Does Beard Cause Acne? – 7 Key Factors for Facial Hair Related Acne
So, you let your facial hair grow a beard and got acne. Man, what is that? Or maybe you want to grow a beard but you heard that you might develop acne?
What is the truth? Does facial hair cause acne?
These are your burning, irritating, acne-related questions, men, and we will try to clear them up with in-depth information about men skin types, 7 possible factors that may cause acne when you grow a beard, pros and cons of growing a beard, as well as 11 great tips to grow beard and keep acne at bay.
How facial hair cause acne?
Whether you had an acne-prone skin or no acne at all before, when you decided to grow a beard, you start to see pimples and whiteheads under your beard, for some mysterious, unexplained reason.
What’s going on? Is your skin reacting to hair? Can't it handle that much hair? Or is your hair actually clogging your pores and inflaming your skin?
What could possible cause acne when you grow a beard?
7 Key Factors That Cause Beard Acne
Most of the times, the hygiene is a problem. Men tend to neglect their looks, face, and beard. They just let the beard grow on its own, without interfering – they think it’s a male thing.
No, no, no – a beard (just like a bush in your garden), needs to be trimmed, washed, looked for. Otherwise, it becomes wild, ugly, and dirty. Help it look neat and cool, just like you are – it’s the message you want to convey to people who walk by your garden, don’t you?
Underneath your beard, your skin suffers. It perspires, it soaks, it collects dust, sebum, and (ahem) food.
You know that something it’s not right when your beard feels itchy, scratchy, dirty, and tangled. Yes, you can give your beard a wild look, but let it be a clean wild look.
Just like the hair on your head, your hair from your beard needs to be taken care of. Wash it regularly, groom it, condition it, and trim it. Do the right thing for your beard, if you want only good things to come from it.
2. Ingrown or Curled Hair
Pseudofolliculitis barbae is a condition that appears specifically on the skin under the beard. It is an inflammatory reaction to ingrown hair and can sometimes be associated with a fungal infection.
Especially if you have curled hair, this might be your soft spot. Hair curls and ingrown hair irritate the skin, triggering inflammation and acne or even aggravating it.
3. Growing Hair
The beard hairs keep pulling the oil out of the skin pores, drying them out. Then, your skin starts producing more and more oil, to cover the gap. The faster your hair grows, the faster it depletes your skin of sebum, and then, the more oil will be produced to compensate the “loss”.
Your skin works hard to try and cover the oil gap, but instead, it covers your hair and face with oil. And that’s exactly what acne needs to start breaking out all over underneath your beard.
4. Humid and Warm Medium
Your beard keeps a humid, warm, mushy, oily medium which encourages yeast, bacteria and other microbes to thrive.
If your beard is itchy (due to the mushy, humid, oily medium), you start touching and rubbing your skin (with dirty hands) which transfers sebum, dirt, perspiration, and bacteria from one spot of skin to another. Acne just can’t wait for you to do that, so it can pop-up its heads.
5. Dry Medium
As not two men are alike, their skin conditions are different. Some men can have a beard and still have dry, irritated skin. If this is your case, you should consider using natural moisturizers and oils for your skin and beard.
6. Residues from Beard Washing and Grooming Products
You use grooming products for your beard, but you don’t rinse them well from your skin. There are residues left under your beard and on your skin which clog your pores and cause breakouts.
The problem can be trigger by product themselves, as many of the lotions, moisturizers, beard oils on the market contain allergens, irritants, harsh chemical substances that can trigger acne.
Wash your face and especially your beard with water in abundance, to clean any leftover product in your beard. And read the label multiple times before buying a product for your beard or face.
7. Bacteria or Fungi
Folliculitis is when your hair follicle gets inflamed, due to fungal or bacterial infection. The most common culprit is Staphylococcus aureus, a hard to get and destroy microbe. You know that you have folliculitis when you spot hair growing out of the middle of a pimple or a pustule in your beard.
Seborrheic dermatitis is another problem. It is caused by an overgrowth of a yeast (fungi) that exists normally on the skin, just that in certain conditions (like growing a beard and creating the perfect conditions (humidity, warmth, oil, darkness) thrives.
The skin becomes pink, itchy, with a scaly rash and greasy scale. The skin under your beard can become an easy target for seborrheic dermatitis if it’s too oily, not clean and with an acid pH.
Learn Men Skin Types
Men’s skin is as unique as their fingerprints, you won’t find two alike. Your skin health depends on your genes, on your lifestyle and diet choices, and on your skin care regimen.
Skin is your largest organ. It needs to be taken proper care of with a healthy diet and lifestyle, and a healthy care. There is nothing vain or feminine about taking care of your skin as a man.
It’s just like going to the gym to take care of your muscles, just like eating healthy to take care of your body.
It’s a matter of caring for each and every part of your body in a natural, healthy way. It is all right to take care of your skin and beard as a man.
Learning what’s your skin type is the first step to understanding what you’re going through and it will help you in taking care of your skin and beard.
Your skin is nice and neat, has a matte look, small pores, is not oily or dry, and doesn’t get irritated easily when you shave or put something on it. Probably, you’ve never had acne.
