For many men with beards, it can be difficult to shift focus from taming your prized possession to nurturing the skin that’s underneath. Every man knows that having a grooming routine they call their own can shape (literally) their identity and pride, but it is just as important to maintain your skin health as well. Itchiness and acne are just some results of ignoring your skin’s health, but there are tons of ways to avoid this, here are our best tips to make sure you’re keeping your beard nice and healthy along with your face.
Step One: Be smart with cleansers
A great place to start for bearded men is regularly washing your face, and doing so smartly. While many men think that since a beard extends from the face, it ‘protects’ the skin underneath from outside dirt and bacteria. However, it’s actually essential that you wash not only your beard, but also the skin that’s underneath. If you’re serious about keeping your beard clean and healthy while in and out of the shower you’ll want to look into a beard shampoo that puts a focus on natural cleansing ingredients. A common mistake many men make is using bar of regular soap to clean their beards while in the shower. While using soap is great for the rest of the body, it shouldn’t be used for your face due to its high concentration of alkalinity. Our faces have a vastly different pH level than that of a bar of soap, using these will throw off the acidity levels of our skin surface and may cause sensitivity and even rashes.
Once you’ve found the right product, it’s all about perfecting your cleansing routine. A great rule of thumb is to begin with warm water to open up your pores and allow the dirt to escape. From there, apply your beard shampoo along with any other face cleanser you’ve found to be your favourite and get to scrubbing in a circular motion. Once you’re finished and ready to rinse your face, end the regimen with cold water to close those pores right back up, doing so will ensure no bacteria will enter and spark a breakout.
Step Two: Regularly exfoliate
What many men don’t do regularly is exfoliate their faces. Whether this comes down to not knowing how or why, it’s certainly an under-appreciated habit that can definitely help your beard and your facial skin. Here’s everything you need to know about exfoliating and why you should be including it.
The beauty of exfoliation is that it helps remove dead skin cells and reveal new ones, which will help out with wrinkles and signs of visible aging. By removing the first layer of dead skin cells, it will allow for natural oils to come forward and allow the “good” substances to help moisturise your skin and give it a glow.
But how often should you really be exfoliating? On top of washing your face daily, men should look to exfoliate twice a week, three times at most. If you find yourself pampering your beard frequently, you’ll want to be on top of exfoliating to make sure your skin is well prepped this will also help decrease the chance of getting pesky ingrown hairs. Dead skin cells and grime can easily clog your razor blades, so think about this next time you’re getting ready to trim your beard!
For more about the importance of exfoliating, check out this guide here.
Step Three: Moisturise thoroughly and often
The best way to keep your skin, beard, and face looking youthful and full is by making sure it’s constantly well hydrated. Both skin and hair alike thrive on being hydrated, so introducing the right kinds of ingredients into your moisturising habits will have you looking healthy and radiant. Starting with your beard, you should be making sure it’s well nourished by applying beard oil regularly so the follicles absorb all the goodness from the oil blend and will help to prevent irritation and itchiness and also help to avoid curls or frays.
Moving onto your actual face, there are tons of options to choose from, and it ultimately comes down to choosing a moisturiser right for your skin type. For most people, opting with a lotion is usually the best option considering it’s not too oily and it won’t leave your face looking greasy and reflective. For men with more dry skin, you may want to look into a cream or ointment with a higher oil content which will offer more hydration whilst remaining light. Men with oily skin, should be cautious about the product you apply to your face. Gels are often the best for these types of skin because they are the most lightweight of moisturisers and offer fewer oils than others.
In terms of tips for actually applying, be sure to do this regularly alongside your normal cleaning routine. You never want to apply moisturiser to a dirty or sweaty face as this will just trap the dirt to you face, the best time to apply is in the morning or after a shower.
Step Four: Analyse your shaving habits
One part of every man’s grooming routine that often flies under the radar is realising that their shaving routine can actually influence the health of the skin on their face. Depending on the length of your beard, it will affect the kinds of shaving tools that help craft your look. From electric to more traditional razor blades, these items can constantly be collecting bacteria when you’re not using them. This means that a great place to start is with storing your shaving items in a safe environment. The best place and way to store these products are in dry, cool conditions especially for metal razors, the combination of heat and soapy water can rust the blade and build bacteria. Always stand your razors upright as well to ensure the blades are being ventilated after use.
While being on top of your storage habits is essential, it’s also important that you’re shaving with the right products to ensure your skin is protected. Starting with shaving cream, be on the lookout for a cream that contains aloe or other moisturising ingredients that will help you avoid losing necessary skin oils. From there, be selective in the kinds of razors you use, research your options and find what fits best with your lifestyle. Consider looking into companies that provide quality skin-protecting razors that are designed for sensitive skin such as Harry’s, a quality razor such as their’s will prevent you from cutting open your skin whilst still providing a smooth shave.
Balancing how you care for your beard and skin is certainly difficult, for any man who’s unsure where to start, we hope you have a great baseline now. Best of luck and time to get to work!