If you’re using an electric razor, any noticeable improvements to the closeness and comfort of your shave should be more than welcome.
Pre-shave lotions promise just that with basically no extra work and many users seem to swear by them.
In this article, we’ll take a look at how they work, the different types of pre-shaves and see if they really make a difference and are worth buying.
I’ll also be sharing some of the best pre-shaves out there after testing pretty much all the popular brands.
Table of Contents
- What’s a pre-shave and how does it work?
- The different types of pre electric shave products
- What are some of the best pre electric shave lotions?
- Wrapup — Should you use a pre-shave?
What’s a pre-shave and how does it work?
When using an electric razor for a dry shave, there are a few things that can make this operation even more difficult and uncomfortable:
- the moisture and oils of the skin
- flat-lying hairs
- hairs that grow in different directions
- coarse, wiry beards
- flaky skin
…to name just a few.
To make matters worse, shaving dry involves constantly rubbing a piece of metal over your skin that can also get hot and cause painful razor burn.
A pre-electric shave solution 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, priming the hairs and causing them to stand upright, 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 specific pros and cons.
As it’s the case with most personal care products, choosing one over another is mostly a matter of personal preference.
A powder/talc pre-shave provides the most lubrication of all, 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 suitable for very sensitive skin.
A downside of this type of product is that it can be a little messy to apply compared to a gel or solution.
On the bright side, a pre shave stick will last for months, offering great value for money.
An excellent pre shave powder and by far the most popular 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 premature wear of the blades.
However, it’s difficult to say with certainty just how much the use of it will impact the lifespan of the cutters.
Lotions/splashes and gels
A pre electric lotion or gel will usually include alcohol in the ingredients 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.
You just pour some product into the palm of your hand, rub your hands together then massage the solution/gel into the stubble.
Most pre-shave solutions evaporate completely within seconds, so there’s really no extra work involved compared to your normal routine.
After the shave, make sure to rinse your face with water and also thoroughly clean your razor, even though lotions and gels leave far fewer residues compared to powders (if any at all).
Lotions vs powders: which one should you use?
There’s really no right or wrong answer here and you should simply go with the product that seems to make the most sense for you considering its pros and cons.
However, an alcohol-based pre-electric shave lotion will probably be the best option for most users.
They’re widely available, extremely easy to apply, require no extra work at all and there aren’t any serious drawbacks.
I’m personally a big fan of pre-shave lotions and I’ve tried lots of them. In fact, I often used to shave wet with my electric razors because the results of a dry shave weren’t quite satisfactory.
I can honestly say that using a quality pre-shave lotion was a game-changer for me and in the next section I will be sharing some of my favorites.
What are some of the best pre electric shave lotions?
1. Speick Pre Electric Shave Lotion
- Excellent performance (closeness and comfort)
- No oily residue on the skin
- Highly versatile, works with any shaver
- High quality, natural ingredients
- Spicy, manly fragrance
- Can be difficult to get outside of Europe
I think the best pre-shave lotion for most users would be the one from Speick.
It’s been my go-to pre-shave lotion for years and one that has constantly provided the best results regardless of the shaver.
Side note: Speick is a small family-owned company from Germany that makes high-quality products for personal men’s care.
I think most men will find this pre-shave beneficial and allow them to get a closer, smoother shave that also takes less time to complete.
Like all the pre-shave lotions in this post, it is alcohol-based, but this didn’t cause me any issues, even though I have sensitive skin.
The Speick pre-shave also has an impressive list of natural ingredients that work together really well and make the product more effective than pretty much anything out there.
Among those we have lavender oil, linalool, lemon peel oil, menthol, camphor and Valeriana Celtica (Speick) extract.
The latter is the company’s trademark ingredient and is found in all of their products.
This pre-shave lotion doesn’t leave an oily residue as some do but it still leaves the skin feeling hydrated and plump and allows the shaver — foil or rotary — to glide with ease.
If you sometimes feel your shaver struggling to cut the stubble and requiring many strokes, I think you’ll notice an improvement.
The scent is spicy and unoffensive and it goes away completely after a while. It has a barbershop vibe that most users seem to like.
I’ve been very impressed by the quality of Speick products throughout the years and this pre-shave doesn’t disappoint.
I highly recommend it to anyone struggling to get a good dry shave.
Since Speick is a Geman brand, it may be a bit more difficult to buy it in the USA for example. It’s also on the pricey side.
Side note: Speick has recently updated the packaging of some of their products, including the pre-shave lotion.
However, the formulation hasn’t changed and it’s still the best option for most men.
2. Tabac Pre Electric Shave Lotion
- Excellent performance (closeness and comfort)
- No oily residue on the skin
- Dries instantly
- Nice, classic Tabac fragrance
- Can leave the skin too dry
- Not recommended for rotary razors
- Can be difficult to get outside of Europe
Tabac Original is an iconic name in the shaving industry, particularly known for its triple-milled hard shaving soaps.
Even though Tabac is synonymous with traditional wet shaving, they also have a pre-electric shave lotion in their lineup. And they really nailed it with that one.
Despite the fact that I’ve discovered it pretty recently, I can confidently say that it’s among the best pre-shaves I’ve ever used.
First of all, the performance is outstanding, pretty much on the same level as the Speick pre-shave at number 1.
It makes the biggest difference to the comfort, closeness and time it takes me to complete my shave.
The difficult flat-lying hairs, even the ones on the neck, are also a lot easier to capture and cut.
Secondly, it’s not oily at all. Some pre-electric solutions leave this oily film that can linger on even after you rinse your face with water.
The Tabac pre-shave also dries instantly once you apply it to the skin, so you can proceed to shave immediately.
In fact, this lotion is so potent in that regard that it could make the skin feel too dry if your skin is already on the dry side.
If that happens, using a shaver with a really large head or a rotary could actually be tricky as it won’t glide as easily.
And that’s the main reason why it didn’t get the first place — it’s not as versatile as the Speick lotion which is my default recommendation.
Tabac doesn’t leave any residue on the shaver either, which is something I cannot say about all these products (for example, the Afta by Mennen gel can gunk up and even clog the razor).
Finally, there’s the fragrance. While it is quite potent and has a bit of an old-fashion vibe, it’s classic Tabac, so very manly, spicy, and warm with its trademark vanilla hint.
Personally, I love the scent. It is by far my favorite on this list.
As for downsides, the Tabac pre-electric shave isn’t exactly cheap — it’s easily the most expensive on this list.
And because it’s a German brand like Speick, it’s not always easy to find outside Europe.
3. Williams Lectric Shave
- Very good performance (closeness and comfort)
- Highly versatile, works with any shaver
- Great value for money
- Widely available
- A bit oily
- The scent is rather old-fashioned
Williams Lectric Shave is a very popular pre-electric shave lotion that’s been around since the ’50s.
It is by far the most reasonably priced pre-shave on this list and offers the best value for money.
The Lectric Shave 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, but again it isn’t quite as good as the previous two. Then again, Speick and Tabac are significantly more expensive.
One downside is that to me the Lectric Shave solution is 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.
4. Blue Stratos Pre Electric Shaving Lotion
- Excellent performance (closeness and comfort)
- Minimal oily residue on the skin
- Highly versatile, works with any shaver
- Great value for money
- Unoffensive, manly fragrance
- Only available in the UK/Europe
The pre-electric solution from Blue Stratos is the newest entry to this list and also to my personal arsenal.
It is however a very pleasant and unexpected surprise given it’s relatively unknown outside the UK and also costs (a lot) less than other brands.
The Blue Stratos lotion is alcohol-based, as expected, but also contains a few high-quality ingredients like linalool, tree moss extract, citral and limonene.
And it really shows, the performance being excellent, on par with Lectric Shave, but feeling less oily and with a nicer scent.
You can safely use it with any type of electric shaver and it will most likely improve its performance.
The Blue Stratos pre-shave is only at number four in this roundup because you can only get it in the UK and a handful of other European countries.
If you live in the USA, the Williams Lectric Shave lotion would be an excellent alternative.
5. Lab Series Electric Shave Solution
- Very good performance (closeness and comfort)
- Highly versatile, works with any shaver
- Fragrance free
- Suitable for very sensitive skin
- A bit too oily
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 (although it does seem to have a very faint scent to my nose).
However, that likely comes from some of the natural ingredients — there’s no added fragrance.
So if you have any kind of perfume sensitivity you should consider it.
The Lab Series pre-shave works quite well, being pretty much on par with the Williams Lectric Shave in my experience.
However, it also has that oily texture and costs significantly more than the Lectric Shave. So for most users, I don’t really think it’s worth buying.
