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You might think that suffering an itchy face comes with the territory when you have a beard. But adding leave-in beard oil to your post-shower routine or daily beard grooming routine can condition coarse beard hairs, nourish the skin underneath, and relieve itch for all-day comfort. Plus, the best beard oil provides a sophisticated, subtle and masculine fragrance that will help you make the perfect first impression.
Here at SPY, we take mustaches and beards seriously. A majority of our male editors are writers who have some type of facial hair, and we’re constantly testing and reviewing new beard grooming products. From beard balm to beard straighteners, there are so many tools you can include in your grooming arsenal, but there are only three tools that we consider to be absolutely essential to proper beard maintenance: a beard brush, a beard comb and high-quality beard oil.
Below, we’ll share everything we’ve learned about the best beard oils and how to use them to maintain the perfect beard at all times.
What is Beard Oil?
For those of you growing out your peach fuzz for the very first time, you might be wondering: what exactly is beard oil? Which, quite honestly, is quite an understandable question. Beard oil is a men’s grooming product used to nourish both your beard and the skin underneath it to keep your mug looking happy and healthy. In addition, beard oil will keep your beard feeling softer and will add some sheen, keeping your facial hair looking livelier than ever.
Lots of men tend to think beard oil is a stimulant that makes hair grow faster but that actually isn’t the case for most beard oils. Instead, the beard oil will more or less replicate the natural oils your skin produces to intensify your beard’s luster. Think of it mainly as a conditioner for your beard instead of your hair.
What Are the Benefits Of Beard Oil?
Natural oils like argan and jojoba work to soften the hairs on your face, soothe dry skin and indirectly promote healthy beard growth, not to mention leave you with a nice shine. Some beard oil brands also add scented essential oils into the mix for that extra pop as well as antioxidants like vitamin E to help protect skin cells. Furthermore, beard oils can help tame and control wild beards. But ultimately, the benefits boil down to one thing: Your face won’t itch, like, at all. It’ll just be healthy skin and a glorious beard.
- Great beard oils will moisturize your skin and facial hair
- Along with a beard brush, beard oil helps to eliminate beard dandruff
- Makes wiry and out of control beards easier to style
- Clean, refreshing fragrance
- Makes your beard soft to the touch
What Are the Best Ingredients To Look for in Best Beard Oils?
Here are some other ingredients to be on the lookout for. You don’t need all of them, but you’ll definitely want a beard oil with one or some of them.
- Jojoba oil: Jojoba comes from the jojoba shrub, which is native to California, Arizona and Mexico. It’s moisturizing and a very stable oil so it makes for a great base oil.
- Argan oil: Argan oil comes from argan trees in Morocco. It naturally contains vitamin E and fatty acids to enrich your hair.
- Coconut oil: Coconut oil, of course, comes from coconuts and is high in saturated fatty acids, which makes it great for skin (and for cooking too).
- Grape seed oil: Grape seed oil comes from, unsurprisingly, grapes. It naturally contains fatty acids and vitamin E.
- Almond oil: Almond oil comes from the dried kernel of almonds and is rich in vitamin E, essential fatty acids and saturated fat, which help keep skin healthy.
- Tea tree oil: Tea tree oil comes from Australian tea trees and smells like a woody eucalyptus. Anecdotally, it can help treat dandruff and dryness and is responsible for a wonderful tingling on skin.
- Shea butter: Shea butter comes from the African shea tree and is an excellent natural moisturizer to treat dry, itchy skin. It’s less common in oils but does appear in formulas for its effectiveness at moisturizing.
How To Apply Beard Oil
This is the easiest part of all: You just put a few drops in your hands, at least a couple but probably not more than four or five. (You can use either your fingertips or your palms, but choose one or the other.) For ease of use, many beard oil options come with a dropper, spray pump or press cap to make going from scraggly to smooth as easy as possible. But for those beard oils with regular screw caps, just be careful not to dump too much oil out into your hands and you’ll be fine.
Once you’ve got a few drops of oil, rub it between your hands and massage it into your facial hair, mustache, beard and all, from root to tip Be sure to massage your skin too. For best results, do this after you get out of the shower when your pores are open and your beard is towel-dried and slightly damp. That’ll get you the best absorption, but beard oils work plenty well on dry beards too. For the best distribution and control, use a beard brush to spread the oil evenly throughout your beard.
Now that we’ve covered some basics on beard oils, we evaluated over two dozen beard oils to help narrow down the options for you. You’ll find our top picks below. Whatever you need, whether you’re looking for an affordable daily beard oil, a masculine-smelling sandalwood oil, a great cheap beard oil or something giftable for the bearded men in your life, we promise you can find the best beard oils of the year below.
