The Shelf is a men’s grooming series by Ape to Gentleman focusing on skin care; designed to assist with common grooming ailments, achieving certain looks and general best practice. Different from our Top 10 or Three of The Best series, The Shelf offers rounded solutions to a variety of topics – resulting in recommended products for your bathroom shelf. Similar Ape to Gentleman series include The Rail (Fashion) and The Room (Lifestyle).

The Shelf: After Shave Care

Choosing the right shaving software and hardware is one thing but many neglect there after shave care. Following the right procedures can quickly and easily stave off any longer-term irritation.

When we shave, we remove top layers of skin and cause very small abrasions, which if left ‘untreated’ can be irritating. A good after shave product will soothe, calm and repair skin.

The best option is an after shave balm but there are gentle aftershave splashes out their which can do a useful job too. Ingredients like aloe vera are particularly good at soothing freshly shaven skin

After Shave Balm

For those who don’t suffer too badly with post-shave irritation your daily face moisturiser will calm, soothe and add back some hydration but for those who do, we advise a dedicated after shave balm. Most will have anti-infection properties to stave off infected pores, and ingrown hairs.


Recommended:Gillette Fusion ProSeries Irritation Defense Soothing Moisturiser £8.99/ 200ml – designed to fight the 5 signs of shaving irritation: dryness, burning, stinging, redness and tightness. This lightweight and easy to spread formula contains a trademarked active soothing complex which restores moisture and does a fine job of soothing skin – instant relief.

After Shave

An after shave splash is a more traditional product – and often attributed to men slapping it on their face, only to be seen suffering with stinging pain. This is likely to be true for those with extra sensitive skin but a good quality after shave does have its benefits, most notably at toning and closing pores.


Recommended:Proraso Aftershave £11.95/ 100ml – it contains a host of useful ingredients including cooling Menthol, toning Witch Hazel and soothing Allantoin. It will also close pores, preventing infection and leave a pleasant scent.

Alum Block

Even the most careful shaver can’t always avoid cuts and nicks. If you’re unfortunate enough to nick your skin and draw blood, the answer is a potassium rich alum block. Used by man since Egyptian times it is a fast and effective remedy for sealing cuts and nicks.


Recommended:Taylor of Old Bond Street Alum Block £7.95/ 75g – as before, Taylor advise using after shaving to close pores and seal minor nicks or cuts. The haemostatic qualities of alum will stop any bleeding immediately.