Alum Blocks?

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nwohio
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Re: Alum Blocks?

Post by nwohio » Thu Apr 23, 2015 2:41 pm

I always used Thayer's Witch Hazel after my shaves. After reading all the great things written about alum I tried using it in place of the witch hazel. My face liked it a lot but my neck could not tolerate. It caused red bumps and irritation on my neck. I went back to WH.
Mike

JRTASTER
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Re: Alum Blocks?

Post by JRTASTER » Sun May 03, 2015 6:22 am

Mike,
I was skeptical about alum blocks for the longest while, but once I tried it as a post shave, I was a convert.
No irritation, nice astringent feeling... just what I wanted. I still finish with a post shave soother,and/or an
alcohol-based scented after-shave

Then, I got fancy and tried using it as a deodorant (another use widely touted by some here) ---what a
disaster. Terrible irritation and red raw underarms for several months. Wow!! BIG mistake!!

One suggestion: if you apply the alum block do you leave it on "permanently?" How about applying it,
leaving on for a minute or two, then rinsing it off (maybe with your witch hazel)?Just a thought!

Good Luck!
Enjoying wet shaving, again.
jr/John

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Squire
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Re: Alum Blocks?

Post by Squire » Sun May 03, 2015 7:50 am

Oh, I had the bright idea of using it as a deodorant and that worked . . . for a couple of hours.
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Squire

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mustang_john
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Re: Alum Blocks?

Post by mustang_john » Mon May 04, 2015 8:47 am

My mrs has an alum deodorant as she's allergic to the chemicals in most others. She just wets it, and applies it. Each one last about two years!!!!!

EL Alamein
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Re: Alum Blocks?

Post by EL Alamein » Wed May 13, 2015 5:58 pm

Well they may not bury me with my current block of Alum. My 2 year old son recently got his hands on it while I at the office and apparently dropped it and knocked off a slight chunk. If this keeps up I'll eventually have to replace it. Hopefully not though.

Chris

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Squire
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Re: Alum Blocks?

Post by Squire » Wed May 13, 2015 8:14 pm

When my son was 2 he would look up in amazement while I shaved. Now he's taller than me and more inclined to reach over my shoulder to "borrow" some aftershave. Surprising how often a child will say borrow when what they mean is permanent loan.
Regards,
Squire

EL Alamein
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Re: Alum Blocks?

Post by EL Alamein » Thu May 14, 2015 6:15 pm

Squire wrote:When my son was 2 he would look up in amazement while I shaved. Now he's taller than me and more inclined to reach over my shoulder to "borrow" some aftershave. Surprising how often a child will say borrow when what they mean is permanent loan.
Squire, yes! But isn't it glorious to see them use it. You know you've done well.

Chris

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Squire
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Re: Alum Blocks?

Post by Squire » Thu May 14, 2015 9:15 pm

That it is Chris, that it is.
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Squire

SonOfRobert
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Re: Alum Blocks?

Post by SonOfRobert » Wed Jul 08, 2015 8:43 am

Like jrtaster above, I also developed a rash under my arm on the right side. Dr. decided it was yeast??? Took two months of oral and topical treatment to get rid of it. The difference for me was that I had used the alum type deodorant (not my alum block) for several years. It really worked for me during that time. Wife said it eliminated my underarm odor. Used the Mennen while fighting the infection, but went back to the alum after it cleared up. No trouble since (knocks loudly on wood).

brothers
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Re: Alum Blocks?

Post by brothers » Wed Jul 08, 2015 8:52 am

After reading that some folks use alum blocks as deodorant with good results I tried it. Apparently my body chemistry is immune. Had to go back to what was previously working.
Gary

SOTD 99%: soaps & creams, synthetic/boar/badger brushes, General V2 by Colonial, Kai & Schick blades, Superior 70 aftershave splash + menthol + 444

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jww
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Re: Alum Blocks?

Post by jww » Fri Jul 10, 2015 5:26 am

brothers wrote:After reading that some folks use alum blocks as deodorant with good results I tried it. Apparently my body chemistry is immune. Had to go back to what was previously working.
I had the same issue a few years back when I tried it as well. I still use an alum block post shave, though.
Wendell

Resident Wool Fat Evangelist & anglophile. Have you hugged a sheep today?

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Squire
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Re: Alum Blocks?

Post by Squire » Fri Jul 10, 2015 10:26 am

They certainly don't work for me, at least in that regard.
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Squire

preidy
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Re: Alum Blocks?

