All You Need To Know About Styptic Pencils
Plain and simple: Getting a cut while shaving sucks.
If this is the first time you have ever heard of a styptic pencil, it most-likely means you just cut yourself while shaving.
A styptic pencil is an antihemorrhagic agent — simply put, it helps constrict blood vessels so they’ll stop bleeding. It’s most commonly used to treat small wounds and cuts on the face and body. The main ingredient in a styptic pencil is anhydrous aluminum sulfate; an agent that restricts blood flow, allowing a cut to close quickly.
Styptic pencils have been around since your grandfather was a teenager and after testing everything available on the market, we realized there hasn’t been any innovation since then. So we took it upon ourselves to create something, modern and fundamentally better. We spent the last three years, in and out of labs, creating the perfect Styptic Balm to offer customers a more natural solution to help every shaver. The goal was to create a well-designed product that was going to help deal with shaving nicks & cuts quicker, cleaner and with more quality ingredients. We wanted to stop the bleeding, but also nourish the skin at the same time.
Glyder’s Styptic Balm
In this article you will learn everything you need to know about styptic pencils, the Styptic Balm, and why it’s important to always have one in your bathroom and/or dopp kit (I have one in both).
What is a styptic pencil?
Answering this question about styptic pencils should be easy now that we have explained the basics. But in case you didn’t catch what a styptic pencil is from the paragraphs above, a styptic pencil is basically an “old-school” product used to help stop bleeding.
Now it’s time to dive into the deep end!
Let’s figure out the different types of styptic solutions available to stop shaving cuts from bleeding and which one is right for you. We did a lot of research, so you don’t have to waste your time (and money). In this article we share our key learnings about the best styptic solutions to help you with shaving cuts.
Different Types of Styptic Products
- The Styptic Balm entered the market in 2017. It is by far the easiest and most effective way to stop the bleeding from shaving cuts (not to mention most convenient). It uses a patent pending formula that includes Aloe Vera, Vitamin E, Argan Oil, Tea Tree oil, and Jojoba Oil which nourishes your skin and promotes the healing process. It uses a perfect blend of these oils with the aluminum sulfate to stop the bleeding from shaving cuts. It’s packaged in an ultra-grippable, retractable tube, making it easy to use and more hygienic than toilet paper or a styptic pencil.
Glyder’s Styptic Balm
- This styptic solution has been around for over 100 years and hasn’t changed at all. The product comes in a hard white rock form (all aluminum Sulfate) and is tough to use on your skin. The consistency of these styptic pencils can be compared to the white chalk we used in schools,. They can break rather easily, especially if it is dropped or not dried fully. Also, these products sting like hell.
- The styptic matches are created with just aluminum sulfate and designed for singles uses to stopping bleeding from shaving nicks. They usually use a very low grade of aluminum sulfate and can be very abrasive on your skin. This was the worst option in the group we tested.
- The styptic powder nowadays is quite often used on animals due to their veins being in the center of the nails. When you cut your pets nails too short, they can start bleeding and this solution seems to work well for your pets. This is not something you want to sprinkle all over your face.
What Are The Ingredients In A Styptic Pencil?
- Each styptic solution has been created differently to stop the bleeding from shaving cuts. The main ingredient in styptic pencils is anhydrous aluminum sulfate. It comes in different forms and not everyone uses the same formula to create their own styptic solution – a.k.a “styptic pencil”.
For instance, Glyder’s Styptic Balm has a patent pending formula that includes Aloe Vera, Vitamin E, Argan Oil, Tea Tree Oil, and Jojoba Oil which nourishes your skin and promotes the healing.
Styptic Pencil & Aluminum Sulfate
When Should You Use A Styptic Pencil?
- The styptic pencil, styptic balm or any different styptic solution should be used to stop the bleeding from shaving nicks and cuts. As wet shaving and single razors are once again becoming more popular, the need to use styptic solutions are increasing as well. Here’s a relatable quote from a popular shaving forum about one man’s experience with his styptic pen:
“Today I tried my first wet shave. I did manage to cut up my chin a little bit, so I grabbed the styptic pen. I picked it up, and realized I have no idea if my timing was right.”
The poor guy was well prepared, but not well informed and he’s not alone!
Every styptic pencil is best used after the shave rather than right after a cut occurs. You want to complete your shave vs stopping in the middle to treat any single cut. They should never be used mid-shave because it could affect the quality of your overall shave experience. Even worse, going over a cut that has stopped bleeding could reopen the wound.
After you’ve finished your shave, rinse your face with cold water, pat it dry, and inspect for any cuts. Treat the spots with your styptic pencil, give it a solid rinse, and then set it aside to dry. Our friend from the shaving forum at least had the right idea. Notice he said “cut my chin a little bit” and not “sliced my face open.” These nicks and cuts will happen more often if you’re transitioning from a disposable/safety razor to a single or double edge razor.
If the cut is so bad that you can’t finish your shave without blood getting everywhere, it’s probably not a job for a styptic pen. Medium to larger sized cuts may need to be treated with medical gauze and covered with a bandage.
How to use a styptic pencil?
These days, men are revisiting shaving techniques introduced by barbers trained in classic grooming methods. All that gear your grandpa used to shave, is back in vogue. Men are realizing these methods actually offer a closer, cleaner shave .
Styptic pencils are used to treat shaving nicks and cuts, they are a perfect example of traditional technology. Styptic pencils are a fast, efficient, and easy to use tool to stop bleeding fast. Don’t have one in your shave kit? Read on to learn what you’re missing.
Quick two(2) step process on how to seal shaving nicks and cuts:
- Step 1 – Wet the tip of your styptic pencil with cold water. Keep in mind that moistening the styptic pencil is a necessary for it to work properly as water is what activates the aluminum. If you are using Glyder’s Styptic Balm and your face is already wet, then you’re all set.
- Step 2) Press the tip of your styptic pencil directly to your cut. Rub the pencil on the cut for 5 seconds until the bleeding stops. Rinse and repeat. If the bleeding doesn’t stop after applying the styptic pencil for 5 seconds, depending on your cut, it may take a few tries. You might feel a slight sting, but it should go away quickly.
The styptic pencil may leave a mild, white residue behind on your face. Simply wash this off with water and you’re good to go!
How Long Does An Average Styptic Pencil Last?
The lifespan of a styptic pencil can vary depending on the formulation. Let’s look at the old school styptic pencil vs. the new school styptic balm.
Styptic Pencil: It can last you a long time but it requires additional maintenance and requires you you to dry it (2-3 minutes). It can last a very long time as it is just pure aluminum sulfate.
Styptic Balm: No need to worry about it drying, melting or breaking by dropping it on the floor, due to our patent pending application process and container. The Styptic Balm should last about one year.
Best Styptic Pencil For Treating Shaving Cuts?
- In 2017, Glyder’s Styptic Balm was ranked #1 by GQ, and Editor Choice at AskMen.com. Antonio Centeno from Real Men Real Style created the chart below around products that stops bleeding from shaving cuts and styptic balm ranked #1.
The vast majority of shaving cuts can be treated with the Styptic Balm by Glyder.. However, if you have severed a major blood vessel you should apply firm pressure to the wound and seek medical attention. Styptic pencils are available online and from various brick and mortar retailers, but avoid products that don’t provide a clean way of storing the product in its design. Poorly packaged styptic pencils have a tendency to unexpectedly crumble into useless mess. Modern versions, such as the Styptic Balm by Glyder, come in a container that helps you use just the right amount without exposing the whole product.
P.S – Hey, here is a guide on how to avoid shaving cuts on legs, quickly and fast.