Beards · March 17, 2015
Don't Be Silly, Your Beard Is Perfectly Sanitary (But Here Are Some Hygiene Tips Anyway)
Recent reports are stating that beards "harbour more bacteria than clean-shaven faces." Well, duh: That's like saying, "bacteria have an easier time living on an actual, physical thing than on an imaginary, non-existent thing." Give bacteria more surface area (not to mention a warm environment in which to grow and thrive), and yes, you're absolutely going to have more germs than you would without any facial hair. Instead of freaking out over the potential for germs, let's focus on how to keep your scruff healthy and clean. Here are a few pointers.
Clean It Daily
You're bound to lose a few crumbs in that facial forest, and just like the hairs atop your head, your beard is going to get oily between washes. Be sure to rinse it daily, and use a specialized beard wash to exfoliate the skin beneath those coarse bristles while keeping the hairs clean and lustrous. This practice will eliminate most of the germs that have taken residence in your scruff, not unlike when you use cleanser on your face. Here is a good beard-washing tutorial from Mr. Natty.
After washing, use a beard oil or moisturizer to soften the hairs and skin. This will minimize breakouts and itching, and is your best long-game strategy for a healthy beard.
Keep It Trim and Orderly
One way to keep your beard healthy is to groom it regularly. While it might seem counterproductive to growing out your whiskers, you should trim your fully grown beard every few weeks to keep it under control (and to help shape the beard into your preferred style). Also, comb or brush your beard daily to evenly distribute any oils and to prevent it from tangling or gathering food particles.