Most men turn to electric shaving out of necessity.
They either don’t have the time for the traditional blade & brush or the nicks, razor burn and ingrown hairs that some of us experience simply made electric shavers the only viable option.
But can you take your shave to the next level?
Yes, you can. It’s called a wet shave. With an electric razor.
It’s simple, effective and anyone can give it a try.
And in this article, you’ll find out precisely how to do it.
I’ll also address a few other related topics, like recommended shavers and shaving creams.
But let’s start by addressing one of the most common questions about electric razors.
Table of Contents
- Can you use shaving cream with an electric razor?
- How to wet shave with an electric razor and shaving cream
- 1. Preparation is key.
- 2. Use only a thin layer of slick, watery lather.
- 3. Massage the cream into your beard, lifting the stubble.
- 4. Shave against the grain.
- 5. Make sure your razor’s battery is not running low.
- 6. Don’t skip post-shave treatment.
- 7. Thoroughly clean and lubricate your shaver after every use.
- 8. Take your time and enjoy your shave.
- The best electric razors for wet shaving
- The best shaving creams for electric razors
- Final word
Can you use shaving cream with an electric razor?
The answer is yes, you certainly can use shaving cream with a suitable electric razor.
In fact, you probably should, because you’ll likely get a closer and more comfortable shave.
For me, shaving with a razor blade back in the day often ended up in a mess.
I tried lots of shaving creams, soaps, pre-shave oils, and mild DE razors, but for my type of skin and facial hair, none of them seemed to work.
I particularly suffered from razor burn on my neck and having a coarse beard didn’t make things any easier.
I switched to electric razors when I was a teenager after my parents bought me a dry-only, basic Braun shaver for my birthday.
That particular shaver was pretty terrible, the results were still far from great, the foils would get really hot, but for some reason, I kept using it.
After the foil finally gave in, I bought a wet/dry Panasonic that could be used in the shower or with shaving cream.
Without having any high expectations I decided to give wet shaving a try. And I’m so glad I did it because for me it was a massive revelation.
Once I started my wet shaving journey, I tried various techniques, shaving creams, and electric shavers, some of them very good and some pretty terrible ones as well.
After years of using electric razors with shaving creams, I’m glad to share with you what I’ve found so you won’t have to experience the bad stuff as well.
Without further ado, here are 8 simple tips for a close and pain-free wet shave with an electric razor.
How to wet shave with an electric razor and shaving cream
1. Preparation is key.
As it’s the case with traditional wet shaving, there are some things you should do prior to the actual shave: wash your face and neck with a cleansing or exfoliating gel and use plenty of warm water.
This will get rid of all the dirt, oils, dead skin and other nasty stuff. A hot shower beforehand is also highly recommended.
Warm water will prime the hairs for the shave, making them softer, plump and thus easier to cut.
For more information on this topic, you can check out my in-depth article on how to develop a simple and effective pre-electric shave routine.
You’ll see throughout this article that there’s a lot of overlap between traditional and electric wet shaving, except for one key area as you’ll see next.
Bonus tip: You can even use a pre-shave oil before applying the lather. I recommend it especially if you have sensitive, dry, flaky skin. I personally like the one from Truefitt & Hill (I don’t like that it’s pricey, but it lasts a really long time).
2. Use only a thin layer of slick, watery lather.
This is where shaving wet with an electric razor is different compared to traditional shaving.
And it’s the crucial detail that will make the difference between a mediocre and a fantastic shave.
With traditional shaving, lathering was one of the most important things to master.
The lather had to be not too dry, not too runny and you would use something like a badger or boar brush to build that thick, luxuriant lather.
With electric shavers, you don’t need that cushioning effect of the lather since there’s no blade touching the skin.
In fact, using too much lather will have a negative impact on your results.
Also, if the lather doesn’t have enough water or the layer is too thick, it will clog the shaver and you’ll just end up smearing it all over your face.
It will create a barrier between the shaver and the skin, so you won’t be able to get that very close shave.
Make sure your lather has a more watery consistency. You absolutely don’t want that fluffy, thick lather that you often see on the Badger & Blade forum.
Let’s see how you can get the right lather for your electric razor extremely fast and with minimal effort.
While you could use a shaving brush to build the lather, in this case, it’s not the ideal approach.
It takes more time (you must soak the brush beforehand, build the lather, then clean the brush) and again, you don’t need that kind of lather.
The fastest and easiest way is hand/palm lathering, but without a brush. I know it sounds strange, but you’ll have to trust me on this one.
Wet your palms, squeeze some shaving cream (about an almond size dollop) and start rubbing your hands together vigorously.
This is why soft creams that come in a tube work best.
Later on I’ll also share some of my favorite shaving creams that work great with electric razors.
Add a bit of water if needed and after 30 seconds or so you should get a very thin, slick, slightly pasty and creamy lather.
Check out the picture below. That’s what we’re after.
I know it doesn’t seem like enough product, but it is. Again, a little bit goes a long way and having this type of lather is key here.
3. Massage the cream into your beard, lifting the stubble.
With your face wet, start massaging the lather with both hands, pressing firmly (but not too hard) and going against the grain.
This will help lift the stubble and prime them for the shave.
Leave the shaving cream on your face for at least 2 minutes before actually shaving.
The hair has a very tough lining — the cuticle — and the alkaline components in the shaving cream must soften it. So allow the lather a couple of minutes to act on it.
This is one of the easiest and most important things you can do for a comfortable and close shave, especially if you have a coarse beard.
If the lather gets too dry, wet your hands with warm water and rehydrate the lather on your face before you start shaving.
Remember, it’s called wet shaving for a reason and the lather must be properly hydrated in order to get the best results.
4. Shave against the grain.
This is yet another area where wet shaving with an electric razor is different.
With traditional shaving, you would shave with the grain in order to avoid irritation and then a second pass across the grain for a closer shave.
With electric shavers, you’ll want to always go against the grain. This is key for an effective, close and comfortable shave.
If your beard grows in different directions, use your free hand and run it across small areas to determine the direction of growth.
After some time you’ll have a mental map of the grain and you’ll naturally adjust the direction of the strokes accordingly.
Do not use excessive pressure when shaving.
Reapply some lather/water over an area that needs multiple passes, but don’t overdo it as the razor may get clogged with lather. Again, a thin layer works best.
Try and experiment with different techniques to find the one that yields the best results for you.
For example, if you have a rotary shaver, you can use overlapping, clockwise and counter-clockwise circular motions, but also up and down and from left to right.
5. Make sure your razor’s battery is not running low.
When using an electric razor you’ll want to take advantage of its full cutting power, regardless of whether you prefer to shave wet or dry.
And since all wet/dry shavers can only be operated cordless due to safety concerns, having enough battery charge will ensure constant delivery of power for a smooth shave.
Pulling and tugging can be experienced as some electric shavers can’t maintain peak power if the battery is almost out of juice.
That’s usually the case with entry-level, basic wet/dry shavers, but even the high-end models can be affected by this.
The closeness of your shave will also suffer and you’ll be tempted to press harder and do unnecessary passes.
6. Don’t skip post-shave treatment.
Just because you ditched the blade doesn’t mean you should overlook this step.
After you’ve finished shaving, wash your face with cold water, pat dry with a clean towel and apply your favorite aftershave balm.
Unless you know from previous experience that you get along well with them, I would avoid the ones containing alcohol.
Some of my favorite aftershave balms are Tabac Original, Proraso Sensitive and Truefitt & Hill Authentic No 10.
7. Thoroughly clean and lubricate your shaver after every use.
This is always good practice, but it’s particularly important after using your electric razor with shaving cream.
If you want your shaver to last for a long time and to perform great, don’t neglect this part.
A wet/dry electric razor can be safely and easily cleaned with a bit of liquid soap and hot tap water. Just make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
It’s also a good idea to lubricate the blades with a few drops of light oil or a spray lubricant.
The use of soap will remove any form of lubrication and that can lead to excessive heat and premature wear of the foils and blades.
Here’s a detailed guide on how to lubricate your electric shaver.
8. Take your time and enjoy your shave.
In my case, shaving has turned from something I loathed into an enjoyable experience that I actually look forward to.
And the use of a suitable wet/dry electric shaver and a quality shaving cream made a massive contribution to this.
The best electric razors for wet shaving
Selecting the right electric razor for the job is key in getting a close and comfortable wet shave.
You should only use a shaver that was specifically designed to be used wet & dry (with shaving cream or in the shower).
I personally find Panasonic foil shavers to perform outstandingly when used for wet shaving.
They’re some of the closest shaving razors out there, but tend to be a bit too aggressive when used dry.
So shaving with a Panasonic + shaving cream takes care of that and I can honestly say that I’m able to get some of the closest and most comfortable shaves in this manner.
There are lots of wet/dry Panasonic models out there, so I will only share 3 options at various price points, all of them perfectly suitable for wet shaving.
My entry-level pick would be the Panasonic Arc 3 ES8103S (full review here).
This is an older model that is still my favorite Arc 3 after I’ve tried quite a few, including the newest generation.
It’s a 3-blade foil shaver, has a slim shaving head that’s easy to use and has plenty of cutting power.
The price is usually reasonable and would be a really good choice for someone just getting started with wet electric shaving.
For UK/European users, an equally good alternative would be the Panasonic Arc 3 ES-LL21-K (it uses the same foil/blades and basically shaves the same).
My favorite mid-range Panasonic would the Arc 4 series, precisely the ES-LA63 (full review here).
It’s a beefed-up Arc 3, with an extra blade and a slightly more powerful motor.
If you have a coarse, dense beard and want to get a really close shave without breaking the bank, I would strongly consider this one.
While it is a bit harsh during a dry shave, using it with shaving cream will make it perfectly comfortable and gentle.
The closeness of the shave is outstanding, especially in this price range.
Side note: the ES-LA63 comes in two colors: silver (ES-LA63-S) and blue (ES-LA63AA). The performance is identical.
Finally, in the high-end range of electric razors suitable for wet shaving, we have the Arc 5 line from Panasonic.
Considering its performance, price and availability, I think the Arc 5 is the best choice for users that want the best performance.
Some older models like the ES-LV65-S and ES-LV67 can be bought at an excellent price.
While there are lots of other newer Arc 5 versions, I think these two are the best picks.
The performance with shaving cream is outstanding.
Personally, I’m able to get the same closeness as in the case of a wet shave with a razor blade (minus the irritation).
There’s a new Arc 6 as well which is a 6-blade monster of a shaver. However, In my experience it is only marginally better than an Arc 5 when used for wet shaving.
Besides, it’s not widely available yet and costs a lot more than the two aforementioned Arc5s.
These 3 Panasonic families (Arc 3, Arc 4 and Arc 5) are in my opinion some of the best electric razors for use with shaving cream.
So why no Braun or Philips (Norelco) razors?
Well, I find Panasonic shavers to shave closer than Braun electric razors (even closer than their latest Series 9 Pro).
They’re also easier to clean manually.
As for Philips, I think most users will have a better chance of getting a great shave with a foil electric razor.
They’re usually more comfortable and easier to use.
That doesn’t however mean rotary razors can’t work great with shaving creams.
