My beard is flaky... in the not-good way.
January 2, 2009 10:36 AM   Subscribe

I've recently decided that, at the age of 40, I'm old enough to deal with facial hair. I now have a pretty reasonable goatee, but now I've run into a new trouble: dandruff of the chin.

Now, I do have dandruff of the head, and I've used my Head and Shoulders on both the head and the beard, but it seems that my chin is flaking out a bit more than I'd expected it to happen. But the past few days my beard, especially on the corners of my chin, has been getting itchy and shedding flakes of skin like regular dandruff.

Anyone have some ideas of things I can do? I'm a bit uncertain as to the best way this can be dealt with.
posted by mephron to Health & Fitness (14 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Have you tried another dandruff shampoo? I've had a full beard for most of the last 40 years and dandruff is an occasional problem. This is what works for me.
posted by buggzzee23 at 10:46 AM on January 2, 2009

A bit of reading shows that some people out there on the interwebs do use dandruff shampoo on their faces. But you might consider a gentle facial exfoliant and follow-up with a similarly gentle moisturizer. I'm only suggesting that since the dandruff is comprised of dead skin cells, and shampoos aren't really designed for your more sensitive facial skin.

You may think I'm nuts for suggesting this, but you could go to a makeup counter/Sephora, or even a place like the Body Shop. They'll be trying to sell you stuff, yeah, but they may also have some advice. The Body Shop in particular has been trying to market men's products, so they may have something specifically designed for a guy in your situation. Good luck!
posted by brina at 10:47 AM on January 2, 2009

When I grow a beard, I use Nutrogena T/Gel on my face, along with an unscented moisturizer, to great results.
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 10:51 AM on January 2, 2009

It's normal, it just goes away by itself after a few weeks. Any moisturising cream will help in the meantime. I usually get the cheapest I can find, that never failed me.
posted by Spanner Nic at 10:54 AM on January 2, 2009

This is occasionally a problem for me in the winter when it's cold and dry. What works for me is using regular shampoo in my beard and scrubbing REALLY well down at the skin level. I usually do this with a stiff comb as well as my fingers, really massaging the skin and also gently scraping, then I thoroughly rinse out the shampoo. Basically manually exfoliating the skin, so that any dry, dead skin gets knocked out and rinsed away. I've done this with shampoo and regular soap, but I suppose that using a moisturizing facewash would probably be even better.
posted by otolith at 10:58 AM on January 2, 2009

Are you sure it's really dandruff and not just dead skin? In any case, get a scrub brush and scrub your chin in the shower. Use the Head and Shoulders if you want, or any other soap, though personally I would recommend jojoba oil.
posted by oneirodynia at 12:16 PM on January 2, 2009

That will happen with goatees. I recommend the full lumberjack to curb any dandruff related issues... Oh, and regular, thorough shampooing ;)
posted by Glendale at 1:03 PM on January 2, 2009

Make sure you shampoo your beard after you wash your face. Otherwise, you get soap residue in your beard and that will definitely cause dandruff there.
posted by bricoleur at 1:21 PM on January 2, 2009

Try rotating a few different dandruff shampoos. This is what dermatologists have recommended for me and it works. I like H&S, Nizoral and T-sal. I also have a prescription for Clobex when things get really bad.
posted by radioamy at 1:32 PM on January 2, 2009

Best answer: Alright dude, I'm glad you asked this question because I've been fighting this one for weeks and I've finally figured out how to deal with mine. Obviously YMMV, but this is what works for me:

* I wash my face with my dreadlock shampoo (Knotty Boy). This stuff is a great, all-natural soap period, its primarily for washing dreadlocks because it doesn't leave behind any residues, but it can be used to clean your whole body and is designed to combat flaky skin. It's pretty cheap, smells great, and really refreshes your skin.
* I also wash my face with H&S Intensive Care. If your normal dandruff shampoo doesn't work on your face flake, try switching to one which contains selenium sulfide as the active ingredient. Normal dandruff shampoos do jack shit for me, but the selenium sulfide ones work like a charm.
* If you find a particular area of your face that is consistently red, dry, and flaky, put hydrocortizone cream (I use Cort-Aid) on it twice a day until it goes away.

The dread shampoo is optional, but seems to help me...the big thing for me, though is the selenium sulfide shampoo and the hydrocortizone. Let us know what works best for you.
posted by baphomet at 1:53 PM on January 2, 2009 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Lots of options here; thank you all. I'm glad I'm not the only one with this issue.
posted by mephron at 2:05 PM on January 2, 2009

I have a full beard and have often had flakes coming from my chin, moustache, sideburns, even my eyebrows, and it’s usually worst during dry or cold weather. None of the typical shampoos really worked for me; I tried most of the over-the-counter products: pyrithione zinc (Head & Shoulders,) salicylic acid (T/Sal,) and coal tar (T/Gel.) The shampoo does improve the appearance of the hair, but I still had flakes.

Here's what seems to work for me: daily facial exfoliation in the shower with a course scrubby lotion (St. Ives Apricot Scrub,) applying a gentle, natural, Vitamin E lotion (Burt’s Bees Baby Bee Buttermilk Lotion,) and finally, comb your beard.
posted by ijoshua at 3:12 PM on January 2, 2009

I swear by Listerine for dandruff! A quick internet search says you can mix it with baby oil. I think the cure would depend on the cause of the dandruff. I am pretty sure what I battle is product residue and then scratching which can cause a rash all on its own. This method is cheap and it works.
posted by kgn2507 at 8:23 PM on January 2, 2009

Try a shampoo or facial soap with tea tree oil. I find that tea tree oil is the best thing for both my scalp and my face.
posted by bassjump at 7:18 AM on January 3, 2009

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