Looking to find the best beard oil, but not sure where to start? You've come to the right place. Our expert-tested best beard care products will work wonders for any hirsute man — from the well groomed to men rocking more of a Castaway vibe — regardless of the length, style or texture of his facial topiary.
Which Beard Oil Is Most Effective?
Our panel of 400 beardy men tried 31 beard oils to find the ones worth adding to your grooming bag. Behold, their 14 faves, with full reviews and a few top picks from our trusted editors below:
Do Any Beard Oils Work?
The hygiene, health and conditioning properties of good beard oil are both incredibly underrated and, once you start using a good one like the 24 below, totally indispensable. In short, your coarse facial hair will become more supple, more fragrant and considerably easier to style. It'll be healthier, too, as any rogue 'beardruff' — that's beard dandruff, FYI — will be long gone, helping you feel more confident with your facial fuzz. There's more on that later.
Similarly, the nourishing ingredients of beard oils will mean that your skin will notice the benefits of using facial hair serum, with natural oils and ingredients — including Argan oils, baobab and jojoba — to keep your skin feeling soft and refreshed.
For now, though, it's important to recognise why beard oil is on the up among stylish and smart guys around the world, alongside the hygiene benefits, beard oil alternatives — such as coconut oil — and other FAQs that have come straight from the Men's Health readership. So, if you're yet to start using beard oil, read on for your 101 in keeping your topiary tip-top, because beard oil is the grooming product you never knew you needed.
What is Beard Oil?
Beard oil is just that, a specially formulated oil, designed to be applied to your beard, stubble or other forms of facial hair to keep it soft, hydrated and healthy. Think of it as a conditioner for your facial hair. However, using beard oil serves a different purpose compared to shampoo or shower gel, as your facial hair is coarser than the hair on your head, meaning it requires a little more upkeep and added hydration.
When it comes to purchasing your own, there can be a lot of variables to consider. Below, we've detailed numerous beard oils that get the Men's Health seal of approval, for every budget, taste and style. Beard oil, crucially, is lighter and more easily absorbed than, say, sunflower oil, so we wouldn’t recommend trying to kill two birds with one stone.
Additionally, beard oil also tends to be scented, leaving your goatee/mutton chops/lumberjack/moustache/soul patch (no judgement here) smelling good all day. For example, this 'Booze & Baccy Beard Oil' from Captain Fawcett and Ricki Hall combines "base notes of honeyed fresh tobacco leaves, dusty aromatic frankincense, maple-like benzoin, woody oak moss and warm exotic vanilla bean, layered with mid notes of fresh hops and sweet bog myrtle".
Is Beard Oil Worth Using?
Rub your hand across your face. That rough, spiky feeling is the result of coarse facial hair. Thicker than the hair on your head, beard hair needs to be tamed if you want people to cosy up to it and stop it getting so irritating that you just shave the whole thing off.
Beard oil will soften coarse hair and help make it supple and easier to style. And, behind the scenes it will help condition the skin underneath, reducing the chances of it becoming itchy or flaky. Lastly, as we’ve already mentioned, beard oils tend to be fragranced, so you can make your beard smell fantastic all day, without having to resort to spraying it with aftershave. All of these are particularly handy for any guy looking to stay stylish as the day progresses.
How Long Does My Beard Hair Need to Be?
In theory, you can apply beard oil to any length of stubble, or even use it as a serum on your freshly shaved face (although if you were going to do that we’d recommend using a proper skin serum).
For maximum effect and minimum greasiness though, we’d suggest applying it once your beard has started to get thick enough to cover the skin underneath- somewhere around the centimetre mark. At this length, your beard will be getting thick enough that if left untamed you could look a little…unkempt. It'll work in your favour, too — scientists at the University of Queensland spoke to 919 women and found a direct correlation between fertility and facial hair.
How Often Should I Use Beard Oil? Every day?
Like any grooming product, how often you should apply beard oil is entirely down to you. Some oils will absorb and wash out easily, making them ideal for daily use. Some will have a little more staying power, making them better suited for anyone who doesn’t have time to wash their beard every day.
When you do use it, we’d suggest washing your beard with a beard shampoo — like this 2-in-1 beard shampoo and conditioner from Bulldog — that’s better suited for coarse hair than regular shampoo. Towel or blow-dry it, depending on how thick it is and apply the beard oil as per the instructions on the bottle. Comb it through or work it in with your fingers and smooth the beard down to finish it off.
