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Both beard conditioner and beard oil are designed to keep your facial hair healthy, but they each work in different ways. These products can be hard to tell apart, especially if you’re new to the world of men’s grooming. This is why we created this guide about beard conditioner vs. oil so that you can have a resource for understanding these two types of products and deciding which one works best for your needs.
The answer lies in understanding what each product does differently from the other and how they differ from traditional shampoos or moisturizers used on other parts of your body. Let’s start with looking at what these two products are and then look at the differences between them. So, keep reading!
Table of Contents
What is beard oil?
Beard oil is a product that is designed to mimic the natural oils produced from your face. These oils, known as sebum oil, are a mixture of ingredients that ensure a healthy beard and skin.
The main ingredients of beard oils are essential oils and carrier oils.
Carrier oils are the foundation for beard oil recipes. They make up the bulk of the solution, while essential oils provide beneficial properties. They are derived from the fatty portion of a plant or its fruit so they are 100% natural. These oils were primarily used to mix with essential oils for use in aromatherapy, but they can also be found in abundance when it comes to men’s grooming.
Carrier oils are especially effective for beards because they’re light and won’t clog the pores in your skin or face, so if you have sensitive skin, you should not be afraid to use them.
Common Beard Oil Carrier Oils
There are a ton of options like castor oil when it comes to beard oil carriers, but several stand out among the rest. The list below is by no means all-inclusive, but it does highlight the most popular choices amongst carrier oils.
- Argan oil: Argan oil comes from the kernels of argan trees. It’s very high in vitamin E and fatty acids, which makes it good for moisturizing your beard and preventing dandruff.
- Coconut oil: Coconut oil is naturally antibacterial, which makes it ideal for treating common skin conditions like acne or dermatitis.
- Jojoba oil: This liquid wax derived from the jojoba plant closely mimics the natural oils produced by your skin’s sebaceous glands. Jojoba oil is also a pretty common ingredient in beard conditioners.
- Olive oil: It might be the most popular oil for cooking, but it is also a great carrier oil. Olive oil has vitamins and antioxidants that help skin and facial hair. It’s especially good for those with dry skin.
- Peanut oil: This incredibly affordable carrier oil is light and won’t clog your pores. It’s a very thin oil that absorbs quickly, making it a great option to mix with essential oils.
These oils give the solution its unique scent and therapeutic properties. Essential oils are concentrated liquids that come from plants.
There are hundreds of essential oils like eucalyptus oil with varying degrees of strength, which means they’re not all equally effective. It can take time and effort to find the perfect essential oils for your beard, and for this reason, we have a complete guide with the best essential oils for beard growth and more.
Common Beard Oil Essential Oils
The list of essential oils that work well for beards is ridiculously long, but we’ve narrowed it down to a few popular choices. These are by no means all you can use, but they’re common additions to many different types of beard types.
- Cedarwood oil: The woodsy scent from cedarwood oil works well for beards of all styles, especially those who want a musky aroma. It will also make your beard softer and give it a healthy shine.
- Lavender oil: If you want to smell like a dream, lavender oil is the best choice. Not only does it have a nice scent, but it can also help treat acne and other skin conditions.
- Peppermint oil: Beard oils with peppermint tend to have a lighter, more citrusy aroma that’s perfect for those in warmer areas. It’s also great at stimulating growth and reducing itchiness.
- Tea tree oil: Beard oils with tea tree oil are great if you’re looking for an antibacterial solution that keeps your skin clean. On top of smelling nice, it can also help prevent dandruff and other skin conditions.
There are many more essential oils available for beards, but these are just a few of the most popular choices. We have some more in-depth articles about beard oils if you are serious about it. You can read how to make homemade beard oil and how to choose a really good beard oil.
Related article: Tea tree oil for beards
How to Use beard oil and how often?
Using beard oil is not rocket science but requires a little know-how.
Beard oil is easy to use; it only takes a few drops per use, so one small bottle can last for months before it’s empty. Let’s see how to do it:
First of all, wash your beard hair with beard shampoo. Then add a few drops of beard oil to your hands and massage it into your face and beard. Make sure you work it into the roots. This will make your beard less frizzy, softer to touch, and healthier overall.
Using beard oil as often as possible is crucial to getting the most out of your product. If you use it regularly, it will keep your skin and hair healthy and strong. However, using too much at once can clog up your pores and leave you with a greasy look. So in our opinion, the best time to use beard oil is after showering. When fresh out of the shower, your pores are open and absorb much more moisture than normal.
What is Beard Conditioner?
Beard conditioners are slightly different from beard oils, but both are used for the same purposes. A Beard conditioner is a lotion that you apply after showering (But it is different from a face lotion). It is considered more of a traditional hair product, while beard oil is usually seen as more of an essential oil treatment. Beard conditioners are available in many types, but they all have one thing in common: they soften your beard hair and have some moisturizing or hydrating effect.
Beard conditioner often includes natural ingredients, such as jojoba oil, aloe vera extract, coconut oil, shea butter, argan oil, cocoa seed butter, glycerin, and so on. Beard conditioners also contain many beneficial vitamins and minerals, such as vitamins A, D, E, and B5 (pantothenic acid). You should avoid beard conditioners that contain parabens, phthalates, silicones, synthetic fragrances, mineral oils, and sulfates.
How to Use beard conditioner and how often?
