As we have mentioned previously, we are big fans of beards at The Manual. We have advised you in the past on how to properly shape your beard, which beard oils to apply in order to tame the beast, and the best trimmers on the market to help you keep things tight. You’re a beard pro by now. But wintertime adds a whole new challenge to keeping your facial hair in check. Winter beard is real, and nobody wants that.
Biting cold, fierce wind, and a dip in humidity are not your beard’s friend. Your whiskers can become unwieldy, itchy, dull and flaky. While you can get away with applying beard oil every once in a while in weather where your skin doesn’t dry out like a corn husk, winter calls for daily attention and products that are a little more heavy-duty. A season-specific regimen is crucial if you want to avoid looking like Hagrid from Harry Potter.
The Manual suggests upping your game: wash your beard no more than twice a week, paying careful attention to how dry your skin is. You want to continue washing it like you do in the summertime, but without drying it out, which will lead to flaking and itchiness. Avoid shampoos with sodium lauryl sulfate. It’s a very commonly used foaming agent, and it irritates sensitive skin.
After washing, apply a conditioner or softener for a few minutes, and then rinse. (It’s kind of like deep conditioning for your beard.) Apply beard oil at least once a day. For lighter formulas, you can apply in the morning and at night.
And never fear if you don’t know where to start when it comes to what you should be applying to your face. We’ve gathered a list of some extra-hydrating beard products that will help you keep your beard touchably soft through the dark days of winter.
Mi-Me’s Ultimo Beard Oil
This beard oil by up-and-comer Mi-Me is made from a combination of gentle but potent oils that will help prevent flaking and coarseness without breaking the budget. Made from all-natural ingredients like argan oil and grapeseed oil, you’ll get an insanely soft, well-hydrated beard. You know: the kind that you can’t help but run your hands through. All of Mi-Me’s products are handmade and tested by the co-founders, Gil and Liz. While their scalp and hair oils are great too, the Ultimo beard oil formula is specifically made for wiry beard hair and dry skin. It also prevents dandruff. After all, you want snowflakes on the ground, not on your face.
Beardbrand Beard Wash & Softener
This duo wash and softener was formulated specifically for beards. It’s like shampoo and conditioner for your face. Both the wash and the softener are silicone-free and incredibly gentle so as to prevent itchiness that would crop up if you used regular shampoo. The softener is creamy and makes even the most wiry beards manageable. Beardbrand recommends using it twice a week—though if you get particularly dirty, it’s gentle enough to use daily. Hey, no judgment here. It’s strong enough to work on extra-coarse beards, and all three scents are amazing. At turns woodsy, spicy, or minty, you’ll look forward to washing your beard for once.
Mayron’s Goods Man Oil
This roll-on beard oil soothes irritation that comes from a long day of being out in the cold. You can use it as a pre-shave oil or, you know, just because you feel like massaging your face. It hydrates without leaving a greasy film. If you decide to apply it before work, you won’t walk into work looking like the office greaseball. This one is pricier, but a little goes a very long way. Bonus? It smells like black pepper and vanilla. You’ll have a hard time not sniffing your beard all day.
Regardless of which products you choose to apply to your face, don’t forget to comb your beard to avoid mats, and trim that puppy every once in a while. In no time flat, your beard will be lovely and your skin well-moisturized. Take that, winter!