If you cover up half your face with a beard, it doesn’t mean that the skin underneath your whiskers can be ignored. But lots of us do forget to tend to this skin, and in turn it becomes dry, irritated, itchy, and flaky. Considering that the health of your hair is often predicated on the health of the skin from which it grows, then it’s imperative to build a grooming regimen that not only nourishes your beard, but also supports the skin and follicles beneath it all.
But here’s another problem: Have you ever tried applying a standard-fare moisturizer to your beard? It clumps up, and rarely reaches the skin. Your whiskers seem to be sabotaging themselves and your very attempts at nurturing their follicles.
Fortunately, skincare for bearded men isn’t drastically different from skincare for our bare-faced brethren. However, there are some significant adjustments that should be made to actually enjoy the benefits of each product.
Here are our skincare tips for men with beards. Keep them in mind as you grow out your whiskers, or if your beard (as well as the skin underneath it) are feeling parched.
1. YOU NEED A MOISTURIZER AND A BEARD OIL
Again, if you’ve ever tried applying your everyday moisturizer to the skin beneath your beard, then you know it’s an impossible task. The beard bristles don’t magically part ways to allow for simple distribution and absorption of that hydrating cream. Don’t let this deter you from getting your chin and cheeks moisturized, though. The last thing you want to do is cease nourishing that skin, which can lead to dryness, irritation, flaking, and more brittle hair.
Instead, keep moisturizing the exposed parts of your face with that moisturizer—and keep it SPF-packed during the daytime. Apply it all the way into your beard line so that you know you covered everything that the sun touches. (Cardon’s won’t leave a chalky residue and absorbs easily, sans clumping.)
But then, swap in a beard oil for the bottom half of your face. Beard oil easily reaches the skin, absorbs just as simply, and also hydrates the whiskers themselves. This strengthens and softens them, thus preventing breakage and itching. You can drip a few drops on your fingertips and then massage them across your skin (under the beard), then comb through it all to evenly distribute the oils around the beard. Or, you can do a second application of oils to the beard itself (with a couple drops of oil—or more, if you have a fuller beard), in order to target every angle of your face and facial hair. This helps soften each strand and tames the beard into place, while preventing split ends and beard itch.
One easy way to do this 1-3 times weekly is to incorporate a hydrating mask + beard oil treatment into your skincare regimen after cleansing in the evening. Cardon’s Bamboo Charcoal Mask combines both steps, and even includes a beard-friendly mask that won’t dangle off your fuzzy face. (Read on for more about that.) It's all designed to deeply nourish the skin and beard in order to prevent dryness and irritation while promoting hydration and clear complexion.
Beard oil is effective even if you have naturally oily skin. It’s lightweight and won’t clog the pores or leave skin suffocating—assuming you’re buying a tested, FDA-approved blend (and not some janky brand with un-researched results). That’s one big misconception about face and beard oils—that they’re counterproductive for people with oily skin. In fact, they often help tone oil levels and reduce sebum production, since the skin is extremely responsive to any products applied.
2. FACE MASKS SHOULD BE BEARD FRIENDLY
It’s one thing to buy a protective face mask that wraps your beard instead of compressing it...but there’s another type of mask that bearded men must consider. It’s the sheet mask, and in particular, the kind that cut off the lower half of the sheet to accommodate men with facial hair. Those sheets don’t stick to your facial hair, and it’s supremely annoying to have to wear them and let the lower half dangle freely for 15 minutes, or to half to snip it off at the mustache in order to wear the product comfortably. (That’s also wasteful, because there’s a lot of good serum on that snipped-away half.)
So, bearded men should invest in sheet masks that lack this bottom half. It’s much more comfortable and convenient, and saves you both hassles. Incorporate it into your regimen once a week (or every 2-3 days maximum) for ultimate hydration for your face. Do so after cleansing, ideally in the evening before bed. Pair it with a heavily nourishing beard oil treatment (as available in Cardon’s Bamboo Charcoal Mask + Beard Oil duo) so that you don’t neglect the skin beneath the beard, nor the bristles themselves. Learn more about using sheet masks here.
3. EXFOLIATION IS DOUBLY IMPORTANT
In the same way your scalp gets dandruff, so does the skin under your beard. If ignored, it easily becomes dry and itchy, and suddenly your beard looks like you dipped it in a snowglobe. Hydrating the skin under the beard is one imperative first step (as outlined in the first two tips), but exfoliating is another step that helps lift the dead skin cells. It can be done easily in two ways, as opposed to the standard-fare facial scrubs which will only get trapped in your beard.
First, you can brush out the beard with a boar brush, ensuring you whisk the brush across the skin itself. This will help keep dead skin off the face and can be flushed out in the shower. (It also helps detangle the beard and coach it into place, though it should never replace a beard comb which will help style the beard and distribute beard oil.)
Secondly, you can apply an exfoliating serum to the skin under the beard after cleansing and drying the face. Look for ingredients like salicylic acid, lactic acid, or glycolic acid, which will dissolve dead skin cells all over the face and promote a healthy, clear complexion (salicylic acid serum in particular helps unclog pores). Regardless of how you choose to minimize flaking and dryness, be sure that exfoliation is part of your weekly regimen, and aim to exfoliate once or twice a week.
4. CLEANSERS SHOULD PRIORITIZE HYDRATION
Unlike moisturizer, cleanser is easy to distribute all throughout the beard since it builds a lather and has less viscosity. However, in tandem with all of the above tips that prioritize hydration and nourishment, you do not want to use a cleanser that dries the skin out and aggravates beard dandruff or itching. (It can parch the beard hairs themselves just as much as the skin.)
Instead, choose a cleanser that nourishes while it cleanses. Cardon picked clay as the hero ingredient for its gentle cleanser, because of clay’s ability to extract excess sebum and impurities from the skin without throwing off the skin’s harmonious pH balance. You can use it multiple times daily (ideally morning and night) without risk of dryness, and it is rich in minerals that keep both skin and beard nourished, soft, and satisfied. Still, you’ll want to follow with a moisturizer and beard oil in order to stay proactive, but that’s the case with any skincare regimen.
Cardon's Ultimate Skincare Set is the perfect skincare routine for bearded men. Save 30% on your first set when you subscribe!