A well-made beard balm will nourish your beard hairs and stop beard itch while also providing structure and hold to look your best throughout the entire day.
In this guide, we look at some of the most popular beard balms on the market for any facial hair style.
How to Choose a Beard Balm
When buying a beard balm, consider the following:
A quality beard balm relies on four key ingredients. Here’s why they are important:
- Carrier Oils. These provide both moisture and nourishment to your skin and facial hair to not only reduce itchiness but also make your beard soft. Carrier oils come in several different varieties. In addition, carrier oils with low comedogenic ratings, such as argan or grapeseed oil, will be less likely to clog pores.
- Essential Oils. These provide the fragrance for any given beard balm. Popular scent profiles include woodsy, citrusy, smokey, or a classic barbershop aroma. Disregard medicinal claims regarding essential oils as they are largely unproven.
- Beeswax. A natural humectant and protectant, beeswax also provides styling control. In addition, beard balms with a greater concentration of beeswax give a firmer hold throughout the day.
- Butter (Shea or Cocoa). This ingredient helps provide malleability and increases the conditioning of the beard balm. Great for dry climates.
Note: Cheap beard balms may add fillers or artificial ingredients. These will be less likely to condition your skin and facial hair as well. Avoid if possible.
2. Holding Strength
When shopping for a new beard balm, you will come across many companies that mark their beard balm as having one of the following hold strengths:
If your facial hair can get a bit unruly, or you simply prefer a more involved beard style, consider a medium to firm hold beard balm to keep your beard in shape throughout the day.
3. Beard Growth & Vitamins
Take great caution when buying a beard balm that claims it will increase beard growth. Virtually all claims about growing a thick or full beard are not scientifically proven.
Additionally, beard balms containing these “accelerants” are often priced much higher than average.
Beard balm is a fairly affordable grooming product. We found during our research that most beard balms will cost anywhere between $8 and $30. For a well-made product containing only natural ingredients, expect to pay about $15 to $20.
1. Best Liquid Balm: Proraso Beard Balm
Italian-based Proraso has been a fixture in the men’s grooming world for over 100 years. With a rich heritage of well-crated products, we think you will love their liquid-based beard balm – here’s why:
This liquid balm is largely derived from natural ingredients (91% in total) that will penetrate your beard and skin easily for fast and effective results.
Containing no parabens, no silicone, no alcohol, and no colorants – it should work well even if you have sensitive skin.
Whether you are just starting the beard-growing journey or are a seasoned beardsmen, this balm will work on all beard types – stubble, dense, curly, short, long, etc.
As for the scent, Proraso offers up a diverse lineup which includes Azur Lime, Cypress & Vetyver, Refresh, and Wood & Spice.
If you are ready to take your beard to the next level and leave other men jealous with beard envy, then get this balm; you won’t be disappointed.
Pros: Absorbs into beard quickly for effective results. Diverse and delicious scent variety. TSA-friendly.
Cons: Applying this balm may be a bit messy.
The Verdict: Thanks to the quality ingredients and attractive smell, you can expect your beard to look and feel great after using this balm.
2. Best Smelling Balm: Billy Jealousy Beard Balm
Billy Jealousy hits all the right notes in more ways than one with their Devil’s Delight beard balm. While the moisturizing and nourishing properties of this balm are top-notch, making it worthy of your beard, we think you will love the scent here the most.
With a warm black peppery and sandalwood scent, it is borderline intoxicating to apply to your beard daily – and will quickly become the best part of your morning routine.
While the scent will linger for some time, you can expect it to fully dissipate by lunchtime, so you don’t have to worry about it being too potent or overpowering.
By relying on a rich blend of coconut, sunflower, and castor seed oils, you can expect this balm to get rid of any beard itch quickly while also making your beard look significantly better after the first application.
If you are a guy who appreciates an effortless-looking style, you will love the matte finish that this balm provides once dried. The balm gives your beard a nice bit of structure while also looking healthy without being overly shiny or unnatural.
Lastly, the hold on this balm is lighter than most – so be sure to use a brush or comb when applying.
Pros: Attractive smell. Matte finish looks great. Nourishes both beard and skin.
Cons: Super light hold.
The Verdict: It simply doesn’t get much better than Devil’s Delight when it comes to scent. Expect it to smell like a friendly, warm hug every time you apply it to your beard. Oh, and expect a few lingering women also taking in the pleasant smell as well.
3. Made in USA: Badass Beard Care Beard Balm for Men
Badass beard care has been servicing men with wild beards for years, and they are incredibly good at it.
