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Itchy Beard

Do You Have an Itchy Beard?

If you have an itchy beard with dry skin, flaking and redness under your beard or mustache, it’s time to take action. With a few simple steps, you can stop the itch to look and feel your best.

What causes an itchy beard?

Seborrheic dermatitis, also known as facial dandruff, may be causing your “beardruff.” More than likely, a yeast organism is involved, but no one really knows what causes this condition.

Another possibility may be allergic contact dermatitis where your shave gel, beard oil, mustache-grooming ointment, shampoo, or other facial products are causing an allergic reaction.

Itchy beard may be caused by seborrheic dermatitis or an allergy to beard care products! - Dermatologist Dr. Cynthia Bailey

How do you get rid of beard itch?

To start, you need to try to tell if your beard itch is seborrhea (dandruff) or an allergic reaction - or both.

How do you tell why your beard skin is itching?

beard itch causes

Seborrheic dermatitis can cause beard itch.

This is facial dandruff. Do you have itching, scale or “dry scalp” too? Is there dryness, flaking and even a little redness in your eyebrows, along the sides of your nose or around your ears?

Allergic reactions (called allergic contact dermatitis) can cause beard itch.

An allergic skin reaction will typically happen only where the allergen is applied. In this case, either a shaving product, beard oil, beard or mustache grooming product, or aftershave might be the cause. Fragrances are notorious for causing skin allergic reactions and these products are often heavily fragranced. Even natural fragrance can cause an allergy.

Harsh skin care cleansers can also cause allergic or irritation reactions that will itch. Some men use shampoos to wash their facial hair. That may be fine, but know that the foaming agents, preservative systems and fragrance ingredients in some shampoo products may be too harsh for facial skin.

Review the products that you use on the skin where the itch happens. Pay special attention to shampoos, oils, beard care grooming products. Did the rash start where you used a particular beard care product? Once the rash starts getting bad it may spread out onto surrounding skin, but it usually starts where the allergen is placed on the skin

If you get a rash that continues to spread, or have another negative reaction to a product, stop using it immediately and switch to hypoallergenic products specifically for facial skin and beard-care to help eliminate the risk of allergic reactions.

best soap for beard itch if you are allergic to something

A good hypoallergenic and fragrance-free skin cleanser for your beard and facial skin is my Naturally Best Bar Soap.

It lathers enough to shave. It's a great natural face soap. It's also a great total body bar soap. Keep a bar in the shower and another at the sink so that you never use heavily fragranced products on your sensitive skin. 

How do you treat beard itch from beardruff (aka dandruff)?

Use a medicated dandruff skin cleanser to treat itchy beard from beardruff.

foaming zinc soap to get rid of itchy beard

Seborrheic dermatitis responds really well to medicated cleansers with pyrithione zinc, such as in my Foaming Zinc Cleanser. This powerful seborrhea remedy is made with the highest level of medicated pyrithione zinc to fight dandruff and beardruff. It will help you get rid of dandruff in your beard, mustache, scalp and even on your body skin. (Is the skin of your upper back or chest always flaky and 'dry'?? If so, it may be seborrheic dermatitis!)

After washing, apply a hypoallergenic but healing beard oil to your itchy beard skin and facial hair.

Use a beard oil made with carrier oils that mimic your skin’s natural oils and that replenish key skin lipids. You want oils that work as good conditioning agents for your beard and mustache hairs so that your facial hair is soft and healthy. 

get rid of beard itch with this beard oil

My Omega Enriched Face Booster Oil is an ideal beard oil. It is free of artificial fragrance and skin allergens and is made with the best organic botanical oils for facial skin. I formulated my Omega Enriched Oil with blend of kukui nut oil, argan oil, pomegranate seed oil, rosehip seed oil, jojoba oil, sunflower seed oil, castor seed oil. I enriched it with,

  • organic sea buckthorn oil to improve skin’s water-holding capacity to resist dehydration that can lead to irritation,
  • organic borage oil which is one of the best sources of the essential fatty acid gamma-linoleic acid (GLA) proven to have strong anti-inflammatory benefits. (Essential fatty acids are oils that your skin can’t make but needs and must be supplied by you for optimal skin health!), and
  • organic cypress essential oil which creates a subtle - and natural - woodland aroma from an organic botanical oil that is antiseptic and rich in anti-oxidant containing flavonoids, phenolic compounds.

How to correctly apply a beard oil to treat beard itch in 3 steps

  1. Apply a few drops of oil to your fingertips.
  2. Start from the bottom of your beard or facial hair and snake your fingertips up your facial skin in between your facial hair.
  3. Once you’ve covered all your facial skin then stroke your beard or mustache hair in a downward fashion to coat the outer surface of your hair and lay the hair down in a well-groomed fashion.

One final tip… apply sunscreen under your beard!

You may not think you need to apply sunscreen to the skin under your beard, but it can protect your skin and prevent your sun-exposed facial hair from sun damage, which causes hair to turn yellow.

Yes, yellow discoloration of your natural facial hair color is an indication of sun damaged hair. - Dr. Bailey

Do you need to wear sunscreen on your beard and facial hair?

Your facial hair may look great but it never 100% prevents sun exposure to the skin underneath. Plus, sun exposed hair takes on a yellow look that is never as attractive as your natural beard or mustache color.

best sunscreen for itchy beard skin

You need a mineral/physical sunscreen with a very lightweight consistency to protect your beard and mustache skin and hair. My Sheer Strength Pure Physical Spray Sunscreen is a popular product with my male patients because it provides dermatologist recommended sun protection in an ultralight product that will not mess-up your well-groomed beard or mustache. Apply it the same way you do your beard oil and wear it daily to fight the appearance of premature aging and hair yellowing.

The bottom line with an itchy beard:

  • Use hypoallergenic and artificial fragrance-free products to care for you beard.
  • Treat beardruff caused by dandruff.
  • Use a healing and conditioning beard oil, and
  • always protect your skin and facial hair from sun damage. 

The products I've listed in this article are ideal beard care products to fight an itchy beard.