Why Use Beard Balm? What Does It Do? How Does It Work?

Why use beard balm? What are the benefits?

Why use beard balm? If you aren’t using any product to take care of your beard, you’ll want to take a look at this.

Often times when growing a beard everything will be fine. But, once your beard gets to a certain length, you’ll need to use some kind of product. Many believe that growing a beard is simply not shaving. That there is no maintenance or upkeep whatsoever. It’s just not true.

The beard dries out very easily when it gets longer and creates all kinds of problems. It can be rough, brittle, itchy, and you might have beard dandruff. Those are the reasons so many men most often quit growing a beard. If you’re having trouble starting, check out these tips for growing a beard.

One of the many products that can help fix these issues is beard balm. So why use beard balm? Let’s take a look.

What are the benefits of beard balm? Should I be using it?

The light hold for styling purposes

Beard balm is known to have a little bit of hold to it. So it can actually work as a light styling gel for your beard. Although the hold isn’t significant, for most men it’s all we really need for the beard. It is much more preferable than using hair gel on your beard.

The reason being that hair gel is made for your head. Beard hair and hair on your head are vastly different. And hair gel has chemicals that can sometimes damage and irritate the skin on your face. Dryness is what we’re trying to avoid with beard balm! And unless you’re trying to form your beard into spikes, we won’t need the stronger hold of hair gel. Beard hair is a totally different texture than the hair on your head as well. Beard balm has many more benefits anyway. The hold isn’t the biggest benefit by far.

It can still be very useful for taming those rogue hairs and keeping a professional appearance. If you wanted to use it for styling a mustache I would recommend a strong mustache wax or a strong beard wax much more because of the stronger hold. Beard wax has a higher percentage of beeswax than beard balm. Why use beard balm over beard wax? Just the difference in the hold. A lot of times the ingredients are very similar just different proportions.

How does beard balm get its hold?

The reason why beard balm is useful for styling is that it gets its light hold from beeswax which, in addition to butter, adds a little more substance and spread to the balm. And no it’s not the same butter you use for bread.

You might hear that beeswax has pore-clogging attributes however, it’s a natural ingredient which is known to be noncomedogenic. What does that mean? Basically, it’s not going to clog your pores. The main things that will actually clog your pores are dead skin cells and dirt. With the help of a good beard brush, some beard oil, and beard balm you won’t have any issues.

Why use beard balm for styling? It can be good to tame those rogue hairs but, if you need something more serious to tame that beast I’d go for a beard wax that has more beeswax for a stronger hold.

Beard balms also have butter as well as a number of natural oils meant to lock in moisture.

My favorite beard balms

These are all great beard balms. It comes down to personal preference on which one you should go for especially when it comes to the scent.

Beard Balm by Liberty GroomingBeard Balm by Liberty GroomingGrave Before Shave Bay Rum Beard BalmGrave Before Shave Bay Rum Beard BalmBeard Balm With Shea Butter & Argan OilBeard Balm With Shea Butter & Argan OilHonest Amish Beard BalmHonest Amish Beard Balm

Types of butter found in beard balm

There are many different types of butter that are used for beard balm. The two most common are going to be shea butter and cocoa butter. Butters are mainly used in beard balm to give it a certain amount of spreadability. They are not like regular butter that you eat. You cannot eat these types of butter. They are good for external use only.

Why use beard balm with butter in it? Because the butter in addition to the oils give your beard the nutrients and hydration it needs. A beard balm that uses butter tends to be more creamy and spreadable than one without.

Shea Butter

This butter comes from the nut of a shea tree found in Africa. It has a number of benefits that are fantastic when it comes to skin health.

The first benefit is its moisturizing properties. It’s often used to treat dry skin, chapped lips, and cracked skin too.

The second benefit is its healing properties. Shea butter has natural healing properties and does great work on cuts, scrapes, sunburn, and bug bites. It can reduce inflammation and swelling as well.

Shea butter is known to reduce wrinkles by repairing and softening skin as well as boosting collagen. This leaves the skin feeling clean and healthy. These properties have made it very popular for anti-aging treatments.