If you’re a long-time rotary user and you’re getting good results, definitely continue using one.
For more options, make sure to check out my wet/dry shaver reviews.
The best shaving creams for electric razors
First of all, I have to say that there’s no such thing as a shaving cream for electric razors.
The same stuff you’re using for shaving with a blade will also work with a wet/dry electric shaver.
That said, not all shaving creams are made equal.
If it came out of a spray can, it’s probably not that good.
Canned foam often contains harsh chemicals (synthetic fragrances, alcohol, preservation agents, paraffin, etc.) that can irritate the skin and their moisturizing and lubricating properties are generally poor.
Besides, the lather is really fluffy and cushiony which is not something we want here.
As we saw earlier, a quality shaving cream contains, among other ingredients, substances that act on the tough outer layer of the hair, causing it to swell and absorb water.
This makes it a lot easier for the shaver to cut the hairs. A good shaving cream also soothes, hydrates and conditions the skin.
And that’s important since flaky skin is much more prone to razor burn and irritation.
My favorite is by far Speick, an inexpensive and natural shaving cream that outperforms pretty much everything I’ve tried so far.
Speick Shaving Cream
Out of all the creams I’ve used with my electric razors, this one is the best.
It provides excellent lubrication and protection, making the shaver much more forgiving and allowing me to get the closest possible shave.
The post-shave sensation is incredible, with the skin feeling smooth, hydrated and most importantly, irritation-free.
Other equally impressive and inexpensive shaving creams are Proraso (the menthol and sandalwood variations are really good) and Nivea Original Mild shaving cream.
They’re widely available and particularly well suited to be used with electric shavers since they’re soft and easy to palm-lather.
There are of course other great options out there and you can check out my detailed guide on finding the best shaving creams.
BONUS TIP: since originally posting this article I’ve come across another fantastic product that works incredibly well with electric shavers.
It’s a shaving balm from Jack Black called Beard Lube.
The Beard Lube has two key advantages over traditional shaving cream.
First of all, once you apply it to your (wet) face, it’s basically transparent.
That is a huge advantage and will allow you to see what you’re doing without any foam getting in the way or clogging your shaver.
Secondly, because it’s a balm, you don’t need to lather it, you just apply the product directly to the wet face. The slickness is also unlike anything I’ve ever used.
This will greatly reduce the overhead of using shaving cream with your electric razor.
And the best part is that you’ll also get one of the most enjoyable, comfortable and close shaves ever.
I know that this seems like a lot to be done, but it really isn’t so.
Yes, wet shaving does take a bit more time than a quick dry shave but in my opinion it’s totally worth it. I personally shave dry only when I’m in a hurry.
With wet electric shaving, you get the best of both worlds: a close shave that is almost as good as shaving with a blade and the comfortable and pain-free experience of an electric razor.
So give it a try and see how it goes.
You can check the reviews section if you’re on the look for a shaver that can be used for both wet & dry shaving.
It goes without saying that you should only use a razor that was designed with that in mind.
Over to you now: have you tried using a shaving cream/balm with your electric shaver? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
203 thoughts on “Wet Shaving With An Electric Razor: All You Need To Know”Leave a comment
I really appreciate what you post.
Thanks a lot for your comment; more articles to follow real soon.
I haven’t kept a shaved face in a long time, but with the ongoing pandemic I am having to stay clean-shaven as I work in healthcare and N95 masks don’t properly seal with a beard.
I recently upgraded my razor (my old one was probably 15+ years old!) and I got a wet/dry razor. I’ve been interested to try wet shaving and came across your post. Thanks for posting this great info. I can’t wait to try it out!
That’s great, Nate, hope you’ve found the post useful. Happy shaving!
it tips work like he’ll
super. Now I became expert. thanks for your advice.
I love wet shaving in the shower with my Panasonic ESLV61, but I find it works well with just about any shave cream/gel, even inexpensive stuff from a can. But whatever works for you.
the fact that you can get quality shaves even when using canned shaving cream is great. I also use a Panasonic as my go to shaver, but I could never get the best of it by using other products except from the ones that get along with my skin and technique (the cream from Speick being one of them). The only reliable way of finding what works best for you is by trying different products. 🙂
Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts.
I should have also said in my last post that the shave takes a lot less time for me when I shave wet in the shower. Not including prep, it takes about 2 minutes less time.
Recently I purchased Panasonic shaver (ES3833S) after reading one of the articles posted on this site. It is especially for the head. Could you please give me some tips on usage and your opinion on the product?
thank you for your comment. I haven’t personally used the ES3833S, but I’ve used similar small shavers in the past (like the Braun M90), so hopefully I can give you some useful tips. First of all, these type of shavers are primarily designed to be carried around. Being small, lightweight (and inexpensive), they cannot match a full-fledged, powerful shaver in terms of performance. Even though they get the job done, I don’t think that I would enjoy using one as my daily shaver. The closeness of the shave and comfort simply aren’t good enough for me. Because of this I’ve only been using them while traveling. But then again that’s just me and I have a pretty long list of things that don’t get along with my skin. If you don’t have this kind of problems, then your recently purchased shaver should be ok. Like I said in the article, I am a big fan of wet shaving and if you have the time, I would definitely suggest to give it a try. Especially since the ES3833S is not a particularly powerful shaver (and has a single blade) this could have a major impact on the quality of the shave you’ll get. I’m thinking mostly at reducing razor burn, it’s something that I’ve been experiencing when using these small shavers. Try to follow the tips from the this article.
Take your time, enjoy your shave and let me know how it goes.
I seriously need your help in selecting right head shaver (zero shave). The one I bought is totally blunt and struggles to even give a very ordinary shave. I have already spoked with Amazon representative and about to return it tomorrow. Can you please recommend a good head shaver (zero shave) that comes between 2000 to 3000 rupees (Indian currency)? I will be waiting for your reply.
Thanks in advance.
Given the fact that your budget is around $49, your options are rather limited. I personally prefer foil shavers, but since you’ll be using it for shaving your head, rotary razors are also a good choice. I have written an in-depth article about electric shavers suitable for shaving your head here. Unfortunately those shavers are pretty expensive; I will however mention two shavers that you should definitely check out:
Hope this helps,
Thank you very much!
Hi, I have a Panasonic Arc 5 ES-LV95 and I’m trying to wet shave with it and your recommended Speick shaving tube. I make the lather thinner as you said but I’m having a few issues…
1. Sometimes I don’t seem to get as close a shave as a dry shave.
2. Do you clean the razor under the water while running while shaving or how do you do that? I tried that and when I put the shaver back to my face wet hair rubs back on my face. How do you clean that hair off while shaving?
Regarding your first question, as long as the consistency of the lather is right, my guess is that you don’t always go against the grain, so you end up with areas that don’t feel as smooth as they should be. This can get a bit difficult because of the lather as you can’t always see and assess the direction of the hairs. Try using your free hand to feel the grain and then go over the area with the shaver until it’s smooth.
As for cleaning, I simply give the shaver a quick rinse with warm tap water, shake off the excess and continue shaving. I do shave pretty often though, so I mainly have to deal with very short hair clippings.
Great tips. I was relieved to hear that you use a real, high quality shaving soap. I am switching over to an electric after wet shaving for years, although I’ve been traditionally wet shaving for two years. O swtiched from cartridges to DE’s to save money. Lol. You should see my collect that I am slowly selling. I still love my DE’s (I have tried straights and I just can’t shave well enough with them. I think my stubble is too tough.) All that being said, I don’t want to give up my high quality shaving soaps, like my PAA soaps and my boar brush. I am waiting on my norelco 4700 wettec in the mail. I look forward to this new experience.
*aquatec that is. At any rate it can be used for wet shaving.
thank you for your comment! My switch to electric shaving followed pretty much the same path; I was having a real hard time using (expensive) cartridges that left my skin looking and feeling awful. Quality shaving creams, along with a suitable DE razor (I still have my Edwin Jagger DE89) definitely improved the experience, but it was still far away from a pleasant one. I always enjoyed having and using quality shaving creams; there is absolutely no reason to give up on them after switching to an electric shaver. On the contrary, this just might be one of the best decisions you can make. It certainly was for me. Hope you’ll enjoy your new shaver!
Thanks! I’ll keep you posted.
Ok. I have 8 shaves down now with my Norelco 4700. Today I had to recharge for the first time. I shaved 5 wet and 3 dry. I definitely prefer wet shaving when using my shaving soaps as it gives a closer shave and is more akin to traditional wet shaving. My dry shaves get the job done just not as close as when wet shaving. Overall using either method of electric shaving, I find I am getting just as close a shave compared to traditional wet shaving with the added bonus (and this can’t be stressed enough) without any redness or irritation.
I’m glad to hear that you’re enjoying your new shaver. It’s not always this easy for someone new to electric shaver to find the right product, so I’m really glad that it worked out so smoothly. I’m totally with you when it comes to wet shaving—it definitely improves the closeness and the overall shaving experience. To be perfectly honest, I can’t really remember when was the last time I had a dry shave.
Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with us!
Great article! I’m always looking for good pre and post shave tips. I actually just tried electric wet shaving for the very first time today. Wow! I’ve never felt a razor glide like that before. I used a 3-head Remington Rotary with an oil called Shave Secret and lots of warm water. Shaving is always uncomfortable but this actually felt really good, and the best part is that it didn’t leave any irritation or dryness whatsoever. I’ve suffered from severe razor burn for over 20 years, so this is pretty awesome to me. Thank you!
that’s great! I think everyone should give (electric) wet shaving a shot when nothing else seems to improve their shaving experience. For me at least the difference was night and day (in terms of both comfort and closeness). I use the pre-shave oil from Truefitt & Hill and also a shaving cream – my current pick being Taylor of Old Bond Street Avocado. I agree that there’s more work do be done, but the end result is definitely worth the hassle.
Thank you for your comment, I really appreciate it!
Great article. Currently I’m looking to upgrade my electric razor to one that allows wet shaving. I read your sensitive skin article and am wondering if those 2 electric razors are your top recommendations for wet electric shaving? I’d like to find an electric razor to use with shaving cream. Thanks!
thank you for your comment. If your budget allows it, I would go for the Braun Series 7 799cc, it is a better choice for sensitive skin than the 790cc mentioned in that article as it can be used with shaving creams and gels. Other than that they are absolutely identical. Another excellent choice, but priced much lower is the Panasonic ES-LA63-S. Please keep in mind that the Panasonic doesn’t come with a cleaning & charging dock.
Hope this helps.