Post by preidy » Thu Nov 12, 2015 9:43 am

I use mainly as an astringent plus it just makes my face feel great. Although a little more costly than the larger block I use the travel alum stick (Omega). It's more comfortable and easier to rub on my face than a larger block. Also it takes up less space in my small cabinet.

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John Rose
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Re: Alum Blocks?

Post by John Rose » Sun Sep 15, 2019 8:36 pm

I always use alum after a shave, just because it's part of my ritual. I apply it after a warm water rinse, then rinse it off after half a minute or so with cold water. Just long enough to rinse out the lather bowl and sink.
I started with an Omega stick, then got a Shavex block.
I'd always wondered about the "crystal deodorant" alum sticks, but very often they do not indicate on the package what kind of alum it is. Some are ammonium alum (more suited for a deodorant) and some are potassium alum (like the post-shave alum). About all they'll say is "contains no aluminum" (not true), or "contains no aluminum chlorohydrate" (true but not helpful). Sales staff usually doesn't know, and just parrots the "natural crystal, no aluminum" line.
However, I found some "Pure & Natural Crystal Deodorant Stone" at a local health food store and was able to look it up online. It was, indeed, potassium alum.
So I got some.

Image

It's 120 g (similar to a Shavex or large Osma block) but about half the price. \:D/
It goes on really fast.
And, it's got a big old doorknob of a plastic handle, so it's not easy to drop.
And x 2, the cap is flattened, so you can store it upside down. Any water on it does not drip down into the handle, which would dissolve the alum a bit and allow it to fall out. (Like what happened to my last Omega stick.)
I'm not interested in it as a deodorant, so I have no idea about how effective it is for that.

Pretty much any brand has the same shape and size. You just have to confirm that it's potassium alum.

Now, for stopping blood flow I do not depend on alum. Sometimes it'll stop tiny cuts, but then you might see a red spot on your neck a hour later.
I use a styptic pencil (anhydrous aluminum sulfate) for blood. Most of them are very thin and brittle, so imagine my joy when I found out about Clubman's Jumbo Styptic Pencil.
Image
Don't chase the BBS.
Beware of Ghost Stubble - just ignore it.

Bill_K
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Re: Alum Blocks?

Post by Bill_K » Mon Sep 16, 2019 8:10 am

Thanks for this info, John. I'm not sure that I need the Jumbo-sized styptic pencil but the "crystal deodorant" is a good tip.
Bill

brothers
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Re: Alum Blocks?

Post by brothers » Sat Sep 21, 2019 1:54 pm

For the past 6 or 7 months I've been trying to use my straight razors for 3 or 4 days during the month just to stay in practice maintaining and using them. I've enjoyed it a lot. As a result of 3 or 4 daily shaves in a row with open razors when I'm not used to it, my face becomes quite sensitive due to the skin thinning phenomena. I found that it really helps to go over my face with an alum block immediately after the shave. Can't explain or even contemplate the reasons it works or the chemicals involved, but it works great.
Gary

SOTD 99%: soaps & creams, synthetic/boar/badger brushes, General V2 by Colonial, Kai & Schick blades, Superior 70 aftershave splash + menthol + 444

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ShadowsDad
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Re: Alum Blocks?

Post by ShadowsDad » Sat Sep 21, 2019 2:23 pm

Crystal deodorant works great. I use blocks from somewhere in the mid-east (Pakistan maybe?). Nothing as fancy or as usable as the sticks pictured. I've used it for years. One thing some folks might not like... mine have no scent. If it's a true crystal I don't think scent can be present in the crystalline structure.
Brian

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jww
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Re: Alum Blocks?

Post by jww » Mon Sep 23, 2019 12:13 pm

For a very long time I always used alum after a shave, but have moved away from that entirely. My post shave ritual has become very basic indeed after all my rinsing is done I splash on some Thayer's Witch Hazel and finish with some GFT skin food - either Limes in the warmer weather, or Sandlewood when it's cooler. The older I get (turned 60 this year) the fewer different types of product I find I need. ymmv
Wendell

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Re: Alum Blocks?

Post by Rufus » Wed Sep 25, 2019 4:49 am

I’m a bit older than you are Wendell and I have found my interest in trying out new products and new techniques has waned in recent years. I have a core of brands and products I like and have no desire to chase wild hares across the prairie as I enjoyed doing in my younger days. Furthermore, I derive more satisfaction from employing the KISS principle. In this regard. I eliminated the alum block from my post-shave routine some time ago, which now consists of a thorough rinse with warm water followed by a liberal lashing of an alcohol-based aftershave.
Bryan

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