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Choosing the Best Beard Oil (Complete Buying Guide)

In this article, we give you a full run-down on one of the top beard grooming products – beard oil. We’re going to tell you what it is, how it works, and how you can tell the good oils from the bad. We’re giving you all the information to make the best choice for your beard.

A barber applying oil on a man's beard through a dropper.

Let’s get started with the basics of this wondrous oil. Beard oil is used as a moisturizer for your beard and for your face. It also contains vitamins, minerals, and typically has a musky scent to complement its appeal.

Basically, beard oil is meant to keep your beard and your face healthy. The moisturizing and nourishing qualities help to keep your beard healthy, and your face hydrated and itch-free.

Ingredients of Beard Oil – How it Works

To understand exactly how beard oil works, it helps to understand what is actually in it. This way, we can analyze what each ingredient does, and how it works to help you look and feel great.

Basically, beard oil is made of two primary ingredients. That being an essential oil and carrier oil.

The carrier oil does just what its name implies, it dilutes or “carries” the essential oil (which would be too harsh to put on your skin on its own). Beard oil is often about 90% carrier oil. The carrier oil actually has numerous benefits in its own right. It has many moisturizing properties for your skin and beard.

The remaining part of the beard oil is the essential oil. The essential oil also has moisturizing properties, along with vitamins and minerals that help to nourish your skin. Additionally, the essential oil is often responsible for that musky/manly smell that so many people buy beard oil for.

The key idea here is how the carrier oil and essential oil complement each other. The carrier oil dilutes the essential oil so that you can evenly spread the concoction across your entire beard. It allows you to receive the benefits of both oils in perfect balance. Depending on the beard oil you buy, you can receive a different mixture of carrier and essential oils, and we will cover some of the most popular choices below.

Advantages of Beard Oil

A man applying beard oil on his beard.

Next up, we’re looking at all the ways that beard oil affects your skin and beard. We’ve explained what it is, now it’s time to see what it does. Let’s break down all the great things that beard oil can do for you:

For Your Skin

First, we’re looking at how the right beard oil helps your skin, even if you have dry skin or sensitive skin. It might be your first thought that beard oil is only for your facial hair, but that is really only half of its beneficial properties!

First are the moisturizing properties of beard oil. Having a beard can cause you to understandably forget to take care of the skin underneath your beard (it is hidden after all). But beard oil gets right to the roots and hydrates the skin. This takes away that itchy feeling that is caused by dry, peeling skin and dandruff. It keeps your skin healthy and keeps you free of that classic beard-itch.

Additionally, the natural scent of beard oil penetrates the skin as well, sort of like a cologne for your face. Most beard oils have a natural, woody scent that leaves your face smelling great all day.

For Your Beard

And of course, the obvious benefits, the ones for your beard! Many wonder whether beard oil is actually effective, or if it’s a “snake oil” of sorts. Think of it this way, you regularly maintain and wash the hair on top of your head, why wouldn’t you take similar care of the hair on your face?

Beard oil does many things to help your beard look its best and promote healthy beard growth. The first thing is getting rid of loose hairs and beard dandruff. By rubbing the oil throughout your beard regularly, you pick out any loose or ingrown hairs that may stand out. The moisturizing effects create strong, healthy skin, and dandruff becomes a thing of the past. What you are left with is a healthy beard, and there is nothing more aesthetically pleasing than health.

The right beard care product also coats the beard in a layer of hydration, as well as other nourishing ingredients like grapeseed oil, aloe vera, shea butter, or sweet almond, to name a few. This keeps the hair itself from drying out and cracking, which will lead to that full, healthy look.

Finally, beard oil helps you achieve the look that you actually want. Anyone with a beard can tell you that beard hair is unruly and unpredictable. Beard oil helps you tame this hair, so you can style it the way you want. Think of it as how you can only style your hair after you shampoo it. Use beard oil to untangle the mess, and then comb it or style with beard wax or balm.

Decision-Making Factors

At this point, you might think beard oil sounds pretty great. You might want to pick some up yourself. But once you check out all the options on the market, it might get a bit overwhelming. So many choices, so many essential oils, so many brands touting the most effective beard oil recipe! In this section, we break down your decision into the top factors you should be considered in picking a beard oil. This will help you understand each offering, and pick the best one for you.

Scent

First up, there’s the scent. Of course, this one is a matter of preference. Typically, beard oils tend to go toward the woodsy/musky scent. This is more or less the “classic” scent associated with beard oil. It carries that manly appeal and is the popular choice among many beard oil users.

Organic Himalayan Cedar chips.

If you don’t enjoy the woodsy scent, there are other options available. Popular scents include citrus, peppermint, earthy, and tea tree oil. And if you simply want the benefits of beard oil without the cologne aspect, there are unscented options.

The Carrier Oil

Above, we mentioned how a beard oil is made of carrier oil and essential oil. The carrier oil actually makes quite the difference in how the beard oil smells and feels.

Popular carrier oils include coconut oil, jojoba oil, argan oil, and almond oil. Each of these oils has moisturizing properties which are great for your skin, although they also tout slightly different benefits as well. The main differentiating factor is the scent, which is somewhat of personal preference.

Probably the most popular carrier oil for beard oil is coconut oil. It is known for its deeply moisturizing properties and very agreeable scent.

