Skincare for men: what to do about beard acne, razor bumps, ingrown hairs

The wise guy’s guide to beard-related acne

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Curology Team
Jul 16, 2018 · 3 min read

We’re here to share what we know — but don’t take it as medical advice. Talk to your medical provider if you have questions.

What causes beard acne?

If you’ve got a beard or you’re growing yours out, just keep it clean and your skin should be pretty happy. If you don’t cleanse well enough, all sorts of gnarly things can happen in there: dead skin cells build up, bacteria proliferates, and that’s how zits happen.

Also, if you use any products on your beard, watch out for any ingredients in them that might irritate the skin underneath.

Otherwise, it’s shaving you want to watch out for! Between the irritation from the friction, the increased likelihood of ingrown hairs, and the possibly problematic ingredients in shaving products, shaving makes breakouts more likely. Here’s one super-essential tip: avoid using aftershave (or any product) that contains alcohol. It’ll increase inflammation and irritation, dry your skin out, and increase the chance of breakouts.

How to avoid razor bumps?

The key is to not shave too close to the skin. Using an electric razor, a single-blade disposable, or a razor made specifically for PFB (such as the Bump Fighter Razor) may be helpful. The “wet shaving” technique with a single- or double-edged blade is also a popular technique. Some people find that an electric clipper set to leave a five-o’clock shadow (a little bit of stubble) gives good results.

Step 1. Start by soaking the beard with a shaving cream for several minutes.

Step 2. Shave with the grain — not against the grain. Don’t apply too much pressure on the razor.

Step 3. Shave each area only once.

Step 4. Shave frequently enough to keep the beard hair long enough to be out of the follicle, but short enough to avoid ingrown hairs.

Step 5. For easily irritated and sensitive skin, try one of these soothing shaving products to help fight razor bumps and decrease the risk of ingrown hairs:

Ingrown hairs: the bane of your beard’s existence

Hair that grows back after shaving may fail to grow out of the skin, curling inside the follicles under the skin. Ingrown hairs, aka pseudofolliculities barbae, may cause inflammation and breakouts. One good way to deal with this is by using your Curology cream every day! The ingredients in Curology fight acne, inflammation, and hyperpigmentation with a custom-made-for-you formula that’s stronger than anything you can get over-the-counter. That said, over-the-counter anti-acne ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid can also be helpful.

What to do about ingrown hairs — before you shave

Step 1. You’ll need a sterile needle and a bright enough light — and, ideally, a magnifying mirror — so you can see what you’re doing and avoid breaking the skin too much.

Step 2. Poke the needle just underneath the surface of the skin to lift out the ingrown hair.

Step 3. Shave away!

Acne: the great equalizer

Whether your skincare routine is bare-bones or big on self-care, Curology is your best ally in the fight against acne. Even if you do nothing else but wash your face, applying your custom mix every night can help prevent breakouts and ingrown hairs, keep your skin healthily moisturized and balanced, and prevent fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of aging all at the same time. Sign up for a free trial here if you haven’t already!

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