A Complete Guide to Beard Oil: Everything You Need to Know
Beard oil is almost a requirement is you are growing a large, full beard but shorter beards can also enjoy the many benefits of beard oil. Beard oil been used for centuries, and historical records tell us beard oil was used by the ancient Mesopotamians. The ancients Greeks also used beard oils to treat their skin and beards. Castor oil was the choice of the day.
Whether you use beard oil for its protection, shine, healing properties or scent one things stands true, your skin and beard will love it.
Let’s look at some of the many, many benefits of beard oil and find out why it is so incredible!
WHAT IS BEARD OIL?
Beard oil is a combination of essential oils and/or fragrance oils and carrier oils. Unscented options are also available and in most cases are made up of only carrier oils.
There are thousands of possible beard oil combinations and although many may share similar ingredients, they will have all have a slightly different scent and feel based on the quantity and quality of the ingredients.
Beard oil has been used for centuries and dates back to Ancient Mesopotamia. However, it wasn't until the 1930's that is became commercially available.
HOW IS BEARD OIL MADE?
Beard oil is easily created by combining a carrier oil or combination of carrier oils and scents. If you prefer unscented do not add any essential oil or fragrance oils.
Combine all ingredients into a colored glass bottle (colored to protect against sunshine), shake well and you are good to go!
Keep in mind that even if you add scents to your beard oil it will still be composed of 99.9% carrier oils.
Carrier oils are the foundation of any beard oil. Home made or store bought, they will all use at least one carrier oil as a base.
Scent oils, fragrance or essential are added to your small recipes by drops. We will get into the details of each later in this article)
Sample Recipe (30ml/1 FL oz)
- 10ml/0.33 FL oz Argan Oil
- 10ml/0.33 FL oz Grapeseed Oil
- 10ml/0.33 FL oz Jojoba Oil
- 2 Drops Sandalwood
- 2 Drops Cedarwood
The above recipe can be mixed into many different combinations to create dozens of different types of beard oil.
As you can see beard oil is incredibly simple to create. What makes a really good beard oil is the quantity and type of each carrier oil and it's the same for the scent. Some premium beard oils can have half a dozen or more scent profiles and all ingredients will be sourced from the best producers around the world.
You may be asking, if it is so easy to create my own beard oil why should I buy pre-made beard oil from a store or beard company?
We get into the reasons and differences later in this article and it may not be for the reasons you think.
HOW DOES BEARD OIL WORK?
Beard oil works by treating not only your beard, but the skin under your beard, by providing much needed sebum which promotes a healthy, full, shiny, and well protected beard.
As your beard grows your skin will struggle to keep up with the sebum demands placed on it by your ever-growing beard. The fuller and larger it gets the more beard oil you may need to treat it.
Sebum is an oil that is produced by your skin that acts as the skins natural oil and hydrator. It can also be amazing at keeping beard infections at bay and can also help prevent dandruff.
It also helps nourish beard hair and promotes elasticity.
If you regularly use an iron to straighten your beard, beard oil will help to provide protection from damage caused by heat. A premium beard oil will form a protective seal around a beard hair strand and help to protect it from heat and the environment.
CAN I USE BEARD OIL TO SYLE MY BEARD?
Beard oil can definitely have a positive impact when used to create men's beard styles. It will form the foundation to a thicker, healthier looking beard and using beard oil each day will help form the foundations of a wicked beard routine. Having said that, beard is not something you should be using to style your beard.
Beard balms and beard butters should be your go to when styling your beard. Balms and butters are two very different products, each with tremendous benefits when it comes to beard styling and treatment. Beard balm being used to tame some of the wildest beards out there!
Sure, if you apply enough beard oil it will help tame a few stray beard hairs, but the longer and fuller your beard gets the more beard oil you will need to use to tame it. Eventually by applying to much beard oil, it would start to actually have a negative effect on your beard. Notice how I said tame beard hairs rather than style them.
It also depends on an individuals beard, for example a thinner beard may react more positively to beard oil for keeping a few loose hairs in check as opposed to a larger, thicker beard. Again, beard oil will not actually be styling anything.
Remember beard oil is not only used to treat your beard. It is also used to treat the skin underneath it! Look at beard oil as a scented beard and skin treatment product rather than a men's beard styling product.
Beard oil should be your starting point when growing a beard and will help form the foundation to any wicked beard routine.
WHY WOULD YOU USE BEARD OIL?
As we mentioned briefly above it will add shine to your beard, no matter what phase you are at with growth. It is also great for the skin under your beard and with the right scent, will smell amazing.
Here are the main reasons why you would use a beard oil.
