Beard Oil Basics – The Only Guide You’ll Ever Need to Read
So does beard oil really work? It’s a question that many men find themselves asking at the start of their beard-growing journey and the overall answer is simple - yes, beard oil absolutely works. Its proven ability to provide lasting benefits to the face of the bearded male is what’s landed it its essential spot in the washkit of many men.
Beard oil will tackle everything from beard itch to the dreaded beardruff, making it a key addition to any man’s grooming routine. It’ll even help soften your beard and improve its overall appearance.
Although the overall effectiveness of beard oil is evident, how it works and the specific oils you need to use takes a bit more research. Don’t worry though, we’re going to go over all of those in just a second.
What Makes Beard Oil Work?
Any beard oil that’s worth its weight is made up of two key ingredients - essential oils and carrier oils. Both of these provide different functions and in some cases, you might even see ingredients such as vitamin E, although these are usually reserved for the higher-end products.
More often than not, the greater amount you pay for your beard oil, the larger the number of essential oils you’re going to. This is largely down to the fact that essential oils by themselves cost a good deal more than their carrier oil counterparts. You shouldn’t, however, shy away from more premium products with several different essential oils in. Not only will they have a richer, more complex scent, they’ll also carry a load of additional benefits.
To give a few examples, sandalwood and tea tree oil - both essential oils - are natural antiseptics. This means that, if you suffer from underlying acne, applying these directly to your face can help to clear up your complexion. Your pores will be cleaner and your face will be left feeling refreshed and looking brighter.
If you’re put off by powerful smells, you shouldn’t worry about products full of essential oils. I spent $25 on a large bottle of beard oil the other week that had a citrus aroma that truly punched you in the face. It gave me a headache and I probably won’t be using it again, but the odour did die down after a few hours. This is because the essential oils within your beard oil aren’t a cologne, they’re just scents to compliment the other ingredients.
Carrier oils are the ingredients within your beard oil that do all of the hard lifting. In any decent beard oil, you can expect them to do 90% of the work - the other 10% is left to consistency and nice smells. Most carrier oils are derived from natural sources, with the majority of them being produced from nuts and seeds. Some of the most popular ones include jojoba (ho-ho-ba) and grapeseed and sweet almond. They’re all awesome.
Particularly jojoba, if you buy other beauty products such as moisturizers and high-end shampoos, you’ll probably notice carrier oils within the ingredients. This is because they provide a high number of benefits to regular hair, let alone beard hair and skin.
Think about it - why would companies use a concoction of chemicals and bizarre properties when the same effects can be produced with all-natural ingredients?
Steer Clear of Cheap Beard Oils
Since the beard product boom over the past few years, the market has been flooded with cheap imitation products that aren’t going to do your face any favours. Typically consisting of chemicals to give the product the consistency of an oil - such as silicone - these ‘beard oils’ can actually end up doing more harm to your face than good. You’re also probably going to get very few actual benefits from it, aside from a nice smell.
Additionally, you should do your best to avoid beard oils that don’t disclose their ingredients on the side of the bottle. Sure, companies such as Honest Amish want to protect their secret recipe, which is fine, but other companies will altogether neglect to inform you of what’s actually going on your face. You might be okay with that, but it’s definitely not cool with me.
- Related: Best Beard Oil – Your Essential Guide and Our Top 5 Products
- Related: Beard Balm vs. Beard Wax vs. Beard Oil – What’s the Difference?
Some brands are also going to opt for the botanical latin names for their ingredients (I don’t know, maybe it looks cooler). In this instance, give them a Google - you’re probably going to find out that they’re just fancy names for common carrier oils like jojoba.
How Does Beard Oil Stop Beard Itch?
After roughly 1 month, most men are going to start to realize that their beards are pretty damn itchy. It’s not something that you can control and more often than not, it’s not something you can ignore either.
Although some men choose to power through the itchy phase, it’s not at all necessary when you’ve got beard oil. With an understanding of how your skin reacts to a sudden forest of hair appearing on it, you need to know what’s going on below.
At the root of your beard hair are hair follicles, which contain all of the bits and pieces your beard needs to stay healthy. These bodily oils are concealed within glands and they keep your beard hair nourished, but they’re in finite supply. Once the key oil, known as sebum oil, runs out, your skin is going to get dry and you’re going to get the urge to itch.
Your beard might get longer, but the sebaceous glands that secrete sebum oil always stay the same size. Many men reach the point of itchiness around 2 weeks in, when sebum oil starts to become in short supply. It’s around this time when it’s worth investing in some beard oil and applying it in liberal amounts to your face. Jojoba oil is actually pretty chemically close to sebum oil, so a beard oil with it listed as an ingredient is going to really help you out.
