The Best Razors For Sensitive Skin
When I was 18, I sold kitchen knives around the neighborhood on commission, and I would often explain to my customers why they needed to spend more money on an expensive knife when they had plenty of old ones sitting in the cupboard. A razor is much like a kitchen knife: a dull one is more dangerous than a sharp one because you have to apply more pressure. So too, the best razor for sensitive skin is sharp enough to cut through your hair cleanly on the first try
If you have to cut tomatoes, for instance, with a dull knife, there’s a good chance you’re going to slice up one of your fingers making tomato sauce from what was supposed to go in your salad.
Don’t let the same thing happen to your face.
So too, if you’re trying to get ready for work, you’re not going to want to take a Muhle 41 to your face with a Feather blade if you don’t want to make it seem as though Wolverine helped you with your morning routine.
- Schick Hydro Sense Sensitive Razor for Men
- Cartridge Razor With Gel Islets and Hydrating Formula
- Price: $$$
- Feather Double Edge Safety Razor Blades
- Extremely Sharp Blades Made in Japan
Safety Razor Blades
- Price: $
- Derby Double Edge Safety Razor Blades
- Smooth Blades for Easy Shaving & Sensitive Skin
Safety Razor Blades
- Price: $
- Gillette Mach 3 Men's Disposable Razor
- Advanced Disposable Razor With Lubricating Strip and Sharper Blades
- Price: $
If you have sensitive skin and you find the razor you’re using now leaves your neck raw and red, you need a new strategy, such as finding the best razors for sensitive skin. The blade exposure, number of blades, type of lubricant, and shaving angle all help determine how aggressively a razor will cut hair. If your skin is sensitive, you need to make sure you’re caring for your facial hair properly.
In this article, we’re going to show you the best razor for sensitive skin in four different categories–cartridge razors, safety razors, disposable razors, and electric razors–as well as why that is so you can decide what’s best for you.
What to look for in a razor for sensitive skin
With so many varieties of razors on the market, you’ll need to figure out which type to go for and why.
This way you will not only have a razor that is great for sensitive skin, but that also is going to suit your style, budget and needs better than a different one. If only one type of razor was going to be good for everybody then there wouldn’t be so many different kinds to choose from.
Here are some things that will factor into your purchasing decision.
Types of razors
This type of razor is by far the most popular and most common. They are disposable and you just buy the cartridges to pop right onto the body of the same brand. This is how they get you, folks!
The handle is so cheap and usually comes with a freebie cartridge included. You are then stuck buying their brand to refill. And the cartridges cost a lot of money. It can add up over the course of the year.
Are these good for sensitive skin?
Some can be, but it depends on how many blades and on the brand.
You see, when you have 5 or more blades all cutting the hair and running across your skin, that adds to the risk of irritation.
Some brands have dealt with this by offering special blades for sensitive skin, but in general, there are too many blades.
You may be able to find older versions that have fewer blades. With the razor wars in full swing, there is a sort of competition to see who can fit the most blades. As a consequence, the older models with fewer are cheaper as a bonus.
While these razors may seem cheap and ill-equipped to keep your face from burning, the reality is that disposables have come a long way recently. They are just as good as the cartridge razors when it comes to sensitive skin and quality of the shave.
These are the kind that is totally disposable, handle and all. They can be as basic as two blades on a fixed head with no lubricating strip, or even be just as complex and high tech as their cartridge counterparts with pivoting heads and lubricating strips.
They are cheap and easy to find in any drug store and of course in every variety on Amazon.
Most guys with sensitive skin stay far away from electric shavers. I was one of them as I have sensitive skin as I mentioned. I had trouble finding one that didn’t turn my face a bright red and leave me burning for most of the day.
The technology has changed a ton since I brushed them off and they now give an excellent shave without razor burn.
There is a debate over foil vs rotary electric razors, but for a guy with sensitive skin, there should be no question. Foil razors are the way to go since they are far more gentle on the skin than the rotary style.
Look for ones that can be used wet so you can apply shaving cream or a pre-shave oil specially made for electric razors. This will give you the lubrication you need to prevent the blades from dragging on your skin and giving you razor burn.
This may seem like a total no go for a guy with sensitive skin, but a double edge blade set in a safety razor can be excellent.
