The Men’s Attitude is reader-supported! We might get a small commission if you purchase something after clicking our links, at no extra charge for you.
We all know that beard oils are an integral part of your grooming routine but we also know that they are a bit overpriced. Sometimes you can find them for under $20 but most of the time they are more expensive than that.
So what if you’re running low on cash and don’t want to spend money?
Does it mean that you can’t take proper care of your beard?
Of course not! There are plenty of beard oil alternatives you can use without breaking the bank. In fact, some of them may work even better for you.
Before we get to the actual list, let’s have a short refresher on why you should use beard oils in the first place.
You should use beard oil when growing a beard because the natural oil produced by your body is not enough as your beard is getting longer. Oil produced by your sebaceous glands (a gland located next to every hair follicle) is called sebum. It’s the job of beard oil to replace this natural oil that gets washed away during the day or that’s simply not there in the first place.
But can you replace this natural oil without beard oil?
Yes, and there are some cheaper alternatives that will do the trick! We are going to talk about a few of them in this post so keep reading.
Make your own DIY beard oil
The first thing you should do if you need an alternative to regular beard oil but don’t want to pay the big buck is to make your own!
If you read the ingredients of a beard oil bottle you will see that the product consists of carrier oil, essential oil, and sometimes vitamin E oil.
Carrier oils are vegetable (mostly) based oils that are the foundation of your homemade beard oils.
They are responsible for nourishing your skin, your hair follicles and making your beard touchably soft.
Essential oils on the other hand are usually the ones giving your beard oil a nice scent and some medicinal properties as well.
- Coconut oil
- Avocado oil
- Jojoba oil
- Argan oil
Finally, vitamin E oil is a great oil for your skin and it also acts as a natural preservative.
All of these oils can be purchased separately which means that you can make your own personalized recipe by mixing and matching them.
If you do a quick search online you will find that buying the oils separately is actually cheaper than buying ready-made beard oil.
It can cost you 5 to 6 times more to buy a beard oil than it costs to make one with the exact same ingredients.
Why pre-made beard oils are that expensive then?
When you are paying $20 or more for a bottle of beard oil you are not paying for the oils it contains. You are paying for the design, the marketing campaign, and a lot of other things that have nothing to do with a product’s quality. So if you are worried about the quality of your beard oil, DIY it!
Use a plain carrier oil
As we mentioned already carrier oils are the most important ingredients in your beard oil so it’s smart to use them when they are pure.
Many people like using olive oil or coconut oil because they are great moisturizers and you can get pretty cheap.
The downside is that you won’t get the nice scent and some of the medicinal properties (antibacterial etc) of essential oil.
Jojoba oil is one of the hottest carrier oils on the market right now.
It’s been hyped a lot and it’s actually pretty good! You don’t have to mix your jojoba oil with anything because you will be getting most of its benefits by using it on its own.
You can get a big bottle of pure jojoba oil for about $10 and it should last you for months.
We have written an article about the benefits of jojoba oil for beards but just to sum it up, jojoba oil is great for moisturizing your beard and face without leaving an oily residue. It contains Vitamin E and it’s also antibacterial. It helps with beard dandruff and it speeds up hair growth as well.
Finally, it is not comedogenic and has light viscosity meaning it absorbs really well into your skin.
Another hot carrier oil on the market we have talked about in another article is argan oil.
Argan oil is very rich in vitamins A, E, and F. It smells great (nutty) and it’s also very gentle on your skin. It has a bit thicker consistency which means that it’s not easily absorbable but it contains a high concentration of Vitamin E. It works amazingly well for both beard and face moisturizing.
Pure argan oil is produced in Morocco and it’s not that cheap but it is way cheaper than buying a beard oil that contains a very small amount of it.
We have also written an article about argan oil so if you are interested in learning more about it click here.
Coconut oil is one of the most versatile carrier oils out there.
You can use it to make your beard smooth and shiny, you can also cook with it and it is also great for your hair.
Coconut oil contains Vitamin E and it has antibacterial properties so it’s good for preventing acne on your beard or face. It has a high amount of saturated oils giving it a long shelf life and making it very stable.
The downside of coconut oil is that it is solid at room temperature which makes it hard to apply.
It melts pretty quickly once you put it on your face or beard so you don’t have to worry about that but just keep in mind that if your house gets really cold it can be inconvenient for using coconut oil.
It is not very absorbable but it has a wonderful, sweet coconut scent that a lot of guys really like.
When it comes to the price coconut oil is pretty cheap and it will last you for months making it one of the most affordable beard oil substitutes.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
It’s not the sexiest sounding oil for beards but it is very useful nonetheless.
It provides your beard with amazing shine and it makes your beard soft like a peach (which I’m sure you will love). It has antibacterial properties so it’s great for preventing acne on your face or beard. It is very moisturizing and nourishing but it has a pretty thick consistency meaning not much of its goodness reaches the skin.
