Traditional Wet Shaving

Different Shaving Methods

Shaving is a common grooming ritual for both men and women. However, the choice of shaving method can greatly impact your experience. In this article, we'll delve into various shaving methods and provide a list of their pros and cons. Whether you're aiming for a close shave, minimal irritation, or environmental friendliness, this guide will help you make an informed decision.

1. Disposable Razors

This is a basic cheap razor that can be used a few times and then thrown away. It consists of a plastic handle and a metal blade that is attached to the head of the razor. The blade is usually made of stainless steel and is very sharp, allowing for a close shave. Mainly used by people who travel. They are available in both men’s and women’s styles, and they come in a variety of colors and designs.

disposable razors


  • Widely available: Easy to find in most stores.
  • Quick and convenient: Offers a close shave with minimal setup.
  • Variety of options: Different types and brands available.
  • Affordable- These are very cheap to buy


  • Risk of nicks and cuts: Can lead to minor injuries if not used correctly.
  • Irritation: Some individuals may experience skin irritation, razor burn, or ingrown hairs. (No good for sensitive skin)
  • Not environmentally friendly - basically end up in land fill

2.  Cartridge Razors with Multi-Blades

A cartridge razor has a replaceable head or cartridge that contains multiple blades. The handle usually has a pivoting system to help the blades follow the contours of your face. Cartridge razors are popular because they are easy to use and are handy if you want to achieve a close, clean shave, thanks to their multiple blades. They are also less intimidating to use than straight razors and require less skill to use.

cartridge razors


  • Quick and efficient: Multi-blade razors provide a close shave with fewer strokes.
  • Reduced risk of nicks: Multiple blades are designed to reduce the risk of cuts.
  • Convenient: Readily available and easy to use.


  • Irritation: Some users may experience skin irritation or razor burn.
  • Cost: Replacement cartridges can be relatively expensive.
  • Environmental impact: Disposable cartridges contribute to plastic waste

3.  Safety Razor

A safety razor is a type of razor that has a protective device positioned between the edge of the blade and the skin. This protective device is designed to reduce the risk of cutting the skin while shaving.

Safety razors are often used by people who want a close shave without the risk of injury. They are also popular among people who prefer to use traditional shaving methods.

Jagen David B30 Butterfly Double Edge Razor Safety Razor Review


  • Closer shave than cartridge razors: Offers a close shave while being less aggressive than a straight razor.
  • Economical: Replacement blades are generally less expensive.
  • Reduced plastic waste: Safety razors are more eco-friendly than disposable cartridges.


  • Learning curve: Like the straight razor, using a safety razor effectively may require practice.
  • Slower than cartridge razors: Shaving with a safety razor can be more time-consuming.

4.  Straight Razor

A straight razor also known as a cut-throat razor has a long blade that can be folded into its handle. It is also known as an open razor and typically used by barbers in the UK.

There are two types; one has a fixed  blade which is usually made of steel and is very sharp, and the second type allows you to use standard razor blades instead of a fixed blade.

awans cuththroat razor


  • Closest shave: Provides an incredibly close and smooth shave.
  • Eco-friendly: Reduces the need for disposable razors.
  • Art of shaving: Offers a traditional and luxurious experience.


  • High learning curve: Requires skill and practice for safe use.
  • Initial cost: The upfront investment in a quality straight razor can be significant.
  • Time-consuming: Shaving with a straight razor may take longer than using a cartridge razor.

5.  Shavette Razor

A Shavette razor is a type of cut-throat razor or straight razor. A traditional straight razor has a long blade that can be folded into its handle. The Shavette on the other hand has the same shape but doesn't have a fixed blade.

Instead, it uses single edge (SE) razor blades. These are popular with many barbers as they can use a new blade for each person being shaved and then dispose of it. That means they can remain hygienic and they don't have to worry about sterilizing the single long blade.

They also don't have to worry about keeping the fixed blade sharp. 

awans cuththroat razor


  • Closest shave: Provides an incredibly close and smooth shave.
  • Eco-friendly: They use a single edge blade but don't need to replace the razor.
  • Art of shaving: Offers a traditional and luxurious experience.


  • High learning curve: Requires skill and practice for safe use.
  • Initial cost: The upfront investment in a Shavette can be high depending on the model you pick
  • Time-consuming: Shaving with a Shavette razor may take longer than using a cartridge razor.

6.  Electric Shaver

An electric razor is a device that uses electricity to shave hair from the face or body. There are two types foil and rotary. Both have blades that move rapidly to cut the hair close to the skin. The foil type have a foil on top of the blades and better for sensitive skin types.

They are convenient, easy to use, and can reduce the risk of cuts and irritation. However, they may not provide as close a shave as traditional razors, and they may need to be cleaned and charged regularly.

panasonic electric shaver review


  • Speed: Quick and efficient for daily use.
  • Minimal risk of cuts: Reduces the risk of nicks and cuts.
  • Dry or wet use: Some models can be used both dry and with shaving cream or gel.


  • Not as close as manual razors: May not provide as close a shave.
  • Battery dependent: Requires charging and may not be suitable for travel.
  • Can be noisy: Electric shavers can be noisy during use.

