Shaving is one activity that seems simple at a glance, but in truth it requires some level of skill and practice before it’s perfected. Just like much of today’s technology, there’ve been advancements in the shaving kits with lots of after-shave skincare products. The original shaving technique, known as the wet shave, involves lots of concentration, rituals and care with the razor shaving stick
used to avoid nicks and cuts. The contemporary shaving method, involving the use of electric shaving razor kit
, is faster with little or no cuts. Most people still prefer the traditional wet shaving because it gives a clean, close and better looking shave than the electronic kit. So, although there’s a bevy of after shave lotions and creams that are frequently used to complete the shaving process, the alum bloc beats them all in terms of performance and cost.
An alum bloc is a naturally occurring mineral salt that is scientifically known as aluminum potassium sulphate. Its astringent, antiseptic and coagulating properties make it ideal for use as an after-shave alternative to all these modern and expensive after-shave creams, lotions, and splashes. When it comes to closing up nicks and cuts sustained during shaving, it works like magic and if you routinely suffer from razor burns after shaving, then you’re sure to find instant relief from an alum block, as it is known to reduce inflammation and redness. It also closes up facial pores, thus leaving your face feeling tight and refreshed all day long.
Alum blocs can also be used as deodorants and anti-perspirants for the armpits. And although the alum bloc is used mostly for wet shaving, it’s also useful for all other kinds of shaving -- after all, who wouldn’t want a smooth, fresh and clean feel after every shave? Because the alum block is odorless and colorless, it can be used with your favorite after-shave regimen without clash of scent. The ladies given to waxing or shaving
are not left out, as they too can partake in the immense benefits of the alum bloc after their wax or shave or even to close up pores for a less oily face. And if by chance you hurt or cut yourself while carrying out any other task outside shaving, the alum bloc can come in handy as a first aid treatment in staunching the blood flow and closing up the wound.
Now that we’ve seen some of the reasons why you may want to try out an alum block, let’s look at some of the features and factors that should guide you towards making the right choice. Ensuring that the alum block you wish to buy is manufactured from the pure alum is of utmost importance, so also is the design, use and of course, the price. Stay with us as we treat these points one after the other.
The price point of alum bloc is one of the major reasons why it’s not well-known as an after-shave treatment. Ever since the shaving industry became a multi-billion dollar venture, the relatively cheap but highly effective alum bloc has been swept under the carpet—well, almost. Since there are no additives or chemicals in the pure alum, the price range doesn’t vary much, often ranging between $5 and $25.
There are still alum blocs with higher prices than what we stated here, but those types usually come with little conveniences like a plastic carry case and have the advantage of a reputable brand name behind them.
During our research, we came across some extremely cheap alum blocs but those were made from low grade alum powder which would neither last nor perform as well as the quality products we have lined up for you here.
To be sure of adding the perfect finishing touch to your shaving with the alum bloc, you’ll need to have some information about the product to guide you when shopping for one.
Such information will include:
- Design of the alum bloc
- Other extra features
Construction and Design
The alum bloc is primarily made of aluminum potassium sulphate, which is a naturally occurring mineral salt deposited in large chunks (in the form of rocks, actually) in some parts of the United States. It’s a hard, crystalline solid that is transparent and like all salts, dissolves in water or when left exposed to humid environments. Most top quality brands like those featured in our product review section manufacture their alum blocs by hewing the blocs directly from the alum deposits. Some brands actually boast hand-cutting their alum blocs. However, it doesn’t make much difference whether its hand or engine cut, as long as it’s cut from the solid and pure natural alum.
On the other hand, there are some lesser quality alum blocs manufactured by compressing alum powder into a cake. These types are prone to quick disintegration on contact with water and do not work as well as those cut from an alum deposit. This is the major feature to look out for when shopping for a suitable alum bloc, you should be sure that you’re buying a product cut from natural alum deposit and not some cheap, low grade compressed powder version.
Alum blocs come in different sizes, usually ranging from 60 grams to about 125 grams, which is comparatively small and light enough to be tossed into your travelling kit without adding any extra weight to the kit. You might be thinking that the smaller the bloc, the lesser the cost, unfortunately that is not so as the sizes have absolutely nothing to do with the individual pricing of the alum blocs.
Although alum blocs last for quite a long time, if properly stored, you may prefer the large sizes so you won’t have to worry about buying another alum block in the near future. Conversely, if you shave intermittently, then you can just opt for a small one so it won’t take up too much space in your shaving kit.
Performance and Ease of Use
Alum blocs are unbelievably easy to use. All that is required of you is to wet the alum bloc and rub it all over the newly- shaven area of your face. You’d experience some tingling and burning sensations, especially on places where you have cuts, nicks or razor burns. Then you either leave it on or wash it off after letting it sit for a couple of minutes. Easy-peasy, right? There are no ceremonies about it and you’ll be done sooner than you can blink, and then enjoy the cool and fresh feeling that comes with it all day long. It can also be used as a deodorant and for sweat-control.
Just as the name implies, alum blocs come in block forms, with sharp edges which may or may not be even. Apart from the block alums, there are the styptic pencils made from aluminum sulphate, a much stronger compound than the aluminum potassium sulphate. The styptic pencil is applied mainly on cuts and nicks to close up the wounds and coagulate the blood for faster healing. Unlike the alum bloc which leaves no mark on your face, it leaves a white streak when rubbed on the face and thus not suitable for use as an after-shave face rub.
The alum bloc is transparent and requires no special care, save for the fact that you must let it sit out to dry completely after use before packing it up. This measure is to ensure that it lasts as long as it’s intended to. Care should also be taken when handling, so it doesn’t fall because despite its hard look and feel, the alum bloc is as fragile as an egg and breaks just as easily when dropped.
Some alum blocs come with plastic carrycase which helps greatly with safe storage and transport. Some brands like the RazorRock brand featured in our individual product review section go as far as fitting their alum blocs with a plastic base so you can get a strong grip and prevent the alum from slipping from your hand when in use. You may give serious consideration to alum blocs that come with their own plastic storage/carrying case as this is an extremely convenient feature that keeps it from getting wet and ruined and prevents it from leaving messy residue streaks all over the place.
Alum blocs are naturally occurring mineral salts that are hewn from their solid deposits in areas where they occur. We have alum bloc products that you’ll certainly find worthwhile in our product review section, so go on ahead and check them out. Having gone through our buying guide, we are confident that you’re armed with relevant knowledge that’ll guide you in making the right choice of alum bloc.
So, here we are! Thanks for reading to the end of this detailed review. If you’ve seen the alum bloc that you think will greatly improve your shave time, feel free to go ahead and place the order right away.