To feel beautiful, great, and pampered, women play with makeup and visit salons and get their nails and hair done. Men, on the other hand, simply grow a beard for the same pleasure. However, not all men are blessed with a beautiful beard and this is where beard products like beard oil come in handy.
Here’s what you should know if you are new to growing a beard and have no experience with any beard oils…
What are beard oils and what are they for?
Beard oils are a kind of beard product that works as a leave-in conditioner for both the beard and the skin where it grows, replicating what the body’s natural oil naturally does.
Sebum or the body’s natural oil plays a critical role in ensuring a beautiful and manly healthy beard for men. It helps moisturize the beard and the skin beneath it and avoids the beard from becoming dry and brittle. However, ordinary soaps that men commonly use often strip away this oil. Because of this, fragrant beard oils are created.
Essential oils and carrier oils primarily make up beard oils. The latter is responsible for leaving moisture that can soften the beard and the skin beneath it while the former contributes fragrance to make the oil smell good and helps keep the skin protected through its antibacterial and inflammatory components.
While there are thousands of beard oil brands and variants out there, the majority of them actually use the same carrier oils on their products. The most widely used are castor oil and jojoba oil but argan oil, grape seed oil, apricot kernel oil, sunflower seed oil, and sweet almond oil are also considered great carrier oil alternatives.
Beard oils can alleviate beard itching due to hair growth.
Men usually deal with skin itching the first few weeks after shaving. During this period, the growing hair strands will curl and poke the skin, disrupting the skin’s natural sebum production and leaving it dry. But thanks to beard oils that keep the beard moisturized and softened, and the skin hydrated, common skin itching will significantly be addressed.
Beard oils for beardruff (beard dandruff)
Our scalp may suffer from dandruff and so does our beard. Named beardruff (short for beard dandruff), this flaking beard condition is actually a sign that the skin beneath the beard needs exfoliation. After proper exfoliation, beard oils may be applied to prevent the beardruff from recurring. However, in some cases, the condition may persist and lead to seborrheic dermatitis which will necessitate an appointment with a dermatologist. (1)
Beard oils as a hair grower.
Some beard oils are advertised as something that can help beards grow. However, there is not enough scientific data to prove this. Experts believe that a beard’s full potential still depends on the person’s DNA and genetics.
But the good news is, there are beard oils that contain biotin and minoxidil which are known to help keep the beard look full and healthy. Biotin enhances the keratin infrastructure of the body, a protein that essentially makes up the skin, hair, and nails. This can boost the hair’s volume and shine. Meanwhile, minoxidil is known well for combatting hair loss and promoting hair growth. The presence of both minerals will expectedly help boost the effectiveness of beard oils.
Using Beard Oils
“When and how should I apply beard oil?”
Beard oil enthusiasts recommend using beard oils three times a day, every day (after washing your face in the morning, later in the day, and before bedtime). Moreover, it is recommended that beard oils be used as soon as hair growth can be seen to keep them soft and moisturized as early and always as possible.
To use it, first, you have to get a few drops into your hand and gently warm it between your palms. Once the warmth is there, proceed by directly applying the beard oil to the skin beneath your beard. After that, apply the residual onto the hair. To better distribute the oil and groom your beard easily, you may use a beard comb or an ordinary hair brush you can find.
The Waiting Game
After applying some oil to your skin and beard, you will instantly get to enjoy a more hydrated skin and a healthy-looking beard. The essential oils will also leave a soothing fragrance. However, for the conditioning and softening effects to become more noticeable, you may have to wait for a week or two, especially if your beard is long. Since this will be part of your daily routine, it is best to ensure that the beard oil you will be using is non-greasy and lightweight to avoid any discomfort.
The Possible Side Effects
Before you begin using beard oils or any beard products for that matter, it pays to be aware of the potential adverse reactions it comes with.
- Allergic Reactions. Even oils that are considered natural ingredients can still leave adverse allergic reactions, especially when used excessively. Hence, it would be wise to test out the oil first by applying a little amount to the face. A few seconds from it, start checking whether classic allergy symptoms manifest, e.g. swollen lips, eyes, tongue, or face, chest tightness or shortness of breath, cough, itchy/red eyes, etc.
- Sensitivity to Sunlight. There are other essential oils that can be used as a beard oil ingredient that may trigger photosensitivity of the skin, thereby exposing it to more sun damage risks. If you are working outdoors or are often exposed to sunlight, make sure your beard oil does not contain these essential oils: bergamot, angelica, grapefruit, and citrus oils like lime, lemon, tangerine, or orange. (2)
Choosing the Best Beard Oil in the Market
Thanks to this digital age, it now only takes a series of clicks to initially check whether a beard oil brand is worth buying or not. The first step would be, of course, to gather a list of reputable beard oil companies near you (reputable, not popular). From there, proceed by checking for unbiased reviews and feedback about their beard oil products. Try to learn and benefit from others’ experiences. Then if a brand passes the test, the second screening phase would involve checking the beard oil’s ingredients and packaging. Make sure it fits your preference and it’s priced reasonably. Choose well!
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