How it works:

  • Share your skin goals and snap selfies

  • Your dermatology provider prescribes your formula

  • Apply nightly for happy, healthy skin

How it works:

  • Share your skin goals and snap selfies

  • Your dermatology provider prescribes your formula

  • Apply nightly for happy, healthy skin

The experts guide to beard maintenance

A well-groomed beard is no accident—but it’s worth the work.

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Curology Team
Nov 11, 2022 · 7 min read

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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.
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For many people, growing a healthy beard takes time and effort, and that includes dedicating yourself to daily grooming. Caring for facial hair—as it grows and also once it’s filled in—can seem like an elaborate ordeal, but it doesn’t have to be! Whether you’re going for full, thick coverage or sparse “I swear it’s there” scruff, a little beard maintenance can make a big difference in how it looks and feels. If your goal is to have clean, healthy facial hair that showcases your rugged style, you’re in the right spot. Here we’ll tell you everything you need to know about beard grooming for beginners.  

Helping your beard grow

It’s one thing to grow a beard. It’s an entirely different thing to grow a healthy beard. But if achieving the beard of your dreams is on your bucket list, maintaining a healthy diet and staying hydrated is key. That’s not to say that genetics and your body’s natural hormone levels aren’t part of it, but you may be able to help give your hormones a boost simply by eating right. Testosterone plays a role in facial hair growth, and having too little can negatively affect beard length and fullness.¹ Eating a well-balanced diet is important for overall health - including hormone health and beard health!  

There’s also good reason to keep calm and practice self-care—which should be a priority anyway: Research suggests that testosterone levels are reduced when the body is stressed, whether that’s psychological, physical, or actual stress (like surgery). Anticipatory stress—stress caused by anticipating a difficult or unpredictable event—can also lower testosterone levels.²

Good beards start with good skincare

Growing a beard is just step one. To have a “good beard” requires some effort that includes beard care andskincare. Beard products are designed to improve the appearance of your beard, but they’re also meant to help care for the skin beneath your beard. Just as a house needs a solid foundation, so does your facial hair!

Here’s what you need to know about long and short beard maintenance and the skin providing the foundation for your beard. 

  • Wash it regularly. Just like the hair on your head, your beard needs to be washed with more than a bar of soap. If you want to put your best-bearded face forward, use a cleanser formulated for facial hair.

  • Shave correctly. Most people who grow a beard still have to shave. Always shave a clean face! You’ll want to do your best to prevent irritation and ingrown hairs, and one way to do that is to take a warm shower before shaving. After taking a shower, use shaving cream to moisturize the skin before shaving. 

  • Use beard oil. This step is optional, but it can help improve the texture and shine of your beard. Beard oil moisturizes the beard and the skin below, and it can also help prevent beard dandruff. But start slow, you don't need to use beard maintenance oil every day for a healthy beard. And if you notice an oily buildup, cut back on how much and how often you apply. Balance is key!

  • Style with beard balm. This step is also optional, but for many, beard shaping is part of creating a signature style. (You style your hair every day, so why not your beard, right?) Beard balms add volume and can help deodorize and lock in moisture. 

Here’s what Jake Swanson, a physician assistant at Curology, has to say about beard grooming:

Men with a medium to short beard length can benefit from moisturizing the area. A lightweight, gel moisturizer (like the Curology gel moisturizer or Neutrogena Hydro Boost) may just be just the thing you need to give the skin under your beard as well as the scruff some quick and easy attention. The lightweight texture allows it to disperse through the hair as you work it into the skin. This can be used similarly to beard oil. I suggest doing this right after the shower when the skin is still damp or after a nice gentle pat with a warm washcloth. 

How to maintain a beard while it’s growing

millenial man with thick beard

Here are some quick tips for keeping your beard well-trimmed as it’s coming in: 

  • Shape the neckline in a “U.” If you’re not growing a neckbeard, create a line where your beard ends and neck begins. Place your index and middle finger together in the center of your neck to get the right placement for the bottom of your beard. Imagine a “U” shape from there that connects to the back of each ear. 

  • Fade your own beard. Some people prefer to go to the barbershop for this one, but you can also fade your own beard in three easy steps to achieve a well-groomed, full-beard appearance. 

    1. Use clippers with the highest clip guard you like—the longest height—to trim your entire beard. 

    2. Choose a clip guard two sizes below that to trim from the neckline one to two inches toward the jawline. 

    3. Use the clip guard with the in-between length to blend the neckline from the lowest setting to the highest setting. 

  • Relax your face to trim your ‘stache. Rest your face when trimming your mustache. That will help maintain an even mustache with all facial expressions and ensure you trim stray hairs. Use mustache scissors and a beard comb; electric razors are usually too clunky for precision work. 

Some dos and don’ts of beards

Beards need a bit of work, but it doesn’t have to take all day. Here are a few quick dos and don’ts of beard maintenance. 

Do:

  • Clean your beard regularly using a beard wash or beard shampoo and conditioner

  • Maintain its shape by trimming it regularly

  • Use the right grooming tools—a beard trimmer, beard brush, and a shaping tool

Don’t:

  • Pick at ingrown hairs

  • Use old or unclean tools or razors 

  • Use dull razors (ouch!)

Curology loves beards!

Remember, a good beard starts with good skincare. Telling the difference between breakouts, ingrown, and razor bumps can be tough, but luckily, anti-acne ingredients can actually help treat inflammation caused by ingrown hairs too!

Man cleansing with Curology in bathroom

Curology offers custom prescription-strength topical creams with bump-busting ingredients such as tretinoin, azelaic acid, and clindamycin that treat clogged pores, clear bacteria, and improve hyperpigmentation. We’re here to take the guesswork out of your skincare routine—licensed dermatology providers work with you to examine your skin, assess your skincare goals, and provide custom treatment options. 

Getting started is easy. Simply answer a few questions and snap a few selfies to help us get to know your skin. If Curology is right for you, you’ll be paired with one of our in-house dermatology experts, who will create a personalized prescription formula to address your skincare goals.

Get your personalized skincare routine with Curology

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The first month’s on us.* Just pay $4.95 (plus tax) to cover shipping and handling. We’ll send your prescription formula and any other products we recommend straight to your door.

FAQs

How to maintain a beard while it’s growing?

  • Shape the neckline in a “U.” If you’re not growing a neckbeard, create a line where your beard ends and neck begins.

  • Fade your own beard. Some people prefer to go to the barbershop for this one, but you can also fade your own beard in three easy steps to achieve a well-groomed, full-beard appearance.

  • Relax your face to trim your ‘stache. Rest your face when trimming your mustache.

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P.S. We did the homework so you don’t have to:

  1. Miranda, J.J. and Laufgraben, M.J. Testosterone deficiency in men: Whom to evaluate, what to measure, and how to treat.Medicine and Health Rhode Island. (March 2011).

  2. Afrisham, R., et al. Salivary testosterone levels under psychological stress and its relationship with rumination and five personality trains in medical students.Psychiatric Investigation. (2016, November 24).

Meredith Hartle is a board-certified Family Medicine physician at Curology. She earned her medical degree at Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kirksville, MO.

* Subject to consultation. Subscription is required. Trial is 30 days. Results may vary.

• • •
Our medical review process:We’re here to tell you what we know. That’s why our information is evidence-based and fact-checked by medical experts. Still, everyone’s skin is unique—the best way to get advice is to talk to your healthcare provider.
Curology Team Avatar

Curology Team

Meredith Hartle, DO

Meredith Hartle, DO

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