December 19, 2012

Product: Styptic Pencil

I was browsing the hair removal section of a drugstore last month to see what new devices of torture were available, when I discovered something that has apparently been around for years.  The styptic pencil has apparently been a part of men’s grooming sets since the days of the straight razor, and it’s designed to stop nicks from bleeding. 

If you have a pet that needs its nails clipped, you might be familiar with the concept, as a powder form is often used to stop any bleeding if the animal’s nails get clipped too close to the quick.  This pencil usually comes in a clear plastic tube for storage, and feels a bit like chalk in your hand.  You wet the tip and apply it to your nicks, and the astringent in the pencil causes the bloodvessels to constrict.  (See how it works.)

Styptic Pencil (drugstore brand)

  • Medical Ingredient: Aluminum Sulfate Anhydrous 56%
  • Non-Medical Ingredients:  Titanium Dioxide and Water

Things I liked:
  • It stops the bleeding from minor nicks instantly.  No more bits of toilet paper and waiting for nicks to clot on their own so I can apply make-up and get on with my day. 
  • I’ve even used it on moderate nicks from shaving my legs, and while it doesn’t stop them right away, it does slow the bleeding so I’m not tracking blood all over the place like a horror film.

Things I didn't like:
  • It stings.  A lot.  Think paper cut in lemon juice.  (Guess that's why they call it an astringent...)
  • It leaves a white residue on your skin, which you need to rinse off before make-up will apply with ease.

Did it do what it promised?

“Stops bleeding resulting from minor shaving cuts”--absolutely.  I might not have believed it if I hadn’t tried it for myself.  Even slightly larger nicks are helped with the pencil, which makes shaving just a little less messy and frustrating.  Because getting nicks to clot is often one of my biggest peeves with shaving, I think it’s an invaluable part of a shaving arsenal.

There are so many companies that make them, I’m not going to bother linking others’ reviews.  You can search on your own, or just try it for yourself.  They’re not expensive, and well worth a look if you’re an aggressive and sometimes clumsy shaver like me.

No comments: