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Shaving can lead to irritation and redness, and it can be especially hard on those with sensitive skin. While an electric razor can be gentle, not all models are created equal. The best electric razors for sensitive skin have helpful features like pivoting heads, special coatings, and cordless operation, according to Los Angeles-based dermatologist Jessica Wu, M.D., in an interview with Elite Daily.
When shopping for electric razors, Dr. Wu recommends electric shavers with heads that “flex and pivot in different directions to follow your facial contours without having to apply excess pressure” — though, it’s also worth considering a pivoting head that follows the body’s curves for non-facial hair, too. Dr. Wu also typically recommends a cordless electric razor because “a cord can [get] in the way.”
In addition to a head that pivots and easy-to-use cordless design, Dr. Wu suggests looking for a razor with an “anti-friction coating to reduce chafing.” As you shop, you’ll find that anti-friction coatings aren’t the standard, and you might have to spend a bit more to get a model with one. If you opt for a more budget-friendly razor without an anti-friction coating, make sure it has sharp — or, better yet, self-sharpening — blades that can prevent irritation by shaving off hairs in as few passes as possible.
In terms of design, full-size electric razors traditionally come in one of two types: rotary and foil shavers. Typically, rotary shavers are easier to use around contours, but if you want more control and a closer shave, foil shavers are often better for the task. Many electric razors feature built-in trimmer tools for more precise detail work — alternatively, an innovative trimmer-razor hybrid with a narrow head can be a better fit for trimming hair when a larger razor might be difficult to maneuver. (Just don’t expect a trimmer to give you the closest shave ever.)
Shaving dry can aggravate the skin, so it’s a good idea to get an electric shaver that can be used wet (with shaving cream, shaving gel, or just plain water). According to Dr. Wu, a soothing aftershave moisturizer is one of the best ways to treat sensitive skin after shaving, so I’ve included one of those on the list below as well.
While many of the best electric razors available are marketed towards men, you certainly don’t have to identify as male to use them — and all of these shavers and trimmers are popular among Amazon reviewers for both facial and body hair.
1. The Overall Best Electric Razor With An Anti-Friction Coating
This Philips Norelco rotary shaver ticks all the boxes: It features a pivoting head that moves in eight directions and glides over contours, ComfortGlide rings with an anti-friction coating, and self-sharpening stainless steel blades. It also comes with a trimmer attachment, which you can use for more detailed work. Another feature that makes this shaver ideal for those with sensitive skin? You have the option of choosing a fast or slow shave setting, the latter of which is ideal for folks who are prone to irritation and redness.
One reviewer described this Philips Norelco shaver as “the quickest, easiest leg and pit touch-ups on my way out the door,” and another wrote that it’s “smoother than a blade and [causes] no irritation.” The cordless razor is safe for wet or dry use and lasts up to 50 minutes between charges.
One reviewer wrote: “Was skeptical to switch to a[n] electric razor. This razor is awesome. Use it for two weeks to get your skin adjusted and you can shave faster than with a blade. The slow speed works great for sensitive skin.”
2. A Budget-Friendly Rotary Razor With A 2-Hour Battery Life
If your budget is tight, this rotary shaver is totally worth a shot. It’s designed with self-sharpening stainless steel blades and a pivoting head that moves in four ways. It also has a built-in trimmer that pops out of the side for more detailed work. The cordless razor works either wet or dry use and boasts a 120-minute runtime — the longest runtime of all the options featured on the list. One shopper described: “I was using a blade but it scraped my skin raw. This shaves closer with no irritation.” Another reviewer turned to this electric razor and found it to be “very fast and close, easy to clean and comfortable to handle,” citing no irritation when using it on her legs.
However, there are trade-offs for the price: It doesn’t feature an anti-friction coating like the first option, and while many reviewers have had positive experiences with the razor, a few have mentioned that it irritated their skin. With that in mind, one reviewer suggested using it wet on sensitive skin, adding that it’s “best used with shaving cream.”
One reviewer wrote: “This is what I have been looking for. It's light, stays sharp for many many shaves. The battery lasts a very long time before charging. Easy to handle around those tight turns. Perfect.”
