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How to Shave with an Electric Razor to Avoid Razor Burn

a man shaving with an electric razor

Electric razors have revolutionized the grooming routine for many after years of using a manual razor. With their convenience and efficiency, they have become a popular choice for achieving a clean and smooth shave. 

One of the concerns for many is skin irritation when they shave too close or go over one spot severely. If that's your worry, here's how to shave with an electric razor without irritating your skin. 

We'll take you through essential steps before, during, and after shaving with an electric razor and explain some expert tips to enhance your shaving experience.

How to Prepare Your Face for a Closer Shave

What to Do Before a Shave

Preparing your face before a close shave is essential to achieve a smooth, irritation-free result. 

Here's what to do:

Hydrate Your Skin

Wet your face in the shower with warm water, or dampen it with a wet towel. The warmth and moisture soften the hair and open up the pores, making the hair easier to cut and reducing the risk of irritation.

Exfoliate (Optional)

Consider exfoliating a day or two before shaving if your skin can tolerate it. Exfoliation removes dead skin cells and can help prevent ingrown hairs. Whether it's an exfoliating scrub or a chemical exfoliant, find one that suits your skin type.

Apply Shaving Cream or Gel

Use a high-quality shaving cream or gel. Apply it evenly to your damp face using a shaving brush. A brush helps to lift the hair, create a rich lather, and ensure the shaving product covers the hair thoroughly, allowing for a smoother shave.

Leave the cream on your skin for about a minute. It makes the cream soften the hair and prepares your skin for electric shaving blades.

Choose a Clean and Sharp Razor

Make sure your razor is clean and has a sharp blade. A dull electric shaving blade can lead to tugging, irritation, and an uneven shave.

Take note of the direction your facial hair grows in different areas of your face. Shave with the grain (the direction of hair growth) for the first pass to reduce the risk of irritation and ingrown hairs.

How to Shave

Once you prep your skin and facial hair, it's time to cut it. These are the steps to follow.

Apply Cream or Gel (Optional)

To provide extra lubrication and protection for your skin, apply a thin layer of cream or gel onto your damp face when using an electric razor that allows a wet shave.

Hold the Shaver Properly

Hold the rotary shaver at a comfortable angle against your skin. It can vary depending on the foil shaver model, but it's usually around 90 degrees.

Begin shaving in slow, short strokes against the direction of hair growth (contrary to what you'd do with a manual razor). Move the foil shaver in straight lines or small circular motions. Maintain consistent and gentle pressure. Use your free hand to gently stretch the skin taut to catch and cut the hair more effectively.

Continue in Sections

Work methodically across your face, shaving one section at a time. Keep the electric razor clean by occasionally tapping or gently shaking it to remove hair clippings.

If you have areas with denser or tougher hair growth, save them for last. It gives the cream or gel more time to soften the hair, making it easier to cut. Electric shavers might have adjustable settings, so adjust them if necessary. Some foil shavers have sensitivity modes for different skin types.

Check Your Progress

Occasionally, stop and check your progress in a mirror. Make sure you're getting close and even shave across all areas.

Some electric shavers offer the option of multiple passes for a closer shave. If your shaver has this feature, and you want an even smoother result, follow the manufacturer's instructions. Remember, the specifics of using an electric shaver might vary based on the model, as rotary shavers differ from foil shavers.

Post-shaving Care

After cutting your facial hair, it's time to care for your skin and the electric razor. Here's how.

Rinse Your Face

Rinse your face with cold water to soothe it and close the pores. Gently splash your face with water or use your hands to apply the water.

Pat your face dry. Use a clean towel and be gentle. Avoid rubbing, as this can irritate freshly shaved skin.

Apply Aftershave (Optional)

If you like using aftershave, apply a small amount to your hands and pat it onto your face. Aftershave can soothe the skin, provide hydration, and reduce post-shave irritation. Choose an alcohol-free formula to avoid stinging on freshly shaved skin.

Apply a moisturizer designed for post-shave care. It locks in moisture and hydrates, especially if you have dry or sensitive skin.

Clean Your Electric Razor

Turn your electric razor off and unplug it from the power source. Remove the shaving head or foil cover, although this depends on your shaver model. Gently tap the shaving head or foil against a surface to dislodge and remove the accumulated hair clippings.

Some foil shavers are designed for wet and dry use, allowing you to rinse the shaving head or foil under running water. Follow your shaver's instructions for rinsing. Use a cleaning brush (often provided with the shaver) to gently remove hair and debris from the shaving head or foil.

Lubricate (if Recommended)

Some shaver models come with lubricant or suggest using one. Follow the instructions in your shaver's manual if it recommends lubricating the blades or foils.

Once the shaving head or foil is clean and dry, reassemble it onto the shaver according to the manufacturer's instructions. Store your electric razor in a dry and clean place, away from direct moisture or extreme temperatures. Proper storage can help extend the life of your shaver.

3 Shaving Tips When Using an Electric Shaver

You want maximum skin contact and no irritation or bumps. Here's how.

1. Go Slow and Use Gentle Pressure

Unlike manual razors, electric ones work best when you use a slow and steady motion with light pressure. Avoid pressing too hard against your skin, as this can lead to irritation and discomfort, even if it earns you a close shave.

Allow the shaver's blades or foils to do the work. Let the shaver glide over your skin in a controlled manner without forcing it.

2. Keep the Shaver Clean

Regular cleaning is essential to maintain the performance and longevity of your shaver. After each use, remove the hair clippings by tapping or brushing the shaving head or foil. Some are washable, allowing you to rinse the shaving head under water. 

Follow your shaver's cleaning instructions to prevent buildup and ensure optimal performance.

3. Replace Shaving Heads or Foils

Over time, the cutting elements of a shaver, such as the shaving heads or foils, can wear out. 


Whether you prefer foil or rotary shavers, you require careful preparation and proper technique for a closer shave with an electric razor. 

On top of that, your post-shave care can reduce inflammation if you nick your skin. After your electric razor shave, clean and lubricate the parts. Never shave with blunt blades.


Should I shave with an electric razor on wet or dry hair?

Shaving wet or dry depends on your preference and the electric razor you have. Wet shaving, often done with water or cream, offers a smoother glide and is gentler on the skin. Dry shaving, on the other hand, is quicker and more convenient.

How do I shave with an electric razor without hurting my skin?

Shave easier by following the grain of your hair, maintaining a consistent technique, and using gentle strokes.

Can you shave with an electric razor only?

Yes, electric razors are for standalone use. However, using a pre-shave routine and post-shave care can enhance your shaving experience.

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