Shaving doesn’t have to be a chore, although to some men that’s their reality. And for men with sensitive skin, shaving is often a task made more tedious by skin irritation, razor burns, and bumps.
We feel your pain if your facial skin is more sensitive than most, but we think we can help with the following look at the highest-quality electric razors, including the Braun 92900cc our choice for the best electric shaver for sensitive skin.
We also offer some electric razor buying tips, how to use an electric shaver properly, and the difference between foil and rotary shavers and which is best for use on sensitive skin. Let’s start with some buying tips.
Table of Contents
- Quick summary
- Before you buy: 7 Things to consider when purchasing an electric razor for sensitive skin
- The 6 best electric razors for sensitive skin 2020
- How to use an electric razor to avoid skin irritation
- Foil or rotary shaver: Which is best for sensitive skin?
- How we chose the best razors for sensitive skin
Balding Beards is reader-supported. When you buy through external links, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.
|Braun Electric Shaver Series 9, 92900CC||Check on Amazon →|
|Philips Norelco Electric Shaver 7500 For Sensitive Skin||Check on Amazon →|
|Panasonic ARC5 Electric Razor||Check on Amazon →|
|Philips Norelco Electric Shaver 5100 Wet & Dry||Check on Amazon →|
|Braun Electric Shaver 7900CC||Check on Amazon →|
|Philips Norelco Oneblade Face & Body Shaver||Check on Amazon →|
Before you buy: 7 Things to consider when purchasing an electric razor for sensitive skin
If you suffer from sensitive skin, finding the right electric razor is a high priority. You’ll have plenty of razors from which to choose – which is good news – but narrowing the field down to find the razor that best suits your skin and needs is a bit of challenge.
That said, let’s look at some of the factors to consider as you shop for the best electric shaver for sensitive skin.
1. The type of razor
Electric razors come in two types: foil and rotary. We’ll discuss each type in greater detail later in the article, but just know that you can use both for shaving sensitive skin. Not to spill the beans, but foil shavers almost always get the nod from experts for being the appropriate razor type for sensitive skin.
It’s easy to tell the difference between a rotary and foil shaver: a rotary shaver features a thin, metal foil that covers oscillating blades, while a rotary shaver has three circular heads that cover a spinning cutter blade.
2. Motor speed
Every electric razor has a motor that powers the blade. The more powerful the motor, the faster the blade moves. And the faster the blade moves, the less likely it is to pull and tug hair rather than cutting it cleanly.
A razor motor’s speed is measured in cycles per minute (CPM), and faster motors typically operate in the 10,000 to 14,000 CPM range. One thing to keep in mind is that a faster motor means a faster shave and one, at least in most cases, that makes for a smoother overall shave without having to apply a lot of pressure.
You’ll also want to consider if a razor’s motor causes the shaving head to become overly hot during operation.
3. The blades
While a sharp blade may seem intimidating to someone with sensitive skin, the sharper the better. A lower quality blade will dull quickly, causing it to pull and tug on your whiskers uncomfortably. Obviously, “uncomfortable” isn’t the kind of shave you want if your skin is sensitive.
A sharper blade enables you to trim areas of your face with fewer passes, which also lessens the likelihood of skin irritation.
Most electric razor blades consist of stainless steel, and many have a coating of titanium.
4. Wet & dry shaving
Many electric razors are suitable for wet and dry use, which is a plus for most consumers. A razor appropriate for wet shaving means that you can use it in the shower and/or with shaving cream. Since shaving cream provides another layer of protection for sensitive skin, you may want to give serious consideration to buying a razor with wet/dry capability.
5. Cord or cordless
Many electric razors come with a power cord, while many others are cordless (and powered by a battery). Which one you choose depends on your needs, preferences, etc…
Perhaps the biggest advantage to a corded razor is that you don’t need to worry about the battery running out of juice in the middle of your shave. The disadvantage is that you have to contend with a power cord, which isn’t necessarily a major pain in the ass, but it can restrict your movement or become tangled with other items in your bathroom or favorite shaving spot.
