How Does Shaving Alum Work?
If you are new to wet shaving, then you may not have heard of “Alum,” or if you have, then how does it help, and how do you use it? It has been around for a very long time, and is a tried and trusted method for helping sooth shaving irritations. It is also really effective at stopping bleeding that you may get from nicks. It is just a handy thing to keep in your bathroom for most wet shavers.
It almost always comes in a block form, and the two main ingredients are aluminium and potassium. You can also buy a shaving alum powder, though that is less popular. Irrespective of which type you want to try, the main purpose of an alum is to act as an antiseptic, and it then doubles up as a balm and will help cool down and refresh the skin.
It also acts as an astringent, which simply means it helps close up the pores after a shave. This might all sound a bit technical, but essentially if you haven’t tried it before, then we would recommend checking it out.
It really does hark back to the very traditional methods of old school shaving. Now I should also warn you that when you order one of these, do not be expecting a giant package through your door. Alum blocks are really very small, but they do last a very long time.
How Do You Use An Alum Block for Shaving?
Well that is the easy part. Once you have finished your shave, simply rinse your face off with cold water. Then take out your block of alum and run it all over your face, when it is still wet. Almost right away, you should feel a gentle tightening of the skin. Now if you have nicked yourself during a shave, and there is any type of open spot, that has started to bleed, trust me this will give you a “nip.” It is a little uncomfortable, but at least you know it will now be cleaned, and any bleeding will stop a great deal quicker. We also found that it really helps with razor burn.
These blocks only cost around £5, and for that you will get plenty of use out of it.
How To Care For Your Alum Block?
When you are finished, simply rinse the block off under the tap, give it a really good drying off, and only then put it away. That will ensure it lasts you a very long time. If you leave it still wet, it just dissolves a whole lot faster.
Avoid dropping this block as it will shatter. Trust me, I have dropped enough of them to know that all too well.
Does Alum Help With Acne?
If you read up on this in the different forums on the Internet, some people swear that this works really well for adult acne. I asked around the Emporium, but no-one appeared to have any knowledge of this. It was interesting though that many guys in their 20’s and 30’s had tried this out and it worked for them.
They were using it of course to shave and simply found out by accident that it helped clear up their acne problems.
The picture above is the one that I use myself, and like the guy in the video, I keep it in a cheap soap box. You can read reviews on this one by clicking on this link. This alum block will feel to you more like a stone or quartz type product, so maybe not quite what you expected.
Just be aware that this stings a lot if you have a nick, but I would rather have that, as running about with bits of tissue stuck to my face.
Alum As A Learning Exercise
It is an interesting concept this one, but also just happens to be true, especially if you are a beginner to wet shaving. When you first wet shave there is a tendency to lean too heavily on your razor. That is just a natural tendency, but when you do that, it slightly damages your skin. You may not visibly see this, but it does happen.
When you run an alum block over your face, then you may notice that it nips more in certain areas than others. Those will be the areas where you have applied to much pressure to the razor, so make a not of that, for the next time that you shave.