Does beard oil work? Is It even worth It?

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So you’ve decided to grow a beard to join your beard brethren, perhaps someone has told you about beard oil and it’s magical properties and you’re wondering come on? Does beard oil work? Or are you selling me a tale, it’s good to be skeptical.

Perhaps like myself you’ve found that your beard itches terribly, you face feels like a swarm of fire ants are biting at your face and you are wishing for a cure.

Or you’ve got past that stage and while your beard is still itchy it’s not unrelenting, instead now your skin is flaking, you have beardruff (beard dandruff) it’s unappealing and makes your beard look terrible.

Maybe you’ve tried to stroke your beard and noticed that instead of being soft and thought bringing, instead it feels like you’ve been stroking the bristles of a broom.

Add to that the split ends that are now plaguing your beard, well it’s a bit of a sorry sight really.

The first time I grew a beard, I went through all of these. I didn’t know any better and I suffered for it, I then heard about beard oil and thought…yeah right! That’ll never work. I mean my beard is growing fine aside all of this itchiness how’s beard oil going to help.

No doubt it’s full of rubbish synthetic chemicals anyway which will just make the itching worse!

That couldn’t be further from the truth.

That’s right beard oil saved the day, or at least saved the beard for me.
Straight off the bat, Beard oil eliminates all of the problems listed above, in fact the majority of problems you may face when growing a beard are fixed by beard oil alone.

If you want to know more, if you want to know why it works and what beard oil can do for you then carry on reading and let me cut through the myths and the lies and give you the cold hard facts about beard oil and no doubt you’ll be adding beard oil into your grooming repertoire.

Oh, and If you’re considering growing a beard, I highly advise getting beard oil before you do so, as you start to grow your beard apply a small amount of beard oil daily, trust me, it’ll make the transition from shaven to a beard face so much easier.

What is beard oil? What ingredients make up beard oil?

What ingredients make up beard oil

Let’s get right down to it, what is beard oil?

I don’t know about you but before I got to know beard oil I thought it was made with loads of chemicals, this was confirmed to me when I read the bottles in the supermarket.

The same junk in all the other bottles in the drug store were also inside their beard oils and washes, how is this junk going to help? It’s probably going to make my face worse!

So I was right! Or so I thought… unfortunately there are some brands typically held by drug stores that are full of rubbish, but they are the edge case.

Actually beard oil is a mixture of carrier oils and essential oils, this mixture is specifically crafted to mimic the natural oils produced by your skin, these oils help moisturize your facial hair and keep the skin dry underneath.

In fact most beard oils are made of two ingredients as mentioned above, carrier oils and essential oils, you might also find glycerol mixed in but that’s just there to help with the texture of the oil, it gives the oil a smoothness.

The majority of beard oils are made with jojoba oil, if you don’t know what jojoba oil is, it’s derived from the jojoba plant and is completely all natural

It’s possibly the closest thing in nature to your sebum oil, more on sebum oil shortly.

There are some beard oils which do not have any essential oils, these tend to be the unscented variety, but typically you’ll find that a beard oil will be made up of around 95% carrier oils to 5% essential oils, though those numbers aren’t fixed.

These carrier oils are the important bit, they are the fundamental part of your beard oil and they perform two very important jobs.

The first job that carrier oils do is the imitate the natural oils produced by your skin to give your beard and face the key nutrients it’s not currently receiving. These are easily absorbed into your facial hair and your skin, which assists your oil producing glands who aren’t typically capable of keeping a beard well hydrated, which I’ve always found odd, why do we grow facial hair if the oil producing glands can’t keep up?!?

Depending on the carrier oils used you may find that some have a therapeutic effect, such as being anti-inflammatory.

The second job these carrier oils do and the name gives it away really is they carry the essential oils, if you used essential oils alone, you would find that they can be quite harmful to your skin, potentially causing irritation or even burns due to how potent essential oils are, so carrier oils dilute the essential oils to a level that our skin can handle.

So where do carrier oils come from?

where do carrier oils come from

Carrier oils tend to come from vegetables.

They’re usually extracted from seeds, nuts and kernels.

You’ll find that the majority of beard oils are made using jojoba and argan oil, you may also find sweet almond and even coconut oil, but jojoba and argan oil are the most commonly used carrier oils.