7.  Epilators

An epilator removes unwanted hair by mechanically grasping multiple hairs simultaneously and pulling them out from the root. Epilators are available in both dry and wet versions.

They are not suitable for the face and mainly used by ladies for body hair removal. For best results, exfoliate your skin before using an epilator to remove dead skin cells and prevent ingrown hairs.

Braun Silk Epilator UK Reviews


  • Longer-lasting results: Epilators remove hair at the root, resulting in slower hair regrowth.
  • No need for shaving cream: Can be used on dry skin.
  • Compact and portable: Suitable for travel.


  • Discomfort: Epilators can be painful, especially during the first few uses.
  • Not ideal for facial hair: Primarily used for body hair.
  • Ingrown hairs: There is a risk of ingrown hairs, especially if not used correctly.


Choosing the right shaving method depends on your preferences, skin type, hair type, and lifestyle. Whether you're seeking a quick and convenient shave or a traditional, luxurious experience, each method has its unique advantages and drawbacks. Consider your needs and prioritize factors such as comfort, environmental impact, and cost when selecting your preferred shaving technique.

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tub of shaving cream and a puck of shaving soap
Traditional Wet Shaving

Shaving Cream vs Shaving Soap

Many beginners to wet shaving will ask the question, which is better for shaving, shaving cream or shaving soap? People have any number of decisions to make if they decide that they want to start wet shaving. The first thing to understand is that wet shaving is so much better for a close shave and also so much better for your skin. So congratulations on making that first move.

Hopefully by now you have made your decision on the type of razor you are going to use be that an electric shaver(suitable for wet shaving), a safety razor, a cutthroat razor, a cartridge razor or a disposable razor. No matter which type you pick it will need some form of lubricant for the skin. This is where a good quality shaving cream or shaving foam can really make the difference.

Shaving Cream vs Shaving Soap - The key differences

Shaving Cream

tub of shaving cream
  • Shaving creams usually come in tubs (150 ml in size)
  • Shaving creams cost on average around £12-£15 for an average sized tub (150 ml)
  • A tube of shaving cream is enough for 60 days shaving if you shave once a day
  • The average annual cost of using shaving cream is around £78 a year
  • Shaving cream is very easy to lather up
  • You can apply shaving cream using a brush or your hand
  • You can use a shaving cream straight out of the tub though some shavers like to lather this in a bowl

Shaving Soap

shaving soap puck
  • Shaving creams usually come in pucks (60-65 ml in size)
  • Shaving creams cost on average around £8-£12 for an average sized puck (60-65 ml)
  • A puck of shaving soap is enough for 90 days shaving if you shave once a day
  • The average annual cost of using shaving cream is around £45 a year
  • Shaving soap takes much longer to get a lather
  • You can really only lather up and apply a soap using a shaving brush
  • You will need a bowl, mug or scuttle to mix the soap using a brush

Shaving Cream vs Shaving Soap - Similarities

  • Essentially if you take the time to lather up a shaving soap you end up with shaving cream.
  • Both shaving cream and shaving soap are lightly scented depending on the ingredients used by the manufacturer and the brand and type of cream or soap that you pick

Which is best for sensitive skin?

It actually doesn't matter whether you use a soap or a cream for sensitive skin. If you look carefully, most makers have specific creams and specific soaps, designed for people with sensitive skin. Sensitive skin is caused by any irritation to the outer layer of skin.

This can include things like heat, hot water, many beauty products, laundry detergents etc. It can often be hard for someone to determine what exactly is causing sensitive skin. Ideally you will want to avoid perfumes, scented beauty products and laundry detergents.

Try picking a soap or cream that the maker has made for those with sensitive skin. You may need to try a few to see which one works best for you.

Shaving Cream vs Shaving Soap vs Shaving Foam vs Shaving Gel

We have explained the main differences between shaving cream and shaving soap above. However, it is also worth mentioning shaving foams and shaving gels, and why you might consider using those.

  • Shaving Foams - foams instantly produce a light lather, with lots of air and is easy to rinse away
  • Shaving Gels - These have a richer lather than foams, with enhanced lubricants, and improve the shaving glide and better protect the skin.

Ordinary Soap vs Shaving Soap

Ordinary soap is made by mixing oils or fats along with a base known as an alkali. The fats include tallow, coconut oil, palm oil, olive oil and canola. In modern production more man made or synthetic ingredients are used.

Shaving soaps come in two types hard soaps and soft soaps. All of them contain a wide variety of ingredients that may include palm kernel, fatty acids, potassium palmate, sodium palmate, glycerin, water, parfum (fragrance) and sodium chloride to name but a few. As a result the lather made using a shaving soap is much richer and creates a better lather.

Our Summary

We would always recommend shaving cream because it is the best protection for the skin and is more convenient to apply. Creams do the following:

  • They help keep moisture in the beard hairs when you are shaving, and the cream makes the beard hair softer and as such, much easier to cut. It also allows for a more comfortable shave.
  • Shaving cream adds an important layer of protection between your skin and any sharp blade, and that helps reduce razor burn, irritation and redness after the shave.
  • When the shave is finished your skin will be smooth and it will feel refreshed.

