The first step in caring for your beard is figuring out exactly what kind of products you need. So, should you use beard oil or balm, or perhaps both? Let’s dive in.
For starters, a beard oil is of course, an oil – often a mixture of carrier oils and essential oils – that’s used to moisturize the skin under the beard, and soften the beard hair, while helping to keep it in place.
Beard balm is similar to a leave-in conditioner or even a pomade, usually containing moisturizing shea butter, essential oils, and wax to seal in moisture (some balms do not contain wax, it’s a preference thing). A good beard balm will also make your beard appear thicker.
Think of it like this: beard oil really benefits the skin underneath your beard, and works outward to smooth your beard hair, while beard balm really works to improve the quality and style of your beard itself.
Beard oil should be used every day. The oil is great for your skin and beard, and the better you are at applying it every day is going to make your beard look that much better.
Beard balm is great for the special occasions – we’re not talking about prom – you know, the moments when you really need your beard to look on-point. Beard balm will help keep your hairs in place and offers less of a sheen than the beard oil.
In both cases, look for products that are all-natural. After all, these are things you’re going to be rubbing into your skin and facial hair; you don’t want to be putting the fake stuff that might cause damage on there.
To use a beard oil, start by washing your face with warm water to open and cleanse the pores. Towel dry your face so the skin is only damp (wet skin won’t absorb oil). Then, apply about a dime-sized amount of oil to the palm of your hand. Rub it into your fingertips and apply to the skin under your beard, working outward, making sure to get all of the hairs.
To use a beard balm, begin by washing your beard and drying thoroughly. Get a dime-sized amount of balm and rub it into the palms of your hands, and your fingertips. Rub into your beard, working from the neck up, and rubbing into the skin under the beard, as well. After you’ve worked all the hair upward, reverse and work downward. Brush the beard to distribute evenly, and use as often as three times per day.
So, there you have it, beard oil and beard balm are indeed, two different products for two different purposes. It’s probably best to have one of each on hand, because you never want your beard to be off-game, right?