It’s common knowledge that growing a beard isn’t necessarily for everyone: it needs some time, commitment, and a significant amount of effort to have. Plus, some people just generally and genetically can't grow one no matter how hard they try, so there’s really no doubt that it’s that much of a responsibility.
Once you have one, though, it’s a different story. Growing a beard is definitely a process on its own, but you also want to make sure that all your efforts put into it will reap results that will last you quite some time. Basically, maintaining your beard is just as important as growing it: you might experience some difficulties or just loss of quality and health if you don’t manage it correctly.
This article will guide you through the possible consequences of not maintaining your beard as well as ways you can take care of it in the long run. We’ll introduce the best skin care and beard care routine that can definitely let you have the most attractive and healthiest beard you can have!
Why should you have it washed in the first place?
Teaching men how to clean their beards may not be the most widely talked-about topic in skin care for men, but it certainly needs attention. It’s a common misconception that the beard just ends with the hair already, but the skin underneath that facial hair actually needs more care.
It’s true that the beard actually acts as a shield between your skin and the outside environment (food, smoke, dust, etc.), but this also means that you can’t easily access it using just water and soap. The cleansing materials would actually just get stuck in the beard as well unless you really scrub the product in.
Because of this, the skin underneath the beard is more prone to various infections and other circumstances that could hinder your health. Plus, your facial hair could also suffer in the process, and we don’t want that. Instead, here are some of the illnesses you might experience if you fail to use beard cleansers consistently.
Your skin is actually made of tiny pores that constantly secrete moisture and oils called sebum, which actually causes most cases of oily skin (Beaudoin, 2019). While it’s true that your beard can trap any outside particles attempting to get into your pores, it still works both ways.
The oils on your skin could build up over time if you don’t wash your beard properly. Plus, the dirt stuck on your beard could also penetrate into your skin. These instances could quickly generate bacterial infections (pimples, whiteheads, blackheads, cellulitis, impetigo, boils, etc.) and, in the process, also make you feel uncomfortable with pain or itchiness.
You can also imagine the difficulties of cleaning and treating your infections under a thicker layer of hair. It would be hard to simply put some antibacterial ointment on top, and you also wouldn’t be able to properly wipe and get rid of any residue and debris from them.
Just like what we mentioned earlier, the skin underneath your beard would produce oils, which would get stuck to your beard. The excess oils can make it appear to be shiny or greasy in an unattractive way. Plus, the hairs themselves would be too heavy, which would make you feel uncomfortable.
Using beard cleansers regularly would ensure that your beard is in proper shape as well as make the hair shine and glow the correct way. There’s almost no point in maintaining an unattractive beard in the first place, so it’s best to do all measures and keep it clean all the time.
The opposite could also happen: your hair could be too oily that it wouldn’t be able to absorb the air and nutrients necessary, leaving them to be brittle and easily broken (Griffin, 2015). The strands would be challenging to manage and a bit wiry as well: they could stick out in different ways, making your beard look unkempt.
Aside from oil, your skin also sheds off dead skin cells throughout the day, and most of us don’t even notice it (Lindberg, 2020). It’s more like a reparative process to make sure that the skin remains balanced and healthy throughout, especially since it’s arguably one of the most exposed parts of our body.
Because of this, thin layers of dirt, dead skin cells, and oils are accumulated regularly, making it essential to wash our face daily, which you should definitely already be doing. It’s pretty easy to maintain your skin, but it might be a different story with facial hair.
The layer of hair might make it difficult to penetrate to your skin; meaning, the dirt and everything else would just be stuck there for a long time. This would accumulate and form dandruff for the beard or what people call “beardruff.” It’s highly unsanitary and uncomfortable for you since these would typically be itchy, so it’s definitely worth the time and effort to invest in good skin care products and routines.
Best skincare and beard care routine for men
Now that you know what happens if you don’t take good care of your skin and beard let’s now talk about what exactly you have to do to make sure none of that happens and how to clean up a beard. We’ll provide you with the necessary explanations and a step-by-step routine so that all you have to do is follow, and you’re good to go!
