What Exactly is Beard Balm Used For In The First Place?
Beard balm if you are unaware is a substance (much like a pomade) that is used within your beard to solve 3 main issues: make your beard softer, make it healthier, cure beardruff, and give just a bit of styling properties.
Whether its the frigid winter months or the hot dry heat in the middle of summer – beard balm should be used in all occasions.
When you start growing a beard, even if its not terribly long, you may notice that it begins to get a bit itchy and flaky.
There are a few things that are going on here that causes this.
First off, its important to know one thing – and thats sebum oil.
Sebum oil is the oil that is naturally produced by your skin.
It gives your skin a healthy glow and the hair on your head and face the nutrients it needs to look both healthy and feel soft.
When you begin to grow a beard, the sebum oil production on your face simply cannot keep up with the demand that your beard has.
When this occurs, your skin begins to dry up and causing your beard to feel quite itchy and dry.
After your beard is feeling so itchy, it begins to shed off a bit of dandruff for your beard (gross I know).
This is known in the beard community simply as ‘beardruff’.
At this point, men throw in the towel, whip out their beard trimmer or trusty razor and hack all of their beard away!
But this is where beard balm steps into the equation.
Think of beard balm as a supplement to the natural sebum oils that your skin is already producing.
Being that your sebum oil can’t keep up with demand anymore, a solid beard balm can completely rid your beard of all of these aliments and make it completely soft, healthy looking, and beardruff free!
Last but not lease you would want a beard balm that has ample amount of beeswax so your beard stays in order and maintains its shape through the day.
Before we jump too much into details its important to know the ingredients that would make up the best beard balms out there:
What is Beard Balm Made Out Of?
In order understand how beard balm works, you first need to look at the ingredients involved in it.
Any decent beard balm (like those reviewed below), carry 4 core ingredients in the tin.
Those ingredients are:
- Carrier Oils
- Essential Oils
- Shea or Cocoa Butters
How do all the ingredients that would make up the best beard balm work together?
Carrier oils provide the core nutrients
By and far one the most important ingredients to all the great benefits in any beard balm is going to be the carrier oil.
Carrier oils provide just enough hydration and nutrients for your skin that will help cure itchiness.
A carrier oil if you might be wondering comes in several different varieties.
From jojoba to sweet almond to argan, there are quite a few that exist. Nearly all carrier oils that I have come across that are used in beard balms are all natural and are derived from plants, nuts, etc.
If its your first ever time using a beard balm, I highly recommend that you stick to a balm that has jojoba as one of its primary carrier oils.
Jojoba is by and far the closest oil from nature that matches the natural sebum oil that our skin produces.
Therefore when using it for the first time nearly all people don’t have any sort of adverse effects from it.
In fact even if you have acne or generally oily skin, using product that contains jojoba oil usually won’t cause any flare ups as it tends to balance out the sebum oil production.
Of course with any introduction to using any sort of skin type of product, make sure you perform an allergy test just to make sure there are no adverse reactions.
If jojoba isn’t your thing, another great carrier oil to find in a beard balm is argan oil. Again, this oil is pretty mild and should be fine to use.
Essential oils provide nutrients, scents, and a couple of benefits
Understanding the benefits of essential oils can be pretty confusing.
There are literally hundreds of essential oils in the world, any great beard balm may contain a few of them combined together.
If its your first time picking up a beard balm, you are probably better off choosing essential oils first off by scents.
This makes the process a bit less daunting.
Most beard balms will contain ‘manly’ scents in them. Some of the more popular scents out on the market are pine, cedar, sandalwood, etc.
When you use any beard balm that contains essential oils, the scent will stick in your beard for a few hours and dissipate as the day wears on.
Here’s the deal though:
If you want to get into the details of a beard balm and are looking for some of the secondary benefits, I definitely would recommend checking out AromaWeb where they have a tremendous database of the more popular essential oils.
For instance, if you have acne, a beard balm with tea tree oil might be the best thing for you.
You see tea tree oil is naturally a antiseptic that will help fight off the bacteria that causes acne to help clear up the skin beneath your beard.
There are also essential oils that help with your blood flow on your face that tend to make your beard come in a bit quicker and fuller.
Have sensitive skin and unsure of which one essential oil to get?
Often times its best to go with a beard balm that only has a few ingredients and not overloaded with essential oils.
However, if you plan on picking up a beard balm with essential oils but you have sensitive skin – then make sure you avoid oils that are citrus in nature as these tend to cause flareups more frequently for those with sensitive skin.
Butter Helps With the Overall Spreadability
Being that beard balm is met to give your beard a healthy and softer work, the butters in your beard balm help compliment the carrier and essential oils.
The butters in beard balm are unlike the typical butter out of the fridge.
