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 made electric shaving the only viable option.
But can you take electric shaving to the next level? In this article you’ll find out precisely how you can do it.
For me, shaving with a blade often ended up in a bloody mess. Literally.
I tried lots of shaving creams, pre-shave oils 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 having a coarse beard 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 very high 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 as well.
Without further ado, here are my 9 simple tips for a close and pain free wet shave with an electric razor:
1. Preparation is key.
As it’s the case 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 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.
2. 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 ingredients, 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.
Speick Shaving Cream
Out of all the creams I’ve used with my electric razors, this one is the best. It provides excellent lubrication and protection, making the shaver much more forgiving and allowing me to get the closest possible shave.
The post-shave sensation is incredible, with the skin feeling smooth, hydrated and most importantly, irritation free.
There are of course other great options out there and you can check out my detailed guide on the best shaving creams here.
3. Massage the cream into your face, gently lifting the stubble.
If you have a good badger hair brush, that’s even better.
I use the one below from Edgar Jagger and it works great, I’ve had it for at least 10 years and the quality is outstanding for the price.
Edwin Jagger Shaving Brush
Leave the lather 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.
4. Use only a thin layer of lather.
Using too much can actually have a negative impact on your results. Use thin layer, just enough to cover the stubble.
I find that a more watery consistency of the lather works best with electric shavers.
5. Shave against the grain.
If your beard grows in different directions, use your free hand and run it across small areas to determine the direction of growth. After some time you’ll have a mental map of the grain and you’ll naturally adjust the direction of the strokes.
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. Again, a thin layer works best
Try and experiment with different techniques to find the one that yields the best results for you.
For example, if you have a rotary shaver, you can use overlapping, clockwise and counter-clockwise circular motions, but also up and down and from left to right.
6. Make sure your razor is not running low on battery.
Because of the shaving cream the blades will face more resistance when oscillating and will need more power. Also, pulling and tugging can be experienced as some electric shavers can’t maintain peak power if the battery is almost out of juice .
7. After you’ve finished shaving, wash your face with cold water, pat dry and apply your favorite aftershave balm.
Just because you ditched the blade it doesn’t mean you should skip the post-shave treatment. Stay away from products that contain alcohol, they just sting and dry your skin.
You can check out my recommendations for an aftershave balm here.
8. 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 a thorough cleaning will remove any form of lubrication and that can lead to excessive heat and wear of the foil and blades.
9. Take your time and enjoy your shave.
For me, shaving has evolved from something I loathed into an enjoyable ritual that I actually look forward to.
And the use of a suitable wet/dry electric shaver along with a quality shaving cream have contributed massively to this.
Over to you
I know that this 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.
Have you tried using shaving cream with your electric shaver? Let me know know your thoughts in the comments below.