The Essential Oil

Next up is the essential oil. The essential oil is packed with vitamins and nutrients which help your skin, and it contains its own set of moisturizing properties as well. Perhaps the most noticeable difference when it comes to essential oils is the scent.

If you are aiming for that woodsy/manly scent, try a beard oil with cedarwood, black spruce, or sandalwood oil. If you want a scent that isn’t as overpowering, try lavender or lemon oil. For an herby, calming scent, go with sage, peppermint, or rosemary oil.

Vegan?

Luckily, most types of beard oils are vegan! If this is a special consideration for you, it is not that difficult to find. Pretty much any product that is vegan will proudly tout it on their bottle.

Price

As with any buying decision, price is going to be a major factor. Typically, a bottle of beard oil will cost around $10. However, this will depend on the size and quality of the concoction. If you know which brand you like, see if they offer the product in a larger bottle. Often, you will save money by purchasing a product in bulk.

However, as with anything, price isn’t the only consideration. A better way to look at it is price vs. quality. If you save money but the beard oil is not as effective, then it might not have been worth saving a few dollars. What you really want to do is purchase a beard oil that is worth the price.

Climate

Considering your climate is actually quite a relevant consideration when it comes to picking a beard oil. The primary consideration here is how dry the air tends to be. If you live in a colder or a desert environment without a lot of moisture in the air, then you may need to apply beard oil more often to keep your skin and beard hydrated. The same can be said if you live in a very windy environment.

If you are in need of more heavy-duty beard oil for moisturizing purposes, keep your eye out for brands that tout moisturizing benefits above all else or ones that boast long-lasting benefits. Typically, the higher the quality beard oil you buy, the more effective it will be (although that also tends to come with a higher price tag).

Brand

The brand is a valid consideration with beard oils, but it shouldn’t be your only consideration. Buying from a trusted brand is often an easy way to decide. Popular brands include Acqua di Parma, Stubble & Stache, Baxter of California, and Cartier.

Container

An important consideration that is often overlooked in purchasing beard oil is the container that it comes in. The container can make all the difference in how easy it is to apply the actual oil. This is because you apply your beard oil in “drops”, which means that the most convenient beard oil containers will come with a dropper. We recommend a beard oil that comes with a dropper for easy measurement.

A close look at a small bottle with an attached dropper.

You will find beard oils that come in various containers. From screw-on lids, to spray bottles, and more. If you have a dropper at home, then you can opt for a discount screw-on bottle, but having that dropper is absolutely essential for proper application.

Drawbacks of Beard Oil

No buyer’s guide is complete without also looking at the downsides! In the interest of full transparency, we will now present some considerations that might be relevant to your decision. It is important that you take the good with the bad so that you can make a full, informed decision.

“Greasy” Feeling?

The first potential drawback of beard oil is how it feels on the face. There is no denying that beard oil is exactly that – an oil! As a result, some may have hesitations of applying what seems like a “greasy” solution right to their face.

However, we are happy to report that these impressions are largely based on misconceptions. Beard oil is “greasy” in the same way a moisturizer might be considered greasy. That is to say that it really isn’t! If you’re comfortable applying moisturizer to your face, you should be comfortable with beard oil. Of course, this still doesn’t mean it’s for everyone! As with anything, personal preference comes into play.

It’s Expensive!

Another hesitation people may have about beard oil is the price. While there’s no denying that $10-$20 for a small bottle of potion might seem pretty steep, you should also keep in mind what you are getting for the price. If you have a beard, we think the investment in keeping your skin and beard healthy is more than worth it, but it’s of course up to you.

Additionally, keep in mind that beard oil is measured in “drops”. This means you really aren’t using a lot at once. So, a little really will go a long way.

Will My Hair Grow?

Next up is the most common misconception surrounding beard oil, and that is that it promotes beard growth. Unfortunately, although we wish we could tell you it’s a miracle hair growth tonic, the science really is not there. The ingredients in hair growth have not been scientifically proven to promote beard growth. So, if your main goal is to grow that beard you aren’t capable of, we are sorry to report this fact!

How to Apply Beard Oil

To round out the article, we’re giving you a quick guide on how to properly use and apply beard oil for maximal results.

Step 1 – Establish a Routine

Like anything with skincare, it’s best that you settle into a proper routine. The best time to apply beard oil is right after you shower or wash your face. You want to dry your beard, but not completely (leave it a little wet). This is because the warm water helps to open your pores, which allows your skin to fully soak in the benefits of the oil.

As for how often to apply, it really depends on your circumstances. If you live in a climate where your skin is constantly dry, you might want to apply daily. If this isn’t so much a problem, aim for once every two or three days. It really depends on how much oil you are comfortable with.

Step 2 – The Application

Applying beard oil is pretty simple. Firstly, measure some drops into your hand. Shoot for about 3 drops for a short beard, 5 drops for a medium beard, and up to 10 for a long beard (or more for a very long beard!). Then, rub it into your palms so you can spread it evenly.

A man putting beard oil on his palm.

First, rub against the grain of your beard and really get the oil right into the roots. Focus on going deep beneath your beard so the oil can penetrate the skin. Once you have done this, take your palms and go with the grain to flatten the beard so it falls naturally.

Step 3 – Style

Once you have applied the oil, you can style it how you want! Use a beard comb and comb it out for that natural look, or even apply some styling products for something a little more unique. At this point, it’s up to you!

A man combing his beard.




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