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How to Apply Beard Balm

Applying beard balm is a straightforward process.  In this guide, you will learn how to use beard balm for effective results.

Step-by-Step Pictures

Here is a step-by-step demonstration of how to apply beard balm.

Step 1: Scoop out a thumbnail-sized amount:

thumb scooping balm out of a tin

Step 2: Place the balm into the center of your palm:

hand with a white balm in a the center of palm

Step 3: Rub your hands until you get a smooth and oily consistency that is free of any lumps:

two hands with a light shine to them

Step 4: Massage your hands into the facial hair and, most importantly, the skin underneath.  If the beard balm doesn’t get to the skin level, dry and itchy skin will still be a problem.

If you have a long beard, gradually work your hands towards the end of the hair follicles to reduce the chance of split ends.

man rubbing beard with fingertips

Step 5: Style with your beard comb or beard brush:

man combing his beard

Frequency of Application

You should apply beard balm daily.  Daily application will help nourish and moisturize your skin to prevent dry skin, redness, itchiness, and beard dandruff

Time of Day

Apply beard balm at the beginning of the day, ideally after showering.  Given that beard balm contains beeswax as a styling agent, it will allow your beard to look well-kempt throughout the day.

Beard Length

The length of your beard will determine how much beard balm you should be applying.  Here are some general guidelines you can follow:

  • Stubble: Half thumbnail size.
  • About 1″ Beard Length: Thumbnail size.
  • Greater than 1″: Thumbnail and a half or more.

Under Application

Here are some signs that you may not be applying enough beard balm:

Dry Skin.  The most obvious sign will be the prevalence of dry skin or beard dandruff. Although beard balm is a conditioning agent, if your skin still feels dry or beard flakes appear on your shirt after a week of use, consider gradually increasing the application amount.

Lack of Styling Control. If you use a beard balm with a medium to firm holding strength but find that your facial hair is still unkempt, then the amount may need to be increased. 

Over Application

Adding too much beard balm to your facial hair can result in the following:

Greasy Appearance.  If your beard looks too oily or matted, then too much beard balm was used.  This usually doesn’t occur in just one application but after several days of overuse.

Weighed Down.  Like a hair conditioner, applying too much beard balm can give your facial hair a weighted appearance.  A weighed-down beard won’t look as voluminous.

When to Stop Applying

Beard balm isn’t for everyone; discontinue use if the following side effects occur:

Rash.  If a rash develops on the skin underneath your facial hair, you should stop using the beard balm.  The cause for the inflammation will likely be due to the essential oils within the beard balm.  Essential oils are very potent and can cause adverse reactions, particularly for men with sensitive skin (source).  

Pimples.  Carrier oils are a primary base for beard balm.  If you have oily or acne-prone skin, some carrier oils carry a high comedogenic rating, an indicator if an oil may clog your pores.  Consider using a beard balm containing carrier oils with a low comedogenic rating, such as castor oil, grapeseed oil, etc.

Poor Results. Sometimes a grooming product just doesn’t work as expected.  Rather than applying and receiving lackluster results, consider an alternate beard conditioner such as beard oil or beard butter.

Wrap Up

We hope that this article helped provide guidelines to help you achieve a healthier and softer feeling beard.

Sean Miller

As co-founder of Tools of Men, Sean Miller has nearly a decade of experience in male beard and grooming care. He started the site in 2014 after discovering the lack of quality men’s grooming information online. He is a nationally recognized expert in hair, beard and skin care for men, and has been featured in publications such as the Wall Street Journal, Vice, and more. He is also a frequent contributor to various online and print publications.

Sean Miller has dedicated his career to helping men understand the basics and fine details of proper grooming. He's traveled the world, testing products and learning from industry insiders to gain the knowledge he shares on Tools of Men. With a special focus on the trends, technology and products specifically designed for men he provides an educated, honest and informed perspective.