How To Keep Your Beard Moisturized And Flake-Free
With winter comes the time when your skin’s moisture levels plummet. Not only your skin, but also your facial hair is affected by the drying conditions. Your bristles become rough and brittle while the skin underneath begins to flake off. Yet there is a very simple solution for your beard’s dandruff, aka “beard-ruff.” If you take my advice, you should be able to get rid of even the slightest signs of dryness within a week tops. Let’s get your facial hair back into tip-top condition with one secret tool in the beardman’s toolbox: beard oil.
Beard Oil: Sure Thing Or Just A Sham?
Of all the tools a man has in his arsenal, should beard oil be one of them? The answer is a resounding “yes.” If your beard and skin beneath it get dry, even if just for a few weeks per year, then beard oil is the tool to help you combat the problem like a pro. Are you one of those men who swears that the bathroom cabinet is exclusively for the lady’s beauty products; and are you completely clueless as to the function of beard oil?
Toiletries are not only for women; beard oil is a product exclusively for men, making it one of the most manly products you could ever place inside your cabinet. Make no mistake about it; there is definitely a little space in your cabinet reserved just for beard oil. If you want to wear an impressive beard that adds to your image of virility and strength, then this product is a definite must-have. The potion packs a double-punch; it includes two types of ingredients to give you twice the benefits.
Beard oil is mostly composed of carrier oil (over 90%), and accented by a touch of essential oil. The carrier oil constituent provides the moisture as well as the delivery system. Jojoba, grape seed, and coconut oils are just a few examples. Carrier oils are easily absorbable, coating the skin and hair so that their moisture cannot evaporate into thin air.
The second key ingredient is the essential oil variety; lemon, peppermint, and cedar oils are just a few examples of this type. The essential oils provide aroma and many other benefits, varying with the particular oil involved. Lemon oil, for example, gives off a citrus scent, offers disinfectant properties to your skin as well as stimulation for your mind. Tea tree oil, another essential oil, counteracts skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis, cold sores, and infections. So besides moisture, you also get a nice musk as well as varying other benefits depending on the specific oils contained in your beard oil.
Some beard oil varieties contain numerous different essential oils, providing a unique mixture of scents and additional benefits. That’s where your job begins; you have to do your homework by researching ingredients and figuring out which ones would be to your advantage. With the huge selection of beard oils offering different scents, absorbability, and extra benefits, you have a difficult choice to make. So let’s break it down into easy parts, beginning with the scent.
While there are many different beard oils ranging from wood to citrus and mint scents depending on the essential oils included, you can also opt for a scentless variety without any essential oil at all. Now, if you want the extra benefits of antibacterial, calming, invigorating, healing, or pain reducing properties, among many others, then you might want to research the ideal essential oils that will deliver your most wanted benefits.
As far as the carrier oils are concerned, your most important factor is absorbability; if you have dry skin, choose a slow-absorbing oil, whereas if you have oily skin, opt for a highly absorbable variety. Once you have made your decision on the ideal oils for you, read labels in order to find a beard oil that contains those oils.
Before you start using your new potion, please remember to do a patch test on the sensitive skin on the inner side of your elbow. If you do not pass the patch test, your skin might be too sensitive for one or more of the oils contained within your bottle. If you have sensitive skin, you might want to consider a very mild carrier oil such as jojoba or argan oil, and forego essential oils all together.
Argan oil has received a lot of attention in recent years for its vitamin content and anti-aging effects. It is used in many shampoos and skin care products because it is well received by basically every skin type. Looking at all the different bottles of beard oil on the market, trying to find the one with the perfect combination of your choice of oils, you might be growing exhausted.
Maybe the thought crossed your mind that you could just get all the ingredients separately and make your very own beard oil concoction. You are definitely onto something there; you can find easy instructions for creating your personal beard oil. Just remember that you need the double punch of both carrier and essential oils if you want to get the most bang for your buck. Ideally, you would mix 95% - 99% carrier oil with 5% - 1% essential oil. While you can opt to leave out essential oil completely, vice versa is a definite no. The reasons you cannot leave out or even reduce the amount of carrier oil are manifold: carrier oil supplies the moisture, carrier oil delivers the oil to the cells, and carrier oil serves to dilute the very potent, concentrated essential oils.
Where To Go?
