Skin irritation is no good, so you switch over to an electric razor to make life easier. Less passes over the skin mean you can cut down on the stress to your skin, but it’s still not enough. Shaving creme is an excellent solution if you can use it. Will shaving creme wreck your electric razor? I decided to delve into the topic and learn everything there is to know about shaving with an electric razor and shaving creme.
Electric Razors 101
Unfortunately, some men’s care experts disagree, but everything I’ve found indicates that you can use shaving creme with some electric razors. There are some basic things you need to know if you don’t want to waste money and time destroying equipment.
Not all Razors Are Created Equal
Leaving aside non-electric options, which we covered pretty extensively in another article about shaving, there are two types of power sources for electric razors and two general formats. Any electric razor that plugs into a wall outlet, regardless of whether it says wet/dry or not, should probably not be used with water or shaving creme.
Using any electronics that plug into a wall with liquids is never a good plan even when shielded. If there’s a small flaw or crack, you’re looking at a strong chance for electrocution. Even if you don’t get zapped, water inside the compartment will ruin your electronics. From rust to complete explosive failure, it’s not pretty.
Even damages you can’t see could cause problems. Power fluctuations can make an electric razor unsafe for use. They’re meant to run at one speed. Devices that have different speed settings still aren’t intended to change blade speed while they’re against your skin. Nicks and cuts may be less severe than electrocution, but they’re still a problem.
Waterproof Electric Razors
The waterproof electric razor goes by several names. It might say wet-dry or shower razor on the description, but they all share one thing in common. The defining quality of a waterproof razor is a sealed case that keeps moisture out of the electronic components so you can use shaving creme.
Batteries can be disposable, NiCad, Lithium, or integrated and rechargeable. Some have power cords that plug into walls or USB chargers. Meanwhile, others use a removable battery that requires a separately powered charger. Regardless of materials or style, your batteries are protected inside the waterproof case.
If you drop and crack the case of a waterproof razor, you need to dispose of it for your safety. Cracks will let in moisture, and even humidity can destroy the electrical parts of a razor.
The Best Wet/Dry Electric Razor
My favorite, highly lauded, top of the line electric wet-dry razor is the Panasonic Arc5 Electric Razor. The five blades are fantastic, but what I love the most is the sensor inside that automatically adjusts to your individual hair. It speeds up and slows down based on the density of your hair in any given spot.
Remember how I mentioned that electric razors aren’t meant to have variable speeds on your face? Arc5 is the exception to that rule because it’s designed to do precisely that so you get the best shave possible every time. Click Here to get your Arc5 from Amazon.
What Can I Shave With an Electric Razor
Some men only need to tidy up under their beards, so the neckline isn’t sloppy, others shave everything from the top of their heads to their toes. How much of that can you handle with an electric razor? Is it safe for manscaping?
We all want to find that one magical tool that does everything. Sadly even an outstanding electric razor isn’t made of sorcery, and that means it has limitations. If you’re looking for a clean shave on every part of your body, use this comprehensive guide on how to get the best shave in each area.
First, you’re going to need to make sure you have enough shaving creme on hand to lather up your whole body, but don’t do that just yet. After all, the hot neighbor might need a cup of sugar, or a fire could break out, and that would be embarrassing. More importantly, you should work on one area at a time from the top down.
Choosing & Using Your Shaving Creme
Shaving creme (or gel) serves three primary purposes. First, it puts a layer of something between your head and the blade. Incidentally, both foil and rotary electric razors do the same, but it never hurts to do more.
Secondly, it lubricates the path so the razor can make a smooth pass. Also, depending on the type you buy, a good foam or gel shave creme can help minimize dryness and itching, or even prevent ingrown hairs and soothe skin like aftershave.
Third and finally, shaving creams and gels serve to soften skin and hair. Softer hair is easier to cut through with a blade. This leads to an overall better shave with fewer passes to get the desired result.
Better Shaving Products For Electric Razors
Check before you buy and always pick up a water-based shave creme instead of an oil-based version. The water-based gels and foams are easier on wet-dry razors. Oils tend to stick to the blades better and will ‘gunk up’ your razor faster. That means more cleaning time and mess for you. It’s easier to avoid the problem.
For the question of gel vs. foam, that’s just a matter of preference. They both work well and get you a nice close shave with less irritation. If you have sensitive skin, go for a brand with natural or organic ingredients and no scents or harsh chemicals for the best results.
Tip to Toes (Mostly) Electric Shaving Guide
If you need less than a complete body shave, feel free to skip the steps you don’t need. Otherwise, this is how to get the best and most efficient all over shave of your life. We’ll start at the top because beginning at the bottom causes more mess and more cleanup.
The Best Electric Head Shave Technique
You can use ‘whatever’ to shave your head, but we’re not looking for a so-so result here. Whether you’re losing your hair or you want it all gone for comfort, it doesn’t matter. What does make a big difference when shaving your dome is using the right equipment and good shaving creme.
