wikiHow to Use an Alum Block

Two Methods:Using an Alum Block as an Aftershave TreatmentFinding Other Uses for an Alum Block

Alum blocks are made of natural potassium alum, a material found on rocks in areas of weather and oxidation which has antiseptic and astringent qualities. Alum blocks are used by many for healing minor nicks and cuts from shaving. Another popular use is as an aftershave treatment. It can help fight razor burn, improve skin tone, prevent ache, and kill germs. Alum blocks are typically small, rock like blocks which look clear to milky. They can last for up to two years, even with daily use.

Method 1
Using an Alum Block as an Aftershave Treatment

  1. Image titled Use an Alum Block Step 1
    Purchase an alum block. Alum blocks are becoming more common in the US. You can now find them at many drugstores and beauty supply stores. If you're not sure where to look, ask an employee.[1]
    • You can also purchase an alum block online. Typically, they cost around $20. Many people consider this a good investment, as an alum block can last for years.
    • Make sure to purchase a block that is pure alum. You do not want additional ingredients.
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    Wet face with cold water. After you shave, you need to prepare to use the alum block. This means getting your face (or legs) wet. Splashing your face with cold water helps close pores and allows the block to easily glide over your face.
    • Alum blocks are most effective as a post-wet shave product.
    • Make sure to thoroughly rinse all of the soap or shaving cream from your face.
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    Wet the alum block in cold water. This will further make it easier for the block to glide over your face. Simply run the stone back and forth under the faucet. Make sure the entire surface is wet.[2]
    • Some people like to soak the alum block in ice water before use. Beware: this can increase the tingling feeling you will feel during use.
  4. Image titled Use an Alum Block Step 4
    Glide alum block across face. Rub the block onto the areas of your skin that you’ve shaved. You can also apply the block to other areas of your face or body. Remember, an alum block is known for its astringent qualities.[3]
    • You can expect to feel a little bit of tightness and perhaps some tingling. Don't worry, this is normal.
    • While most people just use alum block on the face, you can apply it elsewhere on your body. For example, you could rub it on your legs after shaving.
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    Evaluate your shave. If you’re new to shaving the block can be a good indicator of areas where you might want to improve your shaving technique. The alum block has a tingling or stinging feeling so areas where the stinging are high usually indicates that too much pressure is being applied in that area with the blade. Take care to be more gentle on those areas next time.[4]
    • Rinse off with cold water and pat face dry with towel.
    • Some people prefer to skip the rinse and just leave the alum on the face. You'll continue to feel the tightness for a few hours, but it shouldn't be uncomfortable.
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    Dry your alum block. It is essential that you allow your alum block to dry completely before putting it away. Your block won't be effective anymore if you put it away wet.[5]
    • It can take several hours for your block to dry. Try leaving it on the counter to air dry while you are at work.

Method 2
Finding Other Uses for an Alum Block

  1. Image titled Use an Alum Block Step 7
    Use an alum block to heal a small cut. Wet the area of the cut with cold water. This will wash the blood away from the cut. Typically, an alum block is used to help heal a small nick that results from shaving. Wetting the area can also help you remove shaving cream residue.[6]
    • Alum blocks can also be used for other small cuts. It is safe enough to use on children.
    • If your child suffers a minor cut, you can apply the alum cut to that area, the same way you would use it on the face.
    • Don't forget to dab the alum block in cold water before use.
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    Apply the block to the area of the cut. Apply the block with light pressure and hold for for 20 – 30 seconds or until bleeding stops. You might experience a slight sting at first but that’s the indication that your cut is being sealed. The alum block acts as a coagulant to stop bleeding.[7]
    • Remove the alum block from the skin if the tingling begins to feel too intense or uncomfortable.
    • Wash face (or other body part) with cold water to close pores and wash away any residue from the alum block.
    • Don't forget to let your block dry before putting it away.
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    Try alum deodorant. Some people use alum as an alternative to typical deodorants. This might be a good alternative if you are looking to avoid spraying or rubbing chemicals on your body.[8]
    • Talk to your doctor before trying an alum (or "crystal") antiperspirant. Some health care providers feel that it might be linked to diseases such as breast cancer. While the research is inconclusive, it is important to be aware of this possibility.


  • Make sure to buy a block that is 100% alum.
  • Stop using if you feel any pain.
  • Remember that slight tingling and tightness are normal.

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Categories: Alternative Health | Health