The 7 Best Electric Razors For Acne-prone Skin To Avoid Breakouts

To prevent your face from breaking out, check out the best electric razors for acne-prone skin in this guide. It will also show you how to shave the right way.

If your face is always in danger of getting breakouts, the best electric razors for acne-prone skin are a no-brainer. Acne is already tough to deal with. And getting the wrong shaving tool only makes it worse.

For sensitive skin like acne-prone type, you can never go wrong with gentle razors. That’s when an electric razor enters the scene with little force and contact with the skin.

The road to the right purchase can be tricky, however. With the delicate state of your skin in mind, here is a comprehensive guide to getting a good shaver.

Our Top Picks

Products Head type Blade material Power source Battery life (min) Adaptive shaving Cleaning station compatibility Overall rating
Braun Series 9 (9370cc) Foil Titanium Li-ion battery 50 Yes Yes (Included) 5/5
Braun Series 7 (7071cc) Foil Stainless steel Li-ion battery 50 Yes Yes (Included) 4.5/5
Philips Norelco S9000 Prestige Rotary Stainless steel Li-ion battery 60 Yes Yes (Not included) 4.5/5
Braun Series 3 (3040) Foil Stainless steel NiMH battery 45 No No 4/5
Philips Norelco 7500 Rotary Stainless steel Li-ion battery 60 Yes Yes (Included) 4/5
Philips Norelco OneBlade Pro Foil Stainless steel Li-ion battery 90 No No 4/5
Panasonic Arc5 ES-LV97-K Foil Stainless steel Li-ion battery 45 Yes Yes (Included) 4.5/5

6 Things To Consider When Buying Electric Razors For Acne-Prone Skin

As inflammation and infection are among the main reasons for a breakout, you should focus your selection on this perspective.

The shaver you get should minimize irritation and other common razor risks like folliculitis and acne. But don’t forget other factors that always matter regardless of the skin condition.

Wet-Dry Shaving

Not every electric shaver has both wet and dry shaving capabilities. Most models in the past can only operate in the dry mode, but this has become a standard feature on more and more series.

A “wet” model doesn’t just allow you to wash or use it in the shower but also means it is compatible with shaving creams. The ability to shave with cream is crucial when you have sensitive skin, so cross out any product that only has the dry mode.

Suitable shaving creams have the right ingredients for acne-prone skin. They make it easier to cut the hair while protecting your skin from all kinds of shaving risks.

When applied, a shaving cream creates a protective layer between the skin and the blade and minimizes friction. This layer also lifts the hair up for easier and closer shaving. As a result, there is a lower risk of irritation, razor burns, and redness. Your skin will feel refreshed and soothed afterward instead.

The cream also brings and maintains extra moisture in the hairs, making them softer during the shave. You will be much more comfortable with your passes as less force is required.

Keep in mind that being waterproof doesn’t always mean a razor can help you wet shave your facial hair. Sometimes this can only make the tool washable after shaving. Verify this capability by checking whether the manufacturer explicitly advertises wet shaving.

On the other hand, dry shaving might save time yet does no good for vulnerable acne skin.

Foil Vs. Rotary

Basically, electric shavers are available in two styles: foil and rotary. The choice between them is actually a common subject of debate. The fundamental design determines not just how a razor works but also whether it is the right choice for your needs.

Foil

The cutting head of foil-based shavers features some oscillating blades under a thin foil. This metal guard protects the skin and only lifts the hair into the blades for cutting as they move back and forth at high speeds.

While the blades don’t come into contact with the skin, they can come very close to it. This allows them to cut short hair effectively without scratching your face. This foil, however, makes the tool-less effective in following the contours of your face.

A foil shaver
A foil shaver

Rotary

Rotary electric razors use a completely different mechanism. They have spinning blades that cut the hairs a perforated guard has guided to them.

The whole head can flex in several directions, making rotary models a better tool in difficult areas like the neck or jawline.

Rotary design
Rotary design

The Winner

When it comes to acne-prone skin, foil options are considered a better choice. Their blades are less likely to cause razor burn or irritation as they don’t come into contact with your face as often.

That said, quality rotary models can work too. Many high-end products are very gentle on the skin – some even have a separate mode for sensitive skin.