If you have long hairs, then take a good trimmer or set of hair clippers and buzz it down as short as it will go before you lather up. When you finish trimming, dust off the loose hairs. Then use a good moisturizing shave creme (or gel) on your head and an electric razor designed for the scalp.
Take your time and make sure you have a quality razor, so you only need one pass over each section. This technique will minimize shaving bumps and irritation.
I suggest the Men’s 5-in-1 Electric Shaver & Grooming Kit by AsaVea. Instead of a traditional handle, it has a more ergonomic handheld for your palm and five rotary-style blades for a nice close shave. Plus, it’s shaped and designed to fit the contours of your scalp. You can check it out by Clicking Here.
Beards are worthy of a much broader topic, so I’ll cover them after the shaving section. We also have a great article on beard trimmers vs. electric shavers with some tips on how to trim, shape, and shave a beard right Here. In general, you can use an excellent electric shaver like the one in the Asa Vea kit if you want to get a clean shave or do some detail work.
Necking: Shave Under Your Beard
No one wants to nick their neck while shaving. There aren’t a whole lot of tips or tricks for the perfect neck shave. However, taking your time and going slowly will help minimize the problems. This is another area where a wet-dry rotary razor can be helpful. Shaving creme helps provide a barrier for your skin.
Alternately, if you want something you can take with you for a quick dry shave, pick a foil instead. Always toss on some form of towel or bib when dry shaving on the fly. A wet shave with shaving creme is better, but life happens, and some guys need a touchup before those late afternoon meetings or post-work drinks.
Toss a decent styptic pencil in with your foil shaver if you have to go that route. It will help you quickly seal any tiny cuts you might get from being too hasty. Remember not to leave your razor and especially your stiptic pencil anywhere hot. The heat will damage the equipment. Moreover, it can melt a styptic pencil, which is usually powdered alum (a mineral) and wax.
Upper Body Manscaping with Electric Shavers
Whether you’re a tattooed guy who wants everyone to see ink and not fur, a bodybuilder who needs the oil to shine in the sun, or just an average joe who wants to look his best, shaving body hair is definitely ‘in.’ There are plenty of health reasons to shave, like not collecting extra sweat, not holding in more heat, and not smelling like B.O. Some shaving cremes even help keep down body odor in addition to making your shave smoother.
Equally important, women want you to manscape. If the word “manscape,” makes you cringe, call it what you like as long as you do it. The majority of females, unless they specifically say otherwise, want you to at least trim it down, and most are happy to see no hair at all.
When it comes to trimming, you can use a good pair of hair clippers or an electric beard trimmer. When you plan to remove it all, then take the time to do it right. Use a slim electric razor like the Braun Series 3 ProSkin 3010s Foil. It will help you keep her looking at your abs or at least the cooler you pack them in, instead of worrying about whether your belly fur is going to get in her teeth. Get this budget-friendly, intimacy-friendly electric shaver Click Here.
Foil style electric razors are meant to prevent any additional irritation by protecting your skin with a thin ‘foil’ layer. If you bear down too hard, particularly on the curved areas of your skin, they can leave tiny scratches.
Men with loose skin from aging or losing weight may want to spend extra time shaving. Some areas are easier if you stretch the skin taut between two fingers. A little patience can prevent a lot of discomforts.
I Got Your Back
Shaving you back is an absolute must unless you plan to date someone who’s into the whole grizzly bear look in bed. Not every guy grows dark hair on their backs, but if you do, then you should strongly consider getting savvy and shaving it off. Shaving creme is nice, but not necessary for this kind of shave.
Seeing can be tricky. A second mirror will help, but it still takes a while to get the hang of it. Don’t try and use some silly, short-handled, regular razor. You need a specialized tool to do this job unless you’re a professional contortionist. In fact, you need the right tool even if you get paid to twist your body into a pretzel for a living.
I strongly advise you to choose a product designed to reach behind you. The Philips Norelco Bodygroom Series 3100, Shave and trim with back attachment, BG2034 is a superb option for those hard to reach spots. It has an extender piece so you can reach further. Click Here to check out prices and options.
When you really want or need shaving creme, apply it with a back washer. Alternately, you can try shaving in the shower. Simply applying shaving creme on your back is tricky unless someone else is helping you. If you’re lucky enough to have a partner who will help, you don’t need special equipment, just a good quality razor.
Don’t Get Tough on Your Tender Bits
There’s no easy way to say this, so I’m just going to put it out there, the man-bush has to go. I know that some of you don’t want to even think about a razor near your genitals, but it’s time to jump into the twenty-first century. Grooming standards have changed. Shaving creme can help lubricate your electric razor’s path and protect skin.
