You’ve probably heard of PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) in cookware and outdoor gear. I’ve also covered this hazardous family of chemicals in household appliances where you might not expect to find them, such as clothes irons and hair curling wands

But did you know that toxic PFAS could also be coating razor blade edges? Yep, the razor you run over your face or your intimate body parts…

Sadly, it’s true.

Recently, Freedom of Information Act requests in Maine (which currently has the strictest PFAS disclosure laws in the world) revealed the names of dozens of companies that have thousands of diverse household, lawn, or agricultural products on the market with one major similarity: they all contain one or more PFAS.

In a win for corporations, Maine significantly amended its law in April 2024, easing its reporting requirements on PFAS in products and including exemptions to its bans.

In this article, I explain why the presence of PFAS on razor blade edges is problematic. 

You’ll also find out results from my investigations into several major razor brands. I make PFAS-free razor recommendations here, too.

This guide contains affiliate links, which means we may earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase (though not all links are affiliate!). As always, we only make recommendations that are genuine. Featured image credit: Billie.

PFAS hazards to human health and the environment

I’ve detailed the long list of health and environmental harms associated with PFAS in other articles. The worst include links to cancer, birth defects, and heart disease. The latest, chemotherapeutic resistance, was described in a peer-reviewed scientific journal article to be published in August 2024. The investigators found that a particular PFAS, which was supposedly a “safe alternative” to phased-out PFOS, reduced the efficacy of chemotherapy in cancer patients.

PFAS, as “forever chemicals,” exert toxic effects on marine organisms and ecosystems indefinitely (hence the nickname). They are highly mobile and rapidly contaminate groundwater. PFAS also bioaccumulate (build up) in living organisms such as fish, humans, and more. 

You can check out even more of the potential negative effects of PFAS in my article on artificial turf

PFAS in razors: Investigation results

Why are PFAS even in razors? Most of the time, they’re added for lubrication, “so as to reduce friction between the blade and the skin during shaving and reduce the force required to cut hair,” as the lawsuit mentioned below states.

They could also be used to prevent rust on the blades.

Although the Maine report identified only BIC razors as containing a PFAS coating, I expected to find others with PFAS, too. Tragically, my prediction was correct. In fact, it wasn’t easy identifying razor brands that are PFAS-free.

To make matters worse, the customer service rep at Leaf Shave told me that all modern razor blades are coated with PTFE, a type of PFAS!

It would have been convenient to have found “PFAS-free” claims on company websites, but unfortunately, I didn’t find any “PFAS-free” claims for razors. 

I predict we will start seeing more brands move away from intentionally-added PFAS in razors as these “forever chemicals” start being banned by more and more states.

Plus, class action suits brought by people harmed by PFAS are beginning to flood the judicial system, as the New York Times reported in May 2024. In fact, the first PFAS-related lawsuit against BIC has already been filed in California. It will soon become in the best interest of companies to disassociate themselves from PFAS.

PRO TIP: To play it safe, when you don’t see “PFAS-free” in a razor product description, assume PFAS are present until a company tells you otherwise. If you don’t see “PFAS-free,” ask whether any PFAS are on the blade before purchasing.

In addition to BIC razors, here’s a more complete list of some of the thousands of products containing PFAS (that we know of at this time).

For this article, I asked companies for the names of their products that were PFAS-free. Most reps did not know what I was talking about. So I explained on the phone and by email. Be ready to do the same when you inquire about PFAS in products.

I also asked the brands if any of their moisturizers, shaving creams, gels, or lotions contained fragrance. Since the word “fragrance” is the catch-all term for thousands of different chemicals (and phthalates can be included in that toxic mix), I wanted to know if they sold any “fragrance-free” and non-toxic shaving creams, moisturizers, etc.

[Phthalates is the name of another class of synthetic chemicals associated with several adverse health outcomes that I want to avoid. Reps do not know exactly what’s in the fragrance since they are proprietary (secret). The word phthalates is likely not on the label. So, finding out if “fragrance” is present is the best strategy if you’re avoiding phthalates as a health precaution.]

Razor brands without PFAS

Unless you want to test blades for PFAS yourself (which is a costly process!), all we can do is believe what companies tell us. The following companies said PFAS were not on their razor blades. 

Billie (My #1 pick)

razor brands without PFAS Billie
razor brands without PFAS Billie image 2

Team Billie wrote that their blades “do not contain PFAS and the unscented aloe shave soap surrounding our blades” does not contain fragrance.

When we followed up for more info, they told us that the soap strips around their blades are made of:

  • Charcoal Powder
  • Aloe Vera Leaf Juice
  • Shea Butter
  • Cyclodextrin
  • Polyethylene Glycol
  • Maltodextrin
  • Tocopherol (Vitamin E)

The only really concerning ingredient listed there is polyethylene glycol, which can be contaminated with a couple of carcinogens because of the way its processed.

