Men don’t realize that they have sensitive skin, and how much the need the best electric shaver for sensitive skin, until they start shaving. That’s because common skin conditions for men such as ingrown hairs on the face and neck don’t reveal themselves until after you’ve taken a razor to them. Manual razors can be especially brutal.
For that, reason men change over to using electric razors in the hope the shave will be less painful. Even then, care must be taken to make sure you choose one of the five best electric shavers for sensitive skin.
Why's Your Skin Sensitive to Shaving?
The issues come down to this. Many men have no clue how to shave because they don’t know how skin needs to be prepared for the blessed event. We don’t like to shave in the first place, so the quicker it’s done and over, the better. But, alas, that’s your first mistake. To steal a phrase from a lawn mower commercial on TV, it’s not about how fast you shave, but rather it’s about how well you shave fast.
A man’s skin is living and breathing tissue. While it may be a bit thicker than the skin of a woman, it needs to be prepared to be shaved, and not just brute force drag the razor, electric or manual, over it as fast as possible and out the door. If you do that on a repetitive basis, you will damage the skin and create a sensitivity that wasn’t there in the first place.
Prevention is the key to keeping your facial skin from becoming sensitive. Women know this trick and use it well. Men, not so much. That trick is to exfoliate the skin on your face and neck both before and after your shave.
That sweeps away the dead skin cells that will most certainly clog up the screen on your electric razor. Plus, it aligns the hair in a uniform direction for easier cutting. You exfoliate after to clean out the pores from whatever lubricant or pre-shave product you used which in turn will prevent ingrown hair. Ingrown hair is the primary cause of razor burn and bumps that look ugly and red.
Find Time to Prep Your Skin!
You must use time wisely to get your face and neck ready to be shaved. It might take a bit longer but, if you plan the event well and do things in parallel with brushing your teeth or combing your hair, the result will be that the same amount of time to get ready was used. You just need to think and anticipate.
First, wash your face with something other than harsh soap that dries up all the natural oils in your skin and hair. A facial cleanser, made for that purpose, will restore the oils that days of direct sunlight, wind, and soap have stripped away from it. Leave the cleanser on your face for a minute or so (brush your teeth) after gently washing the skin so the oils can penetrate and soften the skin and hair. Then rinse but don’t rub. Dab the face with a towel to remove excess water.
The next step is to stimulate the face and hair with an electric shave pre-shave solution that’s designed to dry and lift the hairs so that the electric razor can cleanly cut them without pulling on and irritating the skin.
Most of these products have alcohol in them as the drying agent so take care where you apply it. If you apply it to places you aren’t going to shave, you will dry out and irritate that patch of skin by mistake.
When you’re done, rinse the skin with thoroughly to remove any of the prep solutions that may still be on the skin. Apply an exfoliate to smooth the skin and remove any left over skin lubricants. Get your towel and pat the face dry, don’t rub.
There are wet shave electric razors out there as well. These will use shaving gels and creams to prepare the skin much in the same way you would do with a manual razor. Look at this video to get a visual picture of how it's done.
Are You Shaving to Often or Not Enough?
Men have debated the issue of how often to shave for many years. The answer is one that fits both your lifestyle and the condition of your skin. Some men are just naturally adversely affected by daily shaving. The skin just gets ugly and irritated no matter what you do.
However, if you follow the preparatory steps to shaving as well as the steps after shaving, you will build up a level of skin protection that can remove the skin sensitivity issue forever. Plus, there is the myth that shaving stimulates the growth of facial hair.
There is no scientific proof supporting that, but if you are one of those “hair deficit” kind of guys, you do what’s needed to satisfy the psychological craving. Looking neat and groomed doesn’t hurt, no matter what. Besides, it might just work.
If you’re a guy with a heavy beard and don’t want to grow a beard, shaving daily is a good practice to get into. Men with this characteristic tend to develop acne more readily due to the trapping of sebum in the hair follicles under the dense, wiry layer of hair grown by not shaving daily.
Men with heavy facial hair also tend to pull on the longer hairs, which exacerbate the acne condition. Daily shaving prevents the acne from forming especially if you follow the exfoliation procedures to remove the dead skin and impacted sebum in the pores.
The Best Electric Shaver for Sensitive Skin
Much of the answer to this question lies in the personal preference of the man using the machine. There’s much to be said for having confidence in the shaver you’re using. That being said, the statistics tend to favor foil equipped electric shavers vice the rotary head variety for shaving sensitive skin.
If I haven’t made the point strongly enough, I’ll say it again. The proper prep work to get the face ready to be shaved, the patient use of time during the shaving event and good exfoliation after shaving the improve the experience with shaving sensitive skin.
The qualities of the shaver we will examine include these five factors:
1. The sharpness of the blades and their ability to hold that edge over time is a key factor. The sharper the blade, the less pressure needed to get a close shave. Sensitive skin doesn’t react well to heavy pressure from the shaver head. It gets irritated more quickly.
2. The speed of the motor is essential as well. The speed of blade oscillation in foil shavers or the spin speed of a rotary razor contributes to the ease of cutting the hair. The faster the motor, the less pressure needed to get a close shave.
3. The temperature of the shaving head is important for sensitive skin. The hotter the shaving head gets, the more heat is transferred to the facial skin which can be quite uncomfortable leading to a spotty shave as you tend to pull the head back from the skin to relieve the discomfort from the heat.
4. These sensitive skin razors must be engineered to handle both longer hair and hair that grows in different directions especially on the neck. Men with sensitive skin tend to shave less often which means the facial hair will be longer. The different directions of growth will require more passes of the razor over the surface of the skin, which will increase the level of irritation.