Not to bash electric razors that have a cord – because high-quality corded razors abound – but there are other factors to consider if you use one: you must always be near a power outlet when you shave, and, if you travel a lot, you must always bring your cord with you.
Cordless razors offer more mobility and the convenience of shaving wherever you want, but their batteries have a limited amount of runtime and must be charged regularly. Many cordless electric shavers have an indicator light that tells how much time you have left before you need to charge the battery.
Rechargeable electric razor batteries come in various types, but Lithium-ion seems to be the battery of choice these days. One of the beauties of Lithium-ion batteries is that they have a slow rate of discharge when not in use, so your razor will hold its charge longer.
6. Blade & trimmer options
Many electric shavers come with multiple blade options that allow you to adjust the blade to create the desired closeness of shave. The more options, the greater your chances of getting a smoother, less irritating shave—at least in theory. You still need to take into account the quality of the blades, motor speed, and other factors.
Also, many razors come with pop-up trimmers that make it easier to do finer, detailed work on your beard, mustache, and sideburns.
7. The grip
An electric shaver that fits comfortably in your hand and is easy to maneuver around your face lessens the likelihood that you’ll experience razor burn or irritation. The razor’s grip is important, and most shavers come with ergonomically-designed grips that provide a comfortable, less-burdensome fit for your hand. Keep in mind, however, that the size of your hand helps determine whether a grip is a good fit for you.
Here’s a look at our choices for the best electric razors for sensitive skin in 2020.
The 6 best electric razors for sensitive skin 2020
Braun and electric shaving go hand in hand like Goodyear and tires. Indeed, Braun is a giant in the world of electric razors and has been since the 1950s, when German engineer Max Braun switched his company’s focus from manufacturing radio components to trimming whiskers efficiently.
Electric shaving hasn’t been the same since, and Braun products continue to play a dominant role in the world of men’s grooming. Their Electric Shaver Series 9, including the 92900cc, represents another step forward in the evolution of electric razors.
The 92900cc is among the world’s most efficient shavers and, for our money, the best electric shaver for sensitive skin. It’s not just for men with sensitive skin, mind you, but it will give you a comfortable shave every time.
It also includes a long list of features that help it stand out among today’s top-quality electric razors:
- The 92900cc has five synchronized shaving elements that enable it to capture more hair in a single pass than other premium razors. The five shaving elements include four cutting elements and a SkinGuard that work together seamlessly to deliver a close, comfortable shave.
- It features Braun’s innovative AutoSensing motor that maximizes trimming efficiency with every stroke, even if your beard is thicker and coarser than most men.
- It comes with two specialized trimmers that allow you to trim even the hardest to reach and most stubborn whiskers.
- It’s hard to beat the 92900cc’s 10-directional flexible head and shaving elements that adapt to your skin and the contours of your face for a cleaner shave. It also means less pulling and tugging, even if you only trim your beard every several days or so.
- A fourth cutting element – the Direct & Cut trimmer – is new to the Braun Series 9 and makes it more adept at trimming longer hairs that grow in different directions.
- Another plus for men with sensitive skin is that the foils remain cooler during use than the foils on many other shavers.
- The 92900cc is good for wet and dry shaving and also comes with a cleaning station (which you don’t get in Series 9 “ss” models).
- Excellent for shaving sensitive skin
- Works well on longer, flat-lying whiskers
- Fast and powerful motor
- A bit more expensive than many other electric shavers
Braun continues to produce a plethora of superb electric razors, and the 92900cc is, for many men, the best of the bunch. You’d be hard-pressed to find a better foil or rotary shaver for sensitive skin.
When Philips Norelco says the 7500 produces the brand’s “most comfortable shave,” it’s hard not to pay attention. Like Braun, Philips Norelco is a major player in the world of electric shaving and hardly a newbie regarding products that raise the bar for quality.
There are plenty of reasons why the PN 7500 is an excellent choice for men with sensitive skin, including its GentlePrecision blades that collect hair comfortably in the optimal cutting position – which reduces friction and irritation, even on 1- to 3-day stubble.