More Importantly, How Do You Cure Beardruff?
If you don’t add beard oil to skin that you’re itching for a while, you’re going to develop beardruff. It’s an unfortunate fact, but unless you’ve got especially hard-wearing skin, it’s going to happen sooner or later.
Put simply, beardruff is dandruff that comes out of your beard. If you don’t use a beard oil, your itching and scratching will eventually lead to flaky skin, which you’ll notice appearing on your shirt. It’s not attractive and it’s definitely not pleasant for you either. By buying a good beard oil and applying it daily after washing your beard, you’ll quickly start to notice the beardruff subsiding.
Growing a Healthy Beard With Beard Oil
By throwing beard oil into your facial hair, you’re going to be giving it exactly what it needs to become healthy and grow well. If you’re noticing that your beard is a bit scruffy and dry, applying beard oil will quickly make it look and feel softer and healthier.
Applying beard oil regularly is also going to help you to avoid the development of split ends. If you’ve set your sights for a mighty Viking beard, or at least intend on having a longer beard for a good amount of time, this is a huge win for you. This is because you won’t have to trim your beard down nearly as often to keep it looking healthy.
How to Apply Beard Oil
This is a pretty common question that we get asked a lot. In fact, applying beard oil is a really simple process, but I guess it’s better to be safe than sorry. We’ve written an article in the past that teaches you how to apply beard oil in detail, but the main facts are these:
1) Apply a Few Drops to Your Palms
If your beard oil comes with a dripper, excellent news - add a few drops to your hand. I usually find that 4-6 drops is a good starting point, but you can increase or decrease that depending on the length of your beard.
2) Rub the Beard Oil Into Your Palms
It’s important to evenly distribute the beard oil into your palms to avoid getting huge chunks of shiny, greasy hair. Remember - this is oil, so it’s pretty resilient stuff. You don’t have to worry about wasting it by getting it all over your hands.
3) Massage the Oil Into Your Hair
Start by moving your hands down from cheek to jaw-line, evenly spreading the hair over your face. From there, then switch to an upward motion to ensure an even coverage.
4) Grab a Comb
The last step is grabbing a comb or beard brush and brushing the beard oil in. This step is key, as it’ll ensure that the oil is evenly distributed and reaches all of the hairs on your face.
So, Where Can You Pick Up Some Beard Oil?
There are hundreds (if not thousands) of online stores that specialize in beard oil, but the majority of them will prioritize their own products. If you have a brand that you know and trust, this can be a good idea, but otherwise it’s good to shop somewhere more impartial.
I’ve always found that Amazon is a great place to find beard oil. It’s quick, easy, and you’ll be able to read up on a whole host of customer reviews before settling down on a final option.
You’ll also reap the benefits of low shipping costs and flexible return policies - two things that aren’t always necessarily covered by smaller vendors. Hell, if you’ve got Amazon Prime, you could order some oil now and have it with you tomorrow in time for your shower. What’ve you got to lose? Some of my personal favorite beard oils include:
For anyone looking for an entrypoint into the world of beard oils, the one produced by Smooth Viking is a great place to start. It’s also 100% organic, so you don’t have to worry about any of the suspicious ingredients that we’ve mentioned above.
In addition to the great quality, Smooth Viking’s beard oil also comes in at a great price. Great products don’t have to come with a high price tag and Smooth Viking show that to a tee.
Despite not fully-disclosing their ingredients, Honest Amish are still one of my favorite brands. They’re also claimed to be the most-trusted beard brand in the world, so it’s pretty safe to say that their products going to work. It’s slightly more expensive than Smooth Viking, but when it contains over 5 key carrier oils, you’re definitely getting your money’s worth.
Since they don’t disclose all of their essential oils, it’s difficult to pin down exactly how Honest Amish smells. Some say that they get citrus from it, whereas others believe it carries more of a standard, woodsy smell. Either way, the scent is great and it’s a truly impressive product.
Grab Yourself a Beard Brush, Too
What better way to compliment your new beard oil than with a beard brush? Investing in a high-quality beard brush will ensure that you’re getting the most out of your beard oil. It’ll also make sure that you’re properly exfoliating the underlying skin, helping you to get rid of your beardruff more quickly.
Whereas a plastic comb might actually do more harm than good to your beard, a beard brush constructed from 100% boar bristle will be able to fight through more unruly beards without damaging them or your skin. I’ve been using the beard brush by Zeus for a while now. It’s 100% boar bristle and it fits conveniently into your pocket, making keeping your beard tamed whilst on the road much easier.