Now it takes the right one and it may even result in some trial and error before you find the right one.
When you do get the right one, it is magical. You can get an extremely close shave with very little effort. Well, you’ll need to do a wet shave and that takes time, but what I mean is that the blade does all the work. One light pass across your skin and you’re already miles ahead of what you get with any other kind of razor.
With a heavy handle and very sharp blade, gravity works to pull the blade down across your skin so you don’t need to apply any pressure at all. The blade is allowed to do all the work.
Look for a razor that is advertised as being mild as opposed to aggressive. A closed comb version would be good as there is less of the blade exposed so it is easy to always have the right angle to glide across your skin and not drag. These are much easier to learn with.
An adjustable safety razor is good for somebody who expects to go a little more aggressive with the type of shave.
Maintaining contact with the skin is essential in getting all the hair in one pass of the blade. If you don’t, then that means going over the same spot multiple times to get it close. And this usually results in razor burn for those that have sensitive skin.
Having a head that pivots up and down and even side to side will allow the razor to conform to the contours of your face. This gives you maximum coverage and will cut more of the hair the first pass than a razor with an unmovable head.
Just about every razor these days comes with a strip of a lubricating agent that will help keep your skin moist while you shave.
I am not convinced that these actually do much, but I suppose its better to have it than not.
I have sensitive skin and always look for razors with the strip located below the blades so it passes over the skin before the blades do to give it a chance to leave behind some of the lubricant.
When the strip is on top of the blade, I don’t see how that is going to help the blade glide. What it can do is leave behind some moisturizer to soothe the skin.
Best Cartridge Razors
Schick Hydro Sense Sensitive Razors for Men
The Schick Hydro Sense Sensitive Razor is one of the best razors because of several of its advanced features. Though expensive, cartridge razors are usually top picks for men with sensitive skin because they’re easy to use. You’re far less likely to nick yourself with a cartridge razor than you are with a safety razor, and cartridge razors, on the whole, still provide a very close shave as opposed to, say, electric razors, which usually aren’t as precise.
First of all, the Schick Hydro Sense comes with gel reservoirs that moisturize the skin after you’ve run the blades across it. These gel reservoirs are particularly effective because they retain the gel far longer than lubricating strips. Too often, these strips flake and fall off before the blades become dull. You can choose between coconut oil, menthol, or herbal extracts when you purchase your razor. Personally, I recommend coconut oil because its high in the saturated fats your skin needs to stay supple and soft.
It also comes with shock absorbent technology that allows the head to swivel as you glide the razor across your face with minimal effort on your part. While seemingly insignificant, this keeps the head at that ideal 30° shaving angle.
These blades are slightly smoother than most, so you might find a layer of stubble on your jaw line even after you’ve gone over it a few times. This is pretty normal. The blades are created with a smoother edge and definitely the best razors for sensitive skin.
Because they are so gentle on the skin, you can actually go against the grain when shaving. This is usually a big no no since it can cause ingrown hairs. If you aren’t usually susceptible to ingrown hair then you should be able to get away with it.
Best Safety Razors
Merkur 23C/Merkur Classic With Feather/Derby Blades
Safety razors can also be one of the best razors for sensitive skin because they are built with one blade instead of five. Cartridge razors usually come with five or six blades, but the truth is, one blade shaves just as well as five do. In fact, five blades will irritate your skin a lot more than one will.
So while there is a steeper learning curve, if you’re willing to put in the effort, safety razors will pay off in the long run for those who are sick of red, irritating razor bumps.
Safety razor blades are measured in terms of smoothness and sharpness; however, a smooth blade may not necessarily be the better option. A very sharp blade, like a Feather blade will easily cut through even thick facial hair on the first pass allowing you to shave with fewer strokes. Especially if you pair a sharp blade with a gentle razor like a Merkur 23C, you’ve got a perfect match. The blade will give you a close shave, but the razor’s scalloped edge won’t irritate the skin.
Alternatively, you could go with a smooth blade like a Derby blade, which glides effortlessly across the skin, and pair it with a more aggressive razor like the Merkur Classic on Amazon.com. This monstrous safety razor has an open comb design that exposes far more of the blade.
Plus, since it’s very heavy, you won’t have to apply much pressure. The blades are so incredibly smooth that you’ll still be able to make multiple passes to get a close shave without irritating the skin.
