Let’s be clear: beard oil is one of the most important tools in your grooming kit if you’re serious about maintaining a healthy, attractive beard. It just is.
It’s one of the game-changers that help transform your beard from a mere mass of facial hair to one that others admire. Not that you need the admiration of others, but oil can help you acquire the confidence that you’re always putting your best beard forward.
What exactly are the benefits of beard oil? It’s a cosmetic oil specifically designed for the beard and skin, and using it consistently will make your beard healthier, fuller, and more manageable. It even will help it smell better.
What beard oil isn’t is beard shampoo or beard balm. Like beard oil, shampoo and balm should be part of your regular beard grooming routine, but they serve different purposes while also sharing a few similarities.
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Breaking it down
To get a bit more scientific, beard oil mimics the natural oils produced by the skin. It consists of a blend of one or more ingredients, such as coconut oil, jojoba oil, grapeseed oil, and many other types of oil classified as carrier oils and essential oils.
Beard oils are either scented or unscented and may cover a wide range of masculine scents, from sweet to bitter to woodsy and citrusy.
Some of the scented ones smell pretty damn good, by the way.
Carrier oils vs. essential oils
Let’s back up a bit. We just mentioned that beard oil consists of a mixture of carrier oils and essential oils. While it’s not mandatory to understand the differences between carrier oil and essential oil, a bit of knowledge never hurts, especially when it comes to applying a product on that beard you’ve worked so hard to grow.
Carrier oils serve as the base of a beard oil and dilute the much more concentrated essential oils to make them safe for use on the skin. Essential oil applied directly to the skin can lead to adverse reactions, such as irritated skin.
Carrier oil, then, “carries” essential oil safely to the skin, i.e. the skin under your beard, which is just as important to your beard’s health as the follicles sprouting from it.
Carrier oils consist of oils derived from the seeds, kernels, or nuts of a plant. Some carrier oils are odorless, while some have a mild scent. Unlike essential oils, carrier oils don’t evaporate.
Essential oil carries the scent and fragrance of the plant from which it’s derived. Essential oil goes through an extraction process to separate it from the non-seed part of the plant, and it’s strong, volatile stuff, which is why it’s not used directly on the skin.
Carrier oils typically make up 90% of beard oil. The rest consists of essential oil and, in some cases, added ingredients, such as vitamin E, which has many benefits for hair and skin health.
Beard Oil Is Not New
While beard oil has exploded onto the marketplace in the past several years, modern man needn’t get too proud of himself for coming up with the stuff. That’s because beard oil dates at least as far back as our Native American predecessors, who needed to figure out a way to keep their beards moisturized and looking good while living in harsh climates.
It became commercially available, by most accounts, in the 1930s, but data shows that it didn’t become available online until 2006. We’re riding a wave of beard oil popularity like no other before it.
You can find a list of the best and most popular beard oils here.
10 Amazing benefits of beard oil & why you should use it every day
Let’s be real: if you’re serious about growing a proper beard, then you need to have beard oil in your grooming kit. There’s really no excuse for not having it because its many benefits help transform your beard from dull, sluggish, and messy to something worthy of admiration.
If you’re unsure and still wondering “What is the purpose of beard oil?” then consider the following reasons why you need it.
1. Beard Oil Helps Get Rid of the Dreaded Beard Itch
An itchy beard is more than an aggravation. In some cases, it’s so persistent and such a pain in the ass that it drives men to the brink of debating whether it’s worth it to have a beard after all.
Sad to say, some men go over the brink.
When your beard itches, don’t panic. Sure, easier said than done sometimes, but – whatever you do – stay the course.
And use beard oil.
Beard oil liberates you from all that itching by nourishing and coating hair follicles while moisturizing the skin beneath the beard – at the least the top quality oils do.
Why does your beard itch? It can come down to a number of reasons:
- Where you are in the growth stage – One of the most common times to experience beard itch is during the early stages of growth, especially for first-time growers. Regular shaving left your facial hair with sharp, jagged edges, and those follicles can penetrate the skin while causing irritation and itching when they begin to grow.
- Dryness – New, longer facial hair requires more of the skin’s natural oil, called sebum, to remain properly hydrated, but sebum production doesn’t always keep pace with hair growth, and the skin becomes dry, which is when it starts itching. The glands that produce sebum, called the sebaceous glands, don’t grow along with your beard and can only produce so much oil.
- Dirt, grime, etc. – If your beard continues to itch after it advances beyond its early growth stages, it may be because of particles of dirt, dead skin cells, and even food trapped within your beard. Indeed, the remnants of lunch can bring on the itch (and hopefully not heartburn, too).
So, beard oil steps in, gives your beard and facial skin a needed dose of moisture while supporting sebum, and your beard itch quits driving you insane. Sounds like a bargain, and it is.
2. Beard Oil Fights Beard Dandruff
Beard dandruff, perhaps more commonly known as beardruff, ranks right up there in popularity with beard itch. They’re also related, which presents a double whammy. Regarding the latter, when you itch your beard, dry beard skin flakes start to fall on your clothes, your desk – you get the not-so-appealing appearance of beardruff.
