Beard Oil vs Beard Balm

Choosing beard oil vs beard balm can be confusing. If you’re just getting started adding a beard care product to your

beard oil vs beard balm

Beard balm is the most popular beard care product

morning routine, it can be very confusing. Beard care product companies want you to believe that you absolutely need ALL of their products to make your beard look its best, but that’s just not true.

Although I’ve already written about this in my ultimate beard care guide, I wanted to  take some time and focus specifically on the differences between beard oil and beard balm.

Beard oil vs beard balm

Deciding between these two paths for your first beard care product can really be solved by answering this question:

Are you primarily dealing with a skin problem, or a hair problem?

For skin problems, a beard oil is the right way to go. Beard oils can be applied directly to the skin under your beard (sometimes with the help of an eye-dropper), or they can make their way to your skin through the natural wicking process using your hair itself as the road (only works reliably with short beards).

Beard balms often contain the same oils as pre-packaged beard oils, but they have an additional ingredient like beeswax that helps the oils stick to your hair follicles, ensuring that the nourishment goes directly to your beard.

beard oil vs beard balmThis is the reason that beard balms are best for conditioning your facial hair. Your beard can be made softer and more manageable with the addition of a beard balm.

What if I have a skin problem AND a hair problem?

In this case, I would decide which one is more important, and get a product for that problem first. The hair of your beard will still get some extra nourishment from a beard oil. Your skin can get some benefit from a beard oil too.

If it turns out that a beard balm alone doesn’t address both problems adequately, you can always add in an oil at a later date.

One final bit of advice:

Don’t put too much importance on scent. The scents in these products usually don’t stick around. This means that, unlike a cologne, you are likely the only person that will really benefit from the enjoyment of the nice smell. So if you find a beard oil with the right combination of essential and carrier oils for your particular skin issue, don’t discount it because a competing product smells like your girlfriend’s favorite scent. In reality, your girlfriend won’t be able to enjoy the smell anyway, unless you rub your beard in her face within a few minutes of applying the oil.

If you’d like to read more on these topics, I’ve written in more detail in my What is beard balm? and What is beard oil? posts. And of course, my Best Beard Balm and Best Beard Oil comparison charts will help you find the right product for you.


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