Reducing Acne by Growing a Beard Is a Myth and Here’s Why


Reducing Acne by Growing a Beard

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If you’ve been surfing the web, reading articles about beards and all other related stuff then you may have come across this myth. And if you’ve been surfing long enough, you’ll notice that it gives contrasting answers. So, I contacted a professional dermatologist regarding this myth.

According to her, she said that “…beards, on average, don’t actually have a significant effect on your skin. Even if it does, it’s still a case-to-case basis since every skin is different.

In some cases, it might help, in others, it may even worsen the acne. It all depends on the reason for your acne and if it correlates with the benefits you get from growing a beard.

That being said, let’s address the most common reasons for your acne and explain whether or not your beard had any effect on it.

The myth of the beard

Some people might’ve lessened their acne by growing a beard. Great for them! But it’s also worth remembering it isn’t the same for everybody.

Beards can help you look great but it doesn’t really help with acne. On average, people don’t really get that much of an acne-reducing effect from beards.

This is due to the difference in our skin, body, environment, and habits. Because of these differences, the effectiveness of methods and products are entirely dependent on the context.

There is no singular or uniform method for people’s skin, this is also applied to beards.

man with mustache

Causes of acne

Hormones

Males may have increased amounts of hormones called androgens which stimulate the production of sebum. Sebum will then clog your pores and create acne.

This is a common occurrence for teenagers since they mostly develop more androgens during puberty. And then, the hormones will gradually decrease along with the acne.

If this is the cause of your acne, your beard will not have an effect on it. Since it is mostly hormonal, meaning an internal issue and not external, then it should have little to no correlation.

Stress

Another internal cause of acne. Stress can dry out your skin, ramp up your oil production, and increase your hormone levels which age your skin.

If stress was the cause of your acne then it might be a coincidence that you grew your beard out at the same time you got more relaxed mentally.

Stress and anxiety are two of the most common mental health issues so it’s hard to tell if the beard helped or not.

Bacteria

If your acne is caused by bacteria, then shaving might help. Shaving removes the top layer of skin where bacteria thrives.

However, this is a common myth that has been debunked many times. Shaving does not help with reducing bacteria on the skin, it only removes the hair.

If your beard is caused by bacteria, then shaving will have no effect on it. You will still need to address the root of the problem which is the bacteria.

Medicine

Are you taking any medicine right now? Did you get acne during the period of medication? In any case, this is once again an internal issue, not an external one.

If you think that medicine is your cause of acne then having a beard has nothing to do with it. Medicine may sometimes increase androgens, the same hormones that increase during puberty, and thus do not correlate with beards.

Your environment

You may be living in either a polluted environment or a dirty circumstance. How many times do you wash your sheets? Does your area have a lot of dirt in it?

Because if that’s the case then the beard has the possibility of helping out your acne. Hair protects your skin from dirt and grime, something that irritates your face and causes acne.

That’s why our body is often covered with hair, our skin needs it for protection. It’s more of a survival trait than anything.

But, having a beard in this case is a double-edged sword which brings us to the next cause of acne which is your habits.

Your Habits Does Affect Your Skin

Cleaning your beard

As mentioned before, beards may actually harm your skin depending on your habits. If you don’t clean/wash your beard often enough then the hair will trap all of that dirt and cause acne.

Rubbing your chin

This is especially the case if you have a habit of rubbing your chin without washing your hands. Rubbing your face even with beardless skin can easily irritate it and cause acne if your skin is sensitive enough.

Scratching

If you’ve also had small pimples pop up on your chin and you keep scratching it then it will pop the pimple and lead to more acne. In this case, you will be traumatizing your skin by repeatedly offending the utmost layer with your nails.

If this is your habit then the beard can potentially help reduce your acne. It provides your skin a barrier or protection from your nails. Of course, this also depends if you’ve stopped scratching your chin when you grew your beard.

Shaving

Some people with beards irritate their skin when they shave. This is called irritant contact dermatitis.

One of the reasons for it is your blade/razor. If it’s dull, it increases the risk of irritating your skin. The same goes for blades that don’t contour your face.

In some cases, you’re just shaving too closely which can lead to friction. If so, beards can help reduce your acne.

This is because by growing a beard, you won’t need to shave too closely, lessening the contact of your blade to your skin.

Ingrown hairs

Ingrown hairs happen when you have curly beard hair. It can irritate your skin even with just stubble and cause a bumpy surface that looks like acne.

In this scenario, it isn’t exactly acne. Fixing it doesn’t require shaving your whole beard. It only needs a tweezer, just remove that area where the ingrown hair is and keep the beard, it lessens the chances of ingrown hair.

So, as you can see, the answer to the question of whether or not having a beard helps reduce acne is not always straightforward. It really depends on the person and their individual circumstances. However, in most cases, having a beard does have some benefits for people with acne-prone skin.

How to prevent acne

Shave the right way

According to a dermatologist, it’s not ideal to shave in an upwards motion. For this one, you’re shaving against the flow of your beard which may cause irritation.

The better option is to shave in a downwards motion. This way, you won’t be going against the flow of your hair. In addition, you should also shave with the grain.

This means that you should shave in the same direction as your beard grows. Not doing so can cause ingrown hairs.

Wash your beard regularly

Cleanliness is still the optimal way to keep your face acne-free, especially if this is the usual cause of your acne.

Since beards can protect but trap oils and grime on your face, they may cause acne if you’re not keeping up with your hygiene.

Use the right shaving cream

There are some shaving creams that are specifically designed to help people with acne-prone skin. Look for those that have glycolic or salicylic acid which are ingredients that can help exfoliate your skin while you shave.

Use a fresh blade

This is especially important if you have sensitive skin and are prone to acne. A dull blade can cause more irritation and might be the reason why you’re getting acne in the first place.

If you’re noticing that your skin is getting worse after shaving, then it might be time to change your blade.

You should invest in a good-quality razor that will contour to your face and won’t cause any irritation.

Keep away from unnecessary products

Seeing advertised products on tv and immediately buying them without looking at the ingredients is a big no for keeping acne clear skin.

The thing is, those products don’t really work for everybody and it’s the truth. Sometimes, your face is even better without products.

Using chemicals that aren’t necessary, especially if you have little to no problems, to begin with, can rob your face of its essential oils. When this happens, your skin is less protected and has more chances of irritation.

Beards and Acne

While beards don’t have much of an effect on acne, acne can interfere with your beard, especially if it’s still growing.

Acne happens because your skin hair follicle is being clogged by dirt or oil. And since the hair follicle is the passage for hair growth, it may prevent your beard from growing.

This happens because there’s not enough blood supply which will be very difficult for growing a beard. Acne may also damage your follicle.

The best option for preventing and reducing acne

If you’re really debating whether or not a beard has an effect on your acne or you just really want to get rid of it then you should contact a dermatologist.

Dermatologists spent years studying skin and can get you all of the help that you need for treating your acne-related problems.

They will give you advice and medication that’s based on your personal condition, skin type, and habits. This way, you can ensure that all of the expert knowledge that you’re receiving is tailored to you and you only.

Conclusion

Beards did not and still won’t have a significant effect on your acne. If you think that your acne will magically disappear because you grew one, you will be disappointed.

If you really want to reduce your acne, follow the steps above. A dermatologist will be your best bet instead of trusting a myth.

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Rick - Founder of Turbobeard

I've got my first hair on my face at about 15 years old. That's pretty early! It took me to about my 30's to consider growing it all out. After this decision, I've done tons of trial and error, and with that knowledge created this blog to help others in the same situation.

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