Below we are going to share with you how to make beard balm. We will go over all the crucial ingredients, what they do, everything you will need to get started, and lastly, a few beard balm recipes you can follow along with at home.
4 Key Beard Balm Ingredients (And What They Do)
When buying any premium beard balm, you will find that companies rely on four key ingredients: carrier oil, essential oil, butter, and beeswax. Here’s what they do:
1. Beeswax Provides Protectant & Styling Benefits
Beeswax is the key ingredient in your beard balm that gives your beard some order. You cannot create a beard balm without beeswax. Consider the following when selecting beeswax:
- Type: There are a few different waxes which include beeswax, candelilla, carnauba, and soy. Nearly all beard balms rely on beeswax, and it’s what we recommend that you consider.
- Form: Companies make beeswax in a few different forms – bars, pellets, and sheets. Pellets and bars are easier to measure when making beard balm. There is no significant difference in the final results.
- Where to Buy: You can either purchase beeswax online or from a local beekeeper in your area (just search ‘beekeepers near me’).
- Color: You will find that beeswax can appear yellow or white; this has no impact on final results. Color varies depending on the bee’s pollen exposure.
2. Butter for the Spread and Conditioning
Butter helps beard balm spread easier and condition better. Consider the following when selecting butter:
- Type: Selection type of butter is important. Consider kokum or shea butter if you have oily skin as it has a 0 comedogenic rating (it doesn’t clog pores). Cocoa or coconut butter is worth considering but has a comedogenic rating of 4 out of 5.
- Refinement: Consider unrefined or raw butter only. Refined butter is heated, resulting in the removal of skincare benefits and vitamins.
- Where to Buy: Butter may be available locally at Target, Whole Foods, and premium drugstores (apothecaries). You can also purchase butter at several online stores.
3. Carrier Oils Condition & Nourish the Skin
Carrier oils are sourced from various plants and seeds. Consider the following when selecting carrier oils:
- Type: There are many different types of carrier oils. Most common include jojoba, argan, sweet almond, and grapeseed. The scent is mild. Many of these oils are found in premium grooming products.
- Container: Select a carrier oil housed in an amber bottle. This bottle type allows for a longer shelf life while protecting the oil from UV rays.
- Pressing: Only consider cold press or expeller press carrier oils. These oils will retain their nutrients and have no solvents added during the oil extraction process.
- Where to Buy: Carrier oils are commonly found in the beauty section of premium grocery stores. You can also purchase carrier oils online.
- Application: Carrier oil is the primary ingredient in beard oil. You can apply a carrier oil directly to your facial hair for effective conditioning results.
4. Essential Oils for Scent
Essential oils are volatile substances extracted from various sources, including plants, seeds, trees, etc. Consider the following when selecting essential oils:
- Scent: Do you want a beard balm with a woodsy, earthy, citrusy, or spicy scent? You can pair various essential oils to develop a welcoming fragrance. Select a base and find complementary pairings (several online guides can help).
- Potency: Essential oils are strongly scented. Exercise caution and add no more than a few drops.
- Potential Dangers: You should never apply essential oils directly to your skin. Doing so may cause an allergic reaction or rash. Consider skipping on essential oils altogether should you have sensitive skin.
- Medicinal Benefits: Many claims about essential oils are unproven (source). Only consider essential oils for scent purposes.
- Where to Buy: Essential oils are often available in the beauty section of premium grocery stores. You can also buy essential oils at several outlets online.
Prepping Your Work Station Properly
Before making your first beard balm, make sure you have the following on hand:
- Small Pot: This will be necessary for heating and melting the beeswax and butter with the other ingredients.
- Kitchen Scale: Useful in measuring quantities of butter or beeswax.
- Pipette (~ 50ct): Allows for easy extraction of carrier and essential oils that don’t come with a dropper. Use one pipette per oil to prevent cross-contamination or dilution of scent.
- Spoon: For mixing all the ingredients.
- Metal Tins and Tops (1 to 2oz): To store your beard balm once it is ready to set.
