Face it. It’s winter, and there’s an itch that needs some TLC. You can bypass the bathroom mirror; you can filter the Zoom meeting, but you can’t escape the beardruff (yes, beard dandruff) on your down jacket.
It’s coarse, we know. It’s wiry, we know. It’s your greatest achievement, trust us, we know. No need to panic. We have a solution for your most prized possession.
First, to treat the problem, you have to understand the why. Many factors contribute to dry skin, such as weather, lifestyle, and nutrition. During the winter season, there’s a decrease in humidity and low temperatures. Once temperatures drop, so do your body’s natural oils that keep you hydrated—resulting in your skin and hair follicles closing up. This is when the moisture in your skin disappears, and the itch begins.
Are you stressed about deadlines? Are you getting enough sleep? Are you hitting the gym as often as you should? Stress causes your body to release large amounts of the stress hormone, cortisol. Cortisol breaks down the skin’s collagen—which is responsible for keeping your face smooth and elastic. So: if someone offers you a break, take it; get back in that gym; cut out excessive sugar and caffeine; and pack on the Omega-3 nutrients.
Now that you know the why, let’s move on to the how. How do we get your beard soft and luscious enough for us to run our fingers through?
WASH YOUR BEARD DAILY
Wash your beard daily. Beards are known to carry infectious bacteria like staphylococcus which can cause illness if entered into the bloodstream through a cut. Pick up a beard wash and conditioner that is formulated specifically for beards. If you’re using a shampoo that contains artificial ingredients on your face, then you are creating a toxic environment in your beard. Scan your inventory, and if you come across terms like fragrance, sodium sulfate, or paraben, toss them out! Including that bar of soap! Ingredients need to be simple: castor oil, olive oil, jojoba oil, glycerin, and hyaluronic acid are all keepers.
BRUSH AND EXFOLIATE
Brush and exfoliate your beard regularly to treat underneath the beard hair. Brushing helps untangle knots and distributes the oils evenly. Invest in a boar bristle brush to prevent frizz and static caused by synthetic brushes. Exfoliating is key to removing dead skin cells from the skin’s surface and improving clogged pores that cause dullness. Men have thicker skin and higher sebum production, so just because you have a beard, doesn’t exempt you from putting in the work. Exfoliating 2-3 x a week helps reduce ingrown hairs and irritation while improving the appearance of your skin and beard.
MOISTURIZE AND SHINE
Apply moisturizer immediately after you shower or wash your face. Your moisturizer is vital to nourish your dehydrated skin. Apply a moisturizer once or twice daily (morning and evening) to help protect you from premature skin aging, fine lines, and flakes. Once you’ve combatted the dry skin underneath the beard, it’s time to add some shine to the actual beard hair. Add 1-3 drops of beard oil to enhance, strengthen, and soften your whiskers.
And there you have it, simple and effective methods to help you and your beard shine.
Go ahead, put on your jacket. You deserve it.