Razor burn and ingrown hairs may seem like an inevitable part of shaving, but they're actually a sign that you're using the wrong razor. If you've been let down by your current disposable razor, it may be time to upgrade to an electric one instead.
These rechargeable grooming devices feature curved foil blades that glide over your skin instead of rigid, straight blades such as those on disposable razors, which minimizes your chances of irritation. And unlike some at-home hair removal devices such as epilators or wax strips, electric razors do their job without inflicting pain. "Since electric razors cut hair rather than pull it, there is a lower risk of ingrown hairs," says New York-based dermatologist Dendy Engelman, M.D., FACMS, F.A.A.D. Electric razors also offer a closer and faster shave thanks to their multiple speed settings, precision blades, and various attachment heads. Plus, they can be used for virtually every grooming task — legs, underarms, bikini line, upper lip, you name it — and you can use them on wet or dry skin, which makes them perfect for traveling and quick touch-ups on the go. (Related: The 11 Best Bikini Trimmers for a Super Close Shave Without Razor Burn)
"With electric razors, you can trim hair almost anywhere on the body without risking nicks or cuts," explains Adebola Dele-Michael, M.D., also a New York-based dermatologist. "They require less time than standard razors because they quickly cut hair and do not require lotions or creams."
When selecting a new electric razor, Dr. Dele-Michael recommends opting for one that "feels comfortable in your hand" and is designed with a flexible head to guarantee it will "adapt to your body contours and hard-to-reach areas." You also want to "use an electric razor that is easy to clean to avoid skin infections," she says.
If you really want an irritation-free shave, Dr. Engelman suggests following these important tips to alleviate redness, razor bumps, and ingrown hairs when you use a new electric razor. (Related: The Best Hair Removal Creams for Silky, Smooth Results)
Exfoliate: To get a silky-smooth finish, it's always best to begin with a clean razor — and clean skin. This means exfoliating the areas you'll be shaving, according to Dr. Engelman. "I recommend exfoliating to banish bumps and minimize flakiness," she says. "This will ensure that the hair can be removed cleanly."
Apply a moisturizing shaving cream: Although optional, Dr. Engelman recommends using shaving cream, as it can create a moisturizing barrier between your skin and the razor that will help you get the best shave, she explains. "The key is to condition the skin before shaving to soften the hair and hair follicle," she says. "Find an emollient-based shaving cream, which results in less irritation." When you're done shaving altogether, finish up with an equally moisturizing body lotion. Dr. Dele-Michael's favorite formulas include the Vanicream Moisturizing Ointment (Buy It, $18, amazon.com), La Roche-Posay Lipikar Balm AP+ Intense Repair Body Cream (Buy It, $20, amazon.com), and CeraVe Healing Ointment (Buy It, $18, amazon.com).
Follow your hair growth pattern: Going against the follicle's natural growth pattern may result in a closer shave, but it's also how most ingrown hairs form. That's because shaving against the grain of the hair can cut the hair shaft in an uneven way. "[And] the blunt-tipped ends of hairs can grow back into the skin rather than up and out," says Dr. Engelman. So, make sure you're following the direction that your hair grows in, especially in sensitive skin areas such as your bikini line. (And if you do end up getting ingrown hairs, this $8 "miracle" product might help kick 'em to the curb.)
Now that you know the basics, read up on the best electric razors for women that will simplify your hair removal routine. (Related: These Hair Removal Creams and Tools Make De-Fuzzing Your Face at Home So Easy)
You can't go wrong with the Panasonic Close Curves Electric Shaver. This three-blade electric razor is designed to move with the contours of your body to prevent nicks and cuts, making it great for hard-to-reach places such as your underarms and the back of your legs. Plus, it has a pop-up trimmer that allows for effortless trimming of longer hairs. Reviewers love this versatile electric razor because of its low price and ability to remove thick hair. "I wasn't sure I believed the hype about this razor but I figured, for the price, it was worth a shot to combat my chronic bikini area razor burn issues," one shopper wrote. "Let me tell you, I will never go back to shaving my bikini area with a razor again… The foil shaver got a nice smooth shave. No bumps or nicks like I used to get from shaving with a razor. I also tried it on my legs and loved it as well."
Designed with sensitive skin and delicate areas in mind, the Finishing Touch Body Shaver and Trimmer minimizes your chances of irritation with its gently gliding SenseGuard attachment and hypoallergenic (read: nickel-free) blades that can be used in both directions. Since it has a sleek build, you're in full control of each shave, allowing you to steer clear of nicks and cuts. It's even equipped with an LED light that illuminates your skin (so you don't miss any hairs) and two trimming attachments. This electric shaver has more than 6,000 five-star ratings on Amazon, and reviewers say that it delivers a close shave. "If you have sensitive skin, the extra blade guards are useful for underarm areas or any area where you're particularly sensitive," wrote one reviewer.
