You wouldn’t use regular face soap on your hair, so it makes no sense to use it on your beard as well. They’re both hair, and hair needs shampoo. Fortunately there are plenty of great beard-specific shampoos out there that use special botanical’s to help soften the hair and keep it from getting dried out. Just make sure that whatever you use you like the smell of, since it’s right there by your nose.
Keeping your beard soft is the key to not wanting to shave it all off. A dry scratchy beard will be unbearable, and the way to avoid that is to use a beard conditioner. A good conditioner will moisturize your beard, and it will keep it healthy—two important factors in maintaining face comfort. A conditioner also has the added benefit of working almost like a styling gel, so you can keep that thing tame and not look like you just rolled in from eight years of living alone in the woods.
Baseball mitts, butcher blocks, and beards. What do they all have in common? You need to oil them. While a conditioner does soften your beard, a good beard oil will soften it even further, plus has the added advantage of warding off the dreaded beard dandruff. No one wants to see a guy with a dusting of skin flakes down the front of his shirt after all. And perhaps the coup de grace of a good beard oil is that it will make your beard smell amazing. And since it never leaves your face, smelling amazing is a pretty sweet perk.
Beards can get pretty gross—all that food, sweating, sneezing, etc. So while washing it is essential, a good added measure is an antibacterial beard balm. Something that further helps soften, but also kills all of the little microscopic critters hoping to set up shop in there.
Keep your beard from getting tangled and unruly by brushing it everyday with a beard brush. It’ll also help spread the beard oil you’re using (as well as your natural face oils) to keep your beard as healthy as possible. Plus it will keep your beard looking sharp.