I live the other side of the world New Zealand I have wet Shaved all my life from the age of 13, I just need your thoughts before I go ahead and try an electric wet shaver, I shave my head as well as my face and have done from the age of 30 I’m now 61 would these shavers work for me I do get wee Knicks now and again and scrazing as well I use Bodyshop cream put on with a badger hair brush and rinse of and use Bodyshop shaver relive and also face protector, your advice would be of great value.
thank you for your comment. Regarding your question, there isn’t a straight answer as there really isn’t a one size fits all solution to this particular problem. For example, while some electric shavers can be successfully used for shaving both face and head, I would personally go for a dedicated razor for my head, something like the Bald Eagle Smart. Its design makes it very practical for shaving hard to reach areas and I also think that rotary shavers are more suitable for shaving the head. As for your regular shaver, a very good choice that is also budget friendly is the Panasonic ES-LA63-S. Since you wet shave, another solid option would be the new Braun Series 7 799cc. It is more expensive, but if your budget allows it, it is one of the best products out there and also comes with an excellent cleaning & charging base. You can use both the Panasonic and the Braun for shaving your head as well, but again, it won’t be the experience you’ll be getting from a razor that was specifically designed for shaving the head. So you’ll be making a compromise. You can also try a rotary (better suited for head), but since it will be your first electric shaver, my recommendation is to go for a foil shaver like the two mentioned above. Try them on your head as well and see how that goes. If you are not satisfied with the result you can buy a second razor (like the Bald Eagle) to be used for the head. Also, please note that the skin needs around 30 days to adapt to an electric shaver, so please take that into consideration. You may experience some razor burn and irritation at first and your technique will also get better in time.
I hope this helps. Please let me know how it goes if you find the time.
I am planning to buy panasonic arc 5 eslv65. Can you tell me is it worth buying. Is arc 5 better than arc 4?
more blades don’t always mean a better product and in most cases 4 blades should be sufficient. The Braun Series 7 for example has only 3 blades, but it is one of the top performing electric razors out there. There’s more to a quality shaver than the number of blades.
I haven’t personally used the ES-LV65-S so far, but I have no reason to believe it won’t perform excellent. I had great results with most Panasonic shavers I’ve tried and this one is marketed as a premium product – it definitely costs like one. An extra blade (compared to a Panasonic Arc4, like the ES-LA63-S for example) usually means a larger shaving head, thus faster & more efficient shaving (it can also make the head bulkier). At least in theory, the ES-LV65-S should be better than an Arc4. How much better? That is hard to tell, as the performance of a particular shaver is also a very subjective matter; there are many factors at play, like your skin type, the coarseness of your facial hair, shaving habits and technique – to name just a few. Then there’s the price, an Arc4 being considerably cheaper.
Hopefully this will help you make a decision and buy a razor that is right for you.
Hi Ovidiu –
I am just now switching back to electric after using a blade for many years and then having a beard for the last couple of years (while still using a blade for my neck and cheekbones). Like you, blades left my skin red and raw.
I had used Braun and Panasonic in the past, but my dad has sworn by his Norelco for years and when I was visiting my parents recently and forgot my razor, he let me try his Norelco 9000 series. I used it dry, but was surprised at what a good job it did.
The 9000 series is a little pricier than I wanted, so today I picked up the Norelco 7370 for sensitive skin and am looking forward to using it in the shower.
My question is whether using a shave oil along with shaving cream/gel is ok with an electric. Norelco mentions using shaving cream in their owners manual, but says nothing about oil. I assume that as long as I’m cleaning it after each use that the oil won’t cause any problems with the shaver?
thank you for your comment. Glad to hear that electric shaving has worked out well for you again. The 7370 is an excellent compromise in terms of price and performance and I think it’s a very solid shaver.
Regarding your question, I assume you are referring to a pre-shave oil. If that’s the case, there shouldn’t be any problems as long as you thoroughly clean your razor after every use like you mentioned in the comment above. I personally use a pre-shave oil myself along with a shaving cream and haven’t had any problems with my shavers. With that said, I do prefer the ones that have a more watery consistency, like Ultimate Comfort from Truefitt & Hill as the thicker ones tend to clog the razor and make shaving more difficult. I highly recommend it, even though it’s a bit pricey. On the plus side, one bottle should last a very long time as you only need a few drops per shave. Hope this helps.
Hi Ovidiu –
Thanks so much for your response. Yes, I was referring to pre-shave oil. So far, I’m loving this shaver. Used it in the shower for the first time 2 days ago with just regular shaving cream and was amazed at what a smooth shave I got. And my neck didn’t look red and beat up like it normally does – my wife said – in a good way – that it did not look like I had just shaved.
You are very welcome, Chris. Enjoy your new shaver! 🙂
Hi Ovidiu – I have just completed reading all these interesting posts, I have used wet shave since age 16 and am now 50 but felt like trying electric wet/dry, I have just ordered the new Braun Series 9-9290 and should arrive in 2 days time. It was the latest Braun model but I was treating myself with birthday money from my 50th. I am looking forward to giving this a try and hoping for a cut free smooth shave.
I have read other articles about wet electric shaving and some say best to shave without softening the stubble?
Am also thinking about using alcohol based pre electric shave lotion with vitamin E?
This is all very new and looking forward to trying my new shaving routine.
I am yet to personally try out the Series 9 from Braun, but given all the praise it has received and the fact that it is basically a beefed up Series 7 I expect it to perform brilliantly. I can think of no better shaver to use after making the switch from wet shaving.
Regarding you question, there is a very important distinction to make. If you’re going to wet shave with your electric razor, then pretty much everything you would normally do to prepare your beard for shaving with a blade still applies here (hot shower beforehand, cleaning/exfoliating your face, lots of warm water, even a pre-shave oil). In other words, yes, it’s ok and highly recommended to soften the stubble before shaving WET with an electric razor. If however you will be using it dry, it is a total different story. You will want your face to be as dry as possible. A pre-electric shave lotion will also help with this. If you do not have overly sensitive skin then an alcohol based lotion is great for your pre (dry) shave preparations. I wrote two articles on these topics, you can check them out here:
A Simple and Effective Pre Electric Shave Routine
Electric pre-shave products: should you use one?
Hope this helps. Happy birthday and enjoy your new shaver!
First of all, this is one of the most informative websites I’ve seen. It has been really helpful reading all your posts. I am in a unique position in which I cannot use razor blades for personal reasons, and only specific electric shavers. On top of that, my facial hair is very coarse and every shave is a battle.
Is it possible to post an article regarding shaving brushes? I’ve closely read all other posts but I noticed you didn’t discuss brushes almost at all.
Thanks, I appreciate the great work you do.
Thank you so much for your comment. I haven’t touched the topic of shaving brushes so far, but I definitely plan on doing so in the future. In the meantime I highly recommend Mike Sandoval’s educational articles on shaving101.com:
I personally prefer badger brushes and there are various hair grades – this is also reflected in the price of the brushes. However, for most men a best badger brush should be good enough. They represent an excellent compromise with regards to quality and costs. They absorb water easily, they’re soft and gentle to the skin and still have a bit of backbone, so you can even lather a hard triple milled soap, even though it will require more time and effort.
The Edwin Jagger brush referenced in this article is very hard to beat in terms of value for money and I cannot recommend it enough.
Hope this helps.
I wonder how often you should rinse your electric shaver if it gets clogged ?
Does this dilute the layer of lather
? Ought one to try finish with ony one ?
a quick rinse of the shaving head, followed by shaking off the excess water shouldn’t be a problem, definitely not to the extent of impacting the consistency of your lather. A good rule of thumb to reduce the chances of clogging would be to use a very thin layer of lather. As I said in the article, I found that a more watery lather works best with electric shavers.
Hope this helps.
Thanks for your in depth reviews and all the tips you are giving. Following your advices I went for the Panasonic LV 65 (Amazon offer :-)) after a lifetime of wet shaving without any problems. The dry shave is excellent (takes more time than wet shaving for getting a completely smooth skin, but firstly, I am a beginner with electric shave and secondly – I am impressed that it is possible to reach the same result as by classic wet shaving with an electric shaver – even if it takes a little longer).
Today I tried my first electric shave and I faced an unexpected Problem: the shaver was acutally drying my shaving cream very fast (Body shop shaving cream), so I had to put some more water/fresh cream on my face. Is this typical for wet electric shaving or should I just change the shaving cream? Thanks for your advice!
Thank you for your comment. I haven’t used the Body shop shaving cream, but the shaver itself can’t really dry the lather or speed up the process. I’m pretty sure it had something to do with not using enough water or the shaving cream drying too fast. Try using a bit more water when building your lather, massage it into your beard and only use a thin layer. Alternatively, you can also try a different shaving cream. Speick, Proraso and Nivea for example work great and are inexpensive.
Hope this helps.
Thank you for the useful tips, I have a question.
What should be the minimum length for my facial hair for it not to be shaved by the below shaver?
Panasonic 2IN1 Shaver Cum Trimmer W/ Multi Fit Arc Blade ESRT47.
For example, if I want to shave the upper part of my mustache without shaving the mustache itself, so what should be the minimum hair length of my mustache so that even if the shaver touch it, it wont shave it. There are also some areas on my beard in which i don’t want to be shaved, so what should be the hair length on that areas so that even if the shaver passes through them and touch them, they won’t get effected and remain the same.
Thank you for your comment. I hope I understand this correctly — you want to go over certain areas without the hairs being shaved. If that’s the case, then I would say extremely short. The length of the hairs must be less than the thickness of your shaver’s foils. And those are a fraction of a millimeter.
However, this also implies that you won’t be applying any pressure at all. Even if a stubble is short enough, if you press the foils into the skin it will poke through the perforations in the foil.
I hope this helps (and makes sense).
Thank you for this article I love wet shaving with the different shaving soaps and cream like the de safety razor guy have I started with a de but I have super sensitive skin and a disability that I started shaking and having trouble holding the safety razor but the electric razor helped a lot I enjoy wet shaving even more but the only problem I have is get a lot of ingrown hair but reading a few of your articles l believe now that I need a foil razor and I tried dry shaving once with a electric shaver it didn’t go well left two much behind so I just wet electric all the time now thanks so much keep up the work. You do need to do reviews on different soaps and creams and brushs bowls and oils after shave for the wet electric community out there I thought about doing that on YouTube.
Thank you for your comment, I really appreciate it! I am actually planning on reviewing more products related to electric shaving — creams, oils, pre-shaves and so on.
Since watery lather is better for wet shave, would Chemo Original Shave Cream be a good option? I recently moved to electric shaving from past three decades of using razors, where Chemo’s cream worked So well. I’m wondering if you have an opinion on it – specifically if it clogs (or not) the shaver head.
Thank you for your comment. That is actually a very good question. When using an electric shaver, clogging has a lot more to do with the consistency and quantity of the lather than with the shaving cream itself. So as long as you’re using a quality cream (and Cremo is definitely one of them), you’re off to a great start.
Just make sure to follow the steps outlined in the post; as long as the lather remains properly hydrated during your shave (add more water whenever needed) and you’re only using a thin layer of lather, you shouldn’t run into any clogging issues.
Hope this helps.
Hi Ovidiu, thanks for the post. I have a (very) old corded Braun I’m looking to replace with a new Series 7. My current shaver does a surprisingly good job except for around the neck where it is prone to missing hairs (particularly the curly ones!).
I’m deciding between the dry-only and wet/dry series 7 models. I’ve clearly never ‘wet electric’ shaved before and wanted to know what benefits this has over conventional dry electric shaving? Is it more likely to help with neck hairs or will the upgrade to a contemporary shaver take care of this anyway? Is wet electric shaving gentler? Is the shave closer?