Essential oils on the other hand are secondary to carrier oils, but that doesn’t mean they don’t provide benefits, asides from giving your beard oil a fantastic scent.

They can and this entirely depends on the essential oils used act as powerful antioxidants, they can even stimulate your hair follicles, encourage cell regeneration, relieve itchy skin, prevent and fight beardruff, and much more.

These carrier oils play a huge role within beard oil

So where do essential oils comes from?

where do essential oils comes from

Essential oils are derived mostly from roots, peels, berries, flowers, and even wood!

Essential oils are extracted usually through a process called steam distillation.

What is steam distillation? Well it’s where a large amount of plant material is steamed and as the steam rises the oils are extracted.

This follows a similar pattern to how whisky is created, though the end result isn’t as tasty.

Distillation isn’t the only way to extract the essential oils from plants.

There are other processes such as “expeller pressed”

Unlike with distillation where stream is used, expreller pressed, doesn’t require steam.

Instead the same plant material is placed under large amounts of pressure until the oils are extracted.

The end result is a very potent and concentrated oil ready to be used in the finest beard oils.

How does beard oil work?

Ok so we now know what beard oil is, it’s the combination of carrier and essential oils.

But how does it work you ask! Well it acts as a moisturizer for your facial hair and skin. When you apply beard oil it will soak into your beard hair which softens it, this softening will prevent your beard from being brittle and from feeling like a stiff brush.

The beard oil will also add a protective coat to your skin, preventing moisture from evaporating which keeps your skin nice and smooth and ultimately preventing the dreaded flaking.

What does beard oil do for your skin?

So let’s look at exactly what beard oil does for your skin and Well it acts as a moisturizer.

It does this by creating a protective barrier which helps your skin retain more water, this retention helps improve skin cell regeneration leaving your skin soft and flexible.

The oil also penetrates into the hair follicle making sure that your beard is moisturized from the root, if your beard oil contains vitamin E this will promote stronger and faster beard growth.

Excellent for dry skin and for fighting beardruff, for me it was the cure.

Due to the moisturizing nature of beard oil, it’s proven to be an excellent tool in your arsenal for fighting that dreaded breadruff. Now you may be wondering how exactly that works, what magic is beard oil doing to battle beard dandruff, well let me get a bit technical.

So at the root of each of your hair is a hair follicle, this hair follicle contains a pair of glands which are called sebaceous glands.

what are sebaceous glands

The purpose of these sebaceous glands is to keep your hair and your skin coated in a protective layer of oil called sebum oil.

These glands work perfectly while your beard is relatively short, but as your facial hair grows, it naturally needs more sebum oil to protect it and keep it moisturized, this is where the problem begins.
Your sebaceous glands are only able to create a finite amount of sebum oil, this is because these glands stand the same size throughout your lifetime, so once they hit their maximum output that’s it, there is no more.

So as your beard gets longer it exceeds the maximum capacity of your sebaceous glands, they quite simply just cannot keep up with the demand from your facial hair, and your skin and beard suffer, they become dry and itchy. The inability of your sebaceous glands to keep up with demand leaves your face and facial hair without the protective layer of oil.

Now you may be wondering exactly what is that oil protecting, it slows the evaporation of water from your skin, so that you skin can better retain moisture. If your skin isn’t kept hydrated it gets dry and starts to itch, and for your beard, this leads to skin flakes which turns into beardruff.

So beard oil was created to mimic the sebum oil, to give back that protective layer that your beard and skin need, by applying beard oil daily you end up revitalizing your facial skin and preventing beard dandruff.

Now I want to point out that beard oil is fantastic but you’ll want to have a proper maintenance routine otherwise beardruff will come back.

So first off make sure you wash your beard properly. There isn’t a hard and fast rule as to how often you should wash your hair let alone your beard, but for me, I tend to wash my beard every 2-3 days.

One thing that’s for certain is that you should wash your beard with a beard conditioner.

DO NOT use a bar of soap, or shampoo such as head and shoulders anti-dandruff on your beard, they aren’t designed for beards and do more harm than good.

