Should You Believe The Hype About Beard Oil?
So the word has gotten around about beard oil; but is all the hype to be believed?
When the beard oil talk first reached my ear, I thought I hadn’t heard quite right. To me, it all just sounded like something they took from the women’s salon and tried to make a buck by putting a new sticker on the bottle and selling it to the metrosexual man.
My beard was doing just fine without any fancy potions, so why would I put a bunch of chemicals in my healthy facial mane? Well, I have come a long way since the day I first heard the term “beard oil,” so let me enlighten you about the truths about this very helpful tool in my bathroom cabinet.
If It’s Good Enough For My Skin…
Your first concern might be that this beard potion is filled with harmful chemicals that might even destroy your beautifully blooming beard. Let’s toss that myth out right away, because the truth is on the opposite end of the spectrum.
The truth is that most brands we trust with our skincare and hair care put some of the worst chemicals into the lotions, shampoos and shower gels that we pile onto our hair and skin every day. The other truth is that beard oil does not contain even a fraction of those chemicals, its main ingredients being naturally derived carrier oils and essential oils.
Beard Oil’s Two Main Ingredients:
Main Ingredient #1: The first ingredient on the label will be a carrier oil; and there are many different kinds available.
Whether it is jojoba, olive, coconut, or whatever other oil, the carrier oil will constitute about 90 percent of your product. These carrier oils provide not only important nutrients, but also the absorbability to allow all the goodness to penetrate your skin and hair.
You might have experienced itching along with flaky skin beneath your facial hair; this is a sign that your under-beard skin is low on moisture. Maybe you also notice your beard bristles being rough and brittle; this is a sign that your hair is dehydrated as well.
A shortage of a protective layer of sebum from your sebaceous glands is allowing moisture to escape from your skin and hair. Beard oil is like a substitute to your naturally produced sebum. The carrier oils, such as jojoba oil, help penetrate and cover the skin and hair, keeping the moisture underneath from evaporating.
These carrier oils are used in some of the best skincare products as well as for massages in professional and medical settings. If these oils are good enough for your high-quality skincare, then it also must be good for your beard.
Jojoba oil is a great introduction into the world of carrier oils, as is argan oil. No matter what natural ingredients are in your beard oil, it is always best to do a patch test on a tiny area on your inner elbow to ascertain that you are not allergic to any of the oils.
Main Ingredient #2: The next ingredient on the label will be one or more essential oils.
Like carrier oils, this second type provides beneficial stuff for your cells. For example, lemon oil is an essential oil that keeps acne away if applied topically and keeps the mind alert if its aroma is inhaled.
Beard oils tend to include essential oils of masculine scents such as sandalwood, cedar, and pine, as well as fresh aromas such as peppermint and lemon. These smells benefit your skin and mood in addition to giving you a trademark musk that others will remember you by. With all the possible essential oils and countless combination options, you will have a lot of aromas to choose from.
However, buyer beware; essential oils can cause allergic reactions, so do a patch test on the sensitive skin on your inner elbow before using anything on your face. Citrus oils including grapefruit, lime, and mandarin oils can cause reactions in a lot of skin types. Aside from doing a patch test to avoid red skin reactions, you can also keep in mind to apply beard oil conservatively, starting with a dime-sized amount and adding more if necessary.
Speaking Of Which…
… so how exactly do you apply beard oil?
Obviously, the amount necessary varies according to how long your whiskers are; for month-old facial fur, you will want to begin with a dime-sized portion. As time progresses and your bristles grow longer, you can adjust the amount by progressively using more and more oil.
Once you have the perfect amount in the palm of your hand, rub both palms together in order to evenly distribute the oil. Next, run your oiled-up hands through your beard from root to tip until all the oil has been transferred onto your face. Then use your fingertips to really massage the beard oil in, still moving from root to tip. A beard comb or beard brush will help in further distributing the oil as evenly as possible.
So Am I Doing It Just For The Hell Of It?
So what is the whole purpose in subjecting your facial hair to this spa-treatment? Will it make your beard grow as long and thick as the models’ shiny hair in all those women’s shampoo commercials?
The hard truth is that hair thickness is basically genetically predetermined; some of us have thin, wispy hair shafts no matter how much protein we consume while others have bristles thick enough to hang weights from despite a horrible junk food diet.
While life isn’t fair and beard oil cannot magically thicken your facial hair, all is not lost. Beard oil does coat your skin and hair in a protective layer, which keeps moisture in and harmful particles out.
