Beard balm and beard oil are grooming essentials if you are sporting a gorgeous mane. Both are useful but not equally ideal for all kinds of beards. Many men have stringent personal preference. While personal preference does influence the eventual choice, other factors should be duly considered to make an informed decision. Let us first assess beard balm vs. beard oil and then we will talk about their suitability for different men, types of beards and circumstances.
Beard Balm vs. Beard Oil
Beard balm is a cosmetic product meant to moisturize your facial hair. It is also known as utility balm. Here are some of the benefits of applying beard balm:
- A beard balm can be used to keep your beard hydrated and the underlying skin moisturized.
- Helps you to style your beard.
- You can control unruly strands.
- You can use the balm for your beard, and sideburns.
- You can conveniently maintain a neat form.
- Helps you fight dandruff.
Beard balm is more viscous, and hence it is heavier than oil. It will keep your beard and skin moisturized for an extended period. The balm does not get readily absorbed by your skin or the beard. It settles down and lasts for hours as the skin and beard gradually consume the ingredients.
Beard balm is necessary for medium to long beards. It can soften the facial hair and also condition it, and it’s better than synthetic conditioners and silicon-based products. Ingredients commonly used in beard balm are shea butter, almond oil, beeswax, and other natural or herbal extracts. Shea butter moisturizes and softens the beard, Sweet almond oil can boost growth and condition the beard, and Beeswax serves as a protectant and can retain the moisture. Other natural extracts can also contribute to better growth and health of the beard.
Naturally scented balm
If you need a scented balm, choose one that has essential oils. Avoid balms that have synthetic oils for fragrance. There is no shortage of beard balms, and all brands claim to have the best to offer. Steer clear of false beard balms. They have toxic ingredients and will cause more harm than good. Also, avoid balms that have alcohol. You do not want the skin to be dry and the beard to be brittle. That is what alcohol in utility balms will do.
Beard oil is also a cosmetic product. It also moisturizes and conditions the beard, moisturizes and softens skin. Your beard will feel softer, smoother and silkier when you apply the oil. However, your beard will not be shinier or glossier. Beard oil brings about a matte appearance and gives that polished look. If you are looking for a gloss, then beard balm is more appropriate. Beard oil is usually made of jojoba oil, coconut oil, argan oil, hempseed oil or grapeseed oil. Most beard oils have more than one main ingredient. The primary purpose of such products is to prevent dryness. Oils also reduce itchiness. They are suitable for sensitive skin too.
Beard oils are more readily absorbed by the skin and the beard. Hence, the effects are felt almost immediately, but they do not last very long. it strengthens the follicles and also boosts growth.
Beard oil is necessary for those who are just growing their beard. The first few days will have some itchiness as a growing beard will have sharp and prickly strands. Oil will soften the beard and make the skin a tad suppler. However, Beard oil does have a conditioning effect.
You can get scented beard oils as well. But as is the case with beard balm, stay away from synthetic fragrances. Buy organic or natural beard oil.
How to Choose Between Beard Balm and Beard Oil?
Beard oil is essential when you are just starting out. Beard balm is usually not required in the early days. Utility balm becomes necessary when your beard has grown somewhat. You may also need beard oil during this phase. When your beard is a few inches long, you may need both balm and oil.
Now, let us consider some specific factors that should influence your choice.
Consider Your Skin Natural Condition
First, if your skin is too oily, then you should choose lighter grooming products. A balm may be too heavy for your skin. Oil also may be excess. Those who have excessive sebum production will not need any moisturizer for the skin. However, the beard may still need some moisturizing and conditioning. Hence, apply some light beard oil or balm only to the strands and not the skin.
Pick Your Favorable Look
If you want a matte appearance, then avoid using a balm. If you want a shiny look, then oil will be of little help. You can use both oil and balm to moisturize your skin and beard, also to sport a glossier appearance. However, exercise caution as to how much of both the products you use. Start moderately and then review the usage depending on the results.
Hot environment vs. cold settings
Those who are working in an industry where exposure to heat is unavoidable, both beard oil and beard balm should be used in moderation. It is better to use beard oil if you are working in a kitchen or a factory. The oil is absorbed faster. The balm will linger on the skin and the beard.
Exposure to heat and possible sweat will just rinse the balm off your face. Then some circumstances are quite cold. Winters call for beard balm as oil may be a tad too light. Those who work in cold settings may consider beard balm. The oil may disappear quickly in such places.
Both balm and oil must be appropriately applied. It should be spread evenly throughout the beard. Then You will need a fine beard comb. You should ensure uniformity while applying and then spread it out. Do not use either the balm or the oil on an unclean face and beard, and remember not to buy synthetic balms or oils.