Best Electric Shaver For Sensitive Skin: 2019 Top 3 Picks

A recent survey of skin care professionals (practicing dermatologists) from Western Europe strongly agree that male skin sensitivity is on the rise [1]. It’s no surprise that 90% of these dermatologists agree that careful selection of the right shaving products is an important factor for men with sensitive skin.

Sensitive skin is hard to diagnose and treat, because there are so many environment factors that can cause it, and there aren’t always visible signs of a problem.

Skin sensitivity is most often a self-diagnosed condition, but a very real problem for a lot of men. Symptoms include burning, itching, stinging, tingling, redness, or general facial irritation in response to applying cosmetic products, or from shaving itself.

To combat this common phenomenon that is shaving-induced skin irritation, you must choose the best electric shaver for sensitive skin and apply correct technique.

By taking advantage of the latest advancements in electric shaving technology, you can now get a close, smooth shave, without triggering symptoms associated with sensitive skin.

Whether you’re transitioning from a manual razor to an electric razor, or you’re already an electric shaving veteran looking to upgrade – here’s our top electric razor recommendations to buy if you’re suffering with sensitive skin issues.

1. Braun Series 9 9297cc Electric Shaver (Best Over-all Electric Razor for Sensitive Skin)

This is Braun’s Series 9 model 9297cc – a top of the line men’s electric shaver with Clean and Charge Station – rated for its “gentleness on skin”. It’s designed to be “exceptionally gentle” while providing the best shaving performance possible.

In fact, studies have shown that this machine gives the “world’s most efficient shave” when compared to other leading electric shavers. [2]

Let’s talk about the features that make this electric shaver a top choice for shaving with sensitive skin.

Sensitive Foil Shaving Elements

There are four impressive main shaving elements that work synergistically to remove the most hairs in one stroke, over any competing shaver.

If you suffer from sensitive skin, you don’t want to go back and have to run over the same surface multiple times because of missed hairs, as repeatedly shaving the same skin area can increase you chances of irritation.

The Braun Series 9 shaver has two main foil cutters. These “OptiFoils” are ultra-thin to give great closeness and covered in tiny apertures that are uniquely arranged to capture and cut the most hairs, without damaging the skin.

You’d be forgiven for thinking that the shaver foils are simply thin strips of metal with random or honeycomb shaped holes. Sure, this is true for many cheaper electric razors, but not for this Premium Series 9 model.

The Braun Series 9 foils has holes that are arranged using the Voronoi tessellation principle, which allows for the maximum number of apertures without compromising strength.

This special design means the foils are super thin, yet strong, with hundreds of cutting holes. Which translates to a close shave with minimal irritation and more hairs cut with fewer passes.

Middle Trimmer Elements

Despite the superb foil cutters on the Series 9, longer hairs that lie flat against the skin, and hairs that grow in different directions from the grain can evade cutting by the foils.

And if the electric shaver doesn’t catch all those hairs, you’re going to have go over the same spot while applying excessive pressure – which is a trigger for shaving-induced skin irritation and redness.

To remedy this, you’ll see two trimmer elements sandwiched between the foils.

These accompanying trimmers do a couple of things to ensure no hairs are left behind after each pass.

The prominent gold “HyperLift & Cut” trimmer – which is titanium coated for durability and styling – lifts-up bent and flat laying hairs, cutting them down to short stubble size so that the foils can finish the job.

Not all of your facial hair grows in perfectly straight lines, that’s where the second “Direct & Cut” trimmer comes in. It will align any stray hairs growing in unusual directions, channeling them into the trimmer for cutting.

And the Skin Guard helps flatted out the skin as you shave, maximizing skin contact and shaving efficiency. Further, this is a foil shaver, which is better than rotary for sensitive skin, as the shaving application is gentler.

The machine really is the complete package – a masterpiece in men’s electric shaving.

Auto Density Sensing Motor

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The Braun Series 9 “Auto Sensing” motor technology is another feature that makes this an unbeatable electric shaver for men shaving with sensitive skin.

Most electric shaver cutting elements are driven by a motor with a single pre-set output.

The problem with a weak internal motor and this singular output is that it can slow down and even stop the shaver from cutting if the beard density gets too thick.

The Braun Series 9 shaver has intelligent AutoSense Technology that responds to the density and thickness of hair by adjusting motor power drive. So, when you’re cutting thick, stiff stubble, or need to remove a weeks’ worth of beard growth, the shaver will sense this and adjust the power accordingly.

