How to Wash Your Face When You Have a Beard : Detailed Guide

Learning how to properly wash your face when you have a beard is important for all bearded men. When you do not have a beard, you do not have to worry about drying out the skin underneath a beard, you can wash and moisturize daily or even more often without having to worry.

I will divide the face into two sections. The facial skin that is above the beard line, and the facial skin that is underneath the beard. These sections need to treated differently. To cut the perfect beard line, I suggest that you pick the best beard trimmer for your face (click to see my recommendations).

Washing The Portion of Your Face that is Above Your Beard

Washing the part of your face that is above your beard line can be done quite often if you are doing it correctly. You do not have to totally avoid getting your beard wet when washing your face, but you do not want it to be exposed to the harsh soaps and other products that you may be using on your beardless face. These products are too abrasive and they will play havoc with the natural oils contained in your whiskers.

Genetically speaking, whiskers created oils to protect us from harsh weather. It is the same principle as to why certain birds have greasy feathers. It is a way to shield out moisture and to protect the skin to exposure to toxins.

Nevertheless, just because you may feel that the oils are not necessary for your survival, your beard requires the oils to stay healthy. Adding strange tough soaps and other unnatural skin products to your beard is simply not a good plan.

I did some research to find out how many times on average a bearded man washes his face that is above his beard. Surprisingly, it was daily. Personally, I wash my facial skin that is above my stubble beard numerous times per day because I work out 5 days a week and I tend to sweat a lot. I personally use Dove for sensitive skin (click to see pricing on Amazon).

So, I guess that it depends greatly on the length of your beard. There are men that add styling gel to their beards, especially if they have a style that is similar to a handlebar mustache along with having a beard.

My research also revealed to me that some men only wash their beards once a week, but it was usually men that have longer beards. The amount of work involved to simply washing their beard made them justify only washing their beards one time a week.

These long-bearded men try not to get facial soap and other skin conditioners mixed into their beards. I was wondering how exactly this is done.

I found out that some men will use a sponge that has a rough surface on their beardless facial skin.

  1. They add a mild soap to the sponge and rub it in circular motions onto the skin to remove the dead skin cells.
  2. Then they fold a washcloth into a small square and wipe off the soap.
  3. Their last step is to dab dry their facial skin.

What is amazing about this technique is that they are barely getting their beards wet! I am not sure how you personally feel about this, but that sounds like a lot of work in order to avoid having water dripping into a beard. They obviously are very patient and love their beards.

Another method for washing your face above your beard is to lather it up in the shower. Using a mild hand soap, wash off the dirt and grime and then simply let the shower water rinse the soap off of your face and your beard.

There is no need to scrub away at your beard each time that you are in the shower while washing your face. If you are not exposed daily to dirt particles due your employment, rinsing it off while in the shower will keep it relatively clean.

I suggest that you use sunscreen year-round (link to Amazon) on your facial skin.  This is a skin tip that my mother told me about. She has fair skin and she swears by it. She feels that her skin is always well-protected and that sunscreen use slows down the aging of skin cells.

I agree that you should use sunscreen after washing your facial skin that is above your beard line. Even though it might be cloudy or cold outside, the UVA and UVB rays can still affect your skin.

I would suggest that you use 15-30 SPF sunscreen (I recommend Sun Bum Hypoallergenic available on Amazon) on your forehead, cheeks and on the skin that is around your eyes. If you have a large nose, it is best that use something stronger to protect that skin since it is being stretched. Use a 40-60 SPF sunscreen.

You are probably thinking that using sunscreen is silly if you live in a cold climate. Your skin can easily dry out when exposed to cold air and the sunscreen will keep more of the moisture on the surface of your skin instead of allowing it to be evaporated.

How to Wash Your Facial Skin that is within Your Beard Line

Now I will explain how to wash the skin that is underneath your beard. This area can be slightly tricky, especially if you have a beard that is extra long.

Having a long beard makes the washing of facial skin underneath it,  exponentially more difficult.  You have to rummage through a large mass of whiskers to get to the skin in order to wash it adequately.

I personally would suggest that if you want to keep your facial skin clean with your beard, you need to keep your beard well-trimmed. Click here to see my beard trimmer recommendations. I just feel that it looks better and that it will much easier to maintain.

Nevertheless, if you have a long beard, you need to wash the skin more often than the non-bearded area because it will have more problems with the build-up of dirt and grime. Also, the skin surface may contain more dead skin cells because they become trapped more easily in a large beard.

  1. Washing the skin in the beard area for a long beard should be done with a mild soap.
  2. Make sure to rinse out your beard thoroughly so that the dead skin cells and the soap will not remain in your beard.
  3. Next, add beard oil, I recommend the beard oil by Mountaineer Brand (click for pricing on Amazon) to your beard so that it will be able to retain its natural oils throughout the day.
  4. If you are using a soap that is not a mild type, make sure to add a few drops of a skin moisturizer to your beard’s facial skin after washing it.

The beard skin is easily dried out because the whiskers tend to absorb some of the moisture that is on the skin.

If you have a beard that is just average in length, you can get away with washing it more often since the whiskers that are shorter are not pulling the moisture from the face as much as with a long beard. In other words, the skin will not dry out quickly.

  1. Nevertheless, wash off the skin under a short beard using a mild soap so that you do not pull the natural oils off of your whiskers.
  2. You also can wash the skin within your beard while showering.
  3. Just ensure that you rinse out well your beard soap so that it will not be attached to your whiskers.
  4. It is also a good idea to shower for a few minutes longer when you have a beard to order to moisturize well the facial skin.

For all beard sizes, it is also a good idea to exfoliate your facial skin within the beard 2-3 times a week.

