Do I Need Shave Cream With An Electric Razor? [Plus Our Top 2 Favorites]

April 18, 2023
by Jack Lyons

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We’re all on the lookout for the closest, most comfortable shave, and the electric razor has made professional results easy for the every-man in his own home — Hooray!

But if you’re new to the world of electric razors, you no doubt have a few questions before you go under the rotating blade for the first time, the most common of which is, "Do I need shave cream with an electric razor?"

With a manual razor, wet shaving is a must if you want to protect your skin, but can the same be said about electric razors? Well, that’s exactly what we’ll be discussing here today.

Should You Apply Shaving Cream Before Using An Electric Razor: The Quick Answer

For those looking for a simple answer quickly… whether you use shaving cream when using an electric razor is simply up to you.

Most electric razors are designed to handle both wet and dry shaving, so it's all about choosing the method that’s right for you in the moment.

Having said that, not all electric razors will cope well with shaving cream, especially the cheaper ones on the market.

The internal components may rest too close to the razor’s edge, or there may not be a suitable cleansing method to prevent your product from clogging up the enclosure.

So, if you plan on using an electric razor for some wet shaves, be sure to read the product specification carefully before committing to a purchase.

How To Find A Wet Shave Electric Razor

The products suitable for both wet and dry shaving are known as - surprise, surprise - wet & dry electric razors, so keep your peepers peeled for this terminology.

And if you’re looking for your razor online, be sure to use “wet and dry” as one of the keywords in your search.

However, we’ll be giving you some product suggestions a bit later on, so you needn’t bother trawling through thousands of razors yourself — Gosh, we’re good to you!

Why You Don’t Need Shaving Cream When Using An Electric Razor

When wet shaving, the goal is to cut the hair below the skin level, thereby providing a closer-than-close shave, leaving your skin feeling as smooth as a baby’s bottom.

As the blade comes into contact with the skin itself, it can cause a lot of irritation, which is why it’s essential to soften the skin with moisture and lubricate it with shaving foam.

On the other hand, the blades of an electric razor never come into contact with your skin, trimming the hairs just above the surface, meaning no such irritation occurs.

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ever treat yourself to a nice wet shave with your electric razor, so let’s assess the pros and cons of each method next.

What Are The Benefits Of Dry Shaving With An Electric Razor?

It’s More Efficient

A successful wet shave requires moistening your face with water and applying some form of shaving cream to lubricate the skin.

Some might then also use a shaving brush to lift the wetted-down hairs up to make removal as easy as possible.

With a dry shave, on the other hand, there’s absolutely no primping and preening involved. You simply grab your electric razor and go to town on your chinny, chin, chin — Job done!

This is a BIG win if you’re in a rush and you need a quick trim before you head out to work or on a date, or for those who aren’t that into personal grooming and like to keep facial hair maintenance as efficient as possible.

Depending on the quality of your electric razor and the length of your beard, you can be done and dusted in a matter of seconds.

It’s More Affordable

Grooming products such as shaving creams are becoming more and more expensive, and if you’ve got a fast growing beard that develops a shadow on your face alongside the growing shadows of each evening, you’ll get through a lot!!!

You may be looking fine, but before you know it, you’re utterly destitute, which is another reason why dry shaving has really caught on.

You need a sum total of zero skin products to give yourself a quality dry shave with an electric razor, saving you a pretty penny over the years.

Less Irritation

Even when using the finest lathers, a wet shave is always going to leave your skin feeling somewhat irritated, as the sharp hairs are growing up from beneath the skin level.

This is why your face sometimes feels itchy and sore when you reach the stubbly stage after a shave.

The electric dry shave solves these issues by - as mentioned earlier - cutting just above the skin level rather than below it.

This also means you’ll never accidentally nick yourself, which is a HUGE bonus, especially for novice shavers tackling their first facial hairs.

Benefits Of Wet Shaving With An Electric Razor

While a wet shave with a manual razor will always be preferable (if you’ve developed your technique, that is), there are a couple of benefits to using an electric razor.

Hair Clearance

Stray, loose hairs can easily be left behind after a dry shave, but when you wet shave, you wash all the detritus away when you clean your face, meaning you won’t be finding little hairs on your collar all day.

You Can Work It Into Your Skin Care Routine

Should you happen to enjoy spending time taking care of your skin and grooming, you can work a wet shave into your skincare routine, using a number of moisturizing and revitalizing products as you go.

Even though shaving with an electric razor doesn’t leave you feeling anywhere near as irritated as a manual, you can still make things a lot more enjoyable and supple if you wet shave using some high quality lathers.

You Can Shave Straight Out The Shower

No need to dry yourself off after a shower if you plan on wet shaving. Just grab your razor and get trimmin’… the wetter your skin, the better!

Philips Norelco 3500 Shaver

Philips Norelco Shaver 3500, Rechargeable Wet & Dry Electric Shaver with Pop-Up Trimmer and Storage Pouch, S3212/82

The Norelco sits at the tippity-top of the midrange electric razor market, and thanks to a water-resistant enclosure, can be used while you’re still in the shower — Talk about a wet shave, are we right?

The 5D pivot and flex heads morph to the contours of your face, ensuring a clean, fast shave, and being that this razor utilizes Philips’s proprietary ComfortCut blades, you’ll never feel snags or after-trim discomfort.

If you like the sound of this but fancy a more upmarket version with all the bells and whistles, we’d recommend checking out the Philips Noreco 7100 Shaver with SenseIQ technology.

Braun Series 3 Razor

Braun Electric Series 3 Razor with Precision Trimmer, Rechargeable, Wet & Dry Foil Shaver for Men, Blue/Black, 4 Piece

Not a Philips kind of guy? No problem; this Braun 3 Series shaver delivers a lot of the same benefits in a slightly different form.

The floating blades with pressure sense technology align with the contours of your face, ensuring a super close, completely nick-less shave.

And, as the middle blade is bordered by a micro comb that gently captures longer hairs, painful snags are a thing of the past.

Final Thoughts

There you have it — Do you need to use shaving cream when using an electric razor? No, absolutely not. The triumph of the electric razor is that it can be used for quick, comfortable dry shaves.

Having said that, if you prefer a wet shave, as long as you pick up a wet & dry electric razor, it’s always a possibility!

Related: How To Apply Beard Balm In 3 Simple Steps

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