Then there is the price of safety razors. You can shave for less than a penny based on the insanely low cost of a safety razor. If you treat the razor right and your beard is not too thick, you can get several uses out of a single blade.
It is also much more eco friendly to shave with a safety razor over a disposable cartridge system.
Best Disposable Razors
Gillette Mach 3 Men’s Disposable Razor
The best disposable razors provide a nice compromise. They tend to have fewer blades than cartridge razors, but they’re still much easier to use than safety razors. So, on one hand, fewer blades are touching your skin, and on the other hand, disposable razors are simple enough that you shouldn’t really have to worry too much about cutting yourself. Plus, they’re far cheaper than cartridge razors and more widely available than safety razors.
They are, essentially, the best of both worlds.
These Gillette Mach 3 Men’s Disposable Razors are the disposable version of the popular razors with the same name. The reason the Mach 3 is still one of Gillette’s most well-known razors is that it strikes the perfect balance between sharp and smooth. The blades are coated with a hard diamond-like coating (Patented DLC) giving it the edge to cut as close as possible to the surface.
However, Mach 3 razors have only three blades as opposed to five or six, so they won’t do as much damage. In fact, because these blades are so sharp, you might even be able to get away with a single pass if you go slowly. You should also take note of the fact that this razor comes with a rotating head to make sure the head is always at the right shaving angle and a skin guard that holds your skin down preparing the hair for the blades
Plus, you won’t have to apply extra pressure because the handle is already weighted properly.
The blades of a razor are so sharp, that you should allow them to do the work. Just use enough pressure so they can actually cut, but you don’t have to press down too hard. That goes for any razor really, when you have sensitive skin.
Admittedly, these best razors for sensitive skin are more expensive than most disposable razors, but since they’re of superior quality, you should be able to get more shaves out of a single razor than you would with less expensive alternatives.
Best Electric Razors
Braun Electric Shaver Series 3 Proskin
It’s amazing to think that the safety razor was once considered revolutionary in the world of shaving. Today’s men can practically shave with their eyes closed. Technology has advanced so far, that shaving at home is not only possible, but hardly even a chore. Electric razors are perfect for men with sensitive skin because they function a lot more like scissors than knives. In that sense, they’re far less likely to irritate your skin even if they usually don’t get as close as traditional safety or cartridge razors can.
The Braun Series 3 Proskin may have been released several years ago, but it’s still a top-seller. A product of the most advanced German engineering, this is without a doubt one of the best razors for sensitive skin. First off, foil razors tend to irritate the skin far less than rotary razors do. That’s not all though.
The Braun Series 3 Proskin is one of the best razors for sensitive skin because it’s waterproof meaning you can take it in the shower. If you have sensitive skin, you should, without a doubt, be shaving in the shower. The hot steam will soften your skin and hair making it far easier to trim. Plus, you can slap on some shaving cream if you’ll be in the shower. The shaving cream will lubricate the skin, and the shaving brush you should be using to apply it will soften and lift the hairs thereby preventing acne and razor bumps.
If you’d rather not shave in the shower, and hate the thought of using a heavy shaving cream or gel with an electric razor, you should look into preshave oils and creams specifically formulated for use with one.
They only need a very thin layer to lubricate the face so you aren’t dealing with a big mess.
And it allows you to do what ends up being somewhat of a dry shave without any irritation at all.
Lastly, the cleaning station will remove hair, dirt, and shaving products for you while you’re away keeping your razor clean and your skin free of infection.
Razors for Sensitive Skin…Your Thoughts?
We don’t tend to talk about skincare very often, but as it turns out, men’s skin is very different from women’s skin. The same moisturizers and cosmetics that work for your girlfriend may not work for you. If you have sensitive skin though, you need to take the proper precautions when shaving to make sure not to irritate it any more than you have to.
I have sensitive skin and shaving has always been an uncomfortable chore for me. The best advice I can give anybody who dreads shaving because of the razor burn, isn’t just to use good razors but also to prep your skin. Do an occasional wet shave and you will see how your skin responds. Having hydrated skin is as important as the razor when you have sensitive skin.
Do you have sensitive skin? What do you think is the best razors for sensitive skin? How do you prevent razor bumps and protect your skin from acne and infection when shaving? We want to hear your thoughts!