A shaving nick is the worst. Somehow, a cut so tiny can feel like the worst paper cut of your life multiplied by one million.
If you’ve never heard of a styptic pencil but cut yourself often, this new discovery just might change your life.
- What Is a Styptic Pencil?
- Benefits of Using It
- How to Choose the Best One
- What Are the Main Ingredients in It?
- Alternatives to Styptic Pencil
- How to Use It
- How Long Does It Last?
- 5 Best Styptic Pencils on the Market
- Other Important Facial Hair Tools
What Is a Styptic Pencil?
A styptic pencil is an antihemorrhagic agent that restricts blood vessels and stops bleeding.
The main ingredient is anhydrous aluminum sulfate, which has long been used to restrict blood flow. It is used for taking care of small cuts simply by spreading it like a lipstick over the affected area.
It has astringent properties similar to witch hazel, vinegar, or rubbing alcohol because of how it treats minor skin irritations and dries, hardens, and protects the skin.
These properties may even go beyond treating cuts and help get rid of ingrown hairs.
This old-school product hasn’t come across much competition as the years have gone by because it’s truly one of the best products to stop bleeding.
Thus, it’s one of the must-have items to complete the best beard grooming collection.
Benefits of Using It
Using a styptic pencil carries one major benefit, which is stopping small cuts from bleeding out. While it doesn’t seal the cuts, it keeps the bleeding at bay.
Other methods used to treat the same kind of cuts do not work as well or go under the radar as well as styptic pencils do.
Those who don’t have one may try to use small bits of toilet paper or rubbing alcohol to treat the area.
However, toilet paper isn’t something you can leave the house with all over your face, and alcohol burns strongly while not necessarily stopping the bleeding.
The benefit of a styptic pencil is that it both stops the bleeding and doesn’t call attention to the cuts, so you can begin healing faster.
How to Choose the Best One
If you’re sold on the idea of a styptic pencil, now you want to be sure you’re purchasing one that is worth your money.
Before purchasing, you should consider these aspects to ensure you’re getting the best one to suit your needs.
Things like ingredients, price, availability, function, and ease are all important parts of the styptic pencil.
Just the Main Ingredient or Others?
First, decide what you want in the makeup of the product. Ones with just the main ingredient usually stop the bleeding a bit quicker and better.
Options that include other ingredients like aloe or vitamin E might not work quite as well, but they bring a host of other benefits along with them. Consider what is more important to you.
Availability and Cost
These are pretty cheap products, but depending on how quickly you need it, you might be limited in availability.
Some of the best options are available online but require waits on shipping time.
It’s important to have a styptic pencil that will work with you and for you. Some chalky options can melt down easily and create a huge mess, which is never fun.
You’ll want something that is portable and easy to tote around.
For a styptic pencil to last, you want one that won’t break, melt, or erode easily. Finding something that comes in a case will protect it the best.
Since you will probably be rushing to find your styptic pencil the second you cut yourself, you want something that is easy to use and superiorly functional.
Something that you can roll up to use and roll back down to store is ideal.
What Are the Main Ingredients in It?
The ingredients in a styptic pencil varies slightly from product to product. All are created with the intention to stop bleeding – they just have slightly different interpretations of how to do that.
One thing that will not change is the main ingredient: anhydrous aluminum sulfate.
Its astringent properties will stop bleeding in its tracks while helping the wound to begin healing right off the bat.
Some styptic pencils include ingredients like aloe vera, argan oil, vitamin E, jojoba oil, or tea tree oil to enhance the antibacterial, antimicrobial, and soothing properties.
It’s a good idea to check the ingredients list to be sure you aren’t applying anything you’re allergic or sensitive to, but most companies try to keep the list simple and focused on the anhydrous aluminum sulfate.
Alternatives to Styptic Pencil
If you’re not sure that styptic pencils are for you, there are several other options available on the market created to treat the same need.
Here are a couple of the best alternatives.
