Here’s How To Choose The Best Beard Oil and How To Use It
Every year, over $200 billion is spent on beauty products worldwide, with $62 billion of that spent by American consumers. While the majority of the market focuses on women, men are a growing customer base for personal care products. It’s become hip for men to put more effort into personal grooming, and beards are big again! Instead of the anything-goes, sloppy facial hair of the 70s hippy culture, the modern man’s mane leans toward well-groomed. If you have jumped onto the beard bandwagon, there are many considerations when shopping for the best beard oil.
Why Use an Oil?
Beard oil acts much like a hair conditioner for your face. Your face is exposed to the elements on a daily basis and is subject to dryness, irritation, and itchiness. Also, beard hair is coarser than the hair on your head, which makes maintenance tricky. Many men want to grow out a beard but find that the process is uncomfortable, especially in the beginning. For the burgeoning beard lover, oil use helps mitigate the awkward stage where your beard hair is anything but your best friend. As your stubble grows out, the short hairs tend to turn back toward your face, leaving you prone to ingrown hairs and causing intense itching that prompts many beard aficionados to give up and shave. Beard oil softens the hairs as they grow while also moisturizing the underlying skin, making the average six-week grow-in period more manageable.
As you gain beard length, you will find additional benefits to using a specially formulated oil. Longer beards are increasingly dense, meaning the hair itself is harder to maintain, and the covered skin is more subject to dryness. A well-formulated beard oil softens your hair and delivers moisture to your chin and neck, reducing matting and skin irritation. In addition, many beard oils are scented, creating a pleasing sensory experience, much like using an aftershave or cologne.
What to Look For
If your grandfather grew a beard, he likely had the assistance of a barber to maintain it. Today, however, grooming is a personal venture, so you need to understand what makes up a good beard oil. The best beard oils contain a combination of natural and nourishing ingredients that target both hair and skin health. Because different oils have different profiles, most top-rated brands feature a mix of oils geared toward different needs. When using a beard oil is a regular part of grooming, the aesthetics also matter, so pay attention to the scent of the product, as well as things like the bottle shape- if it’s not a pleasant experience, you are less likely to reach for the oil.
A handful of ingredients show up frequently across different brands and formulations of beard oil and have widespread benefits for beard health.
Almond Oil- Used as a base for many beard oils, this lightweight oil contains both vitamin E and vitamin A, making it very nourishing for skin and hair.
Argan Oil- This carrier oil is used widely in cosmetic applications and is renowned for its ability to moisturize without clogging pores.
Avocado Oil- Another oil commonly used in lotions and facial creams, avocado oil is ideal for people with skin sensitivities. It is an intensely nourishing oil and can improve skin irritations like eczema with regular use.
Grapeseed Oil- Ideal for users who are acne-prone, this is a drier oil, meaning it absorbs quickly into skin, providing moisture to your hair and skin without leaving an oily residue.
Jojoba Oil- The oil profile of jojoba matches your skin’s sebum, making this one of the most compatible oils for skin and beard health. It is deeply nourishing but will not clog your pores.
Vitamin E- This antioxidant ingredient is an excellent addition to any recipe. Not only is it great for your skin, but vitamin E prolongs the shelf life of other skin-loving oils.
If you have nut allergies, avoid oils extracted from tree nuts. If you are unsure if you will react to a beard oil, do a patch test on the inside of your wrist. If you don’t see redness, swelling or any other visible reaction within 30 minutes, you should be okay to use the oil as part of your daily grooming routine.
Settling on your favorite beard oil comes down to two main factors- practicality and aesthetics. Your oil, first and foremost, needs to perform as expected. You want a recipe that absorbs quickly, with ingredients targeting your particular skin issues. Understanding your ingredients makes choosing a formulation quite straightforward. After that, the scent profile becomes the top priority in a beard oil. If you consider yourself an outdoorsman, blends that include cedar, sage, leather or tobacco will probably strike your fancy. Citrus notes are also best sellers in beard oil lines, as they are fresh and neutral scent palettes that appeal to both men and women. Pay attention to the strength of the fragrance as well; some oils provide a light scent that fades quickly, while others read more like cologne with extended scent longevity.