Step 1: Cleansing
As we mentioned earlier, so much dirt and bacteria can get stuck between your hair and the skin underneath, so the first step you should take is to make sure you get rid of everything. You can’t add products right away since your hair and skin wouldn’t be able to absorb them well一you could just add more to the layers of oil and dirt.
- Use beard shampoo
Some articles about men’s beards don’t actually cover how to clean up a beard, which makes a lot of men misguided and misinformed about how to clean their beards. Most would just use a regular bar of soap and water, but that doesn’t actually do much good for both your skin and facial hair (Griffin, 2015).
What people don’t know is that there is a type of shampoos specifically made for beards. These are both pentratable一which means that you can clean your skin underneath in the process一and nourishing, which means that your hair wouldn’t be left with no moisture at all.
Some shampoos for hair in general actually just cleanse, which would mean taking away all the natural oils needed to retain moisture. Because of this, it’s pretty essential to find a shampoo suited for your hair’s needs.
Use these at most thrice a week, preferably every other day, since your beard wouldn’t need as much washing as the hair on your scalp. Doing this can also ensure that you don’t overwash and keep your beard too dry in the process.
A good beard cleanser you can try is Mantisfy’s Edelweiss & Salicornia Deep Cleansing Mousse since it’s specifically designed for men with facial hair. It’s thick enough to reach the skin beneath the hair, so you wouldn’t need to rub it into your face much just to clean it. Because of its thickness, you can also use it as a 2-in-1 beard and face wash plus shaving cream. It’s pretty efficient if you’re on the way to your job or date.
Just like the name too, this particular beard cleanser has the necessary nutrients and ingredients to keep both your skin and beard healthy. The Edelweiss (Leontopodium Alpinum) will keep your skin’s bounciness and dexterity because of its healing properties (Cho et al., 2020). Because of this, it’s also considered an anti-aging product to prevent any wrinkles.
On the other hand, the beard wash also contains Dunaliella salina Extracts that can help protect you against the UV rays of the sun and other external sources of damage in your environment (Ambrico et al., 2019). More than that, it has vitamin B12 that’s essential for when you want to grow your hair or treat it when it’s damaged (Berkheiser, 2018).
Step 2: Conditioning
After cleansing, your hair would be rid of any excess oils and dirt, including all the oils it needs for moisture and protection. Again, if you don’t hydrate it after cleansing, your hair could be left brittle and fragile, which would look unattractive and might feel uncomfortable for you.
- Use beard conditioners
Beard conditioners are designed to hydrate both your skin and beard after aggressive beard cleansing, which means that you have to use these every time you wash. What’s unique about beard conditioners that set them apart from ordinary hair conditioners is that they have more ingredients to target shorter and thicker hair. You probably already know that facial hair grows thicker than the hair on your scalp.
Because of this, beard conditioners can actually soften your beard to more manageable strands, making them a cleaner and more uniform shape. Basically, you won’t have any stray hair sticking out in all directions. More than that, you’d be left with plush and softer strands instead of the common hard and coarse texture.
Step 3: Brushing
Now that you’ve used your beard cleansers and conditioned your hair, it’s now time to brush the strands into directions you want before your hair dries out. It’s easier for them to stay in place if you’ve already set them to dry up a certain way, and you would also be able to get rid of any tangles in your beard in the process.
- Use a beard brush
Beard brushes are different from combs since they actually separate your strands of hair more. Doing this will give your beard a fuller look as compared to the general straight hair. Having this is recommended for men with longer beards, though, since stubbles and shorter trims naturally can not have volume anyway.
Step 4: Nourishing
After you’ve brushed your hair in the right direction, you can now put the last layer of product on your beard for extra protection and moisture. You already know that beard washes usually dehydrate your skin and conditioning your hair after would only regain the hydration your skin needs, but actually nourishing it deeply to the roots is usually done by different products.
- Use beard oil
Beard oils have all the proper nutrients to keep your hair shiny (in the right way) and healthy: just like some conditioners and shampoos, they can help treat damaged hair and let your follicles grow more healthily. More than that, though, beard oil makes your hair feel velvety and even softer than if you just use conditioners.
