August 02, 2022

So you’ve read that a healthy beard is one that’s hydrated and moisturized. But what exactly does that mean? And how do you achieve it?

Does it mean you can slather some regular face moisturizer on your beard and make it awesome that way? Will that even work?

The answer is a mixture: plenty of no mixed with a minimal yes.

When you’re a bearding newbie, we get it that the huge range of advice and products can be confusing. (We’ve been there, friend). So it may initially make a lot of sense to think applying a face moisturizer to your beard will help. After all, it’s cheap, quick and simple. 

But for reals, for a truly spectacularly sexy and silky beard, you’ll be way better off using specialized beard grooming products and leaving the face moisturizer for exposed skin only. We’ll explore why below…

What do we mean by “Yes and No”?

The yes side:

  • A regular face moisturizer or lotion can provide a few benefits to your beard, mostly by assisting the skin beneath it. A top-notch beard begins from within, so healthy, happy and hydrated skin makes for the basis of a healthy, happy and hydrated beard.
  • Overall, face moisturizer shouldn’t hurt your beard, provided it’s a quality product and free from harsh chemicals.
  • Moisturizer can work reasonably well on a stubble-length beard. But again, assuming it doesn't harvest nasty, drying chemicals - and you wouldn't believe how many face moisturizers do.

The no side:

  • Facial moisturizers are designed for skin, not hairs. The two things have very different needs.
  • Moisturizer isn’t much use for any beard longer than stubble. You should be using a specialized beard oil and beard moisturizer instead.
  • A face moisturizer does pretty much nothing good for conditioning your whiskers themselves to look and feel spectacular. If anything, it will leave them clumped, greasy, dull and weighty, which makes brushing difficult and makes styling with a nourishing beard balm almost impossible. 
  • Some cheaper moisturizing products contain ingredients that can actively harm facial hair, especially parabens, mineral oils, alcohol, formaldehyde, artificial colors, even petroleum-based products.
  • When you have a beard, some lotions and moisturizers can even combine with skin flakes and dirt and bacteria to block your pores and follicles, creating a beard acne problem.

Will face moisturizer damage my beard?

Overall, no. At least it shouldn’t - unless it contains the nasty chemicals we just mentioned. It just doesn’t care for your beard the way proper beard grooming products will.

So what IS regular face moisturizer good for?

You should definitely keep some face lotion in your bathroom cabinet, because it’s great for looking after your exposed facial skin. Moisturizing can keep that skin from drying out, cracking and flaking, while reducing the appearance of wrinkles and evening out complexion.

Can I put body lotion on my beard?

Don’t bother. Sure, we understand the temptation because body lotion is designed for being applied to thicker, coarser skin where plenty of hair might grow. But if you put this stuff on your beard, expect clumped and clogged whiskers that look dull and lank. You’re also more likely to develop greasy skin, clogged pores and beard acne.

So what do I do?

“If moisturizer is for skin only and not designed for beards, what am I supposed to do to properly CARE FOR BOTH TOGETHER? How do I find the balance between the two?”

Valid questions. The whole thing can get a bit confusing. So we’ll simplify things now with a routine that’s easy to follow. And this routine brings outstanding results regardless if you live in the swampy humidity of Louisiana, the arid dustiness of Arizona, or the wild punishing extremes of Alaska.

A Great Moisturizing Routine for beard & face

STEP 1: Wash

Use a dedicated beard wash that will cleanse your prized whiskers and skin beneath without sucking away the natural moisture and sebum oil from both. Regular shampoo or soap acts like paint stripper to make skin look like the cracked mud plains of Death Valley.

STEP 2: Pat dry

Use a towel to pat your beard until it’s almost dry. Don’t rub because that tugs on hairs and encourages knots. And don’t blow dry your beard because it will dehydrate badly – skin will crack and flake, while hairs will become brittle, weak and prone to split ends.

STEP 3: Beard moisturizer

This is one of the key magic ingredients in the process. It ain’t your regular moisturizer. It’s designed to strike that balance between moisturizing skin and hairs, leaving both soft and easily manageable, with no greasy residue. A pump or two is all you need. Then lovingly rub it into your beard and down to the skin to create that barrier to lock in the hydration.

STEP 4: Beard oil

This elixir adds the sheen and glow that makes it impossible for the women to keep their hands off your face forest! Plus it doesn’t hurt if it has an alluring scent as well. After the beard moisturizer, rub a couple drops between your hands and stroke your beard right down to the skin. It’s designed specifically to work happily with both skin and hairs. It should tackle that itchy flaky beardruff, add the nourishing power of pure carrier oils, provide a glossy shine, soften any wiry or coarse or dry hairs, tame flyaways, and make your beard easier to brush and style. Again, no residue, despite it being an oil.

STEP 5: Brush, brush, brush

No combs! They don’t spread oil and moisture evenly. Plus they tug. An all-natural wild board bristle beard brush has been the #1 choice of beardmeisters for ages. It will caress your thatch into shape, spread oil perfectly, and gently but firmly remove any flakes, dirt and debris.

STEP 6: Beard balm

For that oh-so-important styling and shaping, as well as that final touch of nourishing protection to hold the moisture of the beard oil and beard moisturizer against the hair strands, all day long.

STEP 7: Regular face moisturizer

Apply regular face moisturizer on your cheeks, forehead, nose and around your eyes only. Don't forget your neck, if you shave closely there.

So, that should arm you with the info about how to really hydrate your beard. Sure, you can use a regular face moisturizer on it and get some benefits. But there’s no way that will provide your hairs with the devastating softness and awesome shine you really desire.

Look to the guys with the best beards out there and it’s a sure bet not one of them rubs everyday moisturizer into his face’s prized asset. They didn’t develop the best beards by cutting corners. They followed the best advice, got the right tools and products, and adopted simple everyday routines that get the job done.

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