Razor bumps, redness, itchy skin. Sound familiar? This is our review of the best razor for sensitive skin.
Having sensitive skin and trying to stay clean shaven don’t usually mix that well.
However, there are some things you can do to alleviate the irritation as well as using a quality razor.
Depending on your needs and beard type, you may decide to go with an electric razor or a double edge safety razor. In this review we have given you a few options of each kind to help you choose the best one for you.
We do not recommend using a multi-blade cartridge razor. Because of its ability to pull your hair and cut it below the skin surface, this can be the main cause of razor burn.
Table of Contents
Shaving with Sensitive Skin
Before we get into looking at these recommendations, we wanted to show you some things you can do to help prepare you face for the shave.
- Grow your beard out – obviously the number on thing you can do to reduce your skin irritation from shaving is to, well, stop shaving! But since you are here, that probably isn’t an option for you. If you are able to keep stubble as part of your look this would probably be ideal. There are many nice beard trimmers out there that allow you to keep that perfect stubble look
- Wash Your Face (safety razor only) – washing your face with warm water or taking a shower is a great way to prepare your sensitive skin for shaving. This helps remove your beard’s natural oils which will allow your hair to absorb water and become softer. The softer they are the easier they will be to cut. The hot water also helps open up your pores which will help your skin become more malleable and more receptive to the shave.
- Use a Shaving Brush – besides helping you apply your shaving cream or soap a quality shaving brush will help exfoliate your skin and remove any dead skin cells. This will help keep your blade free of unnecessary debris. This will hopefully give you a better overall shave.
- Use a pre-shave oil – you don’t need much oil but the added benefit really goes a long way. Pre-shave oil adds an extra layer of lubrication helping to reduce any friction that might cause some unwanted irritation. If you are using an electric shaver just make sure it can be use wet so you are able to clean the heads.
- Keep your razor clean – whether using a safety razor or electric, shaving with a clean razor is a must. Shaving with a dirty razor can cause acne or other issues especially if you nick yourself. Some electric shavers have cleaning stations while safety razors are relatively easy to keep clean, you can always wipe them down with alcohol after use.
- Keep your razor sharp – having a sharp blade will help reduce the amount of razor burn you experience. The more pressure you have to apply when shaving the more likely you are to agitate your skin when shaving.Therefore the sharper the blade the less pressure you will have to apply. That’s why some even recommend an aggressive safety razor for those with sensitive skin since they can be very sharp. So if you are using an electric razor follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on replacing the heads and for safety razors you may want to change blades after every 3 shaves or less.
- Shave with the grain – shaving against the grain is just asking for razor bumps. You should always shave with the grain, or in the same direction your hair grows. When you shave against the grain the razor can pull and tug on your hair especially if it is not sharp. (you may need to use some against the grain strokes if you are using an electric razor)
- Go Slow – rushing can cause you to make mistakes or shave too fast which could cause pulling of your hair.
- Use short strokes (safety razors) – using short strokes will again help reduce mistakes and pulling of the hair. When you are using a safety razor you will need to rinse your razor frequently to remove in gunk and hairs from the last few strokes. That is why short strokes are recommended.
- Keep your skin tight – this will help the razor do its job. It works best on a flat surface so pulling your skin tight is going to help with this. This should also help you perform less passes as the razor should cut more hair with each stroke.
- Splash with cold water – after you are done shaving you should rinse off with cold water. This will help close your pores back up which should help keep them clean the rest of the day.
- Use a lotion or aftershave – this will help moisturize your skin after any dryness from the shaving soap. Some guys even use the same pre-shave oil for an after shave. Most of them only contain just a handful of natural oils.
Electric Razors for Sensitive Skin
Besides growing your beard out, one of the next best things you can do to help with sensitive skin is use a quality electric razor.
Because the electric razor has a thin metal foil over the blade it cannot cut as close as a safety or cartridge razor. This makes it a great candidate for this list.
Therefore it is less likely that your hair will grow back into your skin causing irritation.
Braun Series 7 790cc
The Braun Series 7 790cc is highly regarded as one of the best electric razors period. There are many reasons why it is a great electric razor.
To start it, it has 5 different speeds to choose from so you can turn it down on sensitive areas like your neck or turn it up for tougher areas like your chin or sideburns.
It also has a nice cleaning station that keeps the blades sterilized. As we mentioned earlier keeping your razor clean will help reduce your irritation.
This thing is built to last, the manufacturer even states they are supposed to last a minimum of 7 years.
Of course you will have to replace the heads every 12-18 months depending on the thickness of your beard and frequency of use.