While foil-based shavers should be your first-line consideration, check out rotary counterparts if you need to navigate around tricky areas or cut long hair once in a while.

Corded Vs. Cordless

Despite their late entry into the market, battery-powered electric razors have basically outnumbered the wired models. Most manufacturers have switched to the cordless approach in recent years, thanks to the adoption of better battery technologies.

Dual-mode products are common too, which have both cordless and corded modes. Unless you have very special reasons, stick with a cordless model for better maneuverability. And most importantly, most (if not all) wet/dry shavers have parted away with cords for safety reasons.

Just remember to check out the battery life, usually provided by the manufacturer. This number shows how long you can use the shaver on a single charge.

Compared to other appliances, this should not bother you too much. Most battery-powered models can last up to 40 or 60 minutes – more than enough for several days of use.

Ease Of Use

An effective shaver should be able to lift, guide, and cut facial hair with minimal effort from the user. Manufacturers have come up with many tweaks in design or special features to make shaving a pleasant experience.

Makers of foil-type shavers usually use multiple heads and guide blocks with variable patterns. They can help the cutter to capture tougher and longer hairs. Meanwhile, scythe-like lifters on rotary shavers can scoop up and pull hairs for cleaner cuts.

Additional vibrations and pulses are a popular feature on high-end shavers. They can make whiskers stand straighter, creating better contact with the cutting blades. For that reason, you can press the shaver more gently and reduce the risk of irritating your acne-prone skin.

Extra Features

Some features (on both foil and rotary models) can be useful for storage, charging, or shaving.

  • Travel-lock: consider this if you have frequent travel or gym use.
  • Cleaning station: many premium models are compatible with a separate cleaning system. Just a press of a button and the shaver can be rid of hairs, foam, and skin flakes. Typically, an alcohol-based solution is used, which can also lubricate the shaver’s blades.
  • Display: advanced models may have a small display. It can tell you the battery’s remaining capacity and the status of your shaver.
  • Attachments: these accessories allow you to adapt to different purposes, be it close shaves or trimming. Some help you shave other parts of your body, like the underarms and legs.
  • Carrying case: it is a big plus when you need to travel a lot.
A shaver in its docking station
A shaver in its docking station

Cost

Nearly all shaver makers put out several series, from affordable entry-level to expensive premium models. The differences in price can be massive. They reflect the build quality, the set of features, and the precision with which each shaver performs.

Take your budget and shaving needs into consideration. Some inexpensive products (as low as $40) can be good enough for your acne-prone skin, while others may prefer the advanced functionality of a $300+ shaver.

Best Electric Razors For acne-prone Skin

Braun Series 9 (9370cc) – Best Overall

Notable Specifications

  • Head type: Foil
  • Blade material: Titanium
  • Power source: Li-ion battery
  • Battery life: 50 minutes
  • Adaptive shaving: Yes
  • Cleaning station compatibility: Yes (Included)
  • Overall rating: 5/5

Braun has always been a powerhouse in the industry. And regardless of your performance concern, its flagship Series 9 shavers hit it out of the park on every occasion.

This includes people whose acne and razor burns are everyday norms, as it accepts wet shaving (of which benefits we’ve mentioned).

Simply put, this premium tool has a sleek silver look that we don’t expect from a shaver. The handle has an ergonomic design too. Even though the shaver was undoubtedly hefty (2+ pounds), it never slipped out of our hands.

Billed as one of the most efficient models, the Series 9 can operate at a whopping 40,000 cutting actions per minute. At this speed, your grooming routine should be cut down by a significant margin.

Between the four cutting elements and one guard, it tackles thick hair better than any other competitor. This includes two titanium-coated specialized trimmers that can lift hairs from beneath your skin.

We tried them on a three-day beard and saw no difficulty getting rid of all the stubble.

Its eight-directional swiveling head really impressed us. For a foil-based shaver, it could adapt to our cranial contours and remove hair from about everywhere.

Compared to cheaper products, the level of smoothness and closeness it delivers is simply superior. We didn’t need to go back to any area multiple times.

This is a godsend for delicate and acne-prone skin, where you just need to shave with comfort and sonic vibrations as fast as possible.

