From beard balm to beard oil, there are many ways to condition and add fragrance to your facial hair.
But one ingredient that is found in many of these beard care products is eucalyptus oil.
Today we’ll talk about this unique ingredient and some of the benefits and side effects it has on both your skin and facial hair.
What is eucalyptus oil?
Eucalyptus oil is an essential oil distilled from the leaf of the Eucalyptus tree. You can use eucalyptus oil for pharmaceutical, medicinal, flavoring, and even fragrance purposes, and people have been doing so for a very long time.
Where does eucalyptus oil come from?
The oil is extracted from the eucalyptus tree through a process called distillation. These trees are small flowering plants native to Australia that are now widely cultivated across the globe.
What does eucalyptus oil smell like?
The oil contains a high concentration of eucalyptol, which is an aromatic compound with a minty smell. This scent combines with other aromatics in the oil, producing a refreshing aroma and slightly earthy, woody, and citrusy.
What skin types work with eucalyptus oil?
Most skin types will see some benefit from eucalyptus oil. However, men with sensitive skin should always patch test before applying to ensure no allergic reaction.
What is the comedogenic rating of eucalyptus oil?
An oil’s comedogenic rating describes how likely it is to clog your pores and subsequently cause breakouts and acne. Unfortunately, eucalyptus oil does not have a specific comedogenic rating. However, if you have acne-prone or oily skin, it’s worth mentioning that eucalyptus oil reduces acne due to its antibacterial properties.
Note: Carrier oils used with eucalyptus oil will impact the comedogenic rating.
What Are the Benefits of Eucalyptus Oil?
Eucalyptus has a few notable benefits; here’s what they are:
Improves Hair Gloss
Eucalyptus oil boosts the amount of ceramide in the skin, which studies have shown improves hair health (source). When eucalyptus oil is used regularly in beard oil, conditioner, or shampoo, it can improve:
- Hair gloss
- Hair bounce and appearance
- Beard dandruff
- Irritated skin
Studies have also shown that eucalyptus oil boasts a range of antioxidant properties. The oil can influence antioxidant activity, which can help reduce the signs of aging, as aging skin is caused by intracellular and extracellular oxidative stress (source).
The takeaway: This can help provide some anti-aging properties to the beard care product.
Eucalyptus oil has been used for years as an anti-inflammatory. The oil inhibits arachidonic metabolism, which leads to a reduction in inflammation of the skin by reducing prostaglandins and other key inflammatory mediators (source). This anti-inflammatory property can help to relieve:
The takeaway: If the skin underneath your beard feels inflamed, especially during the dry winter months, eucalyptus oil may provide some relief.
What Are Some Side Effects of Eucalyptus Oil?
Like other essential oils, eucalyptus oil has some notable side effects you should be aware of before applying to your face:
May Inhibit Beard Growth
Eucalyptus oil, like tea tree and lavender oil, has been linked to an increase in estrogen and a decrease in androgen (male sex hormone) receptors. Studies have shown that both tea tree oil and lavender oil’s effects on androgen receptors can cause reduced facial hair growth. In addition, eucalyptus oil has a lot of similarities to both lavender and tea tree oil, containing many of the same chemical compounds, like 4-terpineol, alpha-terpineol, b-pinene, and d-limonene. Therefore, it may also inhibit beard growth (source).
On top of inhibiting beard growth, the similarities between tea tree oil and eucalyptus oil may also link eucalyptus oil to prepubertal gynecomastia. Prepubertal gynecomastia is caused by unopposed estrogen action on breast tissues. Tea tree oil and lavender were both found to prevent androgen receptors from functioning, thus leading to this condition in young boys (source). Therefore, some may wish to be careful with eucalyptus oil for the same reason.
May Cause Irritation
As an essential oil, eucalyptus oil may irritate the skin. Therefore, it is crucial to do a patch test before using the oil regularly, and the oil must be diluted in a carrier oil before use. This is even more important if you are particularly susceptible to contact dermatitis.
If you have, or regularly come into contact with, infants, it is not recommended to wear strongly scented oils such as eucalyptus. The oils have a very overpowering aroma which may irritate an infant when being held or cared for (source).
What Are Some Alternatives to Eucalyptus Oil?
As an essential oil, there are plenty of alternatives to eucalyptus if the smell or side effects put you off. For example:
- Peppermint oil: this is a close alternative with a strong scent. It is proven to help encourage hair growth (source).
- Coconut oil: contains skin-nourishing fatty acids.
- Jojoba oil: may help reduce oily skin.
- Argan oil: can help to treat dry skin and hair.
- Rosehip oil: contains vitamin E and vitamin A, which can have anti-aging effects.
- Olive oil: packed with fatty acids and will also moisturize your skin.
- Sweet almond oil: has a sweet scent and is often used in skincare.
Plenty of essential oils have medicinal and pharmaceutical benefits that will aid in beard maintenance and carrier oils that hold their use. The properties of the carrier oils are great alone, or you can use them to dilute an essential oil, and the two will blend to provide even more benefits.
How Should You Store Eucalyptus Oil?
Eucalyptus oil needs to be kept in a cool and dark place, where the temperature remains relatively constant. For that reason, the fridge and the bathroom are not suitable storage places for the oil. Instead, somewhere like a pantry, closet or cupboard has a relatively steady temperature, making it an appropriate location to store your eucalyptus oil.
If you have diluted your eucalyptus oil ready for use, it is important to see whether the carrier oil you have chosen has any requirements for storing the beard oil.
Related: Do Beard Conditioners Expire?
What Are Some Beard Oils With Eucalyptus Oil?
Interested in picking up a beard care product with eucalyptus oil? Here are two to consider:
- The Henna Guys’ Moisturizing Beard Oil: this beard oil contains both eucalyptus oil and lemongrass, providing the oil with a refreshing, citrusy scent. It is designed to condition and groom your beard while reducing itchy and flaky skin beneath.
- Beard Reverence’s Eucalyptus Beard Oil: this oil has bonus ingredients like argan oil and jojoba oil to soften, strengthen and hydrate your beard while soothing the skin and reducing acne or inflammation.
Making Your Own Beard Oil with Eucalyptus Oil is Easy
Eucalyptus has a range of benefits for your skin and, subsequently, your beard, and eucalyptus beard oil is easy to make! You just have to choose the right carrier oil to moisturize and deliver vital nutrients to your skin, and then add in a few drops of eucalyptus oil until you have a beard oil of your desired concentration.