- Helps replace the sebum in your skin which stops it and your beard from drying out, keeps skin moisturized, which promotes healthy beard growth
- Add shine, healthy-looking beard
- Makes your beard smell nice
Some may also add styling to the list, but I believe beard styling should be left to beard balms and beard butters. Beard oil may help tame a few stray hairs in the early days of beard growth but as your beard grows it will need something with a little wax and butter to style it properly.
Helps Replace the Sebum in Skin and Add Moisture to Your Beard
Dryness is the most common cause of beard itch and one of the most common complaints of growing a beard. As your beard grows it requires more and more oil to keep it healthy. Your skin produces a natural oil called Sebum. Sebum is an oil that is produced by your skin that acts as the skins natural oil and hydrator.
The problem is as your beard grows your skin is not able to provide enough sebum to hydrate your beard and this causes it to dry out and itch. There is only so much sebum that the skin can produce, and a premium beard oil can help fill the void left by the lack of sebum production.
Adds Shine To Your Glorious Beard
Beard oil is going to add shine to your beard. You know how sometimes you can just look at someone and they have a certain glow about them?
That is what beard oil will do to your beard, it will give it a healthy-looking glow. How long that glow lasts will depend on the type and quantity of carrier oils used in the beard oil.
There are many types of carrier oils that can form the base of a good beard oil, but we will get into that in more detail later in this article.
The Smell Can be Glorious
Tastes vary and everyone is different when it comes to choosing the scent of a quality beard oil. Once you have the base ingredients down i.e., the carrier oils, the scent inevitably comes next.
The scent of a beard oil will usually come from one of two sources, or both:
Essential Oils and fragrance oils.
These oils are usually very intense, and the scent will last a long time. Essential Oils are undiluted, concentrated essences that are extracted from plants. Many countries around the world produce essential oils, some better than others. Essential oils can be extracted from flowers, fruits, leaves, barks, roots, herbs, and spices and much more!
Many beard companies use the same essential oils. It is the quantity and quality that separates the good from the bad.
The combinations are endless and cedarwood and sandalwood are beard oil staples and smell amazing.
Did you know that sandalwood has become extremely expensive over the last few years? 15 ml / 0.5 FL oz will set you back around $60 US and 1000 ml / 33.8 FL oz will set you back almost $3200 US.
Fragrance Oils are synthetically compounded and should not be confused with the 100% natural Essential Oils which are generally used in Aromatherapy. Fragrance oils used in beard oil are specially formulated for both skin and beard care. Fragrance oils in beard oil are safe for your beard and skin and they are usually paraben-free and phthalate-free which makes them safe for you and the environment.
Fragrance oils got a bad rap because many had contained petroleum-based products and other chemicals like benzophenone and styrene.
Paraben was widely used by the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industry as a preservative and phthalate is a group of chemicals used to make plastic more stable. Phthalate has been banned in UK, Canada, and the US as well as many other countries.
The bottom line is fragrance oil has come a long way and is a great addition to enhance the scent of any beard oil.
There is another scent oil called Absolute oils, but I rarely see it used in the production of beard oils. It is expensive and doesn’t really provide any additional benefits over a good old carrier oil.
There is a little misconception when it comes to essential oils and fragrance oils. Many beard “purists” will say fragrance oil is bad and will destroy your beard and skin.
I am here to tell you that fragrance oils have come a long way and if you are using a quality product, sourced from a licensed and reputable distributor, fragrance oil is perfectly safe to use and smells fantastic.
Yes, it is possible to have an allergic reaction to fragrance oils but it also possible to have an allergic reaction to an essential or carrier oil.
It is always recommended to try a small drop somewhere on your body to check for an allergic reaction before applying a full portion to your beard.
WHEN SHOULD YOU USE BEARD OIL?
Everyday! In fact, depending on the size of your beard and your activity level you may need to apply it a few times a day. The larger your beard gets, the more beard oil required to treat it.
Typically, you will be applying beard oil after your first shower of the day, make sure you dry your beard thoroughly before applying beard oil. From the size of your beard will generally dictate how much beard oil you need to use and when.
Don’t over do it, to much beard oil can cause acne.
HOW DO YOU USE BEARD OIL?
Beard oil usually comes in two forms, sprays, and droppers. Men with large, long beards might use a spray bottle as it delivers a larger amount of oil over a larger surface, faster. Everyone else will be just fine with droppers.
Just a couple of drops of beard oil into the palm of your hand is enough. Then, lightly massage the beard oil into your hands and rub it deeply into your beard so that is reaches the skin under your beard as well.
You may need to do this a couple of times depending on the size of your beard.
If find yourself using a lot of drops to apply the right amount of beard oil, it may time to switch to a spray bottle.
When you use a spray bottle to apply beard oil you will want to spray a few times, a few inches from your face in various locations, to cover the whole beard. Then you will want to rub the beard oil into your beard making sure to reach your skin under the beard as well.
ARE BEARD OILS SAFE?