Shea butter does not melt at room temperature but it softens when you rub it onto your hands which is an awesome property when it comes to storing beard balm. It’s also important to note that these benefits I’ve listed only come from unrefined/raw shea butter. Once refined, this natural butter loses most of its skin healing properties.

Shea butter has a smoky nutty scent to it. It’s more neutral. Not very strong. That’s another reason why shea butter is such a popular ingredient for beard balms. Why use beard balm with shea butter in it? Because of all of the fantastic properties of this fantastic natural butter.

Cocoa Butter

Shea butter and  Cocoa butter are very similar. As a result, they both share many of the same awesome benefits. Anti-aging, moisturizing, and healing properties are the main qualities of both of these natural kinds of butter we are looking for.

There are, however, four major differences between them.

The first difference is the smell. Cocoa butter smells very much like chocolate. It’s much different than the smell of shea butter. Shea butter has a very neutral mild smell to it. The stronger smell of cocoa butter can be wonderful for making a good smelling balm but it may not mix as well with certain scents or it may be too strong.

The second difference is that cocoa butter is actually used for cooking as well. I know I mentioned that these butter are not ones meant for eating but, cocoa butter is an exception. It’s used in a lot of different recipes. It’s often used in chocolate. Much different from shea butter which is not edible. Although Cocoa butter may be edible in some situations, you don’t want to be eating your beard balm.

A third difference is that Cocoa butter is a hard butter. It will start to melt under heat or upon contact with the skin but it starts off as a hard butter. Shea butter comes softer although over time it can stiffen up. This is only important for adjusting the consistency of a beard balm.

The fourth difference is that cocoa butter has a higher chance to clog pores than shea butter does. It’s a little bit greasier. Due to the small amount used in beard balms, the difference is often negligible.

Aloe Butter

If you’ve ever used aloe vera to treat sunburn, Aloe butter has similar properties. It’s used to hydrate the skin and heal burns and scratches. Its skin soothing properties are what it’s most well known for.

Aloe butter is easily absorbed through the skin so it’s known as a carrier just like the carrier oils I’ll mention soon. You may see beard balms that contain essential oils use aloe butter in addition to carrier oils because of how easily they will penetrate the skin. The skin absorption rate can be very important when it comes to hydrating and providing nutrients to your beard and skin.

Kokum Butter

This butter comes from the Garcinia tree.  It’s another butter that stays solid at room temperature but once it makes contact with skin, it will begin to melt. Kokum butter is one of the most solid kinds of butter available. It will start off hard, dry, and flaky but, once it touches the skin it will become easier to spread.

Just like the other kinds of butter mentioned, kokum butter has similar benefits. Healing, moisturizing, and anti-aging properties.

It has an earthy smell to it.  It’s not very strong. It’s very light too. It won’t leave you feeling greasy when you use it.

Mango Butter

Mango butter is made from the seeds of the mango fruit.

Don’t let that fool you though, it doesn’t smell like mangos. It does, however, have a very light, neutral smell. The scent is barely even noticeable.

Again mango butter, like the others, has the same healing and moisturizing properties making it very healthy for the skin.

Mango butter, much like shea butter, has a lower rate of clogging pores than something like cocoa butter does.

Why does it matter which butter my beard balm uses?

Just about all of the butter I listed have very similar benefits. They’re all great for topical use and generally help with hydrating, healing, and keeping your skin healthy.

Each butter has its own nutrients it provides. Some give more nutrients to your skin and have different absorption rates. Also, different kinds of butter have a variety of scents and strengths to them. For example, cocoa butter will have a strong chocolate smell. Each has its own consistency too. Some butter is much softer and others are hard.

I also mentioned that some kinds of butter may clog pores but for beard balm, it’s not as important. If you were applying a butter directly to the skin it would become more of an issue. A beard balm uses these types of ingredients in smaller amounts.

Why use beard balm with butter in it? The butter creates a more creamy texture. As for which butter a balm should use, it comes down to getting the moisturizing qualities, scent, and consistency right.

Carrier Oils that are found in beard balm

Just like with butter there are a ton of different oils used in beard balm and many balms have varied ingredient lists.

