#1
(This post was last modified: 03-29-2024, 11:00 PM by Zantetsuken. Edited 1 time in total.)
The main reason I made the switch to wet shaving is for the exfoliating effects of the razor blade on top of a closer shave that lasts longer, especially along the upper lip.

Even into my thirties, I would occasionally break out, but one area that consistently developed acne was my upper lip with a frequency as often as every other day. Even daily wipedowns of my electric shaver with 70% isopropyl alcohol would not prevent breakouts.

Since wet shaving and using an alum block post shave I have almost completely stopped breaking out. The only time a pimple developed was in areas of my lip due to not rubbing the alum block high enough.

This dirt cheap block which costs me $10 CAD has beaten the best and most expensive over the counter and prescription acne medication, from tretinoin to adapalene, from benzoyl peroxide to salicylic acid. Keep in mind, I’ve only been alum blocking for a few weeks now, only time will tell in the long term how long this can keep the acne at bay.

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#2

Mike Distress
New Jersey
(03-29-2024, 11:00 PM)Zantetsuken Wrote: The main reason I made the switch to wet shaving is for the exfoliating effects of the razor blade on top of a closer shave that lasts longer, especially along the upper lip.

Even into my thirties, I would occasionally break out, but one area that consistently developed acne was my upper lip with a frequency as often as every other day. Even daily wipedowns of my electric shaver with 70% isopropyl alcohol would not prevent breakouts.

Since wet shaving and using an alum block post shave I have almost completely stopped breaking out. The only time a pimple developed was in areas of my lip due to not rubbing the alum block high enough.

This dirt cheap block which costs me $10 CAD has beaten the best and most expensive over the counter and prescription acne medication, from tretinoin to adapalene, from benzoyl peroxide to salicylic acid. Keep in mind, I’ve only been alum blocking for a few weeks now, only time will tell in the long term how long this can keep the acne at bay.

That alum block has many uses. You can also use it on your hands while shaving if you feel a razor is slippery, it gives you a nice grip. I hadn't heard of using it for acne, but that is a great discovery for you! It is a great post shave product as it tightens, is antiseptic, can give you some feedback on your shave if you were irritated or maybe went too hard on your shave. And probably like a billion other uses.

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integritas pietas fortitudinem
#3

Member
Chester County, PA
I never got along with alum but am glad it works for you, that is what matters!

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#4
(This post was last modified: 03-30-2024, 07:03 PM by Tedolph. Edited 1 time in total.)
Hello Zan,

I am a bit curious, if I may ask: are you using an alcohol based aftershave?

Alum blocks have only very mild antiseptic properties (i.e. salt) that I am aware of.

I am not surprised that electric razors gave you infections. Trying to get a close shave with an electric results in massive exfoliation, exposing the dermis and almost no one cleans an electric shaver head thoroughly (e.g. the way you can clean a blade). Then there is the problem of ingrown hairs if your electric has the Lift and Cut system. Frankly, using an electric is gross unless you disassemble the head, remove the shavings, run everything under hot water and wipe down each blade edges after each shave.

I still use an electric for a touch up if I am going out in the evening after the second day of a SR shave and am neurotic about disassembling it and cleaning it as best I can.

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#5

Member
Chicago Suburbs
I have tried alum, but with my sensitive skin, it seems to do more harm than good. My aftershave is Dickenson's witch hazel. It contains 14% alcohol which is enough to cause a sting if I get a poor shave, but gives no feedback whatsoever if I get a great shave. If you like alum, then keep using it.

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#6
Alum works great for me. Immediately after I shave, I rinse with cold water and rub the alum bar over the shaved area, wait for about 5 minutes, wash my face with warm water and apply aftershave. Although I don't suffer from break out, I can get razor burn and minor abrasion from my razor and the alum bar helps solve the problem.

DanLaw likes this post
#7

Member
Chicago Suburbs
(03-30-2024, 07:59 PM)Oregon Wrote: Alum works great for me.  Immediately after I shave, I rinse with cold water and rub the alum bar over the shaved area, wait for about 5 minutes, wash my face with warm water and apply aftershave.  Although I don't suffer from break out, I can get razor burn and minor abrasion from my razor and the alum bar helps solve the problem.

If you are getting razor burn you are doing something wrong. 
1. Are you prepping your beard properly?
2. Are you using the right shave soap and are you preparing your lather properly.
3. Are you using the right razor?
4. Are you using the right blade for the razor?
5. Are you using the right shave angle and shave pressure?

I have super sensitive skin. With the right prep, shave lather, right razor and blade, and right shave technique, I can get a very close shave with zero irritation. 
I will be glad to help you figure out the problem if you would like my help. Just send me a private message. Nobody deserves to suffer with razor burn.

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#8

Mike Distress
New Jersey
(This post was last modified: 03-31-2024, 01:31 AM by metal_shavings. Edited 1 time in total.)
(03-30-2024, 07:47 PM)RayClem Wrote: I have tried alum, but with my sensitive skin, it seems to do more harm than good. My aftershave is Dickenson's witch hazel. It contains 14% alcohol which is enough to cause a sting if I get a poor shave, but gives no feedback whatsoever if I get a great shave. If you like alum, then keep using it.

I switched not too long ago to Dickinson's. I do not use the alcohol version. I do use the astringent with 14% alcohol, menthol, eucalyptol, and camphor. Excellent product, less expensive than what I used to use and you get more also.

DanLaw likes this post
integritas pietas fortitudinem
#9

Geezer
New Brunswick, Canada
(This post was last modified: 03-31-2024, 01:39 AM by John Rose. Edited 1 time in total.)
I started using this "crystal deodorant stone" (potassium alum) for post-shave daily in early January 2020. 
By November 9, 2023 it looked like this:

[Image: eHcI0SR.jpeg]

So, I cut the stub out of the handle and I'm still using it daily.

[Image: kQLhj1H.jpeg]

Most crystal deodorants are made from ammonium alum, or else they don't say at all, but this brand (and all others by Deodorant Stones of America) is indeed potassium alum. The best part is that you get twice the product by weight (120 g) for almost the same price as the smaller ones intended for post-shave, like the 60 g Omega alum stick.
The wider diameter gives much faster coverage too.

Does it also work as a deodorant? I don't know and I don't care.

[edit] My post routine is to rinse the lather off my face, apply alum, rinse out the sink and lather bowl, then rinse off the alum (so it's only on for a minute, tops). Towel dry. Rinse out the razor, blade, and brush, then apply an aftershave splash.

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"So I'm sorry that you're psychotic but just make an effort. Pull yourself together and take a deep breath." - Hannah Pitt (Meryl Streep), in "Angels in America"
#10

Mike Distress
New Jersey
(03-31-2024, 01:32 AM)John Rose Wrote: I started using this "crystal deodorant stone" (potassium alum) for post-shave daily in early January 2020. 
By November 9, 2023 it looked like this:

[Image: eHcI0SR.jpeg]

So, I cut the stub out of the handle and I'm still using it daily.

[Image: kQLhj1H.jpeg]

Most crystal deodorants are made from ammonium alum, or else they don't say at all, but this brand (and all others by Deodorant Stones of America) is indeed potassium alum. The best part is that you get twice the product by weight (120 g) for almost the same price as the smaller ones intended for post-shave, like the 60 g Omega alum stick.
The wider diameter gives much faster coverage too.

Does it also work as a deodorant? I don't know and I don't care.

I had a different brand, but same idea. Just like a stick deodorant. I like the rounded top for applying to the face. It lasts forever and it is cheap. I originally had it for deodorant than started using it for shaving though I don't use it much right now. They are great multitaskers for most folks.

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