So, many men ask, “What is beard oil used for?” Treating beardruff is one of its functions – and an important one at that – and the Catch-22 of an itchy beard and beardruff – you scratch the one for relief but cause the other – is another reason to own a bottle of beard oil.
Here’s the thing: using beard oil in the early growth stages of your beard keeps the skin moisturized as follicles become longer and use up more of your skin’s natural oils. That also means less itching and less beardruff dropping its unflattering white flakes over everything.
But also keep in mind that beardruff can happen at any time, particularly if you live in a climate where weather extremes are common, especially cold, wintry weather. Harsh weather can dry the skin underneath your beard and bring on dandruff and itching.
3. Beard Oil Helps Treat Patchy Beards
While we’re on the subject of beard badness – but not bad as in “badass” – let’s talk about patchy beards.
You’re not alone if you compare your beard with someone whose facial follicles are full, wonderous, and a sight to behold. If you have a patchy beard, such a comparison is often sobering.
But, again, beard oil is your friend and loyal companion in your quest for the best beard possible.
There are a few reasons why your beard is patchy, with some areas of your face full of follicles and others that look like a mangy dog, including genetics. It’s tough to alter the outcome of genetics: if your father and grandfather had patchy beards, you stand a good chance of having one, too, but that doesn’t mean there’s no hope.
You may also suffer from alopecia areata, a condition also known as “spot baldness,” have a hormone imbalance, or your patchy beard could be the result of lifestyle factors, such as stress, poor nutrition, and even smoking and alcohol abuse.
Again, enter beard oil.
Beard oil, particularly therapeutic beard oil, helps the skin underneath the beard thrive and potentially heal any issues that cause patchiness. It also moisturizes the skin and beard, as we’ve discussed, which helps promote your beard’s overall health.
Oil also addresses issues like itching, dryness, and dandruff that keep a beard from reaching its full potential, while also helping to heal hair follicles from within.
Does beard oil help growth? Technically, no, because there’s little you can do to change the rate at which your beard grows, but beard oil, thanks to ingredients such as jojoba and argan oil, helps create the conditions for healthy growth.
The bottom line? Beard oil treats symptoms and issues that keep beard follicles from flourishing and growing.
4. Beard Oil Makes Styling Your Beard Easier
Beard oil is like a superhero among beard grooming essentials. As we’ve seen, it treats itchiness, beardruff, dryness, and patchiness common to many beards, but it also serves many other functions, including that it makes your beard more manageable.
If you’re tired of a scruffy-looking beard in which some hairs stick out like electrical wiring, it’s time to reach for your beard oil. For one, it makes your beard softer and easier to manage, but the good ones don’t include harsh chemicals that irritate your facial hair and skin.
Beard oil is an excellent alternative to styling gels and sprays, which often contain harmful toxins. It’s a gentle moisturizer that helps keep your beard smooth and sleek. Unless you’re going for the “lumberjack” look, you need products that keep stray hairs in place while making them easier to style.
While beard oil may not be as effective as beard balm for styling and shaping – and beard balm provides a firmer hold – it serves nearly the same role as a leave-in conditioner while moisturizing your skin and beard to help make it more manageable.
One of the many nice things about beard oil is that you can use it in conjunction with beard balm, as well as using it as a stand-alone product. Beard balm has a hold that lasts throughout the day, and among the few disadvantages of beard oil is that it doesn’t provide the same kind of hold. Then again, that’s why there’s beard balm.
Lest we forget, another advantage beard oil has over many other styling products is that it’s made from natural ingredients – at least the best beard oils are, that is. Be wary of styling gels and sprays that include ingredients that are overly-hard to pronounce, such as phthalates and hydantoin, and made up of synthetic, and potentially toxic, chemicals.
5. Beard Oil Helps Fight Acne
A lot of things can collect on a beard during a typical day: dirt, grime, indoor and outdoor pollutants, food, etc. In turn, hair follicles become clogged, which leads to blocked pores, inflammation, and acne.
While it may seem counterintuitive to use oil to help treat acne, since oily skin often leads to pimple breakouts, beard oil helps cleans and moisturize the skin beneath your beard and doesn’t clog pores. Bear in mind that some beard oil ingredients are better than others for helping to prevent acne:
- Jojoba oil
Jojoba oil comes from the seeds of jojoba plants native to Arizona, northern Mexico, and the arid regions of California. It’s also one of the more popular ingredients in many of today’s grooming products, not the least of which is beard oil.
Of all the extracted natural oils, jojoba is the closest to sebum – the oil produced by the human body. Jojoba also is rich in essential nutrients and vitamins that help develop a thicker, healthier beard.
Another reason you’ll find jojoba in many beard oils is that it’s very gentle. It protects sensitive skin that’s more prone to pimples and acne. So, if you’re looking for a beard oil that won’t aggravate acne or other skin issues you may suffer from, then look for those that contain jojoba oil.
- Coconut oil
Overly-dry skin can cause acne breakouts, as well, but coconut oil locks moisture into the skin and hair to help keep skin properly hydrated. Coconut oil also prevents your skin from flaking, which can lead to beardruff, while reducing the irritation caused by trimming your beard or shaving the parts of your face not covered by facial hair.
