Movember is here! Movember is a global movement to raise awareness for men’s health issues. Men from 21 countries worldwide, grow out their beards and moustaches during the month of November, to spark conversation that leads to donating funds for: prostate health, testicular cancer and other men’s health issues.
Of course, you don’t have to sign up to help raise awareness; local Movember activities are all across the globe. However to be a part of the Movember Movement created by the Movember Foundation, follow the steps below:
Steps to Official Movember Movement:
- Shave their face on November 1st.
- Register by signing up here.
- Grow their moustache for the month.
- Attend fundraisers or one of the many Gala Parties held in the 21 countries.
Assistance on Growing Your Mo
Mo bros, is the term used amongst the Movember community, for the men who decide to grow their Mos, short for moustaches. As this annual tradition has grown larger, women known as Mo sistas, have been the driving force behind organizing fundraisers, driving teams and encouraging the men in their lives to grow out their Mo’s. Watch the following video for assistance on growing your Mo.
While not growing out their own Mos for support, (and thank God for that) some women opt to show support by taking advantage of the opportunity to not shave their legs for the month of Movember. Many fundraisers and team events, host contests with prizes offered to those with the longest growth and most funds raised at the end of the month.
While growing your Mo and beard out for showing support and raising awareness is important, many men battle with skin care issues that come along with facial hair growth. We’ve discovered there were tons of questions concerning skin care health associated with facial hair growth including: dry, itchy skin, acne, use of essential oils for your beard and other beard maintenance questions.
Most Common Beard Questions & Concerns
1. Are essential oils or organic oils good for my beard?
Essential oils contain numerous different chemicals. Many of these chemicals in and of themselves can be rather toxic and many of them are also extremely allergenic. To stay safe, stick to oils like coconut, jojoba, safflower, evening primrose, perilla, and hemp oil.
These oils tend to be on the safer side for the skin. Studies show that olive oil is actually detrimental to the skin barrier when it is applied to the skin, so it is probably best to leave olive oil just for eating. Avoid the more allergenic oils like avocado, peanut, and almond.
One reason for this is the proteins that are found in these oils; studies have shown that when food proteins are left on the skin, you are more likely to become allergic to those foods and you certainly don’t want to become allergic to avocados or nuts if you aren’t already!
2. What can I do about pimples/acne under my beard?
There are a few problems that can cause you to get pimples under your beard; one is an infection in the hair follicle itself. This is a pimple/pustule that has a hair growing out of the middle of it and is called folliculitis.
One of the most common organisms responsible for folliculitis is a bacteria called Staph. aureus.Staph. aureus can make you get pimple-like folliculitis bumps anywhere on your body and especially in your beard if you tend to pick at your face.
About 25% of people carry Staph. aureus IN their noses and when nose-picking is combined with pimple picking, this often equals folliculitis….so NEVER stick your finger in your nose! Benzoyl peroxide washes or leave-on products can be applied right to the spot of folliculitis and can really help to dry it out and kill the Staph. at the same time.
Another cause of “acne” under the beard is a condition called pseudofolliculitis barbae; pimple like bumps that really seem to be more like an ingrown hair that got out of control. This condition can be caused by an inflammatory reaction to the regrown hair itself and can sometimes be caused by a fungal infection (really rare).
When the beard hair is shaven short, it can cause an inflammatory reaction as it tries to regrow through the surface of the epidermis. The best thing to do in this case is to always leave a little stubble on your face.
Never use a single blade and start using a beard trimmer instead. You can use the benzoyl peroxide washes and leave on products on these lesions too. Be sure to leave the hair a few millimeters long so it never has to regrow through the surface of the epidermis. Laser hair removal has been shown to be helpful for this condition as well; a nice option for the neck, but not so appealing on the face.
The final thing that can cause acne pimples under the beard IS acne. To treat your acne, follow the regimen with benzoyl peroxide, but consider a visit to your dermatologist for more powerful prescription strength treatments. The most important thing you can do in any of these scenarios however, is to never, ever pick at these lesions; it will only make the condition worse and more likely to scar.
3. How often should I shampoo my beard?
You don’t need to use shampoo in particular to wash your beard. You can use a gentle facial cleanser or an acne wash in this area as well. The goal for washing the beard is to remove built up dirt and oils.
Any number of soaps and facial cleansers are sufficient. It is best to avoid soaps or shampoos that contain sulfates and cocamidopropyl betaine as these chemicals are both quite irritating, can increase the absorption of irritants and allergens through the skin and can be allergens themselves as well.
4. Is dandruff shampoo good for removing the flakes? What about the flakes that I get under and between my eyebrows?
The oil cleansing method (OCM) is also popular, but can be a problem in the beard area because it may leave too much of an oil residue on this skin that is prone to the flaking skin condition called seborrheic dermatitis. Seborrheic dermatitis is a condition characterized by overgrowth and then an immune reaction to a naturally occurring yeast called malassezia.
The skin develops a greasy scale and can be accompanied by a slightly itchy, pink, scaly rash as well. Malassezia tend to overgrow in the presence of oil (this is what it eats) thus, the skin under the beard can become susceptible to seborrheic dermatitis if it is oily. The pH of the skin is also a factor in the growth of malassezia. An optimized skin pH of between 4.6 and 5.6 tends to be a good defense against malassezia.
To determine how often to wash your beard, consider how oily your skin tends to be. The more oily your skin is, then the more often you should be washing your beard.
Seborrheic dermatitis can be minimized with more frequent washing, with the use of pH-adjusting vinegar-based washes and gels, and with the use of moisturizers that contain 18-B glycyrrhetinic acid; an anti-inflammatory molecule from licorice root that has also be shown to be effective against the yeast that causes seborrheic dermatitis. The use of dandruff shampoos that contain selenium sulfide or ketoconazole can also be helpful.
5. What can I do about dry, itchy skin under my beard and even under the eye brows?
First of all, this dry, itchy and scaly skin is actually the seborrheic dermatitis that we discussed above. My favorite treatment for dry, itchy skin under the beard or eyebrow hair is the TrueLipids Hydrate, Correct & Perfect Lotion or the TrueLipids Ceramide + Cream.
Both of these products are designed to optimized the skin barrier by replacing the optimal lipid fractions for a health skin barrier so that it will be less susceptible to irritation and overgrowth of malassezia. An added benefit is the anti-inflammatory molecule, 18-B glycyrrhetinic acid because it definitely helps to minimize the itchy, scaly problem areas under the beard.
Help bring awareness to Men’s health issues by celebrating Movember. If you would like to be a part of Movember but can’t grow a beard, you can donate to the Movember Foundation. If you have further questions regarding beard skin care tips, please visit our forum, where you can ask the doctor anything!