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. As ever, there are different options depending on the condition of your freshly shaven skin- here are your options.

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: L’Occitane Cade After Shave Balm £24/75ml – probably the most soothing after shave balm I’ve tried. Enriched with a purifying and stimulating cade essential oil, protecting shea butter, moisturising vegetable-based glycerine, soothing bisabolol and firming extract of birch sap, this aftershave balm immediately soothes the skin. It will also prevent subsequent irritations and the feeling of tightness. Skin is left feeling seriously cared for post-shave.

After Shave Splash

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 £9.95/ 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.

Chris Beastall

Chris is the Founder and Editor of Ape to Gentleman. His interests lie in men's style, male grooming and leading a better lifestyle - through minimalist, basic and clean design.