What’s The Best Electric Shaver For Sensitive Skin (2018)? Top 5 List

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HOMESHAVER COMPARISONREVIEWSARTICLES What’s The Best Electric Shaver For Sensitive Skin? Top 5 List (2018)

This has got to be one of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to electric shavers.

And it makes perfect sense—after all, most men that went for an electric razor did so just to get rid of the discomfort caused by shaving with a razor blade.

Regardless if you’re coming directly from traditional wet shaving or you just want an upgrade to your current electric razor, you’ll most likely want two things:  a close shave and a comfortable, pain-free experience.

However, finding the best electric shaver for sensitive skin is not as straightforward as some might think. And that’s because there isn’t such a thing as the best shaver, but one that is right for you.

Hopefully this article will help you find precisely that one.

Let’s get started!

Prep work is really important.

Before getting to the actual shavers, I have to point out that prep work and shaving technique are particularly important for men with sensitive skin.

There are a few, but very important aspects to keep in mind that can make a world of difference between a poor and a great shaving experience, so I highly recommend reading the above guides as well.

Rotary vs foil for sensitive skin.

Recommending one type of shaver vs another based on anecdotal evidence will always be a personal and subjective matter.

And the topic of this post is no exception.

I personally prefer foil shavers as I’ve always found them to be more comfortable and easier to use. I feel more confident and in control with a foil shaver compared to using a rotary razor.

Moreover, some rotary razors, especially the ones in the lower end segment, have a tendency to pull and yank the hairs.

Most men that have used both types seem to be on the same page as me when it comes to rotary vs foil shavers for sensitive skin.

For these reasons I consider foil razors to be a safer choice.

However, choosing a shaver ultimately comes down to the user’s particular needs and personal preference and there is no absolute truth here. Always choose whatever seems to work best for you.

What are the qualities of a shaver suitable for sensitive skin?

Even though many electric shavers out there will work just fine for most men, there are some aspects to keep in mind if your skin is prone to irritation, razor burn or ingrown hairs.

As someone who had to deal with this for years, I tried many shavers in order to find one that wouldn’t leave my face looking and feeling terrible.

In my opinion, these are the most important hallmarks of a shaver suitable for sensitive skin:

Sharp blades.

It may be a bit surprising to start off with this one, but high quality, sharp blades are one of the key elements of a shaver suitable for sensitive skin.

Dull blades can cause the razor to pull the hairs and the closeness of the shave will suffer as well.

This will eventually lead to more pressure being applied and will force you to do excessive passes, causing razor burn and irritation.

A great example of quality blades is Panasonic’s 30 degrees nano blades that have an aggressive 30 degrees bevel as the name implies. This allows the blades to cut the hairs clean, efficiently and without any pulling and yanking.

You should also check out the replacement foils and blades when looking for a new electric shaver; they must be readily available and ideally not too expensive.

Fast motor.

You will definitely feel the difference between a linear-drive motor that oscillates at 8 000 CPM (cycles per minute) and one that operates at 14 000 CPM.

A razor fitted with a more powerful motor will shave faster, smoother and with fewer passes, needs little to no pressure applied and contributes to a comfortable shave.

Yes, there’s more to an electric shaver than just numbers and specs, but a punchy motor is definitely a good starting point.

A shaving head that doesn’t get hot during operation.

This is yet another important and often neglected aspect.

If the shaving head gets very hot due to the friction between the blades and the foils, it will cause a great deal of discomfort.

You should also lubricate your razor regularly to reduce the heat generated during use and to minimize the wear of the blades and foils.

There are shavers that remain perfectly cool during use even in the case of an extended shaving session as you’ll see later on.

Being able to shave longer hairs that grow in different directions.

As someone with sensitive skin, sometimes you’ll have to wait for a couple of days or more between shaving sessions.

Your skin may need some time to recover and heal before subjecting it again to a potentially irritating factor, like rubbing a piece of metal against it.

Therefore, the shaver must cope well with longer hairs.

Lots of shavers have some trouble when shaving hairs that grow in different directions, especially on the neck, requiring multiple strokes and thus increasing the risk of irritation.

Wet & dry operation.

As I mentioned in a previous article, wet shaving can be extremely beneficial to men with sensitive skin.

