01-05-2017, 06:35 PM
#1
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I did a google search for alum and how to correctly use it. On the positive side, I found that alum is sometimes used to tighten vaginas. Although I can not verify this and do not have one to try this out on, I do like them, so I felt it relevant to mention it in this post.

Aside from that, all of these articles came up on how it may be a bad for you. The potassium alum seems to be safer, but alum appears to have traces of aluminum in it which they say may pose a risk for Alzheimer disease as patients with Alzheimer disease frequently have elevated levels of aluminum in their systems.

Are there articles that say this is not true or a myth or how it scientifically is misunderstood? I really like the way my alum block makes my face feel after shaving.

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 01-05-2017, 08:27 PM
#2
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Could you provide links to some of these articles?

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 01-05-2017, 08:35 PM
#3
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Not sure we are allowed to post links on this site. Just Google "alum health"

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 01-05-2017, 08:55 PM
#4
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Just looking at the first page of results, I'd have to say that the quality of evidence on both sides seems equal. That being said the amount of people speaking up for alum far outweighs the opposition. I've never heard of alum causing any health problems, besides which most people rinse the alum off anyhow so we're talking about rather limited exposure.

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 01-05-2017, 09:16 PM
#5
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From Wikipedia:

Quote:Alum in block form (usually potassium alum) can be used as a blood coagulant.

Styptic pencils containing aluminium sulfate or potassium aluminium sulfate are used as astringents to prevent bleeding from small shaving cuts.

Alum may be used in depilatory waxes used for the removal of body hair or applied to freshly waxed skin as a soothing agent.

In the 1950s, men sporting crewcut or flattop hairstyles sometimes applied alum to their hair as an alternative to pomade[citation needed]. When the hair dried, it would stay up all day.

Alum's antiperspirant and antibacterial properties contribute to its traditional use as an underarm deodorant.It has been used for this purpose in Europe, Mexico, Thailand (where it is called sarn-som), throughout Asia and in the Philippines (where it is called tawas). Today, potassium or ammonium alum is sold commercially for this purpose as a "deodorant crystal", often in a protective plastic case.


Seems widely used for many purposes over a looooooooong time. I'd think we'd have solid evidence if it was harmful, especially from shaving & deodorant usage. But, you know what what they say: if you're just looking for something wrong - you'll find it.

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 01-05-2017, 09:17 PM
#6
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Both of Diamond Dog's points are interesting.  Looking at the second, I only have it on my face for about a minute (remember, I'm on the second point), then splash it off with lots of cold water.  I don't think much alum would be absorbed into my system in that short amount of time.

Perhaps a more important concern would be using deodorant that contains aluminum.

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 01-05-2017, 09:46 PM
#7
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A few months ago I read that the studies related to Aluminum and Alzheimer's, etc were debunked and it was found that there was no direct correlation.  Nevertheless, so little is used, especially when washed off from a stick or block, that I personally believe there is little to no risk.
Steve

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 01-05-2017, 11:54 PM
#8
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It's bad for my health. Makes my skin break out in a rash if I use it. I've tried several different brands. After my own experiments I can confidently say that I will never purposefully use an alum block on my skin again.

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 01-06-2017, 07:12 AM
#9
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I've never felt the need to use an alum block.  Assuming use of good shaving technique, a high quality aftershave with a generous amount of witch hazel in it will, for me at least, yield satisfactory facial toning and tightening after a typical shave.

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 01-07-2017, 04:03 AM
#10
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I find I get more irritation if I use Alum or Aftershaves with Alum in them. I don't really use mine anymore except if I had a rare, rough shave and had several nicks.

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 01-12-2017, 04:30 AM
#11
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I am a geologist by training and figured that I would throw my two cents in.  


Aluminum is the most common metal in the earth's crust.  Inorganic Chemistry by Swaddle calls the group of minerals aluminosilicate when some of the Si4+ ions in silicates are replaced by Al3+ ions. For each Si4+ ion replaced by an Al3+, the charge must be balanced by having other positive ions such as Na+, K+, and Ca2+ ions. Feldspar group and zeolites are typical aluminosilicates by this definition.


The issue with natural medicine is that aluminum is not found by itself as a metal and causes alzheimers along with other neurological diseases.  According to alz.org:


"During the 1960s and 1970s, aluminum emerged as a possible suspect in Alzheimer’s. This suspicion led to concern about exposure to aluminum through everyday sources such as pots and pans, beverage cans, antacids and antiperspirants. Since then, studies have failed to confirm any role for aluminum in causing Alzheimer’s. Experts today focus on other areas of research, and few believe that everyday sources of aluminum pose any threat."

That said, my brief journal search on peer reviewed academic journal articles shows some possible correlations between DRINKING FREE ALUMINUM and aluminum alzheimers due to its higher bioavailability.  The idea is that drinking a lot of  aluminum causes oxidative stress in the brain which produces the plaque and proteins causing alzheimers.  Aluminum on the skin does not really show a health risk.


