A beard is no excuse to ignore the skin beneath it. In fact, having a beard makes a comprehensive skincare program even more important because beard hair can hide a multitude of skin issues (from acne to irritation) until they get really bad. No matter how thick, long, old, or new your beard is, you should always select products based on your underlying skin type, whether that’s oily, dry, sensitive, balanced, or some combination thereof. And just like your non-bearded friends, you need to follow your skincare regimen twice a day. Here’s a four-step gameplan:
Step 1: Wash your face (even the bearded part)
In addition to your forehead and eye area, massage your cleanser deep into your beard, in order to reach the skin underneath (be sure to include your neck as well.) This will loosen any dirt, oil, or dead cells that may be trapped at the roots. The gentle formula of our Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta AHA/BHA Daily Cleansing Gel works well on all skin types and won’t overdry skin.
If your beard is long, you may also want to wash that hair with shampoo, whether formulated for beards or for the hair on your head (both kinds work).
Step 2: Exfoliate or shave
We stan chemical exfoliation for its ability to help prevent ingrown hairs, as well as acne and uneven texture. But shaving, especially with a blade, can also be a form of exfoliation, and you never want to double exfoliate. If you plan on shaving parts of your face (like your neck) in the morning, do your chemical peel as part of your nighttime regimen.
When it comes to blade shaving, use a lubricant (like a cream or foam — never just water or eek(!) to shave completely dry skin). No matter your shaving instrument, go in the direction the hair grows, not against the grain. This will help prevent ingrown hairs from developing.
As noted earlier, choose your chemical peel according to your skin type. For example, if your skin is oily or acne-prone, try our Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Extra Strength Daily Peel; sensitive types will prefer our Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Ultra Gentle Daily Peel. Apply your peel all over your face and neck. Depending on the length of your beard hair, you can also swipe your peel over that area (chemical exfoliation is especially helpful during a beard’s stubble phase).
Step 3: Moisturize
Everyone needs moisturizer, and so does every part of the face (including the bearded area). Keeping skin hydrated reduces the chance of acne (trust us on this), as well as of dandruff, irritation, and itchiness. Just like you did with your face wash, you’ll want to massage your moisturizer deep into beard hairs, so that you reach the underlying skin. Also apply your lotion to the rest of your face and neck, of course. As we said, even breakout-prone skin needs moisturizer. Just pick one that’s made without oil. Our Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Daily Moisturizer fits the bill and helps strengthen the skin barrier, which is something all skin types can appreciate. To keep the long hair that’s grown off your face soft and smooth, you may choose to treat it with a specifically formulated beard conditioner or oil, in addition.
Step 4: Apply sunscreen (yes, even if you have a full beard)
No one gets a free pass when it comes to sun protection. However, if your beard is extremely thick, you can skip coating just that area with SPF. The same cannot be said for stubbly skin, however, or for the rest of the face and neck. In the morning, all these parts require a generous coat of an all-mineral sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Our Dr. Dennis Gross All-Physical Lightweight Wrinkle Defense Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 30 is oil and fragrance free and blends invisibly into skin.
Bonus step: Calm inflammation
Sometimes bearded skin can act up, whether it’s during the early growth stages when ingrown hairs can occur or even later, as a result of factors like stress or irritation. Whatever the cause, light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are your savior. Red LEDs help quell inflammation and work painlessly without the need for any post-treatment recovery time. Wearing our Dr. Dennis Gross DRx SpectraLite FaceWare Pro just five minutes a day (ideally after you wash your face and before you exfoliate) will help bring down any redness. Over time, daily use of our SpectraLite FaceWare Pro can help reduce acne outbreaks and treat signs of sun damage, like sun spots and other discoloration.
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