If you grew out your facial hair during last year's lockdowns, you certainly aren't alone. According to a recent survey from the grooming experts at Wahl, more than one-third of men have grown out their facial hair since the beginning of the pandemic.
But before you show off your new facial hair, you'll need to establish a beard care routine that will keep your skin hydrated and your beard itch-free. Instead of stocking up on a shelf-full of expensive products, start with a simple multi-purpose beard oil that'll streamline your beard care routine and keep your skin happy.
In this guide to beard oils, we're breaking down everything you need to know about the versatile product and offering must-know tips on how to use beard oil.
What is beard oil?
Beard oils are a daily beard care product that helps to hydrate your beard hairs, and more importantly, moisturize the skin beneath it. Just a few drops can help to prevent dryness and help your beard grow faster. In addition to keeping your beard soft, beard oils can help to tame flyaways and keep longer beards looking their best.
Benefits of using beard oil
The key to beard oil is consistency. Using a few drops each day ensures you reap all the benefits of the product. Here are a few of the benefits of using beard oil as part of your daily skincare routine:
- Moisturize the skin underneath— Beard oil replenishes the natural oils in your skin and beard, helping to keep your whiskers soft and your skin hydrated.
- Reduce beard itch— Itchiness is typically a sign of dry skin and brittle beard hairs. Using beard oil regularly helps to reduce itching and dandruff, especially as your skin adjusts during the first few weeks of beard growth.
- Soothe skin irritation— During the early stages of hair growth, dry skin can lead to ingrown hairs, irritation, and red bumps. Using a beard oil with skin-soothing ingredients can help soften scratchy hairs and keep sensitive skin happy.
- Supports healthy beard growth— Beard oil prevents your beard from becoming brittle, wiry, and unruly. Preventing broken beard hairs and split ends is key to growing a long beard.
Key ingredients in beard oils
As the name suggests, beard oils are made primarily of oils, though some contain additional ingredients for fragrance and added skincare benefits. Here are the two key ingredients to look for in the best beard oil for you:
The first ingredient in any good beard oil is a natural carrier oil. While jojoba oil and coconut oil are the most common choices, some best beard oil products also include the following nurturing oils:
- Apricot kernel oil
- Argan oil
- Castor oil
- Grapeseed oil
- Sunflower seed oil
- Sweet almond oil
Essential oils serve two purposes in beard oil. Not only are they a natural way to add scent without artificial fragrances, but many also offer anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Some of the best essential oils for beard hair are:
- Tea tree
Beard hair growth-boosting ingredients
While no beard oil can work magic overnight, some ingredients may help you achieve a longer beard faster:
- Vitamin E— Some research shows that vitamin E can help to speed up hair growth (in addition to the skin-soothing and moisturizing benefits it already offers).
- Biotin— This keratin-improving vitamin helps you grow longer, healthier beard hairs and helps improve the skin underneath too.
- Minoxidil— As the key ingredient in hair loss products like Rogaine, minoxidil may help fill in stubborn patches and thicken up wispy beards.
How to apply beard oil
Another perk of beard oil is that it's incredibly easy to use. Plus, a little goes a long way, meaning a single beard oil product can last a long time.
If you're feeling adventurous, you can even try making your own beard oil using a simple carrier oil like coconut oil and a few drops of your favorite essential oils. Remember, essential oils should never be applied directly to the face without first being diluted.
Below, we've answered a few of the most commonly asked questions about how to apply beard oil.
How much beard oil to use
How much beard oil you need depends on the length of your beard. While everyone's beard hair is unique, here are some basic guidelines to get you started:
- 1 inch of beard growth or less— 2-3 drops
- 1-3 inches of beard growth— 3-6 drops
- 3-6 inches of beard growth— 6-8 drops
- 6-9 inches of beard growth— 8-10 drops
- 9 inches of beard growth or more— 10+ drops
It may take a bit of trial and error to find the perfect number of drops for your beard length and skin type. If your beard feels too oily, try using one drop less next time. If it still feels too dry, try adding an extra drop or two of beard oil tomorrow.
When to use beard oil
You should apply beard oil daily, preferably in the morning, to provide your skin and beard with much-needed hydration throughout the day. The oil should be applied immediately after you shave, wash your face, or get out of the shower.
Men who live in a dry climate or tend to have dry skin may need to use additional drops or apply the product more often than someone with naturally oily skin. For additional hydration, you can use beard oil again as part of your nighttime skincare routine.
How to apply beard oil
Applying beard oil is incredibly easy, but it's important to remember that a little goes a long way. It's better to reapply more oil later than to use too much and be left with a greasy beard.
When applying beard oil, focus on working the oil into the skin below your beard, not the beard hairs themselves. Be intentional about applying the product and do your best to evenly distribute the oil across your beard.
Here's how to apply beard oil in three easy steps:
- If you haven't already, wash your face to remove dead skin cells and open your pores. Be sure to fully dry your beard to ensure the oil gets fully absorbed.
- Dispense a few drops of oil into your hands. Rub your palms together for a few seconds to warm the oil before application.
- Gently rub your palms along the sides of your beards, working in short, sweeping motions. Start on the sides and work your way down your jawline towards your chin.
- Next, run your fingers along the front of your beard and down any facial hair under your chin and on your neck.
- If you have a mustache, spread a bit of beard oil over your upper lip using the tips of your index fingers.
- Once you've finished applying the beard oil, it's time to comb your beard to distribute the oil evenly, shape your beard, and whisk away stray hairs and dead skin cells. Stick to a boar's hair brush or a wooden beard comb that won't irritate your skin or damage your delicate beard hairs.