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Beard Oil vs Beard Balm – What’s The Best For Your Beard?

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With the rise in popularity of having a beard, the hair care industry is oversaturated with so many beard products. Sometimes it can be overwhelming to choose one that suits your needs. Some questions men ask the most is about beard oil vs beard balm. 

  • What is the best for your beard? 
  • Which is better and why? 
  • What is the difference between beard oil and beard balm?

I had the same questions as you, which is why I decided to use beard oil and balm. I wanted to answer some of these questions and write a guide that you could read to make the best possible decision about your beard care. After all, you have so many different products with different ingredients that produce different results, making it challenging to choose the best one for your grooming regime.

Let’s find out which is the best for your beard, between beard oil vs beard balm, and if you can use both, or if you have to pick only one.

Beard Oil vs Beard Balm – What Is Better For You?

The main difference between beard oil and balm is that the first is liquid and made primarily from a mixture of essential oils. The beard balm is more creamy and waxy because it has a primary base of beeswax, shea butter, or cocoa butter.

beard oil and balm

What is the best one for your facial fuzz between the beard oil vs beard balm choice? It all depends on your beard needs. Questions like:

  • Which is best for the early stages of beard growth?
  • Which is the best for longer beards?
  • Which is the best for hold and style?
  • Which is the best for busy people?
  • Which is the best for traveling?

Best For The Early Stages Of Beard Growth

Winner: Beard Oil 

If you have just started growing your beard, you can stick with beard oil to moisturize the skin underneath your beard and avoid any redness and itching. Beard balm also helps with all these, but at this point, you want your beard to look the most natural possible since it’s shorter and doesn’t need that extra care that beard balm provides.

Best For Longer Beards

Winner: Beard Balm

I have chosen beard balm as the winner if you have a longer beard because, at some point, you will have to “control” your facial hair. Longer and thicker beards require a firm hold.

Best For Hold and Style

Winner: Beard Balm

If you have any flyaways and need some extra help to keep your facial hair down, beard balm will do the job. It will keep your beard neat, tamed, smooth, and healthy. In addition, beard balm will provide some style to your beard.

Best For Busy People

Winner: Beard Oil

Beard balm takes long to be absorbed than beard oil. So if you have a busy lifestyle where you cannot spend much time taking care of your beard daily, use beard oil. I just want to point out that beard balms have a longer-lasting effect when compared with beard oils.

Best For Traveling

Winner: Both, but I pick Beard Balm

I don’t particularly like to say this because it doesn’t affect your beard at all (at least directly), but beard balm is better for packing and avoiding any leaking.

What Is Beard Oil?

Beard oil is a conditioner used to soften and moisturize your beard, especially the skin underneath your beard. It’s a mixture of various essential oils, including coconut oil, jojoba, eucalyptus, castor, and argan.

Beard oil can provide the vitamins and nutrients your facial fuzz needs to grow healthier and have a beard that you can proudly show with confidence. Hair growth causes your beard to become dry, so reaching the skin underneath your beard and hydrating the hair follicles is essential.

how to apply beard oil

Benefits Of Using Beard Oil

Some of the benefits of using beard oil are:

  • Moisturizes the skin underneath your beard
  • Moisturizes your beard
  • It makes your beard more manageable
  • It makes your beard softer
  • Reduces itching
  • Some prevent dandruff
  • Creates a healthy beard
  • It makes your beard smell good
  • It soothes sensitivities
  • Control flyaway hairs

Side Effects Of Using Beard Oil

Like any other product, beard oil contains some side effects (remember, some side effects are rare but can happen). Remember that each beard oil can use different ingredients and have its own side effects associated with the essential oils used.

  • Allergic reactions
  • Sensitive to sunlight
  • Itching (ironic, I know)
  • Burning
  • Hives

When Should You Use Beard Oil?

You can use beard oil immediately when you start growing your beard because it’s never too late to moisturize your beard and skin. Just because you will avoid all the itching, I think it’s worth it.

Read: How To Straighten Your Beard?

You can also apply in the morning or evening, or both. It’s very common to use after a shower, especially if it’s a hot one (your skin and beard will be dry).

What Makes a Good Beard Oil?

Maintaining a beard can be difficult if you don’t know what to look for when buying beard oil. You have so many beard oils available on the market you can become overwhelmed easily. These are some factors you need to take into consideration.

Organic Products

Organic products have some benefits as less likely to cause allergic reactions or irritate your skin since they don’t contain harmful ingredients.

You can check for the USDA logo on the beard oil bottle and be ensured it only contains organic ingredients certified by USDA.

Essential Oils

You need to select essential oils that are good for your skin type. For example, coconut oil offers some benefits that eucalyptus oil will not give to your skin and vice versa. 