- Labels (Optional): If you are experimenting with scent or plan on giving your beard balm as a gift.
- Funnel (Optional): Makes pouring into the tins easier.
Making Your First Beard Balm
To make beard balm, follow these steps:
- Start by placing your pot on very low heat.
- Add in your beeswax and butter. Stir occasionally.
- Once beeswax and butter have melted, stir in carrier oils.
- Let blend for approximately 30 seconds.
- Stir in essential oils.
- Pour into tins and let rest for 12 hours.*
- Lay wax paper loosely over the top until fully set.
* While the beard balm may appear ready, letting it air out for several hours will prevent condensation and potential mold.
Homemade Beard Balm Recipes
Here are a few great recipes to get you started on making your beard balm:
Woodsy Grape Bliss
- 100g Shea Butter
- 70g Beeswax
- 20ml Jojoba Oil
- 20ml of Grapeseed Oil
- 3 Drops Cedarwood Oil
- 2 Tbsp Beeswax
- 2 Tbsp Shea Butter
- 1 Tbsp Cocoa Butter
- 3 Tsp Jojoba Oil
- 2 Tsp Sweet Almond Oil
- 1/8 Tsp Bourbon Oil
- 4-8 Drops Cedarwood Oil
- 1 Drop Rosemary Oil
- 2 Tbsp Beeswax
- 4 Tbsp Apricot Kernel Oil
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 2-3 Drops Cedarwood Oil
- 2-3 Drops Clary Sage Oil
Down To Earth
- 5g Beeswax
- 4g Shea Butter
- 6g Rice Bran Oil
- 4g Broccoli Seed Oil
- 6g Hemp Oil
- 3 Drops Tea Tree Oil
- 3 Drops Bergamot Oil
- 1 Toothpick Swirl Vetiver Essential Oil
- 5 Drops Cedarwood Oil
- 4 Tbsp Beeswax
- 4 Tbsp Shea Butter
- 2 Tbsp Cocoa Butter
- 2 Tbsp Jojoba Oil
- 4 Tsp Sweet Almond Oil
- 2 drops Sandalwood Oil
- 1 Tbsp Beeswax
- 1 Tsp Shea Butter
- 1 Tsp Jojoba Oil or Sweet Almond Oil
- 1 Tsp Argan Oil
- 4 drops Vitamin E Oil
- 2-3 drops Vanilla Oil
Here are a few items to get you started:
The Case For DIY Beard Balm
While making your beard balm can save you some money, the real joy comes in creating a product. You have total control over the consistency, styling ability, and scent of the beard balm.
When you make beard balm yourself, you can enjoy a final product that meets your exact demands.
Reverse Engineering Your Favorite Brands: If you have a favorite beard balm, check out the ingredient list on the bottom of the tin. There you can see all the core ingredients that were used. Tweak the recipe and ratios to your exact preference.
Now, if you are really enjoying the process, consider selling a few by posting them for sale on Etsy or starting up your own Shopify store.
Additionally, if you or someone you know runs a boutique stand at art festivals, flea markets, etc., beard balms are always an excellent little item to sell.
A Few Frequently Asked Questions
Why does my homemade beard balm make my beard feel so crunchy?
When your beard starts to feel too crunchy, you were a bit too heavy-handed when adding in beeswax. On your next batch, try cutting down the amount and test the results.
Will beard balm get my beard softer?
Yes, beard balm exists precisely for this reason. If you want to get your beard even softer, you should check out a recent post on softening your beard for more tips.
What essential oils should a beginner use when making beard balm?
There are hundreds of essential oils to choose from; I would recommend checking out a sampler pack as it gives you a substantial amount to check out and see which scents suit you best.
Shawn Burns is the founder and senior editor of Tools of Men. He started this site with the goal of teaching men proper grooming habits and sensible style. Shawn’s expertise includes in-depth product reviews and how-to articles. Shawn was recently featured in the Wall Street Journal for his expertise.