So you think growing beard is a lot easier than shaving it regularly? Wait until you encounter some impediments. If you are serious about letting your mustache grow, you will need to adjust your routine for facial care. Without adequate grooming, you will suffer dry skin under beard, commonly known as beard dandruff.
Excess dandruff is what makes a beard comb seem like a distorted snow globe. Some of the factors that lead to flaky skin around beard hair include illnesses, the environment, and medication. Dry beards are easy to tell; they feel like rigid metal brushes and they are the reason some men scratch their chins all the time. A good news is that this condition is treatable.
What really causes dry skin under beard?
Facial hair is simply an extension of the skin. To fully understand dryness under mustache, it is necessary to know how the skin works. Hair is composed of 3 major parts:-
The shafts: This is the real beard
Follicle: This is the beginning of beard which contains all the elements necessary for hair growth.
Sebaceous gland: It is where the lubrication agent, sebum, is produced. Sebum oils the skin and hair to maintain a healthy sheen
It should be noted that sebum is secreted in constant amounts regardless of the beard length. As the hair shafts elongate, they compete for oil which is also needed by the skin around. For this reason, both the hair and skin do not get enough moisture hence they become brittle. Here are the main factors that accelerate dry flaky skin under beard.
1. Hot water showers
A healthy mane needs patience and sacrifice. Washing the face with hot water leads to adverse conditions on the tender skin. Sebum is oily and it forms a coat around the skin and hair and if splashed with hotness, it loosens and gets washed off, leaving behind a vulnerable skin. Therefore, a man should only use warm or cold water for his face. Long showers too can scrub off the sebum. And after that, a soft towel should be used to only pat rather than rub the beard.
2. Bar soaps
Beard must not be washed with the same soap used for the rest of the body. Regular soaps contain high alkalinity which washes off sebum from the skin and hair thereby taking away the conserved moisture. As a matter of fact, bar soap must not be used on the face because the harsh chemicals can easily damage the tender skin.
3. Cold and dry weather
During winter, the moisture in the atmosphere is usually very low. Winter winds blow away any moisture around facial hair. This takes away any bits of water on the face, making it crack. Dry seasons on the other hand bring high temperatures which cause rapid evaporation of skin moisture.
4. Not drying beard after washing
Hair retains water after cleaning. The best way to remove excess water is by tapping with a clean and soft towel. If water is left inside, specifically the hard water, it evaporates later only to leave mineral particles on the facial hair. This makes the skin condition worse and sometimes stinking smell.
5. Lack of grooming
Failure to do beard routine is the main reason why the natural oils dry up and the skin around beard itch. Beard should not be left to grow unattended
6. Harsh grooming products
The cosmetics market is full beard products which claim to be good. This is not always true and a lot of hazards are involved. Before purchasing any product, it is vital to look at the ingredients contained in. Natural products are the best while those that contain alcohol are not good.
7. Distress and inadequate sleep
Psychological stress has been known to bring a lot of skin issues like dandruff and roughness. The body reacts to stress by producing excess cortisol hormone which in turn breaks down collagen. Collagen is the hormone that maintains a smooth and flexible skin. Without it, the skin becomes flaky. On the other side, inadequate sleep has the same effects as distress because the body will be struggling to secret anti-stress agents to make up for tiredness.
Effective remedies to moisturize your dry skin under beard
Regardless of the cause of dry skin under beard, a man should act as fast as he can to remedy the situation before it turns into a huge day-to-day problem. Dry skin under beard is both uncomfortable and itchy. It can even catch a flame quickly. Here are good measures to take.
1. Using facial scrub twice a week
One of the challenges that bearded men face is the facial hair wicking away the moisture around the skin which then evaporates immediately. This is what leaves flaky skin under beard, a condition that leaves men frustrated and looking bad. The worst thing is that the dead skin cells mess with the facial neatness but daily washing and skin exfoliation can solve the problem.
If the dead skin is left unwashed, it sticks to hair shafts and becomes attractive spots for grease. The greasy spots in turn encourage the establishment of painful ingrown hairs. The remedy for this is facial scrubbing. A facial scrub should be used on the entire mane to get rid of the dead skin cells and release ingrown. It should be gently massaged for complete coverage.
2. Using non-sticky beard moisturizer/conditioner
There are myriad products which can be applied to moisturize the skin under beard with natural oils being the best. If you don’t want to grow long facial hair, shaving can help you minimize dryness as it helps to conserve facial oil. But the percentage of facial oil connected to how well a man takes care of his skin rather than how often he shaves. For instance, staying for long hours in the sun is a sure way to burn the skin leaving it vulnerable. Don’t forget that the beard itself is an obstacle to maintaining the skin under it and so it is important to avoid all the negativities at all cost. The following are effective ways to ensure that the goatee remains moisturized:
- Washing with a dandruff shampoo
- Dabbing the hair after washing to remove excess moisture
- Applying a beard conditioner after washing
- Massaging with natural oils as sesame oil, hazelnut, and jojoba
A conditioner improves the texture of hair shafts, making them less irritating. It also hydrates the skin.
