One of the greatest challenges for men with a lot of facial hair is the dry skin under beard hair causing irritation. Flaky, itchy skin under your beard is also known as beard dandruff.
Dry skin under beard hairs is the cause of numerous issues including:
- poor beard growth
- ingrown hairs
- flaky skin
- bad smells
Because dry skin under the beard is such an issue for so many men - I've taken the time to write an informative and actionable plan of attack to combat dry skin under your beard that might be the cause of numerous other issues.
So, read on my fellow bearded brother, for knowledge awaits!
Table of Contents
What causes dry skin under your beard?
Beard dandruff is a mild form of *seborrheic dermatitis and has a few common causes including:
- Irritated and oily skin
- Dried out skin
- Yeast-like fungus, called malassezia, that thrives on the scalp oils of moany adults
- Contact dermatitis (caused by hair products)
- Skin conditions like psoriasis or eczema
Going one step further, the dandruff causes above can be traced back to some daily activities that you may be carrying out without a clue that they are, including:
Extra hot showers
I bet you didn't think that showering would show up as a potential cause of dry skin under your facial hair! The truth is, if you are cranking up the temperature and scrubbing your face, you may be stripping your natural sebum oils from your face, causing excessive dryness and irritation.
Make sure to strike a balance if you are a guy that likes hot showers. An extra steamy shower is a good thing as long as you are not specifically using the hot water to clean your face.
Using bar soap to clean your beard
Let me put on my lab for a second and explain something to you...
Normal skin has a pH range of 5.4-5.9 which is normal and supports healthy skin culture. The use of a soap with high pH has a dehydrating effect on your skin which can increase irritability and reduction of bacterial flora.
*Lab coat comes off*
What I'm saying here, fellas, is leave the bar soap for your dad and get a nice, gentle liquid soap. Better yet - use a specifically formulated beard shampoo to wash your beard! Funny enough - I've got one for you right here:
PROGRO Beard Shampoo
WHY BEARD WASH IS A MUST Your beard is not as clean as you think! Beards trap dirt and grease, it’s impossible for them not to. So they need extra attention to remain clean. But just using any old regular shampoo… Read More
Unfortunately for us guys, being male is correlated with a higher likelihood of having dandruff. That applies to both the hair on our head and our beard hair.
While most studies have been conducted on scalp hair, I're sure more beard information will arise once researchers can track down more bearded women to study.
How to combat dry skin under the beard
OK - so you've got a bad case of beard dandruff - what do you do? Here are the steps I would take:
- Find a dandruff shampoo that contains selenium sulfide or pyrithione zinc
- Apply it at the start of your shower
- Really lather it in
- Rinse with warm (not hot) water
- Repeat process for 1-2 weeks until your skin clears up
While this is most certainly not medical advice - my buddy Big Billy can attest to this helping him through a particularly rough patch of dry and flaky skin underneath his beard.
Beard grooming 101
There are 3 important things to remember when grooming beards in order to prevent dry skin under beards.
Exfoliation is a process that helps remove dead skin cells from underneath your facial hair, including those that cause dandruff. This process helps keep your sebaceous glands from clogging with dead skin cells and reducing the production of natural oils (sebum oil).
One of the best ways to exfoliate your awesome facial hair is to use a beard brush. Not only will a beard brush keep your beard looking great, but it acts as a facial scrub - clearing skin flakes from the skin beneath your beard and stimulating your hair follicles.
Washing your beard regularly either with a beard shampoo, or if you have beard dandruff, one of the many dandruff shampoos on the market, is one of the best ways to ensure your beard remains healthy.
It is important to wash and rinse the skin underneath your beard thoroughly so that the chemicals do not over power your skin's natural oils which will lead to skin dryness.
More often than not, a dry beard is the culprit behind beard dandruff. The dry skin beneath your facial hair is easily irritated and unless you are proactive with a good beard moisturizer, you'll end up with an itchy beard!
There are lots of products developed to supplement your natural beard oils and are very good at preventing skin dryness as well.
Products to prevent beard dandruff
Beard oil is an inexpensive way to supplement the natural oil produced by your sebaceous glands. Good beard oils will marry carrier oils with essential oils and are made from natural sources.
Make sure to rub beard oil into your beard, as well as the skin beneath, to ensure a consistent and high level of moisturization.
Beard Oil - Original
AWARD-WINNING ORIGINAL BEARD OIL Wild Willies one-of-a-kind beard oil is made of 10 natural vitamins and organic essential oils that condition and treat each follicle down to their roots. Our unique, easy to use, no waste, pump design enables minimal product usage… Read More
Beard balms are similar to beard oil except they are a pastier product and used for shaping a beard style in addition to hydrating a beard. While a beard balm is not as good as beard oil in reducing beard itch, both products can be used together to maximum effect.
Beard Butter - Original
The Best Beard Balm Money Can Buy Without even having to break the bank! Organic Beard Balm Ingredients Who wants to put nasty ingredients on their face? Since you’re on the hunt for an awesome beard butter, we’re going to… Read More
I mentioned beard brushes earlier but they warrant another mention down here. One of the best types of bear brush is a boar's hair beard brush. The boar bristle brush is an excellent cleanser and moisturizer because the bristles can reach right into your skin, gently removing dirt and oil.
No More Hair Tangle! MADE WITH NATURAL BOAR BRISTLES for Professional Beard and Mustache Grooming. Beautifully Engraved, Small Travel Size & Ergonomically Designed Holder. WHILE OTHER BEARD BRUSHES may be made with flimsy, uneven, and weak synthetic bristles that constantly fall… Read More
No one likes flaky beard dandruff. Visible beard dandruff can cause unwanted attention and embarrassment. Not to mention, dry skin under beards is one of the most irritating things that can happen to a man. Luckily, if you follow the tips above - you'll get rid of dry flaky skin underneath your beard forever.