If you haven’t read our olive oil for beards article we have to tell you that it is also good for beard growth.
A study proved that olive oil consumption increases testosterone levels which leads to an increase in beard growth.
It’s not the cheapest oil for beards but it is very affordable and you can get a big bottle of it for about $10-15.
The only con is that it doesn’t smell that good and tends to leave stains on clothes and bedsheets so be careful when using it.
So if you want to use olive oil as a beard oil substitute it is a good idea to mix it with some other oil like coconut.
One of the most popular carrier oils for beards is castor oil.
Castor oil has a cheaper price compared to other carrier oils and it’s also really easy to find in stores which makes it a widely used product among men who are into beard care.
Castor oil is pretty popular in the hair and beard world and there are a lot of guys out there who swear by it.
It contains ricinoleic acids which have strong anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
The oil penetrates deep into the skin and hair follicles and promotes blood circulation which leads to healthier beard growth as well as a thicker, fuller-looking beard.
It also has antifungal properties which makes it good for preventing acne on your face or anywhere else you put it on.
It is very moisturizing but does not get absorbed easily. It has a really thick consistency which means that the absorption rate isn’t as high as with other beard oils but if you want thicker beards you have to make some sacrifices!
Another downside is that castor oil smells really weird, not all guys will like it but some do. But overall castor oil is a really good beard oil substitute.
Yes, you read that right bay oil is a decent beard oil substitute.
We are talking about the oil you use to massage your baby’s skin. A good option is Johnson & Johnson hypoallergic baby oil which is made of mineral oil, cocoa butter, and sea butter.
It is a great option for people with sensitive skin as it is designed for babies so it has a hypoallergenic formula.
It is also really affordable and you can get a big bottle for about $5-10.
Mineral oil is not that popular in the beard care community (because it is a petroleum product) but it is a really good option for conditioning your beard.
The negative thing about mineral oil is that it doesn’t have any vitamins or essential fatty acids so it doesn’t have some of the benefits of other beard oils.
It is not as good as other vegetable oils but it is really good when it comes to moisturizing your beard.
Beeswax is not a beard oil alternative that every guy will use but it has benefits to the skin and hair.
It can be really helpful for guys who have longer beards as it provides them with a protective coat that prevents split ends and other problems associated with long beards.
Beeswax contains vitamin A which keeps your skin healthy and prevents it from getting dried out.
Beeswax is also good for styling beards as it holds the beard in place and keeps unruly hairs under control.
If you want to use beeswax for your beard we recommend heating it a bit and then mix it with a carrier oil like coconut oil as the beeswax is very thick and won’t be absorbed by your skin well.
Beard balm is a beard oil alternative that has some wax in it.
It can be really tricky to make your own beard balm but you can also buy it from the store which makes it easier for you, especially if you are new to this.
Beard balms are very popular because they offer the same benefits as oils but they also help with styling your beard.
Beard balms are not cheap either but we have found a really good low-budget option.
The Not ArtNatural Beard balm is a high-quality product that has great reviews and it only costs around $9 which is really affordable for a professional beard balm.
The best part about this beard balm is that it contains all-natural ingredients like beeswax, argan oil, jojoba oil, and mango butter.
It is not the best beard balm out there but it definitely is a great option for guys who are on a tight budget. If you are looking for a high quality beard balm you can read our article.
What Can I Use In Lieu Of Beard Oil?
You can use anything you like from the list above but we think the best option is to make your own DIY beard oils using natural ingredients like carrier oils and essential oils.
It is cheaper and you know what you put into it rather than buying a ready-made beard oil from the store.
You can use Jojoba oil and add your favorite essential oil and that way you will have a natural beard oil.
Can You Use Olive Oil As Beard Oil?
Yes, you can use olive oil as beard oil, especially if your skin is not sensitive.
As we said earlier there are other vegetable oils that are better for conditioning your facial hair but they just don’t have the same benefits as olive oil which has strong antibacterial properties.
For better results mix it with other carrier oils like coconut oil.
Do You Really Need Beard Oil?
If your beard is longer than 1,5 inches you definitely need to use some kind of beard oil.
Beard oil is not a necessary product but it has numerous benefits especially for longer beards that are prone to split ends and other problems.
If you are looking for some budget beard oil alternatives you know what to do.
Can I Use Coconut Oil Instead Of Beard Oil?
Yes, coconut oil is also great for your beard and it has many great benefits.
It is one of the cheapest beard oil alternatives and you can use it as a leave-in conditioner and apply it daily.
All you need to do is heat the oil and then massage it into your beard, really good for men with unruly beards.
So, we’ve covered a lot of ground and there are still more options out there. If you’re looking for something beyond beard oil that can take care of your facial hair needs (or if you don’t like the oily feel), then you should try one or all these beard oil alternatives to see what works best for your skin type.
The comments section is open, so go ahead and share with us which option has worked best for you!