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Do Electric Shavers Cause Razor Burn?

electric shaver rash in bathroom

Some men find shaving very uncomfortable due to problems with sensitive skin and razor burn, even when using premium manual razor blades.

Fortunately, there are plenty of steps that you can take to make shaving more comfortable and some electric shavers that are designed to eliminate razor burn. Of course, everyone’s skin and hair are different, and I can’t tell how you will respond to using an electric shaver.

But through my own personal experience, electric shavers cause less irritation and burning than manual wet shaving, and they are better suited for people who have sensitive skin. They are particularly beneficial for people who suffer from acne, as manual razor blades will catch bumps on the skin such as spots that end up with a cut, which is less likely to happen with an electric shaver.

Dreaded Razor Burn (Shaving Rash)

Believe me, I know how much of a problem having sensitive skin can be when shaving. Not only can it be painful and uncomfortable but can leave an unsightly red rash. This horrible, uncomfortable red rash can make you feel very self-conscious, and the itchy razor burn is quite painful

Now you’re probably reading this because you are looking for a change, maybe you fear that an electric shaver will leave your skin in a worse mess than a wet shave or maybe you are looking for a specific electric shave that is suited to people with sensitive skin.

Well let me clear this up for you right now – there are electric shavers out there that have rave reviews from sensitive skin sufferers. Before we get into that, let’s talk about some techniques you can apply to keep that razor burn at bay.

Related: Foil vs Rotary Shavers – What’s the difference?

Fix Your Shaving Technique

The general rule when wet shaving is to shave in the direction of the hair growth, but when using an electric shaver we recommend you shave against the direction of the hair growth.

Why, I hear you ask?

Because most electric shaver heads have a foil shield which is specially designed to lift hairs away from the skin before cutting. By shaving against the grain or direction of hair growth you are allowing the maximum number of hairs to enter the shaver head to be cut, which results in a more even, close shave.

To find the direction of hair growth on your face and neck simply rub your hands back and forth over your skin. Every direction feels the roughest is the direction you want to be shaving in. This may sound completely obvious to most of you but some men are not fully aware of their direction of hair growth, particular under the chin and around the neck area.

Another tip is to gently pull the skin in the opposite direction you are shaving so as to tighten the skin, making a smoother, flatter shaving surface. This stops the skin from creasing while shaving and creates a more even, smooth shave.

If you are using a rotary style electric shave such as the Philips Senso touch, the best way to use this shaver is by making small circular motions across the skin.

Do not press down too firmly against the skin during shaving. Electric shavers are very effective at lifting the hairs away from the skin so there is no need to apply too much pressure – that can lead to irritation.

Also, be sure not to repeatedly shave over the same area. This just causes an increase in skin irritation and if you are applying the correct shaving techniques then you should not need to shave each area more than once.

Try Some Pre-Shave Preparation

To further reduce irritation it’s a great idea to shower before shaving. With warm to hot water and steam running over your skin it will soften the hair. This softening of the beard makes cutting of the hairs much easier and reduces resistance.

There are several ways you can do this. By soaking a towel in warm water then holding it against the skin, then pat dry and you are ready to shave with the electric shaver. It’s not advised to use an electric shaver on wet skin as it can cause the shaver head to clog up with hair during shaving.

However, you can use the electric shaver while in the shower, this is not only a real-time saver but can be very beneficial for those razor burn prone men.

Most electric shavers are waterproof so don’t worry about that, by shaving in the shower you will have the benefit of softening the hair from the warm water and steam. Your skin will also be lubricated by the water & you don’t need to worry about the shaver clogging up with hairs as they will be getting rinsed out by the water from the shower itself.

Use a Shaving Gel, Foam or Cream

As we discussed above you should pre-pair your skin for shaving. As well as softening the hair you can also apply some lubrication to the skin such as oil which is my favourite after shaving gels. Shaving oils are probably the least popular as most people are creatures of habit and stick with their usual shaving foam without ever thinking about trying a shaving oil.

Shaving oils are not just extremely effective at lubricating the skin for a comfortable shave but also leave the skin soft & moisturised afterwards.

Some great shaving oils you may want to take a look at King of Shaves Kinexium & Clarins Men Shave Ease, both great products.

Now that we have covered some techniques you can apply to reduce the irritation caused during shaving we can now recommend an electric shaver.

Take a look at the premium rotary electric shaver from Philips or a top-of-the-range foil electric shaver by Braun, as these will offer the best cutting performance and are specially designed to be kind to your skin.

Next: Can Shaving Foam Be Used with an Electric Shaver? – [Answered]