Any noticeable improvements to the closeness and comfort of the shave are more than welcome to anyone using an electric shaver.
Pre shave lotions and powders promise just that and many users 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 operation 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 thus help with a more comfortable and close shave.
Ideally, a product like this 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 capture and cut them.
The end result should be 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 the 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
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 just how much the use of one will impact the lifespan of the cutters.
Lotions/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 from alcohol.
Other than that, a pre-shave lotion does a great job of lifting the hairs, prepping the skin and providing a protective layer of lubrication.
They’re also easier and less messy to apply compared to powders.
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.
What are some of the best pre electric shave lotions?
1. Speick Pre Electric Shave Lotion
This one is by far my personal favorite. It works the best out of everything I’ve tried so far, allowing a perfectly smooth and very close dry shave.
It is alcohol-based, however this didn’t cause me any problems, even though I do have sensitive skin.
Unlike most other pre-shave lotions out there, the one from Speick doesn’t have that oily texture that tends to linger even after rinsing your face with water.
The scent is spicy and unoffensive and it goes away completely after a short time.
I’ve been very impressed by the quality of Speick products throughout the years and this pre-shave doesn’t disappoint. I highly recommend you to give it a try.
Since Speick is a Geman brand, it may be a bit more difficult to buy it in the USA for example.
2. Williams Lectric Shave
Williams Lectric Shave is a very popular pre-electric shave lotion that’s been around since the ’50s. It improves the closeness of the shave and reduces irritation, especially on sensitive areas like the neck.
Be careful when applying it though; being very runny, it tends to slip between your fingers if you are a bit heavy-handed.
I personally find Lectric Shave to work really well, especially when it comes to closeness. The only downside is that to me it seems quite oily. Despite that, it won’t however clog your razor.
The scent is also up for debate. While I don’t think it’s offensive, some may find it off-putting or a bit too old-fashioned.
You can check out this post for more details on my experience with Williams Lectric Shave.
Another popular option is a pre electric shave gel like Afta by Mennen.
3. Afta by Mennen
This gel is very easy to apply due to its thicker consistency. It dries the moisture from the skin, 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 product is definitely easier to apply compared to the lotions above and also dries faster.
I am personally not a fan of the Afta pre-electric because it tends to gunk up once it dries on the skin. And then there’s the fragrance.
I don’t particularly care for it as to me it seems a bit too old-fashioned and tends to linger on for a while even after washing my face.
Other than these two issues it seems to improve both the closeness and the comfort of the shave, even though the one from Williams has the edge in my opinion.
4. Aramis Lab Series Electric Shave Solution
This pre-shave from Lab Series includes a lot of quality ingredients and it’s the only one on this list that is fragrance-free.
So if you have any kind of perfume sensitivity you should really consider this one.
The Lab Series pre-shave works really well, being pretty much on par with the Williams Lectric Shave.
However, it also has that oily texture and costs significantly more than the Lectric Shave.
For this reason I actually recommend you to opt for the latter if you don’t need a fragrance-free pre-shave lotion. For more details, you can check out my review of the Lab Series.
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 your overall shaving experience.