You will see many of the over 6,000 customers who left reviews for this product stating that this is on razors you will get what you pay for.
Plus, since there is a newer version of this model it has recently dropped in price to over 40% off MSRP!
With the electric shavers, it is recommended to shave before you wash your face. Since your face expands when moisturized with hot water it won’t expose as much hair, shaving with a dry face will give you a longer lasting shave.
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Philips Norelco Shaver 7300
If you are looking to save a little bit of money and not lose too much in performance the Shaver 7300 by Philips Norelco would be another great option for an electric shaver.
They are even marketing to you with the name of their shaver!
The thing you will like about this shaver is the microbead coating on each of the three heads. This helps reduce friction giving you a comfortable shave.
It has many of the same features as the 790CC like wet/dry shaving and a cleaning station.
Just like with any electric shaver, you may need to take a couple passes to get all of the hairs on your beard. The extra few minutes is worth the smooth, close shave.
Keep your eyes peeled on this one as a newer model is coming out, the 7500, on April 10th, 2017. This usually means price drops for older models.
Most of the negative reviews seem to be from people who have not used electric shavers before and had too high of expectations.
Remember guys, electric shavers will not get as close as a blade, period!
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Best Budget Electric Razor for Sensitive Skin
If you are short on cash take a look at this Series 3 Braun, the 3040s.
You can still get a quality shave, just without all of the bells & whistles.
Of course, the motor won’t be as powerful but this shaver can still get the job done with 3 independently suspended blades.
This model may even feel more comfortable in your grip and won’t be as bulk as the Series 7.
Several guys with thick hair really enjoy this product. So if you are one of the lucky ones with sensitive skin and a tough beard, this model may be worth a shot.
Again, most of the complaints are guys who have fast growing hair and not enjoying a close shave. There are not really any other common complaints.
Of course, some guys compare it to the Series 7 and talk about how great it is but let’s get real, this razor is one third the costs.
Do you really expect a close comparison?
However, if you just need a reliable razor to get the job done, this could be yours.
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Safety Razors for Sensitive Skin
If you need a clean shave, a double edge safety razor is probably the way to go. It can cut close with practice without causing much irritation. Making it another great style to consider for sensitive skin.
They just use a single blade that if kept fresh, should cut your beard without having to apply much pressure.
Combine these with all of the tips from above and you are in for a super comfy shave.
Edwin Jagger DE89
The Edwin Jagger DE89 is considered a mild razor by many guys.
It actually has the same head as Muhle’s R89 however both of their handles are different so you may want to look at both before you buy.
The reason this is great for those of you with skin issues is the blade gap on the head is considered small so not as much blade is exposed being more forgiving on your skin.
Of course the next biggest factor in the shave is the blade you choose. Some blades are very sharp and others are very smooth. You can try out different blades to get the perfect combination for your beard and skin.
Many of the negative reviews are some common issues you see with 3 piece screw off safety razors.
You need to keep your razor dry when in storage. Prolonged water exposure is not good for safety razors.
Some guys experience the screw breaking off after dropping it on the floor. Well, they are not meant to be thrown around either.
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MÜHLE R41 – For Experienced Users
The Muhle R41 is considered an extremely aggressive razor. It is an open tooth comb that has much more blade exposure than closed comb razors.
However, this is the reason some guys who have sensitive skin love this razor.
Depending on what kind of blade you go with you may only need to do one pass. But remember, the less strokes you need, the less likely you are to experience problems.
However, as you can imagine, some of the negative reviews will talk about how unforgiving this razor is. Your technique must be sound if you decide to go this route.
This razor will expose any flaws that you have in your shaving process. Make sure you take your time and use slow, short strokes.
Again, the milder razors will be more forgiving. However, you will have to perform more passes to get a close shave which is a trade off and could leave your skin feeling raw.
If you decide to go this route, just be careful!
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Parker 99R – In Between
The Parker 99R could be a great choice for sensitive skin. Especially if you are looking for something in between the two extremes in terms of aggressiveness goes.
There are mixed reviews about whether or not this is mild or aggressive. So if you have a medium beard this could be a good choice.
Those of you with thicker beards may opt for the R41 and if you have a light beard the DE89 would probably work well.
However, Parker has been in the game for over 40 years and their quality is on par with other well-known brands.
This has a longer handle and a butterfly head if you happen to prefer those options. It does make changing the blade very easy and the longer grip will help reach tough spots.
Some guys had issues with the twist to open mechanism after prolonged use but this should not be an issues normally. Perhaps the manufacturer made a bad production run.
Every guy’s beard and skin are different. So often times you will see guys bashing products because it just doesn’t work for them. That is why you will see handful of these reviews even with popular, highly rated razors like this one.
