So, I think I’m going to talk a little bit about beards and beard care. I realize this might be obvious or asinine information for some of you, this article is mainly targeted towards new beard growers, but hey, maybe you’ll learn something you don’t already know. Anyways I’m going to try and make this post expository yet concise. Firstly I gotta talk about everybody’s favorite organ, the dermis (specifically your epidermis):
Oil, your skin, and your beard.
Your beard is on your face. Know what else is on your face? Your skin, yes and lots of it. Your skin produces sebum, from sebaceous glands, which happen to be connected to every pore on your face (and your entire body for that matter, palms and soles withstanding). This “oil” is good for you and good for your beard. Problem is your beard is not good for it. Most people who grow a beard will either produce either too little or too much sebum. Produce too little and the problems will become evident within a few days of growing, itchiness, dryness, and your beard hair will be coarse and scratchy. Produce too much and you’ll be fine for a while, eventually though as length and density increases you’ll start noticing your beard getting oily and greasy, your pores will start to block up, bacteria will grow, and acne will flare up. Either way you’re in for a bad one. You might ask yourself, how might one fix this problem? Well I’ll tell you.
Under oiled beard and skin.
If your skin produces too little sebum, the best thing you can do is supplement with another oil that works cooperatively with the skins natural oil (doesn’t affect the ph). Jojoba, avocado, hemp seed, almond and argan oils are all great oils that work great in conjunction with the bodys natural sebum oil. Picking up a beard oil made with one or all these oils, like the many great beard oils we got on this site, they will make sure your skin remains at a constant level of perfect moisture and will keep your beard growing unobstructed and soft. If a beard oil doesn’t seem to be doing the job well enough on its own, look into getting a good non-comedogenic moisturizer. Yes moisturizer isn’t just for your girlfriend or mom.
Over oiled beard and skin.
This is a little trickier as you’re going to not want to just throw some beard oil in there. First off, if your beard is just too greasy and/or oily, but you’re not having any problems with acne or clogged pores (sebum overproduction doesn’t directly cause acne), don’t use an oil control, you need a good beard balm. A good beard balm will help regulate how much oil is absorbed into your beard hair and give you the consistency and texture you want. But if you are experiencing issues with acne or clogged pores then you’ll want to look into an oil control product, any good non-comedogenic cleanser will do the job. Eventually as you start to use the cleanser you might start to actually get dry, itchy skin, as the excess oil that your beard used to soak up is not there anymore and your beard is now soaking up too much, making your skin under oiled. Do not fret, just look above and follow the steps outlined for under oiled skin.
Applying beard oil.
This may seem to be a straightforward task, it is beard oil after all, just drop it out and smack it on your beard right? Wrong. The point of beard oil is to mimic your skin’s natural oil, so you need to break things down in terms of how your body works naturally. Main thing to remember is to clean your pores. If your pores aren’t clear, the oil isn’t going to reach your hair follicle, and it’s not going to benefit you nearly as much. If you get the oil down into the follicle, as the hair grows out from the follicle it’s going to absorb those oils and it’s going to be a lot healthier and stronger because of it. If all your doing is getting the hair you can see, your only helping yourself temporarily, what happens when it grows out and you trim it away?
Beard Balms and Conditioning.
You have to condition your beard! I mean you don’t have to, you can do want you want, you have a beard after all, but you should condition your beard. Beard oil can only take you so far, and doesn’t provide all the necessary functions to make your beard manlier than ever. Now I’m not going to debate which you should use, balm or conditioner as they are essentially the same thing. Beard balm (good beard balm) is functionally the same as leave-in conditioner with the added benefit of being able to style your beard with it. What does matter is the look each of them produces. Some people prefer the waxy, slightly greased look of a good beard balm. Some prefer the loose and debatably more natural look of leave in conditioner. Obviously if you have problems where either product builds up too much, no matter how much you apply, you might want to look into using a rinse out conditioner. Problem with rinse out conditioners is they tend to be a little harsher on your hair.
Beard wax vs Beard Balm, yes there’s a difference.
The difference is not huge, and mainly has to do with their primary ingredients. Beard wax, usually made from beeswax and often a healthy portion of petroleum is basically what separates balm from wax. In general, if your beard is long and beard balm is not giving you the control or style you want, then you probably need to switch to a wax. Or well you need to switch to something that has better hold, which you probably won’t get unless you transition to a petroleum or beeswax based (or some combination) beard wax.
General beard care recommendations.
Drink lots of water! Not just a good idea if you want to stay alive, but also if you want to grow a healthy beard. Especially if you have really dry skin, drinking lots of water will make sure your skin retains its elasticity and vitality, making your beard all the more luscious because of it. In a similar vein, eat a good diet. Any good dermatologist will tell you that the key to healthy skin is a healthy diet. I could go into a diatribe about ph balances and how acid promoting diets are ruining your skin health, but currently there is not an enough evidence to make a convincing argument. What is for sure, is the more essential vitamins and minerals you get into your diet from whole sources (i.e. fruits and veggies) the better your entire body, and consequently your skin and beard, will be.
Trim don’t shave…ever!!!