Beard growth creams work by increasing blood flow from the capillaries to the hair follicles to increase the amount of nutrients the hair receives. Often, if use of the cream is discontinued, beard growth will also cease.
Beard growth creams and other hair growth treatments must be used twice daily. For maximum effect, the treatment should be in contact with the skin for at least 4 hours.
Minoxidil, the active ingredient in beard growth creams like Lipogaine, is an over-the-counter treatment for hair loss and the prevention of hair loss. It is clinically proven to prevent hair loss and promote hair growth in forty percent of male users--but it must be used indefinitely. Common side effects of the cream's use include eye irritation, redness or irritation of the treated area and unwanted hair growth on other body parts.
Minoxidil is less effective in those with long term hair loss or large areas of hair loss. Supposedly, this ingredient widens blood vessels and potassium channels to allow more nutrients to reach the hair follicle, but the actual mechanism for how it helps achieve hair growth is not well understood. Minoxidil was originally a drug treatment for high blood pressure--now, it's been found to have another use.