Even though it takes longer and requires more prep work, it can make a big difference for some of us.

I encourage you to give it a try if your razor is suitable for wet/dry operation.

Now that we’ve covered the boring part, it’s time to check out some actual shavers so you can narrow down your options.

What are some of the best electric shavers for sensitive skin (2018)?

Shaver modelWet & dry useCleaning station
Braun Series 9 9290ccYesYes
Panasonic ES-LA63-S Arc 4YesNo
Braun 7 Series 790CCNoYes
Braun Series 5 5090ccNoYes
Braun Series 3 3040s ProSkinYesNo

1. Braun Series 9 9290cc

Check the price on Amazon

ProsCons
Extremely comfortable and gentle to the skinSimilar closeness to the less expensive Series 7 or 5
Close shaves Pricey
Great for longer, wiry, flat-lying hairs Overkill for light beards and/or everyday use
Suitable for very sensitive skin, ingrown hairs Manual cleaning is fiddly
Excellent (and necessary) cleaning station
Fast and powerful, suitable for coarse beards

The Series 9 is the latest and greatest from the popular German manufacturer and represents an evolution of the iconic Series 7.

Building upon an already great foundation, the Series 9 is a more powerful and more advanced electric shaver that takes comfort one notch higher.

Shaving with the Series 9 is a real treat; the foils remain cool during use and shaving is supremely comfortable, with no pulling or tugging even when shaving a three days beard.

The addition of the fourth cutting element, called the Direct & Cut trimmer, makes the Series 9 very efficient at cutting longer hairs that grow in different directions, requiring less passes compared to most other foil shavers.

The shaving head of the Series 9 9290cc with the updated, Titanium coated trimmer.

The Series 9 is really impressive at how it manages to provide close shaves while being very gentle to the skin. It feels effortless and will have no trouble shaving even very coarse stubble.

For these reasons, the Series 9 is probably the best electric razor out there for men with sensitive skin, provided that the budget is not really a constraint.

There are several variations of the Series 9, all of them offering the same performance. You can opt for a dry only model, like the first generation 9090cc, or for a wet & dry variation, like the 9290cc.

The cc models include an automatic cleaning station, while the s models do not.

The 9290cc that I reviewed in great detail here seems to be the best option as it generally costs less than all other Series 9 cc models and is suitable for wet and dry use.

For more details, you can read a comprehensive comparison between all the different Series 9 variations here.

I recommend you to opt for a Series 9 that also includes an automatic cleaning station. It works great and makes cleaning a non-issue.

With that said, the Series 9 is a bit pricey and for most men other less expensive options can also work just fine.

2. Panasonic ES-LA63-S Arc 4

Check the price on Amazon

ProsCons
Very close shaves Not as comfortable as a Series 7 or 5
Can be suitable for sensitive skin Not the best for longer, wiry, flat-lying hairs
Very fast and powerful, great for coarse facial hair Overkill for light beards
High quality, sharp blades Bulky shaving head takes some getting used to
Excellent wet shaving performance
Easy to clean manually
Very good value for money

This is a shaver that ticks pretty much all the important boxes: it has a powerful 14 000 CPM (cycles per minute) linear motor, a 4 blade cutting system (equipped with Panasonic’s excellent nano blades), together providing a very close and comfortable shave.

The reasonable price and a host of high-end features make the ES-LA63-S one of the best options out there.

You get a lot of shaver for that price as you’ll usually have to pay a lot more for a shaver of the same quality — for example, Panasonic’s very own Arc 5.

When used with a quality shaving cream, I actually think Panasonic razors work better than the ones from Braun, significantly improving the comfort of the shave. And the ES-LA63-S is no exception.

They’re also much easier to clean manually as the shaving head can be taken apart and rinsed thoroughly under tap water.

You can also buy the Arc 4 with a cleaning and charging station in the form of Panasonic ES-LA93-K. Other than a different color scheme it’s identical to the ES-LA63-S.

For a complete overview of Panasonic’s excellent Arc 4 family of shavers you can check out this article.

