Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Sensitive shaving


Q: I have a double whammy of a problem: sensitive skin and a very tough dark beard. I find it really difficult to get a close shave without really irritating my skin, so I end up with the 'Homer' look of a 5 o'clock shadow at 9am or skin as red as a lobster. I am electric shaving at the moment which I find less irritating but tough to get a smooth finish.


Our expert Ahmed Zambarakji answers your questions below:

A: Hi Matt,

Dry shaving with an electric razor isn’t going to do your skin any favours in the long run. Dry facial hair is as tough as copper wire and it sounds like your beard is even coarser than the average guys’.

The more you can soften the hair with water and a pre-shave solution, the easier it will be to shave and the less irritation you’ll get. There are some electric pre-shave solutions out there (Kyoku, Lab Series) but I’d still suggest you give wet shaving another go and perhaps review your technique (there are loads of other posts about this on the Shortlist site - have a click around).

The reason I suggest this is because wet hair is easier to cut through. And less drag means less irritation. Plus, a shaving product will provide adequate cushioning so your skin doesn’t get so red and sore.

There won’t be an instant difference in terms of irritation so be sure to give your skin a couple of weeks to adapt to the new method. Chopping and changing from one method to another can also cause your skin to flare up.

If you’re completely against wet shaving, then check out one of the newfangled ‘wet’ electric shavers. The Philips Aquatouch and their everything-but-the-kitchen-sink Sensotouch 3D model can both be used in the shower or with a traditional shaving cream / gel / foam.

Aftercare is also going to be really important for you, so invest in a good soothing balm that isn’t alcohol-based. Also, avoid wearing any fragrance anywhere near your face after you’ve shaved. Unfortunately, there really isn’t much that can be done about the speed at which your regrowth appears but, if you can give your skin a break from shaving every now and then, that would be ideal.

Find Ahmed on theexfoliator.com


Hair loss_HERO_2.jpg

Hold on to your hair: Part one


Wet vs Dry Shaving

Hypoallergenic Gentle Cleanser HR.jpg

Skin cleansers



The winners of the ShortList Grooming Awards with House of Fraser

And the winners are...

31 May 2017

The 11 best moisturisers for men

Because your face deserves better

by Sam Diss
30 May 2017

A guy’s guide to skincare - by a girl who just really wants to help

Just a girl, standing in front of a bunch of guys, trying to make them moisturise twice a day

by Lauren O'Neill
15 May 2017

Supermodel Paul Sculfor tells us how to be the perfect catch

Tips from a man who knows better than anyone

20 Mar 2017

Meet the judges for the 2017 ShortList Grooming Awards

We're back with the best new products for 2017

17 Mar 2017

5 of the biggest men's hair trends for 2017

You're not actually going to get a six-pack, so settle for a slick new haircut instead

by Jamie Carson
03 Jan 2017

8 express grooming treatments for the discerning yet curious man

When you want to look good but just don't have the time

by Jamie Carson
13 Dec 2016

Manscaping; what is it, how to do it and how short is TOO short

After a lifetime of assuming that all guys went au naturale, Josh Burt realised that everything he knew was wrong

by Josh Burt
13 Dec 2016

Trim your pubic hair? Science claims you’ve probably got an STD

You're 80% more likely to have a sexually transmitted disease, new research suggests

by Jamie Carson
06 Dec 2016

What to do when you’re going bald

We round up the best ways to deal with hair loss

by Jamie Carson
17 Oct 2016