Fix Dry Under-beard Skin
Dry skin under your facial hair is a major inconvenience. It causes discomfort as well as unsightly beard-ruff, those pesky flakes of skin falling off. As fast as this problem can arise, you also can resolve it. If you follow my pointers, you can get rid of those embarrassing flakes and annoying itch within a week or less.
What’s The Deal To Begin With?
What is really happening to the skin under your whiskers that is causing you this problem? The answer lies in your dermis. Within the skin, each of your hairs has its root, or follicle, surrounded by sebaceous glands. These are in charge of keeping your hair hydrated from the roots. Without these glands keeping your bristles moisturized, your facial hair would be dry, inflexible, and brittle; without moisture, your whiskers would cause discomfort and likely split and break easily. The discomfort would not end there because the underlying skin would suffer the same dry fate.
Picture the sebaceous glands within the skin; there they produce an oily, waxy substance called sebum. The sebum covers the surface of your skin, creating a protective layer that neither lets moisture escape from the skin nor free radicals from the environment penetrate the epidermis. The result is healthy skin that is kept hydrated and safe from harmful particles.
Moisturized skin means that there are no unattractive, dry patches flaking off of its surface. Hydrated skin also means neither itch nor discomfort. So if your beard bristles have all the sebaceous glands working for them, producing this sebum to keep the skin healthy, why do you still have a problem? The answer is that sometimes your sebaceous glands don’t suffice.
There are different reasons why your sebaceous glands might need a bit of help in keeping your beard and its underlying skin well hydrated. So what conditions can pose a problem for your sebaceous glands’ effort to keep your skin and hair well hydrated?
Cleansers: A Little Goes A Long Way
Food, dust and grime get caught up in your facial fur and your solution to that is probably a good ol’ washing. Probably having a limited amount of cleansing resources, you are likely to be using harsh bars of soap or shower gels to lather your beard and rinse it clean. Unfortunately, these harsh cleansers are full of unnatural ingredients that strip your skin and hair of all their natural moisture. You face a dilemma similar to that faced by the ladies whose long manes tend to dry out due to over-shampooing; so it makes sense to heed the expert advice given the ladies to wash just with water and skip the cleansers every other day.
It might be hard to convince your mind that water is enough to get your facial hair clean, but as soon as your brain wraps itself around that fact, you should have no qualms washing your beard with just a stream of H2O. Every two or three days, you can supplement your cleansing routine with a mild cleanser.
There is definitely an increasing number of competing brands offering beard washes, among other facial hair products. So why should you not use just any of those wonderful shampoos already in your shower? As mentioned before, most cleansers are produced using unnatural, harsh ingredients ideal for mass production.
Beard shampoo is in a niche all its own, where manufacturers concentrate on quality of ingredients in order to win a strong following of beardsmen. Beard washes are specifically formulated for the face and tend to contain natural ingredients to achieve the best results. Spring water, oils, seaweed extract and honey are among the ingredients used in popular beard shampoos.
The secret is to combine a natural, mild cleansing agent with oils and/or butters. This way its like a conditioning shampoo, gently cleaning your whiskers while simultaneously replacing any lost sebum with natural oils.
Your beard’s care does not end when you turn of the shower. After you have towel-dried your facial hair and skin, you can use other products that reinforce the moisturizing effects from the shampoo’s oils.
Beard oil and beard balm are two products that really help you maintain hydrated, healthy whiskers and skin. Both of these options tend to contain just a few ingredients, preferably natural. In fact, you can easily create your own concoction of balm or oil by mixing your favorite oils and other natural components.
Pick up any bottle of beard oil and look at its label of ingredients. You will notice that it is simply a list of several different oils- carrier and essential oils, to be exact. The carrier oils- such as jojoba, olive, and coconut oils- make up more than 90% of the concoction. These oils are easily absorbable, enabling them to “carry” the potion to the cells. Once on your skin and hair, these carrier oils form a protective layer which keeps the moisture inside from evaporating into thin air. Argan and sweet almond oils are two of the mildest carrier oil options, ideal ingredients for a beginner’s beard oil or for particularly sensitive skin.
If beard oil only needed a carrier oil, it would suffice to buy a bottle of good old olive oil; yet beard oil is a bit more complex than that. Its second main ingredient is essential oil, with a huge selection available to choose from. These oils contain the aromatic “essences” of the plants from which they are extracted. Beard oil contains essential oils that add a masculine musk to the concoction. Cedar wood, lemon, and peppermint oils are some of the varieties lending manly scents to beard products. Their contribution does not end on their aromatic note, however.
Essential oils also offer a gamut of other benefits. Lemon oil, for example, stimulates the mind when inhaled as well as acts as a disinfectant. Cedar wood oil provides astringent, insecticidal, and antiseptic effects. Some brands also accent their products with vitamin E oil; this antioxidant repairs and builds tissue such as hair.
Another product you can apply after your shower is beard balm. It also is made up of both carrier and essential oils; however, it contains two additional ingredients as well, namely wax and butter. The butter in beard balm tends to be of the shea or coco variety and adds an extra level of moisture. The wax component is usually of the bees type and adds a thicker consistency to the mix so that you can use beard balm as a styling agent. Wax also adds to the protective coating that keeps moisture from escaping your skin and hair. If you are interested in an extremely strong styling product for your whiskers, consider getting mustache wax which provides a stronger hold than the balm.
After The Dry Skin Has Taken Its Leave
So after about a week of taking it easy with the cleansing process and adding one or more of the moisturizing products discussed above, your dry, flaky skin should be history. As your facial hair continues growing, you will have to adjust your routine and the amounts of product you apply for the best results. It is always a good idea to begin with a dime-sized amount and add more if necessary. Do not be afraid to use more than one of the aforementioned conditioning products as long as you use them in small amounts.
When it comes to products for beard maintenance, quality beats quantity hands-down. So spend the extra time really finding the beard shampoo, oil, and balm with the most natural ingredients. This way you will ensure that your facial hair will give you that well-maintained facial hairdo and manly musk that will leave a very positive impression on everyone you encounter.