Yes! Most beard oils today are created with quality sourced materials and as such, are safe to use. Having said that you will always want to test a small drop on your skin somewhere to ensure you will not have an allergic reaction.
Allergic reactions to beard oil can be caused by the essential oils, carrier oils, fragrance oils or a combination of all three! If you have an allergic reaction to a beard oil and you have purchased it from a beard company, take another look at the ingredients, is there something you missed that you know you are allergic to?
If the listed ingredients look ok and you don’t see anything that you should be allergic to, I recommend switching to a different beard company.
The reason I say this is because the beard company has either slipped in an ingredient that they have not listed (not cool) or you might be allergic to one or more of the ingredients they are using. Oils are produced around the globe and not all manufacturers are created equal. There can also be several types offered for a particular oil, for example cold pressed or organic.
The problem is telling which ingredients or combinations are causing the problem. If you have recently switched to a new beard company and are having a reaction, compare the ingredients to where you used to order your beard oil from or the last beard company you ordered beard oil from but did not have a bad reaction.
It is also possible to develop and allergic reaction over time, where you did not have one before. This is not necessarily caused by repeated use of beard oil. More than likely it is occurring for another, unrelated reason at the genetic level. Age can also play a role.
As you can see the only real issue you may have with beard oil is an allergic reaction and, in most cases, it will be a mild reaction.
Now if you make you own beard oil it is a completely different story. In this case it is much easier to track down which oil may or may not be causing the reaction. All you need to do is take each ingredient that you used to create the beard oil and place a small drop of each somewhere on your skin.
Watch closely to see which ingredient causes the actual reaction and don’t use it again. It could also be where the ingredient was sourced, and you could try sourcing the same ingredient from a different supplier to see if it still causes a reaction.
I completely understand someone wanting to double check an allergic reaction, especially if you really love the oil. Best to make sure before you absolutely must eliminate it!
WILL BEARD OIL HELP MY BEARD GROW?
Yes and no.
Treating your beard and the skin beneath your beard with a quality beard oil will help promote the growth of a fuller beard. A dry beard will almost always look thinner than a moisturized beard of the same length.
Having said that, no beard oil in the world will grow beard hair. Beard oil will help keep your beard healthy, protected, moisturized, and will help promote beard growth. Some beard oils are better at this than others.
Argan oil is a common carrier oil used in beard oil products, it provides melatonin and vitamin E which is said to promote hair growth and prevent hair loss.
Genetics will always be the main factor in determining if you are able to grow a beard or not.
One more thing worth mentioning. If you are a younger reader in their late teens or early twenties and are having a hard time growing a beard, don’t give up just yet. Hang in there and keep trying. As you get older you may find that your beard is starting to grow in a little thicker and fuller. This is exactly what happened to me and now I can grow a beard with the best of them.
Capsaicin has been shown to stimulate facial hair growth in some users. Everyone's results will vary but some of the research is looking very promising.
DOES BEARD OIL CAUSE ACNE?
Yes, it can! You always want to make sure you are not using to much beard oil and a quick way to tell if you are using to much beard oil is if are getting acne under your beard. This is not always caused by overuse of beard oil and some men will be oilier than others. Genetics may also play a role. But to say beard oil cannot cause acne is false.
You don’t want your beard or the skin underneath it to dry out, but you also don’t want to drown it in beard oil.
Most beard companies will have instructions on using their product, but everyone has different requirements.
After applying beard oil your beard should not look wet or greasy. If it does you have applied to much product or the beard company you are purchasing your beard oil from is making an overly oily product.
Unfortunately, some folks just have a hard time with acne, this can be especially true for younger beard growers. In the extreme cases or if you just have bad acne in general, speak to a good dermatologist before using beard oil or any beard product for that matter. They will be able to assist you and provide advise on the best way to treat your beard.
CAN BEARD OIL GO BAD?
Yes, although it will likely never happen to the average user based on usage. Meaning, you will run out of beard oil long before it spoils.
Beard oil is commonly sold in 30ml/1 FL oz dropper bottles.
It is possible to purchase an expired beard oil product from a beard company but a lot of them are small batch producers and are making your beard oil only when an order is received.
If they are a reputable company, they will dispose of any ingredient that has expired long before selling it to a custom.
Sunlight can also have a negative effect on beard oil if stored incorrectly. To much direct sunlight and your beard oil may go bad faster than if you stored it in a cool, dark, dry location.
This is why beard oil bottles are tinted. It protects the beard oil from light. The darker the bottle the better protection from sunlight and spoilage.
If I Store it in the Fridge Will it Last Longer?
I don't recommend storing beard oil in the fridge, unless you will not be using it for an extended period of time. If you do store it in the fridge I recommend letting it get back to room temperature before using it again.