Sensors and a microprocessor are constantly analysing your beard density in the background and adjusting drive power, so there’s never any power lag.

More hair, more power!

This means you’ll always get the optimal power output from the shaver and elimination of painful tugging.

If your current electric shaver lacks power, and struggles with thick stubble, you could trigger sensitive skin pain – Braun Series 9 takes this worry out of the conversation.

Sonic Wave Technology

Braun’s electric shaver technology keeps on giving, with patented “SyncroSonic” technology your shave just got even more comfortable.

Some 10,000 micro vibrations create a “sonic” cushioning wave between the shaver cutting elements and the surface of your skin, so that the shaver gently glides across your skin, soothing sensitive skin and reducing the chance of irritation from shaving.

The micro vibrations also loosen and lift hairs, drawing them into the shaver head for the ultimate close and smooth shave.

Contour Adaption

Shaving your face is not like mowing the flat surface of a lawn – there’s bumps, ridges, even 90-degree angles to work around.

The Braun Series 9 has special independent “flouting” cutting elements and a pivoting head that combine to move in 10 dimensions, for maximum facial adaptability.

When you move the Series 9 across your face, it will always remain in close contact with your skin, following the contours and adapting to rounded facial features, for the most thorough shave, even in those hard to reach areas.

Suitable for Fresh Wet Shaving

If you’ve got sensitive skin, you want the ability to use specially formulated shaving creams, foams, gels, and oils that sooth and protect your skin while using your electric shaver.

Products like King Of Shaves AlphaOil Sensitive Shaving Oil improves glide, and leaves skin hydrated.

Gillette Series Sensitive Shave Gel is popular and recommended by the British Skin Foundation. It contains soothing aloe – a plant that alleviates inflammation and itchiness from razor burn – and can be used for a cooling, hydrating, and protecting wet shave with the series 9 electric shaver.

The Series 9 is waterproof to a depth of 5 metres, so you can shave at the bottom of a swimming pool, if you like – though, that’s probably going to earn you some funny looks.

You get my point, though – it’s watertight, and ready for wet shaving.

A better idea would be to use the Series 9 electric shaver in the shower. The warm water and steam will soften the hairs, making them easier to cut, and any good skin sensitive lubricant will make your shave extremely comfortable and irritation free.

With Clean and Renew Station

This model comes with a Braun Clean & Charge station that hygienically cleans, lubricates, and charges your Series 9 electric shaver at the touch of a button.

The station washes the blades with a solution that kills 99.9% of all bacteria and rinses out stubble and dead skin cells.

It then lubricates the blades so that your electric shaver is always cutting at maximum efficiency, and if your shaver is working at its peak, you’re always getting the best shave possible.

Finally, the station charges and dries your shaver, so it’s ready to for the next shave – like new again.

So, there you have it – a top of the line electric shaver for sensitive skin. Built upon the successful Series 5 and Series 7 men’s shavers, the Series 9 is the cream of the crop.

Packed with some of the most advanced features and built to the highest standard, this German engineered marvel means business. Keeping skin irritation at bay, whilst giving a close, comfortable shave, even on tough beards.

2. Philips Series 9000 Prestige (Best Rotary Electric Shaver for Sensitive Skin)

We recommend the Braun Series 9 electric razor as the number one choice for men with sensitive skin – because it’s the most advanced “foil” electric shaver available.

And as I’ve already mentioned, foil type electric shavers are better for those with sensitive skin.

However, some men have a strong preference for “rotary” electric shavers, and that’s fine – although, there are very few rotary electric shavers worth recommending for sensitive skin.

With that said, there is one seriously good skin friendly rotary electric shaver worthy of investment – and that’s the Philips Series 9000 Prestige.

You can see right away, this men’s rotary electric shaver is a thing of beauty, and oozes quality, right out the box.

The giveaway is in the name “Prestige” – the Series 9000 is something to be admired. It looks and feels, well – prestigious. And performs exquisitely, even on sensitive skin.

Ok, enough of the hype (though it’s deserved) – let’s talk about some features.

Philips Series 9000 Head and Blades

Philips rotary shavers usually have that classic triangular sequenced head with 3 rotary cutters. A bit like our logo 😉

The Series 9000 prestige heads are built with super sharp blades, strengthened with nanoparticles to enhance cutting efficiency, precision, and closeness.

