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Last updated on: February 6th, 2020
In many ways, men’s grooming has been ignored as an industry. However, over the last several years men’s hair and skin care products have evolved. The days of simply washing your hair and nothing else are gone. In addition to basic shampoo and conditioner, many men are using best beard oil and best beard balm on a regular basis. These products are beginning to saturate the market. If you’re ready to step up your grooming game, oils and balms are the way to go.
Before you get started, there are a couple questions you should ask: what are beard oils and beard balms, and how do you know which one you should use? Here’s all the info you need about these products and a guide to figuring out which one you should choose.
What Is Beard Oil?
Beard oil is a blend of carrier oils and essential oils. It’s used to condition and moisturize both the beard and the skin underneath. This liquid is applied in small doses, most often in the morning after a shower. Some men find that they need to apply beard oil on a daily basis, while others use it less frequently. How often you need to use beard oil depends on your skin and how much moisture it naturally creates.
Carrier oils are either scent-free or lightly scented oils that provide a platform for the essential oils. Since they are so neutral, they can “carry” the essential oils by mixing with them. Essential oils are too highly concentrated to be safely applied to the skin alone, which makes the carrier oils an essential part of the blend.
Common carrier oils include jojoba, argan, and grapeseed. These oils are used so often since they are very light, and are relatively inexpensive.
Essential oils are also used to provide the fragrance in beard oils. Essential oils are strongly scented, so only a small amount is needed to make a bottle of beard oil. These oils also give the blend its moisturizing properties. Each essential oil has its own benefits, and different types are often mixed together in order to get the best of each oil. For example, tea tree oil is frequently found in beard oil due to its anti-acne properties.
Many beard oils also contain vitamin E. The liquid form of this vitamin is often used as a moisturizer, as it is one of the few essential oils that can be applied topically by itself without any side effects.
Benefits of Using Beard Oil
src=”https://ever-unfolding.net/wp-content/uploads/best-beard-balm/beard-balm-benefits.jpg” alt=”beard balm benefits” width=”316″ height=”400″ />There are ton of benefits of using beard oil on a regular basis.
The primary benefit of beard oil is the nourishment it gives the skin and hair. The carrier and essential oils moisturize and condition the skin, leaving it soft and smooth. These same moisturizers soften the beard hair, which makes it easier to manage.
The benefits of the moisturizer don’t stop there. Dry skin tends to flake, and when it is scratched it comes off in the form of dandruff. Keeping your skin soft eliminates the dryness, thus preventing dandruff.
Also, the skin underneath the hair can get very itchy. This is due in part to dryness, but also because rough beard hairs can be prickly. Softening the hair solves this problem.
Keeping the skin conditioned and the hair soft also means you are less likely to have ingrown hairs. The softer the skin is the easier it is for the hair to break through the surface. Make sure to use best beard trimmer when you’re beard trimming.
Beard oils are also scented. Not only will your hair and skin be taken care of, your beard will have a fantastic scent. If the oil you choose is strongly scented, you can reduce the amount of product you use by cutting cologne out of your routine. Since the vast majority of beard oils use essential oils for fragrance – as opposed to synthetic chemical fragrances – you don’t need to worry about damaging your skin.
What is beard balm?
Beard balm has multiple uses. On one level it moisturizes, similar to the way that beard oil does. However, beard balm is also used for styling beards. These balms can be applied daily, or as needed.
Balms are the consistency of thick butter. Many are made from a base of beeswax or shea butter, which gives them the ability to hold beard hairs in place when used for styling. Some manufacturers use synthetic bases such as petroleum jelly. These balms will provide the same hold as those made with natural bases, however, they are much more likely to cause skin irritation.
The more wax a beard balm has, the stronger the hold will be. Natural butters such as shea butter are used to give the balm its creamy texture. Other types of butter can be used, but shea butter is most often selected because it is easy to work with, is mildly scented, and is very pliable. Also, it remains creamy when warmed in the hands without becoming greasy.
In addition to the base, beard balms contain moisturizers, which are often the same as the carrier oils in beard oil. Most beard balms have oils such as argan or jojoba as the moisturizers, although any gentle essential oil can be used. These oils function as a leave-in conditioner and are sealed in by the beeswax or shea butter base. Balms that contain very few moisturizers should be avoided. Since the base also acts as a sealant, balms without moisturizers do not have any moisture to seal in. This results in dry skin. And when you trim it with body groomer or shaver, it’s likely to get damaged.
Users should look for beard balms that contain natural ingredients. Chemical and synthetic fragrances have the potential to damage both the beard hair and the skin, whether they are in the base or the moisturizers. This can cause itching, redness, and flaking of the skin, as well as make the hair more susceptible to breakage. Quite often the oils used in beard balms are organic so it is easy to find a product that is risk-free.
Benefits of Using Beard Balm
Just as using beard oil results in visible benefits, so does using a beard balm.
Beard balms that contain shea butter can help your beard appear fuller. While there is no way to make beard grow faster or in different places, beard balms can help. Balms that contain shea butter give sparse or patchy beards the appearance of being thicker. Shea butter tends to expand and sticks to each individual beard hair. This makes each hair look thicker, creating the impression of an overall thicker beard.
Balms are also great for styling. Whether your beard is unruly or you live somewhere with a lot of wind, beard balm can get your facial hair under control. The wax in beard balms gives the product it’s ability to hold the hair in place. Unlike hair spray which hardens hair into shape, beard balms stay smooth once they are applied. This allows your beard to move naturally without blowing all over the place.
Any beard balm can also be used on your hair. If you find you have leftover product on your hands after applying the balm to your beard, run your hands through the hair on your head. This will give you a bit more hold without having to load up on different products. While you’re at it, try putting a small amount of balm in your mustache. You’ll get the same moisturizing effects on your lip as you do on your chin.
Also, applying a balm will give your beard a light scent. Beard balms tend to have a less intense fragrance than oils, so it won’t be overpowering if you choose to wear cologne as well. However, a beard that smells great is never a bad thing.
How do I know if I should use a beard oil or a beard balm?
Which product you should use depends on what you are trying to achieve. As you’ve seen, oils and balms each have their own benefits. You’ll get different results from a balm than you will if you use an oil. Refer to the following guide to figure out which product is best for you.
Beard oil is best for:
- Every day moisturizing and conditioning
- Hydrating the skin
- Dealing with dryness
- Reducing itching
- Eliminating dandruff
- Replacing chemical
- Based colognes with natural fragrances
- Adding shine
- Preventing ingrown hairs
- Softening the hair
Beard balms should be used for:
- Styling your beard
- Creating the appearance of fullness
- Moisturizing while keeping all the hair under control
- Developing a more maintained and professional look
Fortunately, you don’t have to choose one product over the other. Beard oils and balms can be used together to obtain the benefits of each product. Often beard oils are available with a balm in a matching fragrance, so you don’t need to worry about the scents clashing.
If you want to use them both together, apply the beard oil first. Be sure to rub it into the skin. Once you have thoroughly massaged the oil into the hair and skin, apply the balm. Because the two products are made from similar – or, sometimes the same – ingredients, they will complement each other.
Whether you choose beard oil or beard balm, your skin and hair will thank you. Each product can easily be added to your regular grooming routine, so your beard will never again go untended. You can also make one by your self, therefore we recommend reading our guide on how to make a beard balm.