Thanks for your advice! Cheers
Thank you for your comment. The benefits of wet shaving over dry shaving tends to vary quite a bit among different users. Some will see a significant improvement, while for others the differences won’t be noticeable. You will really have to give it a try, unfortunately there’s no other way.
You must also factor in the shaver itself. For example, to me a Panasonic shaver performs a lot better when used with shaving cream. It shaves closer and a lot more comfortable. On the other hand, Braun shavers are really comfortable during a dry shave (especially the Series 7 and 9) and at least in my case the results of a wet and dry shave are pretty similar. That’s why I tend to wet shave with my Panasonic razors and get that very close shave and do a quick dry shave with a Series 7 or 9. In the case of the latter, the closeness isn’t quite as good, but definitely good enough.
The Series 7 is very effective at getting difficult neck hair. Out of all foil shavers out there, only the Series 9 performs better in this regard, but it is more expensive and for most users the Series 7 will be good enough. So I think it will be a great option for you.
As for the model, that’s really up to you. If you can get a dry only Series 7 for a great price, go for it. Otherwise I’d say to stick to a wet/dry model. Most current Series 7 are suitable for wet/dry use, so you should be able to find and grab one at a good price.
Hope this helps.
Thanks for your interesting and informative website. Based on your advice, I have made the move from Razor to electric shaving – I have gone with a Braun Series 7 wet/dry shaver.
My first shave went very well and received my beloved’s endorsement for my effort 🙂
I have a question about storage between shaves. That is, what is a good idea for storing the shaver so that damage is avoided? My model comes with a Clean&Renew station – but this seems too bulky for day-to-day storage.
Thanks and kind regards
Thank you for your comment, glad you’re enjoying your Series 7.
As for the storage, once the shaver is completely dry (assuming you clean it with water and soap), you can store it in a cabinet/drawer or anywhere really where it won’t be exposed to extreme temperature or mechanical shocks. That’s all you need to do in order to avoid any damage to your shaver.
Hi there, great website and great advice. I just wanted to mention that I have two Braun shavers, one is the 3040 model wet&dry, and the other is the 300s model which I found can be used as wet or dry but it’s only advertised as waterproof to 5 metres, I like this model because it runs in corded mode and powers the motor more strongly, you can hear and feel the difference.
I’m 40 and have always used electric, but recently bought all the kit to try de safety razor shaving but no matter what I did, I got razor burn, nicks, bumps, a rash etc and this just went on for a month, gave it a damn good go but sometimes it’s just not enough and electric is the best option. I actually get a much better, closer shaver all over with electric as I couldn’t do more than one pass with a razor so it didn’t cut it (pun intended).
Now I’ll use my Proraso soap with my electric and see how it goes.
I don’t get any rash shaving dry so do you think the cheaper Panasonic is worth a go over the Braun models for their faster motor and blades?
Many thanks for your valuable and interesting experiences.
Thank you for your comment and for sharing your experience.
I think you can give the Panny a try, especially if you’ll be using shaving soap. If you go for the cheaper Arc 3 models make sure you pick one fitted with the 13 000 CPM motor (it must be listed explicitly in the specs). Just keep in mind that Panasonic razors aren’t as good as Braun when shaving longer hairs that lie flat on the skin. That’s why I tend to recommend Panasonic shavers to users that shave more often and don’t have particularly sensitive skin.
Hope this helps.
Cremo shaving cream with a Philips rotary is the best combo for me. I liked the Panasonics and traditional shaving creams. But, my present combo is a lot more enjoyable and just as effective.
Thank you for your comment, Jon. May I ask what’s the model name of your Philips shaver? I’m a foil user and never really got the same excellent results when using rotary shavers, the S9000 Prestige being the best I’ve tried so far.
I really enjoyed the post and the advice. I’m about to make the switch from catridge razors to an electric one. I have very sensitive and acne prone skin, which is the main reason I’m doing the switch. I was really close to getting into DE Safety Razor shaving, but after reading I learned that there is a somewhat steep learning curve, it takes a good amount of time, and isn’t necessarilly easy on the skin (specially my type).
I plan on buying a Braun Wet/Dry Series 7 and use it with one of your reccomended shave creams.
You mentioned here that when wet shaving with electric, you should do so against the grain; how so? All my life I thought shaving against the grain was bad. Is their a specific reason to do this?
Thanks again for the article and in advance for the input.
Thank you for your comment. That is actually an excellent question. The general rule of thumb of going with the grain applies to traditional wet shaving, where an exposed blade comes directly in contact with the skin. If you shave against the grain with a razor blade, the chances of getting razor burn, nicks and even ingrown hairs increase exponentially. Some very lucky few can get away with it, but for most of us, it’s usually a bad experience. That’s why it’s highly recommended to go with the grain as the blade can still cut the hairs pretty close to the skin, especially if you also do a second pass.
On the other hand, in the case of electric shavers, the actual blades are covered by a protective (perforated) screen. So in order for the hairs to be cut, they must poke through those holes in the foil. And going with the grain will make this pretty much futile — the shaver will simply run over the hairs and miss most of them or just barely cut the tips. With an electric shaver it is perfectly safe and recommended to go against the grain since the skin is protected by a thin metal screen. As long as you don’t press too hard and use controlled, short strokes, you should get a satisfactory close shave that is also very comfortable.
I think the Series 7 will be a very good choice in your case, it’s a very gentle and forgiving shaver that’s also easy to use by a beginner since the shaving head is very slim and nimble.
Hope this helps.
Thanks for the quick response and the detailed explanation; it cleared up my doubts. I really appreciate it.
Hi I have an issue that electric shaving always gives me spots. Even when I use it in the shower. I haven’t tried electric shaving with cream on my face so maybe that’s the answer but do you have any tips for post shave pimples? Thanks for all the info you put out. Great stuff
Thank you for your comment.
I’d say that it’s definitely worth giving it a shot. Spots/pimples/folliculitis can have various causes. If we rule out bacteria and acne-like skin conditions (in which case you should definitely see a dermatologist), having the right shaver and using it the right way could make a big difference. For example, I would rather use a Braun shaver like the Series 7 instead of a Panasonic or Philips. They are very gentle and forgiving and the fact that they don’t shave quite as close as Panasonic razors is actually a plus here. Hairs cut at skin level have a greater chance of becoming ingrown or the follicle getting blocked, resulting in that small puss-filled blister (pimple). It’s also very important not to use excessive pressure when shaving as it will only make things worse. Using a gentle facial scrub twice a week to remove dead skin and gunk from the pores can also help. Finally, a soothing, hydrating aftershave balm is highly recommended.
Hope this helps.
I followed your recommendation and bought myself a tube of Speik shave cream for my daily wet electric shave. It is fantastic! Finally, the first time I’m getting an irritation free shave – I have incredibly sensitive skin on my neck. I’ve tried millions of things and the Speik shave cream with my Braun Series 9 is doing the trick.
But I’ve recently noticed a white residue from the shave cream on the blades of the cassette. I use the Clean & Renew station after every shave but it doesn’t seem to clean it off. It’s like soap scum. I don’t think it’s affecting the shave performance but it doesn’t look very good. Any tips on how to clean it off properly? Or don’t worry about it…?
Thank you for your comment. I’m glad that you’ve finally found the winning combination.
Regarding your question, I wouldn’t worry too much about it. If you clean your shaver properly after every use, be it with the station or simply with some liquid soap and tap water, it’s all good. I’ve seen the same thing happening with all the foil razors I’ve used no matter how thorough I am with my cleaning routine. Some hardened foam will eventually show up, especially toward the extremities of the foils on the inside of the cassette. But as you’ve said, it won’t affect the performance of your shaver.
I’ve tried soaking the cassette (or blades + foil in the case of Panasonic razors) is warm, soapy water for up to one hour and it does remove some of the white residue, but not entirely. Some readers of this website have suggested using an ultrasonic cleaner (like the ones used for jewelry), but I haven’t tried that yet, so I cannot comment on the effectiveness and the safety of that method.
Again, cleaning the shaver is particularly important if you use shaving cream and as long as you’re taking care of that, there’s no reason to worry.
There’s a saying that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but this old dog has learned a few from you. I’ve only recently taken the time to fully read your tips on wet shaving with an electric shaver. In the past I’ve tried wet shaving without much success, but I hadn’t read your tips then and used a brush to apply the lather. As you point out that just doesn’t work!
Having studied your tips and having a little Proraso soap in a tub left over, I tried using that and had an amazingly good shave, however, my shaving cream of choice is that of Taylor of Old Bond Street. Now if you use a blade and brush there is no better shaving cream, but using my fingers as you suggest, it works extremely well with an electric shaver too. (I haven’t tried Speick but I’ll get some from Amazon UK)
Prior to trying your system I always lubricated my very dry skin with either Nivea or Atrixo hand cream before shaving and this worked for me a lot better than dry shaving, but since using your wet system I’ve stopped shaving with a Dorco cartridge and just use my old Panasonic ES-LV61 now with very satisfactory results. I just wish I’d known this many years ago as it would have saved me from a many sore and bloody shaves with various different blades and cartridges.
Electric shavers never gave me a shave that would last all day without a second shave before going out at night, but your wet system has changed all that. Thank you so much for all that very valuable information.
As I’m retired I don’t need to shave every day, but using your system I now do shave every day instead of looking scruffy with 1 or 2 days growth, just to give my face a break! You’ve transformed my shave and my life!
Incidentally, several months ago I wrote to tell that I’d bought a WES 9177 foil with golden rollers and thought that it was giving me a better shave, but having regularly swapped foils over a period of several months I now agree with you that there’s no discernable difference. However, as my Panasonic ES-LV61 is now some 5 years old perhaps it’s time that I treated myself to a nice, new ES-LV65 before stock runs out and the updated one appears with an inevitably higher price.
Again many thanks for your excellent website,
Thank you so much for the kind words and for taking the time to write such an insightful comment! It was a joy reading it and I am really glad that something I wrote had such a positive impact on your shaving routine.
As a side note, I also love TOBS shaving creams from my DE razor days (the Avocado was my favorite), but haven’t used any for a few years. I guess out of convenience as I can easily buy a tube of Speick, Proraso or Nivea from a local store and all of them work really well for me.
I think you should treat yourself with the ES-LV65, it is one of the very best electric shavers out there, especially for someone that uses shaving cream regulaly. And you are correct, there is already an updated and more expensive model called ES-LV67, but it’s nothing more than a visual makeover. The inner blades and foil are the exact same ones that come with the ES-LV65, so that’s another reason to buy it sooner than later.
Thank you again for sharing your experience!
At 70 never knew that u could use shaving cream with an electric shaver. Just tried it and better than a straight razor!!!
One question: does the shaving cream clog up the electric razor
Great article and recommendations
Thank you for your comment, glad you found the article useful.
As long as you use only a thin layer of lather and it’s properly hydrated, you shouldn’t have any problems in that regard. Just make sure to clean your shaver properly afterward (ideally with liquid soap and warm water).
What are the steps to take, while wet shaving with a Braun series 9 to avoid razor rash and bumps. I am a black man and my dry shaving experiment has not been nice with razor rash and a lot of missed patches of hair on my head.
Please advise, I enjoy your articles.
