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What is Beard Balm?

Beard balm is a versatile grooming product that is often made from natural ingredients.  Below you will learn what beard balm does when used regularly, what’s in beard balm, compatible facial hair styles and lengths, if you can make beard balm yourself, and much more. 

What is beard balm?

Beard balm is a facial hair conditioning and styling product.  The conditioner part of beard balm supplements the sebum oil that is naturally produced by your skin.  The styling agent is helpful in providing a light hold to your facial hair.

What is in beard balm?

Most beard balms are made from four ingredients, which include the following:

Carrier Oils

Sourced from various seeds, nuts, etc., carrier oils are added to beard balm for its conditioning properties. Carrier oils supplement the sebum oil being produced by your skin.  There are many different carrier oils, including jojoba oil, grapeseed oil, sweet almond oil, argan oil, and more.  

Essential Oils

Made from various natural sources, essential oils are primarily added to beard balm for scent. Popular essential oils include sandalwood, tea tree, cedar, and vanilla.  

There are many unproven claims regarding essential oils including increased blood flow benefits, reducing acne, and accelerating beard growth.  Don’t put much (if any) weight on these claims.

Lastly, essential oils may cause allergic reactions for men with sensitive skin (source).


Another conditioner, butter in beard balm is often of cocoa or shea variety.  Butter increases the malleability or spreadability of the balm making it easier to apply.


Beeswax is added to beard balm in order to provide light hold and increase styling versatility.  Beeswax is also a natural humectant that helps the skin to retain moisture.

Note: Cheap beard balms may use filler or chemical-based ingredients.  These may impact the effectiveness of the product resulting in poor results.

Does beard balm help with beard growth?

Beard balm is a conditioner, not a hair growth product.  Regular application of beard balm will make your beard feel and appear healthy.  Additionally, beard balm also nourishes the skin to help prevent dryness, redness, itchiness, and beard dandruff.

Do you need to use beard balm? 

Applying beard balm, or any beard conditioner is strongly recommended as it helps to supplement the natural sebum oil that your skin produces.  With regular application, beard balm will prevent dry itchy skin from developing underneath your facial hair.

How does beard balm differ from other beard conditioners?

Beard balm subtly differs from other beard conditioners, including beard oil, beard butter, and beard jelly.  Here is a table outlining the difference in ingredients within beard conditioners:

IngredientBeard OilBeard BalmBeard ButterBeard Jelly
Carrier OilYesYesYesYes
Essential OilYesYesYesYes

For the viscosity or thickness of the product, beard oil will be the thinnest, followed by beard jelly, and beard butter.  Beard balm is generally the thickest beard conditioning product.

Is beard balm compatible with other beard products?

Men, particularly those with longer beards, may use both beard oil and beard balm.  Men with shorter beards may want to exercise caution when using multiple beard conditioners as over application may cause an oily or greasy-looking beard. 

Over-application of beard conditioners can cause buildup on the skin’s surface leading to mild irritation.

Will beard balm cause acne?

It depends on the complexion of your skin and the beard balm that you use.  Should you have naturally oily skin or are acne-prone, consider using a beard balm that contains ingredients with a low comedogenic rating.  A low comedogenic rating means that the oil will be less likely to clog pores.  

Comedogenic ratings range from 0 to 5 (0 = less likely to clog pores, 5 = very likely to clog pores).

Here are some comedogenic ratings for ingredients commonly found in beard balm:

IngredientComedogenic Rating
Sweet Almond Oil2
Apricot Kernel Oil2
Argan Oil0
Avocado Oil3
Castor Oil1
Cocoa Butter4
Coconut Butter4
Coconut Oil4
Grapeseed Oil1
Jojoba Oil2
Kukui Nut Oil2
Lanolin Oil2
Mango Butter2
Shea Butter0

How long should your beard be to use beard balm?

Men with a moderate to longer beard length, typically greater than a few weeks of growth, can benefit from using beard balm.  Given the thick consistency of beard balm, trying to work the product into a short stubble is not recommended.

When is the best time to use beard balm?

Apply beard balm to a freshly cleansed beard.  While the facial hair is still damp, you can apply the balm easily and style accordingly.

Is there a certain time of the year to apply beard balm?

Beard balm is most effective when used in extremely dry conditions (winter, desert, etc.).  The thick and rich consistency provides a protective barrier for both your skin and facial hair.

A light coating of beard balm is recommended for hot and humid conditions.

Does beard balm help to prevent beard split ends?

Beard split ends occur due to poor styling habits and extremely dry conditions. Applying beard balm regularly will help to coat the facial hair follicles to reduce the chance of a split end.  However, once the hair follicle becomes split, it is virtually impossible to repair.

Can you make a beard balm yourself?

Given the reliance on only a few ingredients, beard balm is relatively easy to make at home.  We recently updated our guide on how to make beard balm should you want to learn more.

Where to buy beard balm?

Unlike beard oil, beard balm is still a niche beard care product.  You may find only a few brands available at your local drugstore or grocery store in the men’s grooming section.  

Beard balm can be purchased online at various outlets, including Amazon, Ulta, Art of Shaving, and directly from a beard care company.

Consider reading our guide to the best beard balm brands for further guidance.

Wrap Up

Beard balm is a versatile and indispensable grooming product for beardsmen.  We hope that this comprehensive guide was helpful in learning more about this unique beard care product.

Adam Williams

As the lead editor of Tools of Men, Adam is an expert in all things men's grooming related. When you don't find him reading up on the latest grooming trends, he likes to go jogging, attempt to distinguish the differences between IPAs, and play sports with his kids.