There are two types of oils you’ll find used in beard balms. The first is carrier oils. These oils are used because they work best to deliver the nutrients to your skin. The second type is essential oils. Essential oils are highly concentrated and need to be diluted, usually by carrier oils.

Two of the most common carrier oils you’ll find in beard balms are argan oil and jojoba oil. It’s a good sign if you see one or both of those in your beard balm.

Carrier oils benefits

Argan Oil – comes from the kernel of the argan tree. It’s fantastic for both the hair and skin. It moisturizes the skin and conditions hair to make it softer and easier to style.

Jojoba Oil – comes from the jojoba plant. Jojoba oil is very close to the natural oils our faces produce so that’s a major benefit. There’s debate on whether it actually tricks your face into halting oil production or not when you apply it. Regardless, it’s a fantastic oil to use in a beard balm. It naturally moisturizes our beard and maintains hydration. This results in a thicker looking beard.

Castor Oil – comes from the castor oil plant. It has antibacterial and antifungal properties so it works well to keep our beards nice and clean. It’s especially helpful to get rid of beard dandruff. One thing to note is that castor oil can actually dry out the beard when too much is applied. So while it is fantastic in a beard balm, most balms use a specific amount to make sure we get all the pros of castor oil and not the cons.

Apricot Oil – comes from apricot. Apricot oil has lots in common with all of the different kinds of butter I mentioned. It’s anti-inflammatory and works as a fantastic moisturizer. Great for repairing damaged skin.

Sweet Almond Oil – comes from almonds. It’s a very popular oil that softens and conditions your beard making it great for reducing dry skin and an itchy beard.

Coconut Oil – comes from coconuts. It’s a very common type of oil. You’ve probably heard of it or seen it before. Just like other carrier oils it penetrates the skin very easily and makes your beard look healthier.

Essential oils in beard balms

These oils also carry many benefits for your beard but, for beard balms, they are mostly used to add a pleasant scent. Essential oils need to be diluted because they are highly concentrated. We often need to reduce the power of their scents. Some can actually dry out the skin if they aren’t properly diluted.

There are over 90 essential oils each with their own scent and benefits. If you were wondering where your beard balm got its wonderful scent, it’s from the essential oils. Most balms use more manly scents which makes sense.

There are unscented beard balms as well for those of you interested.

Let’s move on to the major benefits of beard balm.

Why use beard balm? Are there lots of benefits? Learn more about beard balm here!

Moisturizing ability and long-lasting effects throughout the day

Probably the most important benefit of beard balm is its moisturizing qualities. You can think of beard balm as a kind of leave in conditioner for your beard. It provides benefits to your beard all day. Since it is a type of conditioner it makes sense that beard balm makes your beard softer. A softer beard reduces skin irritation. If you’ve had a really hard time growing out the beard due to itchiness, I’d highly recommend trying beard balm out.

Once your beard gets to a certain length, the oils your face produces will not be enough to keep your beard well hydrated. Beard balm, much like beard oil, typically contains a number of carrier oils or essential oils meant to moisturize your beard. Carrier oils are often used to dilute essential oils.

Why use beard balm? Since it moisturizes the beard so well it makes your beard softer, eliminates beard dandruff, reduces beard itch, and keeps your beard healthy.


A major benefit of beard balm is keeping the beard clean. What do I mean by that? How can it keep my beard clean? Beard balm in addition to a great beard brush or comb will take care of beard dandruff.

Beard dandruff is a symptom of an unhealthy beard and the skin underneath. It shows up when our skin becomes dry and flaky and moisturizer will clean that right up.

Why use beard balm to clean the skin when I already use a beard wash? Think of your beard shampoo or wash as something that cleans the skin and beard balm as a preventative measure to reduce flaky skin and dead skin cell build up.

Why use beard balm with natural ingredients

Often times the reason why beard balm is so popular and works so well is that it uses natural ingredients. Why do natural ingredients matter? Well, the reason we don’t want to use something like a regular shampoo on our beards and would rather use a beard shampoo instead is that the harsh chemicals can dry out the beard. And if you haven’t noticed by now, it’s all about moisture moisture moisture.