That all said,  this is the best journal article I could find in a short search.  I highly recommend using google scholar to find peer reviewed journal articles.  Google Scholar eliminates most of the junk, but not all of it.  I found a few people publishing in non reviewed articles with gmail addresses.  


http://scientonline.org/open-access/the-potential-effect-of-epigallocatechin-3-gallate-alone-or-in-combination-with-vitamin-e-and-selenium-on-alzheimers-disease-induced-by-aluminum-in-rats.pdf

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 01-12-2017, 08:05 AM
#12
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https://academic.oup.com/aje/article/152...rations-in

There is the PAQUID study suggesting a correlation between Alzheimer and aluminum in drinking water of the region.


I use my alum block only to stop occasional bleeding a few times per year.
No need for more usage of a possibly health harming product.


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 01-12-2017, 12:12 PM
#13
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I tend to use the alum everyday to see the feedback from my shave.  And it helps tighten everything back up.  I haven't seen any ill effects and don't plan on changing my routine.  

There are tons of stuff that have a bad rep and people still use them.

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 01-12-2017, 12:40 PM
#14
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(01-12-2017, 08:05 AM)apogee. Wrote: https://academic.oup.com/aje/article/152...rations-in

There is the PAQUID study suggesting a correlation between Alzheimer and aluminum in drinking water of the region.


I use my alum block only to stop occasional bleeding a few times per year.
No need for more usage of a possibly health harming product.


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I do the exact same.
If I have a bad shave day with lots of weepers, which happens 4-5 times a year, I'll use my alum in that region.
When it's a deeper cut I pull out the styptic pencil.

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 01-12-2017, 02:15 PM
#15
  • Shaun
  • Senior Member
  • St Peters, NSW, Australia
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From the study cited above: "These findings support the hypothesis that a high concentration of aluminum in drinking water may be a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease."


Bear in mind that: 1) a hypothesis only is being supported: no more than that; 2) the hypothesis that is supported mentions high concentrations of aluminium in drinking water. Most water supplies would not contain high concentrations of aluminium; 3) that there MAY be a risk, i.e. there is no definitive proof.  The research does NOT say there is a link between aluminium and dementia. 


Also bear in mind that alum blocks have very little in common with aluminium that MAY be in drinking water. I would therefore not draw any conclusions at all with regard to alum blocks, shaving, and dementia. This study has nothing to do with the use of alum blocks in the context of shaving. If you use an alum block, you will NOT absorb aluminium ions into your body anyway . 

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 01-13-2017, 04:08 AM
#16
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Some Alum blocks do not contain aluminum, some do.

When I do things with possible detrimental effects to my health, they must be a lot of fun, like skiing too fast, drinking too much great wine or similar nonsense. Alum? No Smile

There is no proof for aluminum/Alzheimer, but some evidence.

Alum blocks are great for stopping a bleeding but I do not need them in a daily routine.


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 01-13-2017, 06:41 AM
#17
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(01-13-2017, 04:08 AM)apogee. Wrote: Some Alum blocks do not contain aluminum, some do.

When I do things with possible detrimental effects to my health, they must be a lot of fun, like skiing too fast, drinking too much great wine or similar nonsense. Alum? No Smile

There is no proof for aluminum/Alzheimer, but some evidence.

Alum blocks are great for stopping a bleeding but I do not need them in a daily routine.


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Agreed

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 01-13-2017, 01:21 PM
#18
  • Shaun
  • Senior Member
  • St Peters, NSW, Australia
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If there is some evidence, then I'd like to see it. I am not aware of any evidence that the use of alum for shaving leads to alum absorption. None.

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 01-13-2017, 01:31 PM
#19
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(01-13-2017, 01:21 PM)Shaun Wrote: If there is some evidence, then I'd like to see it. I am not aware of any evidence that the use of alum for shaving leads to alum absorption. None.

I just don't like the feel of it, far prefer Thayers Witch Hazel unscented alcohol free after the shave followed by a after shave balm then some drops of after shave splash with alcohol on a piece of cotton dabbed to the shaved area.

But if I have a number of smaller cuts, the alum comes in handy, a styptic pencil is more for the deeper cuts.

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 01-13-2017, 02:08 PM
#20
  • clint64
  • Senior Member
  • Atlanta, GA
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(01-13-2017, 01:31 PM)CHSeifert Wrote:
(01-13-2017, 01:21 PM)Shaun Wrote: If there is some evidence, then I'd like to see it. I am not aware of any evidence that the use of alum for shaving leads to alum absorption. None.

I just don't like the feel of it, far prefer Thayers Witch Hazel unscented alcohol free after the shave followed by a after shave balm then some drops of after shave splash with alcohol on a piece of cotton dabbed to the shaved area.

But if I have a number of smaller cuts, the alum comes in handy, a styptic pencil is more for the deeper cuts.

This is my routine as well.  I don't like the feel of the alum at all.

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