Can You Use Coconut Oil Instead of Beard Oil?
Apparently useful for whitening your teeth, throwing into a frying pan a-la Joe Wicks and now as a grooming product, coconut oil is a real multi-tasker. Use it sparingly and work a small amount in your hands until it’s melted before working it through your beard.
Less greasy than most oils thanks to its lauric acid content, it will nourish and condition the beard. You may smell like a Bounty chocolate bar, though.
How We Test
Every product featuring a Men's Health Lab Approved logo below has been rigorously tested by a panel of 400 men. They each tried one of the top 31 brands of beard oil to find the best for smoothing and softening facial hair, and the best for making beards easier to style, brush and tame. They also gave feedback on the softness and hydration of their skin, as well as any noticeable reduction in itchiness.
In the Men’s Health Lab, our expert testers used a Dia-Stron machine to measure the smoothness of hair before and after application. The easier the switches were to comb through, the higher the beard oil scored.
Find our winners below, plus a few extra recommendations from the MH editors. You are welcome.
The Best Beard Oils for 2022
The Body Shop Cedar & Sage Conditioning Beard Oil For Men
Best beard oil
Why: Our winning beard oil set a new bar for smoothing stragglers in our lab test, while the cedar and sage scent left everyone's beards smelling fresh. Everyone agreed that hair was softer and easier to comb; so much so that our entire panel plan to stick with this non-greasy oil.
Revolution Man Conditioning Beard Oil
Best fragrance-free beard oil
Why: If going anywhere near fragrance sets off sensitivity, this guy is for you. It wasn't heavy or greasy, but it still boosted hydration for the majority, with everybody noticing softer hair and nobody complaining about irritation. Not bad for under a tenner.
Percy Nobleman Signature Scented Beard Oil
Best for smoothing
Why: Packing in some of our favourite nourishing ingredients, including avocado, jojoba and sweet almond oil, this scored full marks in the lab for how well it smoothed hair, while 93% of our panel said its softening effect lasted throughout the day. If itchiness is your bugbear, 79% also said it helped solve this problem, while all said it was easier to tame and style facial hair.
Jack Black Beard Oil
Best beard oil for adding shine
Why: If you’re looking to add some shine to strands, this is your guy. Not only did it score full marks in our lab test but our testers were impressed too; it left their beards looking soft and glossy. It also made them easier to manage, with 88% finding their hair was easier to comb through after using a few drops.
ManCave Blackspice Beard Oil
Best cruelty-free beard oil
Why: This cruelty-free option was a pro at leaving beards shinier and smoother, with zero irritation occurring. The hydrating mix of hemp and argan oil left hair easier to manage and helped eradicate dryness for most testers.
Heath Beard Oil
Best for congested skin
Why: If you're prone to breakouts, adding more oil into the mix won't sound like the best idea. This neat potion, however, contains acne-fighting salicylic acid which gently exfoliates skin. It proved ace at smoothing untamed hairs in our lab, and it won our panel over by leaving their skin super hydrated and soft.
Seven Potions Beard and Body Oil
Best beard and body oil
Why: This organic and vegan option can be used from head to toe to relieve any dryness. When it comes to your tash, an impressive 86% of testers said it absorbed quickly, leaving skin and hair softer and smoother. Despite doing wonders when it came to nourishment, 79% still found it lightweight and 71% said it didn’t leave any greasiness in its wake.
L'Oreal Men Expert Barber Club Long Beard & Skin Oil
Best beard oil for detangling
Why: For long beards that need a bit of assistance to get a brush through them, try L'Oreal. All of our testers said this beard oil made their beards easier to comb through after application and found it managed to tame any unruly hairs.
King C Gillette Men's Beard Oil
Best lightweight beard oil
Why: Nourishing your beard without costing you an arm and a leg, testers loved this lightweight, non-greasy formula that managed to smooth down any frizz and flyaways. It left 92% of our panel with softer skin and hair, too. Not bad for under £7!
Bulldog Beard Oil
Best budget buy
Why: Currently on sale for just £3.50, get this one quick if you're wanting to test the water. If you still need convincing, it aced our lab test, while 75% of our panel said it added a sleek finish to their beards. It hardly caused any irritation to skin either, and 83% appreciated its weightless feel on skin.