If you shave your armpits, you know it's not the easiest area to tackle — that is unless you use the Philips Satinshave Electric Razor. The tool's flexing foil blade reaches every contour of your armpit to deliver a close, stubble-free shave. Since this area can be particularly sensitive, the device also has a rounded-tip trimmer to prevent any cuts or irritation. Plus, its battery life provides an hour of cordless shaving. "Prior to using this Philips electric shaver, I was pretty prone to getting ingrown hairs in my armpits and in the bikini area," wrote one Amazon shopper. "But I can stay after using this shaver, I'll be ingrown hair-free for two-plus months and counting." Other reviewers noted that the blade is able to shave in both directions for more precision.
Able to tackle everything from pesky peach fuzz to upper lip hair and overgrown eyebrows, the Conair Satiny Smooth Precision Trimmer comes with four attachments to simplify your grooming routine. You have your choice between a full-body attachment that can work for your bikini line, a nose and ear trimmer, and two eyebrow trimmers. Boasting a 4.5-star rating on Amazon and hundreds of glowing reviews, the facial razor is a favorite for its versatility and the close shave it provides. (Related: Whitney Port Uses This Best-Selling $4 Razor to Shave Her Face)
Shaving your bikini line is a breeze with the Philips BikiniGenie Trimmer. Stocked with a mini shaving head and trimmer attachment (depending on your grooming style), this compact electric razor is designed to gently remove unwanted hair without causing irritation, ingrown hairs, or cuts. Reviewers were pleasantly surprised by this petite-sized razor's power, noting that it delivered a close shave, flexed in different areas with its curved head, and didn't result in any razor burn. "If you struggle with extremely painful shaving, please do yourself the favor of getting this," one review reads.
The Remington Smooth & Silky On the Go Shaver is a toiletry bag-approved electric razor that's the perfect size to bring on your next trip. It's powered by three blades that remove hair at every angle and a hypoallergenic foil that prevents nicks and irritation for a stubble-free finish. With thousands of five-star ratings, this Amazon's Choice electric razor is powerful enough for every hair removal need and comes recommended by shoppers with sensitive skin. "This little bit of magic fits right in my hand and gets rid of my baby-fine leg hairs," wrote one reviewer. I keep it in my purse in case I realize I missed a spot."
For $38, the Remington Smooth & Silky Body & Bikini Groomer Kit is a body shaver, bikini trimmer, facial hair trimmer, and exfoliation brush in one. The six-piece kit includes an angled foil shaver for your arms, underarms, and legs, a detail trimmer for precision touch-ups, a bikini trimmer for the bikini line, a wide blade for the face, and the gentle trimmer for delicate skin areas. For a closer shave, prep with the exfoliation brush attachment head to remove dead skin cells. In their five-star reviews, Amazon shoppers share that the battery holds a lasting, powerful charge and that the device doesn't cause any irritation, cuts, or bumps. "Love, love, love this product," raves one reviewer. "With all the attachments it does so much… Great for the bikini area, legs, underarms, and just about anywhere you want to get rid of hair. I won't be missing the salon."
The Tencoz Electric Razor is a two-in-one model that removes every hair in its path. Its three-blade design features straight blades and a 3D floating foil for a closer-than-close shave. It also comes with a gentle shaving attachment for your upper lip, cheeks, neck, and jawline. Amazon shoppers have given this multipurpose electric razor hundreds of five-star reviews, in which they praise its versatility, sturdy construction, easy-to-use design, and razor burn-resistant blades. One reviewer wrote, "Words fail me at how well this item works… Unlike other razors I've had in the past, this one did not give me any razor burns or irritate my skin; I didn't get even red patches after using it and I can count on it to get a clean shave every time."
If you're searching for an electric razor with a premium trimmer attachment, you should go with the Conair Satiny Smooth All-In-One Shave & Trim System. Complete with three trimmer options and an adjustable comb for optimal shaping, you can effortlessly groom your underarms, bikini area, and more with precision and without worrying about razor burn, cuts, or nicks. Reviewers love how fast the device removes hair and how powerful its motor operates. They're fans of its lightweight feel and travel-friendly design, too. Plenty of reviewers consider it their go-to method for trimming their eyebrows, beards, and peach fuzz. "It's the perfect size for multiple uses — legs, underarms, bikini — and the different sized heads that snap easily on and off further customize the size of the head being used," shared one shopper. "This works much better for me than other similar razors I've tried."