Thank you for your comment. I understand that you use your Series 9 to shave your head — please correct me if I’m wrong. The steps outlined in this article are still relevant when shaving the head. I would try to shave every two days so that the hair isn’t too long and also not to aggravate any lingering irritation from the previous day. Use a high-quality shaving cream that soothes and protects the skin. The ones mentioned in this post would be good choices. Do not apply excessive pressure as that will only make things worse. Finally, apply a soothing balm.
Hope this helps.
Last time I wrote to you I had been trying your wet shaving tips with great success using my old ES-LV61 shaver, and was considering purchasing the newer ES-LV65. Here in the UK there are two main suppliers, Amazon or Shavers UK, who are actually Olympic Shaver Centre and offer superb service together with competive prices. Some while ago they had the ES-LV65 on offer at £99.99 (roughly $129) but have since increased it to £119.99 ($155), still a very good price.
However, if possible, I like to have the latest model but only the ES-LV9Q was available and I didn’t want the cleaning station. Shavers said that the ES-LV6Q, without the cleaning station, was not available and Panasonic’s UK website confirmed this. However, Costco UK had it on offer at £139.99 ($181 approx) so I decided to purchase one from them. They delivered it within 48 hours and I’m very pleased with it. Of course I used it to wet shave with brilliant results.
Now I’m sure you know that at one time many barbers had hot towel machines for softening the beard prior to shaving a customer, but what I do is use very hot water with a face cloth or flannel, which I apply to my beard for about 20 seconds and repeat several times. I then wash my face and finally apply lather in your recommended manner. This can be a bit of a chore if used every day so sometimes I use my own method of dry shaving instead. This involves lubricating and softening the face with a cream of some kind and my preference is Atrixo hand cream, the one in a yellow and green pot, which I rub well in to my face. This works extremely well and gives virtually as close a shave as wet shaving does. The cream can tend to clog the shaver blades and foil a little, but this is easily removed with either the brush or washing the shaver in the usual way.
I find the ES-LV6Q very comfortable and quick to use and it often still shows 100% charge after use and never less that 90%. I also like the fact that the protective foil cap stays in place because the one on my old ES-LV61 has to be held in place with a rubber band! I tend to use the head in the fixed position allowing it to swivel all over the place, but that’s just my preference and other users may disagree.
Anyway, I highly recommend this shaver to anyone considering an upgrade, if it’s available at the right price.
Keep up the good work,
It’s always a pleasure to read your comments and I thoroughly enjoyed your thoughtful insights this time as well.
I think you made the right choice with the LV6Q considering the price of the other models you mentioned. I would have also passed on the ES-LV9Q — I never really used the stations that came with any of my Panasonic shavers.
While I don’t use a hot towel anymore, I do spend quite a few minutes washing my face with hot water prior to applying the shaving cream whenever I want to treat myself (and I have the time for it). It’s well worth the effort. I’ve never tried hand cream as a dry pre-shave, but that sounds intriguing, to say the least considering the excellent results you got.
I’m glad you’re enjoying your new Panny and again, thank you for taking the time to share your experience.
Great Insightful write up!
Wondering if you’ve ever tried Jack Black Beard Lube in your electric shaving? It is a pretty fantastic product as it has pre-shave prep, shaving cushion, and post-shave moisturizer all in one. The shave is just fabulous.
Thank you for your comment, much appreciated.
Unfortunately some brands from the USA are not available here in Europe, so I haven’t tried it yet. I was however able to find a seller that ships overseas and just placed an order for the Beard Lube. Many thanks for the suggestion, I will reply to this comment once I get a chance to use it.
As a Christian, I appreciate advice from a knowledgeable source that is aimed at helping others – these tips are the best that I have come across.
Thank you for your comment, Harry. Glad you found the information useful.
Getting very good advices. I yesterday bought a Braun 5 series wet and dry, considering your advice regarding comparison of series 5 and 7 telling that 7 has nothing much special to offer. Will try today.
Thank you for your comment, much appreciated. Hope the Series 5 will be up to your expectations.
Hi! I have really enjoyed reading your wet/dry shaving advice and all of the comments. I should have read this before I went and bought wet/dry electric razor for my son. He is only 13 and has been dying to shave off the peach fuzz. I went to CVS and purchased the conairman wet/dry twin foil blade electric razor. Also, I am not a big fan of anything that comes out of a can so I did buy him “shave butter” in a tube. I’m a single mom so this is a big deal for him (and myself). Hence reading your shaving advice! He is determined to do it tonight so I guess we will work with what we have — I will be the one doing it for him the first time and showing him how to do it… but I am sure I’ll be buying a better quality electric razor in the future. Thank you so much for your advice! I will be passing this on to him so he can read it.
Thank you for your comment, glad you found the information useful.
There are definitely better shavers than the Conair, but for a teenager with light facial hair, it should be fine. One thing to keep in mind is that electric shavers work best on shorter hairs as they must poke through the perforations in the foils in order to get cut. So soft, longer and flat-lying peach fuzz could be more difficult to shave at first. Take your time when first doing it and it will definitely get easier later on. I also wrote a guide on recommended shavers for beginners if you want to check it out.
I recently started wet shaving – both my head and face. It is fantastic! I am Italian and have dark hair, so my 5 o’clock shadow shows up at noon. LOL
I also have the HeadBlade, and that gets very close out of the shower. However, the closeness of the shave using my Panasonic W/D shaver is amazing! I use Nivea sensitive shaving cream, so I found this article very insightful as it talked about limiting the amount of lather. I hadn’t thought of that, so I’ll be trying that next time.
Nice to see this article still helping people years after you wrote it.
That’s great, thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment. Glad you found the article informative.
I would like to share a product recommendation for fellow wet-electric shavers.
I have used my Panasonic Arc5 with King of Shaves products with excellent results. I use the Kinexium oil first (I think they recently changed the name to Advanced Shave Oil): 2 pumps and massage into my wet face for 30-60 sec. That alone will actually yield a very nice shave, but “just in case” I use the King of Shaves Alpha Gel. Immediately after applying the oil, I use an almond-size dollop and rub it in well.
Both products are clear (Alpha will get a slight white foam under friction, but it subsides) so you can see your face and aim for high spots of stubble. While great at reducing friction, the combo is not overly slick, so you maintain some “feel” of what the shaver head is cutting. The best way to describe the feel is that it is like dry shaving but with a very nice glide. In 4 minutes, I get an excellent shave and it rinses very easily from the heads. The shave is smooth and close- no 5 o’clock shadow.
I previously used Proraso creams and soaps and they are also great, but I find are harder to rinse from the shaver heads (plus the soap requires a brush and extra prep and adds 5 min to my shave!).
Electric wet shaving has been a great discovery for my face, so I encourage people to try this combo!
Colin, thank you so much for taking the time to share this.
It seems like a winning combination. On a side note, another great product that I’ve just started using recently is the Jack Black Beard Lube. It’s kind of like a very slick shave balm, almost completely transparent when applied to the beard and it works incredibly well with electric shavers.
Just like the Alpha gel, the main advantage is that you can see the stubble spots and it overall takes less time to apply, shave and clean compared to shaving cream or soap.
I’ve never used King of Shaves products — I live in Europe and they’re not as easy to purchase — but I’ll try to at least get the gel.
Great detailed article.
I have just bought one of these new wet/dry Panasonic for the first time (ES LL021).
It is a major improvement, especially I shave at 48 hours, which was unthinkable for me before, but…
Either using it on dry or with (canned) gel I have the same problem: small area on my neck look badly shaved, shady, with short visible hairs, no matter how hard I tried (not pushing downwards, I understand that, but gently passing more times, in short strokes, having the skin streched as good as I can) cannot get rid of those few short visible hairs.
Once I tried really hard, insisting longer on them and…welcome old irritation.
Any sugestions on that, please.
Is the machine faulty ? I do soemthing wrong?
Should I buy one of these pre-electric shaving oils?
Thank you for your comment, much appreciated.
For some reason, the hairs on that particular area don’t get cut, meaning they don’t poke through the perforations in the foils and the middle trimmer can’t capture them either. Most of the time, this happens because the hairs are lying flat on the skin or they grow in different directions (or a combination of both). You didn’t mention it, but have you tried changing constantly the direction of the stroke so that you always move the shaver against the grain? It’s very important to do so while keeping the strokes as short as possible and also use your free hand periodically to check the direction of growth and for any remaining rough patches.
There are pre-electric shave lotions (for shaving dry) and regular pre-shave oils that must be used in addition to shaving cream. If you use a quality shaving cream (ideally not canned), a pre-shave oil won’t really be necessary.
Using a pre-shave lotion for your dry sessions (like the one from Speick) or a good shaving cream like the ones recommended here can definitely help.
Here’s my experience as a recent convert from 40 years of head and face cartridge shaving in the shower with Barbasol to the Braun Series 9 dry and then in the shower for the first time today. I just retired last month, so no more mandatory shaving for me, which means 3-4 days before it bothers me enough to shave. The Braun ain’t a razor blade, right off the bat. Lots of back and forth on the problem areas that I had to work the blades over and never as smooth as the blades would eventually get. Read your article today and decided to try in the shower, all I have is Barbasol. Worked it in and spread it thin. Brushed my teeth. Started shaving, a little less abrasive, but waaaay more hair pulling. Ouch. The shaving took just as long and wasn’t any better than dry. I also cleaned the head out multiple times along the way. So I grabbed a bar of Irish Spring and ran it all over my head and face, now the shaver glided over my skin! Felt like I was getting somewhere. After more effort, I was able to get it as smooth as a razor shave, almost. So my question is, are these wet shave products slippery? Or should I just keep using a bar of soap. It got in my eyes and burned, so there’s that.
Thank you for your comment. That’s actually a great point — using a slick shaving cream/soap is key here. That’s one of the reasons I recommend traditional shaving creams that come in a tube over canned foam: they are a lot slicker, especially when you only apply a pasty, watery layer and don’t lather it all the way. The creams I recommended here — Speick, Nivea, and Proraso — provide excellent slickness and the razor will glide on the skin. In my opinion there’s simply no comparison between them and Barbasol.
Alternatively, you can use a shaving soap like Palmolive or Arko. Again, you should get much better results compared to Irish Spring.
There is so much bad information on the internet!!! When I was first researching electric shavers, time and time again, I read: “unlike regular razors, electric razors should be used when the skin is as dry as possible.” People were even recommending using talc powder or baby powder to get your skin even dryer before shaving. So I believe these and am spending an absurd amount of time shaving, going over each area multiple times and still not ending up with a great shave and had a ton of razor burn. Just for the heck of it, I tried shaving with water and it was like night and day. Then I started researching wet shaving more and came upon your page which seemed to nail it. One question: do you recommend shaving in the shower or just wet shaving by the sink?
I personally never liked the idea of shaving in the shower, I don’t find it practical or particularly beneficial to the quality of the shave. So I simply wet shave over the sink.
Most electric shavers can be used wet or dry. In the case of the latter, it does help to have the skin as dry as possible, and the use of talcum or an alcohol-based pre-shave often helps. Both wet and dry shaving can yield very good results, although is not uncommon to have a clear preference.
