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Put down your razors! By now, you’re likely already familiar with No-Shave November, maybe you’ve even participated in years past. The concept is pretty self-explanatory and it’s a fun initiative to raise awareness about a really important cause—cancer, with the idea being to fully embrace your hair, which so many cancer patients lose during treatment. It’s not always easy to grow and maintain facial hair (as many of you know) and unfortunately grooming and trimming are often left to the wayside, especially when you only have a beard one month out of the year. But the truth is, just like your skin care and hair care routines are essential to looking and feeling your best, your facial hair is in need of a grooming routine all its own! Whether you revel in No-Shave November or secretly dread it, these facial hair tips are important to keep in mind come November—or any time you let your facial hair grow.
You should really be using a facial cleanser twice a day all year round (per guidelines from the American Academy of Dermatology) and also after you sweat, but this is especially important to keep in mind when growing out your facial hair. That’s because when you don’t cleanse often enough, dirt, sweat, and even bacteria can accumulate in the hair follicles on your face, which can lead to breakouts and inflamed follicles. Pick a cleanser formulated specifically for men, like the L'Oréal Paris Men Expert Hydra Energetic Extreme Cleanser Infused With Charcoal.
Just like cleansing should be a part of your daily skin care routine, so should moisturizing. Use a daily anti-aging moisturizer that’s formulated for men and provides UVA and UVB protection, like the L'Oréal Paris Men Expert Vita Lift SPF 15 Anti-Wrinkle & Firming Moisturizer. Even if wrinkles don’t particularly concern you, moisturizing daily will help fortify your skin and protect against things like redness and irritation.
Editor’s note: Moisturizing is an especially important step during the fall and winter months when the outside air is colder and inside air tends to be drier. For more on how your skin care routine should transition in time with the changing weather, read our article 6 Fall Skin Care Tips for Men.
This step is often overlooked but its super important. A beard moisturizer will not only help keep the skin underneath your facial hair smooth and hydrated, but it can also help soften and condition your facial hair. Pick a formula that does the job without leaving you feeling greasy, like the L'Oréal Paris Men Expert 3-Day Beard Moisturizer. Simply apply to your cleansed skin and beard in the morning or evening, as needed.
In the same way that trimming your hair regularly can help it grow stronger and longer, trimming your beard as needed is good practice. Even if you’re trying to obtain more length, it’s a good idea to trim to help shape your facial hair. Nobody likes the look of a beard that’s unruly or out of control.
Treat your beard like you do the hair on your head—that is to say, wash your beard in lukewarm water using a moisturizing shampoo that’s made specifically for beards. Facial hair is still hair, after all, and it needs to be cleaned regularly.
Touching your beard or mustache too much can irritate your skin and trap dirt and debris from your hands, which can result in blemishes. Besides, if your facial hair is feeling itchy, that’s a tell-tale sign that you need to moisturize.
Come December, when you do finally decide to shave it all off, be sure to follow up with an after-shave balm to help soothe and protect your skin. If you're considering ignoring this step, just remember, your skin has been hiding underneath facial hair for a number of weeks and will be in need of extra protection. Reach for an after-shave balm that’s formulated with hydrating vitamin E and without alcohol (which can irritate skin), such as the L'Oréal Paris Men Expert Hydra Energetic After Shave Balm.
For more in the way of facial hair removal tips, read our article The Guy’s Guide to Taking Care of and Removing Facial Hair.