The market has an endless amount of different beard products, beard oil and beard balm. If you’re a novice to growing out your beard, it can be intimidating to determine which products are right for you. Even if you have years of experience with rocking a beard, you may be looking for a new product to meet your grooming needs.
A widespread debate in this industry is the “beard balm vs. beard oil” one. A lot of consumers hear these terms and believe they have interchangeable meanings. While they both moisturize your beard thoroughly, they have some defining characteristics.
When you’re deciding on which one is right for you, know that there is no correct answer. It all depends on your personal preferences. As you read through this guide that breaks down the differences between beard balm vs. beard oil, consider these factors:
- The length and thickness of your beard
- Your skin type (Is it excessively oily or dry?)
Another thing to keep in mind is the appearance you desire. If you work outdoors in a casual setting, you may want to have a more vibrant and shiny beard. If you work in an office or culinary environment, you may want to opt for a more simple matte beard.
Don’t be afraid to try out both products for yourself. Experimenting lets you experience the different characteristics first-hand. If you can’t settle on a decision, it’s a good idea to have both.
Here, we’ll dive into what distinguishes beard balm vs. beard oil and what benefits you can reap from each one.
What Is Beard Oil?
True to its name, beard oil is an oil-based moisturizer. It’s very light, meaning you can easily apply it to your entire beard. You should use a facial hairbrush or comb to distribute the product evenly.
Your hair and skin quickly absorb the oil thanks to its liquid form. The quick absorption makes it great for hydration purposes. Despite its name, it won’t leave your facial hair looking greasy.
Benefits of Beard Oil
Any beard will benefit from an oil-based moisturizer. Most men use oil as part of their grooming routine.
It Makes Fresh Facial Hair More Manageable
The first few days after a shave are the worst. There may be redness and dryness, and you just can’t stop scratching your face.
Oil is particularly useful in the early stages of hair growth. Its moisturizing properties help combat the dryness and itchiness of new facial hair.
It Treats Dandruff
Nothing ruins facial hair like dandruff. Those pesky white flakes throughout your beard are a no-go.
The good about oil is that it’s excellent for treating dandruff and preventing flakiness.
It Acts as a Deodorizer and Cologne
One often overlooked benefit of oils? They leave you smelling great.
Be sure to avoid products with artificial fragrances, as these can irritate your skin.
What Is Beard Balm (Utility Balm)?
Beard balm, also called utility balm, is much thicker than oil. The higher viscosity leads some to describe it as “goopy.”
The thick texture means it takes longer for your beard to absorb the product. It sits on top of your hair and skin, slowly distributing moisture.
Benefits of Utility Balm
Like oil, utility balm is a moisturizer and leave-in conditioner. It also acts as a styling agent, making it a practical choice for many men.
Longer Facial Hair
A utility balm is excellent if you have long facial hair. Shorter facial hair may not absorb the product as well.
Utility balm is also ideal if you have really dry skin. Because it doesn’t soak in right away, you will have a longer-lasting moisturizer.
Aside from its moisturizing properties, utility balm also works as a styling agent. It holds down even the most stubborn fly-aways and maintains the shape of your beard, mustache, and sideburns. It also gives you volume that you can’t get with regular oil.
People call it utility balm for a reason. Thanks to its versatility, you’ll get your money’s worth.
This product works as a general skin moisturizer. You can use it daily to moisturize your hands, feet, etc. If you have tattoos, you can use it to keep your ink looking bright.
Apply Each Product Conservatively
No matter where you take a stand in the match of beard balm vs. beard oil, you should apply each one conservatively. It can be tempting to use too much of your product at first.
Start with a modest amount and see how it works with your facial hair. From there, you can add more if you see fit.
You also can have the best of both worlds! If you choose to use both products, you need to consider the look you want to achieve. Once you’ve given this some thought, you can decide on your order of application:
- Apply oil first, then balm: This order of application will give your beard a much glossier finish, which is often a desirable look.
- Apply balm first, then oil: This order of applications will give your beard a more matte finish, which you should go for if you will be spending a lot of time in a professional setting.
Before applying any balm or oil, wash your facial hair with a natural, hot-processed soap. Apply a small amount when your hair is nearly dry, as this will allow your follicles to retain moisture. Brush the product through to get an even coating.
You can repeat this process up to three times a day as needed.
Use Beard Oil or Utility Balm (or Both!) to Revitalize Your Grooming Game
There’s no simple step-by-step guide to maintaining a beard. It’s an ongoing process that requires an open mind and consistent experimentation. Even if you haven’t been clean-shaven in a while, you shouldn’t get too settled into your routine. There are ways to improve upon your grooming game and enhance the health of your facial hair and skin.
You can choose to renew your beard grooming routine with beard oil, utility balm, or both. There’s no need to stake a claim with only one product in the debate of beard balm vs. beard oil. The purchase of both products will reward you with a new sense of confidence and versatile supplies to refine your appearance. Make strides in your dating life or leave all of your friends wondering how you rock such a polished beard.