Thank you. What do you think is the best technique when using a foil electric shaver? Go in circles or straight lines? And what about speed? I have noticed that when I moved the shaver slowly across my face, it cuts hairs that weren’t being cut when I moved the razor at a quicker speed.
If I’m using a foil shaver, do you recommend shaving after a shower? And do you like to exfolliate your skin before shaving.
Sorry about all the questions, but you are the first person I’ve come across that knows what they are talking about.
You are very welcome.
The use of straight strokes, always against the grain, is the recommended method in the case of foil shavers. Rotary razors work best when using circular, clockwise and counterclockwise motions.
It’s definitely a good idea to use slower, more controlled strokes, especially with entry-level or more aggressive shavers. Some are more forgiving and you can be a bit sloppier and still get good results (like the Braun Series 7).
I recommend shaving after a shower, regardless if you’re using a foil or rotary shaver, only if you’ll be shaving wet (that is using warm water and ideally a shaving cream or gel). If you shave dry, I recommend doing it before taking a shower or if that’s not possible, sometime after the shower. The steam and warm water can be detrimental to the quality of the shave (again, when using the shaver dry).
I personally exfoliate my skin two to three times a week. Just like I mentioned above regarding when to take a shower, I only exfoliate my skin right before shaving if I’ll be using shaving cream and water. Otherwise it would be best to do it the night before for example. Hope this makes sense.
I recently got the Panasonic Arc 5 LV95. It gives a ridiculously close shave. I also ordered two shaving products to use with it: Palmolive shave cream and Remington talc stick. Just to clarify, the Palmolive is best used for wet shaving and the Remington powder stick is best used for dry shaving. Is that correct? I may stop using the Remington powder stick because it is very messy.
Yes, that is correct. Another thing to keep in mind when using talcum pre-shaves is that most of them (including the one from Remington) are mineral-based which can lead to a premature dulling of the blades. It would be safer (and less messy) to go with a pre-shave lotion when shaving dry. I really like the Speick pre-electric shave, it works wonderfully.
I wish the Speick was cheaper. How long does the bottle last you? Does it make shaving faster? I can dry shave with my electric shaver and use no pre shave lotion and get an almost perfect shave but it is quite time consuming.
It would be difficult to say how long it lasts and not really relevant; for example, I don’t always use a pre-shave. It also depends on how often you shave or if you’re more heavy-handed when applying the lotion. In my case it makes a noticeable difference, I get a closer and more comfortable shave. It also cuts down on the time it takes me to complete the shave since the razor glides easier on the skin and cuts the hairs more efficiently.
Ok, thanks. I’m going to give it a try. It arrives Saturday. Do you wash your face before putting on the lotion?
No problem. I never wash my face before a dry shave. Since the pre-shave lotion helps with drying the moisture from the skin, it doesn’t really help to wash your face (on the contrary). Washing your face is recommended only in the case of wet shaving (discussed in the above post).
Thank you so much! You are very generous with your time and knowledge. I just want a close shave that doesn’t take too long and doesn’t give me acne on my jaw and neck. I’m looking forward to trying that lotion you recommended when it arrives on Saturday.
You are very welcome, glad I could be of help. Hope you’ll get a great shave.
I tried the Speick. I was very impressed. It gave me a closer shave, cut down on the time and, most importantly, gave me zero razor burn. Do you only apply the lotion once at the beginning of the shave or do you apply more during the shave? Two more quick questions. Do you stretch the skin with one hand and shave with the other? Some people say you shouldn’t stretch the skin because it’s easier to get razor burn, even with an electric shaver. Last question. Do you ever use a regular shaver after the electric shaver to get parts that are stubborn to shave with the electric shaver?
That’s awesome, Jeremy, glad it turned out to be a great addition to your shaving routine.
There’s no need to reapply the lotion during the shave, in fact, I would advise against doing so. Stretching the skin with your free hand can help with making the flat-lying hairs stand upright, making it easier for the shaver to cut them. Yes, it can also lead to some razor burn if you’re not really careful and gentle with your stroke. The reason is that the skin surrounding the hair shaft is more likely to poke through the foils as well and get scraped by the blades. But if you’re doing it carefully, that’s less likely to happen. The only way to know is to give it a try.
I personally never use a regular shaver to follow up; if there are some stubborn flat hairs, I’ll just use the popup trimmer to get them and then the foil to get a clean shave. I am able to get a very satisfactory smooth shave using a decent shaver and either shaving cream or a pre-shave lotion.
Ok, I have given a great deal of thought to this and experimented a lot. I have come up with a solution to use an electric razor to give the exact same smoothness as a cartridge razor without irritation or the need for water. I think the trick to get a close shave with an electric shaver is not to have the skin taught. In fact, it’s the opposite in my opinion. To get a close shave with an electric razor, you want the skin to SLIGHTLY bunch up, while it’s also smooth and protected. To achieve this, I use a thick moisturizer like CeraVe. After putting it on, I wait around 10 minutes for it to dry a bit. The effect is that the skin is smooth but ever so slightly sticky. Then move the razor slowly across the grain and against the grain. Using your hand to check if there is any stubble still there also seems to slightly raise the hairs, making them easier to cut.
I actually think hair conditioner works better than the moisturizer. It also dries faster so I only needed to wait a couple minutes before shaving with the Panasonic. Also, everyone has hair conditioner in their homes so there’s no need to buy moisturizer. I got a perfect shave in under 10 minutes with zero razor burn.
That’s very interesting Jeremy, thanks so much for taking the time to share this.
I found the best solution of all, better than the thick moisturizer and hair conditioner. Aloe vera gel. Just the cheap stuff that is sold at drugstores for a few dollars to help with sunburn. I don’t think that putting hair conditioner on your face will necessarily cause a bad reaction, but I wasn’t completely comfortable with it because I have very sensitive skin. Once you let the aloe vera gel dry, which happens fast, and then you shave, it does an amazing job of making the hairs easy to cut. But what makes it even better than the hair conditioner is that it does an INCREDIBLE job of protecting the skin from razor burn. You could move the razor across your entire face without picking it up, or press down hard which would normally give a lot of razor burn, and there is none, zero redness. Lastly, it’s not only safer for the skin than conditioner, it is actually good for skin. I used to use a cartridge razor and would spend a great deal of time getting a shave with absolutely zero stubble. Well, as I touch my face now, it is the exact same feel, completely smooth skin. I will no longer be experimenting with different products to use with my electric shaver because this is the perfect solution.
Hi and thanks for such an informative site. I tried the Jack Black Beard Lube recently and really don’t find it slick. In fact my face seems to dry out pretty quickly while shaving. I’m sure its a problem with technique. Could you share any more insights?
Something is definitely not right as I can absolutely vouch for the slickness of the Beard Lube. Even the residual slickness after you start rinsing your face with water would be enough for another pass.
My guess is that you’re not using enough water. Wash your face generously with hot water, wet your hands as well before applying the product, and add a bit more (progressively) if needed. If that still doesn’t solve the problem, I can only suspect that the product you bought wasn’t stored properly or there’s something wrong with it.
You were right and I was wrong. When you recommended the Speick product I ordered the wrong one and wasn’t overwhelmed by the shave. I looked at this post again and realized you ordered the Speik cream. I ordered it and I just tried shaving with it. It gave a very close shave and very quick too. I will continue using it. Still, I think if you don’t have access to water, a moisturizing cream works quite well to shave with the electric shaver. The post sun gel ended up going up my razor. Thank you for all your help.
No problem, Jeremy, glad you’re happy with the pre-shave.
But the question remains. Is it good to have an electric shaver glide over the skin while using a shaving soap and water or will you get a closer shave when the skin is dry? When that Speick cream dries, it leaves the skin more dry and taught allowing me to get an even closer shave. If the shave is always wet, once it dries, I can still feel stubble.
Having a slick layer of lather is definitely better in my opinion, not just for the closeness, but for the entire experience as a whole. When the cream dries, the shaver tends to get stuck in it, not to mention that it causes some serious itching (at least in my case). If you prefer to have the skin dry and taught, you may want to try shaving dry using a pre-shave lotion that does exactly that (and can yield excellent results as well).
Thanks, you’ve confirmed what I finally found to be the closest most comfortable shave ever. Prorasonwith brush and mug, Braun series 7 wet dry shaver. Very fast and very thorough. And very comfortable. Thank you!
That’s awesome, Mark, glad you managed to find the winning combination. Happy shaving!
Is there anyone to sharpen the blades and screen of an electric shaver? I’ve heard of people using toothpaste and stuff for cleaning metal but I’m not sure if it will mess up my shaver.
It would be extremely problematic to sharpen/rectify the blades and foils of an electric shaver. There are some sharpening kits in the case of rotary shavers that work to a certain degree, but with foil shavers, I don’t think there’s anything that can be done.
I know you’ve talked about using the drop down attachment first if the facial hair is too long, but I don’t like scrapping my skin with the metal comb attachment. I wish there was a second attachment that had a screen and cut the hairs shorter.
Yes, this type of trimmer is not ideal for pre-trimming an entire beard. It’s only meant to be used sparingly for example to cut a small patch of flat-lying hairs. Only the shavers that come with separate click-on trimmer attachments can sometimes include a comb or even a few of different sizes.
Just out of curiosity, why do you prefer using an electric razor over a cartridge razor?
The main reason is comfort — I’ve dealt with skin issues caused by shaving with a blade for most of my adult life and while switching from cartridge to safety razors was an improvement, electric shavers were a game-changer for me. The second reason is practicality. While I love wet shaving with an electric razor, I don’t always have the time to do it, so I simply shave dry, usually with a Braun Series 7 or 9, which is quick and adequately comfortable.
I asked a question on your “How To Get a Close Shave with an Electric Shaver (in a Few Easy Steps)” article, but wanted to ask one here as well. Looking at your review of shaving creams, I was wondering how you’d stack the Speick cream against the Beard Lube directly. Has the Beard Lube become your new favorite or does Speick still win out?
I actually love both and I alternate between them. I like the Beard Lube because it’s dead easy to apply, very slick and almost transparent once applied to the face. It’s definitely the quicker option and I prefer it when I’m in a hurry.
With the Speick shaving cream, I like to take my time, really work it into the stubble, let it act for around 5 minutes, rehydrate it, and then proceed with my shave. The differences in closeness are negligible, I really couldn’t say which one is better. The Beard Lube is a bit more tingly due to the Eucalyptus/Menthol in it, while the Speick cream can make your skin itch a bit if it dries on your face. But that will happen with any cream and once you apply some water, it’s all good. Both are excellent products and really help with getting that close and smooth shave.
Years ago, a sales rep at Holt Renfrew in Toronto told me her husband used the Jack Black Beard Lube and loved it. I bought some that day and have been using it ever since – it’s by far the best such shaving product I’ve ever come across, having tried many. Combined with a five blade rotary shaver and my bald head is clean as a whistle!
Thank you for your comment, Mike. The Beard Lube really is a fantastic product and I’m glad more people are using it. Even though it’s on the pricey side, it lasts a really long time as you only need a small amount of product.
Long time no talk. Do you have any tips for getting a close shave in the chin area while avoiding razor burn? I have noticed that the hair on my chin area is densest and grows the fastest, but my skin in the area is quite sensitive. By the way, are you a native English speaker?