Made in the USA and run by veterans of the armed forces, it doesn’t get more American than this.
But beyond feeling incredibly patriotic when applying this beard balm, it delivers a warm scent along with the right mixture of ingredients.
The ingredients are top-notch and include shea butter, cocoa butter, rosemary oil, eucalyptus oil, coconut oil, tea tree oil, and many more – you can see the complete list on their site.
Therefore, if you are dealing with a dry, itchy beard, you should be happy with the results of this beard balm after a few short uses.
Given that this is more of a hydration-focused beard balm, the concentration of beeswax is a fair bit lighter. Therefore, if you have a long beard and want some structure, this beard balm won’t be for you.
However, if you are still within a few inches of total beard length, this balm will be fine.
Pros: Warm vanilla and sandalwood scent are intoxicating. Provides a nice light to medium hold. Made in the USA by Veterans.
Cons: For the size, it’s rather expensive.
The Verdict: This beard balm by Badass Beard Care is one of the best you can find with a hold that will be able to stand up to any daily activity you need to conquer.
4. Best for Dense & Curly Beards: Scotch Porter Beard Balm
Containing a wide array of natural ingredients, including marshmallow root, nettle leaf, aloe vera juice, shea butter, jojoba oil, and several others, this beard balm is one of the best on our list when it comes to moisturizing your beard.
While any man can use it, this hydrating-focused beard balm is the perfect beard balm for men with dry, coarse, and dense beards.
The reason being is that this balm could soften coarse and thick hairs within only a few days.
While its moisturization abilities are the strongest selling point, the scent of this balm is a close second. A light marshmallow/coconut scent is both intoxicating and manly.
Men fell in love with this scent, and even one individual sought out if Scotch Porter sold this same scent as a cologne.
If there were any downsides for this product, it would be around holding strength.
Should your beard be a bit unruly, you might have some difficulties wrangling those whiskers with this product.
Pros: Men love this beard balm due to its intense moisturizing properties. It smells amazing. Will get your beard soft and healthy-looking.
Cons: It could have a bit stronger of a hold. The price is at the higher end.
The Verdict: If you are a man in need of a beard balm that delivers on scent and moisture, then this is the best pick out there. Even if your facial hair isn’t thick and coarse, this beard balm is still a great pick.
5. Firm Hold: Smooth Viking Beard Balm
Whether your beard is short, long, or somewhere in the middle, Smooth Viking beard balm will work wonders to keep your unruly whiskers in check.
This beard balm was beloved by men for keeping its structure throughout the day through the use of several natural ingredients, including jojoba oil, sweet almond oil, shea butter, and candelilla wax.
As strong as its hold was on your beard, it still provided plenty of moisture to stop any beard itch or flaking from occurring.
The ratio of moisturizers to wax in this beard balm is one of the most balanced on our list.
Beyond the stellar ingredient composition, Smooth Viking beard balm is made in the USA – providing greater quality control during production.
There’s a reason why this balm was so highly rated by other men – it’s just that good.
Pros: A firm hold gives your beard structure throughout the day. The mix of oils and butter will soften and hydrate your beard. It is made in the USA.
Cons: The scent is a bit polarizing.
The Verdict: This is one of the best beard balms that delivers a great hold. Moreover, it’s a proven beard balm that men simply love.
6. Non-Greasy: Cremo Styling Beard Balm
This beard balm is perfect for those men searching for a beard balm that can accommodate their long and flowing beard.
While the texture may be a bit greasier than some of its buttery, balmy counterparts, Cremo’s beard balm has no problem styling and moisturizing even the wildest of beards. The only setback with this styling beard balm is the smell.
Some have reported that while the aroma of peppermint is strong at first, it fades away and isn’t too bad. However, others say that this balm resembles the strength of Vicks vapor rub. Other than that, Cremo’s product is easy to use, fast-absorbent and leaves your beard feeling fresh and moisturized.
Designed for long and full beards, you would think that this balm would have a killer hold, but that isn’t the case. Even though Cremo’s is great for styling and moisturizing a beard, you will want to reapply later in the day if you are very active.
Pros: The ultimate beard balm for those men with long beards. The fragrance is refreshing. Moisturizes and softens skin as well.
Cons: The scent may be a bit too strong for some.
The Verdict: The perfect balm for those with longer beards. Will protect and condition your skin and beard without feeling greasy.
7. Light Hold: Grave Before Shave Beard Balm
Don’t let the struggles of a dry beard drive you to shave off all of your hard work.
