Growing a beard is not a simple process. It involves much more than just letting your facial hair grow – you have to shape, groom, and trim your beard for it to look the way you want.
But what can you use to groom your beard? Should you be applying argan oil as well?
Here we explore the benefits and side effects when applying argan oil regularly to your facial hair.
What is Argan Oil?
Argan oil is a natural oil extracted from kernels of the Argan tree (Argania Spinosa). The trees are native to Morocco, where they are grown for both argan oil extraction and to protect from desertification.
The oil is rich in nutrients and compounds, such as:
- Fatty acids (predominantly oleic and linoleic acid)
- Vitamin E
What does Argan Oil Smell Like?
By itself, argan oil has a relatively subtle earthy and nutty aroma that may be noticeable when using the product on facial hair. However, the primary use of argan oil is as a carrier oil, where it is mixed with other potent essential oils like tea tree oil, peppermint oil, or eucalyptus oil to enable them to be used.
Related: Best Smelling Beard Oils
What Skin Types are Compatible With Argan Oil?
All skin types can find some benefit from using argan oil. It has a low comedogenic rating of 0, making it completely non-comedogenic. This means it won’t clog pores and cause breakouts or excess oil, making it great to use even for oily skin types.
It Should Be Safe For Ingestion (Although Not Advised)
In addition to its uses as a cosmetic product, argan oil is used in various food dishes, particularly in Morocco and neighboring countries. It is most often used as a bread dip like olive oil or on couscous. In addition, one study suggested that the high levels of y-Tocopherol may cause argan oil to have strong anti-inflammatory properties when ingested.
However, it is not advised to ingest argan oil bought for cosmetic purposes. The oil may have been handled differently and could cause illness or harm if ingested too often. However, it is unlikely that a drop or two of cosmetic argan oil would cause harm.
Argan Oil Benefits for Beard
There are many benefits when applying argan oil on both beard hair and skin. Here’s what they are:
Resolves Dry Skin & Itching
Argan oil is incredible for moisturizing and nourishing the skin. It is included in many beard balms, shampoos, and conditioners to hydrate and soothe the skin beneath the beard. Regular application of argan oil can help to prevent:
- Beard dandruff
- Beard itch
- Dry skin
Antioxidants help to protect the skin’s surface from damage caused by oxidative free radicals and various environmental aggressors. Argan oil is a natural antioxidant full of different antioxidative compounds.
One type of compound within the oil, the tocopherols, helps explicitly to prevent hyperpigmentation by protecting against free radicals (source). The oil also boasts a range of other antioxidative properties, such as photoprotective properties, due to the prevalence of vitamin E within the oil (source).
Balances Oil Production
As with some other oils like jojoba oil and sweet almond oil, argan oil is especially effective at balancing the natural production of sebum oil by the skin’s sebaceous glands. It supplements the oil already produced to reduce the need for production. When used regularly, this can be incredibly beneficial to those with oily or acne-prone skin.
Due to the compounds naturally found within the oil, it is an effective anti-inflammatory agent. In addition, it helps to soothe inflamed skin and increases skin hydration (source). This helps prevent bacterial infections in the skin and makes argan oil an effective relief for skin conditions such as psoriasis, seborrheic and atopic dermatitis.
Moisturizes & Conditions Hair
Argan oil is a commonly used base ingredient in many natural shampoos and conditioners for both general hair and facial hair use. The fatty acids within argan oil, namely oleic and linoleic acid, are known to lubricate the hair shaft, helping to retain moisture.
The vitamin E within argan oil also benefits the health of our hair. Argan oil provides a fatty layer to the hair and the scalp, which helps to protect it from heat and reduce dryness. Therefore, it can be beneficial to apply argan oil, especially after applying heat on hair through a blow dryer or electric beard straightener.
Related: Best Beard Oils
There has not yet been any research supporting the suggestion that argan oil could spur beard growth, but the regular application can help your beard look and feel healthier. In addition, the nourishment the oil provides, particularly to the skin and hair follicles, will help reduce ingrown hairs, split ends, and follicle breakage.
One study has shown that vitamin E, one of the compounds naturally found within argan oil, does help in the growth of scalp hairs (source). However, scalp hair and facial hair are fundamentally different, so whether or not this is the case for beard hair is still undetermined.
Related: Best Beard Growth Products
Argan Oil Side Effects When Applied to Facial Hair
Here are some of the side effects you could experience when applying argan oil to your beard.
While argan oil is fairly mild, skin irritation and rash can still occur upon use. This might be because of an allergy or perhaps sensitive skin. Alternatively, it may be that the oil has spoiled or been contaminated – it might even have been manufactured poorly.
Before using any skin or beard care product, it is essential to do a patch test, especially if you have sensitive skin. This helps to prevent any allergic reaction or discomfort.
In addition to skin irritation, some people find that eating argan oil causes them to suffer from an upset stomach, diarrhea, and uncomfortable gas. While this is not likely to happen when using argan oil for beard care or skincare, it is worth noting as applying argan oil to the beard may result in accidental ingestion.
How to Apply Argan Oil to Your Beard
Applying argan oil on your beard is simple. For a moderate beard length:
- Pour a dime-sized amount of oil into the palm of your hand.
- Rub your hands together.
- Work the oil thoroughly into your beard, ensuring you spread it all the way through and down to skin level.
- Style your beard with your beard comb or beard brush.
Beard Care Products that Contain Argan Oil
If you’d like to reap the benefits of argan oil, take a look around at the products that contain it, like these:
- Ranger Grooming’s Fragrance-Free Beard Oil & Leave-In Conditioner: great for moisturizing and eliminating beardruff.
- Honest Amish’s Classic Beard Oil: made to soften the beard and condition the skin.
- King C. Gillette’s Beard Oil: made with 99% plant-based oils to moisturize skin and soften the beard.
- Delta Genesis Beard Bolt XL: works as a leave-in conditioner and styling product.
Make Your Own Beard Care Products With Argan Oil
If you’d rather have a go at making beard care products with argan oil, it’s easy! Here are a few helpful guides we put together for you:
Related: Cheap Beard Oils
How often should you apply argan oil to your beard?
Argan oil should be applied to the beard once a day for the best results. If your beard or skin begins to look greasy, stop applying the oil. Alternatively, if your skin and beard are still flaky or dry, apply argan oil more liberally.
When should you apply argan oil to your beard?
Depending on your intended use of the product, we recommend applying argan oil to your beard either after showering and cleaning your beard but before styling your beard or applying before bed for a deeper condition.