  • Rub some exfoliating cream onto your fingertips.
  • In circular movements, rub the cream gently onto your facial skin under your beard.
  • This gentle massaging will loosen the dead skin cells because of the abrasive substance in the cream.
  • With warm water, rinse out your beard.
  • It might even be a better idea to jump into the shower to rinse out the cream that will contain the dead skin cells

I had suggested adding sunscreen to other sections of your face.  I suggest that you do the same with your beard area. You can use just the 15-30 SPC sunscreen onto this skin since it being slightly shielded by your beard.

Can I Use Face Moisturizer on My Beard

I was curious as to whether or not I could simply rub in some moisturizer that I would purchase at the local drug store into my beard. I was thinking that maybe it would create a more humid environment that would be like Disney world for bacteria.

Actually, keeping your skin at the right moisture level is important. Having a beard causes the skin under the beard to become dried out and to even flake. You want to keep the skin intact or you will be dealing with the dreaded dandruff syndrome that will steer people away from you.

This problem is also called beardruff on a lot of social networks. The word is probably only found in urban dictionaries, but I thought that I would mention it.

Dry skin under the beard will become itchy, which means that you will the tendency to unknowingly scratch away at it. If you were to have breakages in this skin, the bacteria underneath your nails theoretically could enter into the whisker follicles and the integrity of the whiskers would be compromised.

Why Does a Beard Cause Dry Skin?

The whiskers do not care about your skin. They lap up the moisture from the skin leaving a desert-like environment for your beard skin. Then your flaky skin flakes off dead skin cells that get trapped in the whiskers creating dandruff filled whiskers which look bizarre.

Another situation that causes your beard skin to dry out is the use of electric heat in cooler climates. The air dries out when you use electric heat and the moisture is sucked out of your skin in general. Nevertheless, since the skin your beard is already weakened, it really stays to deal with dryness head-on.

Personally, I need to moisturize my complete face and even the bottom of my legs during the winter season. I have electric heat presently. If I do not add some cream daily during the winter, my legs will flake.

Should you use normal moisturizer on the skin under your beard? I do but I am thrifty by nature. I feel that you should buy a cream that is designed for beards. Just as a side note, this cream is not for your whiskers or your beard, it is for the skin under the beard even though it is called beard balm or beard oil.

How Many Times a Week Should you Wash Your Beard

Before doing my research, I was washing my beard each and every time that I was washing my face. I just ignored my beard altogether. It was pretending that it did not exist. This method is not advisable.

In general, washing your beard a few times a week is adequate. Of course, if you are in a social situation, such as eating spaghetti at a restaurant and the spaghetti is slapping sauce onto your beard, you should run to the public washroom and rinse it off (without using the harsh restaurant cheapo soap).

Nevertheless, depending on your profession, you may need to wash your beard quite often. For instance, if you are a blue collar worker that works at a grimy construction site,  you could wash your beard 4-5 times a week or even more times depending on the work week.

I personally wash my goatee and my mustache almost daily because I work out at my local gym five days out of seven. I touch a lot a bacteria covered benches and dumbbells and then I wipe my sweaty bald head with my toxic hands. I realize that I should not do so, but I try to focus in my reps more so than the bacterial content of gym equipment.

Once you have determined how many times is required for you personally for washing your beard, you need to ensure that you use the mildest soap humanly possible.  Normal hand soap is too harsh for the weakened skin under a beard. It contains abrasive grains that will scratch and dry out even further your beard skin.

If you enable to find a delicate soap that is designed for beards, just buy soap that is OK for babies. These soaps are usually non-perfumed and they will not hurt the eyes of a baby, so baby soap is probably fine for the typically rugged bearded man.

As a warning, even if you use a mild soap, do rub away at your whiskers. They will be relatively clean anyhow if you were to rinse them often enough to wash out dirt, grime, and stray food particles during the day.

Washing vigorously your beard can dislodge weakly anchored whiskers and you may also stretch the follicles which will allow bacteria to enter into your skin.

Your whiskers are receiving sebum oil from their respective follicles that keep them oiled up. You do not wish to create an imbalance in the oil concentration in your whiskers. Try to focus in on the skin instead of the whiskers.

My next topic will cover whether or not you need to exfoliate as well as wash your beard.

Does Exfoliating Help Beard Growth?

Exfoliating is something that men are more concerned about presently compared to the past. Many men believed that male skin was toughest and more resistant to harm than the delicate skin of a woman. This is not a true statement.

We all have dead skin cells. The skin is the largest organ in the body and it regenerates itself every 27 days. Eek, are we snakes? 

Exfoliating the skin under beard is not a miracle cure for a patchy beard, but it is helpful. It restores the strength level of follicles and de-clogs pores that may have bacteria lurking inside of them.  Also, it will be easier to keep your beard free of dead cells if you were to have some control over the level of skin cells that are present on your skin.

You need to exfoliate within your beard surface at least once a week to remove the dead skin cells that flaking off. Nevertheless, I personally rinse my beard off with water quite often, especially after brushing my teeth.

The sudsy toothpaste can actually clog facial pores and it can cause an ugly pasty mess in your beard if you do not rinse it off. 

Another good reason as to why we need to exfoliate our beard skin is because combing a beard will stir up the dead skin cells. Many men comb their beard and mustache numerous times daily.

If you were to use one of those tiny cheap black plastic combs that were popular in the heyday of Brylcreem, the comb imperfections are probably ripping free dead and partially dead skin cells. 

Good luck with your goal of washing your face while sporting a beard. Just be aware that you do have skin under your beard even though it is less apparent when a thick beard covers most of that skin.

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