In fact, I only recommend you to opt for the Lab Series pre-shave if you need a fragrance-free pre-shave lotion.
For more details, you can check out my review of the Lab Series.
Side note: The original Lab Series pre-shave that came in the clear bottle was discontinued. Last year, the product was relaunched in a new packaging (opaque grey bottle). The ingredients and performance have remained the same.
I’ve tried both variations and I really couldn’t tell any differences.
However, the new one has a milder fragrance, which is probably a good thing since the Lab Series preshave is marketed as a fragrance-free solution.
6. Afta Pre-Electric by Mennen
- Good performance (closeness and comfort)
- Doesn’t feel oily
- Very easy to apply thanks to its thick texture
- Highly versatile, works with any shaver
- Great value for money
- It can gunk up the shaver
- The scent is quite potent and not very appealing
The Afta pre-shave gel is very easy to apply thanks to its thicker consistency.
It dries the moisture from the skin, improves the gliding of the razor over the skin and makes the hairs stand upright.
The result is a smoother, closer and faster shave.
This product is definitely easier to apply compared to the lotions above.
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.
So unless you absolutely need a pre-shave gel or it’s the only one you can get, I think you’ll be better off with any of the previously recommended products.
Other than those 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 and also costs less.
Wrapup — Should you use a pre-shave?
In my opinion, you should at least give it a try.
Including an electric pre-shave lotion or powder is one of the simplest ways to 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 easy to apply.
Including one as part of your pre-shave routine can have a major impact on your overall shaving experience.
Over to you now: What’s your favorite pre-shave? Share your thoughts and questions in the comments section below.
229 thoughts on “The Best Pre Electric Shave Lotions (2023): A Definitive Guide”Leave a comment
Where do i find the pre electric shave. I already tried about ten shops.
online shops like Amazon.com have a variety of pre-electric shavers.
Walmart , krogers , have the williams lectric shave
Great summary. Thanks.
Whats better? Dry or wet shave?
Is a wet with foam better than a dry with powder?
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 in lots of about 6 for $25 or so. Each stick lasts a month or so.
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!
What ever happened to Old Spice pre electric?
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.
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.
You get Williams Lectric in blue colour also.
Williams used to make Lectric Shave for Sensitive Skin.. it was blue.
it’s also been discontinued for several years. I use Afta Pre-Electric for a few years. It is easier to apply and it does a great job
Do you think I can use an electric pre shave oil with a dry foil shaver. I.e. an Andis Profoil?
I honestly wouldn’t recommend a pre-shave oil as it will make the hair clippings stick to the foils and to the cutters. Also, the Andis ProFoil produces some of the finer hair dust I’ve seen, so it’ll be a pain to clean (you cannot simply rinse it with water as in the case of a waterproof shaver). Other dry only shavers like the Braun Series 3 3000s are waterproof, but the ProFoil is not. My suggestion would be to use an alcohol-based pre-shave lotion like the ones in this post.
Thanks heaps. As you rightly suggested it is very hard sourcing the Tabac and Speik products in Australia.
You are very welcome. That’s unfortunate as those two are really good pre-shave lotions. Try eBay or Amazon as well, you may be able to find a vendor that ships overseas for a reasonable fee.
You might be referring to Aramis Lab Series…you can find it on Amazon, where it has excellent reviews. Hope this helps.
Did u mean Aqua Velva?
It was Williams Electric shave ultra. The Williams Electric shave ultra was great and better than the currently available Williams Electric shave. I believe they stopped making the ultra years ago.
Carrie Warkentin, That was William Lectric Shave for Sensative Skin. I used to use it but it was discontinued by Williams. Yes I used it too. Now I use Afta
You might be talking about the Lab Series
Hi that sounds like blue stratos:
Blue Stratos Pre-Electric, 100 ml https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0014SEMQK/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_g6hIDb7JWT031
Blue Formula Lectric Shave for Tender Faces… They stopped making it sometime in the late 80s…
Sounds like Blue Stratos as someone else has mentioned below. I have been using it for about 20 years now after Boots stopped stocking Tabac pre-electric shave.
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.
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.
About Sterling’s Shaving Lubricator: What are the ingredients and what are the directions for use?
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.
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?
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.
I have norelco 9000 series, and I used Remington face savor power stick and it made my norelco 9000 series blade dull. I am sure about that. Few years ago,I had used Johnson baby pawoder as a preshave and it also did dull my norelco blade. So . Minerals like Remington face savor power stick will dull any rotary electric shaver.
Thank you for taking the time to share your experience — that pretty much confirms it. I prefer lotions over powder sticks and have rarely used one.
Who really cares if it smells old fashioned? You can smell a bit more timeless then, as well as classy!
Well, some actually do care and I always try to cover everything that may be important. Fragrance is a tricky one, I’ll admit that.
I have good results with just using alchol! Wet your face, let it dry, hairs stand up, then use Panasonic ARC 5! Very close shave!
My son is autistic and has a terrible time tolerating alcohol-based odors. We will try the Face Saver stick!
That’s probably the best option since pretty much all pre-shave lotion/gels are alcohol-based.
Thank you for sharing….I am a woman…I have been shaving my head for approximately one month with the Wahl Shaver and Shaper. Overall I am pleased, but I would like a closer shave in the back behind my ears and on my neck.
Question, are the pre-shave dry options for the head as well as a he face.
Thank you for your comment. Theoretically, you could use a pre-shave when shaving your head, but be wary that the scalp is very sensitive and susceptible to some unpleasant reactions. I would personally advise against using a pre-shave directly on the scalp, be it talcum or an alcohol-based lotion. You could give it a try and see how it goes, but only apply the product on a very small area at first and see how it goes. You can safely use a pre-shave on your neck though.
Shaving oils and creams are usually used for shaving the head, but those also imply the use of a razor blade, not an electric shaver.
Hope this helps.
I’ve been using the Face Saver on my face, the back of my neck, and my scalp for quite a few years with no adverse reactions. It especially helps reduce the shaving irritation to the back of my neck.
Awesome, Greg! Thank you for taking the time to share this.
Will any of the pre-shave lotions or sticks help keep the razor foil and cutters sharp.
A pre-shave will have an insignificant effect as a lubricant. Alcohol-based splashes evaporate within seconds and some sticks that are mineral-based can actually accelerate the wear. The only option that actually works is to use a light lubricant (clipper oil, sewing machine oil) or a special spray lubricant like the Remington Shaver Saver.
Thanks Ovidiu for the input on keeping my electric shaver foil and blades in the best condition.
I havn’t seen any reference to And is Cool Care Plus clippers spray. It contains lubticant, disinfectant, cleaner and rust preventative. My friend uses it on his Panasonic Arc 5. He also uses navy oil to lubricate the razor. I think his thinking is in left field.
. He says And is primarily used for hair clippers. I use your Remington product. You comment would would be appreciated.
Haven’t had the chance to try the Andis spray yet, but I’ve heard great things about it and it should work perfectly fine with electric shavers too. I usually recommend products that I’ve actually used, but there are of course other excellent alternatives as well.
I have tried Andis Cool Care Plus and Remington Shaver Saver. I believe Andis has two advantages over Remington: 1) Andis smells much better than Remington, and 2) Andis works better than Remington for cooling a shaver in the middle of a shave. The shaver feels pleasantly cold for a long time after using the Andis.
I didn’t find any difference between the two, and believe they both work perfectly, in terms of lubrication and cleaning the residues.
Thanks for the feedback, much appreciated. Haven’t tried the Andis spray yet, but I definitely will, especially since the Shaver Saver is nowhere to be found in Europe right now. I love it and I think it’s a great product, but the scent is indeed off-putting and plain nasty.
Thanks for this post. Feel good to read this article, this website has been my gateway to information 🙂
Thanks for the comment, Charles. I really appreciate it.
Would these pre electric products be effective to use with a stubble trimmer? More so for lifting the hairs, since stubble trimmers are not designed for a close shave? I use the Conair i-stubble flexhead trimmer (0.02mm setting for cheek and neck lines and 0.04mm for the rest).
You can definitely try using one, although I cannot say anything about their effectiveness when used with a stubble trimmer. As I said in the post, I would choose the pre-shave from Speick mainly because it’s not oily and it seems to work better than the rest. The scent is also better compared to Lectric Shave which is by far the most popular pre-shave in this list.
It’s worth a try. I’m definitely going to try the pre electric shave lotion from Speick. I’ll probably get most of the benefit on my cheek and neck line areas where I use the 0.02mm base blade.
