Posted by Zach May 26, 2016 in Styptic pencil
Styptic pencils are an important part of any man’s shaving kit, but how do you choose the right one? There are lots of different styptic products available, and they seemingly all do the same job, but there are some key differences to keep in mind. Here are five things you should consider when choosing a styptic pencil.
How to Choose the Best Styptic Pencil
1. Sealing the Wound
The most important factor in choosing a styptic pencil is how well it can stop the bleeding. No surprise here. Most traditional styptic pencils have similar astringent properties, but where you’ll see the biggest difference is between traditional styptic and liquid styptic.
Most regular styptic pencils only have two ingredients: aluminium sulfate to stop the bleeding and titanium dioxide to hold the pencil together. Nothing fancy — they’re made solely to stop blood flow, and they do a great job.
Liquid styptic on the other hand usually contains a few more ingredients to soothe the wound like aloe vera, vitamin E, and fruit oil. As a result, the aluminum sulfate is slightly diluted and most men find that liquid styptic is not quite as effective at stopping the nastier cuts. The soothing ingredients are a nice touch, but they might not be best suited if you’re a bleeder.
Price & Availability
Styptic pencils are relatively inexpensive and they all have the same application, but availability and how you fast you need it can be a factor. If you have a mom & pops drug store near you, chances are they’ll have a basic styptic pencil that will cost you about a dollar. Same with Wal-Mart.
But for some strange reason, a lot of the popular drugstores like CVS and Walgreens have stopped carrying styptic pencils. If this is the case, you’ll have to get your styptic online. You can find almost every brand of styptic online, but even though the styptic itself might be only a couple dollars, shipping and handling could double or triple the price.
2. Ease of Use
If you travel often, you want a styptic that you can easily throw into your bag without worrying if it will open back up and mark everything in your kit. Most pencils come in a clear plastic tube that you put the pencil in when not in use. These are fine when you can let it properly dry out, but it can get messy with wet hands.
Other pencils like this one from Glyder come in chapstick-like tubes. These are super convenient since you can just roll up with the styptic when you need it, and cap it when you’re done. No mess, no problem.
Pencils that are fully exposed are generally less durable. If you happen to drop one that’s not in its case, it’s likely to break like chalk. Also, since you’re supposed to rinse it after each use, an exposed pencil can erode quickly if it doesn’t dry out completely. This means you’d have to get a new pencil earlier than you otherwise would. Especially if you live in a humid climate, a styptic pencil with the chapstick case can last a lot longer.
Usually when we cut ourselves shaving, it’s because we’re rushing somewhere important. You want the cut fixed quickly with no evidence that you messed up in the first place. Some pencils are made from flimsy plastic and can be hard to open, especially if your hands or wet or you’re in a rush. You don’t always want to waste time fiddling with an annoying case when there’s blood running down your cheek.
When it comes to convenience, it’s hard to beat liquid styptic. They leave no residue and you simply put the cap back on when you’re finished. As mentioned before, it’s not quite as effective at stopping those particularly nasty cuts, but they’re good for minor nicks.
There’s no one product that’s best for everyone. Traditional styptic pencils are the best at stopping the blood, but they may not be best for people who travel or who want a no-mess application. Since liquid styptic isn’t as effective at stopping cuts, give the Glyder pencil a try. It combines the convenience of the chapstick applicator with the power of traditional styptic for the best of both worlds.
Ready to say goodbye to shaving nicks? Get your Glyder styptic balm for 9.99$!