3. A Travel-Friendly Rotary Razor
Looking for an option that’s great for travel? This portable electric shaver should fit right in your toiletry bag. The cordless rotary shaver features two floating heads to work around contours and self-sharpening blades. It can be used wet or dry and works for 60 minutes of uninterrupted use. Since it runs on two AA batteries (which are included), you don’t have to worry about carrying charging cords or outlet adapters when you travel. This razor doesn’t have anti-friction coating or a trimmer feature, but reviewers have recommended it for everything from facial hair to leg hair. Plus, it makes up for what it lacks with its convenient travel-friendly size.
One reviewer wrote: “This razor is small, it doesn't weigh much and runs on a couple of AA batteries which can be found pretty much anywhere in the world. These aspects make it perfect for travel when you have weight/space limitations. It provides a clean shave without any skin irritation. With a couple of Energizer Lithium batteries, I was able to shave every day for a month.”
4. A High-Tech Electric Razor For A Super-Close Shave
Braun’s foil shaver is the priciest option on the list, but its many automated features make shaving an especially stress-free task. While the sharp blades don’t have an anti-friction coating, they are coated with super-durable titanium to ensure a smooth shave. The pivoting head moves the blades in 10 directions to keep the foil in close contact with your facial and body curves. Additionally, the razor’s vibration technology coaxes hairs to stand straighter and give you a consistently close shave. Whether your strands are long, short, thin, or thick, the AutoSense technology can automatically adjust to your hair length and density. And a slide-out trimmer tool is ideal for tackling smaller areas.
You can use the cordless shaver wet — it’s waterproof and can even be submerged under 5 meters (about 16 feet) of water — or dry and for up to 50 minutes at a time. When it comes time to recharge it, just insert it into the port, which also cleans and lubricates the razor. All in all, it’s a worthy investment for anyone looking for an extra-convenient option.
One reviewer wrote: “Good for sensitive skin and ingrown hair issues. Used to have issues shaving and cannot use traditional shavers due to skin irritation and ingrown hairs. This is no longer a problem. Excellent product. Be patient when using this shaver, it will add 15 minutes to your shaving routine. It will be the best shave you have ever received.”
5. The Trimmer-Razor Hybrid With A Narrow Head
Reviewers and critics alike are fond of Philips’s trimmer/razor hybrid for its narrower head, and one reviewer called it “GREAT for your bikini area and other sensitive areas.” Although it’s smaller in size, that doesn’t mean it isn’t cut out for body parts with more real estate — many shoppers have used this trimmer on their legs, too. More like a standard razor than the other shavers on this list, it’s fitted with a single stainless steel blade without a special anti-friction coating — but it does feature a pivoting head that can adjust to your body’s contours. It also comes with two extra blades, five trimming combs, and an attachable guard (which can protect extra sensitive skin from irritation).
You have the option of using this cordless razor wet or dry, and are promised up to 60 minutes of continuous runtime before you have to recharge its lithium-ion battery.
One reviewer wrote: “I was looking at this trimmer for months after seeing it on a tik tok and finally bought it. I wish I would’ve done it sooner! I have sensitive skin and get very itchy with traditional razor shaving. This trimmer allows me to shave or trim legs, underarms, bikini line, etc without any issue in a very small amount of time. Easy clean up and lots of attachments to do what I need.”
Also Great: A Soothing Aftershave Moisturizer
To prevent irritation, Dr. Wu recommends using a “soothing aftershave lotion” that is free of alcohol and artificial fragrances. PHL Naturals’s shave lotion is formulated with aloe vera and glycerin, two ingredients Dr. Wu suggests looking for. The aloe vera works to soothe inflammation while the glycerin moisturizes and softens skin. While this product is made for shaving, you can also use it as an everyday moisturizer for both the face and the body.
One reviewer wrote: “Phenomenal product for my extremely sensitive skin, particularly during harsh winter months. I tried many products in the past but this is the only one which causes zero irritation after shaving. Small amount of product goes a long way. Keeps skin soft and moisturized all day long. Strongly recommended.”