Alum Block – What Does It Do for Shaving?

potassium alum shaving block best buy

What Does Alum Block Do for Shaving?

Using Alum block after shaving is something that I learned a couple months ago. Learning traditional wet shaving will involve a learning curve. Mostly, you will learn to forget what you have learned with a modern shaving gear.

The first couple of months, I always have a minor nick here and there. Sometimes just one nick, other time I may have three nicks or more. It was not a big deal. I just put pressure on the nick and the bleeding stopped.

But I learned that it is not an entirely correct way. What if I nick and cut myself rather bad? Putting just pressure will take a longer time. Alum block will definitely help to close it. Its properties of astringent and antiseptic will do the job nicely.

Alum block is the first help to fight the razor burn. It will sting where you have the razor burn but help to reduce the inflammation.

 

What is Potassium Alum block?

Alum is usually a short name for Potassium Alum. There are other kinds of Alum. I will just mention them here:

  • Soda Alum has the formula NaAl(SO4)2·12H2O. It is used in baking powder and as an acidulant in food.
  • Ammonium Alum has the formula NH4Al(SO4)2·12H2O. Ammonium alum has a range of applications in tanning, dyeing textiles, making textiles flame retardant, in the manufacture of porcelain cement and vegetable glues, in water purification and in some deodorants.
  • Chrome Alum or chromium alum has the formula KCr(SO4)2·12H2O. This alum has a deep violet color. It is used in tanning and can be added to other alum to grow lavender or purple crystals.
  • Selenate Alums occur when selenium are used instead of sulfur. That is why you get a selenate, (SeO42-) instead of a sulfate . The selenium-containing alums are strong oxidizing agents, so they can be used as antiseptics, among other uses.

Potassium Alum has the formula KAl(SO4)2. This is what Alum Blocks use for wet shaving. It stops bleeding by constricting blood vessels and tightening pores.

 

How to Use Alum Block

It is really easy to use an alum block. Here is how:alum block how to use after shaving

  1. Keep your face wet after shaving
  2. Get your alum block
  3. Wet the alum block. You do not need to soak it or run it under the cold water for a long time. This is a salt after all. It might dissolve completely if you leave it in the water.
  4. Rub your shaven face area with the alum block.
  5. Let it sit for a minute
  6. Rinse your face again

 

Other Functions of Alum Block

There are other uses for alum:

    • Alum vagina tightening. This is something that I just found out. You dilute alum powder with water. Wet your finger with that solution and apply it to your vagina. (Disclaimer: I’m a guy and I don’t know if this works. There are articles and videos covering this subject).
    • Alum powder for canker sores. Get your alum from the spice section of your supermarket. Get a pea size of it and apply it to your canker sore. It will sting for a couple of minutes but it will speed up the healing process.
    • Alum crystal deodorant. Alum has been known to help fight body odor. Use it regularly on your armpit. It is also known for whitening your underarm.
    • Anti Slip. I always rub my hand on the alum before shaving. It removes any slippery from my hand. I can grip my razor better and firmer afterward.

 

Best Buy Alum Blocks are:

Gentleman Jon 3.7 Ounce

This alum comes in a plastic case. Easy storage and suitable for traveling. It is the biggest of alum block in the market. You really have a bargain with this alum block. Get yours here.

 

Bloc Osma 2.65 Ounce.

This alum is made in France. This small block is solid. No air pocket inside it. A long lasting use. Get yours here.

RazoRock Alum Block.

This alum also comes with a plastic travel case. A good block but it has been reported that it breaks easily. Air pockets inside the blocks are the cause. This block is easy to hold. Get yours here.

 

Taylor of Old Bond Street Alum Block

TOBS has a great product range specifically for wet shaving. It is not a wonder that they also provide an alum block for its fans. Get yours here.

 

Barbero Alum Block No.01 2.64 oz / 75 g

This is another France product. This alum block works wonderfully at stopping nicks and reducing razor burns. Get yours here.

 

Shavex Alum Block, Travel Size – 45g / 1.5 Oz

This is a travel size alum block. Shavex makes this alum with an extra heating process. The process makes the alum block translucent and stronger against cracking. Get yours here.

 

Alternatives to Alum Block

What if you don’t like alum block? It seems a bit of a hassle to bring a block to travel. No worries. Just grab one of these options.

