beginners guide to using beard oil

The Beginners Guide To Understanding The Uses of Beard Oil

Last Updated: August 10, 2018 | This Article May Contain Affiliate Links

If you are growing out your beard for the first time ever you may notice a few things that are going on – first off your beard hairs are likely growing in 10 different directions, the skin underneath your beard is likely feeling quite a bit itchy, or worse, is flaking, and your beard generally feels pretty coarse.

All of this is completely expected:

If you are not taking care of your beard correctly.

In fact, all of the above aliments can be easily treaded with this little product called beard oil.

Beard oil has been around for ages, however, it hasn’t really become that popular until the last few years when the whole beard trend started to take off.

Prior to the huge beard explosion, it was mainly reserved for the beard enthusiasts, the ZZ Tops of the world.

But beards in of themselves are inherently manly and its awesome to see men sporting some epic beards.

So as you grow your beard there are a few things you absolutely must know about beard oil – especially before you plunk down your first buck on any.

When Should You Start Using Beard Oil

Beard oil manufacturers will claim that you can start using your beard oil as soon as you have a bit a stubble.

While this technically might be true, it is a bit of overkill.

I will deep dive into the skin benefits of beard oil in a bit – but to understand beard oil and how it fits into your beard care, you first need to understand what is going on with your skin at a microscopic level.

At the root of every follicle you have these tiny little glands called sebaceous glands:

sebaceous gland - 3d diagram

Sebaceous glands are responsible for giving your follicles the essential moisture it needs in order for your hair to look healthy.

You have these glands all over your body with the exception of your palms, soles of your feet. However, the glands are a bit larger for your face and hair follicles.

These sebaceous glands produce this oil called sebum oil.

Sebum oil is absolute key to understand why beard oil exists in the first place.

While the sebaceous glands on your face and hands might be a bit larger – they still can only produce a finite amount of sebum oil.

As your beard follicle gets longer, it will ultimately begin to suck up all of the sebum oil and will be effectively looking for more.

This is when the dreaded itch occurs.

Usually after a few weeks of growth you will start to notice that your beard is starting to get itchy – the reason for this is simply you are running dry on sebum oil and your skin is trying to tell you that.

With the dry skin underneath your beard, eventually flaking will start to occur.

This flaking is commonly known in the bearded community as beardruff.

But it gets worse:

Not only will you be in full swing of having nasty beardruff, but you will also have a beard that is feeling a bit rigid, sharp, crunchy, for lack of a better term.

This is because the sebum oil that is responsible for making sure that your beard stays well moisturized is not making it to the tips, and when it doesn’t – your beard just simply doesn’t feel that great.

In the absolute worse case scenario – when you have a dry beard, the tips are going to be much more susceptible to split ends. The ultimate cure for split ends is to trim your beard back – and if you are serious about growing an epic beard then this is the worse case scenario!

So how does this all relate to beard oil?

You see at this key point where the production of sebum oil from your sebaceous glands can’t keep up with your epic beard is when you need to introduce an all natural solution – beard oil.

when do you need beard oil?

Beard oil contains just simply two core ingredients – carrier and essential oils.

I will touch on these in a bit, but know this – the carrier oils make up about 95% of any beard oil and will be responsible for all the moisture that your beard is craving.

What Is A Good Beard Oil For Beginners?

levan rose beard oil - best unscented beard oil

Typically beard oil manufacturers will try to charge an arm and a leg for this stuff – so be sure to proceed with caution when ordering from a specific dealer.

What I personally recommend for beginners is a beard oil that typically only contains 2 primary ingredients – jojoba and argan oils.

Both jojoba and argan oils are carrier oils (the primary ingredient in beard oil that gives all its awesome benefits) that are relatively muted in scent and are great for guys just getting started with the whole beard oil endeavor.

When jumping into some of the more exotic beard oils, you do have to be mindful of rashes or allergic reactions especially if you have sensitive skin.

So always make sure you do a patch test – typically behind your ear or in the bend of your elbow – to make sure you don’t have any sensitivities to the oils.

Jojoba specifically is one of the most mild oils that you can get and therefore the likelihood of a reaction is very very small – hence why I recommend this one for those just starting out.

But if you are feeling brave – be sure to check out our list of the best beard oils and discover some really awesome smelling oils as well.

What Are The Skin Benefits of Beard Oil?

how to get rid of beardruff

Carrier oils – the main acting ingredient in beard oil – is also used as a massage oil.

Some of the more popular types being sweet almond and jojoba are the primary oils being used due to their low chance of allergic reaction and the ability to absorb rather quickly when applied to the skin.

Carrier oils, as we talked about extensively so far, will give your skin a splash of moisture in the same way that a hand lotion does.

Therefore some men may use their beard oil as also a simple moisturizer for their hands – especially beard oil that is unscented.

So don’t be afraid to use this on other places than your beard, its just simply a moisturizing oil that has been re-marketed as beard oil!

What’s The Deal With Essential Oils?

essential oils for beard oil

While carrier oils might be delivering all this awesome moisture to your beard, but I have yet to talk about the other key ingredient to a beard oil – essential oils!