Now i’ve not mentioned this before but if you are struggling to get rid of your beardruff, you can mix a combination of beard oil and beard balm together in the palm of your hand, this will ensure your beard is constantly hydrated all day.

These two ingredients work together to remove beard dandruff within a week or less, actually my morning routine is to mix beard balm together with beard oil.

I haven’t suffered with beardruff in years.

It works against acne

It works against acne

You may be surprised to know that by growing a beard and using beard oil that you are unlikely to suffer with acne.

This is because the beard acts as a shield against the elements and the impurities that your face battles on a daily basis.

A beard is a barrier you’ve put up to protect your face from the elements!

Ok so the beard is excellent against the elements, but what about beard oil?

Depending on the oils used in your beard oil mix, you may find that you have the perfect oil based acne eradicator.

Though just by using beard oil you are adding a protective layer, the carrier oils contained within your beard oil mix will act as a protectant. They will create a layout on your skin which prevents impurities and bacteria from penetrating into your pores.

Add on to that your beard oil will most likely contain essential oils, and some essential oils have been proven to be excellent cleansers. It’s these cleansers which will help soothe irritated skin, prevent large pores and they’ll also disinfect your skin.
Beard oil is a bit awesome right?

If you do have a problem with acne then you need to make sure that your beard oil contains the right ingredients to help battle it.

So you should look for it to contain one or more of the following carrier oils:

  • Jojoba oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Olive oil

You’ll also want it to have the right mix of essential oils, so you should make sure that your beard oil contains one of more of the following essential oils, without these you won’t get the full benefits.

  • Tea tree essential oil
  • Bergamot essential oil
  • Lavender essential oil
  • Cypress essential oil
  • Lemongrass essential oil
  • Frankincense essential oil
  • Rosemary essential oil
  • Chamomile essential oil
  • Geranium essential oil
  • Oregano essential oil

By using a beard oil which contains a mix of the above carrier and essential oils, you find that it’s quite effective against acne, perhaps more so than the prescribed and synthetic medications, while being entirely all natural and a non-toxic solution to your acne problem.

Helps with treating eczema

Just like with acne you may find that using the right mix of carrier and essential oils in your beard oil may help with eczema.

Eczema is very much a term used to describe a chronic skin condition which is caused by inflammation. It’s an hereditary allergy which many people suffer from that causes inflammation of the skin, though we don’t know exactly why.

While we don’t know the exact reason why some people suffer from eczema, researchers have identified several proteins and enzymes which are classified as “pro-inflammatory”, among these is the COX-2 enzyme which is often observed at elevated levels during inflammation.

So if you are looking for a beard oil which will fight eczema, or at least relieve the symptoms that you would to be wise to look for a beard oil which contains essential oils that have been proven to suppress the COX-2 enzyme.

To make sure you have the right beard oil you should look for one that contains one or more of the following essential oils.

  • Thyme, while being excellent to cook with, it’s been found to contain compounds that relieve pain, inflammations, swelling and infection.
  • Rose essential oil
  • Eucalyptus
  • Fennel
  • Clove, this essential oil contains fantastic anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties.
  • Chamomile
  • Lavender
  • Bergamot
  • Rose geranium
  • Tea tree

What does beard oil do to your beard?

What does beard oil do to your beard

Ok, we’ve spent quite a while talking about all the benefits that beard oil does to your facial skin, with good reason, your beard is an extension to your skin, so it makes sense that if you keep the skin happy and healthy then your beard will follow suit and vice versa.

But it’s called beard oil, it’s made for the beard so what exactly does beard oil do to benefit your beard?

Well to fully understand what beard oil does to your beard we’re going to have to get technical again!

Beard oils tend to go down two paths when it comes to scent, either they are scented or they are unscented.

With scented beard oils, these contain essential oils (though a lot of beard oils in the supermarket contain synthetic fragrances) and a lot of the time the decent beard oils also contains some vitamins, such as vitamin e which is known to improve beard growth.

Unscented oils are usually entirely made from carrier oils, though as with the scented versions the better brands will also include vitamins to ensure your beard is as healthy as it can be.

Typically scented oils are more expensive than unscented but that makes sense as they contain expensive essential oils.