Is usually comprised of other nourishing ingredients to create a balmy texture. It’s fairly new to the market but has gained a lot of traction because of its convenience and function.
Are an on-the-go alternatives designed for one-time use. They are made up of only aluminum sulfate and can use a high concentration of a lower-grade quality.
Because of this, some people have negative reactions to such matches, but they are a good option for on-the-go or emergency situations.
Is more commonly used on animals after they get their nails trimmed. This is generally not recommended for use on the human face.
The Alum Block has been used to stop bleeding for ages. This crystal-like stone of aluminum sulfate will cool and refresh the face after shaving while treating any small cuts at the same time.
The best alum block would be one with a higher concentration as sometimes their astringent properties are not strong enough.
Looks like the pencil but has a roller-ball applicator that disperses the liquid across your skin. It dries clear and works well at stopping the bleeding, but it is often a bit more expensive.
Other alternatives that are not necessarily recommended include toilet paper, rubbing alcohol, cayenne pepper, salt, ice, and eye drops.
Some folks find luck using these methods, but there usually isn’t any scientific backing to it.
You should only use these methods with your own discretion, and of course consider that things like alcohol and cayenne will hurt quite a bit.
How to Use It
It’s better to use a styptic pencil after the shave rather than immediately after the cut is made, as it could affect the quality of the overall shave.
Even more, if you re-cut a nick that has stopped bleeding, it could make it much worse.
Instead, after shaving, you should rinse your face with cold water, pat dry, and inspect for cuts.
Once you know where you’ll be applying the styptic pencil, you can get started.
Get the best shave you can to avoid the need for the pencil. Use a good razor for sensitive skin or safety razor blades for men and take care on tricky parts of your face to avoid cuts.
For it to work best, first get the tip of the pencil wet with cold water. The water will activate the aluminum, which is the key part to getting those cuts to stop bleeding.
Press the tip of the wet pencil right into the cut, holding it there momentarily. Rub it on the cut back and forth in small motions for about 5 seconds until it seems that the bleeding has stopped.
Rinse and repeat. If the pencil did not completely stop it after the first time, it’s important to keep repeating until it does. It may take a couple tries, and that’s fine.
If it leaves a slight white residue, have no fear. You can wash the residue off while keeping the cut still sealed.
- The stinging is completely normal. How often is there a way to heal your cuts that doesn’t include a bit of a sting? It will go away after a few seconds, have no fear.
- You can also use this same tool on splinter cuts, thorn pricks, or other small cuts. It’s not only for razor cuts on the face!
- Pack it on your outdoor or hiking trips! It comes in handy in a pinch.
- Keep away from children and pets. Leave this up to adults.
How Long Does It Last?
The lifespan depends most upon the brand and the particular one at hand. An old school styptic pencil can last quite a while if kept up with the proper maintenance.
It requires drying after each use for a few minutes, but that’s about it! Since it is composed of only aluminum sulfate, it won’t expire.
The newer balm-type styptic pencil sticks might not last as long due to their other ingredients. It will last about a year if it doesn’t fall victim to drops, melting, breaking, or drying out.
5 Best Styptic Pencils on the Market
Cuts and nicks are inevitable parts of the shaving process. Sometimes bleeding can be more intense and that’s why styptic pencils and other similar products are good to have in your grooming arsenal.
Here are top 5 products that will help you deal with small shaving nicks and cuts and stop the bleeding fast and efficiently:
A must-have product in every man’s grooming kit, Woltra Styptic Pencil stops the bleeding from cuts and razor nicks almost instantly.
You can expect it to sting when applied on the wound, but it’s entirely worth it as the bleeding will stop in a split second. Plus, stinging is a sure sign that the product is working.
Inside the package, there are 2 pencils that last for pretty long. To use it, just moisten the tip and press it directly on the cut.
Once it dries, make sure to wipe it off with a washcloth to remove the yellow stain. It might leave some white residue on your skin, which is easy to wash off.
If you don’t wash it off, it can dry your skin. Put your styptic pencil on some dry place and it will be ready for the next use.
