When we talk about beard care, there’s something that we tend to neglect, and it’s what’s underneath that facial hair. That’s right – the skin on your face beneath your beard needs just as much attention as your beard itself. The skin and the beard have a sort of a symbiotic relationship, in which each one needs to be well-maintained and in good health in order to help the other one shine. After all, skin problems can interfere with beard growth, while an unclean beard can cause skin inflammation, bacterial overgrowth and more.
This piece will be focusing on the most common skin complaint among bearded and non-bearded men alike: acne. Acne can make a beard develop all kinds of issues, and beard-related issues can lead to the development of acne. In order to stop this vicious cycle, we’ve got some expert tips.
What is Acne?
Acne is a skin condition that causes the pores of the skin to become inflamed and infected, resulting in pimples on one or more areas of the complexion. Pores become inflamed for various reasons, including bacterial and fungal factors, as well as an overproduction of sebum, which is an oil that is naturally secreted by the pores to keep the skin’s surface hydrated. Acne can be mild or severe and can be sporadic or chronic.
What Can Cause Acne?
There are many causes of acne such as these most common occurrences
- Food Allergies: such as dairy and gluten, can cause acne. Food allergies cause the body to enter a state of high inflammation, and this inflammation can manifest in the form of skin issues like acne.
- Hormones: Imbalanced hormones can cause acne as the secretion of sebum is determined by hormone levels.
- Bacterial Overgrowth: Our skin is exposed to bacteria every day, but some factors can cause bacterial overgrowth that enters the pores and causes them to become infected. Instances of bacterial overgrowth can stem from touching one’s face with dirty hands, sleeping on a dirty pillowcase and more.
- Fungal Overgrowth: Fungal infections of the skin are more common than many think. One way in which the skin can develop a fungal infection is by sweating beneath a beard that prevents ventilation of the pores.
Staying Acne-Free While Growing and Maintaining a Beard
Now, let’s talk about how you can prevent or treat acne so that it doesn’t interfere with your beard goals.
Tip #1: Cleansers are Crucial
Skin needs to be properly cleansed each day to remove dirt, oil and germs. All three of these things can lead to acne. Use a gentle facial cleanser that’s not too harsh but has the right ingredients to keep that face nice and clean.
Tip #2: Maintain Proper Moisture Levels
Believe it or not, you can produce more acne if your skin is dry. Dry skin can produce excess sebum to make up for the lack of moisture, causing your pores to become clogged and inflamed. So, moisturize your skin daily using a moisturizing product that’s specially formulated for the skin on the face. Body lotions and creams are typically to thick and will clog the pores.
Tip #3: Exfoliation is Your Friend
Exfoliating is another habit that’s worth getting into if you want to maintain clear skin. Exfoliation removes dead skin cells that can clog the pores and lead to breakouts. There are two types of exfoliants: chemical and physical. Chemical exfoliants include retinol, lactic acid and salicylic acid. Physical exfoliants refer to abrasive scrubs that are massaged into the pores. Most men should exfoliate once or twice a week depending on how prone their skin is to congestion.
Tip #4: Make Sure Your Diet is On Point
Dietary factors can throw off your skin’s condition as well. For example, consuming too much sugar can lead to breakouts due to the way in which the body metabolizes glucose. Also, our hormones are largely controlled by our diets, so if your acne is hormonal in nature, you may need to cut out some foods and increase your intake of certain foods to maintain a more balanced hormonal system.
Tip #5: See a Dermatologist if Necessary
You can always see a dermatologist if you need some outside help with treating your acne. A dermatologist can determine the cause of your acne and give you treatments that can clear your skin up. Dermatologists can prescribe heavy-duty medications that are more powerful than the stuff you’d find in the store. And, they can give you some advice as it pertains to maintaining your skin overall.
Beard Care is About More than Your Beard Itself
Your skin needs to be just as healthy as your facial hair and requires an equal amount of attention. In order to be acne-free as a bearded guy, follow this guide.