All of the razors in the Philips Norelco 7000 series line come with the company’s patented Comfort Rings that contain thousands of powder-like beads, which create a smoother surface so that the foils glide easily over the skin. Philips Norelco says that the Comfort Ring’s micro-beading technology reduces friction by up to 85%.
Another feature we like is Philips Norelco’s DynamicFlex Technology, in which the three rotary shaving heads move in five directions to follow every contour of the user’s face and neck. In turn, you’ll capture facial hair in even the hardest-to-reach areas.
And there’s more:
- PN’s upgraded GentlePrecision blades provide a close cut on short and flat-lying hairs, even those on stubble of a few days’ growth, without aggravating sensitive skin.
- The 7500 incorporates Philips Norelco’s AquaTec technology for wet and dry shaving. You can use it to shave with your favorite shave foam or gel or even in the shower.
- The 7500’s LED display includes a 1-level battery indicator, cleaning indicator, a low battery indicator, replacement head indicator, and travel lock indicator. The charger automatically shuts off when the battery is full to prevent overcharging.
- It comes with a SmartClean system that lubricates and charges your shaver to help it operate at maximum efficiency every time you use it. The cleaning station is alcohol-free and skin-friendly – another plus for men with sensitive facial skin.
- The 7500 also includes a trimmer that’s great for detail work, such as on sideburns and mustaches.
- A lithium-ion battery and power cord are included with your purchase, as is a sleek, stylish carrying case that makes it easy to travel with your 7500 shaver.
- Gentle on sensitive skin
- Wet & dry shaving capability
- Adapts to the face’s unique shape and contours
- Expensive to replace the shaving heads
There are plenty of reasons why we include the 7500 on our list of the best shavers for sensitive skin. It provides a comfortable, close shave without irritation, for one, but includes other features – such as the SmartClean system – that make it worth your investment.
Panasonic packs a lot of technology in its Arc5 (ES-L65-S) razor and that’s good news for men with sensitive skin who still want the closest shave possible.
Among other cool features, the Arc5 has Panasonic’s Active Shave Sensor Technology which detects differences in beard density and adjusts the razor’s power accordingly, i.e., it accelerates in thicker hair and slows in thinner areas.
The Arc5’s five ultra-sharp precision Nanotech blades combine with a thin arc foil to provide a close yet comfortable shave. A multi-flex pivoting shave head helps make it easy to follow the unique contours of your face, jaw, chin, and neck. The razor glides effortlessly over your face without snagging or pulling at your whiskers.
The shaving head flexes from side to side and back and forth while enabling you to access the most difficult places to reach on your face, jaw, and neck. There’s also a pop-up trimmer that’s great for detailing sideburns and mustaches while giving you a cleaner look.
The Arc5 motor provides plenty of power (up to 14,000 cuts per minute) and retains its peak power up until it’s time to recharge the battery. The latter provides 40 minutes of shaving time and the shaver comes with a charging and cleaning dock.
The Arc5 is also waterproof, which makes it suitable for wet and dry shaving. You can use it in and out of the shower.
- Lightweight body that’s easy to hold
- Provides an extremely close shave
- Motor adjusts to the density of your beard
- Not the best charging station
The Arc5 is another quality razor in Panasonic’s line of great products. It provides a close, comfortable shave without irritating skin and it adjusts to the contours of your face.
A fast shave doesn’t necessarily mean a close or comfortable shave, but the Philips Norelco 5100 Wet & Dry electric shaver manages to do both – trim your whiskers faster than many other razors without sacrificing comfort – and that’s good news for men with sensitive skin.
Speedy shaves are a convenience if you’re like some men for which getting out the door every morning is a mad dash to the finish line. But, again, no one wants to rush through a shave that leaves behind irritated, burning skin, so the Philips Norelco 5100 offers an ideal compromise.
The 5100 features PN’s excellent MultiPrecision blade system that enables you to cut long and short hair comfortably. Its 5-direction flex heads move independently to ensure close contact to the skin, including on the neck and jawline. They also help eliminate the necessity of shaving over the same spots several times.
Another one of the 5100’s nice features is its AquaTec Wet & Dry function that gives you the option of shaving with your go-to gel or foam (or in the shower) or even shaving sans moisture.
