When it comes to men’s personal grooming, there’s nothing quite so convoluted as shaving. After all, there’s really nothing complicated or varied from day to day about showering or brushing your teeth. But, with shaving, just consider the following: On any given day, you can shave at different times (morning, evening, while driving to work!), you can shave in different ways (i.e., razor blades vs. electric shavers), and you can even shave different parts of your face at different points in time (i.e., maybe have a goatee today, a simple moustache tomorrow, and a full beard again by next week—not to mention the many configurations of sideburns you might cycle through in your lifetime). See what I mean? Shaving is complicated!
Thankfully, then, there are some really good tools out there to help make things just a little bit easier. For the past few years I’ve been using a Philips AquaTouch Wet / Dry Men’s Shaver (nearly identical to the one in the picture). It’s been a really great shaver in all that time, and I’ve been able to leave razor blades completely behind (which is very good because I always found that they left me with razor burns). I always use my AquaTouch in dry mode, and it only takes seconds to complete a full, close shave as long as I’ve been shaving daily. Sometimes, however, I like to go on the 2-3 day schedule. This is my preferred method as I like to keep a bit of stubble going most of the time. By allowing 2-3, or even 4 days of growth between shaves, I find that a complete, close shave takes as much as 5 minutes to finish. This is because some of the whiskers are a bit more stubborn and harder to mow down once they’ve had a chance to establish themselves and are not necessarily fully perpendicular to my skin. In other words, if the’re laying flat to my face, they are much harder for the shaver’s blades to pick up and cut off.
In any case, whether I shave every single day or wait a few days in between shaves, I always come out with a close shave and no skin irritation or razor burns. Since this was always a major problem for me, I don’t plan to ever go back to razor blades full time. They take much longer to use, require shaving cream or gel (as well as some softening up with a red-hot, wet facecloth), and often require a second pass to get everything. They also tend to dull really quickly on me (coarse whiskers!) and are only good for 1 or 2 uses. I’ll consider using blades again on a one-off basis if I ever want a super close (i.e., below skin level) shave as the lift and cut thing really does seem to work and provides the closest shave of all, but at the cost of significantly more time spent shaving, some nasty razor burns, and the expense of razor blades and shaving cream that runs out all too soon. Of course, if you do prefer a wet shave with cream and all (and the creams & gels do generally have some very good moisturizers and other additives in them that can do wonders for dry skin), the Philips AquaTouch is designed for that as well. Whether wet or dry, you are sure to get a close, comfortable shave with this type of shaver. I always have!
One of the really great things about the Philips AquaTouch Shaver is just how easy it is to clean. Shavers that are “dry use” only are often very difficult to clean (at least in my experience). My previous electric shaver was a dry use model, and while it was a very effective shaver, it always took a significant amount of time and effort to clean. Getting all of the whiskers cleaned out from inside and underneath the blades was always difficult. I used to have to completely disassemble each of the 3 blades (they’re made up of a lot more parts than one might think) and use brushes and Q-tips to get them fully clean. Very troublesome! I did this every single time I needed to clean my shaver, which was usually every few weeks / months (depending on how often I was shaving). With the Philips AquaTouch Wet / Dry, however, all I need to do is open the inner chamber and hold the entire apparatus under the bathroom faucet for a few seconds. I generally turn up the water pressure to its highest level so as to really get everything out and clean as quickly as possible. I have found that its ability to take a good dousing of water is one of the AquaTouch’s best features. I never have to use Q-tips or other implements for shaver maintenance anymore. While the AquaTouch does come with its own small cleaning brush, I’ve never yet had to employ mine. I honestly don’t even think I could find it now. It’s never been necessary to keep track of.
Another great feature of the AquaTouch is its pop up trimmer, which is perfect for use on sideburns, goatees, moustaches, and any other facial hair trimming point. I used to mostly use mine the same way as the chap in the photo (left), but not so much recently as I just let the regular blades do their job now and don’t lose any sleep over how straight the lines are. Also, a few years back I had, at various points, a moustache, a goatee, and a full beard. I got plenty of use out of the trimmer then—particularly in the moustache area as otherwise it eventually became so bushy that I looked a little bit like the Super Mario Brothers.
If you’d like a little proof of my experience with facial hair, that’s me in New Zealand in 2009 (right). For a few weeks I sported a full beard, and I definitely got a lot of use out of the pop up trimmer then. It’s a great way to keep things from getting wildly out of control! After all, when you grow a beard, your only 2 choices are to keep it trimmed regularly or let it grow uncontrollably. I preferred to try and exercise some level of control over the thing, but in the end it just proved to be more bother than it was worth, so I shaved it off.
One final note. If your AquaTouch runs down and you need to charge it up for a shave, you can plug it in for just 3 minutes, then unplug it and get a single shave out of it. This is good if you’re running late in the morning and didn’t realize your shaver battery was dead. You can even do the actual shaving in your car if you like. In any case, I always charge my AquaTouch in full (it just takes a few hours) and then proceed to get a few weeks of shaves out of it before it needs recharging. It’s really nice that it doesn’t need to charge very often or need to be plugged in during use! In fact, mine won’t run at all while plugged in, which I assume is a safety feature.
Whether you prefer to have a lot of facial hair, a little facial hair, or no facial hair at all, a quality electric shaver is a must have tool for pretty much all of us men. If you’re currently on the lookout for one, Best Buy has a great selection of Shavers & Groomers beyond the one that I’ve discussed here today. Whatever your brand or style preference, they’re sure to have something for you!