FRIDAY, Dec. 24, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Healthy looking facial hair starts with healthy skin – even if you're Santa.
The American Academy of Dermatology suggests some tips to prevent dandruff, ingrown hair, acne and itch under beards, goatees and mustaches, whether you've been growing facial hair for a long time or just stopped shaving during the pandemic.
"Whether your beard is close-cropped or full and bushy, skin problems can develop beneath it," said board-certified dermatologist Dr. James Ralston. "While it's common to limit facial hair hygiene to a rinse in the shower, a few extra steps can go a long way in preventing any issues and keeping your facial hair and the skin beneath it well-hydrated."
Ralston suggests washing your face and facial hair daily. Use circular motions to gently massage a fragrance-free, non-comedogenic (formulated so as not to cause blocked pores) cleanser into your skin and beard. Don't forget to rinse it out really well. Then gently pat your face dry with a clean towel.
Don't touch or stroke your beard, which can transfer dirt or germs from your hand and cause skin problems, he advised.
Consider using an exfoliating product that contains salicylic acid once or twice a week if you have stubble and are prone to ingrown hairs, Ralston recommends. Choose a product labeled "gentle" or for "sensitive skin."
While your skin is still damp, massage moisturizer through your facial hair to your skin.
If you have stubble, don't forget sun protection, he noted. Use a moisturizer containing a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
Detangle and style your facial hair while it's still wet, using a beard comb.
If shaving, apply a fragrance-free shaving oil, cream or gel before trimming or shaving your facial hair, Ralton suggests.
Timing matters. Shave at the end of or right after you shower when your hair is the softest and move in the direction your hair grows. Rinse your razor after every swipe. Apply your moisturizer, beard conditioner, or beard oil immediately after you shave.
"It can be tricky to tell what’s happening under facial hair," Ralston said in an academy news release. "If you notice a skin problem under your beard, goatee or mustache or have questions about how to care for it, talk to a board-certified dermatologist."
The U.S. National Institutes of Health has some tips for keeping skin healthy.
SOURCE: American Academy of Dermatology, news release, Dec. 15, 2021