This is a smart tool too. We were happy Braun used an adaptive motor, which could vibrate up to 10,000 times per second. There is a clean-and-charge station, and it makes maintenance a breeze even for lazy guys.

The biggest trade-off is obviously its price tag. If you are converting from regular safety razors, it could be a bit of a shock. The cartridges need replacements every few months, and even the cleaning fluid is costly. This contributes (in a negative way) to the long-term cost.

The good thing is that with world-renowned German engineering, this shaver can last for a very long time. We aren’t there yet, but this has been confirmed by generation after generation of Braun’s customers.

Pros

  • Sleek and ergonomic construction
  • Sonic vibrations for better comfort
  • Effective but gentle on the skin
  • Self-cleaning with the charging base
  • Long battery life
  • Durable

Cons

  • Bulky
  • Astronomically expensive

Verdict: When your budget can afford a Braun Series 9 shaver, it will be worth the investment. In addition to top-class efficiency and comfort, it has all the bells and whistles of a premium shaving tool.

Braun Series 7 (7071cc) – Runner-Up

Notable Specifications

  • Head type: Foil
  • Blade material: Stainless steel
  • Power source: Li-ion battery
  • Battery life: 50 minutes
  • Adaptive shaving: Yes
  • Cleaning station compatibility: Yes (Included)
  • Overall rating: 4.5/5

While the Series 9 demonstrates the very best of what Braun can do, the Series 7 can be a more practical choice for many. It strikes a nicer balance between cost and performance. Most importantly, people with acne problems should not worry about it anymore.

Braun doesn’t trim down the features of this mid-range series in an aggressive manner. The AutoSense technology is still there.

We put great emphasis on this because this smart feature can detect the thickness of your beard while shaving. It then uses this information to adjust the motor power so you can always have a close shave anywhere with a single stroke.

This is crucial for those with skin problems, which can get seriously irritated by repetitive strokes. The Series 7 can deliver the results you are looking for with much less effort.

We really liked the ergonomic rubberized handle of the Series 7. It felt comfortable and easy on the hand. There is also a  trimming attachment. But while that of the Series 9 is good at pretty much everything, this trimmer seems to only do well at sideburns.

There is one thing that Braun has done a better job with the Series 7, which is the control. The display and indicators are more intuitive, allowing you to switch between five levels of sensitivity.

The 360-degree Flex Head is one of the biggest improvements in the Series 7. It allows the shaver to contour your face’s curves with ease. Even shaving in difficult areas like the jawline or Adam’s apple was effortless for us.

It isn’t as fast as the Series 9. Still, as long as reducing skin problems is your top concern, it is still a top choice. This shaver cleaned up the hair nicely but didn’t trigger any acne or rash issues.

The results should get better when you give your body enough time to adjust to this shaver.

The trimmer is now an attachment, not built-in anymore. It is a nice addition for trimming sideburns and other precise tasks. However, you may find it a bit harder to use and store.

Some downgrade in build quality from the Series 9 is noticeable. Make no mistake – the Series is still one of the most durable shavers on the market. But the construction has less metal and more plastic in it. It is lighter but doesn’t feel as solid.

Pros

  • Good value for premium features
  • Flexible and versatile head
  • Can self-clean
  • Quick-charging is available
  • Excellent battery life

Cons

  • More plastic in the construction
  • The blades don’t last as long

Verdict: Get the Series 7 if you want to save some money and still need Braun’s build quality and advanced features. It is almost half as cheap, but many aspects are still comparable.

Philips Norelco S9000 Prestige – Best Rotary

Notable Specifications

  • Head type: Rotary
  • Blade material: Stainless steel
  • Power source: Li-ion battery
  • Battery life: 60 minutes
  • Adaptive shaving: Yes
  • Cleaning station compatibility: Yes (Not included)
  • Overall rating: 4.5/5

While foil-based models indeed should be your first consideration, some products with the rotary mechanism can work too. As long as they are well-designed with issues like acne in mind, they shouldn’t be harmful to your skin.

The premium S9000 Prestige is a prime example. It uses floating heads to grasp and cut hair, which many people actually find more comfortable.

If you are careful around pimples, it can deliver very close shaves. Between the circular motion and the S9000 Prestige’s V-shaped blades, even seven days of hair can be easily cleared up.