Save it instead with this beard balm by Grave Before Shave. With deep conditioning and a subtle scent of bourbon that lasts throughout the day, this product helps you achieve it all, whether you want a tamed beard or one with a wild style.
One of the downsides of the Gentleman’s Beard Balm is that the hold is relatively light. While the texture does a great job of keeping the hair soft and styled a bit, it will not hold well all day long.
On top of all this, the ingredients list does not name every essential oil this product uses, so those with sensitive skin may want to avoid using this balm. But, besides all that, Grave Before Shave balm is extremely easy to apply due to its buttery texture and leaves no residue behind. So if you are looking for a great beginner’s balm, this one may be just what you are looking for.
Pros: Provides an excellent light hold that will be good for short beards. Premium beard balm favored by seasoned beard vets. Will hydrate both skin and hair.
Cons: The hold is a bit lacking. It is priced at a premium.
The Verdict: If you deal with dry skin or severe beard dandruff, this will get you back to your natural beard state of being soft and shiny.
8. All-Nautral: Honest Amish Beard Balm
Honest Amish beard balm is one of the most popular beard balms within the beard maintenance world and likely one that you may have already heard of before. Its low entry price makes it easy for most guys to pick up and use it as their first-ever beard balm.
Now when it comes to scent, the aroma for Honest Amish beard balm is hit or miss. Some guys will love it, and some won’t.
Evoking a licorice/anise mid-tone scent, it truly is unique.
After application, you will find that it does dissipate after about an hour of application.
One ingredient noticeably absent from this beard balm is beeswax – making this a balm that is focused squarely on softening your beard.
Now it’s worth noting that Honest Amish does make another beard balm – labeled as their heavy-duty beard balm. This one does contain beeswax and will provide a much firmer hold.
Pros: Focuses on fixing beard dandruff. Should soften your beard within days. It is made from all-natural ingredients – making it perfect for both facial hair and skin.
Cons: Hard to pair scent with other fragrances.
The Verdict: Honest Amish has been serving beardsmen for years. They were a pioneer in the beard care market and have perfected their craft. So if you need to get your beard feeling soft, this is a great choice.
9. Deeply Moisturizes: Wild Willies Beard Butter
After using this product for a few days, there is no doubt about it – Wild Willie’s Beard Butter Balm will completely stop any dry and itchy feeling that has been going on with your beard. Not only does it give your beard great form, but it will hydrate your skin as well.
With so many oils listed as ingredients in this beard balm, your beard will feel soft and look healthy within about a week after using it.
The scent of this beard balm is that it has tea tree, rosemary, and cedarwood essential oils; it does give off a kind of a lavender/woodsy scent.
If you prefer an unscented beard balm, then this isn’t for you.
About an hour after application, the scent will likely dissipate.
Scent aside, the actual performance of the product was indeed pretty top-notch. We were able to get a much softer beard compared to other beard balms reviewed.
If there is any downside to this beard balm, it will be the use of emu oil within the product. If you aren’t sure what emu oil is, it’s an oil extracted from the fat of an emu. If you are a vegan at all, then this product is not for you.
On the other hand, if emu oil doesn’t bother you, this product is worth checking out. You will be happy that you did.
Pros: It will get your beard feeling incredibly soft. The balm contains an impressive ingredient list. Butter makes for a light hold.
Cons: Not animal-friendly.
The Verdict: This balm is excellent for hydrating your beard through its unique mixture of ingredients. Wild Willies makes a wide array of killer beard products, and this one is no exception.
10. Affordable: Woody’s Beard Balm
With an affordable price and a refreshing smell of grapefruit, Woody’s Beard Balm is an invigorating beard balm that will eliminate beard dandruff.
When applying this liberally to your beard, you won’t need to worry about waxy residue or greasiness because this product is smooth as butter.
One issue we found with this product is the lack of clarity of what’s in the balm. Woody’s only listed a few “key ingredients,” such as beeswax and coconut oil. As a result, there isn’t a clear picture of what is contained in this beard balm, so those with sensitive skin may want to steer clear.
However, it was relatively firm when it comes to the hold and should keep your beard structure for the day.
Pros: A refreshing scent at an affordable price. Men were satisfied with the holding strength of this balm.
Cons: Some questions around ingredient composition
The Verdict: Overall, this is an excellent daily beard balm that can get the job done. The firm hold should work for most beard styles.
There are several great beard balms available. However, we hope that the in-depth reviews provided in this guide helped you find one that will work well within your grooming routine.
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.