Beard Basics: What Does Beard Oil Do? (+5 Other Questions Answered)

Alex Cutler

Beard oil. It’s the staple of many a beardsman’s daily routine. It’s risen in popularity in recent years. And if you want your facial hair to live its best life, it’s damn near essential.

But what does beard oil do, and how will it benefit your beard? We’ve got you covered, you beautiful, hairy man. In this Beard Basics article, we’ll tackle these topics and show you why you need to get your hands on some beard oil today. Let’s dive in.

Underdog Beard Oil held by owner Alex Cutler

What does beard oil do?

Beard oil is a beard product designed to closely resemble your skin’s natural oil, sebum. Your skin can only make so much sebum, and when it runs out, your beard can get dry and itchy. Beard oil helps to hydrate beards and skin, stop beard itch and beard dandruff, and promote beard hair growth.

What is beard oil made of?

Unscented beard oils are made using a blend of carrier oils. Scented beard oils are made using a blend of carrier oils and either essential oils, or synthetic fragrance oils. Wherever possible, we always recommend using natural beard oils, because their ingredients are packed with benefits for your beard growth and the skin beneath.

Some of the most-used carrier oils in beard oil include:

  • Jojoba oil
  • Argan oil
  • Sweet Almond oil
  • Castor oil
  • Grapeseed oil
  • Apricot kernel oil
  • Avocado oil
  • Rice bran oil
  • Coconut oil

These natural oils will be around 97% of the contents of the beard oil you use.

Some of the most-used essential oils in beard oil include:

  • Atlantic Cedarwood oil
  • Sandalwood oil
  • Lemon essential oil
  • Patchouli essential oil
  • Tea Tree essential oil

It’s the essential oils that give your natural beard oil its irresistible scent. Essential oils are the fragrances of their natural sources in their most concentrated forms. These pack a punch, and so typically only make up 2-3% of your beard oil.

Benefits of beard oil explained

Any good beard oil will come packed with a big bunch of benefits for your facial hair and the skin underneath. Once you start using it, you’ll never look back.

Beard oil promotes stronger, faster, healthier growth

Beard oils made from high-quality natural carrier oils and essential oils are filled full of nutrients and vitamins that your hair and skin love.

While the jury is out on whether beard oil can directly influence the speed and thickness of which a beard grows, it will definitely help you grow the best beard you can.

It eradicates beard itch and beard dandruff

When your hair runs out of sebum oil to keep it soft and healthy, it’ll start to dry out. That dryness will cause itching, which when scratched will result in irritated, inflamed and flaky skin.

This is enough to see even the most hardened of new beardsmen flocking to the bathroom cupboard in search of their shaver.

However, fret not. Beard oil is designed to closely resemble sebum oil. By using it on a daily basis, you can hydrate dry skin and beard hairs and stop beard itch in its tracks. Many of the carrier oils and essential oils used in beard oil also have anti-inflammatory properties, further helping them to reduce skin irritation and soothe sensitive skin beneath your beard.

H3: It softens and tames unruly beard hairs

Damaged hair can feel dry and coarse to the touch. Not only is this generally unpleasant for anyone lucky enough to get close to your beard, it can also irritate the skin underneath when hairs brush up against it. This is especially true for shorter beards, but can also affect longer beards if they’re stroked regularly.

By using beard oil packed with carrier oils like argan oil and jojoba oil, you’ll hydrate and nourish your beard hairs, leaving them noticeably softer and much easier to manage.

When should you use beard oil?

The best time we’ve found to use beard oil is first thing in the morning, after your shower. You should apply your beard oil to a damp or dry beard, but never wet - because water and oil don’t like each other.

If you’re drying your beard, our research has found that a blow-dryer is safe to use, as long as you keep the heat setting on cool. Using a higher temperature will dry your beard faster, but it can also strip moisture away from your beard and damage your skin.

If you’ve got a longer beard that requires more care, or want to double down on the benefits of beard oil for a shorter beard, then it could be worth using beard oil in the evening before bed too. Be sure to apply it at least 30 minutes before you go to sleep - unless you want an oily pillow. Your entire face will smell great, but getting beard oil in your eyes isn’t fun.

>>> Want to learn more? Read our full guide on when to apply beard oil here.

How many drops of beard oil should you use?

How much beard oil you should use depends on how long your beard is, but it will change from person to person.

If this is your first foray into using beard oil, we recommend starting with these doses:

Beard Length: Morning: Evening:
Stubble: 2-3 drops 1-2 drops
1-inch beard: 4-6 drops 2-4 drops
3-inch beard: 7-9 drops 5-7 drops
5-inch beard: 10-12 drops 9-10 drops

As a general rule, follow this process when finding the right amount of beard oil to use:

  1. Apply the above dose to your hands and rub them together
  2. Massage the oil into your beard
  3. Wait 30 minutes
  4. Rub clean hands through your beard
Mission Beard owner Alex Cutler applying beard oil

If your hands come away greasy, then you’ve used too much. If they come away dry, you’ve used the right amount, or could potentially afford to use a little more.

However, if your beard oil is scented, it’s important you take into consideration any usage precautions listed on the bottle. Both natural and synthetic fragrances included in beard oils can cause irritation and other issues when used in higher quantities.

How long does it take for beard oil to work?

Beard oil will get to work softening beard hair, soothing beard itch and promoting stronger, faster growth as soon as your hair and skin start to absorb it.

You should expect to see the soothing benefits of beard oil within the first few days of use. However, you might need to use your beard oil continuously for a few weeks before you start to pick up on the differences in your beard’s softness and overall health.

I can’t grow a beard - will beard oil work for me?

Sadly, no, not really. You’ll find a lot of companies online claiming that beard oil can directly increase the speed at which your beard grows - and even make hair grow where there isn’t any.

While they can’t be disproved, there isn’t much scientific evidence to support these claims. Your ability to grow a beard is based on your genetics. If you can’t grow a beard like Zeus right now, beard oil isn’t going to magically change that overnight.

However, both science and anecdotal evidence do show that beard oil will help your beard grow to the best of its ability. Basically, beard oil will help you grow your best beard, which is why we say our products “promote stronger and faster growth”, as opposed to directly influencing it.

What’s the best beard oil? Our top 3 recommendations

1. Captain Fawcett’s Booze & Baccy Beard Oil

In the beard care space, the cliche “you get what you pay for” couldn’t be more true. So, while Captain Fawcett’s products are a little pricey, if you can afford to splash out on this oil it’s 100% worth it.

They’re a fellow British company and they sell worldwide. Not only are the ingredients top quality, but the scent is also produced by professional perfumers and is nothing short of incredible.

2. Rocky Mountain Barber Company Cedarwood Beard Oil

Bringing the best bang for your buck without cutting out important ingredients, Rocky Mountain Barber Company’s beard oil is next on our list.

Featuring a classic masculine cedarwood scent, this oil contains everything you need at an affordable price.

3. Honest Amish Classic Beard Oil

A firm beardsman favourite, Honest Amish’s Classic Beard Oil has stood the test of time.

Hand-crafted in the USA and formulated using only natural, organic ingredients, it’s no surprise that Honest Amish is among one of the most trusted beard brands in the world.

Want the full run-down of our best beard oils?

We’ve got you. We’ve completed an extensive process of testing and research to compile a list of the best beard oils money can buy. Check it out now.

Related products