With the world currently facing a daunting pandemic, face masks have become the new norm in an attempt to halt the spreading virus. While useful, as warm weather weekends start to stack up, the added heat and sweat locked behind your protective mask may start to irritate your beard and the sensitive skin underneath. With this in mind, shaving during summer may seem like the inevitable option.
However, before you snip it all away vowing to start over in September, you may want to reconsider. After all, shaving isn't your only line of defense against a mask that makes your beard itchy or uncomfortable. And, there's no reason to lose length you worked hard for if you don't have to.
Staying attentive to your hydration and skincare needs will help you stay comfortable this summer, whether your beard is behind a mask or not.
Here at Zeus Beard, we understand learning how to care for a beard means learning how to care for a beard all year. As your needs vary by season, we want to provide the tips you need to stay healthy. Listed below are tips that will offer your beard the most protection and comfort this summer.
Sunscreen is essential.
Photo via Instagram / @zeusbeard
While your beard and mask combo may save you from getting burned, it doesn't stop the sun's powerful UV rays from piercing through the thin layer of cotton and hair.
With too much exposure, UV rays can damage skin cells underneath and expose you to more serious risks like skin cancer.
Bearded men also face an added risk when it comes to skin cancer because unusual bumps are often hard to detect under bushier beards. To combat these risks, sunscreen offers the best line of defense against the summer sun.
Sunscreen works to absorb and deflect the sun's harmful rays so your skin and hair see less damage. Applying it 30 minutes before going outside will allow the cream to adequately soak in and bind to the skin underneath your beard. While outside, it's best to reapply sunscreen every two hours and after water activities to lower vulnerability.
When it comes to dealing with oily skin, sunscreens with natural ingredients or reduced oil can help avoid unwanted breakouts while still maintaining protection.
Don't forget to stay hydrated.
The sun is one major culprit causing a dry beard during summer but dehydration is a close competitor.
Sweating is the body's attempt to cool you down when the summer months get too hot but it also leaves your body lacking much-needed water.
That's why even when you take your mask off, your beard may still feel dry and itchy underneath.
Instead of reaching for the clippers, a couple extra bottles of water a day can improve your itchy situation. In addition, staying well-hydrated is simply good for your health, keeping your immune system running strong.
However, staying hydrated involves more than just water consumption. When you're getting ready in the morning, consider ways to lock moisture into your beard. Hydrating your strands involves using products like beard conditioners which replenish nutrients shampoos can strip away during cleansing and ingredients like Vitamin E which naturally keeps hair supple to combat issues like dandruff, beard itch and breakouts.
Create a barrier between your beard and mask for extra comfort.
Even when taking proper precautions against the sun and adding adequate water to your daily diet, a mask constantly rubbing against your beard can be just plain uncomfortable when it's hot out. Since you can't ditch the mask, it's important to create a comfort barrier between it and your beard.
Instead of fussing with different mask materials to test comfort, beard oils and balms operate as a successful natural barrier that will keep your beard comfortable and your mask effective.
Since your beard doesn't produce sebum oil like the hair on your head does, it's necessary to maintain moisture by introducing oils and balms into your routine. These products replicate the natural protection your head hair experiences and keep your beard strong against invading environmental agents.
Together, this not only reinforces the effectiveness of your mask against spreading and receiving germs but it also protects your beard from your mask. After all, the combined heat and cloth material rubbing against your beard can cause skin irritation and beard breakage if left unshielded.
When an oil or balm is applied to the beard beforehand, the mask is more likely to glide along your beard bristles instead of disrupting them.
While the current pandemic world leaves plenty of uncertainty, your beard routine does not have to contribute to your stress. Through the tips above, you now know how to care for a beard, keeping comfort mask on or mask off.
Have more beard tips for summer? Share them in the comments below.