3. Braun 7 Series 790CC

Check the price on Amazon

ProsCons
Very comfortable (even during a dry shave)Doesn’t shave as close as a Panasonic Arc 4
Suitable for very sensitive skinA Series 5 is cheaper and very similar performance-wise
Close shaves Manual cleaning is fiddly
Reasonably priced compared to a Series 9
Works surprisingly well with longer, flat-lying hairs
Suitable for coarse beards

The Series 7 is a shaver that needs no introduction, being one of the most acclaimed shavers out there for its performance and supremely comfortable shaves.

Also, due to the micro-pulsations and specially designed middle trimmer, it’s very effective at shaving coarse, long or short hairs that grow in different directions.

It has a powerful motor, a 3 blade cutting system and a micro-foil that was designed to be sensitive skin friendly.

The Series 7 790cc is more expensive than the Panasonic ES-LA63-S, but it does come with an excellent cleaning and charging station.

You can only shave dry with the 790cc. Braun offers several wet/dry variations like the Series 7 7865CC, which is an almost identical shaver but it can also be used with shaving cream or gel.

However, the Series 7 is actually very comfortable during a dry shave, so you don’t really need the wet/dry feature in this case.

If you’re willing to give wet shaving a try — and I highly recommend you to — a Panasonic like the ES-LA63-S would probably be a better option.

The Series 7 can also be a more budget-friendly alternative to the pricey Series 9.

As I said in the direct comparison between the Series 7 and Series 9, for most men the Series 7 will work perfectly fine and only a few will see a significant difference when using the Series 9.

For more details on all the Series 7 models you can read our in-depth comparison and pick the right one for you.

4. Braun Series 5 5090cc

Check the price on Amazon

ProsCons
Very comfortable (even during a dry shave)Doesn’t shave as close as a Panasonic Arc 4
Suitable for sensitive skinNoisy during use
Similar to a Series 7 performance-wiseNot as refined as a Series 7
Very good value for moneyManual cleaning is fiddly
Excellent design and build quality
Suitable for coarse beards

The Series 5 from Braun is basically a Series 7 that costs less and doesn’t include some of its premium features, like the personalization modes and the micro-pulsation technology.

However, these features don’t make such a big difference in real life and the Series 5 represents a viable, more affordable alternative to the Series 7.

The Series 5 is available in several variations, suitable for wet/dry or dry only use. You can buy it with or without the cleaning station.

Regardless of your choice, they all provide the same shaving experience, being very comfortable during use, which makes the Series 5 a solid option for men with sensitive skin.

The 5090cc model that we reviewed a while ago is one of the best options as it comes with a cleaning station and it usually costs less than other similar Series 5 variations.

Just like the 790cc, this Series 5 can only be used dry, but again this won’t be a problem as it is very gentle to the skin.

The shavers listed so far are definitely some of the best out there, but they may not fit within a tight budget. Sharp blades, fast motors and an overall quality shaver usually come with a higher price tag.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t find a good product that’s also easy on the wallet. Granted, it won’t match the performance of the high-end razors, but they can get do a very decent job, especially if you shave more often.

5. Braun Series 3 3040s ProSkin

Check the price on Amazon

ProsCons
Very comfortableDoesn’t shave as close as a Panasonic Arc 3
Suitable for sensitive skinA bit underpowered for coarse facial hair
Inexpensive replacement shaving heads Works best only when used daily or every other day
Very good value for money
Wet & dry use
Excellent for beginners

A great inexpensive option is another razor from Braun, the Series 3 3040s ProSkin that we reviewed in detail here.

It is a surprisingly good shaver for sensitive skin, providing very comfortable shaves.

You won’t get the same closeness and performance as with the more advanced Series 5 or 7, but then again the 3040s is significantly cheaper and will be good enough in many situations.

If you have light to medium facial hair, the Series 3 will definitely be a suitable choice. You should also consider it if you shave daily and you’re more interested in comfort than getting a very close shave.

The Series 3 3040s offers excellent value for money as it has a very reasonable price and the replacement shaving heads are inexpensive.

Final word

You probably noticed that I didn’t recommend any rotary shavers; as I said in the beginning, I find foil razors to be more suitable for skin that is prone to irritation and razor burn. This was just my personal experience after using both types.

If you prefer a rotary shaver there are definitely some solid options out there, like the Philips Norelco 9300.

