Beard Oil vs Beard Balm – What’s The Best For Your Beard?

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Amid the growing popularity of beards, the market is flooded with numerous beard care products, making it challenging to select the right one. Frequently, men have questions about the beard oil vs beard balm matter:

  • Which product is ideal for your beard?
  • What’s the best choice and why?
  • How do beard oil and beard balm differ?

I shared the same questions as you, and after experimenting with both products multiple times, I found some insights. Selecting the best one for your grooming routine can indeed be challenging, so let’s check the difference between beard oil and beard balm to determine which is more suitable for your beard.

Beard Oil vs Beard Balm – Which Is Better For You?

The primary distinction between beard oil and balm lies in their consistency and composition. Beard oil is a liquid primarily made from a blend of essential oils, while beard balm is more creamy and waxy, typically consisting of a base of beeswax, shea butter, or cocoa butter.

Beard oil vs Beard Balm - which is better?

When determining which product, beard oil or beard balm, is more suitable for your beard, it ultimately depends on your specific facial hair needs. You have to ask yourself:

  • Which is preferable for the early stages of beard growth?
  • Which works best for longer beards?
  • Which offers better hold and styling?
  • Which is more practical for busy individuals?

Best For The Early Stages Of Beard Growth

Winner: Beard Oil 

If you’re in the early stages of growing your beard, using beard oil is recommended to moisturize the skin beneath your beard, preventing redness and itching. While beard balm also offers similar benefits, during this phase, maintaining a natural appearance is often preferred, and beard oil serves this purpose well.

Best For Longer Beards

Winner: Beard Balm

For longer beards, beard balm is often preferred because, as your facial hair grows, it necessitates a level of control. With longer and thicker beards, beard balm offers a firmer hold, allowing you to style your beard according to your preferences.

Best For Hold and Style

Winner: Beard Balm

Beard balm is excellent for taming flyaways and providing extra control over your facial hair. It helps in keeping your beard neat, well-groomed, smooth, and healthy while also offering styling benefits.

Best For Busy People

Winner: Beard Oil

Beard balm tends to take longer to be fully absorbed compared to beard oil. If you have a hectic schedule and prefer a quicker beard care routine, using beard oil might suit you better. However, it’s worth noting that beard balms often provide longer-lasting effects compared to beard oils.

Beard Oil

Beard oil vs Beard Balm - Man applying beard oil

What Is Beard Oil?

Beard oil serves as a moisturizing conditioner, hydrating both your beard and the skin beneath it. It’s a blend of essential oils such as coconut oil, jojoba, eucalyptus, castor, and argan, aimed at nourishing facial hair.

Beard oil offers essential vitamins and nutrients vital for healthier beard growth. It addresses dryness by penetrating the skin beneath your beard, effectively hydrating the hair follicles to support improved facial hair health.

Benefits Of Using Beard Oil

Beard oil benefits include:

  • Moisturizing the skin beneath your beard
  • Conditioning and hydrating your beard
  • Enhancing manageability and softness
  • Reducing itching and preventing dandruff
  • Calming sensitivities and controlling flyaway hairs

Side Effects Of Using Beard Oil

While beard oil generally offers numerous benefits, some individuals may experience side effects due to specific ingredients. It’s essential to be aware that different beard oils use various ingredients, and these could potentially lead to side effects based on individual sensitivities or allergies. 

Some side effects:

  • Allergic reactions
  • Sensitive to sunlight
  • Itching (ironic, I know)
  • Burning
  • Hives

When Should You Use Beard Oil?

You can start using beard oil as soon as you begin growing facial hair. Applying beard oil early on helps moisturize both the beard and the skin beneath it, potentially reducing itching and discomfort associated with new beard growth.

Applying beard oil after a shower is a great practice, particularly after a hot shower that might dry out your skin and beard. Whether it’s in the morning, evening, or both, the timing largely depends on personal preference and the needs of your beard.

What Makes a Good Beard Oil?

Selecting the right beard oil amidst the multitude of options available can be challenging. To simplify your choice, consider these crucial factors.

Organic Products

Opting for organic beard oil can reduce the risk of allergic reactions or skin irritation as these products typically lack harmful ingredients. Look for the USDA logo on the bottle to ensure it contains certified organic ingredients.

Essential Oils

Ensure to choose essential oils suitable for your skin type. Different oils, such as coconut oil and eucalyptus oil, offer unique benefits, so select those that cater to your specific skin needs.

Some of the most common essential oils you will find:

  • Coconut – Helps with beard growth.
  • Jojoba – Great moisturizer for acne-prone skin.
  • Argan – Excellent for a dry beard.
  • Sweet Almond – Reduces skin inflammation.
  • Eucalyptus – Excellent antibacterial properties.
  • Castor – Strengthens the hair roots.


Some beard oils have powerful scents, such as eucalyptus oil, which may blend with your cologne or aftershave. To address this, you can opt for unscented beard oils, but it’s advisable to read product descriptions and reviews for confirmation.

Ease Of Application

You’d prefer a beard oil that offers ease of use and precise application. A bottle equipped with a dropper is ideal as it allows you to measure the exact number of drops needed to moisturize your beard effectively.

How To Apply Beard Oil?

Here are the recommended steps for applying beard oil to your facial hair

Step 1 – Wash Your Face and Hands

You need to start with clean hands and a clean face to ensure the beard oil works effectively on your skin and facial hair. Check how often you should wash your beard.

Step 2 – Dry Yourself

Dry hands and a dry beard are essential for optimal absorption of the oil into both your skin and facial hair.

Step 3 – Put The Oil On Your Hands

Begin by dispensing two or three drops of beard oil into your palm, then rub your hands together to evenly distribute the oil across your fingers and palms. Additional drops can be added later if needed.