Some of the most common essential oils you will find:

  • Coconut – Helps with beard growth.
  • Jojoba – Great moisturizer for acne-prone skin.
  • Argan – Excellent for a dry beard.
  • Sweet Almond – Reduces skin inflammation.
  • Eucalyptus – Excellent antibacterial properties.
  • Castor – Strengthens the hair roots.


This tip is up to you. Some beard oils have a strong scent (eucalyptus oil, for example) that can mix with your cologne or aftershave. You have some unscented beard oils, so you need to read the product description and check some reviews to check if it’s true.

Ease Of Application

You want a beard oil that is easy to use and knows exactly the quantity you need to apply. That’s why I always suggest anyone buy a bottle that comes with a dropper. You will know exactly how many drops you need to moisturize your beard.

Best Beard Oil

I have to be honest and say I didn’t try many beard oils, but I really liked one in particular.

The Gentlemen’s Beard Premium Oil

The Gentlemen’s Beard is a premium health and personal care brand that produces the best organic and natural products for your beard, hair, and skin.

All their products are handcrafted and don’t contain any filters or additives, and are also gluten-free. In addition, they don’t test any products on animals and are against animal cruelty.

The Gentlemen’s Beard also uses a dark amber glass bottle to extend the shelf life of their products by protecting the oils from UV light rays and oxidation.

What I Like About The Gentlemen’s Beard

Fragrance-Free – This beard oil is made from virgin organic coconut oil but is unscented. You can apply your aftershave or cologne without mixing it with the smell of coconut.

It Kills The Itch – You know that annoying itchy when you are trying to grow your beard? Say goodbye because this beard oil prevents it.

No Excess – The tamper-evident glass dropper allows you to use the precise amount of product needed to maintain your beard.

Softer Beard and Mustache – I could feel my beard and mustache softer after a couple of minutes. I don’t have a particular longer beard, but the results were fantastic.

Read: The Best Gifts For Bearded Men

What I Don’t Like About The Gentlemen’s Beard

Duration – It will depend on the size of your beard, and how many drops you put in, but for most people, it lasts two months. However, I didn’t have my beard for too long to use the entire bottle, so I can’t tell if it’s two months. 

How To Apply Beard Oil?

Step 1 – Wash Your Face and Hands

Ensure you have your face and hands clean to maximize the effects of the beard oil on your skin and beard.

Step 2 – Dry Yourself

Your hands and beard need to be dry to help your skin and beard to absorb the oil faster and efficiently.

Step 3 – Put The Oil On Your Hands

Start with two or three drops of beard oil in your palm and rub your hands together to better spread the oil around your fingers and palms. You can add more later if necessary.

Step 4 – Apply The Oil To Your Beard

Start from the bottom of your beard to the top and from the tips to the roots and skin. Massage the oil for a few minutes, and don’t forget your skin and the roots of your beard.

Read: How Often Should You Wash Your Beard?

Step 5 – Apply More If You Need It

You can utilize extra if you feel you didn’t apply enough beard oil. The longer your beard, the more oil you will need it.

Step 6 – Brush It

If you have a longer beard, brushing will help keep it nice and help to spread the oil around evenly.

Read: How To Brush Your Beard

What Is Beard Balm?

Beard balm is a type of conditioner designed to help hydrate and soften your facial hair. It is also a great way to make your beard thicker and add a little style to your beard. In addition, it helps you hold down some of the flyways and keep all of those tiny hairs in check, making your beard look smoother.

Common ingredients in a beard balm are beeswax, shea butter, cocoa butter, petroleum jelly, and some essential oils like jojoba, coconut, or argan.

how to apply beard balm

Benefits Of Using Beard Balm

Some of the benefits of using beard balm are:

  • Prevents beard dandruff
  • Prevents itchy beard
  • Protects the beard from the elements
  • Moisturizes your beard
  • Lay down fly-aways
  • It gives some volume to your facial hair
  • It styles your beard
  • Makes beard softer
  • It makes the beard look healthier

Side Effects Of Using Beard Balm

Beard balm also has some side effects (even if they are) that you need to know. Like beard oils, beard balms also have different ingredients that can affect you differently. I couldn’t find many side effects of beard balm.

  • Swelling
  • Inflammation

When Should You Use Beard Balm?

Many men suggest you use beard balm when your beard is longer (at least 1.5 inches) because it takes more time to absorb. I have used beard balm on my two-week beard, and it felt lovely, so I would say you can use it from the start (just use less quantity).

The best time to use beard balm is after a shower since the skin underneath your facial hair will be dry and needs to be moisturized. You can also do it in the morning (if you shower at night) and wash your face with warm water to open the pores.

What Makes a Good Beard Balm?

With so many beard balms on the market, you need to look at the small details to choose the one that will be the best for your beard.

