It's bound to happen sooner or later: you are shaving early in the morning before work and accidentally cut yourself. Although minor, small nicks and cuts such as this can cause some pretty heavy bleeding. Rather than sticking a couple pieces of toilet paper over your battle wounds, you should try the following solution.
The single most effective way to treat a shaving cut is to use a styptic pencil. If this is your first time hearing about them, let me explain: styptic pencils are pencils that contain minerals like aluminum sulfate (the most common), potassium alum, and titanium dioxide. They are designed to stop bleeding by encouraging the clotting of blood, which is particularly useful for shaving cuts. When you cut yourself shaving, the blood will continue to flow until it clots, at which point the wound will become sealed; thus, initiating the body's self-healing mechanism.
To use a styptic pencil, run the tip under the faucet for a couple of seconds or until moist. Next, press the pencil tip against your cut and hold for a few seconds. Keep in mind that you will probably feel a burning sensation, which is indicative of the styptic pencil working. As the minerals come into contact with the open wound, it will create a brief stinging/burning sensation, which should go away after a minute or two. Run the styptic pencil over the wound a couple of times so there's a powdery residue left behind.
You can also find styptic powder available, which serves the same function as styptic pens and pencils. The minerals within the powder stop bleeding by forcing the blood to clot. I recommend keeping either styptic powder or a pencil in your grooming kit for those rare occasions when you accidentally cut yourself.
Tips to Protect Yourself from Shaving Cuts:
- Shave after you take a bath or shower. The warm water will open your pores, reducing the risk of cuts.
- Only shave using a sharp, clean razor. Dull razors may "snag" your skin, cutting into it and causing a wound.
- Apply styptic powder as soon as you cut yourself. The sooner its applied, the more effective it will be at stopping the bleeding.
- Wipe away any fog on your bathroom mirror before shaving. You can't expect to get a clean shave unless you can see what you are doing in the mirror.