Beard Care & Beyond 101

If the skin is shaved, waxed or plucked, it can become irritated as the sharp hairs try to grow back through the skin.  Another common condition is pseudofolliculitis barbae that occurs when the shaved or plucked hairs get trapped under the skin, causing inflammation. Dry skin and dandruff are another set of typical issues.  Dandruff can happen because it is more challenging to cleanse or moisturize under the facial hair thoroughly.

Understanding your skin is the best way to navigate a good routine.  The skin is our largest organ serving a variety of functions for our health. The primary purpose is as our first line of defense. It protects our bodies from the outside world, shielding us from the harmful effects of UV rays, germs, and bacteria. Healthy skin regulates body temperature, assists in detoxification not only helping us feel better but to look better too.

By following these straightforward tips to keep your whole face looking and feeling great, you can reduce or eliminate unnecessary irritation and have healthy, hydrated skin:

1)   Cleanse twice daily- This will remove dirt, grime, and excess oil.   This helps prevent clogged pores and breakouts.  Choose a face wash formulated to your skin type (i.e., Dry, Oily, or Combination).  If you play sports or participate in other sweat-inducing activities, be sure to rinse the sweat off as soon as possible. To ensure not over drying your beard hair wash it a few times a week, but thoroughly.

2)   Exfoliate- two times a week is a good starting point. Every day can be too aggressive and cause further irritation or overproduction of oil glands.  A nickel size amount mixed with water, applied in circular motions for 60 seconds is ample. Rinse completely. Pat dry thoroughly.

3)  Moisturize- Protecting and hydrating your face is critical. With soothing ingredients and vitamins, you can restore skin health.  In the morning apply a moisturizer with an SPF 30 preferably.  In the evening after your last cleanse for the day, use a soothing, reparative lotion that will nourish your skin overnight. Application of a specific beard conditioner or oil can help soften the hair, condition the skin underneath, and help maintain your suave image.

An uncomplicated beard & skincare routine can make all the difference — focus effort on these baseline steps. If you have questions about which products and ingredients require a healthy, blemish-free face then consult a licensed skin care specialist to make recommendations customized just for you.

Melissa Elia is a Licensed Esthetician, CIDESCO Internationally licensed skin therapist and holds a master degree in psychology with over 20 years of clinical experience.  With a heightened focus on the scientific and holistic processes that heal the body, her philosophy of creating a balanced system originates from her fascination with clinical psychology, physiology and inspiration from her own struggle with adult acne.