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Alum

I used to use it but have found that it doesn’t do anything for me. It’s not bad but doesn’t seem to have any benefit either. I’ve put it in the same basket as pre-shave. A non-essential extra step.
Alum blocks are used to soothe irritation and stop minor bleeding. It will cover a variety of shaving sins, and really isn't necessary once you've established a proper shaving technique.
 
I use it after I rinse soap from my face, wet the block and rub on face. I use it because there is less sting rom AS that without block xD if it helps with anything else, I would not know xD
 

Phoenixkh

I shaved a fortune
I’d rather rub Spam on my face than eat it. I tried it once (eating it) yuk. Eating it on a regular basis would probably kill you.
Spam is against my religion. (that's a joke, in case anyone is wondering) <eg>

Anything I dislike is against my religion... beets, lima beans, kale and spam. All those things and more are on my God's abomination list. <eg>
 

Phoenixkh

I shaved a fortune
On a serious note, I do use alum after every shave. Now for the sad truth: I always get a slight sting when applying it... every single shave and it seems to be all over my face, not just in my trouble spots. I seldom get nicks, scrapes or weepers (unless I use a Kai DE blade) and I no longer have any post shave irritation but the alum still stings a bit. I sort of like it. I don't use any aftershaves, though perhaps I could skip both the alum and aftershaves and just use a bit of vodka. <eg>

I got razor burn on my very first AC shave but lightened up my pressure and that no longer happens.
 
I like it. Straight to the face after the cold rinse, and leave it on while I rinse out my brush and then wash it off before witch hazel or a splash.

Also, Osma alum tastes really good! :)

I thought I was a little different than all the different people out there. I had an Osma alum block, until my father threw it out after he moved in with me, he saw it didn't know what it was, never asked and just threw it out, had it 10 years. Anyways I always had a sweet taste a pleasant taste in my mouth. Realized it was the alum block and prevented "tasting" it again, thinking it might not be too healthy to consume especially with my stomach.

Typing about Tom's deodorant, several years ago I decided to give them a try. An hour or so after applying it my arms got a little sore, got swollen and itchier than when I has poison oak. I haven't tried a "natural" deodorant since.
 
Does anyone find that despite an irritation free shave, they will apply alum bloc with no reaction. But red spots will appear on their neck shortly after?
 
I do not use alum because it feels unpleasant. I do use witch hazel because I think it feels nice. But I don’t think either serve any useful purpose unless you are shaving with unclean water.

Surely long term use of alum as an after-shave treatment must damage your skin, just as being at sea and frequently having salt water on your face weathers the skin badly over time. No? After all, using alum is basically just covering your skin in salt water and rubbing it in.
 
I don't regularly use the alum block. Will only use if it is a new razor or bad shave. But regardless good or bad, I my neck always reacts the same way then is fine about an hour or so later.
 
Does anyone find that despite an irritation free shave, they will apply alum bloc with no reaction. But red spots will appear on their neck shortly after?
Not in my case. I also don't think it can hurt your skin unless you're in the habit of rubbing it on and leaving it to dry. Needs to be thoroughly rinsed of after application. Then finish with your post shave procedure.

I guess I use it as much from habit and checking how I did with my shave. I use it less often now as I used to. But the antiseptic and astringent properties are a good thing. You could use witch hazel (if it's made with alcohol) rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide (??) or first aid creams, I suppose. I like the tradition of alum. At 72, my skin looks, um, decent considering that I'm 72 (in a few weeks). I neither credit not blame alum. ;)
 
I used witch hazel for years but got fed up with the price of it in the UK. Switched to alum. It's ok. Does the job and is very cheap.
 
I use it every once in a while (don't know why) and honestly see zero anything by using it. My skin looks and feels the same with or without it. I guess I try it to see if anything changes but it doesn't. Matter of fact, I'm probably gonna toss out the one that I have tonight. I feel a little sting sometimes in delicate spots after applying it but then again, I'll feel that sting with after shave when I haven't applied the alum block.
So conclusion for me:
Gimmick!
 
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