Storing beard oil in a fridge will make it thick and harder to pour and depending on the types of carrier oils used may turn it into a solid rather than a liquid.
How Can You Tell if a Beard Oil Has Gone Bad or Has Expired?
This can be a bit tricky depending on the amount of scent that has been added to the beard oil. A strong scent may cover up an expired carrier oil.
It’s not like the product won’t work anymore, it will just be, off. Think of it more like a best before date rather than an expiration date.
In general, a beard oil that has gone bad, will smell, off. It might have a slight mildew smell or moldy smell.
Interesting Fact: Some carrier oils last a lot longer than others. Jojoba oil, another commonly used carrier oil in beard oils can have a shelf life of 5 years. Argan oil has a shelf life of roughly 2 years.
It is possible for beard oil to expire, but it will be extremely rare.
WHICH BEARD OIL IS THE BEST?
This is hard to pin down as all beard oils are different, each of them offering different combinations of carrier oils and scents.
If you are making your own beard oil, you will want to ensure you are sourcing quality ingredients from reputable producers. If you find yourself going through a lot of beard oil, I highly recommend you make your own beard oils. It will be cheaper, and you can make larger batches that will last you a long time.
However, most users will not be using a boat load of beard oil and in these cases, it might make more sense to purchase a premium beard oil from a beard company. Doing so allows you to purchase small batches as required. This will ensure the beard oil you purchase is always fresh and it will also allows you to try different products and combinations.
When purchasing a beard oil from a beard company ensure you know what the base ingredients are. What type of information are they providing about the products they use? Do they seem legitimate? Are there any red flags in the reviews or product descriptions? What do the pictures look like?
Honestly, there are a ton of small batch beard companies who are producing an incredible product and any of them would likely be a perfect fit for your beard growing needs.
You may even like a few different companies, maybe one makes your favorite beard butter, and another makes a wicked beard oil.
Wicked Beard Company makes an incredible beard oil that I highly recommend!
HOW DO YOU CHOOSE A BEARD OIL?
When looking for a beard oil to purchase here are a couple of recommendations.
- What type of scents or smells do you like? Do you prefer a cologne smell or woodsy? Something a little fruity, fresh, or floral? I find that most beard oil scents fall under 4 main scent categories:
- Musk, smoke, wood
- Cologne or Fresh
These are in no real order, and each can have several subcategories, or a beard oil can have a combination of fruity and cologne or a Smokey fresh smell. For example, an apple ice cream beard oil may have a combination of fruity, floral, and fresh.
A good scent can be the difference between a long-time customer or a lost customer.
Beard oil scents are made up of essentials oils, fragrance oils or a combination of the two. Do not be put off by a beard company using fragrance oils. Fragrance oils have come a long way and can provide an incredible, long-lasting scent profile to a beard oil. There is nothing to fear here!
- You also want to pay attention to the carrier oils that are being used, here are a few recommendations:
Argan Oil is rich in antioxidants and omega 6 fatty acids, and it is believed to contain saponins (Saponins exhibit antimicrobial properties, guarding your body against fungi, bacteria, and viruses) and contains twice as much vitamin E as Olive Oil. This luxurious oil supports the hydration of the skin and helps to soften your beard and your skin. It will make your beard shine!
Jojoba Oil is a liquid wax rather than a true oil and is extremely similar in composition to your skin’s natural sebum. It is almost entirely comprised of wax esters and Vitamin E. It also promotes a healthy-looking skin and beard.
Grapeseed Oil is an important foundation to any good beard oil. It contains a ton of antioxidants and helps protect your skin and beard from the elements. It is very high in omega 6 fatty acid which will nourish your beard and give it a soft texture. Grapeseed oil is very light and is absorbed into the skin very quickly, so it won’t make your beard feel oily or greasy.
Almond Oil is known for its ability to soften and help recondition your beard and skin. It contains a lot of proteins, Olein Glyceride, Linoleic Acid, and vitamin D. It will help prevent your beard and skin from drying out which intern will help stop irritation. It will also nourish your beard and skin.
If you have a large full beard or are just starting out growing a beard, you should start to think about using a premium beard oil. You can make your own or use a product from one of the many quality beard companies on the market. Each offering a slightly different product, there are plenty of options.
Think of beard oil as another accessory to your grooming arsenal. It is like a protective cologne you can wear on your beard. It will look and smell amazing, and your partner or future partner will love it to!
Heading out for a night on the town? Try a couple of drops of the All-Nighter beard oil before you head out.
I recommend Wicked Beard Company beard oil. Each bottle contains only the best ingredients sourced from ethical producers on six continents, supplying 100% pure, therapeutic-grade Essential Oils and Natural Raw Materials.
No preservatives, no filler oils, only the best will do for your wicked beard, and they have you covered for all seasons, 365 days a year!