Under Beard Skin Care - How to Moisturize & Treat Your Skin
Just because the skin on your face is covered by a wiry mane doesn’t mean it is protected from damage or irritation. Caring for your beard is essential, but if the skin underneath isn’t cared for as well, you could have serious problems.
In this article, I will cover the entire gamut of under beard skin care.
Read on, and let’s find out what happens if your under-beard skin isn’t cared for and what you can do about it.
What Happens to Your Under-Beard Skin?
When growing or maintaining a beard, there are several skin conditions you need to be aware of. Some conditions can be avoided, while others are something that happens to virtually every man growing a beard.
The skin under your beard is exposed to more elements and conditions than any other part of your body. While our faces battle the external elements, when growing a beard it also has to battle the conditions created by the growth.
Skin is the largest organ of the body. By definition an organ is a self-contained mass that utilizes various, specific functions. Skin performs various specific functions such as regulation of body temperature, allowing the sensation of touch and protection from environmental contaminants.
In an adult human, the skin weighs about eight pounds and covers a total of 20 to 22 square feet!
Dry Skin - Why & When
Dry skin is the most common and complained about skin condition. There are several causes of dry skin under your beard. You can experience dry, itching, or flaking skin under your beard from being exposed to cold weather, hot weather, humidity, or even taking too long in a bath or shower that is too hot.
Cold and hot weather affect the skin by causing us to bundle up, or sweat too much. When the weather is cold, the moisture from the skin is absorbed by the air. The cold, dry air saps the moisture and sebum oil from the beard hair. From there, the body must try and produce more oil to keep the skin and beard lubricated. The cycle continues, resulting in dry skin.
When the weather is too hot, we sweat more profusely. The sweat washes away the sebum oil and natural lubricants of the skin under the beard. The more we sweat and wipe it away, the dryer our skin becomes.
Dry skin kills the skin cells causing them to crack, peel and flake away. The result is dead skin cells floating around in your beard. This is known as beardruff, like dandruff for the face.
When the temperature is high, the humidity in the air is reduced. When this happens, the air actually absorbs moisture from wherever it can get it, including your face. The result is dry skin and that familiar itching and flaking that goes along with it.
Hot baths and showers have the same effect. Prolonged exposure to water temperatures above 105 degrees (40C) will cause your skin’s moisture to evaporate. A hot shower is addictive. The more you do it, the more your body craves it.
As you bathe to satisfy the subconscious craving, you rob your body of the moisture it needs to keep your beard, and the skin underneath, moisturized and lubricated.
Dry skin is usually a temporary condition, or seasonal, not unlike allergies. When dry skin does occur, you may experience any of the following:
Dry skin can also be caused by dermatological conditions such as eczema or psoriasis. Dry skin can even show up if you use harsh soap, detergents or chemicals. Anything you use that strips the oils and natural moisture from your skin can leave it itching, red and dry.
There are literally hundreds of causes for dry skin. Did you know you can get dry, cracked and itchy skin when you fly? The air circulating inside an airplane is dehumidified to prevent the spread of airborne allergens and illnesses.
As we know, the less humidity in the air, the drier the beard and skin below become. So the next time you travel above 30,000 feet, stay away from the alcohol, stay hydrated and try not to fight over the armrest.
Sunburn - Pay Attention to This One
Even when your face is covered in a thick furry hedge, sunburn is still a concern. The beard hairs do protect the underlying skin from the UVB rays. However, the UVA rays, which are more damaging to skin can penetrate the hairs and cause sunburn.
Sunburn underneath the beard can be extra problematic. The sunburn will cause the skin to dry out rapidly, become irritated and itching. Applying sunburn remedies can also be difficult because of the beard, which can prolong the sunburn, pain symptoms and suffering.
Stress & Its Affect on Your Skin
Stress has a lot of side effects on our bodies. In particular to skin care (and that of the skin under your beard), stress raises the levels of the cortisol hormone. When cortisol levels are raised the skin becomes oily, leaving residue and clogging pores.
The extra oil strips the hair follicles of their natural oils, drying out the pores and causing the skin to become irritated, inflamed and dry. It may also be the reason why your beard has stopped growing.
The stress itself can come from anywhere, and it’s effects, side effects and causes are far too numerous to list. Stress reduction techniques are also vast and numerous. Everything from physical to emotional healing procedures are commonly used.
Massage, aromatherapy, meditation, sports, or even reading a book or taking a bath (just not too hot or you can dry out your skin) have been used to reduce stress, along with countless other options.
Whatever the reason, care for skin under beard is important and should be done properly and on a regular schedule.