It also includes Philips Norelco’s SmartClick Precision trimmer that helps you touch up your look and the finer details, such as those on your mustache and sideburns.
The 5100’s LED gives you all kinds of relevant information, such as remaining battery time, a cleaning indicator, and a replacement head indicator.
A long-lasting Lithium-ion battery provides over 40 minutes of run time – or approximately 13 shaves – on a one-hour charge. Note: the 5100 is only available in the cordless version.
- Powerful motor for fast shaves
- Wet and dry shaving capability
- Clean shave with fewer passes of the razor
- Heavier than some electric shavers
Philips Norelco earns another spot in our reviews with its fast and powerful 5100 rotary shaver. You’ll get a clean, close shave in less time than it takes with other razors.
Back to Braun. The company that once made radio components now focuses on its core categories, which includes shaving and grooming, as well as beauty and hair care, which is good news for men looking for the closest shave possible from an electric shaver.
Men with sensitive skin also will like the Braun 7900cc, which is part of the Braun “Smart Shaver” Series 7 line. Whether Braun’s shavers have a higher IQ than other shavers, is best left up to the experts, but they do have features that do an excellent job of adapting to different beard types, face shapes, and face contours.
All of Braun’s Series 7 shavers come with four synchronized shaving elements that it says, enables users to shave in one stroke what other razors can only shave with multiple passes. It comes with an AutoSensing motor that’s powerful enough to shave even the densest beards with efficiency.
It also comes with five TurboSensitive modes that allow you to adjust the shaver for extra power – or gentleness – with the push of a button. Plus, it features Braun’s Innovative Sonic technology that helps it to catch hard-to-capture hair, including hair that lies flat against the skin.
The 7900cc comes with a precision shaving head that allows users to reach areas on the face that aren’t always easy to get to and where excess whiskers may linger – defiant of your best efforts.
All in all, it provides men with sensitive skin a gentle shave – and the five TurboSensitive modes definitely help – that doesn’t compromise anything regarding closeness. You’ll get a good shave without razor burn or irritation. With over 10,000 reviews on Amazon, it’s a popular product that many men consider an important tool in their grooming kit.
It’s also good for wet and dry use, which always is a plus, and made from German craftsmanship that Braun says should give you seven years of steady use from the 7900cc.
- Versatile enough to use on many beard types
- Adjusts to the coarseness of a man’s beard
- Efficiently trims hard-to-reach facial hair
- The cleaning station isn’t as good as those from other razors
The 7900cc offers everything you’d expect from a Braun electric razor: a close comfortable shave, the ability to use it on different facial hair types, and ease-of-use. It’s also cordless and excellent for travel use.
You have to hand it to Philips Norelco with its OneBlade Face & Body shaver – after all, they’re not afraid to go where no others have gone before. Their OneBlade electric – we emphasize “electric,” because it looks a lot like a cartridge shaver – razor is unlike any other.
Not that we include it on our list because it’s unique (although there’s nothing wrong with different) but because it’s great for trimming hair on sensitive facial skin. You can even use it to trim body hair, which many men do. It also comes with a bonus replacement blade – which is nothing to scoff at, considering that one blade can last up to four months.
The blade takes the place of a foil or rotary shaving head found on traditional electric shavers, although it looks a lot like a shaving foil upon further inspection. It’s a dual-sided blade that comes with a clip-on guard that offers extra protection for shaving on sensitive areas of the skin.
Further skin protection comes from a glide coating with rounded tips that makes shaving even easier on the skin. The dual-side feature of the blades makes it easier to style the edges and also to create lines by moving the blade in any direction.
A rechargeable Lithium-ion battery powers the OneBlade. It has a fast-moving cutter which creates a close shave that leaves no stubble behind – but also, one that doesn’t pull and tug at even the longest of facial hair.
The OneBlade comes with four stubble combs allowing you to shave at different lengths, and with a 3mm comb to trim areas of the body. Indeed, the OneBlade is a truly versatile razor that’s also effective for cutting unwanted body hair; in fact, the OneBlade was first introduced as a manscaping tool and not necessarily one for trimming facial hair.
