Your beard is finally growing. You love the way it looks, but…what’s that? A pimple! You, my friend, just may be suffering from beard acne. Beard acne is a very common, very treatable problem. What can you do about it?

What Is Beard Acne?

To put it simply, beard acne happens when you develop acne underneath your beard. Acne is chronic pimples and irritation, usually on the face, that forms around clogged up hair follicles on the skin. 

Most people recognize acne by red pimples, but the skin condition can also present itself as whiteheads and blackheads. Some acne sufferers do not even have visible bumps. Rather, they have subdermal oil buildups that swell the skin and are painful to the touch. All of these skin issues that happen everywhere else on the face can happen under your beard as well. 

If you are already prone to acne on other parts of your skin, you may not be too surprised to find yourself with beard acne. However, many bearded guys who don’t have acne elsewhere experience beard acne for the first time. Why does this happen?

What Causes Beard Acne?

Beard acne can happen to the best of us. It happens when oils, dirt, bacteria, and even your own dead skin clog your pores. This build-up causes inflammation, which appears as those pesky red bumps we call beard acne. 

Poor hygiene certainly is not going to help an acne problem, but hygiene is usually not the root cause of acne. Acne is a skin condition that comes about, often through no fault of your own. Some people have naturally oily skin, which is more prone to acne. 

A clogged follicle is always the cause of acne. Some of the root causes of clogged follicles include bacteria, stress, and side effects of medicine. Bacteria introduced to the skin can cause inflammation and clog up the follicles. Stress and a carb-heavy diet can exacerbate beard acne if you already have it. Some steroids and medications that have testosterone can also cause beard acne. 

How to Prevent Beard Acne

To prevent beard acne, prevent clogged follicles on the skin. Some of us can’t seem to keep our hands off of our beards. While a big ol’ beard is fun to stroke, that may be the cause of your beard acne. Hands come in contact with a lot of bacteria over the course of a day. When your hands introduce bacteria to your skin, you make yourself susceptible to bacterial beard acne.

Make sure to wash your beard regularly. When you do, be very thorough about rinsing your cleanser all the way out. A few leftover suds on the surface of your skin can cause just enough buildup to clog up your follicles. Our Big Beard Soap with activated charcoal is perfect for getting rid of follicle-clogging excess oils and dead skin. 

The products you use on your beard can make or break your beard care routine. Be sure to use non-comedogenic products. Comedogenic products have ingredients that are known to clog pores. That’s why we use light oils in our products. 

How to Treat Beard Acne

If you have beard acne, you may be able to treat yourself at home. Salicylic acid helps to break up all of the gunk that clogs up follicles. Find a gentle skin cleanser that has salicylic acid as an active ingredient, and implement it in your beard care regimen. 

Be extra careful about washing your hands before touching your beard, cleaning your beard care tools, and only using clean towels on your beard. If your beard acne has a bacterial cause, you want to make sure that you aren’t reintroducing the bad bacteria to your skin. 

If all else fails, it may be worth your while to see a dermatologist. Sometimes persistent acne is a sign of a deeper skin problem that needs medical attention for long-term relief.

Beard acne is far from a death sentence. It is very treatable. It’s not your fault, and it happens to the best of us. By all means, don’t let a few bumps break your sense of Beard Confidence!

By Smoky Mountain Beards Co.


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