You’re in a rush to get to work when suddenly all hell breaks loose — on your face, that is.
While shaving, you manage to cut yourself ever so slightly, only for it to gush blood like an unfixable faucet leak. You’re left with the decision: Continue to dab it with toilet paper until the bleeding stops or head to the office looking like Carrie.
If you’re in need of a quick fix to your problems and don’t particularly want to bandage your face, here are a few tips to stopping the (seemingly) unstoppable cut from the wrath of a blunt razor.
Use a styptic pencil
A styptic pencil is considered an anti-haemorrhaging tool, meaning it helps stop bleeding quickly. It’s made up of aluminium sulfate and contains astringent, which has alcohol, and helps disinfect a cut and clot the blood. It looks a little like a lip balm and you can stock up on the tool at any pharmacy or on Amazon.
It’s pretty easy to use: Just keep the pencil on the cut until it stops bleeding, which usually takes a few seconds (note: it might sting a little while it works its magic).
Dab some lip balm on the cut
In the event you don’t have a styptic pencil handy, put a little lip balm on the cut. This acts as a sealant and works well on paper cuts, too (Vaseline is another good solution). While this will help seal in the blood, the blood will still be visible. Get to the bathroom before your morning meeting and dab the cut with a tissue (assuming, of course, the bleeding has stopped by the end of your commute).
There are some skills you hope you never need to use, but having them could be a matter of life and death.
Find an alum block
An alum block looks a lot like a bar of soap and feels like a stone, and in the event of a rather nasty cut, it’s a good thing to have in your shaving artillery. It’s made up of aluminium potassium sulfate, the same ingredient in a styptic pencil. You might be more inclined to buy this if you have a full beard, as it has the added benefit of lessening irritation after heavy-duty shaving.
To use an alum block, just wet the bar and rub it around your face. It may be a little harder to come by, but you can find alum blocks on Amazon and some old school barber shops.
Hear me out: when you’re desperate, you’re willing to do anything, including dabbing a cut with antiperspirant. Many deodorants are actually made of some form of aluminium (referred to as aluminium chlorohydrate or aluminium choride) which helps to constrict blood vessels.
You’ll find the ingredient on deodorants like Axe and Dove. Read your antiperspirant’s label, and if you’re in luck, dab a little deodorant on your cut using your finger and watch the magic happen—with the added benefit of having your face smell better, too.
There's a whole market for aluminium-free deodorants. They're marketed as natural or vaguely better for you. But hold up a sec: why are you avoiding aluminium, which (unlike those natural deodorants) can actually stop you from sweating? It's fine.
Put eye drops on your cut
Whitening eye drops, used as quick solutions on everything from cuts to acne, are a good temporary fix for your shaving nicks. If you put a few eye drops on the cut, you’re effectively restricting the blood vessels, causing it to clot quicker. Wet a cotton ball or tissue with eye drops and place it on the cut. It doesn’t work as quickly as a styptic pencil or alum block, but try sealing it with lip balm, so the combination of forces will help stop bleeding by the time you really need it (like the 9 AM standing meeting).