Beards say a lot about you, especially how you choose to style them. It’s a symbol of manhood—at least for me, it is.
But we all know growing beards can be a struggle for some men, while others don’t even need to bat an eye growing long luscious locks of beard hair. But either way, having a beard isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. It also has its downsides.
One of the most common issues men encounter when growing out their beards is dry skin under their beards, which in a lot of cases, leads to beard dandruff. This can go two ways:
- Your skin under your beard dries up and starts flaking creating beard dandruff. Now you have dry flaky skin under your beard.
- Your skin under your beard gets irritated and starts itching which also causes it to lose moisture. Now you have red itchy dry skin under your beard.
It’s important to note that there can be several factors causing this to happen so let’s look into it more.
What Causes Dry Skin Under Your Beard?
So, what actually causes the skin under your beard to go dry?
1. Hot Shower — or excessive heat in general.
We all love our hot showers, it’s a way to relax and unwind after a long day at work. Unfortunately, your skin doesn’t feel the same. Hot water strips your skin and hair clean of their natural oils leaving them devoid of moisture.
The heat is what’s allowing the water to penetrate and remove the natural oils on your skin even if water isn’t able to dissolve oil. Not just that, of course, when we shower, we also scrub our skin making it even more vulnerable to the hot water.
“But I feel so refreshed after a hot shower!” The comforting warmth is one thing, the steam is another. Much like how saunas also feel refreshing, the steam from the hot shower causes your pores to open up. We love that for skincare — it helps your skin soak up the products to maximize the benefits — but not skin moisture.
Fret not, you can always go for a lukewarm shower, meaning don’t set it too hot. You’ll still get the benefits from the steam without the stripping of all your natural oils. Though it may still dehydrate your skin to some degree using a moisturizer wouldn’t hurt.
2. Harsh Grooming Products
Much like hot showers, harsh grooming products also have the same effect on your skin. Examples of these are bar soaps, shampoos containing sulfates, and poorly maintained razors.
Bar soaps that are scented and dyed have a high chance of irritating skin, especially sensitive skin. Some also have a rough texture which can be abrasive to your skin and cause more irritation.
When you use harsh soaps on your skin and even harsh shampoo on your hair, it strips away the natural oils and leaves both your skin and hair vulnerable to dryness and sometimes even itchiness.
Frequent use of razors can also be a cause of skin irritation especially if it’s properly cleaned before use. If you notice frequent redness, it’s better to stop using the razor first.
Instead of using soap, you can opt for cleansers. Facial cleansers especially are gentle on your skin but still able to clean the surface without drying your skin excessively. But don’t forget to still use moisturizer after!
3. Existing Skin Conditions
Although unfortunate, skin conditions can be a pain to manage and they aren’t easily solved by home remedies. Skin conditions like atopic dermatitis (eczema) or psoriasis significantly increase the chances of dry skin.
Even more so when growing a beard, your skin dries up more because your hair also gets some of the natural oils on your skin.
In cases like these, the best course of action is to seek medical treatment or medical opinions at least. After which, if the skin under your beard is still dry, you can try checking for other factors mentioned here.
4. Cold Environment
Too hot is bad but too cold is just as bad. Living in cold, dry areas can be a nightmare for your skin.
The weather can suck out the moisture from your skin which could lead to dry skin under your beard—sometimes accompanied by itchiness. This also contributes to faster aging since your skin loses its hydration.
On top of that, as you get older, your skin gets thinner naturally, and the amount of oil your skin produces starts decreasing too. This makes you even more susceptible to dry skin.
5. Poor Mental Health
Often neglected, mental health actually contributes a lot to your skin health. Stress, depression, and other psychological problems can make skin problems worse. Hormonal changes that occur because of these problems can cause pH and hormone imbalance in your skin.
So if you think your skin feels worse or is especially dry, look at yourself and check. Maybe a day off will help you take your mind off the stressors in your life and perhaps help you gain a new perspective on your skin health.
Given these known factors, let’s look at the solution!
How to Solve Dry Skin Under Beard Like A Pro!
That dry skin under your beard shouldn’t be a big problem as long as you follow these easy anti-dry-skin home remedies! They are sure to leave your skin and beard feeling healthy and smooth.
Pro Tip 1: Brush Your Beard
Some men might think brushing is unnecessary especially when their beards are still short but brushing actually gives you a lot of benefits. Brush your beard daily in order to tame stray strands, detangle hidden knots, distribute the natural oils, and exfoliate your skin.
First of all, your beard goes through a lot in your day-to-day life, it’s unavoidable getting tangles here and there. Detangling helps make it feel soft and smooth as well as prevent gunk from building up in the knots — similar to how bacteria builds up and causes acne.