Captain Fawcett Ricki Hall's Booze & Baccy Beard Oil
Best for shorter beards
Why: For those looking for something that will get along with all beard shapes and sizes, and absorb quickly, here's your new go-to. It reduced itchiness for 67% of our testers, while they also spotted increased skin hydration; 80% also said it helped tame any unruly hair.
Redken Men's Beard Oil
Best beard oil for softer skin
Why: Whether you have short stubble or a lengthy beard, taking care of the skin underneath is vital. Although the packaging may look like a miniature bottle of whisky, the liquid inside left 86% of our testers with softer-feeling skin, all while leaving a woody scent behind.
Wilkinson Sword Barber's Style Beard Oil
Best shaving oil
Why: This mix of natural oils gave testers a useful bit of slip as they shaved and impressed as a post-groom treat, leaving everyone's beards soft and hydrated. It relieved beard itch for many and made facial hair easier to style.
Kiehl's Nourishing Beard Oil
Why: Made with a fresh blend of woodsy essential oils, this beard oil absorbs quickly and easily to soften your hair while soothing the skin underneath the beard. Exfoliating salicylic acid gently removes dry skin cells to prevent dandruff, with a lasting scent of cedarwood, sandalwood and eucalyptus.
Hawkins & Brimble Beard Oil
Why: Using shea butter and argan oil, this fast-acting beard oil helps you fight frizz and dryness in your beard. The added bonus is that it nourishes the skin underneath your beard hair for added comfort. "This beard oil has a nice and subtle smell, which keeps your beard feeling hydrated and soft. Using it in the mornings and can definitely tell that my beard stays softer for longer, as well as looking healthier," said one customer of the beard oil, which is never tested on animals and is suitable for vegetarians.
Murdock London Beard Oil
Why: This beard oil is ideal for guys worried about excess greasiness in their product. It's fast-absorbing and won't leave your beard slick after use. Your hair will feel soft after application and your skin will be softer. Using natural oils, Murdock London's beard oil uses an 'ultra-nourishing' blend to hydrate dry hairs and enhance shine without excess grease. The pump bottle is a nice touch, too — meaning a mess-free application is guaranteed. "A little goes a long way and it smells Devine! A must-have for all beard wearers," said one customer on Look Fantastic.
The Ritual of Samurai Beard Oil
Why: Ritual's lightweight beard oil gives a non-greasy finish for a well-groomed appearance for any guy. It'll help stop your skin from going dry and — thanks to Sencha antioxidants — will hydrate your skin and your beard hair. Using Japanese Mint Oil, you're left feeling refreshed with softer facial hair and a natural, noticeable shine.
Acqua di Parma Collezione Barbiere Beard Oil
Why: Perfect as a gift or as a bit of grooming indulgence, this premium beard oil from Acqua di Parma uses locally-sourced ingredients, including sweet almond and grape seed oils, to provide a gently cleansed and tangle-free beard. Use daily for best results.
Why: Full of nourishing ingredients like almond oil and vitamin E, Tom Ford's beard oil comes in three of his most popular fragrances. We especially like the Neroli Portofino but the Oud Wood and Tobacco Vanille both have that moreish quality that all good fragrances do.
Baxter of California Beard Oil
Why: As it 'says on the tin', Baxter's beard oil is fast absorbing and contains avocado oil and vitamin E. What does this mean exactly? That you won't be left with a greasy beard after applying it and throughout the day it will soften the coarse hairs and keep them from becoming dry.
Why: If you want your beard to smell so good that people are stopping you in the street to sniff it, Le Labo is the beard oil for you. In addition, it's full of nourishing ingredients for both beard and skin which means, if you apply it regularly, your face will be as healthy as your fuzz.
Ruffians Argan Beard Oil
Why: No surprise that award-winning barber shop Ruffians also offers an award-winning beard oil. But as well as endowing your facial fuzz with an elegant, citrus smell, Ruffians offering also locks in moisture and protects your skin from sun damage.
Aesop Shine Beard Oil
Why: Okay, so this was originally designed to tame dry and frizzy hair, but, by happy coincidence, it works just as well on your face. Its key ingredient is linoleic acid, which has been proven to aid hair growth and helps to keep the skin beneath your beard healthy.
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