Here’s Why Putting Lotion On Your Beard Is A Bad Idea

Ok, check this out guys:

When I first started growing my beard, I had no idea what I was doing.

Yes, applying lotion to my beard was a consideration (and I may have done it a few times).

I recently wrote about how lotion was (and still is) a very valid beard oil substitute.

But then I had that a-ha moment once I applied the right product to my beard and saw some great results.

Today I want to help out the guys who wander down the men’s grooming aisle of their local Target or even sift through the countless categories on sites like Amazon lost on what a good beard care product can do.

So here are a few things you need to understand about lotions and beard care.

Applying Lotion To A Beard Is A Valid Substitute

Face creams and moisturizers are great products that should be worked into your grooming routine when you have a beard or not.

They are designed from the ground up to work wonders on the naturally delicate skin found on your face.

But here’s the deal:

They are designed for your skin, not your beard.

Made to retain the moisture within your skin, they can help offset any fine lines and wrinkles and help prevent dryness and flaking.

But when applied to your beard, they only help when your beard is just a short stubble.

Anything longer than a few weeks of growth, you run the risk of the lotion clumping and not doing a lot for the cuticles on the beard follicles themselves.

So, if you have been growing your beard for some time and still wonder why it feels so rough – this is the primary reason.

But what about body lotion?

Yeah, body lotion isn’t going to perform much better.

Body lotion is made for thick and coarse skin.

For the men who are aiming to have a bit of a longer beard (i.e., a few weeks of growth), then read on:

What’s Going On At The Surface Level When Your Beard Is Itchy

Now you probably have experienced beard itch first hand; it’s annoying.

Seriously, scratching your beard like you are some back alley meth addict isn’t the most pleasant experience in the world.

While true, a lotion on your beard can help to alleviate some of that itch as it will moisturize that intensely dry skin; it’s not going to be the cure-all (and the reason why you probably keep getting beard itch regularly after you apply a lotion).

Now I don’t want to get in the weeds when it comes to the reason for the repeated beard itch, so we will keep it light.

Your skin and beard need oil and moisture (read about the importance of the Epidermal Barrier) to look and feel great.

You have sebaceous glands that excrete sebum oil on your face for the oil side of things that help to lubricate your skin and beard.

What does this mean for your face?

It makes your skin and beard feel pretty damn smooth and provides a nice light sheen to it (non-greasy).

This sebum oil also doubles down to help retain the moisture within your skin.

Think of this sebum oil as an extra barrier for your skin that locks in water.

Now on to the moisture bit for your face:

When it comes to beard itch, it’s primarily due to your skin getting dried out.

You see, those sebaceous glands that are pumping out the sebum oil to coat your face and beard, well, they are finite in size.

This means that they never increase their production as your beard gets longer.

Eventually (typically a month’s worth of growth), a man’s beard outpaces the sebum, and your beard essentially dries out your skin.

This is where you need either more moisture or a better barrier.

The only way to do this is to either drink more water (remember, eight glasses a day) or apply an oil to your skin to lock in the moisture.

Unfortunately, with long beards, applying a lotion to your beard will be increasingly difficult.

So, if you are serious about looking and feeling a fair bit better, you want to start at least looking at beard care specific products.

Know When To Upgrade To A Beard Related Product

Now, I know for many men, the last thing they want to do is apply another product in the morning – and I don’t blame you!

If you are running out the door to beat the rush hour traffic or have a few little ones demanding your attention, adding another part of the grooming routine is probably not ideal.

But if you want to get rid of beard itch, have a better-looking beard, and save a few bucks for your kid’s college fund, then you will want to pay attention to this part:

Beard oil or beard balm will be the products you want to invest in.

These all-natural products are not only going to make your beard look better but feel a heap better as well.

While I won’t go into the nuances of the products too much, just know this:

Beard oil is a mixture of a carrier and essential oils.

These oils help retain that moisture in your skin and beard that will alleviate any beard itch.

Beard balms are like beard oils but with added shea butter and beeswax.

They are a bit more intense moisturizers and perfect for men who live in arid climates or are in desperate need of getting a healthier beard.

Both products typically range in the $10 to $20 price range and can be found mostly online and in local drugstores.

Just be sure that when purchasing a beard oil or beard balm, get a natural one, not one that has been loaded with synthetic fragrances or other chemicals.

Beard Products Are Likely Cheaper Than A Face Lotion

collection of several beard oils next to one another

Now check this out:

Face lotions can get expensive.

Even just applying these to your skin regularly, you can use up an entire bottle within a month or two.

Once you start applying this stuff to your beard, you can cut that time in half.

I don’t know about you, but I am not made of money.

Therefore, if there is a way I can save a few bucks AND get better results, you will have my complete and undivided attention.

This is why I ALWAYS suggest men go with beard oil over a lotion on their beard.

Given that it’s a liquid (and oil) solution, a little will go a very long way.

And if you are a guy who likes scents, you can even find some that will smell downright amazing.

Wrapping It All Up

So, when it comes to lotions, beard oils, and beard balms – they all can work reasonably well.

But as soon as you get a slightly longer beard, you will want to make sure that you upgrade to a product designed for beard use.

Not only will you save money, but you just simply get much better results than if you were applying a lotion regularly.

In the end, you will feel confident and love your beard even more!

Adam Williams

As the lead editor of Tools of Men, Adam loves men's grooming products. Particularly of interest is managing facial hair and perfecting the art of the modern man's skincare routine. His work has been featured or quoted in several publications, including New York Magazine, Vice, Sharpologist, MIC, Elite Daily, and more. When Adam isn't working, he enjoys spending time with his two little kids who keep him both on his toes and young at heart.

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