Along with getting detangled, when you brush your beard, the natural oils from your skin go along with the brush and spread to your hair evenly.
Having an even coat of natural oils on your hair will not only enhance lubrication — meaning your hair will feel smooth — but also strengthen your hair, helping prevent hair breakage. Your beard will end up looking sleek and healthy.
Your skin, on the other hand, gets exfoliated when you brush properly. The surface of the skin is brushed and the dead skin cells—a.k.a beard dandruff, if there are—shed off your skin.
Additionally, combing your beard improves blood circulation further helping you keep your skin healthy and young. It has the same effect as massaging your skin.
Pro Tip 2: Wash your Beard Regularly but Not Too Much
Washing your hair should be done every 3 days or twice a week. Although the climate could affect how often you need to wash your hair, that’s about the average. Regardless of whether your hair is oily or dry, twice a week is the best frequency so that you don’t alter your body’s oil production.
On that same note, your beard also needs to be washed twice a week. Too often and you might make the dryness worse, but too seldom and you’re opening up the skin under your beard to more problems: acne.
Although you can use shampoo on your beard, it’s better if you use an anti-dandruff shampoo or cleanser that contains these ingredients:
- Pyrithione zinc
- Coal tar
- Selenium sulfide
- Tea tree oil
These will help reduce dry skin and flakiness.
While applying the shampoo or cleanser, also remember to massage it gently into your beard so that it reaches your skin. All the while, use lukewarm water to wet and rinse your beard.
Pro Tip 3: Moisturize Daily
Moisturizers go a long way in helping reduce that dry skin. They help reduce both dryness and oiliness as both cases aren’t good for you.
The Mantisfy Facial Aftershave and Moisturising Toner is a great example as it instantly hydrates your skin and balances your skin pH. This will help keep the moisture in your skin in and prevents dryness and flakiness.
It also uses high-quality ingredients like Salicornia which specializes in keeping your skin moist. Overall, it’s a great pick as it’s easy to use and not sticky at all.
Moisturizers are indeed good for your skin but you also need something for your beard. So how do you moisturize the skin under your beard? Topping your routine off with a coat of beard oil will not only moisturize the skin under your beard but also soften your beard hair giving you a nice healthy beard.
Gently massage the oil into your skin after your daily routine to make sure you get an even application. With consistent application, the dry skin under your beard will surely be gone.
Pro Tip 4: Get a Beard Routine
Just like how moisturizers are part of a skincare routine, having a beard routine will also greatly help you manage the dry skin under your beard. This might seem tedious but really, it’s just a few steps and it’ll leave your beard healthy and tidy.
If you think these methods aren’t working for you, there are two possible reasons, assuming you are doing them properly. First, you could be doing it too sparingly. Although you shouldn’t overapply products on your face or overwash your beard, doing it too little will also negate the effects.
What you could do is gradually increase how frequently or how much you do or apply to your beard. Cases differ and some may be more intense than others so if you think it’s not working as intended, more might help.
Another reason why it might not work is if you have an inherent condition that requires special attention. Although moisturizers are designed to solve dry skin, some conditions need specially medicated products that are designed to specifically target your condition.
In such a case, you should first consult with a medical expert, preferably a dermatologist, to get it checked first and see what you can do to minimize or get rid of the condition.
How to Prevent it From Happening?
With your dry skin gone, you probably think you can go lax on the routine. But the benefits of the routine aren’t going to stay if you stop it. As long as you maintain your routine: Brush, Wash, Moisturize, you’ll never see dry skin again.
It’s also important to make sure you monitor how your beard and skin are doing regularly. That’s how you know you’re doing your routine right. Some might need more frequent application of products like moisturizer or beard oil depending on the case.
Just make sure you start small and gradually add only when necessary—when you notice your skin isn’t being hydrated enough.
Before you shave off your beard because of that icky dry skin, hear us out! Having a beard can be tricky but it doesn’t have to be as long as you stay consistent.
These are the 3 most basic steps and possibly the only ones you’ll need to get rid of that annoying dry skin under your beard. This also applies to dry skin under your mustache. If you’re having trouble there too, simply apply it similarly to how you would on your beard.
Especially when I have a lot of things going on, I sometimes skip my routine unintentionally. But I always make sure to stay as consistent as possible and so far, I’ve been getting good results and dry skin hasn’t been a problem since.
Although doing both my skincare routine and beard routine can sometimes be a bit time-consuming, I find that not only does this improve my skin health, but also my mental health. With less stress about my skin, I can flex my beard with no worries.
If you’re interested, you can take a look at this article: The Best Skincare Routine For Men. This will help you decide what to use and when to use them in order to get the best outcome for your skin.