Growing a beard comes with great responsibility. If you are lucky and have the ability to grow a full beard, learning how to take care of it is essential. Beards can retain all sorts of dirt and germs, which can cause skin problems and make the wearer look shabby. A proper beard should receive proper care. In this article, you’ll read about how to shave or trim your beard, and how to integrate skincare and beard care into your daily routine, for a clean and fresh look.
Trim and shave your hair the right way
The first important step to take in your beard-care routine is to trim and shave properly. Make sure you wash your face and beard before you start grooming. How to wash your face properly is explained further on in this article. Make sure that your razor blade or trimmer is clean, and that no hairs of a previous shave have remained in the machine or between the blades. Long hairs should be removed with a Safety Razor. This kind of razor is designed with an open comb tooth, which makes it easier to separate and closely shave longer hairs.
If you’re using a trimmer, make sure that you are using the right extension piece and that the trimmer is set to the right hair length setting. You may want to start with a longer length than desired and bring it down to a shorter length later on. Trim against the direction of your hair to remove the excess hair. Start with shaving the hair at your neck and then start to shape your cheek line. Don’t forget to trim and shape the mustache as well.
Wash your face and beard daily
Your face goes through a lot during the day. Pollution, dirt, germs, oils, food, and other influences can penetrate and clog your pores, which might cause a rash, spots or other skin problems. Beards work as a sponge and attract and hold this dirt throughout the day. The beard hairs that touch your face can transfer dirt, so if you are having skin problems on your face and neck, this might be the cause.
In order to remove the dirt from your face and beard, it is important to wash both of them thoroughly at least once a day, in the evening. Washing your beard can be done with a gentle cleanser, but there is also special beard shampoo and conditioner available on the market. These products take extra care of the rough beard hairs, which results in better skin and a clean and shiny beard. Washing your beard properly can be done in a few simple steps.
Choose the right cleanser
It’s essential to pick the right beard care products that fit with your skin type, because the wrong product will do more harm than good. Generally, we distinguish three skin types: oily, dry, and mixed or combination. Oily skin can benefit greatly from a foaming cleanser. The foam gets deep into your pores and removes all dirt and oils. If you are suffering from acne, use a cleanser with salicylic acid or glycolic acid, which will help exfoliate and purify skin.
On the other hand, dry skin needs its natural oils to hydrate, and therefore a hydrating cleanser, preferably with hydrating ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, will gently cleanse the skin without striping it of its natural oils. Combination skin consists of a combination of oily and dry patches. The t-zone (forehead and nose) is often oily, while the cheeks and chin are dry, but combination skin can also occur in other proportions. Mixed skin can benefit from a creamy gentle cleanser.
Besides the properties mentioned above, make sure that the cleanser is soap-free, perfume or fragrance-free (soap and perfume can have a drying and skin clogging effect), and non-comedogenic (which means it doesn’t clog pores).
Wash and rinse your face and beard
Start wetting your skin by gently splashing water on your face and beard. Make sure that your beard is sufficiently wet. Now, apply one or two pumps of cleanser in your hands and add a few drops of water. Emulsify the cleanser in your hands and apply to the face and beard while making circular motions.
Rise well with lukewarm water and pat your skin and beard dry with a clean towel. Using a clean towel is essential, because used towels can contain germs and dirt, which would be counteractive. Leave your skin a little damp, because this will help your skin care products to attract moisture to your skin.
Moisturizing both your skin and beard is an important step that should not be skipped. All skin types can benefit from a little moisture, even if you have oily or acne prone skin. Moisturizers keep your skin nourished, can prevent wrinkling, and contribute to a more elastic skin. Dry skin produces more oil to try to hydrate itself. This oil can clog pores and cause acne. Moisturizing can stop the production of natural skin oil and prevent breakouts. Dry skin that isn’t moisturized can also become flaky, and itchy, and your beard will feel prickly.
After washing your face and beard, apply the moisturizer on your damp skin and beard. Gently massage the moisturizer into your beard and finish up with special beard care that fits with your skin type, such as:
- Oily and acne prone skin: use a beard conditioner
- Dry skin: use beard oil
- Combination skin: try using both and see which works best for your beard
If you have sensitive skin, make sure that the products you use are non-comedogenic and soap and fragrance-free. After moisturizing, detangle your beard with a wide comb tooth and groom and style as desired.