I am not a native English speaker, so hopefully the information on the website is easy to understand.
The chin is a tricky area. Not only is the hair thicker and denser, but the prominent shape of the chin makes it more difficult to get a clean shave — in contrast, a flat area like the cheeks is the easiest to shave.
It’s also harder to get a clean shave right under the chin — I find Panasonic shavers to work better than most in this case.
Here are a few observations:
– I find it easier to get a clean shave when the hair is shorter;
– Use short, slower strokes and be more thorough than usual, without pressing harder;
– Gently stretch the skin on the chin using your free hand;
– Use a pre-shave lotion or shaving cream.
Hope this helps.
Your grammar is perfect.
Great advice on using short strokes for areas where the skin is more sensitive. I just gave it a try and had good results.
By the way, in the last few days, I’ve been using extra virgin olive oil on my skin as a shave lotion and have been having great results. The problem with other creams I had been using is they would start to gunk up the shaver screen and I needed to be near a sink to occasionally wash the shaver during the shave. I haven’t needed to do that using the extra virgin olive oil. For me at least, one of nice things about an electric shaver is its portability and not needing to be by a sink. Just thought I’d throw that out there.
Thank you, Jeremy, I really appreciate it.
Do you always press lightly and use slower, short strokes when shaving or is that only the chin area?
Depending on the area I’m shaving and the shaver I’m using (some are more forgiving than others), I try and experiment with various amounts of pressure and always in small increments. But as a rule of thumb, if the area is sensitive, you should use light pressure and slower strokes.
Roughly, how long does it take you to shave?
Depending on the shaver I’m using and the method (dry or wet), I’d say anywhere from 4 to 12 minutes (including the time I wait for the shaving cream to act). It is significantly slower (towards the 12 minutes mark) when I’m using a basic shaver like a Braun Series 3 vs a Panasonic Arc 5 for example.
What is different inside the appliance that makes a shaver proper for wet use compared to dry shaver?
Is it the waterproofness? I’m questioning because almost every shaver today is waterproof, regardless of their wet/shower/foam capabilities.
That can vary among different generations and models of electric shavers. At least in the past, the differences were significant, mostly consisting in the wet/dry shavers being completely waterproof (on the other hand, the dry only models were not). As you’ve mentioned, nowadays most electric shavers are waterproof, regardless if they’re marketed as wet/dry or dry only. Manufacturers are very cryptic about the actual differences and while there could be additional waterproofing in the case of the wet/dry models, it’s unlikely with most modern shavers.
For example, both the Braun Series 3 3000s and 3010s are IPX7 certified, but only the latter is officially a wet/dry shaver.
Why do you need to go over an area more than once with an electric shaver? For example, if I’m shaving my sideburn area, and I go against the grain, I hear it cutting hairs. When I go over the same area in the exact same direction, I still hear it cutting hairs.
Simply because there are still hairs that weren’t cut on the previous pass. Unlike using a razor, the hair must first poke through a hole in the foil/comb in order to get cut. If for some reason it doesn’t, it won’t get cut.
I just feel like the technology should have developed by the point that all the hair should be cut without multiple passes in the same direction.
I clean my shaver with hot water after every use.
I note that there is white in and around the blades.
How do I remove this accumulation.
A tooth pick removes some, but not all and tedious.
That white hardened lather residue is actually why I recommend cleaning the shaver with water and liquid soap after every use. I wrote a detailed guide here as well.
Regarding the buildup, you can use a cleaning & lubricating spray for electric shavers or a DIY solution. Dissolve some dishwashing soap in a bit of warm water and let the blades and foils soak in it for at least half an hour. After that, give them a thorough rinse with warm water. It won’t remove everything, but most of it should be gone.
It’s worth mentioning that some Panasonic shavers come with an optional cleaning base. You just add a cleaning agent and a bit of water, plop the shaver in and this thing will wash it and dry it. Super handy! You can get it from Panasonic for about US$50.
BTW. Thanks for a great article on wet shaving with an electric shaver.
Thank you for your comment, Oskar, much appreciated.
Thanks for a great website. I used your reviews to purchase a Panasonic Arc 5. I have shaved with a blade for over 50 years. Could never get a close shave with an electric. I had tried the mid range Norelco rotary and never had a good shave. However, the Panasonic ARC 5 is outstanding. I have only been using it for a week now. At first I thought it was pretty good as I was dry shaving. Then I read your article on wet shaving and tried that. I used a light coating of Proraso and shaved. The results were night and day from dry shaving. I can say this is by far the closest shave I have experienced. Far better than a blade and no irritation.
How often do you think the blades will last as I shave every day.
Thanks for all the great information.
Thank you for your comment, Chuck, glad you found the site useful. It’s always difficult to predict how long the blades will last as there are many variables at play, but as long as you clean and lubricate the shaver regularly, they should last around one year (at least that was my experience with most Panasonic shavers). I also highly recommend the use of a spray cleaner and lubricant like the Remington Shaver Saver, that one works extremely well especially when the blades seem to get a bit dull.
Thank you so much for all the information and details! My son is 15 and as a single mom I needed to know everything since he has sensitive skin and we are waiting on his new Braun to arrive 🙂 this has definitely helped us as he enters his new “journey” to shaving lol! Thanks again!
You are very welcome, Gigi, glad you found it useful in choosing your son’s first shaver. I hope he’ll enjoy using it! 🙂
Thank you for this great article. I do have one question, do the same rules of shaving the face with an electric shaver also apply to shaving the head bald when it comes to cutting against the grain?
Thank you for your comment. Absolutely — that usually means going from front to back when shaving the top of the head and upward strokes for the back and sides.
Long time no talk. Have you tried the Andis 17150 Pro Foil Lithium Titanium Foil Shaver? I can honestly say it gave me as close a shave as a regular razor.
I have actually and I can confirm that it shaves really close (I even reviewed it here). However, it was way too aggressive on my face. I do use it for skin fades on the sides and back of my head (I’ve been cutting my own hair since the lockdown).
Would putting on cornstarch baby powder before shaving help avoiding any razor rash or pimples when using an electric shaver like the one I mentioned?
It can help with drying the moisture which is always something you’d want when shaving dry, but can’t really say if it will actually do anything regarding the rash. Any pre-shave will improve your results to a certain degree, and that degree depends on your particular skin issues, technique and the shaver itself. And at least in my experience, the ProFoil is pretty unforgiving and harsh when used on the face.
Have you tried any of the clear shave gel products that come in a tube (not the shave gel that comes in a can and gets foamy)? What about just using a skin lotion like Lubriderm or Aveeno lotion? I tend to use those with my traditional razor but have a Panasonic Arc 3 being delivered soon and curious if a clear shave gel would work or lotion as they are great for my skin and less expensive than traditional shave creams.
A clear gel would be ideal with electric shavers. I haven’t come across a really good one so far. The closest thing to that is the Beard Lube mentioned in the post which isn’t clear, but not too bad once applied to the skin.
The problem with using skin lotions is that they don’t do anything to soften the hair and make it easier to be cut. Shaving cream will penetrate and soften the hair’s cuticle. Then there’s the issue of clogging the shaver which may happen with some lotions.
Yes! I tried shaving with a DE razor for some time, only to realise that in my personal experience electric foil shavers just shave much better, and without any cuts.
Since I switched to hot towel/shaving cream electric shaving, my skin has way less iritation and the shave is even closer. I read online everywhere that electric shavers are crap and that straight razors/DE are the holy grail, but honestly, I don’t see why.
Thank you for your comment. I totally agree, electric shavers can be a better and safer alternative to DE razors.
Would you recommend Braun Series 9 9370cc?
The Series 9 is an excellent shaver particularly for men with sensitive skin and one that’s also capable of dealing with longer facial hair, so it’s ideal if you shave less often (like once every 3 or 4 days). The 9370cc is just as good as any of the other 93xx models, but it’s usually cheaper since it comes with the basic cleaning station. That practically means it has one standard cleaning program instead of 3, but it’s really not a big deal. So if you can get one for a decent price, go for it.
I prefer Panasonic shavers for wet shaving, but the Series 9 will definitely work as well.
Really a wonderful Professional teach.
Thank you, Ali, glad you found it useful.
Hello there from 2022! Thank you so much for these posts as they have been helpful to an incredible level to help me in my shaving routine. I suffer from the same as you and shaving became such a task that I usually let it grow out if I don’t shave while still short enough for a blade. This will make my life so much better and good bye pizza neck!!!
That’s awesome, really glad you found the info helpful. Happy shaving!
Is it necessary to lubricate the foils with oil when wet shaving? Or is it pointless, since you apply some cream/lube on your face anyway?
Yes, it’s still necessary to lubricate your shaver when shaving wet. The lather alone just doesn’t provide enough lubrication. The blades rub against the foils at very high speed and you can only reduce the friction by lubricating the foils/blades with an appropriate product (clipper oil or a spray lubricant for electric shavers).
Hello , after reading some of your reviews on Panasonic and braun shavers I went and ordered the Panasonic ES-LL41-K on Ebay ( still waiting for it to come in) , i have sensitive skin and was thinking to get a good shaving cream to go withe that shaver . Do you have any suggestions for me that would work with thus shaver ?
You can’t really go wrong with Speick, Nivea (the original that comes in the dark blue tube) or Proraso shaving cream (I like the Sandalwood variation, but the Menthol is also good if you don’t mind the scent and the tingling). Palmolive and Cremo are again really good with electric shavers. These are all very affordable shaving creams and you should be able to get them no matter where you live. I would however avoid anything that comes in a pressurized can/spray. The lather is way too fluffy and nowhere near as effective.
Thanks for your reply, can you tell me what is your everyday shaver / shaving cream you use ? Keep up the great work you do on informing us about everything there is to know on shavers , your articles are very useful
You’re very welcome, Roy. I’m currently using a Braun Series 9 Pro for shaving dry, especially when I’m in a hurry and the Panasonic Arc 6 for wet shaving. These two work the best for me right now, but I will often rotate shavers when I’m reviewing a new one.
How much of spieck or even jack black would you use for say just the chin and moustache area? e.g. a fingertip, two finger tips, palm etc..
Thanks in advance
Also forgot to ask – Is this suitable for an electric shaver too?
Jack Black Supreme Cream Triple Cushion Shave Lather 270g
Yes, any soft, quality shaving cream that you can palm lather as described in the post should work perfectly fine.
For an area that small, I’d say one or two fingertips should easily suffice.
After reading most of your articles, I purchased the recommended Arc 5. Can’t wait.
Have you heard of a product called Shave Butter? I get it from the Dollar Shave Club. It’s great with a razor. Would it work well with an electric?
Thank you for the comment. I haven’t tried it myself, but should work great with an electric razor as well. Hope you’ll enjoy shaving with your new Arc 5.
First electric shave in 40 years. Dry. I was really impressed. No irritation. Very smooth shave. Electric razor tech has come a long way. Thanks for the information you provide on all things electric razor.
That’s awesome, Darrin, many thanks for the comment. I really appreciate it.