I used a Norelco 3-head electric razor when I was a teenager, then switched to the Gillette Mach3 cartridge razor because of my thick, heavy beard. I recently switched to the stubble trimmer, mainly because it’s fast and easy, plus I don’t need to be clean shaven for work or any other situation really. It would take me a good 15 minutes to shave using the cartridge razor (prep, shaving, post including clean up). It’s takes me about 5 minutes to trimmer using the stubble trimmer 🙂
I recently purchased a Braun Series 9 razor with a cleaning unit.
It states that you should get 30 cleaning cycles from one cleaning cartridge, but I only seem to 14-16 cycles from a cartridge. Is there a reason for this?
Excessive hair strands and the evaporation of the cleaning fluid are likely the most important causes of this. I wrote a detailed guide on how to make the Braun cleaning refills last longer.
Hope this helps.
Appreciate your reviews on this and electric razors. I’ve been using electric shavers for over 50 years and always have problems with getting my neck shaved cleanly. Most recently I’ve been using a Braun 9 series but still not happy with the neck. Based on your review of shavers picked up the Norelco 8900. It does a better job but it caused some irritation which is something that has happened to me before with Norelco.
I picked up the Speick lotion and am happy with it. Plus I seem to get a decent shave with the Braun using it. Wish the Norelco had worked but I think it’s going back since the lotion didn’t prevent the irritation. One question on the lotion, is there a secret to pouring it so it doesn’t run down the bottle?
Thanks for your comment, I really appreciate it. Glad to hear the Speick lotion is working well. Regarding the pouring problem, it has happened to me as well. Here’s what to do to minimize the amount of liquid running down the bottle: once you’ve poured the desired quantity of product in your palm, rotate the bottle just to the point where the liquid stops pouring (the bottle will be in an almost horizontal position), while still holding it above your hand for a few seconds. This will allow any drops to fall in your palm instead of dripping down the bottle. After that rotate in an upright position and place it on the countertop.
Hope this makes sense.
Both AFTA and Lectric Shave smell like 1950. I’d venture to say that no one in the age bracket these scents would appeal to actual uses an electric razor. They both work, but the scent renders then unusable.
I agree, none of them are particularly appealing. The only pre-shave I have found so far that actually has a pleasant fragrance is called Freelette (and works quite well too). It’s a pre-shave lotion, so its consistency is a lot thicker compared to Lectric Shave.
I really like this website. It has loads of information and several tips on daily shaving. The question I have is this: Will the liquid pre-shave products harm the Braun series 9 cleaning station solution? I know the liquids contain alcohol and small amounts of oil. With my previous Norelco shaver, I used a liquid pre-shave but it didn’t have a cleaning station.
Thank you for your comment, I really appreciate it. That won’t be a problem — alcohol-based pre-shaves evaporate extremely fast and won’t leave any residues on your shaver.
I read your Pre Electric Shave Products article last year (April 2018) when I was wondering what products might be available. I’ve used Remington Face Saver on-&-off over the last few decades, but my latest razor seemed to be less effective with it. Your article reminded me that I never liked Williams Lectric Shave because of its inherent oiliness. However, your comments about the possibility of Face Saver causing accelerated blade wear seemed logical to me, and an ‘oily’ pre-shave might work better with this shaver. I switched soon after this realization. My usual routine was to apply Face Saver, shave, run the shaver in a rubbing alcohol cleaner/bath, then apply shaver oil to the blades. Using Lectric Shave allows me to skip the blade oiling, and the blades seem to be staying sharper between changes (so far).
Thanks for these great write-ups!
Thank you for taking the time to share your experience. Those are some very interesting and useful insights. Since I wrote this article I came across another excellent pre-shave balm called Freelette. If you can get it, I recommend giving it a try. It’s very moisturizing and oily as well, but in my case it worked better than Lectric Shave and it smells great too.
Thanks for mentioning this, turns out the company that manufactures this, is right down the block from where I work. Before I get it, any idea if it’ll be a problem for me to use it and then put my ARC5 straight into the cleaning stand? Or will I have to wash off the foil/blades first?
You are welcome, Avi. It shouldn’t be a problem if you put it straight into the cleaning station. Once you apply the pre-shave to the face, you should wait around 20 seconds for the product to evaporate completely, then proceed to shave as usual. There should be minimal to no residues left on the foils, so it won’t be an issue.
Had been using Freelette for several years and it worked wonderfully for me. I usually buy it in Israel, but haven’t been able to find it on my past couple of visits. Does anyone know if it’s been discontinued?
That is possible — from what I can see it’s getting more difficult to find than before. You can still order it from Amazon (link).
My 25 yr old son and I each have a Braun Series 9 and are very pleased with the shave. He has very sensitive and oily skin with prior acne problems and has been getting razor burn, ingrown hairs and bumps (as he usually does with shaving). I bought some Williams Lectric shave pre shave and it did give us a better shave however it didn’t help his problem. Also I read that the isopropyl myristate in the Lectric Shave eventually causes pores to clog up. I then bought some Shave Secret pre shave and found the closeness of the shave to be quite inferior along with the difficulty of experimenting with water amount and the proper amount of drops in an unsuccessful attempt to effectively lubricate the beard. I have just bought Dickinsons witch hazel and Thayers witch hazel as well as Nivea sensitive post shave balm as after shaves to see if that will help. We both like the improved shave using the Lectric Shave pre shave and I have no difficulty with it but he is looking for a different brand of pre shave to use in conjuction with our new after shave experiments. Can you help with some ideas?
Thank you for your comment. I would give Lab Series a try since it’s fragrance-free and would seem like a better option in this situation. Also the pre-shave from Speick is one that I often recommend and it’s superior to Lectric Shave in pretty much all regards.
The blue liquid inquired about above may have been Mennen’s Skin Bracer Pre-Electric Shave Lotion. It is/was greasier than Lectric Shave.
I just bought the Panasonic Arc 5. I seem to get the best shave using Witch Hazel as a pre shave with a 14 % alcohol content. At the end of my shave I use Thayers Witch Hazel. This combination seems to work very well, giving me a close comfortable shave, with no irritation or scent. Has any one else tried this way of shaving?
Thank you for your comment, Stuart. I personally haven’t tried Witch Hazel as a pre-shave, but I’ll definitely give it a go.
I have used California North Electric Glide with great success. But it is expensive
Thank you for the suggestion, Bob. I tried to find it here in Europe but with no success so far. And Amazon won’t ship it overseas, so I’m out of luck for now.
Lectric shave is a great product with a bad smell. I have tried many others and for me this one is the best. BUT it stinks. Price is great too.
You pretty much nailed it, Arie. Thank you for your comment.
As a newbie to Electric Shavers I have tried the Afta and the Lab Series. I don’t like scented preShave lotions… I tried the Afta but the scent was too strong. After using it twice I gave up and ordered the Lab Series. I find that it works great, very little or no scent at all….really works for me…Yes it’s expensive and seems to be getting more expensive. It’s about $5 more now than when I first bought it..$22 vs $26.95. Hoping it goes on sale again…or other vendors will list it for sale…
Thank you for your comment, Sam. I also feel the same with regards to Afta and I gave up on using it completely as it had a tendency to gunk up my shavers. I use the Speick pre-shave most of the time, it has a spicy scent that I don’t particularly love, but it’s definitely better compared to Afta or Lectric Shave. However, I do find its performance to be the best out of all the popular brands, so it makes up for any shortcomings. If you have the chance give it a try.
Where do you usually buy Speick? Amazon and major drug stores don’t seem to have it in stock. Hopefully I just have bad timing…..
I live in Europe and with Speick being a German brand, it’s pretty easy to get here. In the USA your only options would be Amazon (they do have it in stock from time to time) or eBay (for example, European sellers that ship overseas).
Really enjoyed this article. Based on your recommendations, I tried three of these products, Lectric, Speick (I finally found it for sale on a U.S. eBay listing), and Lab Series. I tried them each for about a week. They all worked well for me. But the best was the Lab Series. It seemed to give me the closest shave, it didn’t leave the feeling of any residue, it didn’t irritate my skin, and it had a pleasant scent.
However, as with anything, balancing the cost (about $20 on U.S. Amazon) vs. about $4-$5 for Lectric at Target, it is hard to justify the price difference when they were pretty close in performance. For Speick, it was nice, but I don’t want to have to search that hard for a product that is also pricey. I think I will stick with Lectric for daily use, but continue to use Lab Series when I need ultimate performance.
Thank you again for a great website. I really enjoy it and this information was very helpful.