To adapt to various skin conditions, Philips also utilizes a smart technology called BeardAdapt Sensor. It changes the aggressiveness based on your hair density on its own.

As a result, we felt no acne or ingrown hairs after several shaves with the S9000 Prestige. It is really a game-changer coming from other regular rotary models, which can be hard on the face.

The S9000 Prestige is an unwieldy shaver. The tripped-headed design is already quite big and requires a large case for storage. If you are in need of a compact shaver for gym or travel, look for other choices. The cost won’t be easy on your wallet either. This doesn’t come as a surprise given its premium status, though.

Pros

  • Gentle on the skin
  • Robust metal construction
  • Can adapt to different automatically
  • Travel case included
  • Long shaving time from a single charge
  • Glide easily through tricky areas

Cons

  • No integrated cleaning system
  • Bulky
  • Expensive

Verdict: If you prefer the rotary principle, the Philips Norelco S9000 Prestige is your best bet. This is a top-of-the-line model that combines all the best aspects of what this design can offer. Plus, it doesn’t feel that bad on acne-prone skin.

Braun Series 3 (3040)- Budget Choice

Notable Specifications

  • Head type: Foil
  • Blade material: Stainless steel
  • Power source: NiMH battery
  • Battery life: 45 minutes
  • Adaptive shaving: No
  • Cleaning station compatibility: No
  • Overall rating: 4/5

If you find the cost of the above models dispiriting, check out the shavers from Braun’s Series 3 like the 3040. It can get the job done without throwing your budget off balance.

The motor of the 3040 isn’t as powerful as those of the Series 9 and 7. But if you don’t mind shaving coarse hairs a little longer, it isn’t that big of an issue.

The handle offers a comfortable grip, even though the whole build is plastic. Wet shaving with creams felt great and smooth for us, especially during acne breakouts.

It would make a great gift for teenagers. The Braun Series 3 can help them avoid facial acne and won’t leave irritated razor burns, thereby encouraging them to shave more frequently.

Passing each area with two strokes gave a shave almost as close as more expensive products. The tool ran fairly quiet the whole time, which was a big plus.

There is no charging station, so we had to clean it manually. But this was quite straightforward and didn’t take much time. 

The Series 3 only uses NiMH batteries, however. They can’t hold up their capacity as well as their lithium-ion counterparts. So don’t expect weeks of shaving like premium products in the long term.

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Lightweight
  • Don’t cause acne problems
  • Deliver quiet and comfortable shaves
  • Great for daily shaving

Cons

  • Cheaper build quality
  • Short battery life
  • Lack of extra power and features

Verdict: The Braun Series 3 3040 is a solid entry-level model. It gets all the basics right at an affordable price. If you don’t mind some hassles here and there, it can be a great solution for your acne-prone skin.

Philips Norelco 7500 – Less Expensive Rotary

Notable Specifications

  • Head type: Rotary
  • Blade material: Stainless steel
  • Power source: Li-ion battery
  • Battery life: 60 minutes
  • Adaptive shaving: Yes
  • Cleaning station compatibility: Yes (Included)
  • Overall rating: 4/5

You can replace the S9000 Prestige above with the Norelco 7500 if you insist on a rotary shaver. Coming from the same lineup, the 7500 brings great performance without breaking the bank.

Like other Philips products, it comes with ComfortGlide rings to minimize irritation. These coatings are added to act as a protective layer between the cutting elements and your sensitive or acne-prone skin.

How do they play out in practice? Decent, we must say. You may need some weeks to adjust to these rotary blades. But in the end, it felt very comfortable on our skin.

During the testing period, we noticed no inflamed, red patches or new breakouts. It works best when you leave the cream for a minute or two and go with the grain in a circular motion.

From his own experience, one customer said, “During my transitional period from the old razor, I didn’t experience any burns or hot spots. The design is your surest bet when you have sensitive skin in particular. It gave me close shaves without irritating my skin.”

The carrying case is nice. If you are willing to spend a bit more, the station makes charging more seamless and convenient. You can squeeze out several days of shaving out of the 7500, thanks to a capacity comparable to that of the S900 Prestige.

What disappoints us the most is its material choice. The shaver feels quite flimsy, and when dropped on the floor, it could break easily.

