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By Cynthia Bailey MD.

Beard Care – What your beard and mustache really need to look their best

Fight beardruff and discover the best products for your facial hair

For serious beard and mustache care, you need more than grooming tools. You need conditioning products for your skin and beard hair. As a dermatologist and scientific expert in skin, hair and nails with 30+ years of helping guys navigate the fine points of facial skin and beard issues, I’m here to help.

To grow a great beard, one with appeal and/or envy depending on who’s admiring it, you need the best products for your facial hair and skin including:

The best beard oil

  • Beard oil needs to mimic your skin’s natural oils because that’s what your beard hair thrives on.
  • It also needs to reduce itch and beardruff. Beard-druff is beard + dandruff (the real name is seborrheic dermatitis of the facial skin underlying your beard hairs). It’s common.

Prevention and control are the best approach. And you can only find this when you use a really good beard oil that consists of a blend of carrier oils.

Beard oil should include carrier oils that mimic natural sebaceous gland oils

They should also include essential oils that fight inflammation, help to build up a reserve of free-radical fighting antioxidants, and balance skin microbes that fuel bearddruff.

What are the best essential oils for beard care?

First, it is important to know that essential oils can be potent allergens.

An allergic reaction will look like beardruff in that it will be itchy, flakey and red. It is best to avoid the problem all together and steer clear of the most common sensitizers. These include: the very popular sandalwood, clove, tea tree, ylang-ylang, and citrus/citronella. Eucalyptus is also a little risky as are ingredients in the flower family that include yarrow, marigold and chamomile.

Botanical ingredients are wonderful, but they are tricky. Know that that the higher percentage of an essential oil present in a product, the more likely it is to create an allergic reaction.

Allergic reactions will be lifelong inconveniences requiring avoidance of the oil forever to prevent rash. 

It’s best to use beard oils made with just enough essential oil to provide benefit but not so much to stimulate allergy.

And in that, the devil is in the details for the creator of the oil.

Artificial fragrances are no substitute for a good beard oil; they are potent allergens with a host of other problems. For a good beard oil, you want the real thing which is real organic botanical essential oil at the right concentration.

What is the best way to apply beard oil?

  • Wash your skin and towel dry.
  • Apply beard oil right away (within minutes).
  • Put a few drops in one palm, dip the fingers of your other hand into the palm and rub the fingers of both hands together.
  • Working up from the base of your beard, massage the oil into the skin under and between the hairs.
  • Finish with downward stroking from the top to the bottom of your beard to coat the outer hair surface and lay your beard hairs into a well-groomed distribution.

Skin around your beard can be hydrated after washing with a facial moisturizer such as the All Natural Lotion or Daily Facial Moisturizer for Oily to Normal or for Dry to Normal Skin.  

Use the best beard skin and hair cleanser.

This is like a beard shampoo. But, know that true shampoos can be too harsh to facial skin. That’s because the foaming agents needed to penetrate between long scalp hair can over-dry facial skin.

The most popular face and beard cleansers for men include:

  • Daily Facial Cleanser which is also a great shaving medium so that you can refine the shape of your facial hair to optimally enhance your beard based on your unique, facial structure.
  • Foaming Zinc, a cleanser designed for those suffering from bearddruff. Foaming Zinc is an all-purpose cleanser for seborrhea on the scalp, beard, back, or chest.
  • Another good beard facial and hair cleanser is All Purpose Natural Shower Gel (Hypoallergenic or Invigorating).

Don’t forget that beard sunscreen is essential protection for skin that looks strong, vigorous and vital.

Yep, beard and mustache skin get sun exposed. That's because most beards don’t entirely cover all the skin to provide impenetrable sun protection, especially on the top of the beard. You need to get sunscreen onto the skin between the hairs to prevent uneven skin pigment, wrinkles and skin cancer.

The problem is that most sunscreens make a mess of your beard. You need a mineral zinc oxide sunscreen in a thin base. That’s why Sheer Strength Pure Physical Spray Sunscreen is the most popular sunscreen for hair-bearing skin, including the skin under your beard and mustache.

  • Shake the bottle and simply spray some sunscreen onto your fingertips, and rub them with the fingertips on your other hand.
  • Then, like with beard oil, snake, wiggle and massage the sunscreen onto the skin under your beard hairs. Start from the bottom of your beard and work up. Be certain to get enough sunscreen on the skin at the very top of your beard.

Sheer Strength Mineral Sunscreen Spray is popular with men because it will not mess up the look and texture of your well-groomed beard. But your skin will be protected.

It is the finishing step to complete beard hair and skin care. Apply sunscreen after applying your beard oil. Then, you can get out your beard comb, wax or balm and style your beard or mustache to make your own statement.

Beard care that works.

If you want your beard to look its best and avoid beardruff, use a dermatologist's beard oil made with skin and hair conditioning ingredients, and botanical oils that fight bearddruff without taunting skin allergy or irritation. 

Beard care can be simple and effective with the right products and routine.