) on a single cart. My routine was to shower, slather on a palm full of canned foam, run the razor once from north to south, towel off my face and go. I didn't care a whit about the quality of the shave, I just knew I had to shave before reporting for work.

If I noticed the "lube strip" was missing from the razor, it would help remind me it was time to replace the cart :eek2:
 
I believe it is a brilliant means to siphon small amounts of money from your wallet while you shave...
+1
And when combined with Gillette shaving gel it will rot in no time fast (so you need to replace your carts more regularly). Brilliant chemistry for sales.
 
It contains a small microchip and water reservoir. As it senses the moisture level in your skin declining it releases some moisture with an anti-fugal agent with anti-efluvient properties to limit the water flow which results in a more comfortable and harmonious shave.
 
I always figured what it ended up being good for was when you shaved over the same spot again you weren't shaving bare skin.
 
As cynical as I'm inclined to be, I don't think it was just a gimmick to say Gillette had something new. Gillette in the 60's and 70's had a pretty serious focus on R&D with a dedicated R&D facility outside of D.C., high speed microscope cameras and the like, to actually improve products. There was serious science behind what they were doing with carts, the twin-blade arrangement of the Trac II and pivoting head of the Atra being examples.

I'm also a little skeptical of the idea that the strip somehow lubricates the face for future passes by releasing moisture or moisturizer. A lathered face doesn't go dry after a pass; not enough for some tiny release by that little strip to make a difference.

Maybe it's designed to provide a soft buffer between skin and razor? Maybe something about keeping the plastic of the cart from sliding over the face?

I think I'll send an email to the nice folks at Procter and Gamble and ask them.
 
Gillette got back to me very quickly with the response below. Looks like the strip (they're calling it a "lubrastrip") is designed to lubricate the razor going over the face and release a small amount of Aloe and Vitamin E. It also apparently is designed as an indicator to tell you when the cartridge or razor is nearing the end of its useful life.


Hi Charles,

Thanks for contacting us here at Gillette!


The indicator strip is a special type of lubrastrip that has a top

layer in one color and a bottom layer in another. Both layers

contain lubricants.The color of the top layer can change significantly

after only one shave.

The top layer is designed to wear away when you’re no longer getting

the best possible shave. However, the indicator lubrastrip may still

contain some level of lubrication after the top layer has worn away.

How quickly the strip fades can depends on your shaving technique

and the type of shave gel/foam you're using. For best results,

use one of our Gillette products.You can continue to use the cartridge

until it no longer gives a close shave or it feels uncomfortable.


The information regarding the earlier ones:

AtraPlus/ Contour Plus Lubrastrip Ingredients Contains?
Aloe Yes
Vitamin E Yes
Botanical Oils No
This is the information for the current ones:

Lubrastrip Information (Actual ingredient list is proprietary):
NO ANIMAL BY-PRODUCTS OR DERIVATIVES, NO FRAGRANCE.
NO LATEX, GLUTEN OR LANOLIN IN ANY LUBRASTRIPS.

As mentioned above, from the original white lubrastrips the

dissolving coloring were added to the newer ones.


Thanks again Charles!

Michael
Gillette Team
 
As cynical as I'm inclined to be, I don't think it was just a gimmick to say Gillette had something new. Gillette in the 60's and 70's had a pretty serious focus on R&D with a dedicated R&D facility outside of D.C., high speed microscope cameras and the like, to actually improve products. There was serious science behind what they were doing with carts, the twin-blade arrangement of the Trac II and pivoting head of the Atra being examples.

I'm also a little skeptical of the idea that the strip somehow lubricates the face for future passes by releasing moisture or moisturizer. A lathered face doesn't go dry after a pass; not enough for some tiny release by that little strip to make a difference.

Maybe it's designed to provide a soft buffer between skin and razor? Maybe something about keeping the plastic of the cart from sliding over the face?

I think I'll send an email to the nice folks at Procter and Gamble and ask them.
I give Gillette credit for their commitment to R&D...they continued with their tradition of a producing a quality product. I think most of us who enjoy what we call traditional wet shaving like to poo-poo carts, but really, when you really take a close look at one they are really well engineered.
 
Like the others have said, its an excuse for them to charge you more more for a cartridge.
I actually can see some sense in having a lube strip that touches your skin before the blade does but what I really dont get it a lube strip AFTER the blade.
 
Lubrastrip annoys me on gillette's razors, thank god it only lasts for a few shaves.

It makes your skin smoother than it really is and by that makes wrong impression of how successful shave actually is.
But lubrastrip is nice feature that shows when to change blades.
On the other hand feintechnik's lubrastrip on Challenge razor is quite good, it doesn't leave that gluey residue and I can make a another pass if missed on that part of skin if needed, but nothing strange since razor at whole is better than the gillette's mach 3.
 
I get great shaves from a Fusion cart but the first few shaves with a new lube strip seem to do something that my face doesn't like. I think there's some chemical in there that reacts with my face. I've removed the lube strip and found the shave acceptable but not as smooth as with the strip intact. Now I just use carts when I travel.
 
I may not favour Gillette, but I don't doubt their sincerity. Sincerity for finding an ever closer and more convenient shave... and of course it's sincerity for building ever higher profits.

King Gillette produced an amazing razor all those years ago, but the business model was the same. It hasn't changed. It's perfect business sense.
 
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