Once you know what you want in your beard oil, you have to figure out where to purchase it. With a little practice, you will be able to create a beard oil masterpiece even with your eyes closed. Soon you might become such an expert, you could make a fortune with your very own brand of topnotch beard oil products.
I Made My Choice, Now What?
Once you have done your homework, are in possession of a bottle of your ideal beard oil, and passed the patch test, you are ready for application. Imagine standing in front of the mirror with your dad as he tells you “okay son, now follow my example: put a dime-sized amount in your palm, rub your palms together like so, then run your hands through your beard from root to tip.” The idea is to evenly distribute the oil so that it covers all of your facial hair and skin underneath it. You can use your fingers to massage the oil through from skin to the tip of your bristles; otherwise, you can use a beard comb to do the same. Once the oil covers all the pertinent areas, refrain from touching your face as the oil is being absorbed.
That’s Not All, Folks!
While beard oil will take care of your dry and brittle bristles as well as accompanying beard-ruff, as your beard grows, you may find yourself in need of further tools. Long whiskers can become hard to manage and subdue so that you may find yourself wishing for a facial hair styling product. This is where beard balm makes its grand entrance. Beard balm is like beard oil’s buffer, smoother older brother; it contains not two, not three, but four main ingredients:
1. Carrier Oil
2. Essential Oil
Like beard oil, beard balm contains both carrier and essential oils. Unlike beard oil, the balm also provides beeswax (the muscle), and butter (the suave-ness). The beeswax in beard balm provides the thick, gel-like texture, making it ideal as a sculpting agent. Whether you have wild beard hairs you wish to tame or you want to mold your whiskers into a unique shape, beard balm will let you style your facial hair however you please.
The final ingredient is butter, such as shea butter, which gives beard balm a smoother application. For those beards that need moisture as well as styling power, the ideal aid is beard balm.
The More, The Merrier
Next to your beard oil and balm, your bathroom cabinet still has a bit more space for a few more manly products. So at the end of the day, you may need a bit of help getting rid of all the dirt and beard balm that have accumulated in your facial fur. Your instinct might be to take a bar of soap or your shower gel and lather up your beard; don’t make that mistake. Typical cleansers can be harsh and most likely will strip your face of all its moisture.
The truth is that each product is created with a target in mind, like soap bars are for hands and shower gel is for your skin. For this reason, you should look for beard washes and beard shampoos, which are formulated specifically for your facial hair and skin. Once you have the right product, don’t feel it necessary to wash your beard constantly. In general, your daily shower suffices by letting water run over your beard and face. Once every two or three days, you might want to supplement this by lathering your facial hair with a beard shampoo. Using this too often does not make your beard any cleaner; instead, it will strip your face of the naturally produced sebum which locks in moisture.
The Ultimate Morning Routine
If you have facial hair, especially if you are plagued by beard-ruff, you should be following the ultimate morning routine for the best results (and resolutions to dryness problems).
1. Slowly, but surely, drag yourself out from under your covers and into the shower. Here you will reach for your beard shampoo, unless it is one of the skip-shampoo days. Make sure to lather well and rinse out completely
2. After your shower, towel-dry your face and beard. Then apply that perfect beard oil you picked out (or made from scratch). Remember to begin with just a dime-sized amount in your palm; you can make adjustments as your beard becomes longer. Rub your palms together to get an even application when you run your palms through your beard from root to tip. Using your fingertips or a beard comb, run the length of your beard from root to tip in order to evenly spread out the oil. You are done once your entire facial region, skin and bristles, are coated in beard oil. Be sure not to touch your face while the oil is being absorbed.
3. To supplement the moisturizing effects of beard oil and take it one step further, you will follow up with an application of beard balm. The best starter balm is the popular Honest Amish brand. Extract an amount the size of your thumbnail and place it into the palm of your hand. As with beard oil, rub your palms together, making the balm soften. Again, apply to your facial hair starting at the root and moving down to the tip. Massage into your beard using fingertips or a beard comb until it is evenly dispersed.
4. Speaking of beard comb, you may wish to add one to your bathroom arsenal. Especially once your facial hair has reached an inch in length, you will benefit from using either a beard comb or beard brush. Both of these items help you during the application of beard oil and beard balm. They can also be useful when styling your designer facial hairdo. A wooden beard comb is ideal for shorter bristles whereas a beard brush with boars bristles is the ultimate tool for the longer beards.