I bought the jack black lube after seeing your article. If I wanted to use this with Braun series 9. Can I just wash the cassette with water afterwards and spray it with lubricant?
Or would I need to use the Braun cleaner and cartridge after using the lube? I want to avoid using that machine as much as possible, but as you know the Braun series 9 isn’t as easy to clean as Panasonic.
Thanks in advance
Thank you for the comment. I would actually recommend cleaning it with water and a bit of liquid hand soap (more details here). The Jack Black Lube is really slick and moisturizing and just rinsing the shaver with water may not be enough. Water & soap + lubricant (oil or spray) is the best alternative to the cleaning station.
Thanks for your reply. I have sensitive skin and do not use soap. I only use something called a dermol lotion to wash my hands. What would you suggest in this instance to wash the blades after using jack black or shaving foam / gel? I don’t have the money to use the shaver cleaner all the time and keep paying for refills, so I use that sparingly (I have read your article on how to extend the use of shaving cleaner fluid, this is the case despite that).
Also. I find that Gillette ultra sensitive shaving gel (the chemical version) gives me a more comfortable shave than jack black products. What’s your thoughts on this and this product from reading the ingredients?
You are very welcome. The cheapest and most effective is regular liquid hand soap — even if you can’t use it to wash your hands, I think it’s ok to use some for cleaning your shaver. The soap will be thoroughly rinsed with water, so I don’t think it’ll be a problem. You can also use rubber gloves just to be safe.
Regarding the Gillette gel, I wouldn’t say there’s a specific ingredient responsible for the better shave you got. In my opinion the Jack Black products may just not be ideal for your skin. There are some other excellent shaving creams you could try as well (Speick, Proraso, Cremo, Nivea — the one that comes in a tube). I get great results from all and they’re also inexpensive and easy to find.
Thank you. Would you you say Braun series 9 gives a closer shave dry or with jack black lube?
In my case it’s pretty much the same. I almost always use the Series 9/9 Pro dry as I don’t feel there’s much to gain when using shaving cream with Braun shavers in general. When I’m in a rush and I need a quick shave, I almost always use a Series 9 just because it’s effective and comfortable during a dry shave.
Hi Ovidiu ,
I keep digging into the *fantastic ressources* of your site.
(The issue of the weird UK charger plug supplied by Amazon.co.uk for the Panasonic ES-RF31 is fixed, with your help .)
#1. I ordered a trio of “pre electric shaving lotions” from Blue Stratos, King of Shaves and Tabac, to use in Dry mode.
#2. Next step : explore the Wet mode.
-> using a badger with the inventory of Proraso (Green, Red, White) and Taylor of Old Bond Street (TOBS) shaving creams.
(b/c I am a HUGE fan of Gillette Sensor Excel 2-blade from the 90’s, best trip down the memory lane )
I also have the Proraso Pre-Shave Creams.
Would you recommend using those as well, or stick with the “pre electric shaving lotions” from #1 ?
Awesome, glad you found the information useful.
I haven’t used the King of Shaves pre-shave yet, but I’m really eager to try it (hopefully soon).
I think it’s definitely worth giving wet shaving a try, especially since Panasonic razors are particularly good when used in this manner. I personally wouldn’t use a brush for the reasons I outlined in the post above. But it can definitely work as long as your lather is thinner. It’s also why I generally buy soft creams that come in a tube — easier to palm lather.
I alternate between shaving dry and wet depending on my mood, how much time I have at my disposal and also depending on the shaver. With Braun razors for example I usually shave dry. A wet shave takes more time, but with a quality shaving cream and a suitable shaver (usually a Panasonic Arc 5), the comfort and particularly the closeness are phenomenal.
Thanks to this article I am getting a decent, comfortable and close enough shave at last. I find the best shaver, and certainly the most comfortable for wet shaving, is my humble Philips 3000. My more expensive shavers don’t do a better job and are much rougher on the face. I have followed your guide closely and a shave takes only a little more time than a dry shave after prep. I tried a Mach 3 for a week but the 3000 does an equally good job. Thanks again.
Many thanks for the comment, glad you found the info useful.
In practice, getting a better shave with a less capable razor is possible. The Philips 3000 is a really good entry-level rotary, maybe it just suits your skin and technique better than other more expensive shavers. But this is ideal in my opinion; the shaver itself is reasonably priced, the blades are durable and inexpensive and you’re getting a great shave.
Thanks again for taking the time to share your experience.
Have you tried this one? I think it gives just a good of a shave as Andis, maybe even better, with zero irritation. It’s also only $30.
Kemei Foil Professional Electric Shaver for Men Razor with Bald Trimmer Cordless Shavers Rechargeble LED Display 2 in 1
I have not used it, but hope to do so soon. Thank you for the heads up.
The only problem is that it leaves black smudge marks on my face. I had another electric razor do the same thing. The black marks wash off easily but do you know what causes them?
My guess is that’s simply fine hair dust mixed with water/sweat/lather. It does appear like a black smudge that gets washed off easily. I always get it whenever I wet shave with any electric razor, particularly the ones that shave really close.
Someone said that the nickel in the shaver reacts with the oil in the skin and causes those charcoal marks. I guess some shavers don’t use nickel because I’ve only had this problem with two electric shavers.
I have never heard of something like that and I think it’s highly unlikely.
Very informative. Thanks! I would add that I’ve used a couple non-Panasonic shavers in the shower with great results:. the Wahl LifeProof, and the Braun WaterFlex. The former is quite aggressive & a little irritating when dry shaving, but amazingly close & comfortable when wet shaving. Results are comparable with those of the Arc 5, which is is saying a lot but true in my experience. The WaterFlex is by now of historical interest only …but mine is still going strong:
mediocre as a dry shaver, which is probably why it didn’t catch on, but pretty good for wet shaving.
Thanks so much, Barry, that’s good to know. I am yet to shave with the Wahl, hope to try it soon. I completely agree with you regarding the WaterFlex.
Did you ever use talcum powder on your face before using an electric shaver? I think I tried it in the past and I didn’t get a great shave because the powder got on top of the blades. What’s your opinion?
I did back in the day, not my cup of tea. It’s just too messy and more time-consuming. Tried it once and I’ve been using lotions ever since. Talcum can gunk up the shaver, maybe try using less product.
I just got the Panasonic Arc 5 because of all the good reviews. I spent 30 minutes shaving, going over each part of my neck and face over and over and still not getting even a remotely good shave. Have you tried this shaver and do you agree it’s overrated? I’m returning it tomorrow.
Can you tell me the Arc 5 model name and what exactly prevented the shave from going smoothly?
I own many Arc 5 models from different generations and revisions and all of them have been consistently great. The Arc 5 is one of the few families that get universally good user reviews. So I would actually say it’s underrated, particularly the older models like ES-LV65/ES-LV95 that can be bought at a really good price. I get many comments and emails daily about it and I almost never see any negative feedback. Unless you got a defective unit (highly unlikely though), I think there’s room for improvement.
First of all thank you for your reviews! Although reviews are subjective but I find your reviews honest and helpful! Unfortunately, many influencers advertise for the companies rather than reviewing! I wish some of these men had at least a beard to shave
My way and opinion on electric razors are very similar.
I have many years experience in classic shaving; I could shave with Feather shavette without nicking myself, my technique is probably better than some barbers. Yet I always had a little bit irritation on the skin. I believe there are simply skin situations, like mine, that can’t benefit from classic wet shaving and electric shavers are a better choice. I have thick whiskers, heavy beard growth and sensitive skin!
I had tried rotary shavers some years before but had no success. I tried recently a Philips S9000 prestige, probably the best rotary shaver right now and the results were ok. Foil shavers work a lot better for me and I think for most of people.
I ordered a Braun series 9 and a Panasonic ES-LV6Q
Braun series 9 is clearly better for me. It’s more gentle to the skin and I don’t notice any difference in terms of closeness to Panasonic ES-LV6Q
Surprisingly, I would say for a dry shave Panasonic ES-LV65 shaves better than Panasonic ES-LV6Q
Braun series 9 is not really good at wet shaving; It takes way more time and worse results, as if the shaver has more problem catching the whiskers
But Panasonic ES-LV6Q is just great! It shaves better wet, I can go more on the same spot because I wash the cassette in between and it doesn’t get warm. It is a good comfortable shave.
And very interestingly, Wet shave works better with Panasonic ES-LV6Q than Panasonic ES-LV65
Having bunch of shaving soaps and creams left from my classic wet shaving time, I would like to keep the Panasonic; Yet I would like to have the option of simply shaving dry sometimes ( occasionally at home, on vacation, etc.)
and I don’t like the shave Panasonic ES-LV6Q gives me when dry shaving, braun series 9 is better.
Do you think it makes sense to keep them both?
I’m not on a tight budget, but I don’t want to spend unnecessarily money on something. I would like to know your opinion and appreciate it.
Many thanks for your comment, I highly appreciate it.
Your experience matches mine pretty much spot on. I loved the idea of traditional wet shaving and I still have a lot of creams and soaps (some of the hard soaps are 10 years old and still work wonderfully), but it was still not good enough, not even with perfect technique and a mild DE razor.
I think in this case it makes sense to keep both the Arc 5 and the Series 9 because they complement each other and there’s little overlap. I also use the Series 9 a lot more often when I need a quick dry shave, especially after a weekend when my beard is 3-day long and the Arc 5 just isn’t as effective. But when using shaving cream and dealing with short stubble, the Arc 5 is hands down better.
Finally, the Series 9 is probably better suited for a vacation as you’ve mentioned — the 93xx and 94xx models in particular — since the battery life on a full charge is quite a bit better compared to all current Panasonic shavers. So you can even leave the charger at home provided the battery is full.
Thank you very much for taking your time and your answer!
I thought so! Although the results are very similar but they are different shavers and I want to have the pleasure of using them both i.e. wet and dry shave.
By the way, I can suggest you to use baby shampoo for cleaning the cassette after wet shaving! It works very well to get rid of the soap residues and limescale! I know it from my classic wet shaving time. You use baby shampoo to descale the shaving brushes and it works great.
After I am done with shaving I wash the razor under water, then put the protection cap on, pour warm water in a bowl and pour some baby shampoo. I leave then the razor with its protection cap on in the bowl so that the head of the razor is all under this solution of water and baby shampoo. Leave it for 10-30 mins and then rinse under water.
You are very welcome, Shafagh. That’s an awesome tip, thanks for much for sharing.
Have you ever tried using an electric rotary shaver or was it not close enough a shave for you?
I have actually. With every wet/dry rotary I review I also try it with shaving cream. I guess for me it has to do with the same intrinsic perks of a rotary that are also obvious during a dry shave. Not close enough, it takes me more to complete a shave, fiddly cleaning (I have to take apart each cutting head) and I just feel more at home with a foil shaver. The comfort on the other hand is pretty good.
I tried to replace my Andis foil shaver but it kept getting bent and/or had holes in it. I don’t think they are using the same materials for the replacement foil compared to when you buy the whole shazer.
Rotaries are pretty terrible,but are good at getting peach fuzz without cutting yourself. They are also good for the upper lip area because they don’t irritate the skin much.
By the way, the five blade Amazon basic blades are really good. Those blades with Cremo works well.