Also included with your OneBlade kit is a skin guard for body trimming, a body comb, a protective cap, and a power charger. The OneBlade’s Lithium-ion battery delivers one hour of consistent performance before you need to charge it.
Type: One blade
- Versatile shaver that’s also an effective body trimmer
- Easy on sensitive skin
- Good for wet & dry use
- Hair may become trapped on the blade and guards
The Philips OneBlade offers a unique design and overall shaving experience with plenty of versatility. It’s ideal for men with sensitive skin who want a clean, close shave without any pulling, tugging, or skin irritation.
How to use an electric razor to avoid skin irritation
Men of all skin types, not just sensitive skin, want to know how to use an electric razor without causing razor burn, razor bumps, and other types of skin irritation. It all starts with having a quality electric razor, of course, but there are other steps you can take to keep from catching your face on fire (not literally) as you trim your whiskers.
Most runners will tell you that you need to stretch before hitting the track or pavement for a workout. You’ll loosen your muscles, get them warmed up for the activity ahead, and help prevent injuries.
Prior preparation is also important before you get down to the business of shaving your face, although we’re not talking about stretching your facial muscles. What we are talking about, however, is taking the proper steps beforehand to avoid aggravating sensitive skin through shaving:
- Use a quality pair of beard scissors to trim any long or hard-to-shave hairs before you fire up your electric razor. These are the hairs that your razor loves to pull and tug on, which leads to irritation. You’ll often find them beneath the jawbone or around your Adam’s apple.
- If you’re dry shaving – i.e., without shaving cream or water – make sure your face is completely dry before you shave. Also, make sure that your razor is dry, as well.
- If you’re wet shaving, it’s always a good idea to take a warm to hot shower before you shave. The water and steam help to open your pores and help to make your whiskers stand up from your face, which allows a smoother, more efficient shave. Applying a washcloth, soaked in hot water, to your facial hair for three to five minutes before you shave serves the same purpose.
- Choosing the right shave cream is also important for a wet shave. Not to sound too obvious, but using a quality shave cream instead of a crappier, cheaper version can make all the difference in getting an irritation-free shave, or one that leaves your face with a not-so-pleasant afterburn.
- Make sure your razor’s battery has sufficient power before you begin shaving with a cordless razor. Most electric shavers can’t maintain peak power when battery life wanes. A slower, less powerful motor usually leads to the blades pulling and tugging on hair.
- Make it a point to lubricate your foils and blades regularly to minimize the amount of heat they generate while also prolonging the life of your blades. Many razors come with lubricating oil, while others have automatic cleaning stations that help keep your razor in tip-top shape.
Shave the most sensitive areas of your face first, because your razor heats up the longer you use it and irritates those places that already are sensitive enough. The skin of your neck, near your ears, and on your Adam’s apple are softer and more sensitive than other parts of your face, so shave those areas first before your razor really starts cooking.
If your electric razor has a ‘sensitive’ comfort setting, or similarly-rated comfort settings, then always select that setting or the one most suited for your skin type.
Among the most important rules to remember when shaving with an electric razor is that you don’t have to press too hard (the same rule applies when using a manual razor, come to think of it). Applying too much pressure is perhaps the most common cause of razor burn and bumps.
It’s easy to get lulled into thinking that you can press an electric razor into your skin with a ton of pressure because – unlike a manual razor – the blade doesn’t directly touch the skin, that’s simply not true. If you have to press harder or make additional passes over a specific area on your face, you may need a higher-quality razor or, at the least, new blades.
While an important recommendation for traditional shaving is to shave with the grain, i.e., in the direction that your facial grows, the opposite is true for shaving with an electric razor. For the foils and shaving heads to fully capture your whiskers, you need to shave against the grain.
The circular movements used in shaving with a rotary shaver typically create an overlap to give an efficient shave. It’s a good idea to use both clockwise and counterclockwise movements, as well, to make sure you cut hairs that may be growing in different directions.
