This guide is approximately a 3-minute read.
In this guide, you’ll learn:
- The benefits of using a beard balm
- The difference between beard balms and beard oils
- How to choose a beard balm
Let’s get it on!
How to Choose: Beard Balms
It's okay to admit it.
When you see a guy with a lush, thick beard, you get a little facial hair envy and wonder why you can't get your beard looking as full and perfectly groomed.
Those guys with perfect beards likely don't have a special gift for growing facial hair – they may have just discovered the right beard care products to keep their facial hair looking great.
Beard balms are blends of waxes and oils that can make huge improvements in the health and appearance of your beard to help you become the guy that gives others beard envy.
Read on to learn more about them.
Benefits of Using Beard Balms
A beard balm improves a beard in two main ways: by making it healthier and keeping it styled.
The oils in the beard balm moisturize and strengthen the facial hair and your skin to keep the growth soft and silky, reduce itching and irritation, and promote thicker growth.
At the same time, the waxes seal the beard, reducing frizz, making it easier to style and to hold the hair in place throughout the day.
Beard Balms vs. Beard Oils
A lot of guys are puzzled by what makes a beard balm and a beard oil different.
A beard oil is strictly a moisturizer and is made from one or more plant oils and essential oils. These products are deeply hydrating and excellent skin conditioners, but they do not improve manageability.
(To learn more about beard oils, check out this guide on how to choose a beard oil.)
An example of a beard oil is the Spiced Citrus Beard Oil from Beardbrand:
Balms, on the other hand, contain oils plus waxes for styling and for boosting facial hair and skin health. Because they are part oil and part wax, they do not provide as much hydration as a beard oil, so they are less ideal for men with very dry hair and skin.
An example of a beard balm is the Commando Beard Balm from Brooklyn Grooming:
How to Choose a Beard Balm
To choose the right beard balm for your needs, follow these steps:
Step 1: Compare Moisturizers.
The moisturizers are the oils in beard balms, and there are three that are commonly used:
- Grapeseed, which is the cheapest ingredient. It's a good choice for guys who want an economical balm, but it does have a short shelf life, so it's best to purchase balms that contain it in small quantities.
- Jojoba, which is similar to skin's natural oils and a better hydrator than grapeseed. It's also hypoallergenic, making it a good choice for sensitive skin, and it's noncomedogenic, so it won't clog your pores.
- Argan oil, which is the most luxurious and expensive of the natural oils. It's rich in antioxidants that protect hair and skin, and it offers unparalleled moisturizing and shine-boosting benefits.
Step 2: Consider Sealants.
The sealants in beard balms are the stuff that helps you style.
Three of the most common types include:
- Petroleum jelly, which should generally be avoided. Although it's expensive and does work as a sealant, it can cause build-up in your beard and can dry out your skin.
- Shea butter, which is noncomedogenic for oily and acne-prone skin. This natural butter has hydrating benefits, making it a good choice for drier beards.
- Beeswax, which greatly improves manageability with its strong hold. The substance offers some hydrating benefits, and it's noncomedogenic.
Step 3: Find the Right Scent.
A final thing to consider is the scent of the beard balm.
You'll want to choose one that is appealing to you because you'll be smelling it for hours after you apply it.