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?

Wet Shaving with a Razor- Wet shaving is the method of cutting off hair very close to wet skin. Usually the shaving is achieved with a razor blade and the hair is cut with a single stroke of the blade. 

Dry Shaving with an Electric Shaver, the hair is cut between two blades, in a scissor-like motion, often without water.  

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

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 Fusion, ProGlide and Gillette Labs range). These are designed to cut the lifted hair, before pulling it back below the surface of your skin. 

This process means you can achieve a seriously smooth shave that’s close but comfortable.   

What Are the Pros and Cons of Wet Shaving?

If you opt for a wet shave, there are many advantages that you can benefit from such as: 

  • Lots of men love the smooth glide you get when your facial fuzz is soaked in water – this softens your hair, making it more manageable 
  • You’re less likely to get skin irritation with reduced friction and added moisture! 
  • You can count on a close shave as water helps out your wet shave razor just like how barbers know that a little moisture makes cutting your hair a whole lot easier! 

Remember that every type of shaving comes with some drawbacks! These are some of the most common issues with wet shaving:  

  • A wet shave can be time-consuming due to the fact you’ve got to make time to wash, lather your face and clean up afterwards  
  • There may be a potential for nicks and cuts while you’re shaving with foam or cream in areas that you can’t see easily     

What is Dry Shaving?

Dry shaving and electric shaving are the same things. 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.  

You can choose from a range of dry shavers depending on your needs. Sculpt and style your facial hair to perfection with the King C. Gillette Beard Trimmer, powered by Braun technology. Choose from 3 combs and 11 different length settings for all your facial hair trimming needs.  

 What Are the Pros and Cons of Dry Shaving?

Just like wet shaving, using a dry shave razor or an electric razor without wetting the area comes with its pros and cons: 


  • It’s incredibly easy and quick to achieve a dry shave as all you will need is an electric razor or a dry shave razor  
  • Gillette electric shavers are efficient and convenient – even on days you’re rushing out the door, so a dry shave can definitely save you time  
  • You may be less likely to suffer from nicks when you can see your skin clearly to watch exactly where you’re shaving   


  • A dry shave can be irritating if you have sensitive skin as you have no barrier between your skin and the razor    

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. 

 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.



Writer and expert