By adding essential oils into the mix you beard will smell amazing for hours, I use some fantastic brands and for example I put my beard oil on at 6:50 this morning it’s now 10:15 and it’s still got a nice strong scent and this will continue all day.

It’s not unusual for me to stroke my beard in the evening and to find that my hand now smells of whatever beard oil I put in in the morning.

The great thing about beard oils are that for the most part, well almost entirely they contain no synthetic aromas (there are unfortunately exceptions), so that great smell is down to those all natural essential oils. An amazing benefit is that the range of scents is limitless, today for example I am wearing a scent called Barber Shop, yesterday God Mode, the day before that Into the wild, each unique and wonderful.

You can tailor the scent to your personality, or how you are feeling that day.

So what does beard oil do to your beard, apart from making it smell amazing it hydrates your beard, as mentioned above the oil you apply will soak into your hair follicle, this will add nutrition and protection to the root of your hair, resulting in a nice soft, happy and healthy beard.

Beard oil and sebum oil

beard oil and sebum oil

So you know that your sebaceous glands are unable to keep up with the demands of your beard, and this is where your beard oil starts to shine, it helps keep that beard of yours well moisturized.

Beard oil is an excellent moisturizer, it’s its main job and in my opinion it’s an essential necessity for anyone looking to grow a beard, no matter the climate, whether it’s hot or cold each environment will have a negative effect on the hydration of your beard.

Using beard oil keeps your beard well moisturized.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed a pattern in this article, but i may have mentioned that beard oil is an excellent beard moisturizer a few times.

To understand how beard oil helps moisturize your beard, we need to go back to the sebaceous glands and sebum oil again.

The sebum oil as mentioned above, is produced naturally by the sebaceous glands in your pores, besides doing a fantastic job at keeping your skin hydrated and protected, it does wonders for your beard as well.

But as your beard grows in length, the sebaceous glands just can’t produce enough sebum oil to coat you skin and your beard, this thin layer of sebum oil is there to retain water, not just for your skin but for your beard hair as well.

This water retention is what keeps your beard software and healthy, without it your beard comes weak and brittle.

A hydrated beard is a strong beard!

If you are like me, you wash your beard every 2-3 days, the process of washing your beard will remove the built up sebum oil coating off of the hairs.

Unfortunately it will take a while for your sebaceous glands to build up the level of oil your beard will need, so while it does that you beard will unfortunately not retain the level of water that you need to keep it healthy, soft, and strong. In fact if we don’t help your beard hair will age faster than they should and they shed, leaving you with a thin beard, let alone the plethora of other dry beard issues.

So we have to help and we do this by using beard oil to mimic the benefits of sebum oil, applying beard oil to your beautiful mane will compensate for the lack of sebum oil, it will also coat your hair with the natural oils which are very similar to what your body produces, which will revitalize your beard keeping it healthy, strong and happy.

Helps eliminating beard split ends

beard split ends

As you grow your beard you will no doubt come across split ends, everyone does at some point.

Split ends come from a dry beard, a beard that’s lacking the right fuels to ensure its strength and environmental factors come into play.

Your sebum oil will help prevent split ends, but that will typically only apply to the proportion of your beard hair that’s closest to your facial skin, while the rest of your beard hair is left to fend for itself.

This unprotected beard hair will lose water and become brittle, and well it’ll start to crack and it’s these cracks that become split ends.

I’m going to level with you, beard oil can help prevent split ends, but it’s not a wonder cure, if you have split ends the only way to fix them is to cut them off, so you’ll need to trim your beard to remove them.

No matter how much beard oil you apply they will not fix themselves the damage is done.

All beard oil can do is keep your beard hydrated which will prevent split ends.

Beard oil has also been proven to promote beard growth.

Look, i’m going to level with you here, you aren’t going to apply beard oil just before you go to sleep then wake up the next day to be greeted with an epic mane.

Beard oil is not some form of miracle grow, I’m sorry to break that to you.

You’ll find that some beard oils contain carrier oils such as castor oil, alongside essential oils such as peppermint, lavender, coconut, rosemary, and chamomile essential oils. As well as vitamins such as vitamin e.

These are all believed to help promote hair growth.

