Pre Electric Shave Products: Should You Use One?

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Pre Electric Shave Products: Should You Use One?

Any noticeable improvements in closeness and comfort are more than welcome for anyone using an electric shaver.

Pre shave lotions and powders promise just that and many men seem to swear by them.

In this article we’ll take a look at how they work, the different types of products and if they really make a difference and are worth buying.

How do pre electric shaves work?

When using an electric razor for dry shaving, there a few factors that can make this task even more difficult and uncomfortable: the moisture and oils of the skin, flat lying hairs, flaky skin—to name just a few.

To make matters worse, dry shaving involves constantly rubbing a piece of metal over your skin that can also get hot and cause painful razor burn.

A pre electric shave is formulated to address precisely these issues and therefore provide a more comfortable and close shave.

Ideally, this type of products works by providing a layer of lubrication, absorbing the moisture, toning the skin and causing the hairs to stand straight, making it easier for the shaver to cut them. The end result is a closer, faster shave with less irritation and discomfort.

The different types of pre electric shave products

The most popular ones come in the form of a lotion/splash, gel or powder, each with its own pros and cons.

As it’s the case with most personal care products, choosing one over another is mostly a matter of personal preference.

Powder or talc

A powder/talc pre shave provides the most lubrication of all three, allowing the shaver to glide over the skin with less friction. It is also very efficient at dealing with oily skin and absorbing any kind of moisture.

Since it doesn’t contain alcohol, it doesn’t dry the skin and it’s perfectly suitable for very sensitive skin.

A downside of this type of products is that they can be a little messy to apply compared to a gel or splash.

On the bright side, a pre shave talc stick will last for months, offering great value for money.

An excellent pre shave powder is Remington Face Saver; manufactured in Switzerland, it has been around for a few decades and has gained a great reputation among electric shaving enthusiasts.

Remington Face Saver

Check the price on Amazon

To apply, you just rub the stick across your face and work it with your fingers into the beard. You can then proceed to shave as usual.

Please note that talcum is mineral-based and could contribute to a premature wear of the blades. However, it’s difficult to say with certainty if that’s the case in real life use.

Lostions/splashes and gels

A pre electric lotion or gel will usually include alcohol in the ingredient list, so you should definitely take this into consideration if you have very sensitive skin or suffer from any type of irritation.

Other than that, it does a great job of lifting the hairs, prepping the skin and providing a protective layer of lubrication.

After the shave, make sure to rinse your face and also thoroughly clean your razor; using a pre electric lotion or gel tends to make the hairs stick to the cutters.

Williams Lectric Shave is a very popular electric pre shave lotion. It improves the closeness of the shave and reduces irritation, especially on sensitive areas like the neck.

Williams Lectric Shave

Williams Lectric Shave

Check the price on Amazon

Be careful when applying though; being very runny, it tends to slip between your fingers if you are a bit heavy handed when applying.

I personally find Lectric Shave to work the best out of all especially when it comes to closeness. The only downside is that to me it seems just a bit oily, even though it won’t clog your razor.

The scent is also very pleasant and discreet. You can check out this post for more details on my experience with Williams Lectric Shave.

Another excellent option is a pre electric shave gel like Afta by Mennen.

Afta by Mennen

Check the price on Amazon

It’s very easy to apply due to its thick consistency, it dries the moisture, improves the glide of the razor over the skin and causes the hairs to stand up. The result is a smoother, closer and faster shave.

This gel is definitely easier to apply compared to the Lectric Shave above and also dries faster.

The only thing I can pick on is the scent; I don’t particularly care for it as to me it seems a bit too old fashioned and tends to linger for a while even after washing your face.

Should you use a pre electric shave product?

In my opinion, you should at least give it a try. Including an electric pre shave lotion or powder is, at least in theory, one of the simplest ways to significantly improve your dry shave.

Having said that, the improvement will vary and you may not see a noticeable difference, especially if you’re not affected by some of the issues described in this article. If that’s the case, you can probably skip it.

