Alum Block vs Styptic Pencil - what one to use and when | Glyder

Alum Block vs Styptic Pencil – what one to use and when

2015-12-26T07:28:09-05:00 December 26th, 2015|Styptic pencil|

Ever since man gazed into the water and saw his reflection, he has thought of taming his gruff exterior. Over the millennia, shaving has evolved from chipping away with a sharpened stone, to using all manner of electrical gadgets. Advanced as we may be, gentlemen around the world are beginning to rediscover a fabled golden age of shaving.

A traditional shave leaves you with a closer and more refined finish. The end result is infinitely more satisfying, but some people are put off by the risk of inconvenient shaving cuts in the morning.

To stop a shaving cut bleeding, many turn to styptic pencils or Grandpa’s alum block.

What is an alum block and how does it differ from styptic pencils?

Both alum block and styptic pencils contain potassium aluminium sulfate. This is a compound, which occurs naturally and has been used for cosmetic purposes since ancient Egyptian times.


The alum block is a giant crystal, which when used after shaving offers some relief from razor burn, and exhibits astringent properties. While this can help to close tiny shaving cuts, the main purpose is to provide more general soothing to the skin after a shave.


Styptic pencils are designed for the acute treatment of shaving cuts, and can be used on more severed nicks than the block. Their main purpose is to aid clotting and quickly seal up a wound to prevent bleeding. Application of a styptic pencil stings a little (So you know it’s working!) and unlike the alum block, you do not wash off the residue immediately.

In addition to being a handy shaving tool, styptic pencils are used in the military for quick treatment of wounds in combat. They are a highly effective and invaluable tool to control bleeding, and help to protect against infection. This is a welcome relief from the use of band-aids, which can become a vehicle for bacteria and result in festering injuries, especially in hot and humid climates.

While alum block may give a refreshing feeling following a traditional shave, it serves a similar purpose to aftershave but is unscented. Most people prefer to use a little cologne to add a touch of class to their morning ritual, but for those that are happy with a natural odor, the alum block provides a nice alternative.

If your aim is to get in control of pesky shaving nicks that won’t stop bleeding, then styptic pencils offer a more targeted solution. They are affordable and new products from innovators like, have a neat retractable packaging solution, making them easier to apply and longer lasting.

Ready to stop your shaving cuts from bleeding, purchase the modern Glyder styptic balm for 9.99$!