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Razor Blades for Sensitive Skin
It is really hard to recommend a razor blade. This is because who knows what razor you will be using it with. Also, everyone’s beard and skin are different.
So what works well for some guys may not for others. You may need to try a few to find the one that works with your safety razor.
The Derby Extra blades are generally considered the most mild and smooth. This makes them suitable for sensitive skin.
You will see many reviews on Amazon to back this up as well.
If you have really a thick beard, you may want to try something sharper like Feathers.
However, if you have an average or light beard these could work really well for you.
The only downside to these is that since they are not as sharp as other blades you may have to do an extra pass to get a complete BBS shave.
Again, everyone is different so your best option may be to find a variety pack so you can try a few different kinds out.
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Best Shaving Cream for Super Sensitive Skin
OK so we are actually going to recommend a shaving soap instead of a cream for this section. The Integrity by Soap Commander is a great choice to help prevent any issues when shaving.
It is unscented so if you have issues with any fragrances that won’t be a problem.
It also comes as a 6 ounce tub which will last a very long time.
Many guys also like the container it comes in saying it is easy to quickly work up a lather and has a deep opening.
There are not many negative reviews and the ones that are there are guys who just simply didn’t like the soap which is to be expected.
In general, even if this soap doesn’t look appealing, you should look for unscented soaps that don’t have too many unnatural ingredients.
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So there you have it, 6 different razors to try for sensitive skin. If you are new to wet shaving you will need to do your homework to get an idea of what you might like in a razor.
If you are looking for convenience than one of the electric shavers is the way to go.
You also probably need to spend a little more time on your shave. Using most of the tips above to get the best shave for your sensitive skin.
Of course, you could always just grow out your beard!
Definitely some great information you provided. I usually use a blade. I’ve never tried using a shaving brush, so that’s something I need to try to reduce my razor burn. In addition, I usually shave before showering, so I haven’t been opening my pores up with warm water and using cold water afterwards. This is another aspect I’ll need to try. Thanks for the tips!
You’re welcome Jeremy! I hope you find some relief after giving those two suggestions a try for your razor burn!
Very interesting type of razor! my face is generally rough and I use a traditional razor that you can just pick up anywhere. However, its kind of expensive for a bland product. I would be interested in trying a sensitive skin razor! Plus I’m sure my face would thank me for making the switch.
Your face would thank you and your wallet might as well depending on what type of you razor you go with. Let me know if you decide to get one of these and if it help at all with your sensitive skin.
As someone who has suffered with sensitive skin for many years, many of your comments resonated with me.
I 100% agree that the best solution is to avoid shaving every day if possible. I am fortunate to be self-employed and so I can go a few days without shaving most weeks. It would be a real problem if I had to shave every day.
Sadly, I reached my 30s before someone explained about not shaving against the direction of growth. Since then I tend to shave once in the direction of the growth and then once against. Is this wrong? Perhaps I need a sharper razor which can get a close shave first time?
Hey Kristian, shaving against the grain in general puts you at risk for irritation. Have you tried shaving twice with the grain instead?
Hi, Jeremy. What great information about a topic that most men take for granted. You’ve presented so many options to the BIC cheapy razor that we use until the handle breaks. I really like the preparation sequence you present for both the blade and the electric razor. You really got my attention with the electric razor selection as this is where I’m going in the future. I would be curious to see what you think of the “shave clubs” like Harrys or Dollar Shave Club. Thanks for the great info. Warren
You’re welcome Warren. The shave clubs have definitely brought the cost of disposable razors down however, a safety razor is still going to be cheaper in the long run.
Im clean shaven in my gravata pic as i just had a photo shoot with our new borns. I rarely shave and these tips do help. I got myself a beard trimmer and this is great , it was a cheapie and i’m thinking of upgrading, thanks for your post it makes my life easier instead of hunting round for all the best buys,
Anytime Trevor, glad you enjoyed the post!
Thank you for the very well written article!
I have to agree that the The Braun Series 7 790cc is one of the best machines out there.
My husband has ultra sensitive skin and the Braun 7 790cc has been a godsend when it comes to razors! It’s safe to say his shaving experience is far more joyful than it used to be.
That’s awesome Theresa, thanks for stopping by!
This is a very relevant issue for my partner as he has a very sensitive skin. In the past he suffered quite a bit from the ingrown hair issue and it comes and goes. I find that the suggestions you give are worth trying for him and its a good idea for him to try different shavers that you suggest. This is a very comprehensive description of a territory that has daily effect at least in my partner’s life