There’s no pulling or tugging when shaving, and the shaver heads don’t heat-up, which means your skin is kept cool.

Surrounding the blades are “SkinComfort Rings” that have an anti-friction coating so that the heads glide smoothly over your skin.

The metallic pigments help the shaver move across your face – like Bambi on ice – while minimising friction and skin discomfort.

I observed an experiment where a man shaved one half of his face with the Philips Series 9000 Prestige, and the other half with a Gillette Mach 3.

Now, in this test, the Series 9000 was used on dry skin, without any shaving lubricant, and the Gillette Mach 3 razor was used wet with gel.

The result? – The Philips Series 9000 Prestige won on comfort and closeness.

That’s right, todays most advanced electric shavers are beating manual razors on closeness, who would have though it?

Even the most stubborn of older men are switching to electric razors because the shave is quicker, closer, and more comfortable than their trusty old safety razor and shaving soap.

Designed especially for skin comfort, the heads follow the changing contours of your face.

The 3 Multi-direction heads work well to cut hairs in tricky places, but not quite as well as the Braun series 9. This is one of the drawbacks of rotary shavers, you tend to have to go over the same spot multiple times to get a good finish.

Some stubble and cut hairs will get trapped inside the rotatory head chambers, and because it’s waterproof, they can be easily emptied and rinsed over the sink.

Stubble Density Sensor

Like the Braun Series 9, the Philips Series 9000 has a beard adapting sensor. It will maintain even, unhindered drive power, no matter the density or thickness of your facial stubble.

One of the most uncomfortable things about using an electric shaver – sure to trigger painful skin irritation – is jammed blades dew to lack of power.

This Prestige model adjusts power output to compensate for thicker, more course hairs, and it does so unnoticed, 15 times every second.

Personalised Settings

In addition to the BeardAdapt Sensor, the Philips Series 9000 rotary shaver has 3 speed settings: Sensitive, Normal, and Fast.

Obviously, if you have sensitive skin, you want the shaver on the sensitive setting. This will reduce the intensity of the shave by slowing the rotation of the blades slightly.

For a more aggressive shave, speed the blades up by selecting the “fast” setting, and for a regular, everyday shave, leave the shaver running on normal speed.

Of course, this is something to play around with until you find the best setting that you find the most comfortable and produces the most optimal shave to fit your skin and hair type.

Works Wet

If you’re shaving sensitive and dry skin, you want to be using a good shaving foam, gel, or cream that provides protective lubrication and post shave moisturisation.

This shaver works amazingly well as a dry shaver, and it’s waterproof design means it can be used for wet shaving with such refreshing lubricants.

The Series 9000’s frictionless SkinComfort Rings work incredibly well with quality shaving gels like Nivea Men Sensitive Shaving Gel, with its Ultra Glide Technology.

Qi Charger and Battery Power

Most electric shavers use LED battery level indicators to give you a decent view of current battery power, but there’s a bit of guess work involved, and it’s easy to lose track.

Not with this Philips electric shaver, as the battery indicator has a percentage reading.

Starting at 100% when fully charged, as the battery drains, the percentage reading drops in single digits – providing you with very clear, accurate tracking of battery power level.

The internal battery holds a charge for around 10 shaves, depending on how course or dense your facial hair is, and is charged wirelessly with a smart Qi charging pad.

You might have seen this new Qi charging technology in smartphones. I first noticed this wireless charging feature on a Braun electric toothbrush that I owned, and honestly, it works like magic.

Without boring you with complicated science, Qi charging sends power from the base to the electric shaver via electromagnetic induction.

It’s currently the only shaving product in the world to incorporate this charging technology. And, you can use this charging pad to charge any Qi compliant device.

Unfortunately, if you suffer from sensitive skin, you’re going to have to pay extra for a premium electric shaver to get around this shaving-induced skin irritation problem.

And let me tell you, the Philips Series 900 Prestige is not cheap, but the results might be worth it for you. Expect to pay around the £300 mark for this machine.

Classy, modern, elegant – it’s Philips most champion proposition, and the kind of electric shaver you’d be proud to have out on display in your bathroom or work desk.

It’s a real showpiece – a low noise machine, designed specifically for skin comfort and closeness – without the worry of shaving cuts.