1. Fulton & Roark Formula 5 Beard Oil
BEST BEARD OIL
Fulton & Roark makes some of our favorite solid cologne, so it makes sense the brand would make great beard oil too. The Formula 5 Beard Oil smells of sandalwood and amber, doesn’t feel too oily or greasy and is guaranteed to soothe the heck out of your skin and hydrate your beard hair. In addition to using this as a beard oil, you can also use it pre-shave oil, scalp moisturizer, dry skin treatment and even lightweight hair styling. We love Fulton & Roark’s Formula 5 Beard Oil so much that we recently named it the best beard oil of 2021 in our SPY Man Awards. It really is the top-notch pick.
2. Honest Amish Classic Beard Oil
Beard oils should offer a good value, use natural ingredients and do what they claim to do. Honest Amish’s Classic Beard Oil hits all three of those marks. Argan, jojoba and six other natural, organic essential oils combine to condition beard hair and soften skin, and you get 2 ounces of oil to work with. The eyedropper cap will help make sure you don’t waste any of it and help ensure you don’t use too much. It does have a bit of an earthy-clove scent with some hints of licorice that we can’t pin down to a particular oil, but the fragrance isn’t too strong as long as you don’t use too much oil. Honest Amish’s beard oil is just an excellent, no-fuss beard oil for a pretty solid price.
3. Bevel Beard Oil
BEST BEARD OIL FOR BLACK MEN
Bevel is a Black-made grooming brand that focuses specifically on the upkeep of curly and kinky hair textures. We recently listed the brand’s entire grooming kit as a helpful way for Black men to nip ingrown hairs in the bud before they even begin due to the fact pseudofolliculitis barbae occurs in about 60% of Black men. That said, the true standout has easily been their beard oil. With just a few drops, Bevel reduces dryness, frizz and breakage all without damaging your skin and clogging your pores. You can kiss all of that under beard acne goodbye, that’s for sure. It has the ability to soothe skin upon application due to natural ingredients included, such as grapeseed oil, macadamia seed, evening primrose and much more.
4. King C. Gillette Beard Oil
Though big brand and longstanding grooming companies have always offered beard conditioning products, they didn’t start getting into beard oils until small businesses really created the market. But now that the interest is there, we’re finally getting some good big brand offerings at friendly big brand prices, like the King C. Gillette Beard Oil. Multiple oils, including jojoba, argan, avocado, macadamia seed and almond, in the non-greasy formula easily absorb into your skin, leaving your mug a lot less irritated and generally softer and smoother overall. Gillette also included an eyedropper in the cap, which makes it a lot easier to not use too much oil, a big win when a little oil goes a long way.
5. Jack Black Beard Oil
The Jack Black formula is among the most unique when it comes to beard oils, and you can definitely count on it to eliminate whatever scruff and beard dandruff comes its way. Kalahari melon and marula oils contain fast-absorbing fatty acids to soften hair and skin, and brown algae and carrot extract contain antioxidants to minimize damage to your skin from free radicals. Just a few spritzes of this stuff will make you wonder how you ever walked around with an itchy, scratchy beard.
6. Grave Before Shave Bay Rum Beard Oil
OK, so there aren’t that many bay rum beard oils out there, sue us. Even so, the Grave Before Shave Bay Rum Beard Oil is still the best. This beard oil smells of citrus, spice, ocean and rum, the kind of scent you imagine a well-kept pirate sailing the Caribbean in the 1600s would encounter. The only difference is while the pirate’s beard would be an unruly mess, yours will be moisturized, tamed and definitely smelling a lot better.
7. Pura d’Or Beard Oil
BEST NATURAL BEARD OIL
Pura d’Or, the makers of our favorite hair-loss shampoo, knows a thing or two about good oils and just skin and hair care in general. So it should come as no surprise the brand is responsible for one of the simplest beard oils out there. You’ll see results in taming your itchy, scruffy, dandruffy beard from day one. The Pura d’Or Beard Oil is highly hydrating and conditioning, with certified organic oils like argan and jojoba, and it carries a hint of citrus fragrance, thanks to the bergamot and grapefruit peel oils.
8. Baxter of California Beard Grooming Oil
BEST CONDITIONING BEARD OIL
Baxter of California makes a whole host of great grooming products and the brand’s Beard Grooming Oil is one of them. A combo of squalene, multiple quick-absorbing oils and botanical extracts work to quickly moisturize and condition your skin and beard hair. Plus, the fragrance blend of sandalwood, jasmine and cedarwood smells clean and masculine. The fragrance profile is more sophisticated than your average beard oil, and the ingredients offer extra moisturizing power. For all these reasons, it’s a little pricey for 1 ounce of oil, but it more than gets the job done.
9. Proraso Beard Oil
BEST CLASSIC BEARD OIL
Proraso Beard Oil is one of the few beard oils to use eucalyptus and menthol, staples of Proraso’s products for generations. If you’re looking for a more traditional beard oil, this one will wake your skin right up and just maybe give you some sense of how your grandfather might’ve taken care of his beard.
