Beard Tan Lines: What They Are and How to Avoid Them

Beard Tan Lines: What They Are and How to Avoid Them

Thinking of shaving your beard? There are a lot of things you gotta consider and one of them’s the beard tan line. If you haven’t heard of this before, well it’s when you shave your beard and the skin underneath is a different shade from the rest of your face.

You can notice a bigger difference if you’re the type of person to go out a lot, especially during the daytime. But what’s causing it anyway?

Why Do I Get Beard Tan Lines?

Just like on any other part of your body, beard tan lines are caused by the UV rays from the sun. The thicker your beard is, the more pronounced the tan line gets. It’s just like how your scalp doesn’t get tanner from the sun because of your hair.

NBC News states that full beards do have an ultraviolet protection factor that ranges from 2 to 21 out of the maximum 50. That’s about 50% to 90% protection as opposed to sunscreens which provide about 30% protection. 

It blocks out the sun which causes tan lines to form on your face. Of course, your hair type and beard style also play a big role in the formation of the tan line.

Hair Type

We already know that thick bushy beards will most definitely block out the sun and cause tan lines. This type is generally really coarse and curly or wavy and can fill out your beard. 

There are some with thin hair, the type that no matter how much you grow out your hair it just never seems to look full. In this case, more skin is exposed to sunlight. But because it’s not entirely covered, the tanning on your beard area might look uneven or patchy.

Beard Style

Beard styles also play a huge role in whether or not your hair is thick or thin. If you like growing out your beard to a full one, then, of course, it will block out any sun exposure, leaving you with beard tan lines.

But if you like keeping your beard short and even, this will allow the sun to evenly tan your face.

How to Prevent Beard Tan Lines

If you’re thinking you’re losing out for having a full beard, worry not. There are solutions to your dilemma and it’s not just avoiding shaving overall.

  • Stop Tanning

  • tanning man

    Sure you want that golden brown look but at what cost? According to an article reviewed by Dr. Chien and Dr. Jacobe, experts on dermatology, tanning damages your skin cells and ages you faster. In the worst-case scenario, you could end up with skin cancer.

    The bad part about tanning is the exposure to ultraviolet radiation either from the sun or tanning beds. These cause damage to the DNA in your skin cells. The reason your skin gets darker is that it’s your body’s defense mechanism—producing melanin—to prevent more injury to your DNA.

    Don’t take this as a “don’t go outside at all” but more so “be careful how long you stay in the sun”. The sun still has its benefits like vitamin D production so just make sure to avoid peak hours—usually starts a few hours before noon and ends a few hours after.

    For those who have no choice, there’s still a way. There are skincare products that help specifically with skin damage. I recommend using the Mantisfy anti-aging and repairing lotion to help your skin heal and stay healthy.

    What’s good about this besides the fact that it’s easily absorbable and moisturizing, is how it's able to repair damaged skin cells, including the damage done by the sun’s UV rays, and reduce fine lines on your face, the most common sign of aging. 

    It's also made from natural ingredients: Salicornia and Edelweiss. If you didn’t know, Salicornia keeps your skin hydrated and Edelweiss repairs damaged skin cells. A great product to combat the negative effects of tanning.

  • Apply Sunscreen

  • men apply sunscreen

    You shouldn’t forget to always protect your skin regardless of your beard style or hair type especially if you like keeping your beard short and even. Apply sunscreen evenly on your face including on the skin under your beard. You can also opt for a moisturizer as long as it contains SPF.

    Thin-bearded guys get the most sun exposure on their skin so if you’re one of them, you should be more thorough whereas if you have a thicker beard, you can slack off a little. This is so that when you shave your face, your skin isn’t sun-damaged under the beard. 

  • Hold the Shave

  • I know I said not to worry about shaving your beard and you shouldn’t, but it’s not always easy to avoid getting beard tan lines and if you’re not ready to reveal it, well just don’t shave it yet

    The keyword here is ‘yet’. You can hold off on shaving your beard, all the while following the other two steps if you aren’t already doing so. After a few weeks, you’ll notice the beard tan line won’t be as obvious as before if not completely gone.

    Of course, this won’t apply to everyone but just know it’s an option and you can get the same result. If you do need to shave immediately, I hope for your sake, you followed the first two preventive measures. 

  • Fake the Tan

  • If you’re not up for any of these or you don’t have enough time to be, there’s one last thing you can do and that’s a fake tan. One way to even out your skin tone is to make the lighter area darker with a fake tan. Like the spray tan we discussed before.

    ross spray tan

    The only downside to this method is it’s a lot more time-consuming on your part.  Fake tan lasts about five to seven days on average which means you would have to reapply it almost every week until the tan lines are gone.

    Get A Daily Skincare Routine

    I find that the most effective way to prevent beard tan lines and still go about my day, as usual, is to maintain a daily skincare routine for men

    My goto routine starts with a cleanser to wash off any dirt or bacteria buildup on my face after a long day. Then I apply a toner to close my pores and prevent acne. Last but not the least, I use a moisturizer with SPF to keep my skin hydrated and smooth as well as to protect my skin from UV rays.

    Although this is the standard routine, different skin types might need specific steps for a better outcome so if you want to know more, you can check out our article about the best skincare routines for men.


    Beard tan lines can be annoying and a big reason why most people put off shaving their beards, understandably so. You wouldn’t want to go around sporting a two-toned face. 

    All you have to do is avoid too much sun exposure and keep your skin healthy using a great skincare routine. Using fake tan is just a temporary fix and it’s never too late to get started on your routine. 

    Even better, with the help of skincare, you can easily prevent beard tan lines and shave your beard anytime. As long as you stick to your routine, you can expect your skin to be evenly tanned as well as smooth and hydrated all day every day! 


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