The resulting moisture-rich facial hair will be softer, more supple, and smoother. The pliability of each bristle will resist breakage so that it can grow without split off ends shortening its length. As your bristles continue to grow longer, you can begin to trim the ends; bluntly cut tips look thicker than the thinning points of uncut hair.
If you really wish to thicken your facial mane, you might want to try out a more medicinal approach such as using Minoxidil. Another way to try to turn the odds more in your favor is to get a load of proteins. You can consume extra grams of protein so you have plenty to go around.
Another option is to topically apply protein-rich, raw egg white to your beard, let it dry, and wash it out; in this way the protein can coat your hair and fill in the hair cuticle for an overall fuller appearance. If you don’t enjoy dealing with the smell and mess of egg, then you can find a protein-rich shampoo instead.
Back To Beard Oil…
…Now that you know what it can and cannot do for your facial hair, are you wondering what kind of havoc it can wreak on your acne-prone skin?
Assuming that you keep your pores clean and dirt-free, the oil will not cause anything other than moisture levels to increase. While you might fear the feel of greasy skin, you have to remember that beard oil is meant to be applied in small amounts.
When you buy your first bottle, opt for a formula with just two ingredients; one carrier and one essential oil.
Grape seed oil is an example of a highly absorbable carrier oil, which is ideal for oily skin; it also has astringent qualities, helping you keep acne at bay. In general, the higher the absorbability of a carrier oil, the better it is for oily skin. In case you have dry skin, you should opt for a less absorbable carrier oil to remain on your skin’s surface for longer in order to block moisture from escaping.
If you are concerned about acne, the second ingredient of your first bottle of beard oil should be an essential oil that helps treat and avert pimples. Tea tree oil is an ideal essential oil for acne-prone skin because it possesses both anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties. Juniper berry oil is another example of an essential oil whose antibacterial properties keep your pores clean and acne-free.
As a rule of thumb, if you are anxious about acne, look for ingredients that are highly absorbable and antibacterial.
At The Opposite End…
Now that you know that beard oil does not mean you will have oily skin and acne, you may wonder if it will help with dry, flaky skin under your beard. Commonly referred to as “beard-ruff,” the dry skin that falls off from under your beard is caused by a lack of moisture.
Generally, your sebaceous glands produce sebum to coat your skin and lock moisture within. During dry winter seasons, your sebum might not suffice; alternately, harsh cleansers you might be using on your face and hair could strip the sebum right off of your skin.
When you need a little extra help in locking the moisture within your skin, beard oil can work as a pseudo-sebum, covering your skin so that moisture cannot evaporate. Of course, switching to a gentler, non-stripping cleanser and shampoo will help in drastically reducing dry skin and hair as well; and while a daily shower is a must for most men, the use of shampoo is not necessary on a day-to-day basis either for your hair or for your beard.
If following all of these suggestions does not bring about a favorable, moisturized change, then you may have to supplement your beard oil routine with some beard balm. Beard balm is essentially beard oil on steroids; together they should definitely cure you of beard-ruff.
Now Look At This Mess!
So we have resolved the oily as well as the dry issue; now what about the mess your beard is in?
If your whiskers are growing unevenly, sprouting in every direction at random, then you have a messy facial hairdo on your hands. Beard oil is not meant to help you style and control your facial tresses; its main purpose is to moisturize.
That’s where its aforementioned brother on steroids comes to the rescue again; beard balm contains bees wax, making it infinitely more suitable to style and shape your facial hair.
Using a beard comb in conjunction with beard oil and balm allows you to truly style your whiskers into a real designer beard.
Location, Location, Location
If you now are convinced that you need your own bottle of beard oil in your bathroom cabinet a.s.a.p., then don’t waste any time running from grocery store to pharmacy, looking for the perfect concoction.
The fastest way to locate beard oil and the most convenient place to price compare, check labels, research ingredients, and make an informed decision is on the online market called Amazon.
Amazon provides convenience and speed; you can easily search for your specific product, pay using Paypal, opt for prime free two-day shipping, and pick up your product in your mailbox. If you prefer to go to brick and mortar stores, your best bet is a visit to your local barbershop.
Home Sweet Home
If you cannot find a beard oil with your ideal ingredients or you just want to save a few bucks, you also have the option of making your own beard potion. Just pick an easily absorbable carrier oil, pick an essential oil with a musk to your liking, and get an empty bottle.
One way or another, you will have the ultimate beard oil to provide your beard with moisture while giving you your very own trademark musk.