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4.7 out of 5 stars
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92 of 94 people found the following review helpful
on 11 December 2011
If you wet shave - and especially if you wet shave "properly" with a double-edge safety razor - then you need one of these in your shaving bowl... end of. This is a solid block of the same material small styptic pencils are made of and if you look after it, it will last you a very long time.

Alum is a styptic (stops bleeding) and an astringent (closes up the pores) and a natural antiseptic. After you have shaved and had a cold-water rinse wet the block and run it all over your still-wet face. If you have shaved carefully and accurately you should only feel a very mild tightening sensation. Any areas where you went a bit too hard, caused excessive irritation or nicked yourself badly will give a good sting for a moment - a useful tool to show you where you might be lacking in a bit of technique! You can then leave it to dry for a while before rinsing again. Let your face dry again and follow up with your favourite post-shave balm and/or moisturiser. It has an almost magical ability to stop bleeding from nicks and to cool and soothe any razor burn.

Once you have finished, rinse off the block under the tap and dry it thoroughly before putting it away otherwise it will dissolve away more quickly. If you look after it like this (and don't drop it, it will shatter) then it should last you a ridiculously long time. Great value.

If you don't use one in your shaving routine then you really ought to buy one right now!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 19 February 2014
At first I noticed little difference but persisted for several shaves and now have noticed the areas that tended to get a bit red/bleeding are now disappearing.

After your shave and whilst the face is still wet run the block over your face paying particular attention to any problem areas and hold over these areas for a few seconds (will sting a little). Then let your face dry for a good minute or two then rinse off and apply your favourite aftershave balm.

My advice is to persist for several shaves and you will be impressed by the results.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 18 September 2014
These little blocks are an essential addition if you wet shave.

After you have shaven and rinsed your face run some water over this little block and then rub it all over your freshly shaven face for about a minute or so, once done pat your face dry.

What does it do? If you ever had those annoying nicks and cuts this will help them to stop them bleeding and it acts as an antiseptic and cools the skin after your shave. Ripped the head of a spot shaving? Come on we've all done it! Leave this wet block on your face, where it is no doubt bleeding profusely! and these will help stop the bleeding without resorting to toilet roll or something similar.

It looks quite small, how long will it last? Years - really. Once you have finished using the block, rinse it and leave it to air dry - buy it a soap dish and leave it on there to dry. I had my previous block for three years and it had hardly shrunk - don't drop them on the floor like I did they shatter - hence the new one.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 21 April 2014
Check out "alum" on Wikipedia: this is a cool salt that actually has many uses. It's been used by people since the Egyptian times!

Here are a few other little tips and facts that'll hopefully help you with this purchase:

- You'll want to finalizing EVERY shave with this (even if you don't nick yourself). It is an antibacterial so helps keep away any rashes or spots.

- After shaving you'll also find it's an AMAZING antiperspirant. Rub a little water into your armpits then rub this block around them. The antibacterial property of this block will kill the bacteria that cause odor and make it safe for use on your face the next time.

- I think this 75g block in the cardboard box is better than the 100g one in the perspex box. It always needs damp skin to work on, but water will slowly dissolve it. The cardboard takes a little of the remaining water off the block and so extends its life. The only reason to go for the one in the perspex box would be if it needs to travel with you.

- Even using multiple times a week, I expect this block to last a year. So it's really good value for money, you don't need to try and hunt down the cheapest offer on it. Buying a single 75g block at a time is fine.

- Be a little mindful that this is a salt block. It's not amazingly fragile but a full drop to the floor will probably shatter it.

Hope the above helps. And if you're putting together a double edge shaving kit as a present for someone, be sure to add this little guy as it's just too cool to skip over :-)
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59 of 65 people found the following review helpful
on 17 June 2010
Very old school wetshaving item, but as with most traditional wetshaving gear - its superior to the newer high tech products.

Keep your face wet and rub the block over your face (It will sting a touch).
The Alum acts as a Styptic and as a balm - Closing any minor nicks and also soothing any burn and toning your face.

Let it dry then wash off (else you will have a slightly regency powdered look to your face) followed by some moisturizer.

This block is good quality and an adequate size for use on your face - should last you a good while.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I've recently started DE shaving and with the initial kit I invested in I picked up a Styptic pencil. It became obvious fairly quickly that whilst learning the manly art of DE shaving I would need more than the pencil so I bought one of these. This is much better for me at the moment as I can run it over large areas of my face quickly to keep the bleeding under control. Though this is becoming less of a problem as my technique improves I think I'll stick with a block unless maybe travelling and space/weight was an issue.

The only negative for me, but not enough to warrant dropping a star, is that I wish this came in a little plastic case for storage. That would be really handy in my opinion.

Overall fantastic product. Soothes the face and stops bleeding nicely. Essential for DE shaving or if prone to irritation with any type of shaving.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 28 January 2012
Having recently converted to the joys of safety razor shaving, this is an essential bit of kit if you want to avoid razor burn, and to sooth any minor nicks.

Like all great products, this is an old traditional favourite, and has stood the test of time for a reason....it works! Simply run the block under cold water and run over your face and neck, let it dry and then rub your face clean with a damp cold flannel. It acts as a styptic and closes and tiny nicks you may have received and leaves your skin wonderfully taut. Use some moisturiser afterwards for a final touch.

These blocks are small but last for ages, I have two, one at home and one in my wash bag for travelling.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 10 December 2012
Im 33 & still suffer from pretty bad acne,tried all the creams,washes,prescription creams,pills etc,nothing really worked or had side affects.Was chatting to my Algerian friend at work about shaving & he said this stone/crystal was good for sealing small nicks,read up on it & realised it can help with acne.I use it to wash my face morning & night,within a few days my acne had pretty much gone,i get the odd spot maybe once a week but its worked a treat in getting rid of most of it
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 4 December 2013
I hate shaving because I get red face rash and blotches everywhere due to having very sensitive skin.

While buying a DE razor (also for the first time) I noticed that a lot of people also bought this so thought why not as it is cheap, if it works (doubtful) then I can shave on a Friday instead of Wednesday and wait for the rash to subside for the weekend. Well, about 2 hours ago I tested it out. Had a shave with the double edged razor, used standard Gillette Canister Gel for the foam, washed face with cold water then rubbed this block all over my face. It gave a slight tingling sensation too.

The result:
I can tell you right now it works! Not a single red splotch from shaving irritation. Nothing at all! Why did it take me 26 years to find this argh!. I have checked the mirror about 10 times thinking here comes the rash but I just look clean shaven with no rash and that is something I haven't seen before, ever. Pair it up with a double edged razor though and throw the cartridge gimmicky Mach whatever in the bin.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 12 August 2012
As a fairly recent convert to traditional shaving I bought this as I thought I would need it to deal with the expected nicks and cuts as part of learning a new technique; in that respect it worked admirably. What I didn't expect is how beneficial I would find it even when I didn't hack myself.
Following the shave with a cold rinse and then wetting the block before running it over the face gives my skin a pleasant tingle and also highlights where my technique is still lacking. Giving it a couple of minutes to tone the face before rinsing and continuing with an aftershave balm leaves my skin smooth and toned, and feeling great.
The block is smaller than I expected but will clearly last quite some time, that's if I don't drop it again - as a mineral block it will chip if it is dropped on a hard surface.
Overall a fantastic purchase and an invaluable part of my daily routine.
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