Electric Wet Shaving Guide - Learn How to Master The Art of Shaving
Ready to forgo nicks, cuts, and scrapes to enjoy the perfect shave?
Wet shaving with an electric razor combines the flexibility and convenience of a battery-operated razor with the close shave of a manual razors so that you can achieve almost any look.
An electric razor is fairly easy to use wet, but there are some things to avoid. Not sure how to prep your skin or mitigate mistakes? You’re going to love this guide on how to wet shave with an electric shaver! I’ll be talking about shaving cream, equipment, lather, and a whole lot more.
There are a few steps to follow, so let’s dive right in.
The Pre-Shave Routine (It’s Important)
The steps leading up to wet shaving are similar whether you’re using a razor or an electric shaver.
Frankly, I really can’t stress enough how important it is to carefully prepare your skin. Especially if your skin is sensitive or you’re prone to ingrown hairs, failing to adequately ready your face and neck can lead to a lot of discomforts during (and after) your shave.
First, you need to gently wash your face with warm water (don’t use hot water, which will only irritate your skin). Make sure you don’t use the hand soap at your sink or the body wash in your shower; you need a soap that’s specifically made for your face so it won’t strip your skin’s natural oils.
You don't want to dry your skin. The dryer your skin is, the more difficult shaving will be. You should also avoid using a washcloth or scrubbing vigorously. While some gentle exfoliation is fine, you don’t want to bother your skin. Finally, don’t forget your neck!
At this point, you might also opt for a pre-shave oil. While some men feel like a good lather and warm water are all they need for a great shave, if you’re prone to skin irritation, you might find a pre-shave oil work wonders.
Often composed of natural ingredients such as:
These ingredients can have a very positive effect on your skin. On top of that pre-shave oils help to soften the hair follicle and reduce skin inflammation ahead of your shave. Here is a great video explaining more of the oil’s benefits.
Ah, there’s nothing quite so luxurious as a great shaving lather! In fact, with a little care, this step can be one of the highlights of your grooming routine. A good lather is important for cutting through the hard outer alkaline layer of your hair and skin to help you achieve a smooth shave.
One thing I do not recommend is using shaving foams from a can. It looks convenient, but the propellant inside of the can dry out your skin. The propellant isn’t the only harsh chemical that typically makes up canned foam; this stuff also includes ingredients such as synthetic fragrances, alcohol, and stabilizers and preservatives. The more complicated the ingredient list, the more likely you are to end up with irritated skin.
The best shaving creams are those with natural ingredients. A good quality shaving soap doesn’t have to be expensive, and when paired with a decent quality shaving brush can quickly become worth every penny! You’ll find it also hydrates and soothes the skin, and will be filled with natural ingredients that your skin will love.
When you use a shaving brush and a cream, make sure you apply a thin layer of cream or soap to your face. A thick layer will only hinder your razor. You should plan on letting it sit on your face for at least three or four minutes, as this will help soften the cuticle so that the blade is not tearing the hair.
OK...It's Shaving Time
Now that you’ve prepped your skin thoroughly and you’ve applied your lather, it’s time to start shaving! Before using your electric shaver, make sure it’s not low on battery power.
I know it’s obvious, but listen up, a shaver has to work harder to get through shaving cream and is less likely to pull or tug if it isn’t low on juice.
One of the questions that always comes up is whether you should shave with the grain or against the grain. There’s no perfect answer; it depends on your skin, your hair, and the look you’re going for. A “perfect” shave will require several passes with and against the grain, while shaving with a rotary shaver means you can work in all different directions.
Typically, however, I recommend one pass with the grain and another against the grain. This seems to be a good combination of nice appearance with not too much discomfort.
Special note: when you’re doing a 2nd pass. Do not go over dry! Make sure you reapply lather or at least some water, so you don’t damage your skin.
You’re not quite done yet.
Once you’ve shaved, you’ll want to spend a few extra minutes on your post-shave routine. Wash your face with cool water, making sure you’ve removed all hair and lather reside that could look attractive or further irritate your skin.
I also recommend applying an aftershave, preferably one that doesn’t contain alcohol, which will sting and dry out your skin. Instead, look for ingredients like aloe vera, Vitamin A, shea butter, and witch hazel that help restore your skin’s natural oils.
Caring for Your Shaver
You're done with the shaving part, now you need to take care of your shaver.
Do not forget this step, but do check out your razor’s manufacturing directions for best cleaning and maintenance practices.
Because an electric razor is an investment (and because a poorly cleaned razor doesn’t work as well and can pull at and damage your hair), you’ll also want to use a drop or two of oil on your razor routinely. You might also need to replace the foil but again, check with your manufacturer for the best recommendations.
Once you’ve got a routine down, electric wet shaving can be an enjoyable way to get a great shave while also avoiding nicks, cuts, and scrapes. Carefully preparing your skin, using the right lather, and shaving according to the grain will help you get a look you’ll love in total comfort. Enjoy!