Shaving ‘down there’ isn’t just a female phenomenon anymore. Everyone does it. I don’t mean to sound like the bad kids in high school who wanted you to smoke, but it’s true. If you’ve ever seen 70’s porn, then you understand what I’m getting at here. That level of hairy may be natural, but so is pooping outdoors, and we don’t do that in polite company either.
If you want to avoid the need for that styptic pencil, then I strongly suggest you buy a decent hand mirror with a handle. You’ll also need a good wall mirror. Get ready to do some minor gymnastics. You will see parts of your body you might not be familiar with if you’re going to do this right.
Best Below The Belt
Get a high-quality anti-bump shaving cream and the right trimmer razor hybrid. I suggest the Philips Norelco OneBlade Face + Body, Hybrid QP2630/70, for the job. To try one out for yourself, Click Here.
You won’t see a whole lot of companies that suggest you use their product on your pubes, but they aren’t afraid to ‘go there.’ You shouldn’t be either. It may take a little getting used to, but reducing sweat, odor, and heat in the vicinity of your family jewels feels pretty good.
Legs & Feet
There’s not a whole lot to say about legs and feet because it’s already in other sections. Use long strokes with your electric razor. For hard to see areas, run your hands up the leg, against the grain so to speak, to detect any missed spots. Watch out for the knees, both front and back, and go easy on the tendons in the back of your heel, or you’ll scrape some skin off while you shave.
Pogonlogy: The Study of Beards
Most men shave, at least part of their faces regularly. Surprisingly, the average guy will spend around four months (three thousand hours) shaving their face in their lifetime. Since the beard is your most likely go-to for using an electric razor, I thought you might want to know more about them.
Whether you prefer a completely clean shave, or you’re shooting for full wizard status, beards are fascinating. If you’re sporting a beard, you should at least consider keeping the neck trimmed down for comfort and always keep your edges crisp and clean. The right electric razor will go a long way toward making you look good.
Keep in mind that a foil shaver and a good beard trimmer is probably the best choice for general beard maintenance. Additionally, you should always have a hilarious beard-guy joke on hand. If you trim it and someone comments, be ready to throw out the odd, “Shave? No, it shrank when I washed it.”
Amazing Beard Facts
Whether you’re a Pogonophilic (beard lover) or just don’t love your chin, having some outstanding beard wisdom and trivia on hand will make you look as good as your barber does. Show your beard-pride by knowing more about your facial fur. There’s more to a great beard than just a good electric razor and some shaving creme.
As it turns out, being bearded makes you appear more aggressive, more attractive, and people might even assume you’re social status is higher. It may seem silly, but people will find you more approachable if you have a good ‘line’ about your facial hair. However, that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to odd facts about beards.
Here are Sixteen Strange Facts About Beards:
- John F. O’Rouke patented the first electric razor in 1898. Shaving creme had already been around for centuries.
- More than half the men in the world, 55% have beards.
- Ancient Egyptians loved beards so much they gold plated them. Some women and royal cows wore fake gold beards (postiches) during ceremonies.
- It takes 100-600 strokes to shave off an average beard which has about thirty thousand hairs.
- If you never shaved, your beard would grow to around 27.5 feet in an average lifespan.
- The “Vandyke” is named for Sir Anthony Vandyke, who painted aristocrats with a characteristic pointed beard in the early 1600s.
- Beards are photosensitive. They grow faster in the daytime and slower at night. Moreover, during warmer months, March-July, beards can grow up to sixty percent faster than they do in January and February.
- Though they don’t play any part in reproduction and some women grow them, Biologists have labeled beards as a secondary sexual characteristic.
- Men with beards are 63% more likely to win a staring contest.
- Your beard will grow about a centimeter per month.
- Men are more likely to complement other men on their beards than women are.
- Beards protect your face against bacteria, infection, and sunburn. They filter out about 90-95% of sunlight. So you might say your beard prevents skin cancer.
- The CIA once considered putting the depilatory thallium salt into Fidel Castro’s shoes. They wanted to make his beard fall out and ruin his public image.
- Men with full beards are perceived as better parents, while men with light stubble are seen as the least worthy of the role.
- Pogonophobia is the technical term for fear of beards.
- Peter the Great taxed men a hundred rubles a year for a special medallion that gave them the right to wear a beard.
What is This Stuff: Shaving Creme
Fans of How It’s Made may already know a little about their shaving products, but everyone deserves to know what’s going on their face, head, or ‘other’ areas. Shaving creams and gels have a substantially longer history than you might expect, and there’s a lot of hard to pronounce ingredients.
Even if you’re the sort of guy who doesn’t like to know what’s in a hotdog before you eat it, some things you need to know. Plus, you’ll probably encounter shaving cream a whole lot more often than a chili dog.
Shaving Creme History
The ancient Sumerians used a pre-shaving substance as far back as 3000 B.C. It was nothing like the modern-day foam you recognize. Sumerian shaving cream consisted of tallow (animal fat) and wood alkali.
