Should You Wash Off Beard Oil After Applying It?

Is beard oil a leave-in conditioner or does it need to be washed off?

If you’ve invested in beard oil, your goal is likely to have a healthier, softer, and shinier beard. However, the appropriate use might still leave you pondering whether or not you should wash off the beard oil after applying it.

In short, beard oil is designed to be a leave-in conditioner. It should be absorbed by your beard and skin, providing moisture and nourishment throughout the day. However, you’ll want to make sure you thoroughly wash your facial hair once every few days to prevent the buildup of oil and skin cells, which could lead to clogged pores and acne.

When and How to Use Beard Oil

man sitting indoors looking to the side

The purpose of beard oil is to nourish and moisturize the skin underneath your beard, promote healthier beard growth, reduce itchiness, and make your beard appear more groomed and shiny. A beard oil is intended to stay in your beard and on the skin underneath all day.

Here are the steps to apply beard oil:

StepsHow To Use Beard Oil
1Cleanse your beard with a gentle beard shampoo.
2Towel dry your beard.
3Apply the recommended amount of beard oil (usually a few drops) evenly throughout your beard.
4Massage the oil into your skin and beard.
5Comb or brush your beard to distribute the oil evenly and style.
6Do not rinse your beard. Leave the oil in to work its magic.

For more information, we have a guide here.

If necessary, you can always gently wipe off any excess oil with a clean, dry towel, but there’s usually no need to fully wash off the oil after it’s been applied to your beard.

Here’s a video to demonstrate:

What About ‘Oil Rinising’?

A question that often arises is whether you should apply oil before washing your beard. While this isn’t a practice typically recommended as it would lead to washing off the oil you just applied, there’s a technique called “oil rinsing” that you may find beneficial.

man with big beard standing outside with sunglasses on

“Oil rinsing” is a process where you apply oil to your beard before you wash it with a gentle shampoo. This approach can help to protect your beard from the potentially drying effects of your regular shampoo. The shampoo is meant to clean your beard and skin underneath it, but sometimes it can strip away natural oils. Applying beard oil beforehand can help to maintain the right balance of moisture in your beard hair and skin.

Cleansing: An Important Part of Beard Care

man with a beard sitting on a couch

While it’s not necessary to wash off beard oil soon after applying it, regular washing of your beard is indeed crucial to maintaining cleanliness and overall beard health.

Your beard, like the hair on your head, can collect dirt, sweat, dead skin cells, and food particles throughout the day. Washing your beard with an appropriate beard shampoo 2-3 times a week can help maintain cleanliness. However, daily washing could strip the beard of its natural oils and lead to dryness, so something to be avoided.

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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