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Is it better to have a wet shave or a dry shave?


Thanks for taking your time to visit our website, and read our article about is it better to shave wet or dry? This remains one of the most popular questions that we get asked by men and women living in the United Kingdom.

Quick Answer

Wet shaving is always better than dry shaving simply because it is better for overall condition and health of your skin. That actually has more to do with hydration and moisture, than the actual shave itself.

So that is the short and to the point answer for anyone who is in a hurry. If you would like to find out why, then we have explained this in a great deal more detail below.

Before we explain the differences, it is worthwhile explaining what each type of shaving actually is. It may sound obvious, but people do interpret this in a few different ways.

Definition of Dry Shaving

Dry shaving is where a shaver or razor is in direct contact with the skin and no protection or lubrication is used. The most common form of dry shaving is an electric shaver or razor. 

Other shaving options such as a safety razor, cutthroat, disposable or cartridge razor should never be used for dry shaving.

Definition of Wet Shaving

Wet shaving is where the area to be shaved is washed with hot water, and then will have a soap, cream, gel or foam applied to it, before a blade is then used for the shaving.

This is suitable for all shaving methods, including a safety razor, cutthroat, disposable, cartridge razor or a wet/dry electric shaver.

Now that we are clear about the two types of shaving options, why do we consider wet shaving to be better than dry shaving?

Benefits of Wet Shaving

We have listed below the key benefits of wet shaving:

  • Washing the face with hot water - this helps open the pores in the skin, and as a result also lifts the hairs up, making them easier to shave off and remove
  • Applying Soap, Cream, Gel or Foam to the skin - Ideally this should be either a high quality shaving cream or a high quality shaving soap. Gels and foams are still better than nothing. These do two main things for your skin, firstly the offer protection to the skin from the blade, and secondly the cream helps moisturise and hydrate the skin
  • Give you a closer shave - In most cases wet shaving allows you to get a much closer shave. The safety razor and cutthroat offer the closest shave, and the cartridge also does a very good job, Wet/dry electric shavers do a good job, and the disposable works though we would never recommend using those on a long term basis.

Disadvantages of Wet Shaving

We have listed below the key disadvantages of wet shaving:

  • Takes longer than dry shaving - wet shaving requires a longer time as the skin has to be prepared
  • Takes longer to learn and master - For many people getting used to shaving with a DE safety razor or a cutthroat can take a long time. The average person will pick this up in 1-2 weeks, but some people do take a little bit longer
  • Nicks and Cuts - There is a much higher risk of getting nicks and cuts when wet shaving as at the end of the day, a sharp blade is removing the hair from the skin. Once you master the technique, and your skin gets used to a blade, then this problem stops.
  • Skin Conditions like Acne - If the skin is pucked or has acne or pimple type problems, it is wise not to wet shave with a sharp blade. This will inevitably result in a lot of nicks and cuts.
Wet shaving

Benefits of Dry Shaving

We have listed below the key benefits of dry shaving:

  • Very Fast - Grabbing your electric shaver and running it quickly over your face is about as fast as you can get. You can have the job done in just a few minutes.
  • Very convenient -As long as the electric shaver is charged, then it really doesn't get more convenient than that. It is also easy to pack and take with you and grab a shave anytime you need one
  • Give you a close enough shave - Electric shavers, even the most expensive ones, are never going to give you a very close shave. They do shave close enough though and that is enough for most people.

Disadvantages of Dry Shaving

We have listed below the key disadvantages of dry shaving:

  • Not ideal for the skin - dry shaving offers no protection for the skin and as such will dry the skin out unless some other form of action is taken
  • Hair and Skin not Prepared - Hot water helps raise the hairs and with dry shaving you just don't get that.
  • Shave more often - Most forms of wet shaving give you a closer shave, so with dry shaving you will need to shave more often
  • Sensitive Skin - If you have sensitive skin, then dry shaving can make that a great deal worse. This is especially true if the skin is dry to begin with.

Skin Types

Men and women do have different skin types. Usually these are in 4 classifications which are:

  • Normal Skin - this is well balanced skin with the right amount of sebum oil. It is also referred to as eudermic skin..
  • Dry Skin - this is skin that does not produce as much sebum oil as ordinary skin. That type of skin does not as a result produce any moisture and feels very dry
  • Oily Skin - this is skin that has too much sebum oil
  • Combination Skin - Many people have a combination of skin types on their face and body, in smaller to larger patches

The reason we mention this is because shaving, especially daily shaving is something that directly impacts on the skin. Generally speaking women look after their skin a great deal better than men.

Daily cleansing and daily moisturising, depending on the skin type, can do wonders for your skin health. Wet shaving offers a much better opportunity to protect, hydrate and moisturise the skin.

About the Author

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Thanks for visiting the Shaving Emporium website. This is a shaving website aimed at readers in the UK and Ireland. We are experienced experts and have included lots of information about shaving and grooming, and we have also completed detailed research that helps us write our product reviews. We like to have our information as up to date as possible.

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