Vitamin e for example has been proven to stimulate that growth of the capillaries, and it’s these capillaries which are responsible for the blood and nutrient delivery to the hair follicles. Which means more food to the follicles and more growth and not just more growth but stronger and healthier hair growth.

So why beard oil isn’t miracle grow, it can help promote more healthy growth.

Beard oil also stops beard itch.

beard oil prevents an itchy beard, no more beard itch

You may be surprised to now that beard itch is related to the sebaceous glands…

As mentioned a few times above, the sebaceous glands produce sebum to coat the skin and hair. At some point we reach a breaking point where the sebaceous glands can’t create enough sebum oil to fully protect the skin and hair and it’s at this time that you’ll end up with dry skin.
The sebum oil retains water and without the water retention your skin dries out and cracks.

This is what leads to excessive itchiness within your beard.

By applying beard oil you are keeping you skin well coated in a protective layer so the water retention remains strong, the oils keep your skin and beard soft so no cracking and if you continue to use beard oil the itchiness will disappear entirely.

Does beard oil make your beard thicker and fuller?

Using beard oil will help you get a fuller beard, even more so if the beard oil contains vitamin e and minoxidil, this is due to the enhanced nourishment of your beard and in the case of beard oils containing vitamin e and minoxidil these ingredients work on the capillaries which enhances the nutrient flow to your hair follicles which can stimulate increased growth.

This increased growth and increased nutrients will make you beard look and feel healthier, shinier and indeed more voluminous.

If you want to help make your beard thicker and fuller your diet is one place to look, you’ll want to load up on proteins and oils.

So make sure you eat plenty of nuts, eggs, beef, fish, etc.

You can see our advice on the best beard foods here.

Will beard oil make your beard grow faster

I’m afraid not.

Will beard oil help, indeed it will.

The majority of good quality beard oils on the market contain vitamin e and other essential oils which have been proven to encourage capillary growth which leads to increased nutrient flow which you can assume will help speed up growth.

But it’s not miracle grow so the increases would be marginal.

Does it help with a patchy beard?

There isn’t a straight answer to this.

A patchy beard comes from having hair follicles that aren’t fully developed in areas or don’t exist, which leaves you with a beard that has bald spots.

Some beard oils are designed to help encourage the follicles to develop and grow, but as you’ll see in this article all about beard growth oils, that only 40% of men are fortunate enough to respond to minoxidil, you could be one of the 40% unfortunately you need to use the beard oil for 3 months minimum to find out.

Using a beard oil containing vitamin e will probably help, I know my beard seems fuller and less patchy thanks to using a good quality beard oil.

How often should you use beard oil?

Beard oil will give you the best result if you apply it directly to your beard right after your shower, it’s at this time that the pores on your face are wide open, allowing the beard oil to penetrate nice and deep, really nourishing from the root up.

I suggest applying directly in the morning after a shower, and once before you go to best, if you read your beard oil bottles this is what the majority of beard oil producers suggest, it gives you the protection you need throughout the day and then the nutrients your body needs to repair and grow overnight.

How long does a bottle of beard oil last?

I can’t give this answer accurately, because it will entirely depend on the size of your beard oil bottle, and the length of your beard.

If you have a long beard you will use up more beard oil as you beard will demand more beard oil.

For myself with a medium-ish length beard, on average a 1 oz bottle of beard oil will last about 2 months, for you it maybe anywhere between 1-4 months all depending on the length of your beard.

How do you apply beard oil?

Well this part is pretty easy.

The amount of beard oil you need will be determined based on the length of your beard, for me my beard is kept at a 3-4 month growth length, so I tend to put around 8-10 drops of beard oil on the palm of my hand.

Depending your length you may need more or less, experiment, you want to lightly coat your beard, not drench it in oil.

Now rub your hands together lightly just to get an even distribution across your hands, then start to stroke your beard, really reach into the roots of your beard to ensure that every part of your beard is covered.

A tip from my personal routine is to start by taking a small amount of those 10 drops onto the tip of your finger and dab it onto your mustache and then with your index finger and thumb massage it in.

I then follow up with the entire hands, I found my mustache wouldn’t get the oil it needed otherwise.

Make sure that when you are massaging the oil in to from the the root of your hair follicle to the absolutely tip, as mentioned above you want to evenly coat your entire beard.