5. Dry and wet electric shaving needs to be evaluated. Wet shaving can, for some men, be the method needed to keep the irritation at manageable levels. It isn’t for every man but, it’s an option. The prep time is longer and the logistics more involved but, as I’ve said, the investment of time to shave properly is an important factor to relieving the irritation of men with sensitive skin.
Panasonic ES-LA63-S Arc4
The blades are sharp right out of the box and are uniquely sharpened at a 30-degree angle to maximize the time it holds that sharp edge before needing to be replaced.
It has a four blade, two motor system. The cutting motor delivers 14,000 cuts per minute action per blade. Given that is has four blades, that’s 56,000 cuts per minute total. That is very impressive. The second motor provides an up and down motion of the shaving head designed to lift the facial hair to its highest length in accomplishing the closest cut possible within the capabilities of the construction of the shaving head (clearance between the foil head and blades).
This is a shaver capable of both wet and dry operation and has a convenient pop-up trimmer to handle the manscaping of the sideburns and mustache if you have one.
There’s an LCD screen on the handle of the shaver that keeps you aware of the status of the shave through a 10-step process including alerts when the shaver needs to be cleaned, recharged and blades replaced. The ES-LA93-K model of this shaver comes with cleaning and charging station for added convenience at some added cost.
Braun Series 7 790cc
The claim to fame for this electric razor is its ability to lift and cut even the most difficult facial hair especially along the chin and jawline as well as the always unpredictable neck hair that grows every which way but loose. This feature is provided by the unique design of its foil head and three blade cutting system.
The perforations on the foil head are cut in a hexagonal shape to capture better the hairs that are long and often misdirected from neighboring hairs. The three cutting blades operate independently as well giving you a custom shave across the face and neck. The two outer blades are classic foil razor blades that oscillate and cut using that action.
The middle blade is dedicated to the Braun lift and cut system using a sideways oscillation to bring unruly hairs to a position where the razor can more easily handle it. The motor drives a 10,000 per minute vibration for smooth cutting.
This machine is actually a multi-mode device with settings for extra-sensitive, normal and intensive. The extra-sensitive setting is what we’re after here. Changing modes has been made user-friendly and is able to be changed while the razor is operating. Two buttons on either side of the On/Off switch provide the capability.
Its versatility extends to use of the razor while plugged in and it’s capability to operate on any international voltage. The machine will automatically adjust to the input power source. This model comes with its own cleaning and maintenance station for hands off care between shaves. This device, however, is not wet capable.
The price of this machine may turn some buyers off. It’s not cheap. Some alternatives are less costly with many of the same engineering and technology inside such as the Braun 7 760cc series.
Braun Series 3 380S
This one is easier on the wallet and is a wet/dry shaver that will appeal to a wider cross-section of men with sensitive skin. It makes this list because of the superior wet shave capability of the machine. The closeness of the shave is not as good as the other, more expensive, Braun shavers, but it is an excellent choice for many of the men with average skin and facial hair characteristics.
Seeing is understanding the unique features of this shaver. The video here provide a series of short animated demonstrations of the shaver in operation. The calling card for guys with sensitive skin is the free-floating action of each foil head, which allows the shaver to conform with the dips and valleys of the face and neck. The middle foil design is well suited to picking up the stray and unconventional hair growth.
The convenience features of this machine are the ability to automatically adjust to power inputs worldwide without having to carry around an adapter that’s always hard to find in your luggage.
It has an option for a 5 minutes charge that’s designed to provide enough juice for one shave when you’re in a hurry and forgot to plug it in to charge the night before. So, the machine anticipates your bad behavior.
It cannot be used while plugged in making the 5-minute charge feature that much more valuable. If you think about it, it is a wet/dry shaver. Using it while plugged in may be hazardous to your health.
Philips Norelco SensoTouch 3D
This is for you men that are in love with rotary shavers. I’m not a fan for use on sensitive skin, but there are those men that prefer rotary to foil.
This electric shaver is wet/dry capable. It is also a low-friction design that provides a light touch when shaving which is uber important for men with sensitive skin. The less pressure on the skin combined with proper preparation and exfoliation before and after the shave will treat the skin gently.
The cutting head design is a free-floating system of three independent cutting blades that can adapt to the unique contours of your face and neck. It has a lift and cut capability to shave below the skin level for a smooth look without irritation.
It must be used cordless because of the wet/dry capability for your own safety. It has a 3-minute, one shave-charging feature for times when charging it fully over the estimate one-hour interval just isn’t possible. It will also adjust automatically to whatever input power it’s connected to. That’s valuable and convenient for international travelers.
Philip Norelco 8020X
This one is a high-end rotary shaver that is billed as a moisturizing shave system for sensitive skin. It comes with a conditioning dispenser system for men built right in with the shaver. It is designed for wet/dry use.
The rotary head is Phillips unique flex-tracker design that adapts to the contours of your neck and face using a dual-blade lift and cut system to provide a below the skin level shave with a minimum of irritation. The conditioning system used while your shaving provides that extra level of comfort and reduces the possibility of skin irritation.
As with all shaving events for men with sensitive skin, proper skin exfoliation before and after the shave is needed to complete the process and remove dead skin and any left over conditioning product that may clog the skin pores which contributes to the increased sensitivity of the skin at the next shaving event.
To wrap things up, a shaver suitable for sensitive skin has some design features keyed to protecting sensitive skin, but it doesn’t perform some kind of magic. Getting a pain-free shave is a matter of doing the prep work right, taking your time, using the right technique and of course, using a shaver designed for the purpose that you are comfortable with.
That being said our winning best electric shaver for sensitive skin is the Panasonic Arc 4!
- Also check out the Panasonic ES-LT41-K.
The Panasonic Arc 4 has the best results for sensitive skin. That's why it's our winner for this category and if your sensitive skin requires a lot of attention it's the shaver you want to be using.