So you finally decided to venture into the world of electric shaving/time saving. You either got the shaver as a gift or out of pure curiosity. Whatever the reason is you came here because it may seem a little foreign to you. A manual razor is more self explanatory--razor, foam, shave; rinse with water and repeat.
First and foremost, you will want to see if the shaver you have is a rotary or a foil shaver. A rotary will have three rotating mechanisms, where as, a foil shaver will have steel foils (make sure they're hypoallergenic if you have sensitive skin) with blades inside that will oscillate as you shave.
For the closest shave possible, I recommend that you soften your beard up a bit by washing your face and neck with warm water, this process will also remove your skins natural oils that may clog up your blades.
Just like shoes, you will have to break it in for a bit. Most consumers feel they achieve the greatest results at week two, however, depending on the quality of the shaver it may only take 5 days or so. Now if you're a daily electric shaver and bought a new shaver the grace period may not apply as your face has had time to adjust to the same kind of mechanisms, so switching to a newer model may not effect you...I said may not, so don't quote me on that one, YMMV.
Some sites will tell you to use a pre-shave, but I don't feel it will be necessary, simply because the newer models out on the market have tools integrated into their shavers that will lift flat-lying hairs, or hairs growing in crazy directions
The pre-shave will lift those nutty hairs of yours and keep them erect making shaving easier while eliminating the natural oils on your skin, but washing your face, as aforementioned, with water will suffice. Save the money and forego the pre-shave if your shaver is designed to achieve the same goal.
Next up is probably the second most important tip. If you want to avoid ingrown hairs you will need to figure out the direction your hair grows. For the smoothest shave possible you will want to shave against the grain, the opposite direction your hair grows, if your hair is uber sensitive then I recommend shaving with the grain (when you rub your face it will be the softest), but you wont get the smoothest shave.
Or you could shave with the grain until you get most of the hairs then go against to finish it up for that smooth finish. Your choice.
We've finally arrived to the big event, the shaving process.
If you're using a rotary shaver you will want to move the shaver over your face in circular motions--slow, circular motions. Just remember not to apply too much pressure as it is not needed and this will cause too much skin irritation. The rotary heads are designed to just slightly hover over your face to give you a more comfortable shave.
If you're using a foil shaver the process is a little different but nothing you can't handle. Read for it? You just move up and down in slow strokes.
Deal with the delicate areas first before your shaver starts omitting heat. The heat from the shaver will irritate your skin but it will be most noticeable on areas like your ears, ha.
Check out our article on how to clean your electric shaver so it will last longer.