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Whether you’ve been sporting a full-grown beard for years or are just starting out, you probably want your beard to look healthy and polished. To achieve this, consider giving homemade beard oil and balm recipes a try.

Creating your own beard oil or balm allows you to control what ingredients go into it. You can also experiment with different oils to vary the scents you use and include ingredients known to be beneficial for skin and hair.

Beard oil can help style or tame scraggly beard hair, reduce beard dandruff, and moisturize the skin underneath your beard.

Keeping your skin moisturized is a good way to reduce or eliminate ingrown hairs. It’s also your best way to reduce flaking, prevent dry skin, and tame dry-skin itch.

You can also use beard oil instead of or in addition to cologne for a personalized scent.

For your beard only

And no, you probably shouldn’t use beard oil on your scalp. The hair that grows on your face is a very different texture from the hair on your head. Beard hair tends to be rougher and coarser, requiring products or oils designed to penetrate and soften tough hair. What’s perfect for your facial skin and beard may wind up looking greasy on your scalp.

Creating your own beard oil gives you the opportunity to pick and choose essential oils with fragrances and properties that are important to you. You’ll need to decide on a carrier oil to use as a base, in addition to the essential oil or oils you wish to layer in.

Roberto Roque from Pierre’s Scrub Shop chooses emollient oils that provide light moisture to the skin. His top picks for base oils include a mix of:

  • argan oil
  • hemp oil
  • jojoba oil
  • sunflower oil

Roque’s essential oil picks include bay laurel, orange, clove, and cinnamon. In addition to their pleasing scents, these oils have specific properties that may make them especially beneficial as beard oil ingredients:

  • Bay laurel oil has antioxidant and antibacterial properties. Anecdotally, it’s also thought to stimulate hair growth.
  • Orange oil is an antiseptic and has antioxidant properties. Its scent may also help reduce anxiety.
  • Clove oil has an anti-inflammatory effect on skin when used topically. And it may have anticancer properties according to one study.
  • Cinnamon oil may help repel common insects, such as mosquitoes. It also has antifungal, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties.

There are many other beneficial essential oils you might wish to experiment with. They include:

  • ylang ylang, which may help promote hair growth
  • vetiver, an antimicrobial oil that can calm irritated skin
  • peppermint, an anti-inflammatory oil that can help with dry skin and itching
  • myrrh, which reduces acne breakouts

Having a sense of adventure and experimentation will help you discover the best beard oil recipes for you.

Always make sure to use essential oils sparingly and to mix them with a carrier oil. Also, don’t swallow essential oils.

You can make the following recipe for a beard oil with the base oil of your choice.

Argan oil makes a great carrier oil. It’s high in vitamin E and has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Other beneficial carrier oils to consider include jojoba, almond, and hempseed.

Click an item or ingredient link in the lists below to conveniently shop for that product online.

You’ll need:

For the carrier oil, you can use one oil or mix several together.

Also, instead of just one essential oil, you have the option to add a blend of your favorites. Try combining a citrusy oil with a spicy one, such as orange with cinnamon, or cedarwood oil with lemongrass. Lavender and patchouli are another good combination.

How to make it

Mix the carrier oil in the glass bottle with the essential oil drops. Don’t overdo it on the essential oils, as they are very potent.

Many essential oil bottles come with dropper tops. If yours don’t, use the dropper from the bottle you’re putting your beard oil into, thoroughly washing and wiping it off between each use.

Alternatively, make sure to have on hand an extra dropper for each oil you add. This will help to avoid contaminating the oils in their original bottles.

Ratio of essential oil to carrier oil

Two tablespoons of carrier oil is equivalent to 1 liquid ounce. A ratio of 10 drops of essential oil per 1 liquid ounce is commonly considered a safe dilution. You should use fewer drops for some essential oils to avoid irritation.

How to use it

The length and thickness of your beard will determine how much beard oil you should apply. Remember, a little goes a very long way.

Put about three drops in your hand. In general, you’ll probably want to massage around two or three drops into your beard every day or every other day.

Massage it into your facial hair. Rub the oil into your hands and apply it to your entire beard and mustache (if you have one), from root to tip.

Use it wet or dry. It’s most effective to apply the oil after showering, when your pores are open and your beard is slightly damp or towel-dried. You can also apply beard oil to a dry beard if you prefer.

A 1-ounce bottle should last around three months. Make sure to close the jar tightly between uses and store it at room temperature, out of direct sunlight.

Beard oil, like any oil, can go rancid after a certain period of time. Most oils can be kept for six months or longer, but let your nose be your guide. If you notice a change in the scent of your beard oil, dispose of it and make a new batch. A change in color may also signal that the oil has gone rancid and should be disposed of.

To make a beard oil without any essential oils added, you’ll need:

  • a small glass jar (large enough to hold 1 to 2 ounces) with a dropper top
  • two tablespoons of carrier oil

How to make it

You can use one oil or mix two together in the glass jar. Oils to consider include:

  • argan oil
  • apricot kernel
  • extra virgin coconut oil
  • almond oil
  • hazelnut oil
  • avocado oil

If you choose coconut oil, keep in mind that it will need to be liquefied before you put it on your beard. You can do this by warming the jar in your hands.

How to use it

Apply beard oil to your beard after showering and shampooing. Massage about five drops into your beard from root to tip. You can use beard oil every day or every few days.

Store your beard oil in a small jar at room temperature, away from the sun. This will help preserve it. While oils can start to go rancid in around six months, they can also last up to three years when stored correctly.

If your beard oil starts to smell rancid or bitter, throw it out. You should also dispose of it if it darkens in color or its consistency or texture changes.

Beard balm is an alternative to beard oil that provides the same benefits to skin and hair. You might enjoy using beard balm exclusively or alternating between a balm and an oil.

Beard balm has a buttery consistency that is similar to a moisturizing cream. When made correctly, it should be more solid than liquid, but not hard to the touch.

To make beard balm at home, you’ll need:

How to make it

Cook oils in the pot over low heat. Mix 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) of beeswax or vegan plant wax along with 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) of carrier oil, 1 ounce of shea butter, and 1 ounce of coconut butter into the small pot. Cook the mixture over a very low flame.

Heat without boiling, and mix to combine. Stir continuously, but don’t bring the mixture to a boil. The ingredients will quickly liquefy and blend together. One advantage of using a double boiler is heated water in the bottom pot makes it less likely the oil in the upper pot will burn.

Remove from heat once combined and add essential oils. Place five-to-six drops of essential oil into the liquid before the balm begins to solidify. Pour the balm into the storage container and close it tightly. Let the balm cool to room temperature.

How to use it

You can use beard balm the same way you do beard oil. A tiny drop or scoop, about the size of a dime, is enough to moisturize a full beard. Apply it daily or every other day.

Beard balm should be kept at room temperature, away from sunlight. Just like beard oil, beard balm can go rancid in around six months.

DIY beard oil is an alternative to store-bought brands.

Using a beard oil or beard balm as part of your grooming routine to keep your beard looking great can also help the skin underneath that beard stay comfortable and healthy.