3. Braun Series 3 CoolTec (Best Budget Pick)

So far, we’ve rated the Braun Series 9 and Philips Series 9000 top of the line electric shavers as the best way to shave with sensitive skin.

The drawback? – they cost a pretty penny!

So, here’s a budget-friendly option that will provide an excellent shave with some features designed to cater for sensitive face skin.

Braun’s CoolTec CT2s foil electric shaver helps to protect and cool your skin while shaving, and because it’s waterproof, you can use a sensitive gel or foam to further improve the comfort of your shave.

It’s been around for a few years now and has earned some positive reviews as an electric shaver for skin prone to sensitivity from heat.

That’s because of the “Cool” electro-ceramic cooling bar.

This is not some gimmick, this active cooling plate technology is tested and accredited by the Skin Health Alliance to significantly reduce burning, itching, redness, and shaving induced skin irritations.

It’s designed very much like the best-selling Braun Series 3 foil electric shaver, with a 3-stage cutting system – with the addition of an Electro Ceramic Cooling element.

Specifically designed for sensitive skin sufferers, this cooling element works by dropping the temperature by 20°C – cooling and calming the skin surface while shaving.

Cordless electric hair clippers for your head are notorious for heating up. The blades can get so hot from the friction that they’re painful to touch.

Obviously, a lot of heat and friction is unwanted around sensitive skin.

You can see how effective this system is with a thermal imaging camera[4]:

At around £50, the Braun CoolTec electric shaver might just be the answer to your shaving induced skin irritation, at a great price.

What Makes an Electric Shaver Suited to Sensitive Skin?

Below you’ll find some of the best reasons to use an electric razor on sensitive skin, and how to keep irritation to a minimum.

High-end foil electric shavers cover more ground, requiring less passes, less pressure, and therefore help to reduce shaving induced skin irritation.

When you drag a manual cartridge or open razor blade across your skin, it can strip away the skins protective layer, causing razor burn and irritation.

Open blade shaving is like a form of skin exfoliation that can strip away the skin’s protective lipid layer, causing inflammation and dryness.

Electric shavers are milder on the skin, as the blades that cut the hairs are behind a foil, so no sharp blade ever directly encounters your skin.

With the right machine – used properly – electric shavers are far superior to manual razors for those who suffer from sensitive skin.

Typically, an electric shaver causes much less damage to the skin than a manual razor, which is ideal for anyone who regularly deals with razor burn or nicks and cuts while shaving.

There’s absolutely nothing worse than suffering from razor burn after shaving.

Razor burn can be caused by a number of different things including friction, in-grown hairs, and damage done to the skin from poor shaving tools.

Electric shavers prevent damage to the skin that can be caused by a traditional disposable razor.

The Motor Matters

A premium electric shaver will use a powerful internal motor with plenty of torque to drive the blades and cut hairs without tugging.

A powerful motor is essential to minimise resistance while you shave. It’s therefor important that you choose your electric shaver wisely, as a cheap motor can be the root of your problem.

Both electric shavers we recommend for sensitive skin automatically adjust to stubble thickness, maximizing motor power output at all times.

Sharp Blades are a Must

A strong motor means nothing if you’re cutting with blunt blades. The blades need to be sharp, numerous, and able to handle the thickest of stubble.

If you suffer from sensitive skin, you need blades that are going to cut clean, without pulling on facial hairs as they struggle to cut.

That’s why we recommend the Braun Series 9 with strong, reliable, German blades and the Philips Series 9000 with super strong Nano Tech precision blades.

These electric shaver blades are easily replaceable, and replacement parts are easy to source.

Keep your shaver blades clean and clear from any hair build-up and follow the manufacturers replacement guide to ensure optimal cutting performance on every shave.

The key to a comfortable, irritation free shave, is to cut hairs cleanly, without causing an inflammatory response to surrounding skin. This process can only be achieved by using strong, sharp blades, that cut without blade drag.

Wet Shave Compatible

I’ve said it already – an electric shaver that allows you to use sensitive skin shaving gels, oils, foams, and cream – even on the shower, will make your shave so much more comfortable.

These alcohol-free formulations cover your skin with a protective lubricant, enriched with skin healing, soothing, and moisturising ingredients for the most comfortable shave on sensitive skin.

Those with sensitive skin should go with a quality electric razor that can shave both wet and dry.

A wet / dry electric razor gives you the option of using the same shaving creams and gels that you normally would with a standard manual razor.

