Beard Care Basics - Are Beard Oils Effective?

Alex Cutler

So, you've grown a beard. Awesome work.

However, maybe it's starting to get a little dry. Maybe it's starting to get a little itchy. And worst case, maybe you've even started to suffer with the dreaded beard dandruff.

But before you part with your hard-earned cash, you want to know - are beard oils effective?

In this article, we're going to walk you through the answer, giving you all of the information you need to buy your beard oil with confidence. Read on to find out more.

Are beard oils effective?

Yes. Beard oils are an incredibly effective way to soften beard hair, moisturise the skin underneath and prevent beard itch and beard dandruff.

However, there are a few important factors that can be the difference between helping your beard and actually doing more harm than good.

Ok, so why are beard oils so effective?

Your beard hairs are kept soft and hydrated by sebum. Sebum is a type of oil secreted from the sebaceous glands, which are located within your hair follicles.

When you're rocking stubble or a short beard, your body's natural sebum oil production is enough to keep your beard hairs in top condition.

However, as your beard gets longer, your sebaceous glands can't create enough sebum to maintain beard hair quality.

The result? Dry hairs. Itchy skin. And eventually, beard dandruff. The severity of these can range from a day-to-day annoyance to an unignorable discomfort which has men getting out of bed in the middle of the night to shave.

But it doesn't have to be that way. This is where beard oil comes in.

Whilst we can't bottle and sell sebum (and it'd be pretty gross if we did), we can create beard oil. Put simply, beard oil is the closest thing you can get to sebum.

So, when you apply beard oil on a regular basis, it helps to pick up the slack of your sebaceous glands and keep your beard hairs, as well as the underlying skin, moisturised and hydrated.

What are the benefits of beard oil?

El Presidente Beard Oil by Mission Beard

Use beard oil regularly, and you can expect to see the following benefits:

  • Softer beard hair. Packed full of hydrating ingredients, beard oil softens hair extremely effectively. We're not talking like head hair, but there will be a noticeable difference before and after. Your partner will thank you.
  • No more beard itch. Beard oil doesn't just help you keep a healthy beard. It also moisturises the skin beneath, helping you to avoid the dreaded beard itch and beard dandruff that follows after.
  • Stronger, healthier beard hair growth. Beard oils are packed with the nutrients and vitamins your beard needs to grow stronger.
  • Thicker appearance. A healthier beard means less beard hair loss, which in turn gives your beard a thicker appearance to the eye.

And that's not all. Beard growth, softeness and thicker facial hair are just a few of the differences you can expect from beard oil use. Take a look at our full guide to beard oil benefits here.

Can beard oil cause dry skin?

Beard oil itself is unlikely to cause dry skin. If you're experiencing discomfort from applying beard oil, it's likely down to one of three things:

  • you're applying too much
  • you have an allergy to one of the ingredients
  • your beard oil contains harsh chemicals

Let's unpack these.

You have an allergy:

If your beard oil comes with a fragrance and is all-natural, then the beard care company is using essential oils to give the product that smell.

Essential oils are natural, and some of them contain allergens. If you have a known allergy, check the back of the packaging or the online listing first. Any reputable beard care company will list the allergens there.

You're applying too much:

Using too much beard oil can clog up your pores, leading to itching and irritation, which can feel similar to the uncomfortableness of dry skin. As mentioned above, natural beard oils contain naturally-occurring allergens.

If the product has been tested properly (which is why you should only buy from companies you trust), those allergens will be included at levels proven to be safe.

However, if you're using much more beard oil than you need, you're also upping the amount of allergens you're coming into contact with. Combine this with already dry, broken skin and you could end up with irritation.

Your beard oil contains harsh chemicals:

Essential oils are expensive, and companies looking to undercut competitors will often turn to synthetic fragrances as they're artificial and much cheaper.

Be wary of these.

We've picked up a few cheap beard oils (think £5 a bottle) off of Amazon and showed them to our chemists, and they have found ingredients which were known to cause cancer decades ago.

At the end of the day, beard oil is a product you're putting on your face, and you shouldn't do this without taking precautions. If in doubt, always opt for a high-quality, fully-tested beard oil. These products are worth your money. You'll get a better result for your beard from a product and brand you can trust.

Can beard oil be used on hair?

Absolutely! High quality beard oil is packed full of carrier oils like Jojoba Oil, Argan Oil and Sweet Almond Oil which commonly appear in hair care products.

As a result, any good beard oil will be fine to use on your head hair. However, remember that too much beard oil will make hair very greasy, which isn't a good look. Use it sparingly!