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Beard Butter 101

This guide will provide you with an overview of beard butter.  Specifically, you will learn how beard butter differs from other beard conditioners, key benefits of it, proper use, how to make it, and where beard butter is sold. 

What is beard butter?

Beard butter is a deep conditioner that helps to moisturize the skin and facial hair.  With repeated use, beard butter will prevent itchiness, beard dandruff, and crunchy or dry feeling facial hair.

How does beard butter differ from other beard conditioners?

Most beard butter contains a blend of the following ingredients: carrier oils, essential oils, and butter.  This provides a velvet-like texture that is easy to apply.

Here’s a table to demonstrate how beard butter differs from beard conditioners, specifically beard oil and beard balm:

IngredientBeard ButterBeard OilBeard Balm
Carrier OilYesYesYes
Essential OilYesYesYes

Here’s a summary of what each ingredient does: 

  • Carrier oil. Derived from seeds or nuts, carrier oils lightly condition and moisturize skin.  Common carrier oils include jojoba oil, argan oil, olive oil, sweet almond oil, and more.  This ingredient is always found in quality beard conditioners.
  • Essential oil. They are added to beard care products primarily for aroma.  Common scents include woodsy, citrus, spicy, and more.  Many medicinal claims about essential oils are not scientifically proven. 
  • Butter.  Typically will either be shea, mango, or cocoa butter.  Butter is a natural humectant that helps the skin to retain moisture.
  • Beeswax. A natural protectant and humectant.  Beeswax protects the skin from severely dry conditions.  This ingredient provides hold, allowing better control when styling.  

As you may have inferred from the above information, beard butter is a moisturizing focused beard conditioner that adds and retains moisture within the beard and skin.

Beard Butter vs. Beard Oil

Beard oil is thin and a light conditioner.  It is particularly easy to apply to long beards.  

However, when comparing beard oil to beard butter, beard oil won’t condition nearly as well.  Consider beard butter should your facial hair or skin feel exceptionally dry or itchy.  

Beard Butter vs. Beard Balm

The performance of beard butter is nearly equivalent to beard balm.  However, the ratios of ingredients differ significantly between these two beard conditioners.  Beard balm often contains slightly less butter and more beeswax.  Beard balm has a much stiffer body when compared to beard butter.

This difference in ratio allows for beard balm to be better for styling purposes, but not as effective as a conditioner.

Common questions about beard butter

Here are a few questions men often have when learning about beard butter:

Is it better to use beard butter?

Consider using beard butter if you have severely dry skin or beard dandruff.  The moisturizing properties can help to relieve irritation and beard itch.  

Does beard butter accelerate facial hair growth?

We could not find any scientific evidence that applying beard butter will make facial hair grow faster.  Beard butter is a conditioner for your skin and facial hair, not a beard growth product.

Will beard butter cause acne?

Depending on the ingredients and your skin type, acne may be a concern when using beard butter.  When selecting a beard butter, look at the ingredients and research the comedogenic rating of the oils.  

The comedogenic scale is a rating system to determine if an oil is likely to clog your pores.  The comedogenic scale ranges from 0 (will not clog pores) to 5 (likely to clog pores).

Some oils, such as argan oil, have a comedogenic rating of 0, whereas other ingredients like cocoa butter have a comedogenic rating of 4.  Here is a table of the comedogenic ratings for popular ingredients found in beard butter for reference:

IngredientComedogenic Rating
Sweet Almond Oil2
Apricot Kernel Oil2
Argan Oil0
Avocado Oil3
Castor Oil1
Cocoa Butter4
Coconut Butter4
Coconut Oil4
Grapeseed Oil1
Jojoba Oil2
Kukui Nut Oil2
Lanolin Oil2
Mango Butter2
Shea Butter0

Will beard butter prevent beard dandruff?

Beard butter is a natural moisturizer for your skin.  With repeated application, beard butter will help to reduce dry skin, redness, and beard dandruff.  Think of beard butter as a different type of face cream or body lotion.

How long is beard butter good for?

The shelf life of beard butter is hard to determine as there are many factors to consider, including ingredients, packaging, and more.  Typically, beard butter should be used within 1 or 2 years of the purchase date.  If it smells bad (i.e., moldy or putrid scent) or has become hardened, avoid using the product.

How to make beard butter at home

Beard butter is easy to make yourself.  

To make beard butter, you will need to have the following ingredients:

  • Carrier oil
  • Essential oil (optional)
  • Butter

You will also need the following supplies:

  • Small pot
  • Spoon for mixing
  • Pipettes (if oils don’t have droppers)
  • Storage tin or small jar

To make beard butter, take the following steps:

  1. Add 3oz of butter and 3oz of carrier oil in a small pot over very low heat.
  2. Stir until blended.
  3. Add no more than 5 to 7 drops of essential oil for aroma.
  4. Blend, then pour out into a small storage tin.

Here is a beard butter recipe to get you started:

  • 3oz of unrefined shea butter
  • 3oz of jojoba oil
  • 7 drops of sandalwood oil

How to use beard butter?

To use beard butter, follow these steps:

  1. Wash beard and pat dry.
  2. Scoop out a thumbnail-sized amount.
  3. Place into palm and rub hands together.
  4. Massage hands together until evenly distributed.
  5. Work into facial hair starting from the skin and working towards the end of your facial hair.

The amount of beard butter to use varies depending on the length of your beard.  For short to medium-length beards, a thumbnail-sized amount will suffice.  For longer beards, a sizable fingertip scoop may be required.  Ideally, your entire beard should be lightly covered and not appear greasy after application.

Buying beard butter

Where can you buy beard butter?

While beard conditioners have grown in popularity over the past few years, beard butter is still relatively new, and distribution is limited.  You may find beard butter at premium apothecaries, select drugstores, barbershops, and online.

Who makes beard butter?

Many beard care companies now make beard butter.  A few of the more popular brands include the following: Wild Willies, Beard Guyz, Detroit Grooming, SoftSheen-Carson, Grave Before Shave, and many more.

The takeaway

Beard butter is best for resolving dry or itchy skin.  The high composition of moisturizing ingredients makes it an essential product for men who live in a severely dry environment.

We hope that this guide was helpful in learning more about beard butter and how it differs from other beard care products.  

Adam Williams

As the lead editor of Tools of Men, Adam loves men's grooming products. Particularly of interest is managing facial hair and perfecting the art of the modern man's skincare routine. His work has been featured or quoted in several publications, including New York Magazine, Vice, Sharpologist, MIC, Elite Daily, and more. When Adam isn't working, he enjoys spending time with his two little kids who keep him both on his toes and young at heart.

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