Most men turn to electric shaving out of necessity. They either don’t have the time for the traditional blade and brush or the nicks, razor burn and ingrown hairs that some of us experience make electric shaving the only viable option.
But can you take electric shaving to the next level? Read along to find out.
For me, shaving with a blade often ended up in a bloody mess. Literally. I tried lots of shaving creams, pre-shave products and quality razors, but for my type of skin and facial hair none of them seemed to work. I particularly suffered from razor burn and my coarse stubble didn’t make things any easier.
After the foil of my old Braun razor finally gave in, I bought a wet/dry Panasonic that could be used in the shower or with shaving cream. Without having too much expectations I decided to give it a go. And I’m so glad I did it because for me it was a massive improvement.
I tried various techniques, shaving creams and electric razors throughout the years, some of them very good and some pretty terrible ones.
Without further ado, here are my 8 simple tips for a close and pain free wet shave:
- Preparation is key. As with traditional wet shaving, there are some things you should do prior to the actual shave: wash your face and neck with a cleansing or exfoliating gel and use plenty of warm water. This will get rid of all the dirt, oils, dead skin and other nasty stuff. A hot shower beforehand is also a highly recommended. For more information on this topic, check out my in-depth article on how to develop a simple and effective pre electric shave routine.
- Use a quality shaving cream. If it came out of a spray can, it’s probably not that good. A quality shaving cream contains, among other things, substances that act on the tough outer layer of the hair called the cuticle, causing it to swell and absorb water. This makes it a lot easier for the shaver to cut through the hairs. A good shaving cream also soothes, hydrates and conditions the skin. Flaky skin is much more prone to razor burn and irritation. My favorite is by far Speick, an inexpensive and natural shaving cream that outperforms everything I’ve tried so far. You can also check out our detailed guide on the best shaving creams here.
- Massage the cream into your face, gently lifting the stubble. If you have a good badger hair brush like this one from Edwin Jagger, that’s even better. Leave it on for at least 5 minutes before shaving. Remember, the hair has a very tough lining that the alkaline components in the shaving cream must soften. Give it some time to do it. This is one of the easiest and most important things you can do for a comfortable and close shave. If the lather gets too dry, use a bit of warm water and reapply.
- Shave against the grain. If your beard grows in different patterns, use your free hand and run it across small areas to determine the direction of growth. Do not use excessive pressure on the shaver. Reapply some cream over an area that needs multiple passes, but don’t overdue it as the razor may get clogged. A thin layer of a more watery consistency works best. Try and experience with different techniques to find the one that suits you and your skin.
- Make sure your razor is not running low on battery. Because of the shaving cream the blades will have more resistance when moving and will need more power. Also, pulling and tugging may be experienced as some electric shavers can’t maintain peak power if the battery is almost out of juice .
- After you’ve finished shaving, wash your face with cold water and apply your favorite aftershave balm. Just because you ditched the blade doesn’t mean you should skip the post-shave treatment. Stay away from products that contain alcohol, they just sting and dry your skin.
- Clean you shaver after every use according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This is particularly important after using it for wet shaving. If you want your razor to last a long time and to perform great, don’t skip this part. It’s also a good idea to lubricate the blades with a drop or two of fine machine oil as the cleaning will remove any form of lubrication and that can lead to excessive heat and wear of the foil and blades.
- Take your time and enjoy your shave.
I know that it seems like a lot to be done, but it really isn’t so. Yes, it does take a bit more time than just a quick dry shave but in my opinion it’s totally worth it. I personally shave dry only when time is really an issue.
With wet electric shaving you get the best of both worlds: a close shave that is almost as good as shaving with a blade and the comfortable and pain free experience of an electric razor.
My advice? Give it a try on weekends and see how it works out for you.
You can check our reviews section if you’re on the look for a shaver that can be used for both dry and wet shaving. It goes without saying that you should only use a razor that was designed with that in mind.
Do you use shaving cream with your electric shaver? Let me know know your thoughts in the comments below.