If you’re looking to prevent acne after shaving, using the right razor is an absolute must. While the act of shaving itself doesn’t cause acne, the wrong razor can aggravate current blemishes and irritate the skin, and may even cause breakouts if not used correctly.
With this in mind, choosing the proper razor is key for maintaining a calm and clear complexion, especially if you shave on a regular basis. Below, we’re going to dive into my top recommendations for the best razors for acne-prone skin.
What Type of Razor is Best for Acne-Prone Skin
When it comes to acneic skin, I recommend using cartridge razors. These types of razors have a swiveling head that moves with the angles of your face, which makes it far less likely to accidentally nick your skin or an active blemish. Many also have strips infused with lubricating and soothing ingredients, which can help reduce any irritation.
Since you need to change the cartridge regularly, it ensures you aren’t spreading any pore-clogging debris or bacteria to the skin from previous shaves. Of course, this is only true if you’re actually switching out the cartridge on a regular basis (after every five to seven shaves). You’ll also need to thoroughly clean your razor between shaves for the best results.
Some cartridge razors are better than others when it comes to shaving acne-prone skin, so there are a few things to keep in mind. I suggest aiming for razors (whether cartridge or not) that have three or less blades. Razors with more blades cut closer to the skin, which can cause more irritation – especially if you’re currently breaking out. These types of razors also have a higher risk of causing razor bumps.
It’s also best to look for cartridge razors that have skin guards that protect against irritation. Cartridge razors that are specifically made for sensitive skin are usually good options for men with acne, since they’re gentler on the skin.
Below, I have two cartridge razor recommendations, as well as other types of razors that are suitable for skin prone to breakouts.
The Best Razors for Acne-Prone Skin Summary
|Best||Razors for Acne|
|On a Budget||BIC Sensitive Single Blade Shaver|
|Electric Razor||Panasonic Arc5 Electric Razor for Men|
|Disposable Razor||BIC Sensitive 2|
|Straight Razor||Naked Armor Solomon 7/8″ Straight Razor|
|Cartridge Razor||Schick Hydro Slim Head Sensitive Razor|
Gillette – Mach3
Offers a close shave without aggravating the skin
The blades offer a close shave while still being safe for acneic skin
The strip supports the skin and ensures the razor glides smoothly
Microfin Skin Guard
The skin guard gently pulls on the skin to allow for a smooth shave
As stated, cartridge razors are generally my recommendation as the best types of razors for acne-prone skin. The Gillette Mach3 is my top overall pick. It’s created with three high-quality, super strong blades that are made to stay sharp longer. This means you don’t need to worry about dull blades causing irritation or ingrown hairs.
The blades used are the company’s DuraComfort blades, which feature an open-blade architecture. This blade style makes rinsing out dead skin cells, excess shaving cream, and other debris between each shave a breeze. This is an absolute must for acneic skin-friendly razors, as you don’t want to spread pore-clogging debris around your face.
A lubcriction strip also ensures the razor glides smoothly, and adds further anti-irritation and anti-redness benefits. This strip eventually fades to white, which signals that it’s time to switch out your blades. The razor also has a microfin skin guard that lightly stretches and smooths out the skin to allow for the best shave.
Gillette Mach3 Pros:
- Lubrication strip comforts and protects the skin.
- Easy to clean, which means a lower possibility of spreading pore-clogging debris.
- Three blades, which deliver a close shave without causing irritation.
Gillette Mach3 Cons:
- Lightweight handle feels a bit cheaper.
Best On a Budget:
BIC – Sensitive Single Blade Shaver
Low price that’s great for those on a budget
The one blade offers a gentle shave
Easy to Clean
Since there’s just one blade, no need to worry about debris getting stuck in the razor
This gentle razor was specifically made with sensitive skin in mind
If you’re trying to get that smooth, irritation-free shave without spending a ton of money I recommend the BIC Sensitive Single Blade Shaver. Single blades are great for acne-prone complexions, because they don’t get quite as close to the skin as multiple blade razors do. This means they are gentler on the skin. They’re also super easy to clean (no need to worry about gunk getting stuck between blades), so there’s less of a concern around spreading pore-clogging debris.
