Beard Oil Vs Beard Balm. What's The Difference?


beard oil vs beard balm, what's the difference

Beard oil and beard balm are both conditioning products designed to improve the look and feel of your beard. They do this by helping to nourish, hydrate, and soften your facial hair, keeping your beard softer and more maintained.

While they serve similar purposes, understanding their differences can help you decide which is best for your grooming needs. So let’s uncover your needs and figure out if you’re a beard oil or a balm kinda guy.

Table of Contents

What Is Beard Oil?

what is beard oil

Spent time on the Internet recently? You’ve probably seen a bunch of hip-bearded guys banging on about beard oil. And for good reason. Put simply, if you have a beard, you could benefit from using beard oil.

Beard oil is a lightweight blend of oils designed to be used daily. Natural beard oils are made from a combination of carrier oils and fragrances (either essential oils or fragrance oil). Here's what Wiki have to say about it.

Regular use of beard oil helps prevent itch, and dandruff and promotes healthy conditions for beard growth.

It’s the carrier oils that your beard loves. These naturally derived plant-based oils work to condition, hydrate, and soften your beard, and importantly, the skin beneath. Quality carrier oils will help replace the natural oils stripped from your beard through washing, leading to a healthy beard and skin.

 At Arluka, we recommend you start using beard oil as soon as your stubble starts to grow through. Doing so will keep your skin moisturised and create a healthy environment for beard growth. It also softens your hair, which is really important during the early stages of beard growth to avoid the dreaded itch and beard dandruff.

Arluka Beard Oil features a premium blend of Sweet Almond, Abyssinian, jojoba, Avocado, and castor oils. We’ve crafted this blend to be lightweight, yet super nourishing. It absorbs quickly for optimal moisturisation without leaving your beard weighed down and greasy.

Pro Tip: Apply a few drops of beard oil to your palms and rub through your beard, making sure to get the skin beneath. Then grab a beard brush and brush your beard using downward strokes.

Our favourite beard brushes use natural Boar bristles, which are great for exfoliating your skin and distributing the oil through your beard. 

man who uses beard oil

What Is Beard Balm

I like to think of beard balm as beard oil with hold. In essence, beard balm contains all the same nourishing carrier oils as beard oil, with the addition of higher viscosity ingredients, such as butters and waxes. 

The addition of butters and waxes created a thicker textured product that coats the hairs and takes longer to absorb. In fact, waxes don’t absorb at all, they coat the hair follicles and give them more weight which controls fly-away hairs and helps with beard styling.

Beard Balm is both a moisturising and styling agent for your beard. It’s favoured by men with medium to long length beards for its styling and shaping capabilities.

Because beard balm is slower to absorb, it tends to keep the beard moisturised for longer. It can however feel heavier and greasier, and may not be suitable for all lengths of beard.

Whilst beard oil is ideal for beards of any length, balm tends to be favoured by men with medium to long beards. One of the challenges with growing a large beard is maintaining an adequate amount of moisture in your hair. Through the process of growing a long beard, and day-to-day washing, your skin's natural oil, sebum, tends to get stripped from your beard. It’s for this reason long medium to long beards tend to end up feeling dry and unhealthy. When applied to long beards, the heavier weight of the balm offers sustained hydration to keep your beard nourished throughout the day.

Balm is also favoured by men with longer beards as a styling tool. In the same way that hair wax provides some hold for your head hair, beard balm provides a gentle hold for your beard hairs. This leads to a beard that is easier to style and suffers from fewer fly away hairs. The result? A smoother, more well-groomed look.

beard oil is best for short beards

Should You Choose Beard Oil Or Beard Balm?

All bearded men should be using beard oil, regardless of beard length. Replacing your skin's lost oil is the key to a beard that not only looks healthy but feels healthy and itch-free. Should you be using balm? That depends on the length of your beard and what you’re looking to achieve:

Short Beard (1-3 inches)

Beard oil alone is usually enough for short beards. The length means it's easy to work the oil through your entire beard and the oil will be enough to keep it nourished throughout the day. Apply a few drops to the palm of your hand and distribute through your beard. Be sure you don’t miss the skin beneath! The ideal time to apply oil is after a shower when your beard is slightly damp. This will lock in moisture and give your beard a soft feel. Learn more about growing the perfect short beard here.

Medium & Long Beard (3+ inches)

 As the length of your beard increases, it may be worth introducing beard balm into your routine. Many men tend to find that the longer their beard gets, the more difficult it is to keep moisturised. Beard balm is particularly beneficial as it helps maintain moisture throughout the day, reducing the feeling of dryness. Beard balm is also a wonderful tool to help with styling your medium - long - wizard beard. The waxes and butters provide a gentle hold to keep your beard looking well groomed.

Pro Tip: The waxes in beard balm can feel a touch heavy against the skin. Use the routine below to avoid this.

The Best Way To Use Beard Balm

  1. After showering, gently towel dry your beard and face.
  2. Apply a few drops of beard oil to the palms of your hands and gently massage into the skin beneath your beard.
  3. Scoop out the desired amount of beard balm and rub into palms. Then massage through your beard without rubbing it into the skin.
  4. Finish by brushing your beard with a quality boar bristle brush using a downward motion.

I have a Coarse Beard. What product should I use?

Coarse beards may tend to become dry, and thick, dry hairs can feel quite sharp and irritating to the skin. If you’re facing this problem I recommend using both beard oil and balm to tackle the moisture loss.

I have a thin and whispy beard. What should I use?

For thin beards, your best bet is starting with beard oil. Heavier products such as butters and balms can tend to weigh down thin beards, making them look a little limp and lifeless. The moisture beard oil adds should be enough to provide a little control and improve styling. If you still require more hold experiment by introducing a tiny amount of beard balm and increasing as necessary.

Best product for men Over 50

As men age beards tend to dry out even further. It’s a common struggle for men with grey and white beards. Using beard oil twice a day is a great way to combat the inverse in dryness and adding beard balm will improve moisturisation even further. Battling dryness? Here's 5 tips to rock a white beard.

I can only afford one beard product, what should I get?

If you can only afford one beard care product start with beard oil. It’s the go-to beard conditioner and forms the foundation of any good beard care routine. Once you’ve addressed the general health of your beard using oil you can implement other products as required.

The Benefits of Beard Oil & Beard Balm

  • Reduce or eliminate beard Itch: Dry skin and coarse hairs result in the dreaded beard itch. Oils and balms will go a long way towards resolving this issue.
  • Reduce or eliminate beard dandruff: As the skin on your face is particularly sensitive it’s vital to maintain the health of your skin beneath your beard.
  • Nourished and Healthy Skin: Regular use of oil and balm will nourish the skin, leading to improved skin health.
  • A thicker, fuller beard: No, oil and balm won’t magically give you a thicker beard. A reduction in itch will allow you to commit to the beard growth process and over time your beard will naturally fill in and look thicker.

Let’s bring it all together

While both beard oil and beard balm are beneficial for maintaining a healthy and well-groomed beard, they serve different purposes. Beard oil is primarily for conditioning and moisturizing, while beard balm offers styling and control in addition to nourishment. By understanding the differences between these two products and using them in combination, you can achieve the perfect balance of a soft, nourished, and well-styled beard that complements your unique style and grooming needs.

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