How to treat dry flaky skin under my beard and moustache area

Causes for Dry Skin Under Beard

Dry skin under beard typically arises from using face wash and cleansers with harsh product ingredients. While cleaning your face and beard, these products also remove the natural oils, causing the skin to dry out.

In addition, dry skin underneath your beard may also be from issues with sebaceous glands not properly moisturizing your follicles or skin that’s subjected to cold weather. So, be aware of your underlying condition before applying the appropriate treatment.

We list several causes below. Once you find out your skin type and discontinue use of irritating shampoos, you should be able to cure dry skin under your beard using one of these treatments.

Genetics and Skin Type

Have you always had dry skin? When you grow a beard, the new growth of facial hair can cause itching, especially if your skin is prone to do so.

Does your skin flake up and crack in the winter months? It could simply be that you need to use a moisturizer to keep away beard dandruff and dry skin. Most dermatologists recommend a gentle daily moisturizer that you put on in the morning and at night.

Dry skin under your beard and surrounding areas
Dry skin under your beard and surrounding areas

If you have a natural overproduction of sebum oil, then you may need to find specialized beard care that won’t add to the oil issues.

Harsh Shampoos and Bar Soaps

How do you wash your beard? Do you use the same shampoo for your hair on your face? This may not be ideal for your scalp or face, especially if there are harsh chemicals such as sulfates that can dry out your skin from one use.

A high-quality beard wash and conditioner could be just the thing to get rid of your dry skin.

Poor Diet

Believe it or not, what you eat greatly affects your skin tone and texture. “You are what you eat” as they say. If you have tried moisturizers and beard conditioners to no avail, maybe your diet is missing some healthy fats.

Coconut oil, avocado, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, and salmon are some of the best foods you can add to your diet to improve dry skin, especially if you don’t get enough omega-3 fats.

Hot Showers

Did you know that hot water day after day can lead to dry, itchy skin? It’s true. Research has shown that frequent hot showers lead to inflamed skin, which becomes dry and flaky over time if you’re not careful.

To maintain a good beard and skin underneath, you can rinse off with cold water just before jumping out of the shower. This will close your pores and help with irritated skin.

Skin Conditions

Skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis should always be treated by a dermatologist first. However, ongoing treatments and products may be online or at home to provide some comfort. We have suggestions below.


Other facial hair conditions

Here are a few other conditions that may be mistaken with beard dandruff:

  • Eczema.  Per the National Eczema Association, there are seven types of eczema: atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, dyshidrotic eczema, nummular eczema, seborrheic dermatitis, and stasis dermatitis (source). Many of these conditions have common symptoms, including dry, discolored, and itchy skin.  Seek out medical advice from your family physician if you think this could be the cause of irritation beneath your facial hair.
  • Beard Ringworm (Tinea Barbae).  Found only in adult men, tinea barbae is a fungal infection and is relatively rare (source).
  • Pili Multigemini. Compound hairs are common in beards.   One study found that a man with several pili multigemini hairs on his back caused an itchy sensation (source).  Pili multigemini hairs are harmless and can be plucked.

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Medical conditions can lead to flakes in beards

Finally, there are some medical conditions that could be underlying the flaky beard symptom and other skin problems. Rosacea, psoriasis, and eczema are common skin problems that require a combination of changes like medicated topicals, diet, and lifestyle. There are also conditions that can lead to skin irritation and troubles, like diabetes.

Each of these can cause minor symptoms or grow out of control. Luckily, with the help of a doctor, these conditions can be treated and controlled. Diagnosis the first and most important step. If you’ve been using a medication that isn’t working or stopped working, let your doctor know. It’s probably time to try something new.