Thank you for taking the time to share your experience, Mike. I totally agree, it makes the most sense to stick with the Lectric Shave, especially if you’re satisfied with the results. As far as value for money goes, it is by far the best out of the three brands. I’m able to get the Speick pre-shave easily and at a very decent price in Europe, but in the USA that’s often not the case.
Wasn’t there also a Mennen Skin Bracer pre-shave? I also remember a blue pre-shave liquid, in fact used it when in college. I’m thinking it was Mennen (Not Afta).
I use an electric shaver on my legs (female) and it’s irritating and doesn’t get that close of a shave. Would these products work on legs too?
Female leg hair is significantly thinner, so I’d say that the benefits will be minimal and the main problem here is the actual shaver. Also, you will be using a lot of product. I obviously can’t speak from experience, but in my opinion you wouldn’t see a great improvement.
I have a new Braun Series 5 shaver and use Afta. It’s a great combination. Time shaving has been cut in half.
Thanks for the comment, Tom. Glad the Afta gel is working great for you.
I happen to like pre-shave talc/powder before I use my electric razor, but find it
difficult to understand that with the huge number of men’s shaving products
available that Remington, seems to be the ONLY company that offers one?
That is a great observation. My guess is that talc/powders are viewed as too old-fashioned by manufacturers and not economically feasible to market. The Face Saver has been in production for decades and it’s still quite popular among users.
I have just started to use Braun 7898 cc,and …surprise!,using it each morning is helping me to obtain a so close shave that I didn’t have ever expected from an electric shave…only to improve somehow this procedure I have bought from the market a preshave oil fom “The Bluebeards Revenge”…and now I’m not sure this is for electric dry shave use…thank you in advance for your say in this matter !
Pre-shave oils are meant to be used in addition to shaving cream, usually in the case of traditional wet shaving (using a razor blade). With electric shavers (in the case of a dry shave), I don’t really recommend it as it can get quite messy and may even clog the shaver. Pre-shave products for dry electric shaving come in the form of splashes or gels/balms and are explicitly marketed as so. I’d recommend sticking to those.
If you can get it, try the Speick pre-shave, you can’t really go wrong with it in my opinion.
Hi!..I have just received and used for the first time Speick Electric pre-shave lotion,and I can confirm now that again your advices are great…it is indeed what you have said about all the aspects in using this product,and in conjuction with a Brown Series 7 electric shaver and Blue Beard after shave lotion ( this one beeing same one of your advice…),I may say that I’m feeling over the top after a shaving session.Thank you again for what are you doing here,and keep it on!
That’s awesome, Alexandru! Thank you for the follow-up, glad you enjoy using them.
I have been using Norelco electric shavers for years with a generic liquid Electric Pre- Shave similar to Lectric Shave that I usually find in the supermarket. I have not really been completely satisfied with it until recently when I started to wet my face with water after a first shaving pass and then reshave with my face wet. It gives me a lot closer shave and the water seems to blend with the Pre-Shave to give you a lot more slippery surface for the shaver. I haven’t yet tried to add the water to the Pre-shave before the first shaving pass to see if it makes any difference, but I guess I will try it eventually.
Thank you for the comment, Jeff. It seems to be a lubrication issue. With electric shavers is preferable to have your skin either completely dry or coated in a very slick, thin, watery film — usually in the form of lather or a shaving gel/balm. You may want to try something like the Jack Black Beard Lube, it is a very slick and moisturizing shave balm that works great with wet/dry electric shavers.
Multumesc frumos pentru sfat!
Mario Badescu’s Electric Shaving Lotion –it’s new –you can purchase from their US web site.
Thank you for the recommendation, I’ll try to get it (I live in Europe).
I have been shaving with an electric since I was 17. My first electric was a Norelco/Phillips and I used both the Williams Lectric and talcum powder. Talcum powder does indeed dull the blades. Makes sense because people who do metal work use talcum powder to polish metal. I stopped using it. My last few electrics have been Norelco/Phillips wet/dry razors and I shave with soap and water. IMHO they give a killer shave with the soap (pick your brand it doesn’t matter) and water. You don’t need a ton of soap like you would with a Gillette, just enough to lube your face. The purpose is to provide lubrication for your face and that it does extremely well. Lets put it this way, it shaves so tight that it almost feels like you shaved with a straight edge. Even plain water works extremely well but not as well as the soap and water. No joke give both a try.
Many thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. I fully agree with the soap and water method, the closeness is excellent. I also prefer to use a very thin, slick layer of watery lather. I get the best results using Panasonic foil shavers, but that’s just a personal preference.
I have been using electric shavers for more than 30 years and I have tried different pre-electric lotions, gels, oils, and powders; I found two product that really works very well and you cannot complain as they are the cheapest products for electric shaving I’ve found; they are Boots pre-shave lotion and Superdrugs pre-electric cologne; both lotions are great, do the job, super cheap and both can be used with their post-shave contra part of Boots aftershave lotion or balm frestwoods and Superdrugs freshforest aftershave lotion.
other than that you can go for KIng of shaves pre-electric oil but it cost more and the plastic bottle is very small, Boots and Superdrugs products are a bigger and better price.
Thank you for the comment, Edinson. Unfortunately since I live in Europe I don’t think I’ll be able to try them any time soon.
What is the best equivalent to the Phillips Nivea shaving conditioner if you do not have the electric shaver with the dispenser for it? Nivea don’t seem to sell one.
The closest one I can think of is the Beard Lube from Jack Black. I actually use it quite often as a replacement for shaving cream, it’s very soothing and protective and because it’s a balm, it’s pretty much transparent when applied to the beard, so you can see what you’re doing.
Thank you again for a great website. I’m actually working my way through the whole thing and learning a lot.
Your expertise is impressive.
I’m attracted to the products that have mostly natural sounding ingredients. But I suspect that they might clog up my electric razor(s) — which are the Braun Series 9 and the Philips Prestige 9000.
From this list, I’m attracted to the Proaso Cream.
Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Stearic Acid, Sorbitol, Glycerin, Camphor, Eucalytpus Globulus Leaf Oil, Potassium Hydroxide, Menthol, Parfum (Fragrance), Geraniol, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Coumarin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Eucalyptol, Sodium Benzoate, Phenoxyethanol, Benzyl Alcohol, Disodium EDTA.
Number 8 on this list. American Shaving Pre-Shave Oil
The ingredients look even more desirable to me.
Grapeseed Oil, Argan Oil, Jojoba Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Avocado Oil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Fragrance
Both appear on lists for pre-electric shaver use. But in both cases, it appears to me that they just took a blade pre-shave product and labeled it for pre-electric use.
I like the ingredients of things like this.. and I’ve suffered through shaving for most of my life. I’m willing to spend a little more to shave without grief at this point.
But…. Surely you can’t just take any commercial pre-razor shave product and call it a pre-electric shaver product…. can you?
I’m willing to spend more money on products as I have recently with two electric razors. But I don’t want to spend more time cleaning.
Do you think those will clog up my razors or have other negative effects?
Any other thoughts on those products?
I’ve already ordered your recommended Speick from Amazon. Have not tried it yet.
And thanks again Ovidiu.
Thank you for your comment, much appreciated.
First of all, yes, there is a rather significant difference between pre-shave products for electric shavers and for razor blades. In the case of the former, their purpose is to dry any moisture from the skin, that’s why they’re mostly alcohol-based. A pre-electric shave lotion is to be used in the case of dry shaving.
On the other hand, pre-shave products like the Proraso Cream should be used for wet shaving, usually together with shaving cream/gel. They work by prepping the skin and keeping it hydrated and slick, so a totally different approach. That doesn’t mean that they can’t work with electric shavers tough. Both the Proraso and the American Shaving pre-shave oil should ideally be used with shaving cream, not as stand-alone products, although they might work (especially the oil).
Using a pre-shave oil with an electric razor can get messy, it may clog the razor and you’ll definitely have a lot of cleaning to do afterward, so just as a personal preference, I’m not really a fan.
What I’ve found to work extremely well with any of my shavers is a product from Jack Black called Beard Lube. It’s basically a shave balm (designed to be used with a classic razor blade), but it works amazingly with electric shavers too. It’s extremely slick and comfortable, transparent when applied to the skin and doesn’t clog the shaver at all. I’m actually getting the closest possible shave when using it, so that’s definitely my choice for what is basically a wet shave. For shaving dry, you can go wrong with the Speick pre-shave.
I like that the Jack Black Shave Lube comes in a pump. (16 oz)
That’s nice and clean and easy access.. so I’ll order that and try it out.
I received the Speick from Amazon. I’ve only used it once… but I already like it. Good recommendation.
