man with beard

How To Treat An Itchy Beard

Read our guide on everything you need to know about dry skin under beard and how to treat itchy stubble.

How To Treat An Itchy Beard

Whether you’ve just started growing your beard, or had it for a while now, you’ve probably experienced some itchiness. Sometimes itching can be barely noticeable but it could also get very unpleasant, as constant scratching can make your skin feel even more irritated. 

Follow our guide on what causes an itchy beard, how to treat an itchy beard and how to soothe dry skin under beard.



Beard hair is different from the hair on your head. Beard hair is called androgenic hair, which means that its growth is mostly driven by testosterone. It is thicker and coarser than the hair on your head, and the level of testosterone determines the thickness and growth of your beard. 

There are several reasons behind an itchy beard and itchy stubble, from shaving irritation to blocked pores. 

Read on to find out what’s behind your itchy beard and how to treat that beard itch.

man with beard


If you’ve got a full beard and it’s feeling itchy, this may be caused by the dry skin under beard. Facial hair removes the moisture from the skin, drawing it up from the surface and onto the hairs, where it quickly evaporates. This can leave the skin extremely dry or flaky and even cause beard dandruff. Also, dead skin cells that usually get removed by daily face washing or exfoliating get stuck in the hair, and the dirt and oil build-up can cause skin irritation.

It is also very common to have an itchy stubble at first when you decide to grow a beard. When you shave, you leave a sharp edge to each hair follicle and once it starts growing, the tougher bristles of the hair scrape against the edges of the follicle - which is what causes an itchy stubble.
man shaving

Razor burn

Known by dermatologists as irritant contact dermatitis, razor burn can cause redness, stinging and beard itch. Dull razors, or a blunted electric razor can be the culprits, while a too-close shave on skin that isn’t properly prepped can cause friction and result in a beard rash or beard itch. 
mens face cream

Sensitivity to products

Your skin may be sensitive to ingredients in shaving creams, gels and pre-shave lotions that can cause the protective outer layer of your skin to break down, leaving it exposed to irritation and an itchiness. Sensitive skins should opt for fragrance-free lotions and creams to reduce the risk of an itchy beard and itchy stubble. Try our NIVEA MEN Sensitive Pro Menmalist Liquid Shave, for a shave cream that is kind on the skin and perfect for a non-irritating shave. 


Beard pimples, or beard acne, are a major cause of an itchy beard and itchy stubble. There are several reasons why you may be experiencing red, bumpy itchy spots - or beard pimples:

Spots and breakouts are caused when sebum, produced by the skin, mixes with dead skin cells on the skin's surface. 


Ingrown hair
Ingrown hairs happen when a hair that’s been shaved or cut grows back into its follicle, instead of out, and gets trapped underneath the skin. This is what causes irritation and inflammation. When this happens, the follicle can become red, bumpy and itchy. People with curly hair are particularly susceptible to ingrown hairs. 


Folliculitis is when follicles containing your beard hair become inflamed, and feel tender or painful to the touch. They can become blistered and, if it’s a bacterial infection, may become filled with pus. Folliculitis is usually the result of a bacterial, viral, or fungal infection, although it can also be caused by ingrown hairs.

man with beard


Beard dandruff is caused by a condition called seborrheic dermatitis, which causes beard rash and the skin to flake.
While experts do not know exactly what causes seborrheic dermatitis, they do know that it is a reaction to a yeast on the skin called Malassezia. This fungus is most likely to grow in areas with lots of sebaceous glands, such as your scalp and face. The fungus breaks down the oil produced by these glands, a process which can trigger a scaly, flaky rash on the scalp, eyebrows, nose, moustache, and beard. It is a chronic condition that can flare up at any time, but good beard hygiene will help to ease it. 

If you have flaky skin under your beard but no redness or irritation, the cause of your itchy beard may be dry skin under beard. 
Neglecting to wash your beard enough can also lead to a build-up of oils and skin cells that can irritate the skin and cause an itchy beard.

Tips on how to get rid of beard dandruff:

1. Wash your beard with warm water daily. For help with washing your beard, try our NIVEA Men Sensitive Pro Menmalist Face & Beard Wash, for a gentle and deep cleanse, perfect for preventing dry skin and beard dandruff.

2. Use a beard wash that is gentle on the skin

3.Exfoliating with a beard brush to slough away dead skin cells. Be careful not to brush too hard or you’ll aggravate beard dandruff or any beard rash you have

4. Moisturise your beard. This is a crucial step, especially if beard itch or beard dandruff is caused by dry skin under beard. Again, opt for a product that is kind on the skin, such as NIVEA MEN Sensitive Pro Menmalist Face Cream that soothes and comforts.
menmalist face cream


There are steps you can take to prevent a beard itch. See our routine to get rid of your beard itch:

Cleanse: Regularly cleanse and exfoliate your face to avoid any dirt getting stuck in the hair. As facial hair is different from the hair on top of your head, regular shampoo may not be the best option for your beard, as it can strip the natural oils from your hair and make it dry. Instead, opt for a quality beard-specific shampoo or cleanser as they are more suitable for facial hair and sensitive facial skin. 

Condition: If you’ve got a longer beard, use a special beard conditioner to detangle and soften the hair. Once you’ve cleansed your beard, apply conditioner and leave it in for a few minutes before rinsing. When choosing a conditioner, look for products with natural ingredients such as argan oil or jojoba oil - these are great for softening and strengthening your beard.

Dry Your Beard: even though this step is often overlooked, it’s quite an important one - make sure to properly dry your beard. Leaving the water in can dry your skin and beard out, causing an itchy beard rash. Gently towel dry your beard after cleansing to soak up the excess water.

man with beard
man moisturising

Moisturise: Moisturising is another important step when tackling an itchy beard rash. Use a lightweight beard oil or lotion to soften your hair and nurture the skin underneath. 

Brush: Regular brushing will not only give your beard a clean shape and smoother texture but will also train your hairs to grow in a single direction - this will help to avoid ingrown hairs and itchiness. There are specialised beard combs available that make it easier to spread products through your beard, ensuring you get maximum results from the active ingredients. 

Hone Your Shaving Technique: how you shave can reduce your chances of suffering with an itchy beard. To help prevent an itchy beard and beard pimples try:

  • Shaving after showering - the steam will have opened your pores allowing easier access to the hair follicles, giving a much closer shave and reducing the chances of irritation, abrasion, redness and dryness
  • Use a new razor blade every time you shave
  • If you're not already using, consider switching to an electric razor or a four- or five-blade razor