That said, all things considered, Billie still gets our top pick if you want a regular razor with the disposable heads.

Billie was also our top pick for nickel-free razors, and they have great non-toxic dry shampoo, too.

All of their products (like their shave cream, wipes, lotion, dry shampoo, and more) are made without things like sulfates, parabens, synthetic dyes, or BHT.

Some of their products do contain undisclosed “fragrance,” though, so be sure to check on that before buying a specific product and/or choose the fragrance-free option. 

Some products also contain phenoxyethanol as a preservative. This isn’t the worst ingredient, but some folks choose to avoid or minimize it. 

If you’re looking for shaving cream, their Ultra Gentle Fragrance-Free option is a pretty good choice, although it does contain phenoxyethanol. 

Billie’s products are also vegan, cruelty-free, gluten-free, and made in the USA. 1% of their profits are donated to non-profit organizations around the country and around the globe, too.


razor brands without PFAS Kitsch
razor brands without PFAS Kitsh

An unnamed rep from Kitsch responded to my email by stating there are no PFAS in their razors. 

Their moisturizer contains “a light fragrance.” I followed up by asking if it contains phthalates. The rep told me: “While I don’t have the exact breakdown of all the ingredients in the fragrance, I can assure you that it is free from phthalates and other harmful chemicals.”

Kitsch is perhaps best known for their shampoo bars, which Ana tested out in our shampoo bar guide. In general, their ingredients are okay, but they do use undisclosed fragrance ingredients and artificial dyes, which is not great.

That said, they are explicitly free from parabens, phthalates, silicones, sulfates, and artificial fragrance. (They say the fragrances they use are all natural.)

Like Billie, they do use a couple of “iffy” ingredients in a few of their products. Their Castor Oil Hair Wax Stick, for example, contains phenoxyethanol and iodopropynyl butylcarbamate.

If you’re looking for shaving cream, Kitsch carries a Solid Shave Butter bar, which is made of minimal ingredients: Sodium Cocoate, Sodium Sunflowerate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Natural Fragrance, Titanium Dioxide (non-nanoparticle form), Mixed Tocopherols.

Again: the undisclosed fragrance here is not ideal, but at least it’s all-natural!

Also, Kitsch also told me that their razors are nickel-free as well!


razor brands without PFAS Meridian image 2
razor brands without PFAS Meridian

Meridian doesn’t sell conventional razors, but rather whole-body electric shavers / trimmers. 

We reached out to them via email and they replied within a day, saying: “​​Kindly know that Meridian trimmers are PFAS-free!”

The blades are actually made of ceramic instead of metal, which helps to reduce scratching and tugging.

In terms of their skincare products, they sell a Scrub, Cooler, and Pads. They’re all made from very minimal ingredients, and I didn’t find anything concerning there!

Public Goods

pfas free razor from public goods

This is another relatively eco-forward brand, so we reached out to them via email to ask about their razors. They replied:

“The blades are made from stainless steel and are nickel-free. The gel strips on our razors are made from aloe vera, stearic acid, and glycerol.

There are no other chemicals or ingredients.”

They sell a lot of other personal care products, home goods, and groceries. Some of them are better than others in terms of ingredients. As a whole, it’s not the “cleanest” brand in the world, but it’s not terrible, either.

That goes for their shave cream, too… It’s not awful, but it does contain a few iffy ingredients, including undisclosed fragrance (although it is natural).

Razor brands with PFAS

Company reps from the brands below told me that Teflon, which is made with PFAS, is on their blades. I recommend avoiding these brands:

Athena Club

Jasmine responded to our questions by listing the ingredients in the “serum” on their blades (which is good to know, but irrelevant to my PFAS question). 

So I wrote back repeating my questions. She said “We use polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), better known as Teflon, in the final coating of our blades.”


We already know from the Maine report and the resulting lawsuit that BIC’s razors (at least some of them) contain PFAS.

I reached out to BIC anyway to see if I could find out more, but I didn’t receive a reply. A search on their website for PFAS yielded no results, while “PFAS-free” brought up a page of pen products with only one razor, but the term didn’t appear on the razor’s page.

Leaf Shave

Unfortunately, Nicole, a Leaf Shave representative wrote: “Leaf brand blades do use an anti friction coating, PTFE. All shaving blades that we know of, of any variety (whether that’s a safety razor blade, your favorite cartridge razor brand, fully disposable plastic razors etc.) use anti-friction PTFE coatings. This is simply how modern shaving blades are made… As for the shave oil, it has no added fragrance.” 

Gillette (who also makes Venus)

There was not an online webform to send an email, so I called. Customer service rep Andrew did not know the answers to my questions. He put me on hold to find out. When he returned, Andrew said there is “a layer of Teflon on all premium blades that does not contain PFOA, PFOS, and 34 other PFAS.” He said the components in their coating was proprietary, and all Gillette blades are premium. 

