Shaving nicks and cuts always bring about the image of teenage boys who look like they’ve shaved their faces with a lawnmower, but anybody can be clumsy enough to nick themselves while shaving every now and then. Shaving cuts aren’t pretty, and whilst they are annoying in how they distract from an otherwise smooth shave, they have other drawbacks too. Shaving nicks and cuts can easily become infected, and can even permanently scar your face if you’re not careful.
If you don’t particularly like walking around with a face plastered with toilet paper, then here are just some of the tips and tricks that will help you heal up a shaving nick or cut in no time—saving you blood, time and embarrassment.
1. Avoid cutting yourself in the first place
This might be stating the obvious, but trying to minimise or eliminate nicking yourself in the first place is always a good place to start if you don’t think that a face full of band-aids is a good look for you. A close shave should not mean a dangerous shave: if you are using the right, properly sharpened tools and work with a steady hand, you should only very rarely cut yourself. If you’re nicking yourself every time you shave, and you have been shaving for awhile, then you’re probably doing something wrong. Deal with the cause, not the effect.
2. Apply pressure to the wound
As soon as your spot a nick or cut, you should stymie the blood flow the old fashioned way by splashing your face with cold water and then applying pressure to the cut. This should stop your bathroom looking like a scene from Saw, but obviously only works well if you have more fingers than you do cuts. Most people’s first instinct is to apply a little tissue to their nicks and cuts and continue shaving, but this rarely works well as tissue becomes moist too quickly; you should start treating a cut immediately after you notice it—no exceptions.
3. Use a styptic pencil
Styptic pencils are quite old fashioned but still effective way of stymying bleeding from a cut. These little pencils usually contain chemicals effective in drying up blood or halting blood flow, usually bound up in a waxy pencil. All you need to do is moisten the tip and press it gentle on the nick or cut in question: after a few seconds of stinging, the cut should stop bleeding. You can pick up a styptic pencil from any pharmacy for a few dollars, and they are useful at treating small cuts from any sort of activity (not just shaving) and also work well on insect bites.
4.Apply some alum block
Alum block is a multitasking mineral balm that once discovered, you’ll likely not want to live without. Alum block works very similarly to styptic pencil (they’ve often even made of the same materials) in that is helps stop blood flow, but differs in that you apply it to your whole face. Again, alum block is a wonder in that alum performs multiple functions: not only does it close up your nicks, but it also helps clean your skin, prevent razor burn and also has antiseptic qualities. If you’re a fan of straight razor shaving, then you should really always have some alum block to hand.
5.Treat your cuts and nicks with care
While shaving cuts and nicks tend to be clean and shallow, they can be infected and become just as disgusting as any other kind of cut. Because of this, it is important that you apply all the usual pharmaceutical common sense to your nicks and cuts. Keep them clean and disinfected while still raw, and (especially if you are a lady) don’t try cover them up with concealer or other cosmetics, as you may infect the cut. Let the air at your cut and keep it clean and it will heal up in no time at all.