If you shave with a blade, one thing that’s really hard to avoid is nicks and cuts.
No matter how careful you are, eventually you’re pretty much guaranteed to bleed a little when you shave.
And for whatever reason, it always seems like you’re more likely to cut yourself when you’re on your way to an important event:
- a first date
- a job interview
- a big presentation
In those situations, the last thing you want is blood on your collar or to have your face look like you just got out of a knife fight.
So how do you to treat shaving nicks and cuts so they don’t wreck your day?
Here’s a quick roundup of the 4 most common options, plus a new product that may change how you treat your shaving cuts. Watch the video below, or continue reading.
Big thanks to Glyder for sponsoring this post! Glyder’s innovative Styptic Balm is the perfect solution to nicks and cuts. Use offer code TDM20 to get two Glyder Styptic Balms for just $14.99. Learn more.
Until recently, there has not been much innovation in this space. Probably the first thing you think of when it comes to treating shaving cuts is…
Good old toilet paper. Of course, it’s only natural to put something on the open wounds of your face that you also use to wipe your ass.
To be fair, it does work on a basic level. It’s cheap, it’s absorbent. And hopefully—for everyone’s sake—it’s something you always have on hand.
But using toilet paper on your cuts is not exactly the most elegant solution, it’s not that hygienic, and it looks ridiculous.
Most men have had at least one embarrassing moment when they’ve gone to work forgetting they still have a bunch of little white scraps stuck to their face.
The next thing that probably comes to mind when you think of treating nicks and cuts is aluminum sulfate.
“Obviously, aluminum sulfate!”
Of course, the active ingredient isn’t that well-known. What is well-known is the form it usually comes in: the styptic pencil.
It’s a chalky pencil made of—yep—aluminum sulfate, that helps contract tissue to seal injured blood vessels.
It doesn’t sop up the blood like TP, it actually helps close the cut.
It definitely works, and a lot of guys swear by it. The downside is that it stings like a mother, it can be messy, and it leaves a chalky feeling on your hands and face.
It’s also pretty basic in terms of its utility: it stops the bleeding, but doesn’t provide many benefits to your skin beyond that.
It’s not a surprise since there hasn’t been much innovation with styptic pencils since they were invented. They’ve been around for about 100 years or so and haven’t really changed since then.
Another common, old-school remedy for treating shaving cuts is the alum block.
An alum block is a big hunk of mineral crystal made from a similar substance as the styptic pencil: potassium alum or potassium aluminum sulfate.
Like the styptic pencil, the alum block helps stop bleeding, and it also has the added benefit of being antiseptic (some guys even say it helps with razor burn).
In terms of delivery, the alum block is even more basic than the styptic pencil. Like I said, it’s essentially a block of mineral crystal. As with the styptic pencil, it can be messy, and it can crumble and fall apart if you don’t dry it thoroughly and store it well after each use.
Finally, whereas the styptic pencil is designed to be applied to small nicks and cuts, the alum block is more of a “shotgun” approach since the bar is relatively big.
One of the newer options is the alcohol-based roll on. This does represent a modest evolution in terms of treating shaving nicks and cuts because the formulation has aloe and vitamin E.
The delivery is easier because it comes in a cylindrical container, so that helps avoid the chalky residue that you get with a styptic pencil.
However, some critics say that it doesn’t work as well as a styptic pencil to stop the bleeding—most likely because it doesn’t contain aluminum sulfate.
Finally, the main ingredient is alcohol. So while that helps make the product self-sterilizing, as you probably know, alcohol can have a drying effect on the skin.
Glyder Styptic Balm
This last product is probably the most innovative product in this space: Glyder Styptic Balm.
Glyder has taken the benefits of an old-school styptic pencil and brought them into the 21st century. It has the same active ingredient—aluminum sulfate—but the product is packed with loads of natural healing ingredients like:
- aloe vera
- vitamin E
- argan oil
- tea tree oil
So, not only does it stop the bleeding quickly, but the patent-pending formula doesn’t sting as much, and it’s designed to nourish the skin without leaving a chalky mess.
Glyder is alcohol-free, and it comes in a small cylindrical container, much like a lip balm. That makes it easy to use without getting it all over your hands, plus it’s really easy to travel with.
To use it, you just roll it up until the balm is exposed, then rub it in a circular motion on the wound for about 10-15 seconds. When you’re done, rinse it under water and put the cap on.
When I tried it, I was pleasantly surprised how quickly it worked to stop the bleeding and how easy it was to use. It smelled nice—I was mostly getting the scent of tea tree oil. On a couple of my nicks, I briefly felt a small sting, but it was nothing compared to what I’ve experienced with a styptic pencil.
Now, Glyder isn’t perfect. There are still some things they’re working on to make it better.
One of the things—and I noticed this a little bit—is that some people say the current formulation is slightly grainy.
The other thing people have mentioned, which I didn’t experience personally, is that sometimes if you extend the balm too far, it’s hard to retract it back into the container.
So they’re continually trying to make the product even better. Kaivan, the founder of Glyder, told me they went through 45 different prototypes over the last 3 years! And somehow I have the sense that they’re still not finished yet.
I think it’s exciting to finally see some real innovation in this space and to see a company care so much about improving the experience of treating shaving nicks and cuts. After all, it’s something that men deal with on a daily basis.
Surprisingly, Glyder really isn’t much more expensive than some of the old-school remedies above. You can get a single balm for around $10.
If you’re interested in trying Glyder for yourself, use offer code TDM20 to get two Glyder Styptic Balms for just $14.99. Visit the Glyder website now.