Recently I had a client ask me, “what’s the purpose of beard oil, anyway?”; this is a longer version of what I explained to him.
Weather you wear a beard or not, if you have dry skin, course facial hair or are prone to ingrown hairs, you should have beard oil in your arsenal.
So what’s the purpose of beard oil anyway?
Beard oil serves many purposes; the most notable being its moisturizing qualities. Beard oil is beneficial for both your beard and the skin beneath it.
Most beard oils will help soften your facial hair and hydrate your skin.
Another notable purpose of beard oil is its ability to give your facial hair a pleasant smell.
Look for a beard oil that contains all-natural essential oils, rather than synthetic fragrances. Essential oils are beneficial for your hair and skin when used in conjunction with carrier oils. Essential oils come in a variety of scents and unlike fragrance will not be chock full of synthetic ingredients or alcohols.
“The carrier oils are the base in which everything else is built into, and they also provide the bulk of the beard oils moisturizing benefits.
Essential oils are primarily used for scent, and since they’re extremely potent and volatile, they have to be diluted into a carrier oil” (Kuoppala, 2019).
Here at Independence Barber Co. we hand make our own beard oils; primarily because we found mass produced beard oils to be made with ingredients that we can’t pronounce. While there are many companies that DO use all natural ingredients, it’s important you read everything that is making up the product in that bottle; be sure you are using a beard product that is going to be beneficial for you.
Our favorite carrier oils to use include: jojoba, coconut, argan, olive, almond and rosehip. Some of these oils have a nice scent on their own, but it is very subtle; which is why we add naturally scented essential oils.
Ali Kuoppala explains each carrier oil in detail at beardresource.com, here are some important snippets.
Jojoba oil is light and anti-comedogenic, which means that it doesn’t make your beard look greasy, and it absorbs quickly into the skin and beard fibers.
It also has some natural iodine in it, which has an antiseptic effect.
Jojoba oil has virtually no aroma, which makes it ideal as a carrier of unscented beard oils (or for a base to scent experimentation).
The best part is that as a wax-ester, it’s extremely shelf-stable and not prone to lipid-peroxidation (oxidation of fatty acids).
Coconut oil is the most stable beard oil ingredient of them all. As it’s mostly comprised of saturated fatty acids, it really does not oxidize and go rancid unless exposed to extreme heat.
There’s also a study where it was shown that coconut oil was extremely effective in hydrating the deep skin layers, and due to its low molecular weight, it was able to permeate the hair fibers and nourish them from within, unlike most heavier carrier oils.
Argan oil is sometimes called liquid gold. This highly-priced oil is the main commodity of Morocco, and the cosmetics industry loves it due to its great benefits as light and emollient carrier oil.
Sweet Almond Oil – A medium non-greasy oil that is quickly absorbed into the skin.
It is similar in properties to apricot kernel oil containing 2/3 Omega-9 and ¼ Omega-6, plus vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, D, and E. It is great for locking moisture in the hair and skin, even skin prone to eczema and inflammation. It helps normalize the pH levels of the skin under the beard and is known for its ability to soothe inflamed skin, preventing beard itch while conditioning hair.
Grapeseed oil has similar benefits to almond oil – namely lightness and quick absorption rate – and it’s quite a popular beard oil ingredient too.
Because it’s rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids as well, you have to be really careful to combine it with more stable carrier oils and always use a natural antioxidant to keep it from going rancid.
Olive oil is known to be one of the best sources to nourish and grow hair. Olive oil is extremely beneficial for beard growth due to its naturally packed compound of antioxidant properties, its anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties, and also help moisturizing beard hair and skin.
However, olive oil has a very thick consistency and does not absorb easily into the hair fibers and should be used in moderation with other carrier oils.
Beard oil ingredients and the benefits of each individually can be a lot to take in. I have kept this pretty limited to snippets that I think are important, and links to many other articles that contain more in depth information.