Dry Skin Under Beard? Here’s How To Cure It

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There is nothing worse than having dry skin under your beard.  It’s uncomfortable, and with time begins to get unsightly with the development of beardruff (i.e. dandruff on your beard).

I promise to show you just how easy it is in order to cure dry skin underneath your beard with these two steps.

Before you know it you will have that dry skin resolved within about a weeks worth of time (or even shorter)!

Why Is Your Skin Getting Dried Out In The First Place?

To understand what is causing your dry skin beneath your beard, we need to take a look what is going on at the surface of your skin.

So around each one of your whiskers on your face (and even head for that manner), you have these tiny glands called sebaceous glands.  They are responsible for keeping your follicles hydrated and moisturized.

If you didn’t have the sebaceous glands at the base of your follicles, your beard would be like straw and susceptible to split ends – simply put you would never ever want to grow a beard because it would be just so darn uncomfortable.

But what’s worse is your skin…

You see at your skin level, the sebaceous glands excrete an oil (called sebum oil) that hydrates your skin in order to keep the top layer durable.  Without this moisture you would have an incredible amount of flaking and likely a really sore face otherwise.

So why is this important?

As your beard begins to grow in, its usually not all that itchy.  Especially for the first couple of weeks.

This is because the sebaceous glands can actually produce enough oil to keep pace with your beard growth.  Even if you were taking supplementary beard growth products, the sebaceous glands would be able to keep up.

Unfortunately though, your sebaceous glands are finite in size.

What does this mean?

Well as your beard gets longer, typically about a months worth of growth, the sebaceous glands just simply can’t keep up with the demand required from your whiskers – this is why dry skin begins to occur.

Now here’s the deal:

This is a natural part during your beard growth process.  However though, there are environmental factors that can actually speed up this process and put way more stress on your sebaceous glands.

Here’s how:

Detergents Shouldn’t Be Used On Your Beard

bearded man

When we say detergents, we aren’t talking about your laundry detergent that is resting on top of the washer.

Instead we are speaking specifically about your shampoo or bar of soap that you use to wash your beard.

You see when you use a product that is loaded with chemicals and heavy detergents, they can dry out your hair.  Even the professional hair stylist Alli Webb said that ‘its completely fine to go a few days without shampooing’.

Your beard is no different.

While it might be tempting to grab your favorite shampoo and splash a bit on your beard, you should start to restrict this activity since its stripping your beard of all the vital vitamins and nutrients that your sebaceous glands secrete.

So is there an alternative?


Many of the most popular beard manufactures are getting on board and are making shampoo’s specifically for your beard.  In fact we go into great detail reviewing the top beard shampoos in a recent post we wrote.

But what sets these shampoos apart from the rest of the bunch?

Well first and foremost, these shampoos are using natural ingredients as opposed to harsher detergents used by large shampoo manufacturers.

Therefore these beard shampoos like to use ingredients like coconut oil, olive fruit oil, sodium hydroxide, and castor seed oil to just name a few.

The key takeaway for these natural ingredients is that they compliment your natural sebum oils rather than having the goal of just strictly stripping them away.  It’s a much gentler way of cleaning your beard overall and one that we highly recommend.

For a more detailed review of the best beard shampoos, click here.

The Choice Is Yours, Beard Oil or Beard Balm

making your own beard oil vs buying it

Much like a quality beard shampoo, beard oils and balms act as conditioners and contain very similar ingredients.

Primarily beard oils and balm contain just a handful of ingredients.  In fact, the solutions are so simple, its incredibly easy to make your own beard oil and save a few bucks if you are more of a hands on type of guy.  Same goes for making beard balms as well.

When looking on the side of your favorite beard oil, you will typically find two (maybe three) key ingredients – carrier, essential, and vitamin oils.

Within a beard oil you have carrier oils which make up about 95% of the solution.  Popular carrier oils used by beard oil manufacturers include jojoba, argan, and sweet almond oils to just name a few.

Oils like jojoba and argan are incredibly mild and are extremely effective at curing that dry skin underneath your beard.  If its your first ever time trying a beard oil, you should check out our review of all the top brands – plenty of which use a carrier oil like jojoba or argan as a base.

What makes a beard oil and actual beard oil though?

Essential oils.

Sure you can definitely just slop some jojoba oil on your face and call it a day, but why stop there?

Essential oils add quite a bit of life to any carrier oil and provide additional benefits as well.

There are a ton of essential oils on the market – therefore to list them all here would be overkill.  A quick Google search will yield you plenty of results.

However just know this when it comes to beard oils – some of the most popular essential oils are cedar wood, pine, eucalyptus, and tea tree oils.  They are considered “manly” scents that are similar to that classic woodsy smell most men are looking for.

But don’t just get tied up with the manly smells as you can also find oils that have lavender or citrus based scents as well – it all comes down to personal preference.

As far as additional benefits, you will find that essential oils like tea tree oil are actually natural antiseptics and will help reduce the occurrence of acne.

Lastly, a rarer ingredient you typically find in only the nicest of beard oils is a Vitamin E oil.  Vitamin E is great for your overall hair and skin health.  Therefore makes for an excellent addition to most beard oils.

Now when looking at beard balms – they contain everything we covered so far plus two additional ingredients – butter and wax.

While we go over in great detail about beard balm in this post, just know this:

The butter in a beard balm is typically a shea or cocoa butter and acts as an additional conditioning agent.

Basically its an extra layer of moisture for your skin much like a shea or cocoa butter would be if you were to pick up a nicer lotion at the store.

The wax within a beard balm does provide a slight hold for your beard (should you be looking for a stronger hold, then you want to check out a mustache wax).

But when it comes to preventing your skin from drying out under your beard, beeswax will act as a great protectant for your skin at locking in the moisture – therefore you just simply can’t go wrong with using a beard balm if you have dry skin.

If you are looking for recommendations on the best beard balms available, check out our detailed reviews.

Your Dried Out Skin Is Cured – Now What?


Those are the absolute two key steps you need to know in order to keep your skin hydrated properly while sporting a beard.

Now as we covered earlier, beard length will determine the amount of beard oil, balm, or beard shampoo that you will need to use on a monthly basis.

We wrote on a few of the best beard oils specifically designed to keep your skin moisturized in this post – so be sure to check it out.  However if you are looking for intensive care for your skin, we recommend also purchasing a beard balm as well.  Double dosing both and oil and balm will make a world of difference when it comes to comfort and curing that dry skin underneath your beard.

About Shawn Burns

Shawn Burns is the founder and senior editor of Tools of Men. He started this site with the goal of teaching men proper grooming habits and sensible style. Shawn's expertise includes in-depth product reviews and how-to articles. Shawn was recently featured in the Wall Street Journal for his expertise.

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