Styptic pencils were once found in every shaving kit. Since the decline of the DE razor, styptic pencils have disappeared off store shelves. The good news is they’re still being made. The bad news is that they’re a little harder to find. Nowadays you would be lucky to find these in the mom & pop pharmacy down the street. Don’t worry too much though, Amazon has them for a little over $1/pencil for a pack of 6. Click the link above if interested.
The styptic pencil is an anti-hemorrhaging agent. Meaning, it stops bleeding. Great for small nicks and cuts obtained while shaving. Any veteran straight razor user will tell you that straight razor shaving is not fool-proof. Small nicks and cuts are not as rare as I would like them to be. Especially if you have adult acne or bumps on your face. The styptic pencil stops the bleeding quickly and easily. It is also an antiseptic. The bad news is that styptic stings. It also leaves a slightly white residue on your face and it feels weird on your hands. The good news is that styptic washes off with water and soap. The feeling may stay, but the styptic washes off unless you used way too much.
How to Use
Its not necessary, but it is a good idea to disinfect the area with 70% alcohol first. Even though styptic is an antiseptic, its still a good idea to wipe away excess blood and disinfect. To use the pencil, cup a little water in the palm of your hand; rub the tip of the pencil around to get it wet; and apply to the area. You don’t need to apply liberally in most cases. For a shallow cut, the bleeding usually stops on its own with a splash of cold water. A light application of styptic will stop the bleeding right up. For deeper cuts, multiple applications may be necessary. In a little while the bleeding should stop. Wash off the styptic pencil under running water to clear away any blood that got on the tip. It probably won’t do anything other than look bad, but the only downside is you lose some styptic with the tap water.
After the foregoing, you need to wait a little bit for the bleeding to stop. A second application may be necessary, so don’t wash off the blood quite yet. Once the bleeding has stopped, you need to seal the wound. A bandaid is old school tech. I highly recommend this liquid bandaid. It will both keep the wound sterile and its waterproof.
While certainly not a true necessity, at $1/pencil, you really should have this in your shaving kit or den.