Up until the twentieth century, most men used sticks or bars of soap intended for shaving. A brush and some water whipped up the soap bubbles to create that unique frothy foam that is still used to this day.
Modern shaving cream was invented a mere hundred years ago in 1919. Barbasol was created by Frank Shields, a former MIT professor. That’s one way to put a big-brain to use. His product was so successful; it’s still known and used today. However, it wasn’t until 1949 that someone thought to put it in a pressurized can. Shave gel didn’t come along until someone at Proctor and Gamble invented it in the 1970s.
Common Shaving Creme Ingredients
It’s always a good idea to know more about what you’re putting in your body. That goes for shaving creams and shaving gels as well as food. Some of the ‘things’ companies put in grooming products are recognizable, and others are downright strange. These are the most common ingredients in your mid to high-end shaving creams.
This is just a fancy term for water.
Also Known as Triglyceride, this is an extract from the coconut palm tree. It is used to adjust the pH levels. When saponified (turned into soap), it acts as a cleansing agent. Saponified coconut acid is also a great surfactant. That means it reduces the surface tension in a liquid.
Glycerin or Glycerol
Glycerin is a polyol or sugar alcohol. It’s a humectant, there to retain water and create density in the shaving cream. Additionally, it helps increase viscosity, giving shaving cream or a razor the ability to slide.
This saturated fatty acid helps form the bubbles that make shaving cream foamy. It’s another surfactant, but Myristic Acid also emulsifies other substances. That means it makes two things that wouldn’t usually mix, like oil and water, for example, blend together.
Like it’s cousin myristic acid, stearic acid is a saturated fatty acid. They share many of the same qualities. However, stearic acid is an emollient, which softens skin. It can also be an ester, organic, or inorganic salt.
Potassium Hydroxide & Sodium Hydroxide
Both of these long word combos are inorganic bases. These hydroxides are used to adjust the pH levels and the consistency of shaving creme. You may know these caustic alkalines as potash and lye.
Triethanolamine is an organic base. Organic may sound good, but TEA has come into question because it may not be safe for humans. It is both an irritant and a carcinogen. Sadly, TEA is linked to dermatitis and allergy issues. Keep an eye on your shaving cream and try to avoid anything with Triethanolamine high up on the ingredient list.
Watch Out For These
The cosmetic industry, which includes shaving cream, is not regulated by the FDA. That means industry testing standards aren’t exactly ‘standard.’ In addition to avoiding products that contain TEA, you want to keep an eye out for two other harmful ingredients.
Parfum is not perfume. It does smell nice, but the three thousand chemicals (not an exaggeration) haven’t been through enough tests to be proven safe. If that were the only bad news, it wouldn’t be as noteworthy, but it gets worse. Some of the ingredients in parfum are linked to cancer and neurotoxicity. Until someone does more tests, I’d suggest you skip out on the parfum scented shaving creams.
Phthalates are bad news. About eighty percent of people in the US have been exposed to phthalates at some point. They can inhibit testosterone and have been linked to male obesity and insulin resistance, which can result in diabetes. It’s probably best if you don’t smear that on your skin to get a better shave.
When in doubt, throw it out. There are plenty of other choices available.
Value-Added Bonus Ingredients
Now that you’re worried, here’s a reminder that it’s not all bad news. You can still find plenty of amazing shaving creams out there that have natural and safe ingredients. Getting your best electric shave isn’t hard, you just need to read the label. Look for labels that include aloe for soothing. Likewise, tea tree oil will help keep down infected follicles and breakouts.
My favorite completely organic shaving creme is Pacific Shaving Companys’ Natural Shaving Cream. Most of the ingredients are certified organic. Instead of ‘parfum,’ you’ll find ingredients like orange peel, tangerine, chamomile, and bergamot. Similarly, instead of TEA, you’ll find green tea. Click Here to get a worry-free shave.
Like finding the right electric razor, getting a great shaving cream may take a little extra time. Read the labels, and at least you won’t need to worry about dangerous and unregulated ingredients on your skin.
Using shaving cream with a waterproof electric razor is a breeze. Remember, you should look for options that are water-based. Products with oil as one of the first ingredients are more likely to gum up the works on your electric razor. If you didn’t know this, an ingredients list is in order from the most substantial amount to the smallest. The first few ingredients are usually most of what’s in a product.
Make sure you have the right electric razor for whatever part of your body you plan to shave. If you’re an all-over shaver, then you should invest in two or three different electric razors and a good set of beard trimmers at least. Think of your bathroom as a tool shed. You need the right equipment to do a job well. Just because you ‘can’ hammer in a nail with a heavy wrench doesn’t mean you should.
Skip untried products and the super-cheap options. You’ll be spending thousands of hours shaving, so you might as well enjoy it.