Due to its square relief structure the cotton texture absorbs a great deal of moisture and retains the soothing heat during application. After the shave, the soft material pampers once again during cleaning and drying the face.
For pre-shave use, one towel can be soaked in hot water and placed on the areas to be shaved. Heat and moisture open the pores and work to soften the beard.
For post-shave use, after any remaining lather is rinsed off with water, another towel can be used to softly dry the skin.
The original aftershave, the alum block is a naturally occuring substance that was originally part of every barbers equipment. After shaving, a dampened alum stone has an antiseptic effect, closing the skins pores while leaving it soft and smooth.