Alum blocks for shaving have been around forever, but do they still have a place in a man’s arsenal? The answer is — it depends. The use of alum on your face can provide benefits that other aftershaves or moisturizers don’t have, but for some men it just doesn’t make sense to use very often, if at all.
Quick background on alum blocks
Alum blocks are crystal-like stones that men use as part of their wet shaving routine. When rubbed over a freshly shaved area, it acts as an antiseptic and can prevent razor burn. Also, similar to styptic pencils, they can stop bleeding from small nicks and cuts.
Applying alum block after shaving to stop bleeding works, but that job is more for styptic pencils. The alum block’s main skill is tightening up freshly shaved skin while making it feel cool and refreshed.
Do you really need to use an alum block after shaving?
The men that will benefit the most from incorporating an alum block into their shaving routine are those with very full beards that need to be shaved often. Shaving your whole face everyday can do a number on your skin — alum blocks are natural astringents that will protect your face from most types of irritation.
Guys that rock a beard and only clean themselves up from time to time won’t find much value in using an alum block. Guys with thin beards or just patches of facial hair probably don’t need one either. Just get a styptic pencil in case you slip, and some good moisturizer.
What kind of results can I expect from an alum block?
As soon as the first time that you use the alum block, you’ll feel your skin tighten up and you’ll feel more awake. With regular use over time, your skin will look more even and toned.
You can think of the alum block as a diagnostic tool. If you run it over your face and there’s only a minor sting, then you know that you’ve had a good shave with only a bit of irritation. If you have an especially clumsy or lazy shave, you’ll know. It’ll sting quite a bit as a lesson for you to slow down and take care of your face!
There are plenty of men who swear by alum blocks. Incorporating it into your daily shaving routine can give you a cooling rush to look forward to after scraping your face. If you want to try one for yourself, we recommend the Gentleman Jon Alum Block.