Pros

  • Don’t cause irritation
  • Great cost-performance balance
  • Quick clean pod and travel case included
  • Easy to get into tricky areas
  • Great battery life

Cons

  • Not sturdy enough for the price
  • Awkward to hold

Verdict: The Philips Norelco 7500 is a decent alternative to the S9000 Prestige. You will have to stomach some poor design choices. That said, the overall performance on sensitive skin is still quite nice.

Philips Norelco OneBlade Pro – For Travel

Notable Specifications

  • Head type: Foil
  • Blade material: Stainless steel
  • Power source: Li-ion battery
  • Battery life: 90 minutes
  • Adaptive shaving: No
  • Cleaning station compatibility: No
  • Overall rating: 4/5

Get the Norelco OneBlade Pro if you are on the road a lot and seeking an all-in-one solution for your facial and body hair.

The secret of its magic is the interchangeable head. It has a unique design to serve different purposes, from shaving to trimming and edging.

It has a travel lock and a fancy travel case too, which is nice when you have to carry it with you all the time. The 90-minute battery life also makes it a decent choice for short getaways, even when you forget the charger.

For longer hairs, you can put on an adjustable comb. It supports a wide range of lengths, from 0.4mm all the way to 10mm. This can replace your body and beard trimmer while producing great results.

The OneBlade Pro’s cutter doesn’t come too close to the skin. If you are careful and don’t push it hard, the shaver won’t aggravate your face.

We found no trace of irritation or rash/acne breakout afterwards, which is a great payoff for its not-too-close shaving.

The biggest hassle is that the unit comes with only one replaceable blade. If you have full shaves on a regular basis, it will need replacements very often.

To make the compact size possible, the OneBlade Pro has a small shaving surface. Going through a thick beard can be trickier than you might desire. Some contoured areas may require more effort and caution from you for a proper shave as well.

Pros

  • Versatile, can shave, edge, and trim
  • Compatible with different hair lengths
  • Easy to carry on long trips
  • Safe for sensitive skin

Cons

  • The blade needs regular replacements
  • Not the most effective
  • Short runtime

Verdict: The Philips Norelco Oneblade Pro makes the most sense when you need a separate razor for your trips. Pack it with baggage, and it can meet all your grooming needs.

Panasonic Arc5 ES-LV97-K – Best High-Tech Option

Notable Specifications

  • Head type: Foil
  • Blade material: Stainless steel
  • Power source: Li-ion battery
  • Battery life: 45 minutes
  • Adaptive shaving: Yes
  • Cleaning station compatibility: Yes (Included)
  • Overall rating: 4.5/5

While many other products offer the same advanced features, the Arc5 ES-LV97-K simply brings more convenience.

We like its companion station the most. Just put the Arc5 ES-LV97 there after shaving and go do something else. The station never failed to make our unit ready for the next shave by charging and cleaning it nicely.

Busy people will love this automatic maintenance. It helps keep both the inner blade and outer foil in good condition. When properly used, you won’t need to replace the blade until the two-year mark hits.

The sensor of this shaver can also detect changes in beard density and adjust its power at a faster rate (220 and 14 times per second, respectively).

We felt this in real-time when switching from our jawline to the neck. It made the maneuver more natural and comfortable, with no breakouts, marks, or bumps afterward.

This is how one buyer praised it: “I have been using it for almost 4 months after years of using a regular razor. I was initially worried about this because of my sensitive skin. But by going slowly and using shaving cream with the Arc5, I have a smooth face without any issues.”

The whole setup is chunky and definitely not a travel option. We wish it could handle longer stubble better, especially when you are prone to ingrown hairs.

Pros

  • Flexible swiveling head
  • Highly responsive beard density sensor
  • Convenient base station
  • Great build quality
  • Comfortable in tricky and sensitive areas

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Struggle with long stubble

Verdict: The Panasonic Arc5 ES-LV97 will be the best docking station. If that is what you are going after, this is a smart shaver that requires little manual effort to groom and maintain.

Tips On Shaving Acne-Prone Skin

Shaving when you are struggling with acne is always challenging. Still, there are many things you add or change to the routine to make it less painful.