Unfortunately, this particular product doesn’t come with the storage container on its own, so you will have to think of some other place to keep it in.
- Stops the bleeding from nicks and minor cuts in seconds
- Lasts for a long time and is relatively simple to use
- Comes in a pack of 2 pencils
- Price is a bargain deal
- Stings slightly when applied
- Doesn’t work for bigger cuts
- Doesn’t have a storage
Easy to use and lightweight, Pinaud Clubman Styptic Pencil stings for a few seconds after the application but stops the bleeding almost instantly.
Run a little water over the top and put it on the cut. After that, wash off the blood from the pencil and put it back in its reusable plastic tube.
One thing to keep in mind is that you should dry it after the use. If you leave the moisture, it will cause the pencil to degrade rapidly.
Keep in mind that this product will leave a residue on your skin, so wipe it off once the cut dries and heals a bit.
The package contains 2 pencils that will last you for a long time. Considering the low price, the product is really affordable.
- Stops the bleeding almost instantly
- Reusable plastic tube for storage
- Two pencils inside the pack
- Simple to use, small, lightweight and lasts for long
- Leaves a residue
- Stings for few seconds
Pretty compact and portable, Pacific Shaving Company Nick Stick dries out quickly without leaving a chalky residue behind.
Concentrated formula contains vitamin E and aloe vera that help in soothing your skin and speeding the healing process.
The product works as a liquid roll-on with a screw top, so you should just glide it across the cut to stop the bleeding. However, some men who used it claim that it didn’t work for them.
With regular use, it will last you very long. It does sting a lot at first, but the pain will quickly go away. This styptic pencil is affordable and very cheap.
- Contains vitamin E and aloe vera that heal and soothe your skin
- Dries quickly and doesn’t leave a chalky residue
- Lasts a really long time
- Very cheap
- Doesn’t always stop or slow down the bleeding
- Only one pencil in the pack
Coming in a travel size of 3 pencils in the pack, Clubman Pinaud is fairly good-sized, so it will last you for a long while.
Wet the tip before you apply it and smear it all over the nick. This will stop the bleeding and fast seal the skin surface to heal the small cut in a few seconds.
The layer it forms prevents the penetration of dirt and gems under the skin, protecting you from potential infection.
For about 10 seconds after you’ve applied the product, you will experience stinging. After that, it will dry up and leave an easily removable white residue behind.
Make sure to let the pencil dry after the use and store it in a little plastic holding tube it comes with. A removable cap will help you close it safely and reuse it later.
The product is rather inexpensive and almost anyone can afford it.
- Stops the bleeding fast
- Comes in a plastic tube that serves as a storage
- Good size and lasts a long time
- You get 3 pencils inside the pack
- Leaves a white residue in the skin
- Stings a bit
Great for both personal use and the use in barber salons, Cloè Styptic Matches help in speeding up the process of healing nicks and cuts.
These matches are also very effective in stopping the bleeding fast and soothing irritation and razor burns.
To use it, just make sure to wet the top under the water and press it on the nick. You might experience a slight sting, but it will be gone soon.
The pack contains 3 matches inside and it will last you for a while. However, these styptic matches are unbeatable for the price.
- Stops the bleeding fast and efficiently
- Soothes razor burns and skin irritation
- Compact and portable in the pockets
- Doesn’t come with a storage
- Doesn’t work for bigger cuts
Other Important Facial Hair Tools
These pencils are great for treating the inevitable nicks that come with shaving a face full of hair.
But there are other products that you should keep in your arsenal to maintain great health and beauty to your facial hair no matter what stage it’s in!
To keep your face and beard clean, you should find your go-to face wash and the best organic beard soap.
You can do a quick online search to find the best face wash for men by skin type, so any special requests will be met.
Razors and Shavers
Get the right products to deal with any type of hair! Invest in the best back shaver for the areas behind you and the best straight razor for areas on your face. You won’t regret it.
Sometimes it’s worth it to splurge on specialty products.
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