Essential oils are pretty damn sweet.

You see, carrier oils are well, boring. Their scents are muted and only serve the purpose of hydrating that skin.

Essential oils on the other hand are like the cool freshman in college that is living on their own for the first time – they are simply the life of the party!

Beard oil wouldn’t be beard oil if it weren’t for the mixture of essential oils.

From cedar wood to lemon, frankincense and peppermint, essential oils provide all the wonderful smells for beard oil.

So if you want to have a nice subtle smell of the Appalachian Mountains in Upstate New York or an orange grove in Florida – beard oil can bring you there (well scent wise that is).

Here’s the kicker:

Essential oils don’t stop at the scents – no way!

In fact they also provide their own slew of benefits.

Take for instance tea tree oil. Tea tree oil is common essential oil used within beard oil, but it also doubles as a natural antiseptic. Therefore if below your beard you have acne, well the tea tree essential oil can and will do an awesome job and fighting off some of the acne.

Another pretty wild essential oil is peppermint oil. If you are looking to perhaps grow your beard a bit faster, peppermint essential oil will help regarding blood flow benefits beneath the skin which may in fact help your beard follicle grow.

There are literally hundreds of essential oils in existence, so while I would love to list them all here – that would be pretty impossible.

When reading the label of a beard oil, be sure to look up a few of the ingredients with a quick Google search.

Speaking of Beard Oil Ingredients…

Just a few things to note here – some beard oil manufacturers try to make it sound fancy by saying their product contains Simmondsia chinensis, which is really just the botanical name for jojoba oil.

So don’t let the fluff of fancy names throw you astray – its just marketing jargon.

In addition, always make sure that the manufacturer lists the ingredients within the product.

If they don’t then you will definitely want to avoid them at all costs. The last thing you will want to be doing is adding mystery ingredients on to your face in hopes that it is what they say it is.

How Much Beard Oil Should You Be Using?


When it comes to using beard oil, its really going to depend on the guy and how soft of a beard they are looking for.

If its your first time starting out on beard oil, I would recommend using no more than a dime sized amount (when placed into the palm of your hand).

As your beard gets lengthier then you may want to use a bit more oil, but on average an off the shelf beard oil should last you a couple of months with regular use.

Whether you decide to use it daily or every other day – its completely up to you. Some men really do enjoy the scents that beard oils give and therefore almost use it as a light fragrance.

Others are looking to be thrifty and want to only use it for its core purpose – to get rid of beardruff and to ultimately soften up the beard so they use it only once every couple of days.

When it comes to the application of the beard oil – its going to be pretty straight forward.

Remember that dime sized amount I was saying about placing into the palm of your hand?

Well do that – and then rub your hands together to get an even coating.

Once coated, you will want to make sure you get to the skin beneath your beard and make sure the oil is rubbed in thoroughly.

After your skin has a good application of beard oil, you will want to go ahead and bring the oil out to the tip of your beard follicle.

The key is this – your skin is critical for coverage to prevent beardruff and the primary area of concern, the secondary area will be the tip of your beard follicle.

Once you have a good coating of beard oil, you will want to either use a boars hair bristle brush or a high quality beard comb.

This will ensure that your beard oil is evenly distributed (even more so with a boars hair bristle brush) throughout your beard.

Once brushed or comb, you should notice a light sheen to your beard and will generally look pretty damn good!

Build vs. Buy – A Case For Deciding How To Get Beard Oil

rustic scale for beard balm recipe - tools of men

If its your first time growing a beard – my recommendation is to purchase a beard oil (here’s our guide to the absolute best ones reviewed) and really understand what the product is all about.

There are some really good cheap ones on the market that you can check out. When deciding to go with a specific manufacturer there are definitely a ton to choose from – so make sure you do your homework on them and that you aren’t purchasing some knockoff from China.

Here’s the deal though:

If you are totally serious about growing an epic beard and keeping it long for a while, then you may save a bundle of money by making the stuff yourself. After all, it only contains two primary ingredients – carrier and essential oils.

So if you think the whole do it yourself route makes sense, I invite you to check out the epic beard oil recipe guide I put together that goes over the ins and outs of making your very own bottle of beard oil.

That’s Really Everything There Is To Know About Beard Oil

I hope that all the above information gave you great insight on the importance of beard oil and why beardsmen everywhere add this to their personal repertoire and use it on such a frequent basis.

It makes your beard incredibly soft, moisturized, and just generally a whole lot more presentable – oh and that pesky beardruff goes away as well!

So I want to know straight from you – what are some challenges you may have been facing while growing out your beard for the very first time?

Shawn Burns | @toolsofmen

Hey there, I'm Shawn, the founder of Tools of Men! This site was created to help out other guys by teaching them proper grooming habits and the basics of sensible style. We try to make things here a bit of fun while giving you clear info. If you want to get in touch with us, drop us a line on the contact page or via social media. Thanks for checking out the site - and make sure to come back again!

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