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While beard oils are an integral part of our grooming routine are a bit overpriced. You can find beard oils for under $20, but most of the time, they are way 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! Many beard oil alternatives can be used without breaking the bank. In fact, some of them may work even better.
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. This oil is produced by your sebaceous glands (a gland located next to every hair follicle) and is called sebum oil. Beard oil’s job is 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, you can, and there are some cheaper alternatives that will do the trick! Keep reading because we are going to talk about a few of them in this post.
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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 will be the foundation of your homemade beard oils.
They are responsible for nourishing your skin and 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.
- 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 these oils can be purchased separately, so 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 way 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 So expensive?
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 one of the most important ingredients in your beard oil, so it’s smart to use them pure.
Many people like using olive oil or coconut oil because they are great moisturizers you can get pretty cheap.
The downside is that you won’t get the nice scent and some of the essential oil’s medicinal properties (antibacterial etc.).
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, which should last 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 also helps with beard dandruff, and it speeds up hair growth.
Finally, it is not comedogenic and has light viscosity meaning it absorbs really well into your skin.
Another hot carrier oil 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 it’s not that 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 while it’s not that cheap, 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 cook with it, and it is also great for your hair.
Coconut oil contains Vitamin E and has antibacterial properties, so it’s good for preventing acne. 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, making it hard to apply. But it melts pretty quickly once you put it on your face or beard, so it won’t be much of a problem.
It is not very absorbable, but it has a wonderful, sweet coconut scent that many guys 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.
Extra virgin olive oil will give your beard an amazing shine and, at the same time, make it soft like a peach (which I’m sure you will love). It has antibacterial properties, so it’s also great for preventing acne. It is also very moisturizing and nourishing but has a pretty thick consistency meaning not much of its goodness will reach the skin.
But the biggest benefit of olive oil is that it accelerates beard growth.
A study proved that olive oil consumption increases testosterone levels, which increases beard growth.
If you want to learn more about this study and its properties, you can read our article olive oil for beard growth.
In terms of price, It’s not the cheapest oil, but it’s 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 because of its thick consistency, so be careful when using it.
So if you want to use olive oil as a beard oil substitute, mixing it with a lighter other oil like coconut is a good idea.
One of the most popular carrier oils for beards is castor oil.
Castor oil is cheaper than other carrier oils and also really easy to find, making it a widely used product among men who are into beard care.
Castor oil is pretty popular in the hair and beard world, and many guys out there 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, leading to healthier beard growth and a thicker, fuller-looking beard.
It also has antifungal properties, which makes it good for preventing acne.
It is very moisturizing but does not get absorbed easily. It has a thick consistency, which means the absorption rate isn’t as high as with other beard oils!
Another downside is castor oil smells weird, and many guys won’t like it.
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 if you just want to moisturize your beard.
Beeswax is not a beard oil alternative that every guy will use, but it has certain benefits for the skin and hair.
It can be helpful for guys with longer beards as it will form 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. It is also good for styling 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 mixing it with a light viscosity carrier oil like coconut oil, as it 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 tricky to make your own beard balm, but you can one from the store and make your life easier.
Beard balms are very popular because they offer the same benefits as oils and also help with beard styling.
Beard balms are not cheap, but we have found a 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 is a great option for guys on a tight budget. If you are looking for a high-quality beard balm, you can read this 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 today when it comes to beard oil alternatives. 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!
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.