Since this specific razor is made with sensitive skin in mind, it’s particularly well-suited for those looking to take a super gentle approach to shaving. In addition to the single blade, the razor has a slim handle that’s easy to hold. Each disposable razor also comes with a cover you can snap on, which makes them great for travel.
Compared to the Gillette Mach3 (and the other recommendations below), the BIC Sensitive Single Blade Shaver isn’t going to give as close of a shave, since it only has the one blade. However, for the price, it offers great results, and it’s an excellent option for men prone to blemishes.
BIC Sensitive Single Blade Shaver Pros:
- Single blade that’s gentle on the skin.
BIC Sensitive Single Blade Shaver Cons:
- Not going to give as close of a shave as other options on the list.
Best Electric Razor:
Panasonic – Arc5 Electric Razor for Men
Stainless Steel Blades
The blades are hypoallergenic, which ensures they’re safe for even the most sensitive skin
Sensors detect hair density to control the motor speed, ensuring the shaving process doesn’t aggravate the skin
The electric razor is made to be safe for use in the shower
The razor easily follows contours to allow for a close and safe shave
I’ll start off by saying that electric razors should be used with caution if you have sensitive, blemish-prone skin. Generally, I try to guide men with acne towards non-electric alternatives instead. However, if you’re dead set on using one, the Panasonic Arc5 Electric Razor for Men is your best bet. While it’s certainly not the cheapest option on the market, it’s thoughtfully made to give a close shave that doesn’t aggravate the skin.
This Panasonic electric razor has five hypoallergenic stainless steel blades. While many electric razors work slightly under the skin to remove hair, this one works on the surface of the skin. This ultimately means it gives a gentler, irritation-free shave.
It also has an advanced sensor system that detects hair thickness, and then uses that info to adjust the motor speed of the razor. This is particularly ideal for sensitive and acne-prone skin types, because it stops the razor from using an excess of power on an area that doesn’t need it. This means it’s not going to irritate the skin.
What’s also great about this razor is the built-in trimmer, as well as the pivoting head, which closely follows the contours of the face to give a great shave. I also love the cleaning and charging station, which automatically cleans the razor. The charge hold is also excellent. The cordless razor can provide 40 minutes of power on a single charge.
Panasonic Arc5 Electric Razor for Men Pros:
- Hypoallergenic stainless steel blades are safe for even sensitive skin.
- Sensor system ensures the motor speed isn’t causing skin irritation.
- Built-in trimmer allows for easy detailing of mustaches, sideburns, and beards.
Panasonic Arc5 Electric Razor for Men Cons:
- Pricey, but should last for a long time.
Best Disposable Razor:
BIC – Sensitive 2
The two blades closely shave the skin without causing irritation
Offers a great shave at a reasonable price
Good for Sensitive Skin
This razor is made to meet the needs of easily irritated skin
Easy to Clean
Since it has fewer blades, it’s easy to clean
The BIC Sensitive 2 is my all-time favorite when it comes to a budget-friendly disposable razor. It’s a bit more expensive compared to the BIC Sensitive Single Blade Shaver (the other disposable BIC razor recommended above), but it has a few extra key features that the other option is missing.
This BIC razor has two blades, which allow for a close shave with little risk of irritation. While the shave won’t be quite as close as razors with more blades, it is still able to offer a smooth shave while being gentle on the skin. Since there are only two blades, it’s a relatively easy razor to clean.
It also has a pivoting head, which ensures you’re able to reach every contour of the face for an easy shave. The pivoting head paired with the easy-grip razor handle makes shaving a breeze.
What takes this razor to the next level – especially for acneic and sensitive skin types – is the wide lubricating strip. This strip is infused with soothing and moisturizing aloe vera and vitamin E. It allows the razor to easily glide across the skin, and also works to combat any skin aggravation.