What I don’t like is the feeling that I’m wasting a good portion of it on my hand and in inexact face placement.
I wonder… if I poured the Speick into my half empty bottle of Thayers Alcohol-Free Rose Petal Witch Hazel Facial Mist Toner – 8oz…
Would I lose some of the benefit of the Speick? Would I possibly create an even better product with a better delivery system?
I’ll probably just have to try it and see. But any comments are appreciated.
Thanks again Ovidiu.
You are very welcome, Michael.
Regarding the product wasting when applying the lotion, I actually replied on that exact issue here. I really couldn’t say if you’ll see any benefits from mixing it with the witch hazel. But the use of an atomizer spray should make it easier to apply.
Do you prefer beter Pre Elecrtic Sheveng lotion or powter?
And with one do you prefer.
I definitely prefer pre-shave lotions: easier to apply, dry within seconds, and a lot less messy than powders. Besides, the mineral-based powders can dull the blades faster, so that’s another reason in favor of lotions.
Thank You Domnul Nicolaie for fast respond.
One more think witch one do you prefer more,
Freelette, or Lab Series or Speick and way.
You are very welcome, Peter. I prefer the Speick pre-shave because it is the most effective and the least greasy.
Mr. Ovidiu Did you ever use Freelette I so good reitings on Amazon,
Wath is the difference. Freelette vs Speick?
I have actually. Both are good options, but I prefer the one from Speick.
Freelette has the consistency of a thin balm, while Speick is basically a splash/lotion. I like it more as it feels less oily, it’s more effective and the scent is not overpowering.
Third gen Lectric Shave user here… My grandfather back in the 50s… My father in his day, and now myself since my first Norelco as a teen in 1978… I use Afta if I can’t find LS, but LS is preferred, so I tend to stock up…
Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment, Ron, much appreciated.
Nice article Ovidiu I was wondering have you ever used this one https://www.amazon.co.uk/Blue-Stratos-Pre-Electric-100-ml/dp/B0014SEMQK/ref=pd_sbs_1?pd_rd_w=1EAjk&pf_rd_p=2304238d-df78-4b25-a9a0-b27dc7bd722e&pf_rd_r=5N44R06H23G6R127YMHN&pd_rd_r=263635e6-c2d5-4e72-83c3-ff7b7aa366cb&pd_rd_wg=9BrBk&pd_rd_i=B0014SEMQK&psc=1 I am currently using this with a 3080s Braun shaver and I like the product, would be nice to see how blue stratos compares to speick
Thank you, Markos. I have used Blue Stratos and I did like it. I would still prefer the ones from Speick and Tabac because they’re the least oily pre-shaves I’ve tried, they dry within seconds and just seem to have an edge over the rest when it comes to improving the closeness and comfort. I will be updating the post as well to include Blue Stratos and Tabac as well.
I bought the Speik based on your recommendation and through your link.
The F’N link is wrong. I got after shave lotion and thought it sucked as a pre-shave.
Oh well, now I will order the Pre-Shave lotion and I am sure it will be a lot better.
I am posting here in the hopes that you fix the Amazon Link in the text.
Many thanks for the heads-up, I’ve updated the link with the correct one. Sorry for the trouble.
Hi Ovidiu! I would like to know your honest opinion about the Proraso pre shave lotion?
Did you ever used it? Thanks in advance
I have actually, even though it was the Sensitive Skin (no menthol) variation. It was during my wet shaving days when I still used a double edge razor. And that’s the really important bit — the Proraso pre-shave is intended to be used for wet shaving and must be applied to the skin prior to lathering. So it’s a completely different product with a different purpose. It could work well with electric shavers as well, but again, only if you will be shaving wet. Pre-electric shave lotions are intended for shaving dry.
Ok, thank you! I’ve ordered the tabac pre shave lotion instead.
Hi again Ovidiu. Is there any difference between the Williams Lectric that you presented and this one?
This is the only variant that I can find in the country that I live in (Denmark). Please excuse the many questions, but I’m a beginner with electric shaving so you must understand 😉
No problem at all. That one appears to be the variation sold in Europe, also with a different packaging — while the formulation could be slightly different because of EU regulations or some other reasons, I think it should be basically the same. Also, the listing in the link you provided is probably not accurate (it’s definitely not Eau de Cologne).
Yes I saw that 🙂 Another short question. From where do you get the Remington Shaver Saver? I cannot manage to find it here in Denmark or on Amazon.de. And with the Brexit it is difficult to order it from Amazon.co.uk
Unfortunately, I also haven’t been able to find any vendor willing to ship it to Europe. I’ve been trying to get it for more than a year without any success. I’m now using the Andis Cool Care Plus which is the next best thing that I can easily get here.
I think it is because is pressurized container and it would be categorized as “dangerous goods” when shipping. And the sipping cost will be very high.
Another silly question 😀 Which one would you recommend from Andis? I see there are two variants 5in1 and 7in1
Or this one?
I have only used the 5 in 1 variant and I actually recommend that one since it’s a pressurized spray container and the lubricant will be distributed in a finer mist compared to the other one.
Lab Series appears to have stopped making it. Completely disappeared from online retailers globally.
Thanks for the heads-up, Nigel. Various vendors on Amazon still appear to have in stock though.
Beard lube or electric pre-shave? Which is better with the Braun Series 9 , for sensitive skin? I am open to both approaches.
If I go with a pre-shave, I would return to lab series. I would like something fragrance free and in a plastic bottle, if possible.
As I said, I can go with either approach. Can I alternate approaches?
If I use a pre shave, do I need to rinse the shaver before putting in the charger?
I already answered these questions in this comment.
My favorite was an emulsion type from Shiseido UNO (Japan}, but they discontinued it a few years ago. Tried many different kinds and found the Speick pre-electric to be the next best (I liked the fragrance so much I also got their after shave). Recently the Speick pre-shave was not available in the US except if I wanted to purchase a 5 bottle lot. Saw your review and I could relate very well. Bought the TABAC and tried it for a couple of days and was very pleased. In comparison my shaves were closer (by far) using my Panasonic ARC 5 and the clean-up quite easy. One measure for me was the clippings (tailings) were much finer and numerous compared to the Speick, similar to the Shiseido UNO I preferred. This meant that more of the hair was cut and stayed in the razor cutting area for further pulverization and of course the smooth skin result. No burn or chaffing, nothing to be sensitive about. A plus was the bottle itself, it dispensed the more viscous liquid in drops when shaking the bottle into my palm, thus conserving the amount used each time (good thing since it is so expensive).
Many thanks for the comment. I actually prefer it to the Speick pre-shave mainly for the fragrance — I absolutely love it and it reminds me of my wet shaving days when I would often use Tabac’s legendary triple-milled soap. My skin wasn’t in great shape though after shaving with a razor blade, but that’s a different story. Really good point about the Tabac bottle, I fully agree.
Are there any face wash/cleansers you recommend that leaves face dry and smooth vs using a pre preshave lotion (eg: williams lectric shave)? I shave at nite and would rather not use an alcohol based product. I have tried many products (such as Jack Black all over wash and turbo wash; Particle for men, and typical drugstore choices) they all leave my face sticky. Panasonic does not suggest using shave powders. Thx.
The problem is that washing your face with water (regardless of the cleanser) will likely impact the quality of your (dry) shave. So in my opinion the culprit is not really the face wash, but washing your face right before shaving. A workaround would be to cleanse your face at least 30 minutes before you shave in order to avoid the shaver sticking to the skin. Having damp, squeaky clean skin before a dry shave is not ideal, so give it some time to dry.
I personally use Kiehl’s Facial Fuel Face wash, it’s a great product (a bit too pricey though). But again, I never wash my face before I shave dry.
Thanks. Yea I am waiting about 30 minutes.
I’ll try the Kiehl’s face wash you mentioned. I had tried their after shave lotion years ago and was not impressed. It was too thick and would clog up the dispenser hole. Stay safe.
Is there a trick to using the Tabac?
Do I use it by itself or combine it with something else.
I ordered a bottle and was expecting something like the Lectric brand.
The Tabac was too sticky. My Pano ES LV65 did not glide against my skin.
Am i doing it wrong? Would like to try Afta , but its so hard to find.
Are you absolutely certain you bought the right product (Tabac Original Pre-Shave lotion — you can check out the images above for reference) and that it’s genuine and hasn’t exceeded the shelf life? I am asking these questions because I’ve been using it constantly for quite some time and it’s not sticky at all, it shouldn’t be mixed with anything else and leaves the skin perfectly dry and smooth. Any shaver should glide easily without any issues. I find it superior to the Lectric Shave; and Afta wasn’t actually that good in my experience.
