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: Sensitive Skin

Too many men’s grooming brands overlook men’s skin as being oily across the board, but this just isn’t true. Men, like our female counterparts suffer with all skin types including sensitivity. Characterised by redness, soreness, itchiness and tightness – mainly on the face and beard area post-shaving.

Wash your face with warm or tepid water – to prevent sizeable temperature fluctuations and avoid using harsh face scrubs. Importantly, choose products specially designed for sensitive skin to minimise the risk of irritation. Avoid fragranced products and an ingredient list containing alcohol. These types of product are often labelled ‘hypoallergenic’.

Here are some solutions recommended for your bathroom shelf in the fight against sensitive skin.


Choose a cleanser designed specifically for sensitive skin. It will be less likely to contain known irritants such as fragrance and or alcohol.


Recommended: Hydra-Calm Cleansing Gel, £17/ 150ml by REN – a gentle facial cleanser formulated to leave sensitive skin thoroughly cleansed, refreshed and soothed without irritation, tightness or discomfort.



A carefully prepared shave will ease irritation significantly. Opt for a new, sharp blade to avoid ‘tug and pull’ of hairs – I recommend the Gillette Fusion ProGlide SilverTouch razor and blades. Boston-based Gillette certainly know a thing or two about razor blades, founded in 1901 – there technology today is still unrivalled.

A pre-shave oil is useful – offering extra protection, and remember to shower before, not after shaving to soften and raise hairs. Most of all, use a good quality shaving cream.


Recommended: Shaving Cream £16/ 200g Bowl by GEO F TRUMPER- hands down the finest shave cream available today. A rich Glycerin content ensures skin is left hydrated, and a rich, creamy lather provides a super-protective barrier, protecting the skin.


The keen to living with sensitive skin is to keep it hydrated, nourished and protected. Try and avoid the sun where possible and choose a moisturiser with as few ingredients as possible.


Recommended:QMS Medicosmetics Moisturizing Balance £108/50ml – this really is a great product for sensitive skin. It moisturises and strengthens the natural resistance of the skin whilst also nourishing. As well as countless anti-ageing benefits, it’s gentle formula is great for soothing skin post-shave. A pricey affair but it lasts, and a little goes a very long way.