Take advantage of built-in trimmers
Many electric razors come with trimmers designed to handle the detail work of, say, cutting the longer hair on the back of a man’s neck or for trimming mustaches and sideburns. Use specialized trimmers for those areas, rather than having to use your foil or rotary shaver to go over the same area repeatedly, or for shaving hard-to-reach areas.
Don’t be in too big of a hurry when you’ve finished shaving your face with an electric razor. True, you may be someone who hates running late – or can’t seem to avoid it – but take some time to pamper yourself, and your sensitive skin, before moving on to your next task.
One way to do this is to wash your face with cold water, which will calm the skin and close pores plus remove any traces of pre-shave lotion, lather, or powders used in the process of wet shaving.
Or, pat your face dry and apply a hydrating aftershave that will help minimize or prevent razor burn. We recommend aftershaves that are alcohol-free and contain soothing, natural ingredients, such as aloe. Use a small amount – just enough to cover the sensitive areas of your face – and massage it into the skin sparingly.
Foil or rotary shaver: Which is best for sensitive skin?
While you have plenty of brands and features to choose from when buying an electric razor, the type of razor comes down to a choice: foil or rotary.
We briefly discussed each type when examining the things you should consider before buying an electric shaver. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, but the consensus among shaving gurus is that foil razors work best for men with sensitive skin. Here’s a closer look:
Foil shavers – tried and true
The foil shaver was the first type of electric shaver and was the creation of Jacob Schick – a shaving deity if there ever was one – a century ago. Foil shavers feature a thin, curved metal foil that covers oscillating blades (oscillating blades move back and forth, rather than in a circular motion).
So, why are foil shavers better for men with sensitive skin? It comes down to the piece of foil that covers the blades, because it provides more surface area and less exposure to the blades underneath. A quality foil shaver glides smoothly across your face with less irritation than a rotary shaver.
Foil shavers are also suitable for men who shave every day and who have finer facial hair than men with thick, coarser beards. The bottom line is that a foil shaver should give you a close, clean shave with less risk of irritating sensitive skin.
Some other things to know about foil shavers include:
- A foil shaver is usually noisier than a rotary shaver.
- The metal foil lifts the whiskers from your face before guiding them into the cutting blades. The blades cut the hair as they oscillate back and forth under the foil cover.
- Users are restricted to up and down movements when shaving with an electric foil shaver. In other words, you must shave in a straight line rather than in the circular motions you’d use with a rotary razor. Nothing is stopping you from shaving in a circular motion with a foil shaver, but expect some not-so-pleasant razor burn in return.
Rotary shavers and sensitive skin
Not to sound like we’re bashing rotary shavers, because we’re not. Quality rotary shavers abound and are the preference of many men. They typically feature three circular heads that cover a spinning cutting blade, while an outer guard guides your beard stubble to the blade.
One of the cool things about rotary shavers is that they’re designed to follow the contours of your face as you move the foil heads (and blades) in a circular motion over the shaving surface. In turn, the ability to pivot makes it easier to trim hard-to-reach areas of your face.
In general, however, rotary shavers tend to be a bit more aggressive and less gentle on the skin than foil razors. They’re well-suited for many men, especially those with “regular” or tougher skin, or with thick, coarse whiskers.
If you want a close, everyday shave with less risk of irritating your face, then a foil razor is your best option.
How we chose the best razors for sensitive skin
While it’s easy to grab an inexpensive electric razor off the shelf and to call it good enough, you’d probably come to regret your decision. If you’re a man with sensitive skin, your frustration could become even greater.
Our goal is to provide you with a list of shavers that answer the call in a lot of categories – including that they must provide a clean, close shave without causing skin irritation. That means having quality blades, a powerful motor that helps to prevent pulling and tugging of facial hair, that the shaving heads don’t overheat during operation, and that it offers sufficient versatility (i.e., it’s good for wet and dry shaving, you can use it for detail work, etc.).
Price is also a consideration, although we recognize that, while you may pay more for a top-notch razor, your investment often pays off in the long run.
How about you? Do you have a favorite electric razor? What do you look for in a shaver for sensitive skin? We always welcome your feedback and suggestions.