Potassium alum mineral salt, the potassium double sulfate of aluminum, is a unique mineral because it has antiseptic and astringent properties that are particularly useful for wet shavers. When rubbed on wet skin, alum provides a mild stinging sensation similar to that of an alcohol-based aftershave splash and it helps to close pores and tighten the skin while also sealing any small nicks from shaving. Prior to the invention of antibiotics, alum blocks were used regularly to prevent infections that might have occurred from nicks or cuts. While alum blocks are typically cut into square or rectangular blocks, a more innovative alum product has been designed for the traditional wet shaver, the RazoRock.
The use of alum is widespread, but also is part of a controversy over its safety. Patients with Alzheimer’s disease have elevated concentrations of aluminum in their brains, and some studies have shown an increased risk for those who drink from aluminum cans or regularly use aluminum-based cosmetics, such as alum aftershaves. Other studies have shown that there is no relationship between the use of aluminum products and the development of Alzheimer’s. The use of alum in skincare dates back to ancient Chinese and Egyptian civilizations that discovered its usefulness for reducing odor when alum crystals were rubbed on the skin. Today alum is widely considered by many to be one of the best natural deodorants and its astringent properties make it very popular as a natural aftershave treatment.
What makes RazoRock more useful than other alum blocks is that it offers a unique packaging that makes it more convenient to use and store, particularly when traveling. The RazoRock is a round alum stick that is set into a white rubber handle that provides a comfortable place to grip during use. When not in use, the RazoRock base screws securely into a sturdy clear plastic barrel that prevents the alum from getting wet, chipping, or breaking. Because alum is very brittle by nature, any impact can likely damage the smooth surface and leave a jagged or rough edge that would make it uncomfortable to rub across the face, particularly when the skin is most sensitive after shaving. The thoughtful packaging of the RazoRock is avoids this very issue by keeping the alum stored safely.
Using alum as an aftershave is a simple process. Once you complete your shave, thoroughly rinse the skin clear of any leftover soap or cream residue. Use cold water and leave the skin moist, and then rub the RazoRock lightly onto the entire face. At first, the alum delivers a mild stinging sensation, which many consider to be a good measurement of how well your shaving technique is working. If the sting is very gentle, the skin was not irritated or nicked during the shave. Any small nicks or cuts that may have occurred should stop bleeding immediately after applying the RazoRock. After application, I prefer to let the alum set on the skin for a minute or so before washing it off with cold water, and following up with an aftershave splash or balm of my choice. This step is not necessary and many men simply use the alum alone as their aftershave treatment; however, because it is completely odorless I prefer to follow up with one of my favorite aftershaves for both the skin conditioning and fragrance aspects.
Although most potassium alum blocks are the same from a materials standpoint, the RazoRock provides an additional value because of the more innovative approach to packaging. It is a great value for only $5.95 CAN ($5.88 USD) because the long-lasting nature of alum will provide daily use for a year despite its small size. You could also buy a second block to keep in your travel bag or gym bag. In addition, RazoRock claims that the product is an effective natural deodorant and that it can be used in the kitchen to rub on your hands to remove odors after touching onions, garlic, or fish (although I would recommend buying separate ones than your shaving alum for these purposes). If alum is a favorite of yours when you have a shaving nick or cut, visit Fendrihan and add a few RazoRock Alum Ultimate Aftershave sticks to your shopping cart. This innovative alum product has a great packaging and design for the traditional wet shaver that sets it apart from the rest.