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I finally tried an alum block and…

I've never used alum block, and I've been a daily wet shaver since 1951.

I guess the reason I've not used it is I've never felt the need for it. I also belong to the "if it's not broke, don't fix it" club.

Never felt the need to use it either. I don't have facial irritation. Always thought that aftershave was intended to be used at the conclusion of the shave? I am fine with that.

I used the potassium alum again today...Very nice!
No dryness, hardly any sting even though I used my blackbird with the super sharp BIC blade!
My skin feels wonderful. No tightness, no dryness. There's a very smooth finish to the skin which I don't get with just using an ASB. The alum is definitely adding a skin finishing benefit, not so much a soothing benefit as my ASB takes care of that.

I think I'm addicted to alum as I just love the feeling when swiping it on the skin after shaving and the way it gives an ultra smooth finish to my skin!

So glad I thought to give it a shot!!


I used the potassium alum today and there was hardly any sting! I was surprised at this as ammonium alum stung like hell.

Second surprise was that my skin didn't dry out after alum. I applied my aftershave balm and half a day later, my skin is hydrated and supple.

Next major test will be tomorrow morning. Ammonium alum dried out my skin so badly that shaving the next morning felt horrible due to skin dryness.

If all goes well with tomorrow's shave, I'll definitely continue using potassium alum on a daily basis as I really enjoyed the feeling on the skin today.

I'll update how it goes tomorrow.
If all goes well, I'll use a file tool to shape a smooth block from a larger chunk.
Thankfully I don't need to use alum. I feel a cold water rinse works better for me. Alum generally doesn't work on weepers, either, so if you do get a deeper cut the cyptic pencil will be the only thing that makes it stop. I have and used alum in the past but find it doesn't provide much benefit to me these days any better than an ice cold rinse.
Interesting. One of the things I like most about alum blocks is that they stop all my weepers. Like, very quickly!
I use Alum after every shave. I like the way it makes my skin feel and it helps with nicks and weepers. I purchased it from Italian Barber. The block comes in a plastic container.

I used to use Styptic pencils, but they are getting harder to find in my local drug stores.

The block of Alum I have will last a long time.


Proraso offers a good alum block too. I just ordered a second one after I used up the first.

View attachment 1587930
It is a very good bar, especially given the price and size. I’ve had this and a bar of Osma in rotation for a while.

I like to use Alum sparingly, only when needed; but if I’m hopping in the shower post shave, then it’s all systems go.

I lean towards the Osma, however I like the sizing of the Proraso block.
I like the way alum tells me how well (or poorly) I shaved, how it tightens up the skin, etc. But most of all I like how it gets rid of the soap residue I would otherwise feel on my face for hours after the shave. Makes it feel squeaky clean. That's the main reason I use it after every shave.
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