There is a little addition to your shaving routine that will take no more than a few seconds a day but will improve your shave experience enormously. It will also help eleviate the effects of razor burn if you suffer from it. I am talking about the Alum Block. This is nothing new, Alum is as old as the hills and has been used for as long as people have shaved. The ancient Egyptians used it 4000 years ago and it is still as useful today.
Alum is a naturally occurring crystal, the chemical term being Potassium Aluminium Sulphate (I make no apologies for spelling Sulphate with a “ph” – I’m old school and cannot bring myself to spell it with an “f”). It’s household name is Alum.
Alum is excellent for use after shaving. If you read my article on the “5 golden rules of shaving” you will remember that one of the rules (number 4) was to close the pores of your skin after shaving. Alum is an astringent so is perfect for tightening the skin and to close the pores and leaves your skin feeling fresh. It also has antibacterial properties which help to eliminate any infection in any small cuts that you may get during shaving and will calm razor burn irritation. In addition to all of these properties it also acts as a styptic which will stop the bleeding of any nicks that you may inflict on yourself shaving with shaky hands after a night on the beer.
Does it seem to good to be true? Well, it gets better. It is cheap also. A block will cost little more than a fiver and will last for years.
So, how do you use it? It is really easy. Straight after shaving, once you have rinsed your face of lather using cold water you can wet the alum block with cold water and rub it over your face. If you have any little cuts it will sting a bit, but it will stop them from weeping also so that you don’t turn up to work with blood on your collar. After rubbing it on your face, wait a minute and then you can just rinse again with water, pat your face dry with a clean towel (don’t rub your face dry, always pat it dry) then continue with your usual routine.
Using an Alum Block will add only a few seconds to your morning shave but the benefits will speak for themselves.