Oils replenish the skin with essential nutrients and vitamins, making it smooth. A man should find the best oil for his skin type and apply it two times in a day. It is a good way to eliminate itching which is triggered by dry flaky skin under beard. Note that the beard oil only helps to moisten the skin but not clean it. So a man must put efforts to keep his mane neat.
3. Proper brushing
Brushing is one of the most enjoyable routines a man can do. The right way to bush is in a single direction. This produces a thick texture and makes the man more attractive. Regular cleaning ensures that dirt is removed and the hair doesn’t become entangled.
Brushing helps to soften the hair because it spreads the oil evenly which consequently gives an appealing texture. Brushing should start before cleansing the beard so that any dirt or dead cells can be brought to the surface where it will be easier to wash. After taking a shower, a man needs to take about 3 minutes to brush his mane and style it as he desires. It is imperative to buy a quality comb that will make things easier. Proper brushing ensures good aeration of the skin below the beard.
4. Cold showers
Cold water will never diminish the skin sebum which is responsible for a healthy and smooth face. Hot showers, however will erode this natural lubricant and must be avoided.
5. Maintaining cool indoor temperatures
Switching on the humidifier in the house can save a man’s beard. If the indoor air is moisturized, it means that no more water will evaporate from anything including the man in the house.
This can be a relief to a dry skin. Care should be taken not to overheat the house during winter as this will not be conducive for the hair. The idea is to maintain cool indoor temperatures
6. Healthy diet
The key to maintaining a healthy skin under beard lies in nourishing the skin with what it requires. The food that a man takes in affects the entire body. Proper nutrition will keep a fresh skin which doesn’t dry up or get infected. One thing that should not be neglected is sufficient water intake. Apart from that, a man should ensure that his meals contain the following elements:
a. Vitamin A:
This vitamin is responsible for repairing damaged cells. It also facilitates hair growth. Vitamin A is found in foods such as milk, eggs, sweet potatoes, cheese, carrots, papayas, and pumpkins.
b. Vitamin C and E:
These are essential elements that support the secretion of sebum. They can be obtained from broccoli, lemons, peppers, and citrus fruits. Vitamin E is a major component of spinach, peanuts, wheat, and almonds.
c. Omega 3s:
These are fatty acids which promote skin and hair growth. They protect the cell membranes hence keeping strong skin tissues. Flax seed, salmon, and walnuts are some of the good sources. But these foods must not be taken in excess because they might bring in some hazards.
Protein is a bodybuilder and therefore boosts the growth of healthy cells. Some of the meals that boost skin rejuvenation include poultry products, beef, fishes, and rice. Protein helps in formation of keratin which is a compound that makes up hair and helps to grow a beard faster
7. Staying stress-free
As mentioned earlier, stress can lead to skin-related illnesses including beard dandruff and dryness. There are many ways to keep stress at bay such as:
- Regular exercises
- Getting enough sleep
- Managing finances wisely
- Cutting sugar intake and caffeine
- Eliminating vices like alcoholism
- Psychological counseling etc.
- Listening to music
A stress-free life offers countless benefits including healthy skin and beard. Exercising balances the body hormones like testosterone and enhances circulation of blood hence promoting the growth of hair and skin. Some exercises that boost testosterone level include push- ups, deadlifts, and bench press. Combined with healthy diet, regular exercises ensure healthier and lush facial hair.
8. Skin protection
The skin should be protected with sunscreen lotion if a man is going to spend time in the sun. Skin burns are unsightly and they leave dead cells which accelerate itching. The other way to keep the skin safe is thorough washing after a sweaty day. Sweat increases irritation on the skin and sticks to hair shafts, making the beard untidy.
It is preeminent to cleanse the beard thoroughly with a suitable shampoo after exercising. It should be followed by vigorous rinsing to eliminate any trace of the shampoo.
What if the above measures don’t work?
Most flaked skins are a result of dryness. Other reasons could be dermatitis, fungal infections, allergic reactions, residues from conditioners and shampoos, etc. It should take about a week to solve my beard dryness. If the skin around beard flakes and itches after trying all the above tactics, it is advisable to check with a dermatologist. Maintenance would still be required by use of quality products and treatment prescribed by the physician.
Growing facial hair is a trade between shaving costs and time spent pampering the face every day. When the sales of blades and beard trimmers go down, it means that more men are rearing their goatees. But the problem with most men is that they don’t realize how much facial hair demands to be maintained. It is like a garden which not only needs to be planted with crops but also weeding, pruning, and fertilization. So, the skin below beard needs a lot of care lest it dries up, flakes, and crumbles. Do you desire to be a proud owner of healthy beard? You must overcome all drawbacks real men face such as mockery and prejudice as they try to showcase the awesomeness of their faces.