Alum Block

I recently ordered a shave kit from Bespoke Post and it included something I had never used before — a so-called “alum block.” The actual item was Gentleman Jon Alum Block .

To start, as a fan of design, I really like the tough guy logo.


The block itself looks like some kind of crystal rectangle. The product claims to be 100% potassium alum and is made in China. I try to avoid products made in China whenever possible. (Am I being unfair?)

I already use potassium chloride crystal cubes, also known as KCl, in my water softener, and have looked a bit into KCl as, among other things, a source of beta radiation.

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Jojoba Oil

Bulletin_of_the_California_Academy_of_Sciences_(1884-1886)_(20447355705)I first came across jojoba when I was looking into tea tree oil, primarily for foot care. Jojoba oil was mentioned as a good carrier oil for tea tree oil. Since then, however, I have heard very good things about the use of jojoba oil as an aftershave and beard oil, among other things.

One of the more perplexing things about jojoba oil is that it is not actually an oil. The distinction between wax and oil is not precise, but rather has to with the nature of lipids. Generally speaking, an oil is liquid at room temperature, whereas a wax is solid. A wax ester, however, results from condensation of a fatty acid and fatty alcohol.

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