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Beard Balm vs Oil: The Differences & Why You Need Both

Beard Balm Vs Oil Featured Image

Beard balm vs oil: what’s the difference? You might notice that beard grooming companies sell both beard balm and beard oil, so do you need them both? Why?

Beard Balm

Beard balm contains the same basic oils that go into a bottle of beard oil. The big difference between the two though is that beard balms are made with a primary base of shea butter, cocoa butter, and beeswax. These bases make the balm a waxy, creamy product that melts when you rub your hands together.

beardoholic beard balm

Because of its buttery base, Beard balm conditions your beard while also providing hold. So, it’s highly recommended if your beard has an unruly look with lots of flyaways that you use beard balm. This will keep your beard healthy and smooth while also keeping it tame and neat.

Beard Oil

If you’ve searched for beard oil on the internet, you’ve probably noticed that hundreds of results come up. This because beard oil is incredibly popular.

If your beard tends to stay in one place and you like how it naturally lays, then beard oil might be the best option for you.

beard flux xl beard oil

Beard oil provides your beard with the same nutrients and vitamins that beard balm does, but it doesn’t affect the hold of your beard. If you don’t want or need that extra hold, but you still want the health-enhancing and conditioning effects, beard oil is the way to go.

Beard Balm vs Oil: Conditioning

Conditioning your beard is a top priority with beard balm and oil, and you’ll notice that beard balm and beard oil are similar on paper. When you take a look at the ingredients of any high-quality beard oil, you’ll notice the following:

  • Vitamin E oil (most of the time)
  • Essential oils
  • Carrier oils

On the other side of things, beard balm will typically be made from the following:

  • Beeswax
  • Shea/cocoa butter
  • Essential oils
  • Carrier oils

If you aren’t sure about what some of these ingredients are, let’s break it down.

Carrier Oils

The heavy lifters of the conditioning world, carrier oils typically come in the form of sweet almond, grapeseed, argan, jojoba, and other varieties, and is the base ingredient that will nourish and moisturize.

If there weren’t a carrier oil in your beard balm or oil, you would notice beard flakes throughout your beard due to dry skin. Additionally, carrier oils help keep beard itch at bay and work at softening your beard.

Essential Oils

essential oils

Essential oils add incredible scents to the beard balm or oil. Plus, they have different features that are good for your beard: some moisturize, others are an all-natural anti-fungal, and still others will stimulate the flow of blood to your skin.

Be sure to pick balm or oil with essential oils with smells that you like.  If you hate the smell of argan oil, you don’t want to be wearing it on your beard all day.


Beard balm has an additional moisturizing agent in the form of cocoa or shea butter. If you have beard flakes or find that your skin dries out quickly, beard butter works as a great coat in tandem with carrier oils.


Beeswax is found in beard balm and adds a light touch of styling to your beard. It also acts as a protectant to your skin.

When it comes to conditioning, the winner between beard balm vs oil is beard balm because of the inclusion of additional moisturizing agents and the protective coating of beeswax.

Beard Balm vs Oil: Styling

Beard oil contains no styling or holding agents and will provide you with very little help in the way of shaping or forming your beard.

So, if you’re going for a styled beard look, you should go with a beard balm because, as mentioned before, it has beeswax, which will add a little hold to your beard.

Beard Balm vs Oil: Portability

Beard balms and oils both are easy to take with you on a trip because they both come in one- or two-ounce containers.

Quality beard oils are housed in amber bottles, which will block out UV rays that will destroy the integrity of the ingredients. However, some come in glass bottles, which can break.  Better to find one that comes in a small plastic bottle when traveling.

Beard balm is usually housed in a metal tin that is easy to take when you travel.

Beard Balm vs Oil: Beard Type

What does your dream beard look like? A few weeks of growth or a year? Depending on your length, either beard balm or oil will work wonders.

beard style

Generally, for men who have a shorter beard, beard oil works better for beard care. The reason why is that you have fewer whiskers getting in the way of your activities. For example, one drawback of growing a longer beard is that your mustache hairs can get into your mouth when you eat.

Instead, at the beginning of the growing phase, you want to focus on conditioning your beard to ensure that your skin and hair follicles are healthy. You can do this with the carrier oils from the beard oil.

However, when your beard gets longer and becomes more unkempt, a beard balm will keep all of your beard hairs in place.

Beard Balm vs Oil: The Showdown

As we look at the results from above, beard oil is best for short beards, whereas if you have a longer beard you will likely need both beard oil and beard balm.

Regardless of the length of your beard, you can use both beard balm and oil if you choose to. You will get a little more shine and conditioning, and they will last longer before you wash them out.

Either way, you must pick at least one of these products for your beard grooming kit.  If you only ever wash your beard and never use any beard balm or oil, you’ll find that your beard is full of split ends or is a dry and damaged mess.

So, take good care of your beard. If you maintain it correctly, you’ll never want to part with it.

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