Combined with the other benefits of using an electric razor, this can cut down on irritation and damage to the skin considerably.

Tips for Shaving with Sensitive Skin

Proper Pre-Shave Prep

It’s a good idea to take a hot shower first, as this will help soften hairs, making them easier to cut.

Stubble can be tough, softening it with warm water means there’s less resistance from the electric shaver, and less chance of irritating your skin.

First make sure your electric shaver is wet shave compatible. Then sparingly apply a pre shave lubricant that’s specifically formulated with ingredients for sensitive skin.

This will again, help soften the hairs for cutting, but more importantly, will create a protective barrier that will allow the electric shaver to smoothly glide across your skin with minimal friction while hydrating at the same time.

Shave every other day, over every day

If you’re really struggling to keep sensitive skin at bay, reduce your shaving frequency to every second day.

Give you skin a break – let it rest, recover, and replenish from shaving.

You do not need to shave every day, letting a little designer stubble set in will give your skin time to settle.

Leaving your skin alone for a couple of days will help any redness or shaving rash subside.

You may have feared shaving three days of stubble, because shaving such a density with a manual razor is painful and uncomfortable. But that’s not the case for an electric shaver, as they have the power to breeze through heavy stubble without any painful drag.

Switching to an electric shaver will afford you the ability to reduce your shaving frequency, allow some stubble to form, and most importantly, give your skin a rest from constant daily shaving.

Be mindful of your shaving technique – don’t press to hard, and let the shaver do the work.

Flatten out the skin with your free hand, and shave against the grain of growth. Yes, I know, we’re told not to shave against the grain if you have sensitive skin as this can cause ingrown hairs and red razor bumps.

However, electric shavers work differently to manual shaving, and running your electric shaver against the grain is more efficient, and shouldn’t cause any harsh irritation or shaving burn.

Use a soothing post shave balm, not aftershave

A shower and shave will open pours, allowing your skin to absorb healing, soothing, and nourishing nutrients.

Those with sensitive skin should never use aftershave, as the high alcohol content can further damage and irritate the skin.

Use a post shave balm that’s light and will rehydrate your skin. Look out for ingredients like Camphor, alo, vitamin E, Witch hazel, and natural chamomile.

Less Nicks and Cuts

Nobody likes getting nicks and cuts when they shave, especially those with sensitive skin. Nicks and cuts from a manual razor can sometimes be so severe that they bleed for hours.

Because the blades of an electric razor never actually touch your skin there’s absolutely no possibility of getting cut while you shave, as long as you don’t press to hard and have flat skin.

This means with an electric razor you’ll never have to deal with the irritation and damage which can result from using a manual razor.

Sensitive skin is hard to define, as it’s usually a self-diagnosed condition and symptoms vary between men, and skin types.

We often receive emails from men telling us that they suffer from combination sensitive skin, and that they find shaving aggravates their condition – by both manual cartridge razors, and electric shavers.

It’s rare to find someone with clinically sensitive skin. If you think you have a serious skin issue, then check with a dermatologist.

But typically, skin irritation or sensitivity is caused by damage to your skin’s natural barrier, or from reactions to chemicals in cosmetics, so the first step in reducing skin sensitivity from shaving is to implement a good skin care routine.

It starts with picking the right shaving tool, and if you’re one of our sensitive skin suffering readers, our aim is to help find a solution for you.

Can we guarantee that buying any of the electric shavers we recommend will eliminate your sensitive skin completely?

No, if you have hypersensitive skin, nothing may work, and the scientific community is still trying to figure out its underlying pathophysiology.

Sensitive Skin Syndrome (SSS) seems to be a phenomenon that’s hard to quantify, diagnose, and treat. All we can do is experiment and find ways to reduce its affects, and a lot of men have found an electric shaver to be their shaving grace to shaving induced skin irritation.

Note: make sure that you aren’t suffering from any underlying skin disorders before making any changes to your shaving and daily skin care routine.

References:

  1. publication/236326976_Survey_of_practicing_dermatologists_on_the_prevalence_of_sensitive_skin_in_men
  2. uk.braun.com/en-gb/male-grooming/series-9-study-results
  3. publication/303466045_The_male_beard_hair_and_facial_skin_-_Challenges_for_shaving
  4. publication/303479383_Innovative_approaches_to_avoid_electric_shaving-induced_skin_irritation

Last updated: 07/05/2019