To wrap it up, a shaver suitable for sensitive skin is not a whole different machine that does some kind of magic.

Getting a pain free shave is a matter of doing the prep work right, taking your time, using the right technique and, of course, a suitable shaver.

Don’t forget to always follow-up your shave with a soothing, hydrating balm.

If you have any other questions make sure to post them in the comments below.

17 comments on “What’s The Best Electric Shaver For Sensitive Skin (2018)? Top 5 List

Leave a comment
  1. Pingback: Electric pre-shave products: should you use one? - ShaverCheck

    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Mo,

      I haven’t used the CoolTec yet, so I cannot give you an answer based on my shaving experience with that particular razor.

      Reply
  2. Mrs, Pamela Harton

    My husband is having radiotherapy to his face, and has been advised to get an electric razor. As his skin is now in a delicate state, can you recommend a suitable razor please.

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Pamela,

      while everyone’s different and my recommendations are only based on anecdotal evidence, I would say that the Braun Series 9 or Series 7 are arguably the most comfortable electric shavers you can buy today. They do not get hot during use and are very gentle to the skin. I hope this helps and I wish your husband a speedy recovery.

      Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Thank you for your comment, Mark. I’m glad you found the information useful.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  3. Anthony Barreto-Neto

    I only shave about 3 times per week. I’m lucky that my dad was a Native American and I inherited the low facial hair gene. But if I don’t shave those few times, it of course starts itching…no beard so no worry about that.
    Question is this: I do have allergies mainly to items related to black dyes…that doesn’t only mean dyes, unfortunately perfumes also…Can you recommend one of the Braun shavers, 9/7 or even 3 series that would be good for me, along with a pre shave…do you think I would be better with the wet or dry shave?
    Right now I’m using the single blade disposables, can’t use double etc…but I still get rash or maybe too much blood :)).

    Thanks very much for your article and any help you may render,

    Tony

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hello Tony,

      If you have a very light beard, a Panasonic Arc 3 or a Braun Series 3 will probably be good enough. You could spend more on a powerful and advanced shaver like the Arc 4 or Series 5 recommended in this article, but from your comment that would probably be overkill. If you are allergic to perfumes I would suggest to only go for fragrance free products. There are a few shaving creams available like the Truefitt & Hill Ultimate Comfort. The same applies for after shave balms, only use the ones with very light fragrances or none at all.

      If you opt for a wet/dry electric shaver like the Series 3 3040s you can try shaving wet and dry and see which method works best for you. There’s really no other way than to simply try them both (if the shaver is suitable to be used in such a manner of course).

      Hope this helps.
      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  4. Vicky Kamboj

    Hi,
    I use Philips electric shavers from last 6 years.
    This time i use philips 890.
    My skin os sensitive and hairs are veary hard.
    Philips shaver not suitable for my skin. After shaving, i feel buring on my face.
    Please suggest to me, Braun series 9 or 7 is good for me. Its working well on veary hard beard.

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi,

      Both the Series 7 and 9 are adequate for sensitive skin. However, the majority agrees that the Series 9 is better in this regard. After using both I am actually on the same page. Since you also have a coarse beard, the Series 9 would probably be a more suitable option.

      Reply
  5. Bryan Formosa

    I’m having Radiation Therapy and was Extremely glad to read your comments on Sensitive Electric Shavers, I have been advised to buy an Electric Shaver so this Article is very Special for me and I thank you for being Honest. Thanks again Bryan.

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Bryan,

      Thank you for your comment! I’m glad you found the information useful. I hope you’ll find a suitable electric shaver and I wish you a speedy recovery.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply
  6. Sam

    Hi,
    I currently use the The Panasonic Arc 4 ES-LA63-S. It works great on my face, and I have no complaints there, but doesn’t really do any justice on my neck. I have been using a razor, but it has been giving me really bad razor burn. What do you think the best option is for shaving a neck that has very, very sensitive skin?

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      Hi Sam,

      Definitely the Series 9 in my opinion. It is pricey though, so if you want a more budget oriented solution then the Series 7 would be the next best thing.

      Hope this helps.

      Sincerely,
      Ovidiu

      Reply

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