Lots of people think beards are sexy. But the beard giveth, and the beard taketh away.

Beard burn - aka 'stache rash - is the itchy, red, inflamed skin around the non-bearded partner's mouth post-make-out. It may sound trivial, but it's actually embarrassing (everyone can instantly tell what you two have been up to) as well as painful.

Here's how to mitigate the pain.

1. Let it grow

The longer the beard, the less abrasive the stubble. By the time you've cultivated a flowing Father Time look, it won't irritate your partner's face at all. That's assuming, however, the Mountain Man aesthetic hasn't already sent them running for the hills.

2. Moisturize in advance

Some people find layering on cold cream the night before provides a decent barrier against beardy assault. Use something thick and emollient, like Pond's night cream.

3. Then moisturize some more

After your love-in with the beard, stick to a gentle cleanser like Cetaphil: nothing with exfoliating beads or micro-scrubbers, which you shouldn't be using anyway. Follow it up with some lotion containing aloe or chamomile.

4. Prevention

By far the least fun option: no one wants curtail making out and get straight to the main event. But conversely, why should your partner have to suffer because you want a trendy beard?

5. Cut it off

Go on. Do it. Buck the trend. Beards are more attractive when they're not ubiquitous, anyway.