How to Stop Beard Itch
Whether you like to sport a beard year-round or only during No-Shave November, you’ve probably noticed that your beard can get itchy. But just because growing out your scruff can lead to irritated or dry skin, doesn’t mean you have to shave it off. Here, we’re sharing helpful tips for calming the dry, flaky skin under your beard to stop the inevitable itch.
What Causes an Itchy Beard?
An itchy beard, or technically itchy skin under the beard, is a common struggle for men who are trying to grow out their facial hair. According to board-certified dermatologist and Skincare.com consultant Dr. Dhaval Bhanusali, this side effect can be caused by a variety of factors.
According to Dr. Bhanusali, one of the most common causes of itchiness is ingrown beard hairs. Stubborn hairs that have been previously shaved or cut can grow back into the hair follicle instead of growing straight out, which can lead to painful, red bumps. This is most common in people with curly hair types, but it can happen to almost anyone.
Dry skin, which is especially common during the colder weather, could be the root of your itchiness, too. If your face isn’t properly hydrated, the skin can become irritated and start to flake.
How to Stop Beard Itch
Wash Your Beard
Your beard can collect food particles, dust and dead skin on a daily basis, especially if it’s on the longer side. To keep your beard clean, apply a generous amount of hydrating beard wash and rinse with lukewarm water. Steer clear of cleaning your beard with regular shampoo. It might be too harsh and strip beard hair of vital moisture and/or irritate the skin underneath.
Exfoliate the Skin
To help combat any ingrown hairs and clogged pores, try exfoliating at least once a week. Make sure you grab an exfoliator that’s powerful enough to get through thick beard hair and slough off dead skin cells, but is gentle enough not to irritate your skin. We like the Baxter of California Exfoliating Facial Scrub.
Make Sure to Hydrate
Proper beard care calls for hydration. This will soften the hair to reduce irritation. A specialized beard lotion can help provide both moisture and nutrients to keep dryness at bay.
Use an Oil
After conditioning your beard, smooth on a beard oil to further up the hydration. Kiehl’s Nourishing Beard Grooming Oil, which is formulated with an aromatic blend of sandalwood, cedarwood and eucalyptus essential oils, can help soften facial hair.
Trim Excess Hair
It can take time to grow out your beard, but once you have achieved the right length it’s important to trim it on a consistent basis. This can help your beard look more controlled and neat with reduced discomfort. Use an electric razor or small safety scissors for an even cut. Visit a stylist or barber for help if needed.
Brush Out Facial Hair
Regular brushing can give your beard a clean shape and smooth texture. Invest in a specially designed beard comb or brush, like the Baxter of California Beard Comb, for best results. It has smoothly tapered teeth and rounded tips to detangle the hair without pulling or tugging.
If you’re dealing with an itch that won’t go away or think you may have seborrheic dermatitis, Dr. Bhanusali recommends using an over-the-counter cream formulated with hydrocortisone to help relieve itching associated with irritation. “Apply this cream per the instructions on the pack,” he says. “If you don’t see an improvement, visit your dermatologist.”
Practice Good Hygiene
If you’re skipping your daily skin-care routine or using an old razor, then it’s time to make some adjustments. Swap out your dull razor for one that’s sharp and clean. Also, make sure to cleanse your skin morning and night. For a gentle cleanser, we recommend the CeraVe Hydrating Cream-to-Foam Cleanser.
Design: Hannah Packer