Have you ever felt a twinge of envy when you think that women don't have to shave their faces every day? They do not have to deal with razor cuts, ingrown hairs and annoying irritation. They never have to ponder this ultimate question – to shave or not to shave.
If yes, then read on. You are about to learn how your amazing beard keeps your skin looking younger, regardless of whether you shave your beard or let it grow. You will learn how your beard can protect your skin from the effects of UV-radiation and other damaging environmental factors. You'll learn that your beard may help you attract the attention of women, regardless of whether they think they like bearded men or not. Most importantly, you will learn how to keep your beard looking good, and your shaved face - free of irritation and razor bumps.
There have existed many times in human history when a beard was considered an essential attribute of masculinity. This made the lives of many "beardless youths" miserable, since, until they managed to grow a beard, no one would take them seriously. In present times, most men prefer to shave their faces every day. And yet, shaved or not, the beard continues to play a very important role in male skin physiology.
In female facial skin, small hair follicles produce fine, thin and short vellus hair. In male skin, hair follicles produce thick, terminal hair. Usually, beard hair is coarser and thicker than scalp hair and it has even larger follicles. As scientists discovered, those exceptionally large hair follicles and coarse hair shafts in male skin, serve as an additional support, making the skin firmer. When female skin starts losing collagen, elastin and glycosaminoglycans, it develops wrinkles very quickly. On the contrary, male skin may lose just as much collagen, while remaining relatively smooth. This interesting fact became apparent when more and more men opted to have their facial hair removed by lasers. Since lasers destroy not only hair shafts, but also hair follicles, after laser hair removal many men who had these procedures found that their facial skin became thinner, softer and more wrinkled.
If you wear a beard, your skin has additional protection from UV-radiation. However, even if you shave, your skin still has better protection when compared with female skin, especially if you have dark colored hair. If you shave, your skin has many large, melanin-loaded hair follicles and thick hair shafts traversing the dermis, offering good protection from UV-radiation. This also helps preserve male skin and delay aging.
Not many men use anti-aging cosmetic products; however, shaving itself is a very effective rejuvenating procedure. Every time you shave, you remove a thin layer of upper skin, which triggers skin renewal. Remember though that everything comes with a price, and the benefits of a beard are counterbalanced by certain challenges of male skin care.
If you shave, you may have cuts, skin irritation and razor bumps or ingrown hairs. If you grow a beard, you need to trim it regularly and think how to keep it clean and looking good. Facial hair can easily become a platform for bacterial growth. This is important, because under the influence of testosterone, male skin produces more skin oil and sweat than female skin. When bacteria feed on a mix of oil and sweat, they produce chemicals that can give your skin an unpleasant smell.
No wonder that the most popular products in the male skin care market are products that improve shaving, reduce shaving complications, soothe irritation, deodorize and cleanse the skin.
Cleansing Tips for a Healthy Beard
Use a mild cleanser with a neutral or slightly acidic pH. Do not use soaps, since they are too alkaline and may increase skin irritation. If you have a beard, you may use shampoo and conditioner on your beard. Conditioner will help make your beard softer and add an especially well-groomed look.
We recommend Dr. Pickart's Cleanser for gentle and thorough skin cleansing. This is a perfectly balanced cleanser for sensitive skin that comes in a liquid or bar form – whatever is more convenient for you.
If your beard doesn't look as luxurious as you wish it to, you may consider using hair products that improve the appearance of thethickness of your hair such as ones that contain copper peptides. Even though the growth of your beard is determined genetically (and of course has nothing to do with masculinity), using hair rejuvenating products may help achieve the look of a more uniform and full beard.
To gain the appearance of a fuller and well-groomed beard, explore our Folligen hair products.
When attempting to grow a beard, many people experience itching. Also, frequent shaving (especially if you have light colored, thin skin) may cause redness and irritation. Unfortunately, many after-shaving creams and products only serve to further increase irritation, because they are loaded with skin- damaging chemicals.
So when dealing with itchy skin, keep it simple. What you want is to seal and soothe your skin, not open up a chemical warfare on it. We recommend Emu Oil for Hair. Skin Biology's Emu Oil for Hair is supplemented with anti-oxidants (such as lutein, tocotrienols and tocopherols) and contains 1% saw palmetto oil to improve the appearance of thinning hair.
For after shaving use Bioheal – this easily absorbed cream soothes and cools delicate skin on contact while visibly reducing irritation. It contains Dr. Pickarts copper-peptides, squalane from olive oil, calming Aloe Vera, and plant antioxidants.
Reducing razor bumps
Razor bumps (or pseudofolliculitis barbae) are small red bumps on the skin that appear soon after shaving. They are caused by hairs that curl back and grow into the skin. This problem is especially common among men with thick, curly hair.
To reduce razor bumps take hot showers before shaving – this will help soften the skin. Or wash your face with a warm towel. Shave in the direction your hair growth. After shaving, rinse your face with cold water or press a cold cloth to your face.
The thicker the layer of skin, the greater the chance of developing razor bumps. This is why you may want to try products that contain exfoliating hydroxy acids. For example, Skin Biology's Lacsal Serum contains two naturally occurring exfoliating acids – salicylic and lactic. The serum is easy to use and absorbs in minutes.
The Law of Attraction
Did we promise you to tell about attracting women? This may be the true reason why men may go to such great lengths to grow a beard. The beard is an excellent launching site for pheromones – scented molecules that are used in animal communication. Some pheromones are light molecules and travel large distances, while others are heavier substances that act only with close physical contact. Heavy pheromones become airborne when the skin is heated, such as during a dance or workout.
There are many different kinds of pheromones – contrary to popular belief, not all of them cause immediate sexual arousal. Many will just make you appear more interesting, will cause people to try to get close to you or will cause people to act friendlier. Pheromones are the ultimate players in human bonding. This is why even though it is important to keep your beard clean, try not to be too overzealous – you may wash away your pheromones.
In conclusion, even though daily shaving may be a pain and growing a beard – not an easy task, the structure of male skin has many advantages. Due to large hair follicles deposited in the dermis and thick hair shafts traversing the skin, male skin maintains its firmness longer than female skin. It is also better protected from elements.
Furthermore, a beard may even make you more attractive to the opposite sex, by serving as a launching site for pheromones. However, it is important to take a good care of your skin to reduce annoying complications such as itching, razor bumps or an unpleasant fragrance. Use a mild cleanser for skin and a mild shampoo and conditioner for a beard. If you are not satisfied with the way your beard looks, explore hair beauty enhancing products. To reduce itching, use simple skin soothing products like Emu Oil.