How To Take Care of Your Skin
There are four major ways for skin care under beard to be accomplished: washing, brushing, moisturizing and diet. Each one has their own do’s and do not’s. Let’s take a look at these “rules” and tips to keep the skin under your beard healthy.
One of the most important aspects of under beard skin care is moisturizing. Keeping the beard and skin moisturized will prevent dry skin, itching, peeling and flaking. The best way to keep the skin and beard moisturized is by properly distributing the natural sebum oils and by adding beard oil to your beard and skincare routine.
The best treatment for dry skin under the beard is prevention. Beard oils help prevent dry skin and should be used daily. There are dozens of types of beard oils, so finding the right one for your skin type and beard type shouldn’t be a problem.
When searching, just ensure that the beard oil is all natural and contains oils such as jojoba, coconut or argan. These are carrier oils that will ensure the essential oils make it to the skin surface and the hair root and follicle.
Lavender, rosemary, cedarwood and tea tree oils are the most commonly used for essential oils. These will lubricate the skin, keep the hair softer, more manageable and strong and of course will have a great aroma.
Here's some dos and don'ts when it comes to moisturizing your beard and skin.
Tips & Tricks:
Daily use will help moisturize your skin as well as keep it healthy, preventing redness, itching and drying under your beard.
Pay a little more for higher quality beard oils to get the most benefits from the oils as possible. Your beard will look good, but the under beard skin will feel great and stay moisturized.
Tip: You can also make your own beard oil.
Washing your beard is something you should do regularly, though not daily. If you wash your beard too often, you will wash away the natural oils that protect the pores, follicles and the hairs themselves.
Overwashing can lead to broken or damaged beard hairs or premature evacuation of the hair from the follicle (that’s a fancy way of saying your beard is falling out, mate.)
Here's some dos and don'ts when it comes to washing.
If you wash too often, too vigorously, or yank on tangles, the hairs can be removed from the follicles causing skin irritation, itching and damage. These conditions will further cause skin problems when you scratch the itch or apply ointments for the irritation or possible infections from scratches.
Tips & Tricks:
When washing your beard, it is easiest in the shower. Use just your fingertips to work the cleanser down to the skin underneath and into the skin. When rinsing the beard, you should use the fingertips to continue to massage the skin until all of the lather has washed away.
The water temperature is very important. Washing in water that is too hot will strip the beard and the skin of moisture and sebum. Washing in water that is too cold, however, will not wash away enough sebum oil, which can lead to a sebum oil build up, clogging pores and damaging your skin.
Aim for a temperature that is lukewarm, just above body temperature and below scalding. The 100 degree to 105 degree (37 - 40C) range should be just fine.
Brushing & Combing
Brushing and combing your beard is vital to not only a great look and style, but to a healthy under beard skin. Which should you do, brush or comb? The answer is both.
Brushing your beard will lift and loosen any dead skin cells, helping you shed them and keep them out of your beard (beardruff). It will also remove debris and will help keep your beard clean.
Brushing also helps keep your beard skin healthy and moisturized. When you brush, especially when using a boar bristle brush which carries sebum oil and distributes it throughout the beard.
Combing, on the other hand, helps maintain the beards appearance by keeping it free of tangles and knots and helping the fly-aways lie flat. When used with beard balm, you can tame the mane and head out looking your absolute best.
Did you know that your pillowcase could be the culprit for beard tangles and dry skin? If you have a cotton pillow case the beard will rub against it as you sleep. The fibers will absorb moisture from your beard making it dry and stiff.
The lack of moisture will cause the skin to become dry, which could lead to dry skin, rash or irritation.
As you sleep, the now-dry hairs stick, twist and wad up as you move your head, causing tangles and knots in your beard. To retain the moisture in your beard, thus further protecting your skin, use satin pillowcases.
Stay away from polyesters though, they can actually inhibit hair growth!
What you eat will have a drastic impact on your beard. Improper nutrition can make your beard weaker, fragile and prone to breakage, drying out and being uncontrollable.
When planning your diet, you need to concentrate on foods that promote healthy hair development, growth and strength. The basics for a softer, stronger and acne free skin under your beard are those that are high in vitamins and minerals as well as proteins.
Boron, biotin, vitamins C, E and B6 as well as the minerals iron and zinc are essential to healthy skin under the beard and proper, even beard growth.
Your diet and overall health are important to having the healthy skin that produces glorious beards.
Tips & Tricks:
You can get everything you need for the day at breakfast time. An omelet made from two eggs, ham, thinly sliced beef strips and Brazil nuts, combined with a glass of orange juice will produce a power packed vitamin and mineral meal that will promote healthy skin under your beard.