Instead, butters in beard balm typically are either shea or cocoa butter.
Of which both have warm scents that tend to smell really great!
Since beard balm is more of a pomade, this helps with the overall spreadability of the balm when applying it into your beard.
This is a stark difference to beard wax which is typically absent of any sort of shea or cocoa butter.
Beeswax Gives You Just a Bit Of Hold
If you are looking for a bit of beard style, beeswax is the primary ingredient responsible for this.
With its ability to hold the beard just slightly, it makes your beard stay in the same shape as when you walk out the door in the morning.
But don’t mistake this for something similar to a gel hold that you would apply to your hair.
You see the beeswax in beard balm is just enough to give you a hold without your beard feeling crunchy at all.
But the benefit of beeswax doesn’t end there.
In fact, the other important benefit of beeswax in some of the best beard balms on the market is that it acts as a protectant to your skin.
Therefore it will help lock in all the moisture that is given by the way of carrier and essential oils along with the butter used.
When applying beard balm, don’t worry about it drying up on your face and leaving a waxy residue like you have when touching regular off the shelf wax – there is a low amount of wax in the final product that would make this occur.
Is it Better To Just Make Beard Balm Yourself or Buy It?
When seeing that beard balm just contains really only 4 ingredients, you have to start wondering to yourself if its actually worth it to just make it yourself.
I mean when you break it down, how hard can it be to mix the 4 ingredients together?
Here’s the deal:
You can make your very own beard balm, it’s not at all impossible to do!
But with just about any DIY project, its always going to be cheaper to make it yourself instead of buying it off the shelf.
After all, you get a beard balm off the shelf for convenience right?
Making your own beard balm only works if you of course use more than one tin of it.
If your beard is going to last more than a month, the DIY route will seem to make much more sense as it will save you a bit of money.
However if it is a one of time of trying to make it yourself, you will be spending more on all of the ingredients separately and won’t realize any immediate cost savings.
Putting all the costs aside, there is one absolute advantage that you have when you make it yourself.
You have all the flexibility in the world to experiment with different carrier essential oils.
If you wanted to get a wooden orange scent (because why not!), you can make it to your hearts desire.
How To Apply Beard Balm
Applying beard balm is a fairly straightforward process – but even if this is your second or third time buying it, its always great to brush up on technique to make sure you are doing it right.
Simply place the tin of beard balm into your hand.
Then get your thumb and scrape it out till you have about a thumbnail size amount scooped out (this should work if your beard is less than a couple of inches).
Once scooped out go ahead and put your beard balm tin away and then place the scooped out beard balm into the palm of your hand.
Then you will want to rub your hands together completely melting out the beard balm.
You don’t want to have any sort of left over chunks of balm remaining in order for it to prevent clumping in your beard.
Once your hands are completely covered in your beard balm and its fully melted, rub your hands into your beard.
First off, you want to make sure that you rub from the root of your beard follicle down to the tip of your beard.
This makes sure that your skin will receive the vital nutrients from all of the ingredients within the balm.
Once you feel that you have adequate and equal coverage in your beard, you are going to want to either brush or comb your beard.
Here is also a video I put together demonstrating application as well:
Are A Brush or Comb Necessary For Applying Beard Balm?
I get this question from guys a lot.
Is a beard brush or comb actually worth it?
The answer is a resounding YES!
You see beard brushes and combs are made differently than other types of combs and brushes on the market.
Whether you are applying a beard balm or beard oil, you should definitely use a brush and/or comb.
A quality beard brush contains boars hair.
This type of brush can trap excess beard balm within the bristles and help spread the beard balm evenly within your beard.
Even though beeswax is contained within beard balm, when using a boar hair bristle brush, it will give your beard a fuller and more natural look.
On the other side of the equation is a beard comb.
Beard combs primary use is for styling your beard and giving it a great shape.
With the bit of beeswax that is contained in a beard balm, a beard comb will give you the ability to make sure that you can get your mustache tamed to the sides and give your beard a great shape with all the hair follicles falling into line.
It is definitely important to note that beard combs do differ greatly from your typical drug store comb.
Beard combs, especially those made from Kent, are saw cut and hand polished. This leaves no micro-jagged edges along the teeth of the comb.
This is important in that it doesn’t cause prolonged damage to your beard. Also being polished and hand cut, you won’t experience any sort of static when combing your beard.
How The Rating Scale Has Been Determined
Rating beard balms can be a bit tricky – given that its a bit subjective.
However I have accounted for this by giving the scent less of a weight on the final rating.
Other factors that were reviewed when looking at each one of these beard balms listed are the quality of ingredients used (and if filler ingredients were used), softness of beard, overall price, and lastly how it lasted throughout the day.