Beard Oil Basics: What is beard oil and how are they all different??

by Nicholas Karnaze

What is beard oil and how are they all different?

The 3 things you should consider when choosing a beard oil

Beards aren’t going anywhere. For years people have claimed we’ve reached “peak beard”— that the number of men willing to grow facial hair has peaked — and that men will once again start shaving. Much to the chagrin of big razor companies, that hasn't happened, and facial hair prevalence continues to grow (pun intended). More importantly, men’s grooming habits are evolving. As men realize the benefit of living a healthy lifestyle, more and more of us consider proper grooming an essential part of overall health.

Like beards, beard care products are popping up everywhere. “Beard oil” is one of the top search terms for men according to Google search data and it’s by far the dominant product within the beard care category.

How do you know which beard oil to use?

But with so many different options available, how do you know which product is right for you? And with prices ranging from a buck to over a hundred dollars, how do you know if they’re worth it? Are cheap beard oils safe? Do expensive beard oils have magical powers? Is there really a difference? While we’re admittedly partial to our own product, we’ve got your back, and below we’ve highlighted the top considerations you should take when choosing a beard oil.

1. Effectiveness - Does it do what I need it to do?
2. Price - Is it worth it?
3. Scent - Do I like the smell?

What do you need your product to do? Reduce beard itch? Help with beard growth? Soften your beard? Strengthen your beard? Add shine to your beard? Improve your skin’s health? Stop beard dandruff? All of the above? Most beard oils claim to help with most, if not all of these issues.

What is considered effective by one man, might not be considered so by another. It all comes down to your specific beard and skin needs. If you’re looking for a beard oil that does it all, then, generally speaking, the cheaper the beard oils are less effective at addressing multiple beard concerns. Why?

It all comes down to the type of ingredients, the quality of those ingredients and their concentration.

Hemp seed oil is one of the single best oils for your skin and beard. It is actually dubbed “nature’s most perfectly balanced oil” because it provides the perfect 3:1 ratio of Linoleic (Omega 6) to alpha-Linolenic (Omega 3) fatty acids and contains all of the 21 known amino acids, making it a highly beneficial skin and beard treatment. A study published in the Journal of Dermatological Treatment showed that hemp seed oil helps alleviate dermatitis and skin inflammation. Other highly effective beard oil ingredients include argan, jojoba, sunflower and castor seed oils.   

While all of these oils are excellent for your skin and beard, where and how they are grown impacts their quality. Think wine and whiskey. Cabernet Sauvignon is grown throughout the world yet the best grapes come Napa Valley and Bordeaux. Why? The growing conditions are right. The combination of soil and climate combine to produce superior fruit. The same applies to the raw ingredients in your beard oil.   

How the oil is extracted matters. Most oils are extracted in one of two ways:

  • Cold pressed: Oil is obtained by pressing the fruit or seeds in a steel press. It is considered “cold pressed” when the seeds are not roasted before pressing. Cold pressed oils retain their natural antioxidants and vitamins.    

  • Solvent extraction: The oil producing material is placed in a solvent and through a series of chemical reactions and refinement, the oil is extracted. Solvent extraction tends to yield more oil than cold pressing at a cheaper price, but the process can strip the oils of their natural antioxidants and vitamins. Oils produced by this method can also contain potentially harmful solvent residue.  

Beard oils containing cold pressed oils tend to be more expensive given the higher cost of the raw ingredients.

We’re firm believers that you get what you pay for. At the end of the day, a business must make money in order to be in business. If something is priced cheaply, it must be fairly inexpensive to for that business to produce.

Selecting a beard oil is a very personal experience. The ingredients are absorbed by your beard and your skin...the body’s largest organ, which has an impact on your health and well-being. Some refuse to pay more than $10 for beard oil and others who won't even consider anything cheaper than $20. At the end of the day, regardless of price, if it makes you feel more confident and better about yourself, then it is worth its weight in gold.



stubble & 'stache was founded by a Marine Corps Special Operations combat veteran in memory of his fallen comrade. We donate a percentage of profits to organizations supporting those men and women suffering from the mental wounds sustained in combat.

Nicholas Karnaze
Nicholas Karnaze


Warfighter turned entrepreneur. Founder, stubble & 'stache. Grooming expert. Skincare nerd. Marine Corps combat veteran.

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