Manly men grow beards! Well, okay, there is nothing wrong with a clean shaven man. However, many men experience complications with their shaving routines and facial hair growth. Some common concerns, include: acne under the beard, allergic reactions to essential oils and shaving creams, itchy skin and folliculitis. Folliculitis is an inflammation of the hair follicles themselves, typically associated with a fungal or bacterial infection.
One of the most common organisms responsible for the acne like bumps associated with folliculitis, is Staphylococcus aureus. This bacteria can lead to serious Staph. Infections. About 25% of people carry Staph. aureus in their noses and when nose-picking is combined with pimple picking, this often equals folliculitis. Do not pop or pick at pimples!
With all of these complications, it is not uncommon for men to see a dermatologist about how to treat these issues. Below are some beard tips and shaving care tips for manly men!
Beard Maintenance Tips
Washing your beard is a necessary step to beard maintenance. You may have recently read about fecal matter being prevalent in hipster beards? Or, perhaps you’ve read the rebuttal article, discrediting these claims? The truth is,
regardless of whether or not bacteria is present in your beard, it is a possibility, thus it is important to wash it for prevention of bacterial housing, or to remove a build up of oils, dirt and grime.
Use a gentle facial or acne cleanser to wash your beard. While there is a plethora of soaps that are sufficient for cleansing your beard, it is best to avoid shampoos and cleansers that contain chemicals including, Cocamidopropyl betaine and sulfates. Both of these chemicals are skin irritants and may increase the absorption of other allergens through the skin.
Essential oils have experienced a recent explosion of popularity. There are claims of each oil having healing properties for several things, including: headaches, stomach issues, allergies and as you may have guessed it, even beard care. The problem is that many essential oils contain
chemicals that can be toxic and extremely allergenic. It is important that you are able to decipher between those that are allergenic and those suitable for topical application to your beard.
Jojoba oil is one of the most popular oils utilized in beard maintenance and it’s typically been a safe one. Other oils that are less likely to cause irritation, include: safflower, coconut, evening primrose and hemp oil. Avoid using oils, including: avocado, peanut, almond and olive. These oils contain food proteins and by using them on the skin, you pose the risk of developing an allergy to consuming these foods! It’s best to avoid this possibility.
The following before and after photos are of an allergic reaction to essential oils on arms. As you can see, TrueLipids to helped the reaction decrease.
One of the most important elements of beard maintenance or any, skin care routine for that matter is, properly moisturizing. One of the biggest complications of selecting a moisturizer, is choosing a product that is formulated without harmful toxins and allergens. As a dermatologist, it never ceases to amaze me, about how many products are packaged for our skin that are completely toxic and detrimental to skin barrier optimization! It’s unfortunate. Especially, for those not educated about what to look for on labels so that they can avoid these skin irritants.
I have found the best moisturizing treatment for under the beard is the TrueLipids Ceramide+ Cream. The reason being for this is simple. Ceramides (Ceramide 3 in particular), combined with other long chain fatty acids and cholesterol esters, help your skin’s barrier to replenish lost essential skin lipids, as well as promoting your skin to help repair itself. Because the Ceramide+ Cream is a heavier cream than a typical lotion, you can expect optimal moisture lock. This cream will help keep the skin moisturized and repair the barrier, to help safeguard against issues such as acne under the beard or folliculitis.
Using a benzoyl peroxide acne cleanser is recommended for treating acne under the beard. If you are not successful in ridding yourself from acne outbreaks, it is best to make an appointment with a dermatologist. They may prescribe something stronger for treatment. Follow the cleansing with an application of the Ceramide+ Cream, 3-5 minutes after washing your beard.
Shaving Care Tips
If you prefer a clean shave, here are a few tips to help you avoid acne, dry skin, allergic reactions and other skin ailments associated with shaving.
It is best to use a beard trimmer rather than a single blade. If you are experiencing issues such as, razor burn, acne or folliculitis, it is best to leave a little stubble on your face.
One of the biggest issues concerning shaving gels and creams, is the topical application of known skin allergens and irritants to your face! However, many shaving creams are formulated with them. Read shaving cream labels and avoid purchasing creams formulated with known allergens!
Some common allergens found in shaving cream, include:
- Sodium laurel sulfate
- Salycyclic acid
- Clove oil
- Witch hazel
In fact, fragrance is the third most acknowledged skin allergen as causing difficulties with other skin ailments, including eczema. If you are experiencing dry skin on the face, it may be seborrheic dermatitis. The Ceramide+ Cream combined with the TrueLipids Hydrate, Correct & Perfect Lotion, will help to rid your face from this dry, itchy skin.