Natural and Organic Ingredients

As you know, you should look for the logo of USDA on the bottle of the product. It’s also essential for you to check for natural ingredients.

Some beard balms can include synthetic sealants like petroleum jelly, which can irritate your skin and damage your facial hair. Looking for the beeswax, shea butter, or cocoa butter would be best.


The scent is vital since your nose is so close to your facial hair, and you will smell that for hours. Peppermint or lemon scents are always a great choice, in my opinion. You can also choose one unscented balm if you use cologne or aftershave, so you don’t mix fragrances.

The Type Of Beard Balm

You have two types of beard balm:

  • Solid Beard Balm – It’s pretty thick and waxy. It’s great for shaping and holding your beard hairs in place.
  • Cream Beard Balm – It’s less solid than the above but has a waxy texture. Great for light styling hold.

I do believe this is more of a personal preference. I tried a solid beard balm, and I liked it.

Best Beard Balm

I have tried two different beard balms in my life, and I genuinely think this is the best one of the two. I am always open to new suggestions.

Honest Amish Beard Balm

Honest Amish is a brand that has a small store in Western Pennsylvania known for its grooming products like balms, waxes, oils, soaps, and salves.

All Honest Amish products are made from scratch from original recipes and crafted by hand using only natural, organic, and sustainable ingredients.

What I Like About The Honest Amish Beard Balm

Moisturize Beard – You will see a big difference in your beard after a few days. The skin is never dry, and the beard looks shinier like you were on the beach.

Balm Texture – I like the texture of this balm. It is not too hard and waxy, and it is easy to apply.

Manageable Beard – This one is not from me since my beard was not that big, but I have read many reviews that say it keeps your beard softer and manageable.

What I Don’t Like About The Honest Amish Beard Balm

Scent – Powerful scent. You love it, or you hate it. I found it OK but not my favorite. I would prefer an unscented product.

How To Apply Beard Balm?

Step 1 – Wash Your Face and Hands

Ensure you have your face and hands clean to maximize the effects of the beard balm on your skin and beard.

Step 2 – Dry Yourself

Your hands and beard must be dry to help your skin and beard absorb the balm faster and efficiently.

Step 3 – Rub The Balm On Your Hands

Scoop out a dime-sized amount using the back of your thumbnail. The longer your beard, the more quantity you will need (Start with less and add more if required). Rub your hands together to soften the beard balm around your fingers and palms.

Step 4 – Apply The Balm On Your Beard

Apply the beard balm starting at the sides and from the bottom to the top of your beard. Massage the oil in for a few minutes, and don’t forget your mustache and beard roots. Use your fingers and palms.

Use the beard balm excess on your hands for your hair if you want. If not, use it on your elbows (mine are always dry).

Step 5 – Apply More If You Need It

If you feel you didn’t apply enough beard balm, you can utilize extra. The longer your beard, the more beard balm you will need it.

Step 6 – Brush It

If you have a longer beard, brushing will help keep it nice and help to spread the beard balm evenly.

Common Questions About Beard Oil and Balm

These are some of the most common questions about beard oil vs beard balm.

Can You Use Beard Oil and Balm Together?

Yes, you can use beard oil and balm together. However, every beard is different and has different needs and routines. You will have to try both and check if it’s worth it to your beard. Also, ensure you don’t use both in excess, or eventually, you will not get all the benefits from the beard balm.

beard oil vs beard balm

Should I Use Beard Oil Or Beard Balm?

If you have just started growing your beard, I would use beard oil to hydrate and moisturize the facial fuzz and skin underneath. If your beard is longer (something between 3 months to 1.5-inch length) and needs some hold and style, I would use beard balm.

How Often Should I Use Beard Oil and Balm?

It all depends on your lifestyle and beard needs, but I would say at least once per day, after a shower if possible, is a good rule.

What Do You Put On First: Beard Oil Or Balm?

You should use the beard oil first (small quantity) and the beard balm after. The reason is beard balm is thicker, so it can be difficult for the oil to penetrate your skin and beard follicles.

Some men use beard oil more for the skin and beard balm more for the roots and tips of the beard. Others apply, one product in the morning and the other at night. Give it a try and check what works the best for you.

Conclusion – Beard Oil Vs Beard Balm

Both beard oil and balm can moisturize, hydrate, and nourish your beard. Both of them can also prevent any beard itch and dandruff. But you have two things that beard oil cannot do that beard balm can: style and hold.

If your beard is longer, beard balm can bring more benefits than beard oil (even if you can use both simultaneously). If you prefer a lighter and more natural facial fuzz, you may consider beard oil better for your needs.

You read about beard oil and balm, and considering everything you know, you can try both. After that, you can choose the best one for your beard or use both products.

What about you? What is your opinion about beard oil vs beard balm? Which one do you use and why? Share with me in the comments.