BIC Sensitive 2 Pros:
- The two blades offer a smooth shave without causing irritation.
- A lubricating strip calms the skin and helps the razor glide more smoothly.
BIC Sensitive 2 Cons:
- Not going to give as close as a shave as some other options on the list.
Best Straight Razor:
Naked Armor – Solomon 7/8″ Straight Razor
Blade is crafted with super hard Japanese steel that’s made to stay sharp
Easy to Clean
With just one blade, cleaning the razor is a breeze
The sleek handle is easy to hold and stylish
This straight razor will last for years
Straight razors are great for skin prone to acne and irritation, so if you feel confident using one, it can be an excellent route to take. Of course, the key to getting a clean, gentle shave is using a high-quality straight razor. I recommend the Naked Armor Solomon 7/8″ Straight Razor. It’s one of the pricier options on the list (along with the Panasonic Arc5 Electric Razor), but it’s going to last you a long time.
This straight razor (along with the other straight razors Naked Armor offers) is crafted with some of the best quality steel available. The blade is made of imported Japanese steel, which has an incredibly high hardness rating. It’s made to stay sharp with proper maintenance, so you can use it for years.
Since there aren’t multiple blades for grime to build up in, this straight razor is also super easy to clean, making it a very hygienic and acneic skin-friendly option. Bonus: with the smooth algum wood handle, it looks pretty sleek.
Naked Armor Solomon 7/8″ Straight Razor Pros:
- Uses the highest quality Japanese steel with a super high hardness rating.
- Easy to clean.
- Long lasting with proper maintenance.
Naked Armor Solomon 7/8″ Straight Razor Cons:
Best Cartridge Razor:
Schick – Hydro Slim Head Sensitive Razor
The slim cartridge is great for shaving areas of the face that are tricky to reach
Skin-Supporting Gel Pools
Gel pools infused with aloe and pro-vitamin B5 calm and moisturize the skin
The multi-blade razor gets a close shave that doesn’t negatively affect the skin
This great quality razor is available at a budget-friendly price
While I’ve already recommended another cartridge razor above, another option that I’ve had great results with is the Schick Hydro Slim Head Sensitive Razor. This dermatologist-tested razor is made with three blades that provide a smooth shave without aggravation. The narrow cartridge makes it a particularly ideal option for shaving harder-to-reach places, such as the sideburns or under the nose.
A highlight of the razor is the seven gel pools. These are enriched with aloe and pro-vitamin B5, which soothe and hydrate the complexion to leave the skin feeling soft and comfortable after shaving. These gel pools also ensure there isn’t too much friction during the shaving process. Additionally, each blade has a skin guard, which allows the razor to give that smooth but gentle shave.
Schick Hydro Slim Head Sensitive Razor Pros:
- Aloe and pro-vitamin B5-infused gel comforts and hydrates the skin.
- Three blades provide a close shave.
- Narrow cartridge is ideal for getting to hard-to-reach places.
Schick Hydro Slim Head Sensitive Razor Cons:
The Best Shaving Cream for Acne-Prone Skin
What’s equally as important is using a shaving cream that is safe for acne-prone skin. Many shaving creams available on the market contain comedogenic (pore-clogging) ingredients. In order to keep your skin clear, grooming with a suitable shaving cream for your skin type is an absolute must.
Keep an eye out for gentle formulas made with soothing and non-irritating ingredients. Some ingredients to look for include glycerin, aloe vera, and allantoin. Some shaving creams are also made with acne-fighting ingredients, such as tea tree oil and salicylic acid. These are excellent options.
There are also some ingredients I highly recommend avoiding. Coconut oil is commonly found in shaving creams, but is unfortunately very comedogenic. Pass on shaving creams that are formulated with it. I also suggest steering clear of dyes, fragrances, eucalyptus oil, and menthol, all of which can be irritating.