Your skin has a thick layer of oil on it, large pores (like an orange), and a shiny complexion. You have many blackheads which show that your pores are clogged up with build up sebum and dirt. This type of skin often breaks up in acne.
Dry or Sensitive Skin
Your skin is dry like a thin paper, feels tight, it has small pores, and looks dull. It gets easily irritated and inflamed.
Because of the dryness, your skin often sheds flakes from your forehead, eyebrows, and beard.
This type of skin is very sensitive to shaving or too many products, that is why is difficult for you to shave (so you grow a beard) or to apply any moisturizers, gels, or creams.
This skin has a combination of types on different areas. The forehead and nose are usually oily, while the rest of the skin (cheeks and chin) are dry or sensitive.
Pros and Cons of Growing a Beard
5 Pros of Growing a Beard
Facial Hair Hides Acne
Maybe the most obvious benefit of growing beard is that it hides acne, blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, cysts and all the cohort. There is no sight of little mounds or scars underneath the hairy forest.
Phew, some of the psychological stress regarding your looks is now brushed off your shoulders (ahem, face).
Got Rid of Irritating Razors, Bumps, Cuts, and Chemicals
The drag of having to shave your facial hair around the inflamed and infected pimples is now gone. If you were among those men who got irritated after shaving, now you’re breathing relaxed – it’s all gone like a bad dream.
You don’t need to master the complicated art of shaving-around-pimples-and-acne every two days or so. No more suffering, too.
Natural Exfoliation and Unclogging
The hair that grows continuously help your skin shed the dead skin cells, expel the eventual excess sebum and bacteria from the pores. It’s a continuous movement towards outside in your pores. Your hair does and excellent cleansing and exfoliation job.
Stops Acne from the Root
Some men say that beard stopped their acne breakouts from the roots. The pH of the skin got balanced, no more excess sebum and blackheads. The skin was clear of acne. Seems like for some men, this savage look salvaged their skin and looks. All better now.
Gives You a Cool Look
Well, at least, this is a good reason to grow a beard if you don’t have problems with acne (before or after). Otherwise, your cool look will not make up for the trouble with the acne (if you get it).
Ok, so, you look mature, wise, more interesting and intriguing. Grow a beard.
3 Cons of Growing Beard
Facial Hair Causes Pimples
Some men say that the moment they started to grow beard, mustache or goatee, they also got mild or severe acne, like never before.
It’s itchy, scruffy, annoying. You feel like scratching all the time, under the beard, if you only could.
Painful pimples and whiteheads all over, underneath your beard.
Got You Pimples Due to Hygiene Problem
Your beard is a perfect trap for dirt, dust, sebum, dead cells (dandruff), bacteria, microbes, food particles (no offense, but it happens to anyone). All these taken alone could trigger acne. But all together are like a powerful and nasty concoction firing up acne.
Even if you wash your beard daily, it still happens, there is nothing you can do. So, especially if you have a sensitive, acne-prone skin, you should get your beard down. And if you see your acne appearing or getting worse under the beard, for the love of clear skin, take your beard down without hesitation.
Harbors an Acne-Favorable Medium
Humid, warm, dark (if your beard is very thick and dense) let yeast and bacteria overgrown. This means a good place for acne to start.
Even if you wash it daily, it can still give you trouble, if your skin has a tendency to make acne. Or you may have never had acne before, but these new conditions may challenge your skin and trigger acne.
Hot summer days may make the whole situation unbearable to the point that you will want to un-beard yourself as quickly as you can.
10 Useful Tips on How to Have a Cool Beard and Keep Acne at Bay
1. Wash your beard in the morning, with a natural soap or natural solid bar of shampoo and add a natural conditioner at the end.
2. Wash your beard in the evening, too, before going to bed.
3. Comb your beard daily. Use a strong comb for the beard.
4. Trim your beard every two weeks or so.
5. Change pillow cases once a week.
6. Avoid chemical cosmetics for your beard and face, choose natural products for your skin and beard.
7. Use a tea tree essential oil spray to keep the bacteria in control, the natural way (without using heavy antibiotics).
8. You may want to remove (or reduce) dairy and over processed products and junk food from your diet, reduce (or avoid, if you’re brave enough) the intake of refined sugar and oils.
9. Drink fresh fruits and vegetables juices and smoothies daily. Eat many proteins from vegetable sources.
10. Commit to a healthier diet and lifestyle that reduces inflammation in your body.
For some men, beard works wonders and clears up acne like a charm. For others, it causes or worsens acne symptoms.
So, does beard cause acne? Each man is different, has different genes, skin reaction, pH balance, hormonal levels, diets, and lifestyle, so it’s difficult to give an answer that will satisfy everyone.
It all depends on your skin type, on your hair type, on how well you care for your beard, your immune system, etc. But with the information we gave you for each particular case, we are sure that you have understood many things, you have found the answers to some of your questions, and you will be able to take better care of your beard now, providing a cleaner and clearer skin for your beard to grow without acne.
Good luck, bearded guys!