And that’s it, well done you’ve applied beard oil, I do highly recommend using a comb and a beard brush, I do as this helps evenly distribute the beard oil above and beyond what you can do with your hands.

Once again make sure you get right down to the base of your beard and to the very tips!

Check out this video to see what I mean and if you are looking for the beard oil used in the video click here.

What should you do with the leftover oil on your hands?

Most peoples natural reaction is to wipe your hands clean, but I advise you not to!

If you’ve read the above you know how good beard oil is for your skin and your hair, so I suggest doing what I do and that’s not to waste a drop of that precious beard oil, instead I run my hands through my hair as my hair will also benefit from the oils.

Plus my hair then also smells great!

You can also rub any left over oil onto your body, it’s easily absorbed and your skin will thank you.

Does Beard Oil Make My Face Feel Greasy?

I can understand the question, ultimately you are applying oil to your face and that sounds like a recipe for disaster right?

Well let me tell you it’s not.

Obviously if you take an entire bottle of beard oil and apply that to your face then yeah you might find you are a bit greasy.

But if you exercise constraint and apply anywhere up to 10 drops of beard oil (depending on your beard length) you face won’t feel greasy at all.
If you are a beginner a fantastic beard oil to start with, and one i recommend is Leven Rose beard oil, it’s made from two fantastic carrier oils, jojoba and argan oil.

It doesn’t contain any essential oils so it’s unscented, but as a beginner this beard oil will allow you to get a feel for the benefits of using beard oil.

That’s before you move on to experimenting with the wide variety of scents on the market.

Will beard oil control my beard and stop it sticking out?

Will beard oil control my beard and stop it sticking out?

Well… the short answer to that is no. it’s not a firm no, it’s just not going to do what you need.

You see beard oil isn’t’ designed for styling purposes, it’s core benefit is to provide nutrients and protection to your beard, which we’ve covered at length above.

So if you have a beard like mine that has a mind of its own, beard oil isn’t going to help.

What you are looking for is beard balm.

Beard balm contains beeswax which is a great way to help control your beard and give it shape.

And just applying beard balm isn’t going to give you the results you want either you are going to want to use a beard comb to help tame your beard.

If you are looking for a more natural look instead look to use a beard brush instead, I use both myself.

A beard comb to help remove knots and a beard brush to spread the oils and balms about and give my beard a nice natural look

Where To Get Beard Oil From?

For me it’s Amazon.

You have all the benefits of a large company, so returns etc as well as a massive selection of beard oils and balms, giving you the opportunity to try numerous brands of beard oils.

There’s hundreds to choose from, and if you are a prime member most of them come with free shipping.

You can check your local barber shops to see what brands they are promoting and purchase from there, you may even get recommendations of brands they don’t stock, there is a wide variety of independent beard oil producers who aren’t on amazon.

But I will warn you that they can be hit and miss, Amazon you have the reviews so you can be rest assured that you are getting quality, if you go the barber and independent route you may end up with some which are a bit pants.

Though that’s half the fun! Because you could find the perfect beard oil with a unique scent that you love.

Is It Worth Making Your Own?

You can certainly save some money making your own
As you’ve learned throughout this article there are two core ingredients to beard oil, carrier oils and essential oils, so making your own beard oil is as easy as it sounds and you can come up with some really awesome recipes that no one else has.

To help, we’ve put together a thorough guide to making your own beard oil here with some recipes to get you started.

So does beard oil work?

That’s a resounding yes, for all the things that beard oil is designed for it works and it works bloody well, I use it daily and have for years and my beard is soft and healthy for it.

I don’t suffer with beardruff, itchiness, acne or any other beard issues, other than the admiration of my fellow men!

But if you are still unsure about whether beard oil can help you and your beard game, drop a comment below and i’ll be happy help you our in anyway that I can.

Beard on brothers!

Does beard oil work? Is It even worth It?

Last update on 2020-08-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Hey, I'm the author of Sprucely Gent. When I grew a beard advice there wasn't much advice out there, so through trial and error and speaking to barbers I've battled all beard related issues. Now i'm hear to share my experience with you, so that you don't make the mistakes I made!

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