Before Shaving

Should you currently have a bad outbreak, it’s best not to shave until it has calmed down.

If your situation is less serious (just some mild acne in a small area, for instance), shaving is still possible. Talk to your dermatologist whenever you are unsure about this.

Don’t underestimate the importance of skin preparation before shaving. Many men tend to ignore this before picking up the shaver. But when your acne is your problem, prepping is a key step.

Wash your face before and after shaving
Wash your face before and after shaving
  • Wash your face with an exfoliating cleanser. You should already do this often as it can remove excess oil from your skin. Cleaning it before shaving can therefore save you some time.
  • Use hot/warm water. Higher temperatures can open the pores, keeping them from unclogging – very helpful for your acne problem.
  • Apply a cream. Use products that lather well as they can protect your skin while leaving it hydrated and smooth. You will have an easier time gliding the shaver over your face.
  • Make sure your shaving cream is made for sensitive and acne-prone skin. These products usually use non-irritating ingredients and are more gentle on the skin. Avoid alcohol-based creams as they are a common source of skin irritation.
  • Massage the cream into your face in an even layer and leave it there for a few minutes. With enough time, the cream can soften your hairs, making them more pliable.

During The Shave

  • Start with the most sensitive areas. This takes advantage of its shaving capabilities before your shaver starts to heat up.
  • Maneuver it as if you had a breakout. Be gentle and use lighter force. Heavier strokes might be needed for coarse hair, but they increase the possibility of razor burns and other forms of irritation.
  • Quality shavers should take care of the job without you applying a lot of pressure. Let them do the work instead of your hands.
  • Leave out all the pimples. Don’t try to go near or over them as nothing good can come out of it. If you are lucky, they will only get irritated. But the worst outcomes are scarring and infection, so keep that in mind.
  • Don’t move the foil shaver in a circular motion. Only attempt this with a rotary model.
  • Use straight passes in the most natural and comfortable direction for you. Most men prefer going with the grain. Shaving against the direction of facial hair growth can create a closer shaver, but it can lead to more ingrown hairs, irritation, and bumps.
  • You can combine them to get the best of both worlds. For instance, two pass along the grain before another one against it.

After The Shave

  • Wash your face. Remove hair and excess foam from your face with warm water. Then finish with splashes of cold water.
  • Apply a lotion, moisturizer, or balm. It makes up for the moisture and oil the routine has removed while preventing razor bumps.
Apply a moisturizer can help
Apply a moisturizer can help

Again, avoid alcohol-based aftershaves as they will leave your skin more vulnerable to various issues. Formulas featuring oil aren’t a great idea either. They would introduce more oils and clog the pores, increasing the breakout risk.

You can look for products with natural ingredients. Their formulas can be milder and more suitable for soothing and calming your skin.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which Shaver Is Best For acne-prone Skin?

First and foremost, it should allow for wet shaving. Dry shaving is an advantage of electric razors. But you should avoid this when your face is always at risk of a breakout.

The shaver should also be gentle on the skin while providing your desired closeness. A powerful unit can clear your facial hair without much pressure applied. All things considered, the Braun Series 9 9370cc is our recommendation.

Are Electric Razors Better For Acne-prone Skin?

In most cases, yes. 

Their blades don’t come into direct contact with your face. The cutting action at high speed does the heavy lifting, not the force of your hand. This basically eliminates the risk of nicks.

Some advanced models can adjust the power depending on the beard density too. Combine them with a good cream, and you can have a safer shave.

Can Electric Razors Cause Acne?

Yes, if you don’t choose the right tools and follow the right techniques.

Common mistakes are shaving directly over bumps and using alcohol-based products. They can create more irritation and even infection.

Conclusion

There is a reason the Braun Series 9 always tops almost every grooming tool list. This premium unit has a solid build, amazing performance, and top-notch comfort.

If it is out of your reach, consider the Series 7 or even the Series 3. They should help you handle your facial hair and prevent acne.

But remember, there is always something more to this than meets the eye.

In addition to the best electric razors for acne-prone skin, your routine matters too. Don’t shrug off your pre and post-shave steps as they all play a crucial role in protecting your vulnerable skin.

Max Young

Hello, my name is Max Young - the founder of ShaverMap.com, a website dedicated to the shaving community.

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