- Almond sweet oil
Almond sweet oil, like coconut oil, reduces inflammation while treating sensitive skin that’s often prone to acne breakouts. Its high fatty acid content reduces inflammation, while it also improves blood flow to the inflamed area.
Another benefit of almond sweet oil is that it acts as an exfoliator to remove dead skin cells under the beard, which helps to reduce beard dandruff. Moreover, it helps prevent hair loss and breakage that keep your beard from looking its best.
6. Beard Oil Improves Your Beard’s Appearance
We’ve already talked, at least in a roundabout way, about how beard oil improves the overall look of a beard. It adds shine to a dull-looking beard, it helps get rid of knots and tangles that make it harder to comb or brush the beard, and it makes it softer.
It also, as mentioned, supplements the natural oils that keep your beard follicles shiny and the skin underneath healthy. And a healthy-looking beard is a good-looking one.
7. Beard Oil Helps You Smell Good
Let’s cut to the chase: does your beard stink? If it does, you’re not alone.
An unkempt beard can take on a certain, ahem, smell, thanks to a number of reasons: from the dirt and pollutants it collects every day (and which you can’t do much about) to the food you spill on it (a beard’s not a bib, but still), from the sweat that pours from you during an intense workout to the cigar and cigarette smoke generated either by you or those around you.
That’s why it’s important to use a beard wash regularly but also to use beard oil. Beard oil comes in many fragrances – from sandalwood to minty scents – and regular application of it helps keep your beard smelling fresh, not offensive.
8. Beard Oil is Lightweight
One of the advantages beard oil has over other types of beard grooming products is that it usually comes in a lightweight formula that doesn’t weigh heavily on your beard. That’s not to disrespect other products, like beard balm or wax, but those serve different purposes and are, by nature, heavier than oil.
You’ll know you’re wearing beard oil by your beard’s scent and shine, but not because it’s weighing down your follicles. Otherwise, you wouldn’t notice it at all, and the shine is never greasy, or at least shouldn’t be greasy.
9. Beard Oil Builds Confidence
Does a beard actually give a man more confidence, i.e. does the beard make the man? While the man makes the man, when you get to the bottom of it, a beard can provide an extra sense of well-being and even bravado – especially when the beard’s appearance is kick-ass.
So, yeah, a beard can help with confidence, no question, and, when it looks good, it can shape the way people perceive you in other areas of your life, such as in the workplace.
A sloppy, unkempt beard can give the wrong impression among those you work with – or even those you hope to work with through job interviews. It can make you look lethargic, like it took all your mental and physical powers to drag yourself out of bed and make it to work on time.
A well-kempt beard, on the other hand, offers many benefits: from making its wearer seem more mature to making him seem more masculine – but not just any beard. A beard that, with the help of beard oil, has the look of a well-oiled machine.
10. Beard Oil Helps With Attracting Women
Speaking of confidence – most women prefer a man who is sure of himself, who can walk into a room with an aura of self-assuredness and authority – and studies show that many women find men with beards more attractive than clean-shaven men, including this study.
But, again, bad grooming can get in the way of you attracting the woman of your dreams, which is where beard oil plays a key role. Regularly using beard oil to help keep your beard well-styled, soft, manageable, free from beardruff, and smelling great could improve your odds with the ladies.
Hey, every little bit helps, right?
Before & after beard oil: You’ll love the transformation
We’ve talked about the many benefits of beard oil, and among the benefits is how it changes the look of your beard. In a nutshell, it’s this: from dull, scraggly, and dry to shiny, soft, and well-hydrated.
We’re talking about noticeable improvements, fellas, which are further proof that your beard grooming kit must contain beard oil. No excuses.
- Some men, and women, love a thick coarse beard, but not everyone can handle coarse – especially our wives, girlfriends, etc., so a softer beard is in order. Beard oil helps transform your beard from (before) coarse and wiry to soft and smooth (after).
- Your beard may look dull and lifeless – at least before you apply beard oil to it, that is. Beard oil gives your beard a nice shine, but not so much of a shine that it looks like it has a handful of pomade in it.
- Your beard before beard oil may include stray, fly-away hair that sticks out like bits of wire from an otherwise smooth beard. Beard oil will put those stubborn hairs back in their place.
- Before beard oil: beardruff. After beard oil: no more beardruff. If you have no other incentive to try beard oil, getting rid of those unsightly white beardruff flakes should be reason enough.
- A quality beard oil softens your beard and helps get rid of tangles and split ends. In turn, you’ll rid your beard of its shaggy appearance.
In short, your beard will go from mediocre (or even less than mediocre) to the head of the class, thanks to a few well-placed drops of beard oil.
Beard oil is the stuff your beard requires for a lot of reasons. If you’re serious about making your beard look its best while keeping it healthy, then beard oil is essential to the process. You’ll be amazed by how much better your beard looks and feels.
Do you use beard oil? If so, what brand do you use? As always, we’d love to hear from you and welcome your comments and feedback.