Step 4 – Apply The Oil To Your Beard

Begin applying the oil by massaging it from the bottom of your beard upwards, moving from the tips toward the roots and skin. Massage thoroughly for a few minutes, ensuring you cover both the skin and the base of your beard.

Step 5 – Apply More If You Need It

Feel free to add more oil if you feel that the initial application wasn’t sufficient. Longer beards typically require more oil for adequate coverage and hydration.

Step 6 – Brush It

Brushing your beard post-application of oil aids in distributing the oil evenly across the beard’s length, ensuring it’s thoroughly absorbed by the hair and skin.

Beard Balm

Beard oil vs Beard Balm - Man applying beard balm

What Is Beard Balm?

Beard balm serves as a conditioning agent, moisturizing and softening your facial hair. It’s also great for enhancing beard fullness, providing a touch of style, and taming unruly hairs for a neater, smoother beard appearance.

Beard balms typically contain ingredients such as beeswax, shea butter, cocoa butter, and petroleum jelly, along with various essential oils like jojoba, coconut, or argan oil.

Benefits Of Using Beard Balm

Beard balm benefits include:

  • Preventing beard dandruff
  • Relieving an itchy beard
  • Providing moisture to your beard
  • Taming flyaways
  • Adding volume to facial hair
  • Styling the beard
  • Enhancing beard softness
  • Creating a healthier beard appearance

Side Effects Of Using Beard Balm

The use of beard balm, like other grooming products, may have certain side effects. However, it’s essential to note that reactions can vary based on individual skin types and sensitivity to ingredients. Overall, beard balm generally has few reported side effects:

  • Swelling
  • Inflammation

When Should You Use Beard Balm?

Using beard balm is often recommended for longer beards (around 1.5 inches or more) as it takes longer to absorb. However, even with a shorter beard (like a two-week growth), applying beard balm can be beneficial if you use a smaller amount. Adjusting the quantity for shorter beards can still provide benefits without overwhelming your facial hair.

Applying beard balm after a shower is ideal as the skin beneath your facial hair is typically drier and requires hydration. Alternatively, if you shower at night, using beard balm in the morning after washing your face with warm water can also help open the pores for better absorption.

What Makes a Good Beard Balm?

Choosing the ideal beard balm among the many options available requires paying attention to specific details to ensure it suits your beard’s needs and preferences.

Natural and Organic Ingredients

To ensure quality, seek the USDA logo on the product and prioritize natural ingredients when selecting beard balms. Synthetic sealants like petroleum jelly may irritate the skin and harm facial hair, so opting for ingredients like beeswax, shea butter, or cocoa butter is advisable.


Selecting the right scent is crucial because your facial hair’s aroma will stay for hours. Scents like peppermint or lemon are often popular choices. Opting for an unscented balm might be preferable if you use cologne or aftershave to avoid mixing fragrances.

The Type Of Beard Balm

There are two main types of beard balm:

  1. Solid Beard Balm: This type is thick and waxy, offering excellent shaping and holding properties for your beard hair.
  2. Cream Beard Balm: Unlike the solid variant, this type has a less solid texture but still contains a waxy element. It’s ideal for a lighter hold while styling your beard.

How To Apply Beard Balm?

Here are the recommended steps for applying beard balm to your facial hair.

Step 1 – Wash Your Face and Hands

Ensure your face and hands are clean to maximize the effectiveness of the beard balm on your skin and facial hair.

Step 2 – Dry Yourself

Make sure your hands and beard are dry to facilitate optimal absorption of the balm into your skin and facial hair.

Step 3 – Rub The Balm On Your Hands

Scoop out a dime-sized amount of beard balm using the back of your thumbnail. If you have a longer beard, you might require more; start with a smaller amount and add more if needed. Rub your hands together to soften the balm across your fingers and palms.

Step 4 – Apply The Balm On Your Beard

Apply the beard balm starting from the sides and work your way from the bottom to the top of your beard. Massage the balm for a few minutes, ensuring coverage across your mustache and beard roots, using your fingers and palms.

Use any excess beard balm remaining on your hands for your hair if desired. Otherwise, you can apply it to your elbows if they tend to be dry.

Step 5 – Apply More If You Need It

You can always add more beard balm if you feel you haven’t applied enough, especially if you have a longer beard that requires more product.

Step 6 – Brush It

Brushing a longer beard post-application of beard balm aids in maintaining its neatness and ensures an even distribution of the balm across your facial hair.

Common Questions

Can You Use Beard Oil and Balm Together?

Combining beard oil and balm can be beneficial for your beard. Yet, the ideal approach can vary based on individual beard needs and preferences. It’s recommended to experiment with both products and their combinations to find the best regimen for your beard. Overusing products could potentially limit the full benefits they offer.

Should I Use Beard Oil Or Beard Balm?

Using beard oil in the initial stages of beard growth is beneficial for moisturizing and nourishing both the facial hair and the skin beneath it. As the beard grows longer, typically between 3 months to 1.5 inches in length, incorporating beard balm can offer added hold and styling capabilities.

How Often Should I Use Beard Oil and Balm?

The frequency of applying beard oil or balm depends on your preferences and beard care routine. For many, applying it at least once a day, preferably after a shower, is considered a suitable regimen.

What Do You Put On First: Beard Oil Or Balm?

Applying beard oil first allows it to penetrate the skin and facial hair, providing hydration and nourishment. Then, using beard balm helps seal in the moisture and offers styling benefits.

Some individuals use beard oil mainly for skin moisturization, while beard balm is targeted towards the roots and tips of the beard. You might try using one product in the morning and the other at night to see which approach suits you best. Experiment to find your preferred routine.

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