We know how it goes. You’ve finally nailed that sleek beard trim you’ve been eyeing for weeks now and you can’t wait to wear it with pride next time you go out for a drink. But there seems to be just one little annoyance when you look in the mirror to get it fixed up – a thick, bothersome layer of dry skin (and even beard dandruff) right under your beard hairs.
The frustration is as real as it gets. Just as vulnerable to dryness as your scalp skin, it's important to know how and especially why beard skin dryness happens, and exactly what you can do about it. Especially when that means applying the right chemicals to your face and facial hair. That's right, folks – it's high time you go on that skincare routine shopping spree you've been putting off. Your beard, and your whole face, for that matter, will be more than thankful.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Dry Skin Under Beard – Causes, and Effects
a. Skin Problems
c. The Environment
d. Harmful Products
2. How to Treat and Prevent Dry Skin Under Beard
a. Take Cold Showers
b. Dry Carefully
c. Cleanse with the Right Products
e. Invest in Quality Moisturizers
Dry Skin Under Beard – Causes, and Effects
Itchy and dry skin under your beard is not unheard of – it’s a very common problem with identifiable causes and various possible treatments. Recognizing the warning signs isn’t all that difficult either – usually, the skin feels very tight and rough and you start noticing beard dandruff. Your skin might even start to peel or even crack, which can lead to bleeding. Here are the main culprits for it:
Just like on your head, the hairs of your beard also have sebaceous glands that produce sebum (oil). But sometimes they just can’t secrete enough oil to moisturize both your face and the hair of your beard. This happens especially for longer beards, as the glands won’t be able to keep up with producing the necessary sebum. In this case, the skin under your beard requires external help to supplement the secretion of sebum.
The skin on your body, face, the hair on the top of your head and your facial hair – all of them will dry up when washed excessively. This might be the most common cause of dry skin under the beard, and beard dandruff, for that matter, especially if you use regular soap that contains sulfates.
The problem of dry skin might even be seasonal. During the winter, skin tends to get dryer because of the lower humidity in the air, and if it’s not cared for properly, it can get itchy, red, and flaky. Hot weather can also be a factor. Excessive sweat during hot days, worsened by facial hair, will wash off the skin's natural lubricants, leading to dehydrated skin under your beard, especially if your water intake is not enough to make up for it.
Unless you are using specialized products, the bar or liquid soap you are using probably contains strong detergents and chemicals that can irritate the skin and dry it up. The most common ingredients you should avoid are sulfates, which are strong cleaning agents that strip the skin of its natural oils and may worsen beard dandruff. Combined with overwashing, the oil glands are not allowed to produce more sebum and heal the skin.
High levels of stress mess with body hormones, which, in time, can cause excess oil. Since there is a lot of hair covering the skin, the oil clogs the pores, leading to infection and irritation. Stress hormones might also delay hair growth.
How to Treat and Prevent Dry Skin Under Beard
Now that we have established the causes, treating the condition doesn't seem impossible, does it? Here are some changes you can apply to your routine to easily treat and prevent the dry skin under your beard and beard dandruff.
It may seem counter-effective, but hot water is very drying. In the summer, a cold shower is most welcome, but in the rest of the year, you can try a final rinse with cold water, or at least use lukewarm water for the duration of the whole bath.
Beard hair tends to be coarser, so it retains moisture for longer than necessary. After a shower or a bath, be sure to pat dry your beard so that the skin underneath won't suffer from bacteria growth, infections, or harmful minerals retention.
Cleanse with the Right Products
As we’ve explained above, there are some harmful ingredients in your soap that you wouldn’t use on your head – so why make your beard suffer? Start looking for products like shampoos and face cleansers that promote nourishment, enriched with vitamins and natural oils, and wash your beard with them instead.
Using an organic facial scrub to exfoliate once or twice a week can do miracles. Exfoliating means that you are getting rid of dead skin cells, removing the flakes, and helping with treating ingrown hairs. This is the most important step if you wish to get rid of the beard dandruff – dead skin must be removed. Most times dead skin can be dealt with just with a simple exfoliation.
Invest in Quality Moisturizers
A good moisturizer should be applied after every wash to replenish the lost hydration from your skin. This is where water-based products come in handy – not only are they great for hydration, but they also leave no greasy feeling behind.
Goodbye Dryness, Goodbye Flakiness
Now that we’ve covered everything about that bothersome dryness of the skin beneath your facial hair and about beard dandruff, it’s time to recap what we’ve learned. Follow our advice, and in no time, your beard will be flake-free, luscious, and the envy of everyone at the bar on Friday night:
- Be aware of what’s affecting your beard skin and causing beard dandruff. From extreme weather to overwashing, you have to make sure that you’re controlling the external factors affecting your skin on a day-to-day basis.
- Be mindful of internal factors as well – cut down on at least one stressful activity and maybe invest in a shorter trim next time you’re at the salon. Working with your body rather than against it will prevent a multitude of other skin problems as well.
- Switch to cold or lukewarm showers to avoid the overly drying effect of hot water. Once you’re out of the shower, make sure to pay extra attention to how you dry your beard. No unwanted moisture here, please!
- Speaking of moisture, stick to your skincare routine! Once you’ve bought all the necessary products, make sure to regularly cleanse, exfoliate dead skin cells, and moisturize – and no skimping on any of them!
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