Face Shaving Tips

Wet Shave or Dry Shave: Which is Best for You?

man deciding whether to wet or dry shave

Whether to wet shave or dry shave is a question that men have struggled with since, well, the invention of the electric shaver. Men have been removing their facial hair for thousands of years, and they have been using various means to do so. For many men, shaving their facial hair is at the heart of the grooming process – their razor is the key that unlocks and starts their day.

Wet shaving (blade shaving) and dry shaving (electric shaving) can both be incredibly effective, so it ultimately comes down to your personal choice, as well as what’s best for your skin type.

To help you decide which shaving technique you should go for, here’s more detail about how each method works, and their different benefits.

Wet Shaving vs. Dry Shaving: What’s the Difference?


razor blade cutting facial hair close to the skin
When you shave using a razor blade, the hair is cut with a single stroke of the blade.

Electric Shaver

electric shaver
With an electric shaver, the hair is cut between two blades, in a scissor-like motion.

What is Wet Shaving?

Wet shaving is making a comeback. The popularity of electric shavers made wet shaving seem slightly old-fashioned for a while, but lots of men are now recognising that a wet shave can have added benefits for their skin.

To get the best from a wet shave, cover your face and neck in a shaving gel or shaving foam before using a razor blade to remove your facial hair.

Creating a lather with your chosen shaving product can help your razor to glide across your face more smoothly for a more comfortable shave. Decide whether a gel or foam is best for you here.

If you’re using the right shaving products for your skin type – the Gillette SkinGuard Sensitive range is ideal for sensitive skin, for example – you’ll be providing your skin with extra protection while you shave.

How Wet Shaving Works

Razor hysteresis
When a razor blade touches a hair, it lifts it up from the follicle before cutting it. This process is called hysteresis.

Modern razors typically have a second and third blade added (or five, in the case of the Gillette Fusion5 range). These are designed to cut the lifted hair, before pulling it back below the surface of your skin.
Hair follicle after shaving
This process means you can achieve a seriously smooth shave that’s close but comfortable.

What is Dry Shaving?

Dry shaving and electric shaving are the same thing. For a dry shave, you wouldn’t usually wet your face first (even though this softens your facial hair, making it easier to cut through) and you wouldn’t apply any kind of shaving cream.

Using an electric shaver can be a great option if you’re short on time in the mornings, as it can still deliver a close, smooth shave, without you having to spend time working up a lather with your gel or foam.

How Dry Shaving Works

Illustration of electric shaver on skin
An electric shaver relies on the elasticity of your skin for prolonged shaving results. It presses down on your skin to move it – imagine a ship moving through water, creating a bow wave as it goes.
Hair exposed during dry shave
This movement puts your skin in contact with the holes of the perforated metal foil on your electric razor, causing the hair to become more exposed.
Hair follicle after close shave
After the hair has been cut, what’s left is pulled back beneath the skin’s surface, giving you a smooth, close shave.

Which is Best for Me?

Wet shaving and dry shaving can both deliver a close, comfortable shave, so it comes down to your personal preference, and what’s best for your skin type.

If you have sensitive or dry skin, you might find that your skin feels much better when you’re using a hydrating shaving gel or foam as part of a wet shave.

However, you might find that applying a product like our Gillette Aftershave Balm or Gillette Aftershave Moisturiser is effective for hydrating and soothing your skin after a dry shave.

Find out more about the steps that should be in your post-shave routine.

Your Step-by-Step Post-Shave Routine

Face Shaving Tips

Your Step-by-Step Post-Shave Routine

2019-08-02 15:20:23By Gillette

The Best of Both Worlds

If you can’t decide between wet or dry shaving, get the best of both worlds with the Gillette All Purpose Styler and Beard Trimmer.

Trim your facial hair first using one of three interchangeable combs (choose from 2mm, 4mm or 6mm), then apply shaving gel or foam to your face and neck and use the ProGlide razor blade that’s included to help you achieve a smooth, close, wet shave. Finally, use the in-built precision trimmer to create defined lines for a crisp finishing touch.

Remember that it usually takes your skin around a month to adjust to a new shaving method, so give your skin a little time to adjust if you’re switching between wet and dry shaving.

Shaving Sensitive Skin: A Beginner’s Guide

Face Shaving Tips

Shaving Sensitive Skin: A Beginner’s Guide

2019-01-04 17:11:55By Gillette



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