Styptic Pencil

This is a great and easy to use the product. Also great for outdoor traveling. When you are hiking, you are bound to have scratches.This styptic pencil will become your first aid in healing those wounds. Get yours here.

Styptic Swab

This is working just like a styptic pencil but with a smaller head. It can target places like cuticle bleeding, where a big pencil will definitely not be able to touch the area. Get yours here.

 

What Do You Use?

I personally love to use an alum block. It really freshens up my face after shaving. It makes my skin feeling clean and tight. Sure, it stings a bit when I have razor burns. But the benefits outweigh those stings. Don’t forget to use an aftershave after using alum. This is to complete your skin care.

Tell me your experience! What do you use? Do you use it regularly after shaving?


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Arief Wibowo

I am a wet shaving enthusiast that is on a journey to find a better shaving experience. Never received any training on the subject. That's why you may read that the journey may be colored with some blood. Ouch.

15 Comments

  1. Boy, all these years and I never even heard of Alum Block! I travel quite a bit for business and always fear of that nick prior to a big meeting, so I would use an electric shaver. Even though it was not as close of a shave, I would not get nicked. I think I now have a solution! Thanks for the great tip of the Alum Block!!!

  2. I have tried the syptic pencil a long time ago, but I never knew about the shaving block. Do these have a smell at all? Seems like it would work good for women too. I’ll have to try one of these. Good to know.

    • Hi Amanda,

      Alum block has no smell at all. It is a “salt”. It will work wonder to use it on underarms. It will lessen the body odor and can work as an antiperspirant.

      And of course, if you shave, you can use this on your legs and other areas.

      Yeah, it works for women, too.

  3. I had no idea this product existed. Seems very useful. I can see how this product can be used for both razor cuts and canker sores but “Alum vagina tightening”? Very interesting indeed.

    • Hi Ange,

      Well… you just never know with the internet. My research led to the “Vagina tightening”. But I am not letting my wife to put Alum inside hers. 😀

  4. I have definitely nicked myself more than I can count and I have a blood disorder so that’s not a good thing either. I will definately look into buying this asap. Thank you so much for providing me with this education.

    • Hi Sheena,

      I don’t know about your blood disorder. Just like any approach about medical conditions, please advise your physician before using this alum block.
      Generally, it is safe to use.

  5. I heard about this product a year or so ago and bought one for my daughter to use as an antiperspirant , I want to limit the amount of chemicals my children put on their bodies. I’m glad that you stated that the product needs to be rinsed once it’s applied to the face, as i would imagine it to be very astringent.

    • Hi Kerry,

      Yes, you need to wash it off after a while. But again, this is not a strong chemical. Basically, it is just a salt.

      You can just wash it off with water afterward.

  6. In the US, a company by the name of “Crystal” sells a natural deodorant stick which is a cylinder of Potassium Alum in a handy twist-to-raise container. It is available in most popular pharmacies and supermarkets and is a good alternative to the traditional alum block.

  7. I had no idea a product like this existed!!! I have spent years using crappy after shaves and balms, dealing with their smells and the skin irratation that follows. I travel alot for work so clean shaving is a must for me. Will have to pick some of this up and give it a shot.

    • Hi Jason,

      It seems that alum block eluded you till today. Go pick some. Alum block is really a great way to finish your shaving time.

  8. Hi, I read your article with great interest, thanks for posting it. I have used a steptic pencil for shaving. My wife told me it would work on canker sore, it does! It burns like crazy and tastes horrible but it’s worth it to get rid of the painful sore.

    I am trying to find out if the Alum you mentioned and the steptic pencil are the same thing? Link below; I read it but am not sure.
    https://www.google.com/search?q=what+is+styptic+pencil+made+of&rlz=1C1KUBR_enUS744US744&oq=what+is+steptic+pencil&aqs=chrome.2.69i57j0l4.12072j0j8&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

    Can you help?

    Thanks,
    Matt

    • Hi Matt,

      Yes, the link you gave me is the right product. The styptic pencil is the pencil-type alum. I prefer a block because I love to scrub my face with it. It gives me the sensation of complete coverage. As for a styptic pencil, it will help you to pinpoint a certain spot and give it a proper pressure to help to stop the bleeding.

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