A good beard can be a shield for the face. It can protect you from the cold, block UV radiation(1) and even conceal your weak chin from those judgmental glances. You want to make sure it isn’t also stopping you from taking care of your skin. Some parts of your new skincare routine are going to look as different as your new profile pic. Others are going to remain essentially the same. Here’s a guide to making sure you and your beard are working together to protect your face.
skincare with facial hair
You’ve seen dandruff before. Your face has been dry and dirty before. But a beard presents a new challenge. The beard hair can draw moisture away from the skin and traps the flakes of dry skin. The beard seems to grab everything:
- Flakes of skin from other parts of the face.
- Stray debris from that quick snack you just ate.
- The spiderweb you just walked through.
Infuriatingly enough, one thing that the beard doesn’t seem able to hold onto is beard hairs, which are strewn about everywhere.
Clean around your beard, under your beard, and after your beard. Remember that charcoal face wash you’ve been using? I hope you still have it on speed dial. The dead skin you can gently exfoliate and grime you can wash away, the less will get stuck in your beard. And if you are putting fingers in your beard, you want them to be cleaning agents rather than just idle hands stirring up dandruff and further inflaming breakouts.
Some beard particles can dodge even a diligent washing. So buddy up with a brush or comb to help shake them loose. A good combing can dislodge the beard hairs that are due to parachute out that day anyway. You get to choose to weed them out during a grooming session instead of, say, lunch.
Just because your beard is growing, that doesn’t mean that you have stopped cutting beard hair. But you can’t take the same wholesale approach as you did before.
Whether you are cleaning up your neck or maintaining a goatee, there’s a good chance that you still are wielding your razor daily. Shave just like you used to, which means using a clean blade and protecting your skin with razor bump cream and moisturizer. The folds of your neck skin are especially prone to razor bumps, and the fringes of the beard are primarily liable to dry out, so be generous here.
As for the beard itself, you might not be shaving it off, but you are probably still cutting some of the hairs, which means investing in some trimming supplies. Giving your beard the right shape can take a while to master, but the malleability of your profile can be half the fun.
Your face might not have the same shine as it did in its pre-bearded state, but you had better believe that oil production continues unabated. And while the beard might be hiding the acne, it’s not necessarily preventing it.
Get a leg up on your face while still in the stubble stage by making sure you give your skin a deep clean while it is still accessible. Consider peel off face mask for blackheads. A great deal of your face is going to remain accessible. The nose is usually the epicenter of oil production, so make sure you take care of the oil on your exposed skin before it becomes the beard’s problem.
As for the beard’s oil ecosystem, if you find that your usual skincare routine isn’t giving your facial hair enough TLC, it might be time for you to venture into the world of beard oils and specialty shampoos.
Guys often begin growing out their beards because they want to change things up. Being open to change is a healthy attitude to have when working with your beard to take care of your skin. Just as the different seasons demand alterations in your usual routine (wearing sunscreen in the summer, discovering that you are allergic to that particular sunscreen and switching to a new product, etc.), your beard is a new variable in the mix. You’ll have to learn what works for you each new season regarding how your beard holds moisture or keeps out the elements.
It’s worth noting that having facial hair year-round doesn’t necessarily mean having the same facial hair year-round. You might grow out a thick beard for the winter and then migrate to a stache for the summer. If that’s the plan, remember that growing a beard is a slow process that gives your skin time to adjust, but shaving it all off is a sudden matter. Make sure that you take care of that skin that is seeing the light of day for the first time in months.