Resources Used

Shaving soap alkali - Wikipedia

Ordinary soap - Wikipedia

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man dry shaving and man wet shaving
Traditional Wet Shaving

Wet shaving vs Dry Shaving

One of the most popular questions we get asked here at the Emporium is, "Which is best for your skin, dry shaving or wet shaving?" This is what we will explain here so as you have all the facts available to make your decision. There is clear evidence that wet shaving is much better for your skin than dry shaving. The other side of the argument is that dry shaving is faster and a great deal more convenient and nick and cut free.

There are various arguments which type of shaving is best and we will show you all of these just below. First though we want to be clear as to exactly what dry shaving and wet shaving actually mean.

What is Dry Shaving?

The only form of dry shaving that exists is using an electric shaver directly on to the skin without water, soap, gel, foam or cream. In other words you switch on your electric shaver and start shaving right away. There are two types of electric shaver, the rotary shaver and the foil shaver.

The rotary shaver has a number of circular heads with small cutting blades underneath that spin quickly around. The foil shaver has cutters that sit underneath a number of protective foils. Foil electric shavers are slightly better for sensitive skin as they offer more protection to the skin.

Irrespective of the shaver type the head of the shaver is in direct contact with the skin. All electric shavers can be used for dry shaving. The vast majority of electric shavers can also be used to have a wet shave, where you apply a soap, cream, foam or gel first and then use the electric shaver to shave.

For sheer convenience and speed most people will use an electric shaver as a dry shave.

Benefits of Dry Shaving

There are a few benefits of dry shaving, some obvious and some not. We have listed all of them just below:

  1. No risk of cuts or nicks - The main one is you can't really cut or nick the skin as electric shavers have enough protection on them to prevent any risk of that happening. All electric shavers cut the hair just above the skin and as such will never cut or nip the skin. The electric shaver either has a protected set of heads or foils to smooth over the skin and the cutters or blades sit underneath those protective elements.
  2. Speed and Convenience -  this is the main reason people dry shave. It is faster, can be done anywhere and is simply just more convenient. You can have a shave, watch TV or drink your tea or coffee while having a dry shave. You can also have a shaver in the office or take it with you on holidays and use as and when you get time.  With wet shaving you really do have to be in the bathroom. With wet shaving comes preparation time, dealing with any nicks or cuts and then tidying up.
  3. Cost of dry shaving - As a general rule dry shaving is cheaper than wet shaving. It does however depend on how much you spend on your electric shaver. We break the costs down later in this article.

What is Wet Shaving?

Wet shaving is all other types of shaving. Normally hot water is applied to the face and then a lubricant is applied. This can be s shaving foam, shaving gel, a shaving soap or a shaving cream. There are different types of razor used for wet shaving and these are the disposable razor, cartridge razor, safety razor and cutthroat razor.

The bottom line though is that water and some form of lubricant is used. With shaving soaps and creams it is also very likely that a shaving brush will be used to help create a lather. It is this lather that creates a protective layer between the skin and any type of blade.

The main reason dry shaving is so popular is people don't want to waste the time it takes to prepare for a wet shave. They also don't want to be bothered by the cleaning up afterwards.

Benefits of Wet Shaving

There are also a few benefits of wet shaving.

  1. Closer shave - there is no question that the closest shave you can get is from a wet shave using a sharp blade. It will always be a much closer shave than using an electric shaver. At the end of the day having a blade on your skin rather than some type of foil is always going to give you a closer shave. That is as long as you make sure you are using a sharp blade.
  2. Better for the skin - Wet shaving is also much better for the skin. Any type of lubricant on the skin helps protect the skin from any type of blade. In addition to that creams, soaps, gels etc also act as a skin moisturiser. They help deal with dead skin and also put moisture back into the skin.

Those are the main differences between dry and wet shaving. In terms of cost, there is not really a big difference. There can of course be a huge difference depending on what you go for.

  • Electric shavers - cost anything from £20-£900 depending on the brand and features that you want to have. If you use these for dry shaving only, then your initial cost is whatever amount you want to pay for a shaver. A typical shaver is good for around 2-3 years before the heads will need to be replaced. In many cases it is probably easier and cheaper just to replace the shaver.
  • Safety razors - can only be used as a wet shaver but relatively cheap when compared to other shaving options. A decent razor will cost around £25-£30 and after that it just needs razor blades which are cheap to buy.
  • Cutthroat razors -  These vary in cost quite a lot. The cheaper Shavette razor blade models cost around £15-£25 whereas the fixed blade ones are more expensive at an average of £50.

Hopefully, we have explained the main differences between wet and dry shaving. In summary, when people refer to a dry shave that simply means a shave without any type of soap, cream, foam or gel being applied to the face. Almost always this shave is done using an electric shaver.

With wet shaving, hot water is splashed on to the face, then either a soap, cream, gel or foam is applied and you can shave with a disposable razor, a cartridge razor, a safety razor, a cutthroat razor or an electric shaver.

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