Yes, is the correct product. Have no idea though if its shelf life expired. Guess just got a bad one.
Hi. I’ve posted in here about some of the pre shave lotions I’ve used. Including Lectric Shave which I also found runny, and a way too strong odor.
The now discontinued Blue Lectric Shave which did work well.
CVS’s own version of Afta which had a nice smell
And finally Afta PreElectric which I have been using daily, and works wonderfully…especially on the neck. And onto connecting issues…
I have a Norelco Sensotouch 3D 1255x with the ORIGINAL RQ12 head..which flexed apart. That is from 2013 and using the Afta has very much extended its life. Since I had a 4 disc cervical fusion back then..I can’t lift my head that far up. So the original RQ12 head was great. So what does Norelco do..just when I was thinking of a replacement blades? Discontinued it, and replaced it with the RQ12 Plus, then the RQ12 Pro. Both with fixed, but “floating” heads. And the majority of complaints came from those, like me, who wanted the original spreading RQ12…which, due to my surgery, was the only way to do my neck. Norelco actually sent me a 9000 series CC shaver, that I’ve used sometimes…and even with Afta, and the head being lubricated, I still did touch up with my 7+ year old 1255x. Which STILL shaves closer. Again, thanks to Afta. Btw, it has never clogged up my shavers. Now, if I can find a NIB 1290 or 1280, wuth a new original RQ12 head, that would be great.
Thank you again for taking the time to comment. That saga surrounding the RQ12 head probably sparked more discussions in the community than anything else. And it’s understandable, I also don’t like the direction Philips is currently heading (in some regards).
You might get lucky and find a brand new (unused) 1280, I’ve seen even older shavers being sold on eBay in unopened/sealed boxes. Just make sure it’s from a reputable seller if you happen to find one.
Where can I find the Tabac? It’s been out of stock on Amazon and Walmart for a while now…
I’m afraid I can’t really help you with that. I live in Europe and here it’s quite popular and widely available. I would keep an eye on the listing though, they could re-stock it at some point.
The label on the front of the Speick I received is different from your picture. Is it the same product?
It says electric pre shave. Just the label is darker blue.
I have only used the one that looks the same as the picture, but I doubt they’ve reformulated it. I’ll try to get one myself and try it.
On the Lab Series site, it is marked “sold out”. That could mean out of stock or product being reformulated or even discontinued. Talking with Lab Series staff, yields different possibilities for what sold out might actually indicate.
It would be useful to know what’s going on with the product from a company representative. So far it seems to be out of stock everywhere. If you manage to get an answer, please let us know, I would really appreciate it.
I spoke to Lab Series staff. They have no idea when the product will be back in stock, or whether the packaging or name will change or whether it will be reformulated.
The same thing happened with their razor burn relief ultra. That proved to be out for several months. When that reappeared, the name changed as did the packaging. I have no idea if the ingredients changed.
In summary, we will just have to wait and see regarding the electric shave solution.
Many thanks for the follow-up, Jay. It will be interesting to see how this will pan out, hopefully with the product back in stock (even under a different name).
Looks like they’re only changing the packaging. It has reappeared on their website in an opaque, drab grey bottle with a bit of a price hike. Ingredients appear identical to my unopened bottle in the original packaging. For what it’s worth they do have substantial sales via their website from time to time. My last two bottles were buy-1-get-1-free plus free shipping, bringing the cost back to a reasonable price point.
That’s great news, many thanks for sharing this. I will be getting it as soon as it’s available and I’ll compare it to the old one (I still have half a bottle left).
I have a weakness for good quality eau de toilettes, so when I bought a better electric shaver, I tried out some pre-electric lotions. Tabac, Williams and Speick.
To be honest I wasn’t impressed. I found that the Proraso shaving cream was probably the best.
Then a comment in another forum made me try Boots Freshwood Pre-Electric. It is amazing! Far superior to all the others. But here’s the funny part. It is sooo cheap!
From what I observe when cleaning out the foil, it seems to stick the bristles together. Not sure, but it just works, and leaves my skin feeling great.
I will not be using Boots cheap eau de toilettes anytime soon, but this pre-shave is the best!!
I am so intrigued by the Boots preshave as I’ve read so many good things about it, unfortunately I cannot get it where I live. But it sounds like a fantastic product.
I have a question regarding the use of an electric pre shave alongside an electric shaver. I usually apply some pre shave on to my face before using the Braun Series 9 and once I’ve finished shaving, I pop the Braun Series 9 into the clean and charge station in order to clean it automatically.
Is this good enough or should I be doing a more thorough manual cleaning after the use of an electric pre shave ?
I’ve heard that using an electric pre shave can clog the blades of an electric shaver. Is this true ?
In my opinion there’s no need for any extra cleaning before putting the shaver in the station (I personally never do it and I’m quite strict with the hygiene of my shavers). Apart from the Afta pre-shave gel that sometimes tends to gunk up, I haven’t come across one that would clog an electric shaver. Also, once you apply an alcohol-pre-shave splash to the face, it dries really quickly and there’s little to no residue at all on the shaver.
Are there any fragrance free pre-shaves that you have used and liked with the Norelco Prestige?
I’m afraid I haven’t come across one in recent years. It really is a niche with increasingly more demand, but no supply.
FYI. The tabak shown to get on Amazon is an after-shave-not a pre-shave.
Many thanks for the heads-up, I’ve updated the link.
Any experience with Freelette? Have you tried it with the Norelco Prestige?
I have used it with various shavers and it’s really good. That said, it has an oily texture, similar to Williams Lectric Shave if you’ve tried it. The fragrance, while nice, is quite potent, so I wouldn’t consider it an alternative to the Lab Series — at least not in that regard.
I will skip it then.
Lab series is back in stock with a new style bottle. Not sure if it’s been reformulated.
Thanks, David, I will be ordering it as well and I’ll post an update.
I have used the Lab Series Pre Electric Shave lotion for years, but can no longer find it here in the Netherlands or online. On your recommendation I have started to use the Tabac product. It’s very good and possibly gives me a closer shave than the Lab Series product. The only negative is the packaging. I know it’s iconic, but it’s heavy and susceptible to breakage. The Lab Series product came in a plastic bottle that was easily carried when travelling.
Totally agree on the Tabac bottle — it looks awesome and feels nice and heavy, but it will break if you drop it. Glad you’re happy with the performance.
Thanks for the link to this article!
I have a proraso pre shaving cream. Would this be suited for electric shavers?
How much of the tabac pre electric lotion do you use? Do you coat the blade or just your face?
Also do you use the pre shaving lotion, along with shaving gel/ cream when using electric shavers in your routine?
You are very welcome. Yes, the Proraso shaving actually works great with electric shavers. Just make sure the lather has a more watery consistency and only apply a thin layer. I recommend checking out this guide I wrote on wet shaving with an electric razor, there are lots of useful tips there.
Regarding the pre-shave lotion, it should only be used on your face prior to a dry shave. So the answer would be no, you wouldn’t want to use it before applying shaving cream or gel.
Just pour some in your hands, then massage it into your beard until it evaporates completely (usually within seconds as it’s alcohol-based), then proceed to shave dry as usual.
How much tabac do you use per shave? Do you apply the lotion to your face or to the shaver?
Do you apply any shaving cream or gel after the pre electric shave lotion in your routine? Or do you apply the pre electric shave lotion only and then shave?
Also, is pro raso pre shaving cream ok for electric shaver?
I already replied to your comment above (link).
Do you think Braun series 9 gives a closer shave dry or with a pre shave cream/lube like jack black?
I have tried the series 9 with jack black lube. I didn’t like how it performed with it.
I know you have a list of recommended pre shaving lotions/creams. In terms of achieving better closeness of a shave (combined with having sensitive skin), what pre shaving lotion/cream have you found works best with Braun s9?
Thanks in advance as always.
As I mentioned in a previous comment, I generally prefer to shave dry with Braun shavers, so I would only use a pre-shave lotion. The ones that work best, at least for me, are the Speick and Tabac pre-shave lotions.
Thanks for the reply. Do you find the Braun series 9 gives a closer shave dry or with the spieck?
You are very welcome. I always prefer to use a pre-shave when I shave dry with any shaver, including the Series 9. It just feels faster, more enjoyable, and more comfortable and the closeness is slightly better as well. I think it’s worth giving it a try.
Thank you. And last question on this topic. If I were to use a pre shave lotion e.g. Spieck, would you recommend washing the machine with soap and water afterwards? Or will water do by itself, as it is just a lotion and not a shaving cream / gel etc?
