Summer, winter, fall … you name it, there are few among us who are willing to part with our beards (at least, that’s the case if you clicked this link). If you’re here because you want to know how to nurture your beard all year long, welcome and congrats. Growing a beard is half the battle. The other half is simply keeping it well-groomed and looking great — but where to start?
There are grooming products aplenty out there, but there seems to be a debate among beard-growers, a question we’ve heard countless times from beard buffs and beard-hopefuls alike: Should I use beard oil or beard balm? Fret not, bearded brothers, for we’ve laid the answer out for you. Consider your quest for essential beard care over.
In this article we’ll break down the differences between beard balm and beard oil, how to use each of them, and where to find your preferred beard balm or oil once you’ve made your choice. If nothing else, use both. Both beard oil and beard balm will moisturize your beard and keep it looking healthier and fuller than using nothing at all — and we think that’s as good a reason to start with either. But we’ll let you decide.
Why use beard balm? That’s one of the questions of the day. Beard balm offers thicker texture and firmer hold due to its consistency and make-up — it’s definitely different than beard oil in that regard. Beard oil has a finer consistency, and it’s best that you try both before deciding which one works for you.
Note that if you’ve got a bristly beard, balm could stand up well to harsher climes and colder weather. While looking for the right product is key, looking for a product that’s made the right way — perhaps more importantly — is key. We like Doc Elliott’s Classic Beard Balm, made with notes of cedar, warm amber and tobacco leaf. Best of all, it’s made with natural ingredients for quality as well as performance. With this particular beard balm from Doc Elliott, you’re also supporting a small business — something to feel good about.
Simply apply your beard balm to your slightly damp or towel-dried beard — first, rub the beard balm on your palms and fingertips before applying from root to tip. This allows you to easily shape and style your beard, and offers moisture restoration and prevents crucial breakage — just what you should be looking to avoid when caring for your beard.
Try these beard balms:
Duke Cannon Best Damn Beard Balm – $15
Big Red Beard Balm – $30
Doc Elliot Classic Beard Balm – $16
Now, onto beard oil. What separates it from beard balm. Unlike beard balm — typically made with something similar to a beeswax base — beard oil is derived from natural oils (or at least, the best ones are). We particularly like beard oils from Brisk Grooming and Kiehl’s — both reliable, readily available options. Kiehl’s even offers multiple options with different ingredients and different finishing qualities based on the type of beard you’re growing. And Brisk can be newly found in the U.S. — something we also appreciate.
The best thing about beard oils — their light consistency and feel, which makes a beard oil great for softening your beard and penetrating the skin beneath your beard itself. It’s an underrated quality that could make beard oil the right pick for you — but again, beard balm has its own positives in terms of a rich texture and moisture restoration.
Most beard oils work well when the oil is applied to your fingertips, and then massaged through your beard — it applies differently than beard balm, so a smaller amount goes a long way. Convinced either of way of beard oil versus beard balm? Let us know, and good luck in your bearded adventures out there.
Try these beard oils:
Duke Cannon Best Damn Beard Oil – $30
Brisk Grooming Beard Oil – $12
Kiehl’s Nourishing Beard Grooming Oil – $27