Beard Balm vs. Beard Oil: What’s the Difference?

You’ve earned it, man. You’ve put time and effort into growing a killer beard, but if you really want to keep that bad boy looking fresh, you have to use the tools that will make sure your beard looks awesome. Every. Single. Day.


I’m sure your buddies have shared all their "broscience" with you about beard maintenance, even some of those who don’t have a beard, but we’re here to make sure you get the real story about two of the most fundamental tools you need to keep your beard looking clean and fresh: Beard Oil and Beard Balm. Trust us and all our satisfied customers, when you know how to use them, they really work!


The obvious difference between these two complementary products, at least the most apparent, is when you look at them. Beard Oil is exactly that -- oil. It comes in liquid form in a bottle with an eyedropper that lets you precisely control the amount you use each time. Beard balm, on the other hand, is a thicker, somewhat solid, product that comes in an open container as to permit you to easily select the amount of product you want to use with your fingertips.


This difference might make you think that one is better than the other. But in reality, they have different uses, and both are essentials every bearded man should be using to ensure they maintain their beard and skin healthy, while making sure you look your best. Beard balm and beard oil are the best products you can use to keep your facial hair in top shape, while giving it that prized sheen.


It's all about the ingredients

Basically, good Beard Oil and Beard Balm both contain the highest quality natural oils, vitamins, and butters, such as sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, grapeseed oil, organic coconut oil, castor oil, bee’s wax, shea butter, vitamin E and pure essential oils. At Brave and Bearded, these are all sourced from certified organic suppliers.


Although they sound like they’re two very different products, each one is very helpful in maintaining a healthy beard and skin, with the added benefits of keeping your beard clean and making it smell fresh. That’s right, it also protects against dirt and grime. 

What you need to know about beard oil

Beard oil is a cosmetic product specially formulated to hydrate and make your beard soft, manageable and fuller. This provides better health, elasticity and improved wellbeing of the hair. It also gives it a great light gleam. You can think of beard oil as being a leave-in conditioner that benefits both your facial hair and your skin.


It’s a real game changer to relieve dry, itchy skin. And essential to eliminate ‘beardruff’ – AKA dandruff from your beard. If you don’t use beard oil, your skin starts becoming so dry (particularly in winter!) that when you scratch, it starts to flake causing those white specs of ‘beardruff’ on your T-shirts, sweaters and jackets. Ummmm…. Not so handsome, right? Plus, beard oil helps treat ingrown hairs and soothe irritation, so it’s a must!


Chose a beard oil formulated with natural, wholesome ingredients like sweet almond oil, vitamin E, beeswax and real essential oils – not fragrance – distilled from lavender, rosemary or lemon, that will nourish your skin while making your beard soft and manageable. Even if your beard has no problems, regular oil use is important. It’s the easiest way to keep the hair on your face healthy and moisturized.


To use beard oil, put a few drops in the middle of your palm -- about the size of a dime --, rub your hands together and then massage the oil into your beard and skin. If you have a really long beard, you might want to repeat this with a little more oil. It’s best to progress gradually and see what your beard will absorb. To finish, brush your beard with a boar bristle beard brush to ensure even distribution of the oil.


Brave & Bearded Beard Balm

What you need to know about beard balm

Beard balm is a pomade that looks like a wax and that is used to control and even out your beard to give it an impeccable finish, while also moisturizing and conditioning it. Even better, the product leaves a light fragrance on your beard. Like with oil, you can also think of beard balm as being a leave-in conditioner.


Designed for long beards but also ideal for shorter beards, a balm helps give your beard a kick-ass shape while providing it with volume and making it look fuller. For shorter beards, it helps discipline unruly hairs that are growing in every direction.


Chose a quality natural beard balm that contains beeswax and shea butter, which gives more body and consistency to the beard. Why are they better? Well, who really enjoys spreading toxic petrochemical by-products or silicones on their face… Plus, these natural ingredients are less likely to irritate your skin.


To use beard balm, scrape out an amount about the size of a dime and rub it between your palms to warm it up and to distribute it on your hands then run your fingers through your facial hair, starting from the neck and working your way up making sure to cover the entire hair from root to tip. Finish off with a natural boar bristle beard brush to ensure even distribution and to style your beard.       


What you need to take away from this

So, the answer is YES! You can, and should, use them together for optimal results. Beard oil provides the first layer of hydration, and the balm locks it in while providing styling options. Some days you might choose to use a little more of one than the other, depending on how your beard is looking and feeling, but you’ll never go wrong by combining the benefits of both. Although this is not an exact science, you really can’t go wrong here, you just need to listen to your beard and skin, and, with a little experience, you’ll figure out what works best for your beard so that you look your best every day.


As you can see, beard balm and beard oil are very similar products when it comes to their formulations. The major difference is the consistency of the beard balm: thicker than beard oil, it is used as a conditioner but also as a styling product. The oil, on the other hand, is easier to get to the skin under your beard to quickly soothe dry, itchy skin and treat ingrown hairs.


Whether you use beard oil, beard balm or both, keep in mind that regular washing is important. Just the same as with your hair, if you don’t wash regularly, products will build-up on your beard and skin, which can lead to negative results. Washing frequency will vary with your lifestyle and the amount of product you like to use, but, at least once a week is a good place to start. If you workout regularly or your skin is sensitive more often might be right for you. In between washes, a thorough rinse in the shower can suffice.


Yes, it does take time, effort and patience to sport a killer beard. But why settle for anything less? You deserve it, man!


Stay Brave!!



1 comment

  • Pascal Lavergne-Biron

    Totally agree with this article. My beard thanks you for your amazing product and will never go back to popular/commercial brand.

    I personally use both Balm and Oil. Both are a most if you grow a heavy/long beard like my Castro style beard.

    One small tip: once you washed your beard (I use Brave & Bearded beard wash), dry and straight it with a hair blower at low heat and a round hair brush. Once done, apply beard oil. Wait for at least 30 minutes, if you can, before you apply the balm to let the oil make his magic.

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