All alcohol-based pre-shaves (like Speick, Tabac etc) evaporate completely within seconds of applying them to the face, so there won’t be any residues left on the shaver. So you should proceed with cleaning your shaver just like you would in the case of a regular dry shave (without any pre-shave).
I bought this after someone said it’s better than spieck in Amazon comments. From reading the ingredients please tell me :
A) do you think I can clean the electric shaver as if I had a dry shave after using this (I.e. don’t clean with soap etc as if I did a wet shave)
B) what do you think of the ingredients?
Thanks in advance
Can you provide a link to the product?
I’ve used Remington Shaver talc stick for several years and like it very much. Recently the price has skyrocketed, so I decided to try Williams Lectric Shave lotion, which you have said works quite well. My experience was not so good. I found that it made my skin feel sticky, and my shaver didn’t glide as smoothly across my skin as with the talc stick. Guess I’ll stay with the Stick, and hope the price comes down.
Thank you for the comment. I also find the Lectric Shave lotion to have an oily texture and it’s the main reason why I prefer the ones from Speick and Tabac. If you have the chance, give them a try. The talcum definitely works, I personally prefer lotions out of convenience.
I did not know where to place this, but the Lab Series Pre Shave appears to be back in stock after a long absence. The packaging has changed. I have no idea if the product has changed as well. I ordered from Lab Series, rather then Amazon, but it is also available on Amazon. At this time, Amazon is only offering a two bottle option and I only wanted one bottle to try it out.
Thanks for the heads-up. Still haven’t tried the one in the new packaging. Labs Series won’t ship to my location unfortunately, so I’m just waiting to be able to buy a bottle from Amazon. Looking forward to your thoughts on it if you have the time.
I used it twice. I can’t tell if the formulation is any different. My Norelco Prestige glides easier and the shave does seem to be closer. It is slightly oily, but I cannot tell if it is less so. It may well be or not. The original product was discontinued late last spring or early summer, so it is difficult, if not impossible to make a direct comparison.
I find it fragrance free, which for me is a huge plus. I shave before showering and some of your first choice products retained the fragrance even after showering, which was problematic for me. I found it to perform as well as Speick, without the fragrance. I have not tried other products to compare.
Another big plus for me is it comes in a plastic bottle. Glass bottles present a challenge for me. I am prone to glass bottles, in the bathroom, breaking and creating a mess.
The product is, for me, not without minor issues that relate to packaging. The original version came in a clear plastic bottle, which made it easy to see when to reorder. The new version comes in a grey plastic bottle, so you can’t see what is left. When you put some in your hand, the old product would dribble down the sides of the bottle, so any shelf you placed the bottle on, became slightly oily and had to be wiped with a paper towel, periodically. The new packaging dribbles way less, but the problem, while much better has not been 100% solved. Lastly, as before you have to both push down on the cap and twist it at the same time. The new packaging is better in this regard than the previous product, but I would like to see a simple twist. These are relatively minor points.
Lastly Lab Series customer service was GREAT. I had a problem with shipping and they fixed it immediately without hesitation.
In summary, I would recommend the product without hesitation, to those looking for a fragrance free electric pre-shave.
That’s awesome, Jay, many thanks for the feedback. So at this point I think it’s safe to say that the product itself is pretty much unchanged. I too prefer plastic bottles for the same reason. I’m really looking forward to trying it mainly because of the fragrance — to me the product that came in the old clear bottle definitely had a fragrance.
According to Lab Series Web site, the formula remains the same. Fragrance is relative. There might be a very minute fragrance, but compared to the Speick, I find it fragrance free.
I have also ordered the Lab Series razor burn relief ultra. That product has changed. It is now a balm. It has not arrived yet.
As always I enjoy reading your advice, on your recommendations purchase the Tabac. Only have used the product twice, first time some what of disaster, shaver pulled/drag on the skin, second time much better experience very close shave but still some pulling and dragging.
I do wash my face with cold water prior to shaving, let my skin dry and then apply pre shave. With the Speick using the same routine no issues, just not as close of a shave as with Tabac. Your thoughts. Thank you, Marc
Thank you for the comment, much appreciated.
The Tabac pre-shave is really potent in the way it dries the skin. That may explain the dragging and consequently the pulling — when the shaver drags/skips and is not in constant contact with the skin, it can pull the hairs instead of cutting them. I think in your case the Tabac doesn’t work quite as well with your skin/shaver/technique. I personally never wash my face before applying a pre-shave, so that could also have something to do with it.
If you have a spray lubricant for shavers/clippers like Andis CoolCare Plus or even some clipper oil, try it on your shaver and see how it goes. It might just do the trick and hopefully you’ll only be getting a close shave without the pulling. The Andis spray must be fully dry before using the shaver, but you can shave right away if you use clipper oil.
Hope this helps.
Thank you Ovidiu; I am using the new Braun series 9 pro. I bounce back and forth between single edge injector and electric, sensitive skin like yourself, primary goal is closest shave possible without ingrown hairs. In your opinion when electric shaving; how does one avoid the ingrown hair issues without washing my face first? With single edge no ingrown hairs; the mess and time required to avoid nicks & cuts is too much for me as part of a every day routine. The electric shave is best scenario. I am certain you might have some additional advice. Thank you! Marc
Washing your face first (ideally with hot water and even using a facial cleanser) is recommended before a wet shave. That’s not a requirement in the case of a dry shave with an electric shaver and could even be detrimental to the shave. By using an electric shaver you reduce the chances of ingrown hairs since the hair is not cut at an angle and really close to the skin and since there’s no exposed blade, there’s no exfoliation and no scar tissue being produced which again should help with reducing ingrown hairs.
There’s really not much you can do except getting the basics right (technique, washing your face with cold water after your shave, applying an aftershave balm suitable for your skin) etc. Washing and exfoliating the skin with a suitable product should again be done regularly (maybe with certain products recommended to you by a dermatologist), just not right before your shave. Hope this helps.
Started washing my face cold water after shaving with Braun pro 9; no ingrown hairs and closer shave.
That is great, it’s a small tweak (and a good rule of thumb) that seems to have made a big difference. I always recommend washing the face with cold water post-shave.
Amazon sell two different Speick pre electric shavers – see links below. Please tell me what is the difference between the two and which one you recommend?
Hoping to place order by the his weekend will be grateful if you can let me know by then.
Thanks in advance
The one in the first link is the old packaging, while the second is the new design, also used for the Speick shaving cream. From what I know, the formulation has remained the same. Where I live only the old design is available for the moment, so I haven’t yet tried the blue one. But again, I’m pretty sure it’s exactly the same.
If someone is shaving for the first time, can he use Pre Shaver?
I don’t see a reason not to — in fact, it can make the shaver a bit more forgiving, which is definitely something you’d want.
My comments aren’t submitting for some reason.
There’s two Speick pre electric shavers available on Amazon. Post won’t let me comment on them.
One has a light blue label. Other is navy blue label. What’s the difference between the two and which do you recommend. Thanks
The comment was submitted and I already replied to it above.
Hello Ovidu! How are you, I have several questions. Just bought the Braun 9 Pro (9465cc – gray w/cleaning station). Never have used electric shavers before. Was about to purchase the Arc 6 Lamdash but decided to buy Braun for the hygienic of alcohol in the cleaning solution, and the price of new blades 50 dlls vs the 90 dlls of the Arc 6 that has to be bought from Japan.
So I bought it used at an amazing price.
I bought new cleaning solution and started using it with the used blade/head that the previous owner used. I felt comfortable because I got new cleaning solution and as you know it is alcohol based. So it would disinfect the used blade really good, washed with soap and water and then another cycle of braun cleaning solution.
I used the used head for about two weeks, it was a pretty nice shave, the blades weren’t that dull and it did a good job. But I wanted to know the real power of the Series 9 pro and decided to purchase a new 94M head.
Once it arrived, I started shaving, and it’s super close shave. But unfortunately it has been cutting my neck! I try two shave each 2nd day to let my skin heal.
My question is, is this normal? When the blades are new do they cut the skin so much, it’s pretty abrasive. I’m using Lectric Shave as a pre-shave. And use Remington Shaver Saver to lubricate prior to shave (plus use the Braun Cleaning Solution each time & soap w/water before braun station).
To be fair I pull my skin in the neck to get a super close shave – otherwise the neck will have stuble. I can get an extremely close shave in all the face, and end up with baby face if I pull every part of the skin and pass the electric shaver in multiple directions – with the grain – against the grain – diagonal – left to right).
