By Rayy Zar
As you would expect, this model from Philips Norelco dispenses Nivea lotion onto your face as you shave. According to an official company description:
Nivea for Men conditioner is dispensed through the shaving heads directly onto your skin, moisturizing it while shaving. The conditioner contains Natural Microtec which protects your skin against irritation.
The shaving heads have unique rings with a stretch and lift pattern that contributes to a great shave. They gently follows the contours of your face for a close shave, even in hard to reach areas. You can shave in and out of the shower: Hot water opens your pores resulting in a close shave.
Replaceable cartridge – simply pump the Nivea for Men shaving conditioner from the refill can directly into the Advanced Skin Protection System.
It is a popular product, with more than 160 customer reviews at Amazon, though with an average rating of 3.9 stars, a little below most other Philips Norelco shavers. Some users have complained about the expense and availability of the Nivea refills. Others note that this shaver is not as good as a razor shave.
Here is a useful three-star review that sums up well the pluses and minuses:
This is my first wet razor after using a dry shave electric for a couple of decades. I loved it at first, and I still love the shave it gives. It’s much closer than any electric razor I’ve had before, including an expensive Braun that didn’t last 2 years. The lotion dispensing system gives a great gliding surface which makes it easy to get close and go over tough spots a couple of times without irritation. I’ve also used it with canned shaving cream applied directly to my face as some other reviewers recommended, and it did well too, though losing the convenience of the on-board lotion dispenser. Overall, it gives a great shave and the price is lower than most in this category, so I’d rate it highly for that.
Here’s the bad stuff, though. It seems they’ve gone to extra lengths to make the thing small, and in doing so have sacrificed capacity, both in the lotion reservoir and in the battery life. Using enough lotion to get a comfortable shave will use up the whole reservior in 3 or 4 days. They certainly could have enlarged the reservoir and doubled the capacity and still had a sleek small machine. Also the battery life is a little disappointing. My old Remmington started off with a couple of weeks’ battery life, and I decided to replace it when it got down to 5 or 6 days a few years later. This razor barely does any better than this, needing a charge every week or so. Plus, it charges from a stand rather than a direct connection, so when it gets low and stops dead (the Remmington got slower and slower for a couple of days giving fair warning) you can’t plug it in and keep shaving. I had to dry off and go back to the old machine when it conked out halfway through the shave. And the directions tell you not to leave it on charge all the time as that will reduce the battery life. A bigger battery might have addressed this issue, and a direct plug in charger would have been much better.
It’s a good razor and I recommend it for the shave quality. If you don’t mind frequent refils and charges, it’s good for the price. Next time I think I’ll pay attention to those things before I buy.
* Get the latest price on the Philips Norelco HS8420 Nivea for Men Razor.