A dry beard causes all kinds of problems and we’re actually trying to do the opposite. We want a well hydrated and healthy beard.

So the natural ingredients are chosen to work with our beard. Beeswax is used for hold, butter for spreadability, and oils for hydration, nutrients, and scent.

If you spot a beard balm that doesn’t use natural ingredients you should stay far far away from it. Check out these tips to grow a long beard naturally.

When should I use beard balm?

The best time to use beard balm is after a shower. Make sure that you’ve used a natural beard shampoo to wash your beard (once or twice a week). After you’ve dried your beard you can apply unscented beard oil which I highly recommend. Then it’s time for the beard balm. Why use beard balm after the shower? Because you should think of beard balm like a leave in conditioner that you put on last before you go out for the day.

When drying your beard make sure you don’t rub it harshly with the towel. We want to gently pat it down to dry it and avoid irritation and damage to your skin and beard. If it’s still too damp you can let it air dry for a few minutes then start up with the beard oil.

Can I use beard balm with beard oil?

Yes! Just use the beard oil first then the beard balm. Easy. Beard oil is an invaluable tool to keep your beard healthy!

Why use beard balm last?

Beard balm is basically a leave-in conditioner that should last throughout the day. Putting it on after you use your beard oil will help maintain the moisture in your beard.

How much balm should I use?

You don’t need to use a ton of it. Because of its consistency, if you use too much, you run the risk of having a greasy beard.

So, we only need to get about the size of a dime amount on our palms. It’s easiest to scrape it out using your thumbnail. If you feel like you haven’t gotten enough, it’s much easier to reapply a small amount rather than applying too much all at once.

What is beard balm and what are the benefits? Find out here!

Beard balm application

Why use beard balm? Because it’s really easy to apply. First, you’ll want to get a dime sized amount of balm on your palms. We can do this by scraping a small amount onto your thumbnail. Then scrape it off into your palms. Rub your palms together until you have an even amount of balm all over.

Next, run your palms through the sides of your beard moving down towards the bottom. Don’t forget to get the mustache too! If you prefer, you can use mustache wax for the mustache instead. It will have a slightly stronger hold than the beard balm.

You should be running your fingers from the roots toward the end of the beard. It’s important that the beard balm gets your beard and your skin too. I would highly recommend that you also use a beard brush or beard comb both for spreading it throughout the beard as well as to style it.

A beard brush or comb will help us spread the product more evenly through the beard. And the styling is so much easier with a good tool.

Why use beard balm?

Beard balm is a type of conditioner for the beard that really helps with moisturizing and keeping our beards soft and healthy. If you’re having any problems with skin irritation, pimples, itchiness, or dry beard, try adding some sort of conditioner like beard balm to your beard grooming regimen.

If you’ve already been using beard oil, beard balm is another fantastic choice for taking care of your beard.


3 Replies to “Why Use Beard Balm? What Does It Do? How Does It Work?”

  1. My husband recently grew a beard for the first time and he is trying to find ways to keep it well-maintained, so I am glad that I found this article. You make a great point that beard balm keeps beards from drying out and becoming brittle and itchy. Also, the fact that it will help to keep my husband’s beard looking sharp and clean would be a huge benefit for him.

  2. Bill Miller says:

    Nicholas, I have a question more than a comment. I have been using Honest Amish heavy duty Pure beard balm and heavy duty organic soap for about 3 to 4 weeks now and I also just started using Cremo beard oil. The itching stopped after 1 or 2 uses but now it is back and so is the dandruff. I wash twice a week, alternate days between balm and oil. The itching and dandruff is mostly along my jaw bones and my cheeks. What else can I do to stop these problems? Many thanks, Bill

    1. Hey Bill,

      It could be a lot of things. Long hot showers, winter time, or a reaction to the products you are using. Something you could try is exfoliating your skin under the beard 2-3 times a week to remove any dead skin build up.

      Otherwise, there are also anti-dandruff shampoos like Nizoral that might be helpful.

      I hope that helps!

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