If I only do a shave with slight pressure and no pulling of the skin, I will have stuble in areas of jaw line, and neck area.
Ovidu, help, I need expert advise. What can I do to improve my shaving experience.
Do all new blades cut like this? It’s abrasive and nicking my neck when I pull to get a close shave.
Would you recommend a better pre-shave?
Would you recommend me better to get a Lamdash Arc 6? Would it be better, I was about to buy it, but saved some money. I can sell the Braun 9 Pro and try Panasonic. But in the extremely insightful posts you do I’ve seen that it is more abrasive than the Braun. But what I would like to try is the technology, it seems really nice, and would be interested if it provided me with a better shave, without me pulling the skin. Or would it be the same, would I have to pull my face skin every time before passing the electric shaver.
I also know that you always recommend at least a month with electric shavers, to let the face adjust to the new method.
Thanks Ovidu for all the information you always provide, I have spent +4 hours reading your detailed posts. I took about 2 weeks reading your posts to find the perfect electric razor. Before I was so confused about the brands, and within the brands which model Arc 4 vs Arc 5 vs Arc 6 – all the Braun Series 9 and 9 Pro – cleaning station, no cleaning station, leather vs textile pouch, etc.
Many thanks for the kind words, glad you found the site useful.
A new shaving head/cassette should not be aggressive nor should inflict any wounds provided you’re using proper technique when shaving. The fact that you’re constantly getting cuts with the new 94M head vs the older one would more likely suggest a defective new head. Another user left a comment with an identical issue and after using a new cassette the problem was solved. So I would rather try that before selling and buying a new shaver.
The Arc 6 will in my opinion require less effort to get a close shave and works particularly well on short hair (ideal if you shave daily or every other day). It’s also one of the most comfortable if not the most comfortable Panasonic shaver out there, really close to the Series 9 in that regard. The main problem with the Arc 6 or any other high-end Panasonic is that they are effective on short stubble and the large heads take some getting used to. Based on that you should decide whether it would make more sense to get one.
I do prefer Braun cleaning stations for the cheap third-party solutions and the ability to remove the cleaning cartridge and seal it. With Panasonic you’re pretty much out of options, so I always buy the models without the station. Do consider this if you decide to buy a Panasonic.
I think the Speick and Tabac pre-shaves are better than most, but no pre-shave would solve the issue you’re having if it’s indeed a problem with the cassette.
Hi Ovidiu. Personally, I find Speick pre-electric shave lotion far superior to Tabac. Tabac dries my skin too much and, far from making electric shaving easier, it actually makes it harder for me because the razor tends to stick to my skin and drag. Speick, on the other hand, leaves a very subtle, slightly oily residue which allows my shaver to glide smoothly across my skin and shave much closer than dry shaving alone.
P.S. I’m using a Philips 5000 series shaver.
Thank you so much for the comment — that’s an excellent observation and one that I fully agree with especially when using rotary razors. The Tabac pre-shave is extremely potent in the way it dries the skin and that can become detrimental in several cases, particularly when using a shaver with a large head. I do plan on updating the post to better reflect this and also recommend the Speick pre-shave as the safer, more versatile option.
Recently I decided to give Lab Series a go and was very impressed. Even though it’s quite pricey and a little hard to get hold of, I think it gives the best results if you use a rotary head shaver. I think the fact that it’s silicone based and not alcohol based is why it gives me the best dry shave out of all the ones I’ve tried so far.
It’s definitely one of the best options for rotary razors. I think the price is also my main gripe with it. The solution still contains alcohol like the other liquid pre-shaves, but the lubrication is arguably the best. A bit too much in fact for my liking, hence my preference for the Speick pre-shave which seems perfectly balanced in every aspect.
Hi Ovidiu – I love your insights on everything related to Electric Shaving.
I have a question for you. I have been using various Norelco/Philips shavers for years and like them very much. I always use the Remington talc stick as my pre-shave treatment, and I’m very happy with it. My issue is that the price has become totally outrageous! I used to buy 5 sticks at a time for around $5 each. Now they are going for $20-25 each! The similar Eltron stick is about the same. Apparently, these products are no longer being manufactured?!
Thank you so much, I appreciate it.
I’m afraid that is true, Remington even removed the talc stick from their product listing a while back. You can still find some online but the price has spiked as it usually happens in this situation. And I couldn’t really find an alternative, something that doesn’t cost a lot, works well and is widely available.
Hi Ovidiu – Since the cost of the Remington or Eltron Talc sticks has gone through the roof, I decided to try using a liquid pre-shave instead. Because of all the positive reviews of the Speick product, I ordered that one. Here is what I experienced:
I applied it to my dry face, and waited about a minute before shaving. I noticed that, although my face was dry, my skin felt a bit “sticky” after using the Speick. I found that my shave took longer than when I use the powder stick because my shaver (Norelco) did not glide across my skin as smoothly and effortlessly as with the talc stick.
Though the Speick was definitely better than Lectric Shave, to me the smoother, slicker razor glide with the talc stick is much preferred.
Many thanks for the follow-up.
Talc sticks are in my opinion superior to any other type of pre-shave in that regard, especially if you’re using a rotary. Switching to a lotion after years of using a powder pre-shave will probably feel like a step back. And that happened with the Speick pre-shave which is in my opinion the best. Apart from stretching the skin and making sure not to press the shaver too hard, I don’t think there’s much else you can do. I doubt other pre-shave lotions will improve things significantly. Talc sticks are just something else. But given the low demand for them — talc sticks have become more of a niche product that caters to only a small number of loyal users — it’s unlikely we’ll be able to easily get them and at a reasonable price. This makes lotions pretty much the only viable option.
Has Aqua Velva been discontinued? Such a great product and smell. I used to use it for many years in Cape Town but no longer available there. I now use the Williams one and it is great. Unfortunately not available in SA, so a friend of mine sends me 4 bottles at a time. I would recommend an electric pre-shave for anyone using an electric shaver. Makes a huge difference and gives you a close shave.
I’m afraid I don’t have any info on this. I actually thought there was just the Aqua Velva aftershave, the Ice blue splash, while the pre-shave was marketed only as Williams Lectric Shave (both brands are currently owned by Combe Inc).
I searched everywhere but I couldn’t find the answer.
Can I apply talcum powder after applying the pre-shave lotion? Would that make no sense? Would it increase its effect?
In my opinion the result would be just like if you would only use talcum powder. So I don’t think it’s worth doing it. Just pick the pre-shave that works best for you and go with that.
It’s difficult to find well-informed people on this subject, but you seem like you know what you’re talking about!
Thank you, much appreciated. Glad you found the site useful.
In my experience with skin products, the longer the ingredients list, the greater the risk of irritation …even if they’re “natural” ingredients. Lectric Shave works well for me. I agree that it’s easy to get tired of the fragrance, and I wonder why it needs any fragrance at all, but it disappears when I wash after shaving anyway. The ingredients list is fairly short, and I assume the effective ingredients are the top two: SD Alcohol 40B and Isopropyl Mystirate. It might be a nerdy question, but do you have any insight about how specific ingredients in the different products actually work?
Thank you for the comment, Barry. That’s true, with more ingredients comes (in theory) a higher risk of one of them causing a bad reaction. The ones listed at the beginning are usually active ingredients or in a higher quantity. Many products from a certain category, be it pre-shave lotions, shaving cream, aftershaves and so on share a lot of ingredients that are only there as preservatives, emulsifiers, stabilizers etc.
My kudos to you, Ovidiu –
Like your poet namesake (it is Ovid, right?!) – your advice is clear, concise, thoroughly researched and illustrated, and beautifully written – just like on-line guidance should be (but rarely is!).
You answered my search perfectly: what other fragrance-free lotion besides Lab Series is out there ?
It is indeed pricy, but if it’s the only one, then so be it – no after-shave scent being a priority for me.
Thank you so much for the kind comment. That is correct, I do bear the name of the great Latin poet. 🙂
The Lab Series is to my knowledge the only fragrance-free (as in no added perfume) pre-shave, so pretty much the only option right now.
I’ve been using Lectric Shave for awhile. It seems like all the others are quite a bit more in price. Lectric Shave is currently expensive but usually its around $6. Something like Speick is $25. Do you think its worth the extra cost?
If Lectric Shave is working fine for you, I’d say no, it’s not worth it. Since it’s a European product from a small niche brand, it can be pricey to buy overseas. For example, it costs less than half where I live (Europe), in which case it’s worth buying.
Thank you! Great website as well!
You are very welcome, David, glad you found the site useful.