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Shaving 101: Styptic Pencils–What They Are, What They Do, How To Use Them, And How To Shop For One

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The shaving pencil for cuts: a styptic pencil is a small, crayon-shaped (or perhaps more accurately classroom chalkboard chalk) product that is used to stop bleeding from small nicks and cuts. The styptic pencil is moistened and then applied to the nick or cut to help it clot and stop the bleeding.

What Is A Styptic Pencil Stick?

A styptic pencil is made from a composite of alum and other styptic agents, to close cuts and stop bleeding. This type of pencil uses more powerful ingredients than alum blocks which helps them stanch deeper cuts. Alum blocks are typically made with the milder potassium alum while styptic pencils are more commonly made with the stronger aluminum sulfate.

The styptic pencil is a piece of chalk that looks like a stick and comes in many sizes, lengths, and diameters. There are travel size styli which look thin and shorter, then there are “jumbo” styli which have thicker sticks that look longer than they actually are!

What Does A styptic Pencil Do?

A styptic pencil is a stick made from alum and other styptic agents. It is used to close cuts and stop the bleeding. Alum is a mineral that helps to constrict blood vessels and reduce inflammation. When applied to a cut, the alum in the styptic pencil will help to stop the bleeding.

How To Use A Styptic Pencil For Shaving Nick Relief

A styptic pencil is used to stop bleeding from a small cut. It is applied to the cut and then pressure is applied.

1. Run the tip of the styptic under cold water for about 5 seconds.

2. Rinse and pat-dry any excess blood that is coming out of the cut before applying the styptic pencil to it. Make sure you’re only getting wet what will be applied to the wound, not the entire thing – if too much gets on there, it can end up being more painful than helpful!

3. Apply pressure to the wound with a clean cloth or bandage for about 30 seconds after applying the styptic pencil – this will help it do its job and seal up that cut.

What Are The Benefits Of Using A Styptic Pencil?

Styptic pencils have been around for centuries and are still one of the most popular methods for stopping bleeding. They are small, easy to use, and perfect for everyday emergencies.

Styptic pencils are a great choice for homes, travel, and any time you find yourself in an unfortunate situation where you might get bitten by a thorn or cut from a nettle.

They come in various sizes to suit different hands or needs, but the most popular type is the jumbo styptic pencil. This type is thicker and longer than other styles, making it easier to hold and use.

Are There Any Side Effects Of Using A Styptic Pencil?

There are some potential side effects of using a styptic pencil. These side effects can include skin irritation, allergic reactions, and even nausea. If you experience any of these side effects after using a styptic pencil, be sure to discontinue use and speak with your doctor.

How To Store A Styptic Pencil

This product is designed for easy access, and should ideally be kept in an easy-to-access drawer or on their own stand if needed to draw blood away from the face quickly. But on the other hand a styptic pencil should be stored in a dry place where it will not be exposed to moisture.

If a styptic pen is kept in a high-humidity environment (like a bathroom) for a long period of time it will begin to degrade. It will start to look pitted and cracked, become “crumbly” and overly brittle, and lose its effectiveness.

How To Shop For Styptic Pencils – Product Details, Specifications, And Reviews

Basic styptic pencils are cheap and widely available. You should be able to find them in groceries, “megamarts,” chemists/drug stores, etc.

Clubman Pinaud Styptic Pencil

clubman pinaud styptic pencil

One of the most commonly-found styptic pencils is the Clubman Styptic Pencil. It has 4.7 out of 5 stars on Amazon, with well over 3000 ratings.

Styptic Pencil Alternatives

Although the styptic pencil is the classic shape, there are several popular alternatives. Styptic matchsticks look like what the name implies, a small bit of styptic material on the tip of a piece of thick paper just like a matchstick. They are a single-use product that come in packs.

The Pacific Shaving Nick Stick is another popular alternative, in liquid format. It is also highly-rated on Amazon, with 4.4/5 stars and an 85%+ positive rating. The liquid format avoids the chalky residue solid sticks can leave and the high-humidity degradation problems previously mentioned. It also contains additional, skin-friendly ingredients like aloe and vitamin E.

And there are other similar liquid or balm-like products as well.

The Shaving Pencil For Cuts To “Write Over” Mistakes

In conclusion, a styptic pencil (or alternative) is an easy-to-use tool for sealing small nicks and cuts from shaving. It can be found at most drugstores, and typically costs just a few dollars. By using a styptic pencil, you can avoid getting any nasty infections in the nick of time.

Related Post: Shaving 101 – How to Stop Bleeding From A Shaving Cut 7 Ways

Related Post: 11 Great Ways To Treat Shaving Nicks And Cuts


Shave tutor and co-founder of sharpologist. Also check out my content on Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest!View Author posts

3 thoughts on “Shaving 101: Styptic Pencils–What They Are, What They Do, How To Use Them, And How To Shop For One”

  1. At the outset of COVID, all pharmacies such as Walgreens & CVS as well as pharmacy departments in supermarkets &, of course, Walmart, withdrew styptic pencils from their inventories. As of yet, they’ve not been re-supplied. Other than for a brief period regarding Walmart, none have ever offered an alternative to the pencil. A liquid roll-on called Nik-Aid was available for several months at Walmart, but as usual that product was discontinued. With such unreliable inventory maintenance, the internet has been an ideal solution for me. I’ve been using Infalab’s Nick Relief powder. It performs flawlessly & even serves as a kind reminder of what my barber used back in the day. Naturally, each has his/her own preferences, but in my situation local stores in an over-rated community have been a source of frustration rather than of solution. Perhaps other subscribers have also encountered this situation. It can be rather disconcerting, but have patience. There are convenient solutions to such a dilemma.

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