(It’s important to note that there are anywhere from 9,000 to 15,000 different types of PFAS. So just because these razors are free from 36 different PFAS does not necessarily mean they are PFAS-free.)

Concerning a fragrance-free moisturizer, Andrew reported that the only moisturizer they sell with no fragrance is the Satin Care Ultra Sensitive Shave Gel. 

I would definitely avoid the heated razors from Gillette because heat is known to release PFAS from coatings. It’s probably not as high a temperature as cookware could be exposed to, but I’d rather be safe than sorry.

Questionable brands (Unclear if they’re PFAS-free or not)

These are the brands I contacted but have not heard back from yet. If/when I hear back from them, I will update this article accordingly! 

Grove Collaborative

I like this company with its many plastic-free/low-plastic products. It proudly states that one of its core values is being BPA-free. So, I was disappointed when Lisa, a customer service rep, told me to check the ingredients page of the razors for their PFAS status. As expected, they don’t specify that they’re PFAS-free. This means I have to contact each brand Grove Co. carries to be sure. When I explained this, Noreen said “We’re sending your request to the appropriate team and they’ll be following up here as soon as possible to take care of your request.”

I’ll let you know if/when I hear back from them.

Also, you can check out Abbie’s deep dive review on Grove here.


As an “eco-friendly” brand, I suspected Preserve could be PFAS-free. If I receive a reply, I’ll post it here.


This is another eco-friendly brand that sells safety razors. We reached out to them to ask about PFAS and haven’t heard back yet. We’ll update this when & if we hear back!


Nora from Flamingo responded to my questions by giving the ingredient statement for the lubricating strip on the blade. She also said their Deep Nourishing Cream contains fragrance. I asked my question about PFAS on the razor blade again and I’m still waiting on a response.  


I didn’t receive a reply. I will update here if I receive a response.


The Schick website box to type them a message did not work when I had tried it, so I called and spoke with Ann. She did not know the answers to my questions. After writing them down, she said she would send them to her supervisor and get back to me. While I was explaining what I was asking, the call suddenly ended. I called back, and again Ann responded. I explained my questions thoroughly. Ann said she’ll get back to me.

Takeaways on PFAS-free razors 

I was disheartened—but not surprised—to discover that several major razor brands use Teflon-coated blades in some or all of their offerings. (Teflon is made with PFAS.)

Of all the customer service reps I contacted for this article, no one could tell me when PFAS had first been added to razor blades. My guess would be decades ago when PFAS flooded the market and was added to all sorts of household products.

It is unknown whether razor companies have conducted tests to determine if their PFAS coatings migrate onto skin during use, into blood during a shaving nick, or leach into water when you clean the blades. No one would respond to that question. It may take more FOIA requests, a government that does not favor corporations, regulatory reform, and a slew of aggressive lawyers filing class action suits before we’ll know.

In a country where the precautionary principle doesn’t operate, we must not assume that if PFAS-coated razor blades were hazardous to human health, our government would prohibit them. Time and time again, citizens have had to prove a product caused great personal harm (such as cancer) before receiving compensation or before the chemical is finally restricted or banned.

In the meantime, I’ll play it safe and avoid all PFAS in all products I use, especially ones that come in contact with sensitive skin. I recommend you do the same if possible!

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About Jeanne

Jeanne Yacoubou, MS is an experienced researcher and writer passionate about all things environmental. She's written extensively on renewable energy, sustainability, the environmental impacts of diet, and toxic chemicals in food, water, air, and consumer products. When she’s not tending her organic garden or hanging out with her three teens, Jeanne is blogging about the latest scientific reports on our climate crisis. Jeanne holds master’s degrees in chemistry, ethics, and education. In between her graduate work, Jeanne served as a high school science teacher in Benin, West Africa as a Peace Corps volunteer for over three years.

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  1. Thank you for this information. I was wondering if you looked into platinum coated safety razor blades or carbon steel blades such as Treet?

    1. Hey Marie,
      No I haven’t looked into this brand yet, but I’ve just reached out to them and will add them to the article if/when I hear back!

  2. Thank you for your research! I enjoy your site! I looked into Billie awhile back and unfortunately they do contain PEG in the aloe soap blend around the razor. That and the lubricant strips on all razors I’ve found have PEG and/or other chemicals that are detrimental to health, can cause allergies, etc. Just wondering if you’ve found any razors with a strip that don’t contain anything harmful?

    1. Hi Laurie,
      As of right now, Billie is the best option we’ve found, all things considered. I’m still waiting to hear back from them with even more info about the soap around the blade. But personally, even though I do try to minimize PEGs when I can, it’s not as high up on the priority list as PFAS (especially since the concern with PEGs is with potential contamination and not with the ingredient itself). So until I can find a “perfect” option, I will definitely choose one with PEGs over PFAS, personally. 🙂