10. Live Bearded Canyon Beard Oil
BEST OUTDOORSY SCENT
You can’t go wrong with Live Bearded products and beard oils, in particular the Live Bearded Canyon Beard Oil. The scent consists of juniper, cypress and fir needle for a generally pleasant outdoorsy scent. Thankfully, the fragrance isn’t too strong. It’s strong enough that someone could smell it up close, but not so strong as to take over a room. This oil also hits the sweet spot of viscosity. It’s not too thick or too thin, so it spreads and absorbs easily without running off your hands or leaving your facial hair too greasy.
11. Arlo’s Original Beard Oil
BEST BUDGET BEARD OIL
Arlo’s Original Beard Oil is easily the cheapest option we found at about $2.28 per fluid ounce. With coconut, argan, tea tree and vitamin E, it’ll help you tackle your scruff and bring it to heel as well as leave you with a bit of that sweet tea tree tingle. It also comes with a convenient little screw top, so you can twist it open for a few drops of oil and twist it closed with only one hand.
12. ArtNaturals Beard & Stache Oil
MOST BASIC BEARD OIL
Some beard oils lean simple and some go for more sophisticated formulas and ingredients. ArtNaturals Beard & Stache Oil definitely falls among the former for its extremely simple formula. It consists of organic jojoba, argan and vitamin E oils, and that’s it. Seeing as those are basically among the three best ingredients for hydrating and soothing facial skin, if you want a simple beard oil, ArtNaturals is the way to go.
13. Striking Viking Cedarwood Beard Oil
BEST CEDARWOOD BEARD OIL
Striking Viking was only founded in 2015, but the beard brand has begun to develop a reputation as a solid beard oil maker with a great variety of scents. In particular, we dig the Striking Viking Cedarwood Beard Oil. Unsurprisingly it smells of cedarwood that could’ve come straight out of the pine trees and conifers of the Pacific Northwest. While the cedarwood oil gives it that great earthy, woodsy scent, tea tree, jojoba and argan oils keep things smoothed and soothed, with aloe leaf juice going the extra mile to tamp down on irritation. The oil itself is fairly light, so it’ll spread and absorb easily for fast application and maximum conditioning, and it’ll take care of your beard at a very reasonable price.
14. Viking Revolution Beard Oil Conditioner
BEST SANDALWOOD BEARD OIL
Sandalwood wood is one of the most sought-after woods in the world because the oil extracted from it has an extremely alluring woodsy-floral scent. We happen to agree sandalwood smells manly and fantastic, and that’s where the Viking Revolution Beard Oil Conditioner comes in. This beard oil consists of argan oil, jojoba oil and sandalwood oil, and that’s it. So go ahead and smother your beard with five or six drops of oil and revel in your newfound manly sandalwood odor. The more you use, the longer and stronger the smell will be, but unfortunately, you only get 1 ounce from Viking Revolution, so do your best to control yourself.
15. Mountaineer Brand Beard Oil
BEST VARIETY OF SCENTS
If natural musk isn’t your thing, a beard oil offering a variety of fragrances could be the changeup you need. Mountaineer Brand offers multiple scented oils with no artificial fragrances, and at a great price point for 2 ounces. This beard oil formula doesn’t incorporate any argan oil, which is one of the best and costlier ingredients, but grapeseed, almond and castor oils will work to keep your skin comfortable. If you really dig this oil, Mountaineer Brand also offers other complementary products like beard balms and washes as well as an unscented oil.
Read more: Beard Balm vs Beard Oil
Beard Oil FAQs
Your beard oil questions, answered.
Bevel Beard Oil is our top pick for the best beard oil because it reduces dryness, frizz and breakage, all without damaging your skin and clogging your pores. It's naturally soothing and moisturizing due to natural ingredients such as grapeseed oil, macadamia seed and evening primrose. Reasonably priced at just $9 a bottle, Bevel Beard Oil is also great for guys with sensitive skin, curly hair and Afro-textured hair.
Beard oils moisturize itchy skin and dry beard hair, leaving your face more comfortable and your hair with a nice shine. Beard oils also tame and bring under control wild hairs. Some beard oils also have essential oils for fragrance.
Beard oils are basically just mixtures of plant-based oils selected because they work well on faces and hair. Thankfully, there are many such functional oils, including jojoba, argan, coconut, almond, macadamia nut and on and on. What they all have in common is an ability to moisturize skin and hair.
Fortunately, learning how to apply beard oil is easy
- Put a few drops of beard oil into your hand. (A little goes a long way, so don't over-apply!)
- Massage the oils between your hands.
- Run your hands through your beard hair.
- Massage your skin as your do so.
- Use a beard brush to brush the oil evenly through and style or arrange your hair.
Beard oil will not directly affect the growth of your beard. Indirectly, beard oils promote healthy skin and healthy hair, which could lead to better growth. But that's not a guarantee and likely to vary more or less randomly from beard to beard. Only products with ingredients proven to grow hair can, unsurprisingly, actually grow hair.