However, most men will benefit from using one and pre electric products are generally inexpensive, readily available and will also last for a long time. Including one as part of your pre shave routine can have a major impact on the overall shaving experience.

16 comments on “Pre Electric Shave Products: Should You Use One?

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    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Marita,

      online shops like have a variety of pre-electric shavers.

    1. Edward A Merritt

      I have used a Norelco electric razor on and off for many years. Every now and then I get tired of the electric and use a disposable in the shower. A disposable shaves much closer. However, the Norelco does a decent job. I have tried it all with electric razors — Face Saver stick power (a Remington product), talcum powder, Williams Lectric Shave, Purell, before shower dry with no prep, in the shower wet, in the shower with shave gel, and after shower clean with no prep. The Remington Face Saver works by far the best for me (closest shave and least amount of irritation). It’s a bit messy, but not messy like the problem of using talcum powder. Lectric Shave does a nice job of providing a close shave, but leaves one’s hands feeling greasy. Purell (yes, Purell — the hand sanitizer) does a good job of prep and works fine for me in setting the beard whiskers up. I can imagine that some will not like that much alcohol on their faces. Overall, the Purell is the most convenient for me, but I can’t use it when the humidity is too low, as it dries my skin too much. In the shower wet is not smooth for me or my face, so the razor ‘hops.’ In the shower with shaving gel works fine for a close shave and everywhere except for leaving my neck raw and stinging (maybe too close). After the shower clean with no other prep the razor seems to drag. Hope this helps. The Face Saver Stick Power (a super old school product that I remember from the ’60s or ’70s) is available through Amazon or eBay in lots of about 6 for $25 or so. Each stick lasts a month or so.

      1. James Krichbaum

        Wow! Thank You for the shaving wisdom. Anyone that has been shaving that long definitely knows their stuff.

        I obviously stumbled across this post because I was looking to see if I needed an electric shave gel and received this very helpful information. Thank you for the wisdom sir!

  1. Carrie Warkentin

    My stepfather used to use a blue liquid pre shave back in the 80-90’s that we’ve not been able to find any more. It looks a lot like the Williams Lectric shave but it was blue in a glass bottle. It had a really great easy on the nose smell. Anybody have any idea what it may have been called? I’ve been racking my brain but we can’t remember. Lol. Thx for any and all help in figuring this out.

    1. bschnetzler

      That sounds like Aquavelva and I’m pretty sure it is an aftershave.. my dad used Aquavelva almost exclusively when I was growing up and that’s exactly how it came packaged.

  2. Brandon

    For the Afta, the amazon product to which you link is “After Shave Skin Conditioner.” Is this the same thing as a pre-shave? I ask because the picture on the amazon site is different from the one on this site says “Shave Lotion with Skin Conditioner,” as opposed to what the amazon product says.

    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Thanks for the heads up, Brandon. I updated the link with the correct product. The aftershave conditioner is a different product, not to be used as a pre-shave.

  3. Al

    About Sterling’s Shaving Lubricator: What are the ingredients and what are the directions for use?

    Thank you.

    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Al,

      Just to make sure there are no confusions, Sterling’s Shaving Lubricator is a product intended for your electric razor, it’s not a pre-shave like Lectric Shave for example. Regarding your question, I’m afraid I cannot help you since I didn’t get the chance to try it yet.


  4. Perry

    Just got a new Panasonic shaver—with a “sonic vibration” cleaning mode—and noticed that the manual makes no mention of using a pre-shave. I have been using Lectric Shave (or house-brand equivalents) for decades, but when I asked Panasonic customer support, I was told that they recommend against using a pre-shave. Maybe I should call back and press for more details, but do you think they have a point, and if so, what do you think it is? Maybe something about the cleaning mode not working as well?

    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Perry,

      The addition of a pre-shave lotion like Lectric Shave or any other brand shouldn’t affect the performance of your Panasonic shaver. I can only think of mineral based pre-shave powders that can actually lead to a premature wear of the blades. I almost always use a pre-shave lotion when I shave dry and never had any issues with my Panasonic razors. Just make sure to clean it thoroughly after every use with some liquid soap to remove any residues.



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