Last updated on December 20th, 2018 by Garrick Dee
Men who have been shaving for a period of time know that nicks and cuts are an eventuality.
No matter how careful or how much experience you have, it is bound to happen.
The go-to first aid of most men would be a applying pressure using a small piece of tissue paper.
Make no mistake that this method is effective but it does take a bit of time for the bleeding to stop.
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Another side effect of using this method would be the unsightly bits of tissue hanging on your face as you go out.
This is a big no-no if you have an important meeting or date to attend to.
So if you’re looking for a better solution then scroll down below as I share better alternatives to stop minor nicks and cuts from disposable, cartridge or safety razors.
First aid must haves in your closet for minor nicks and cuts
There are various products available right now that are much more efficient that a piece of tissue paper at treating minor cuts.
The first group of products I’ll show you are tailor made for men’s shaving.
All of these mineral astringents that constrict skin and coagulate and dry cuts to stop bleeding faster.
You may want to consider purchasing any of these as a first aid for the eventual cut or nick.
Don’t worry, these products aren’t expensive and will last a long time.
This is one of the oldest products that exist right now for treating minor cuts. Ask your grandpa, he must have one of these inside his bathroom.
A styptic pencil is a lipstick-like product made from powdered crystals of an alum block.
Alum block for those who are not familiar contains mineral astringents like potassium alum, anhydrous aluminum or titanium dioxide that not only stop bleeding but also disinfect the wound preventing infections.
It has similar properties as an alum block but with the sole purpose of treating shaving induced cuts.
Long before the 5-blade cartridges were available, styptic pencils were a necessity because the only shaving tools available were the straight razor and safety razor.
To use a styptic pencil, simply wet the tip with water and press it against the cut for a few seconds.
Expect a stinging sensation but it will be worth it because the bleeding usually stops.
Styptic pencils may leave a powdery residue behind so you may want to rinse it off.
One of the best options available right now is the Clubman Pinaud. The travel pack is less than $5 so it won’t cost very much.
Alum block is the soap version of a styptic pencil. Both products are basically the same in terms of composition but this product serves a slightly different purpose.
While a styptic pencil works best in small isolated areas, you can use an alum block to rub your face.
This product will come in handy for men trying out straight razors for the first time.
The most likely scenario for straight shaving beginners is multiple cuts on the face that a styptic pencil may not work best on.
Some men also use alum blocks post shave even if there are no cuts.
The astringent properties of alum can also double as a post shave antiseptic that can help prevent razor burn. You can use this as a substitute for aftershaves that contain alcohol.
Alum block does not contain alcohol so it won’t dry skin.
This is a relatively new product in the market that takes the “stop-the-bleeding-on-its-tracks” properties of a styptic pencil but with less stinging sensation and powdery residue.
Let me introduce the special shaving roll-on liquid styptic rollers and gels.
These products contain the same base ingredient of a styptic pencil – aluminum chloride plus other ingredients like Aloe Vera and vitamin E to help soothe skin.
One good option would be the My Nik is Sealed. It costs almost the same as a styptic pencil.
Though I’m not a big fan of aftershaves with alcohol, it does help slow down bleeding a little bit.
That’s because alcohol is a form of astringent that also disinfects and prevent razor burn.
It won’t be as effective as the other two products above that contain alum but it is an option if you don’t have any styptic pencil or alum block. Another downside of alcohol is that it dries up skin.
A better alternative would be aftershaves that contain witch hazel as it is a more potent astringent.
Some men like the stinging sensation of aftershave while others don’t. So this is a personal preference that only you can decide.
Just in case you don’t have any styptic pencil or alum block, you can use any of the home remedies below as a first aid to treat shaving nicks and cuts.
1. Ice cubes
This is my go to option if my son’s nose bleeds because of him picking it with long nails. It’s a quick and efficient method of stopping bleeding on its tracks. Ice cubes shrinks blood vessels fast, allowing a clot to form quickly.
If you’re using an ice cube, I suggest wrapping it around a thin piece of cloth to protect the skin from direct exposure to ice. Another option would be using a cold compress. Those really come in handy in situations like this.
2. Cold water
If you don’t have access to ice, cold water is another good alternative. It should be your first go to first aid remedy when dealing with nicks and cuts. Cold water like ice helps stop bleeding by constricting skin so the bleeding slows down and eventually stops. Remember that the colder the water, the faster the results.
3. Deodorant or antiperspirant
Many antiperspirants and deodorants not only stop sweat in its tracks, it also is able to stop bleeding and also acts as an astringent thanks to its alum content.
4. Lip balm
This is another great alternative to styptic pencils. The waxy texture of lip balms seals the wound, stops the bleeding, allowing it to clot faster.
5. Mouthwash like Listerine
Yes, you heard that rich, Listerin is another home remedy for treating nicks and cuts. The same product that freshens and cleans your mouth is capable of treating cuts. Both these products contain alcohol that works as an antiseptic and disinfectant.
Listerine says in their old advert that it kills 200,000 germs in 15 seconds. But don’t take my word for it, just look at this…
The alcohol content in Listerine will have the same effect as in aftershave which is contract skin tissues and slow down bleeding.
I must warn you thought that it will sting.
6. Eye drops
Applying eye drops can also stop bleeding because it also constricts blood vessels. Eye drops for red eyes work better helps soothe irritation left by cuts.
7. Coconut baby oil
Another good option to treat cuts as it contains herbs that protect it from infection.
8. Petroleum jelly
Using petroleum jelly will have the same effect as a lip balm. The waxy texture helps seal the wound and stop bleeding. Don’t forget not to put too much. Also wipe of the excess or it’ll look awkward when you go out.
It’s always great to have any of these products in handy if you regularly shave. Remember that nicks and cuts are always a part of shaving so it’ll be prudent for you to be ready.
Now if you’re unfortunately enough to lacerate yourself using a straight razor, you must do these things.
Apply pressure on wound
Get a tissue or a clean towel and apply pressure on the wound as soon as possible. Hold it for a few minutes to see if the bleeding stops. If it stops, apply some hydrogen peroxide and/or an antibiotic cream as first aid.
Pinch area if bleeding does not stop
If applying pressure isn’t enough then try pinching the top and bottom part of the wound using your thumb and index fingers.
Make sure to use a clean towel to cover the area and catch excess blood.
Just in case pinching does not work, apply heavy pressure on both the top and bottom part of the wound. You may need someone to help you with this and call 911. This type of laceration may need medical intervention.
Do you have any tips in treating shaving nicks and cuts? Please do share them in the comment section below.
Garrick spends his days researching and writing about grooming. When he’s not in front of his computer, you can find him hanging around with his wife and son.