Beard balm or beard oil? What’s the difference and what’s best for you

Beard balm or beard oil? What’s the difference and what’s best for you

If you like to take your beard care seriously then I’m sure you’ve checked out the various beard oils and beard balms available.

There’s an abundance of brands out there selling a wonderful variety of products to suit your every need, but what’s the best beard product to suit you? Should you be picking one over the other? Or simply stick to an individual product.

It’s actually a fairly common question so don’t worry about being confused or even a little overwhelmed, there’s just so much to chose from.

In today’s guide we’re going to be looking at the following topics:

  • An introduction to beard balm and beard oil
  • What’s the difference between beard oil and beard balm
  • When each beard product is suitable
  • What goes into beard oil and beard balm
  • What other beard products are out there

 What is beard oil

I’d be surprised if you told me you hadn’t heard of beard oil before, even someone taking a very casual approach to grooming their beard has likely come across beard oil, be it in the shops, barbers or even as a gift. Essentially beard oil is designed to provide nourishment for your beard, keeping it looked after and looking great.

What’s beard oil made from? Beard oil is made up by combining carrier oils to make your beard soft, with added ingredients to provide a scent. You’ll typically see argan oil, cherry tree oil, jojoba and grapeseed oil. If you prefer an unscented beard oil then you can get beard oils that are made up of simply 100% carrier oil.

To achieve a divine scent from the beard oil essential oils are added to the formula. With this comes added benefits such as extra minerals and vitamins which are great for keeping your beard nice and healthy.

The primary job of beard oil is to keep your beard in a healthy condition. You’ll notice it becomes softer and smoother to the touch making it much more manageable and will smell brilliant. Beard oil isn’t for shaping your beard though, keep that in mind.

When applying beard oil you only want to add a few drops, if you add too much you’ll just end up with a greasy looking mess, and nobody wants to see that.

Beard oil not only keeps your beard healthy, the nourishing oil will also help out your skin! The oil does this by naturally working it’s way down to the root of the hair.

It’s worth out trying new beard oils when you can, you may find the a beard oil made up of a different carrier oil will actually suit you better than a previous one, once you find the perfect beard oil, you can stick to that carrier oil.

What is beard balm

So how does beard balm differ from beard oil?

Beard balm is primarilly designed to combine care with shaping and styling your beard . Beard oil may well keep your beard looking fresh and feeling soft but it isn’t going to help you control a more rugged unruly beard is it. This is where beard balm comes in.

Sometimes you just want to style your beard and add a little extra shape to it to give it that added extra look. You could consider going for a beard wax, that would certainly do the job of shaping your beard, but you’ll notice it has a bit of an unnatural feel to it, I for one wouldn’t want to be applying a beard wax every day, I just don’t think it would be great for my skin either.

This is why beard balm is ideal, it’s like a lovely mix of both beard oil and beard wax. You can often find beard balms that are made from nice natural ingredients, and many companies stick to organic as well. So if you’re after something to help your facial hair grow stronger and better, but also want that added hold, then beard balm is perfect.

You can buy or make your own beard balm using a recipe. Again they make use of a carrier oil combines with beeswax, shea butter and many other healthy and scented ingredients. The consistency tends to be that of a thicker butter, something you can easily work into your beard.

Beeswax is often the wax of choise in a beard balm, this is used to keep the beard balm in a solid state, it also provides your beard with that added hold to assist with beard styling. Typically the more beeswax in a beard balm, the more hold it will provide to your beard.

Butters are used to aid with the spreading of the beard balm. They also help to make the balm melt in your hands, making applying beard balm to your beard extra simple.


 The difference between beard oil and beard balm

I imagine that all of the above has simply made your a little more confused on the subject, which one should you actually go for?

Whether you opt for a beard oil or a beard balm normally comes down to personal preference. One isn’t necessarily better for you over the other. I’d recommend trying both over time so you can see which you prefer the look and feel of.

Short Beards

People with shorter beards often go for a beard oil. This is because you don’t require much shaping to your facial hair. If you want to simply nourish your beard and your skin a beard oil is ideal.

You’ll find that a beard balm might not have so much use for you with your shorter beard. Beard balm has a sligthly heavier feel to it, so if you don’t need that added weight, it’s best avoiding in my opinion. In all honesty with a short beard you don’t need the added benefits of hold that beard balm provides anyway.

Long Beards

This is when things getting a little more serious, you’ve clearly put effort in to growing your beard to this level. You’ll be looking to not only look after the well being of your beard, but also bring it under control and make the whole process much more manageable.

A beard balm is ideal for keeping your beard manageable.

There is of course two sides to most stories though and that’s no different when it comes to how various people want to style their own beards. If you prefer to simply keep your beard silky looking and look then a beard oil will suit you just fine. Beard balms can often add some weight to your facial hair. If you don’t mind this feeling though then I’d recommend going for it if you do really need the added benefits that a beard balm provides, like the extra shaping a general extra control over your beard.

The perfect partner in crime for a beard balm is a high quality beard brush, you’ll find many of these available with natural boar bristles that will help you to shape your beard and control your facial hair. This level of beard kit is best suited for men with an extra long beard.

Beard balm can also be a lot more comfortable than oil when worn on a hot day in the sun. So if you happen to work outdoors but want your bread to look fantastic and feel good whilst doing so, stick to the balm.

Can i used beard balm and beard oil

No, how dare you! I’m just kidding, of course you can. There are situations in life when you can certainly opt for one over the other. Maybe somedays you prefer the feel of a beard oil, on other days you might want to add a little extra shape, that’s when beard balm would be ideal.

If you wake up in the morning and just can’t seem to get that beard under control then this is when a beard balm would be perfect for you, get your beard looking great again and you’re ready for the day ahead.

On other days you may notice your skin feeling pretty dry, if your skin is dry, it’s likely your beard is feeling pretty dry too. This is when a beard oil would be a nice addition as it will help to revitalise your man hair.


What should I do?

Just pick something and try it. It’s just like jumping into a cold swimming pool, once you’re in you’ll be fine. Over time you can try out various beard oils and beard balms to see what’s just right for you goldilocks.

What’s your favourite beard oil or beard balm to go for? Comment below and let us know!
Written by Henry Charlesworth