Plus, you can also buy ones that have scents to make it a 2-in-1 beard oil and cologne. Lots of people use aftershave as a different product altogether, but there are a bunch of beard oils that serve both purposes in the market!
Step 5: Combing
Combing your hair regularly or throughout the day is essential if you want to keep your beard looking sharp and tidy. Whenever you’re moving about during the day, your beard will, of course, move with you, which means that it would be pretty easy for it to look disheveled, especially if you have long hair.
- Using a beard comb
Most beard combs have larger gaps and are made of wood to prevent pulling on your hair. Remember, your facial hair grows thicker than the hair on your scalp, so it would be unwise to use the same combs for both. Plus, the wooden texture would be soft on the hair and wouldn’t be as damaging as plastic.
You can skip using a beard brush for a beard comb instead if you have shorter trims since they aren’t really that voluminous. All you’d want is to push your hair in the right direction and untangle the strands if ever you have any.
Reminder: don’t overwash your beard
Overwashing your beard, meaning using beard cleansers and shampoos every day or adding too many products, can actually do more harm than good. Too much shampoo, in particular, can make your skin and beard too dry, making you produce beardruff. On the other hand, too much product can just leave your beard too oily and wet to look attractive.
It’s best to do the recommended amounts of shampoo一every other day一to get the best results, but you’d really have to experiment with the products for you to know what your beard needs. It won’t be too tricky, though! Just be patient and be as experimental as you can to find the right balance along the way.
It’s really essential to take care of one’s health through both consuming the right foods and keeping our bodies clean externally. It might sound a bit superficial to some to take the extra measure to have a skin care routine and really clean yourself, but trust us when we say that it’s equally important as eating correctly.
There are millions of bacteria, viruses, and fungi in everyone’s environment, and it’s really needed to make sure we keep ourselves protected against them. Thus, showering and washing one’s face have become routines that everyone engages in. Still, beard wash routines definitely need more attention as you and I have proven that it’s equally important as every other routine in this article. Just remember to stay safe and keep committed to your routine to live and look the best you can be!
AMBRICO, A., TRUPO, M., MAGARELLI, R., BALDUCCHI, R., FERRARO, A., HRISTOFOROU, E., MARINO, T., MUSMARRA, D., CASELLA, P., MOLINO, A. (2020). ‘Effectiveness of Dunaliella salina Extracts against Bacillus subtilis and Bacterial Plant Pathogens,’ Pathogens. 9(613), 1-14. [Online]. Available at: https://www.mdpi.com/2076-0817/9/8/613. . [Accessed 24/5/22].
BEAUDOIN, K. (2019) Oily Skin Causes: Genetic, Lifestyle, Do’s and Don’ts. DermCollective. Weblog [Online] 1st May. Available from: https://dermcollective.com/oily-skin-causes/#what_is_oily_skin. . [Accessed 25/5/22].
BERKHEISER, K. (2018) 9 Health Benefits of Vitamin B12, Based on Science. Weblog [Online] 14th June. Available from: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vitamin-b12-benefits. . [Accessed 25/5/22].
CHO, W. K., KIM, H. I., KIM, S. Y., SEO, H. H., SONG, J. H., KIM, J. Y., SHIN, D. S., JO, Y. H., CHOIH. S., LEE, J. H., MOH, S. H. (2020). ‘Anti-Aging Effects of Leontopodium alpinum (Edelweiss) Callus Culture Extract Through Transcriptome Profiling,’ Genes (Basel). 11(2), 230. [Online]. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32098197/. . [Accessed 25/5/22].
GRIFFIN, R. (2015) 12 Easy Beard Care Tips. Weblog [Online] 24th March. Available from: https://www.webmd.com/men/features/beard-care-tips. [Accessed 25/5/22].
LINDBERG, S. (2020) A Daily Skin Care Routine for Oily Skin: 4 Key Steps. Healthline. Weblog [Online] 5th February. Available from: https://www.healthline.com/health/skin-care-routine-for-oily-skin-2. [Accessed 25/5/22].