Maybe you’re growing a beard to cover up acne, only to find the acne worsen. Or maybe you’re a longtime beardsman whose acne still hasn’t cleared up. Unfortunately, acne is a common side effect of beard growth. But don’t start reaching for that razor just yet – if you’re willing to dedicate some effort to your skin and beard care routine, pimples won’t stand a chance.
Wash your face
Having a beard is not a free pass to slack on your facial care routine. Because the fact is that you’re more likely to develop acne if you don’t take care of your beard. During the day, bacteria, dirt, and other odds and ends collect in your beard, which can clog pores and cause acne.
If you have curly hair, this problem is exacerbated because your hair grows back into the skin (especially during the initial stages of beard growth), triggering irritation and ingrown hairs.
Get into the habit of using a facial cleanser twice daily. We like Jack Black Deep Dive Glycolic Facial Cleanser with Kaolin Clay & Volcanic Ash, which contains glycolic acid and kaolin clay to exfoliate and unclog pores.
A facial exfoliator helps prevent ingrown hairs as your beard grows by removing dead skin and dissolving sebum. The Algenist Multi-Perfecting Detoxifying Exfoliator is formulated with exfoliating granular mineral from algae to resurface skin. Exfoliate several times weekly as needed, and make sure to get down into the skin under your beard.
And don't forget to use your beard brush. Practice gentle, daily exfoliation by simply brushing your beard out with a boar bristle beard brush, which massages your skin. It will simultaneously reduce dryness by encouraging oil production (necessary for healthy skin) and evenly distributing natural oils through beard and skin.
Now that your skin is clean, it’s time to restore moisture. Skipping this step will result in dry skin, which has tiny cracks in it where bacteria can breed. Plus, you don't want to leave your skin unprotected against the elements. Try a lightweight moisturizer you can use for day and night, like Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream. Squalane restores moisture balance, while antioxidants reduce free radical damage.
Apply a beard oil to regulate your skin’s production of oil. Zeus Beard Oil with Organic Oils does double duty: 1. Safflower seed oil seals in moisture and 2. Grape seed oil acts as an anti-inflammatory with astringent properties.
Keep a beard comb with you at all times
Okay, maybe not at ALL times, but keep one handy so you can comb dirt away from your skin. The Zeus Natural Horn Medium Tooth Beard Comb doesn’t tug and is anti-static, so you’ll look good while keeping your beard healthy.
Eat well, stay well
Having a diet full of refined sugars and processed foods leads to inflammation and plugging of the follicle. These foods cause your blood sugar to spike quickly, triggering insulin production. Too much insulin in your bloodstream can lead to extra oil production. A study by the American Journal of Nutrition found that adding more whole grains, veggies, and beans into your diet resulted in fewer breakouts.
Also great for your skin? Foods rich in omega-3 and omega-6, like salmon, and nuts, which contain selenium and zinc (nutrients found to be deficient in those with acne-prone skin).
For more foods to eat for healthy skin and beard, see our post here.