Flaky and Dry Skin under Beard

Men grooming their beards are akin to women keeping their long manes healthy. It is all about the maintenance. Shape and texture are important. While the overall appearance of the beard is the point culminant, it is actually what is underneath that matters most.Improper care of facial hair actually leads to dry skin under beard. Beard dandruff occurs when the natural oils of the skin dry up, causing flaking. It may also result in itchiness and irritation. Cold weather can also be a cause for flaky beard area. Skin hydration is a major issue at this time.Another probable cause of dry facial skin on this area is the use of hair grooming products to the beard. These shampoos contain chemicals and waxes that clog the pores. This results in scaling of the skin, causing unsightly flakes. Use of body soap to cleanse the beard also causes dryness. After all, beards are still hair, and soaps may irritate the skin and even harden the hair itself.Stress, according to doctors, may also lead to drying of skin, resulting to formation of crusts and flakes. Lack of sleep and unbalanced diet also lead to poor skin. The use of strong facial product, cleanser or astringent, also plays havoc to the sensitive areas of the face.

Dry and Flaky Skin under the Beard


How do you treat beard dandruff?

To get rid of beard dandruff, follow these steps:

  1. Clean facial hair thoroughly with a natural beard wash or medicated shampoo, depending on the cause of beard dandruff.
  2. Pat dry with a towel.
  3. Apply a conditioner such as beard oil or beard balm.
  4. Style your beard with a beard brush or beard comb.

Exfoliate your Skin

When growing a beard, you should exfoliate two or three times weekly.  Regular exfoliation of the skin removes dead skin cells, oil buildup, and unclogs pores.  

Beard Conditioners

When applied daily, a beard conditioner will nourish and moisturize your skin.

There are many types of beard conditioners available.  Common beard conditioners include beard balm, beard oil, beard butter, and beard jelly.  Most beard conditioners rely on common base ingredients: carrier oils and essential oils.

Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

Men experiencing beard dandruff as a result of seborrheic dermatitis should consider using an anti-dandruff shampoo. Anti-dandruff shampoos are specially formulated with active ingredients such as ketoconazole, selenium sulfide, or pyrithione zinc to kill the fungal growth.

Currently, there are a limited number of anti-dandruff shampoos formulated for facial hair use. Therefore, you may need to use a shampoo formulated for top-of-head use on your beard.

Lactic Acid

A lactic acid cleanser will help to remove dead skin cells and flakes from your beard.  Urea, lactic acid, and propylene glycol were effective in treating seborrheic dermatitis over a four-week study (source).

Other Considerations

Understand seborrheic dermatitis. If your beard is itchy or just doesn’t feel quite right, you may be wondering if it is dandruff or something else. Signs of seborrheic dermatitis include: 

  • Skin flakes, also known as dandruff‌
  • Patches of greasy skin
  • Appearance of white or yellow scales or crust
  • Skin that stays red‌
  • Persistent itching

You should see your doctor immediately if you have any of these symptoms:

  • Loss of sleep or the ability to function normally because your symptoms are so distracting
  • The dandruff and scales are obvious enough that they cause you to feel embarrassed or anxious‌
  • Your skin is showing signs of infection
  • Home remedies and over-the-counter shampoos are not improving your symptoms

Avoid petroleum jelly. Many patients think that the flakes and scales associated with dandruff require moisturizing. This is not the case. Petroleum jelly is a popular choice, but it may actually make your beard dandruff worse.

Maintain a healthy beard.Care for your beard doesn’t stop at shampooing it regularly. You can help prevent beard dandruff by keeping your skin and beard healthy:

  • Grow it out. It takes time to grow a beard. If you’re in the early stages, don’t give up yet. Put your razor and clippers away, allowing your beard to grow without interference. 
  • Be sure to moisturize. Talk to your doctor about your skin condition and choose a moisturizer that won’t irritate dandruff in your beard. Without proper moisture, you may have breakouts in your beard, worsening your dandruff.‌
  • Get enough sleep. It may sound silly, but your body functions best when you have plenty of rest. This includes the condition of your beard. When you get enough sleep, your overall health is better. 
  • ‌Eat a healthy diet. Nutrient-dense foods are essential for a well-balanced diet. The right vitamins and minerals help keep your skin and beard healthy. 


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