A Beard conditioner is usually used after drying off from a nice hot shower. Simply apply it the same way you would use any other hair conditioner. It can also be used as an all-in-one product that cleanses, moisturizes, softens, and de-tangles your beard. Simply add some conditioner to your hands and work it into the roots of your beard. Make sure you rinse thoroughly, especially if you apply a moisturizing conditioner. You don’t want to leave any residue behind because it will attract bacteria and dirt and make your beard greasier than normal.
Differences between beard conditioner and beard oil
- The main differences between beard conditioners and beard oils are that Beard Oil is a cosmetic product while Beard Conditioner is a moisturizer.
- The ingredients in beard oils and beard conditioners are different too. Beard oil ingredients consist of carrier and essential oils, which provide antioxidants and vitamins for the beard and skin under it, while Beard Conditioner ingredients do not have carrier and essential oils, but instead have conditioner ingredients that soften the beard and skin under it. They also contain a lot of water compared to Beard Oils
- Another difference is that beard oils are usually scented, while beard conditioners are not.
- Beard conditioners also tend to be thicker than oils because they contain more ingredients like Shea Butter, Mango Butter, Cocoa Seed Butter, or Glycerin.
- Beard oils will cost you less than beard conditioners because beard oils only contain essential oils and carrier oils.
- Beard oils can go rancid if not stored correctly, whereas a beard conditioner won’t unless its natural ingredients have been compromised by poor storage or lack of preservation.
- Beard oils penetrate the hair shaft and nourish your follicles from within, promoting healthy growth. On the other hand, Beard conditioner will simply coat your beard to help hydrate and soften it.
- The last difference is the application method. Beard conditioner is applied after showering and towel drying your beard. Beard Oil is usually applied to the beard when the skin under it is still a bit moist from showering.
How to choose a good beard oil?
Before you buy beard oil you need to make sure to get the one for you. There are many beard oil brands in the market, so choosing one is difficult.
Depending on your skin type and beard type, you should choose the beard oil that’s most suitable for your beard. Read the ingredient list before buying beard oil, and choose one that has natural ingredients and isn’t full of chemicals. To make sure you get a beard oil that is 100% natural, check the label of beard oil and look for organic oils like jojoba and argan oil because they are rich in Vitamin E and essential fatty acids which nourish your beard.
A safe bet is Smooth Viking Beard Oil.
How to choose a good beard conditioner?
When buying a beard conditioner, you should first check the ingredients. Make sure it doesn’t contain mineral oil, sulfates, parabens, phthalate, or any other harmful substances. You can also do an allergy test before using it on your facial hair because many people with sensitive skin can get an allergic reaction from specific ingredients.
To choose a beard conditioner that will soften your facial hair, moisturize your skin and facial hair, and make it easier to manage, look for Shea butter or Mango butter, as they are very effective and good for your beard.
If you have a short beard choose a beard conditioner that has the consistency of balm so you can easily apply it to your facial hair.
Polished Gentleman Beard Growth and Thickening Shampoo and Conditioner with Organic Beard Oil is a good beard conditioner because it contains 100% natural ingredients and no harsh chemicals. You can read our article about the best beard conditioner if you want to learn more.
Which is better beard oil or beard conditioner?
There is not a “better” product between beard oil and beard conditioner, it all comes down to skin type (oily skin vs dry skin) and personal preference. If you are looking for skincare benefits choose beard oil, if you are looking for skincare and beard softening benefits choose beard conditioner.
Can I use hair conditioner on my beard?
Although hair conditioner contains ingredients like oils, waxes, and moisturizers that are beneficial for beard skin it’s not the best choice because most of them contain sulfates which can dry out your skin. If you want to make sure you get the benefits of an oil-based conditioner choose a natural one with organic oils like jojoba or argan oil.
What goes first beard oil or conditioner?
First, you should apply beard oil then the beard conditioner, if you have a short beard that’s less than one inch long use a beard balm instead of a conditioner.
Should I use beard conditioner every day?
You should use a conditioner every time you shower with warm water and towel dry your beard so it penetrates the skin and hair. If you have a long beard that’s longer than six inches you should also beard oil every other day so it stays nourished and hydrated.
Can you use too much beard oil?
Yes, you can use too much beard oil. If you use more than the recommended amount of beard oil your skin and hair can get oily and greasy, plus it’s a waste if you don’t need that much.
Do you rinse out beard conditioner?
It depends on the type of conditioner. If it’s a leave-in conditioner you don’t have to rinse it out, if it’s a rinse-out conditioner you should rinse it out with warm water.
Some beard conditioners contain ingredients that can make your skin and beard more susceptible to bacteria, so make sure you buy a good product.
What are the differences between beard oil and beard balm?
The main difference between beard oil and beard balm is consistency. Beard oils come in a liquid form and beard balms come in a solid form. Other differences are skin care benefits, application, scent, and price.
There are several skincare benefits from beard oil and beard balm. Beard oils contain essential carrier oils that nourish skin, prevent skin flaking, hydrate skin, reduce inflammation and itchiness, etc. Beard balms contain ingredients that moisturize skin and add extra conditioning to your facial hair.
I hope this article has given you some insight into the difference between beard conditioner vs oil. If you have any questions about which one will work best for your situation, feel free to ask them in the comments below! You can also reach out if there are other topics that would be interesting to discuss. Thank you for reading!
Russell is the founder of themensattitude.com. He is a barber a beard enthusiast and he is obsessed with trying men’s lifestyle products and blog about them. If you have any questions you can hit him up via the contact page.