You might have thought having a beard would save you time in the mornings, but a good beard can actually take some real maintenance. And never more so than in summer, when the heat, sweat and dry atmosphere can play havoc with the condition, as well as making it itchy and, at its worst, a little bit smelly.
So here are five steps to help you stay groomed all summer long.
Step 1: get a quick trim
While it’s a myth that a full beard is inevitably hotter (apparently, sweat sitting in it actually helps keep your face cool. Um, okay), it’s definitely easier to keep your beard looking groomed if it’s a bit shorter and neater at the edges. It also looks a little less ‘heavy’ on a sunny day.
It might just be a question of thinning out a full beard and making the shape a bit more sculpted, or you could take it down to stubble level with sharp edges on the face, for something a bit more suave.
Whatever you choose, the right tools are essential. The Braun Beard Trimmer BT5050 has 25 length settings, from 0.5mm to 20mm, for a precise finish, and a battery that lasts up to 40 minutes per one hr charge.
Step 2: cleanse thoroughly
It’s worth investing in a special beard cleanser, but even a normal face cleanser twice a day will work to reach the skin beneath the beard. It needs extra cleansing in summer because any extra sweat will not only irritate the skin, causing itching and dandruff, but could also leave your scruff smelling a little bit… off. No one wants that.
Step 3: exfoliate
Once a week, use a gentle exfoliator to slough away any dry skin, irritation or general grime that might have been left behind. You may think this is a step too far, but once you try it you’ll notice the difference. Just don’t use it more than weekly, as it can be too abrasive on the skin.
Step 4: oil it up
As well as a facial moisturiser, adding a beard oil not only provides a lovely fragrance (you could go for a fresh citrus one in the summer) but also takes care of the hairs, hydrating and helping to keep them under control. This means they’ll hold the beard shape better, as well as looking glossy. Make sure you drink enough water too, as this will keep your skin and beard hydrated from within.
Step 5: add sun protection
Like your hair and scalp, your beard will benefit from extra protection against UV rays, especially if you’re on holiday and in and out of the pool or sea. You should wet your beard before going in the pool and rinse it when you come out, plus some sun-protection oil will help avoid discolouration and dryness.