If you’ve got a beard or you’re thinking of growing one, chances are you’ve heard of beard oil and beard butter. With so many products on the market, it’s sometimes difficult to tell which one you should use.
Many people initially believe that beard oil and beard butter are the same. But they are, in fact, very different products with very different benefits. So, what’s the difference between beard oil vs beard butter?
Generally, anyone with facial hair will benefit from beard oil, but only those with longer beards would need beard butter too. Beard oil and beard butter have different ingredients, different levels of hold, and produce different overall looks.
Beard Oil Vs Beard Butter: Which Is Better For You?
Ultimately, the product you choose depends on your personal preferences and the kind of beard you have.
Although these products share some similarities, they are overall very different and have different purposes.
Beard oil is an essential staple of any man’s beard-care routine. It provides moisture to your skin, softens the hairs, and leaves a polished and shiny finish.
However, beard oil doesn’t have any styling capabilities, as its consistency really doesn’t allow for it.
Butter, on the other hand, has anti-inflammatory properties, a light to medium hold, and a matte finish. If your beard is longer, this will definitely make grooming and styling more manageable. But, if your beard is just starting out, it might be a bit too heavy for you.
If your beard is beyond the short beard stage and you want a fuller-looking beard that’s easier to style, I highly recommend using both beard oil and beard butter.
The combination of these products will give your beard the softening power of oil, with the styling and moisturizing advantages of butter.
But let’s talk about both of these grooming beasts in more detail.
What is Beard Oil?
Beard oil is an incredibly useful product for anyone with facial hair. It doesn’t matter if you only have stubble – you will benefit from using beard oil. In fact, I always encourage men to use beard oil on stubble – whether it’s light, medium, or heavy stubble. But if you have anything more than a short beard, then it’s absolutely essential.
Made from a mix of essential oils and carrier oils, beard oil will help soothe your beard and the skin underneath.
Simply apply oil to your face and beard after a warm shower and brush it through to keep your beard looking and feeling its best.
Honest Amish Beard Oil is my favorite right now.
What are the benefits of beard oil?
1. Softens your hair and skin
When your beard first begins to grow, the hairs can feel prickly or spiky. This is because facial hair is blunt and stiff at first, so it can easily break through the skin.
The hydrating ingredients in the oil penetrate the shaft of the hair and soften it from within.
This reduces that sandpaper texture and keeps you (and your loved ones) comfortable.
If your beard is longer, it will still benefit from this softening effect. Facial hair tends to become wirier and curlier, the longer it gets. Curly beard hair is notoriously hard to manage, so softening it will make your life a lot easier.
Beard oil relaxes the hair shaft, so your beard will be straighter, softer, and easier to brush.
2. May help your beard grow faster
Although the evidence here is lacking, many men believe that beard oil does speed up growth. This is why it’s sometimes referred to as “beard food”. These oils may contain therapeutic ingredients that stimulate the hair follicle.
When the follicle is stimulated, it increases the rate your beard grows at. For those who are just starting on their journey towards a luscious beard, this product could be your best friend for this reason.
3. Moisturizes your skin
Growing a beard is hard on your skin. First, the hairs push through the skin, causing flaking. Second, the strands of your beard wick away the natural oils your skin produces. The effect of this is dry, irritated skin.
Luckily, beard oil can help replace these natural oils. Ingredients in these products, such as argan oil and jojoba oil, coat and nourish the hairs in the same way that natural oils do.
This means that your skin still retains the oils it needs to stay hydrated.
Your beard is only as good as the skin beneath it, so making sure your skin remains healthy is essential to achieving a fantastic beard. Moisturised skin is healthier and less prone to irritation, so it’s a great idea to start applying beard oil as soon as possible.
4. Protects your skin from damage
The sun can damage your skin – it’s really no secret. But not everyone knows that it can also damage the skin under your beard. Although beards provide something of a physical barrier to your skin, they can’t protect you from the sun’s UV rays.
Unfortunately, your beard does get in the way of applying proper sunscreen. This is where beard oil can help. Some beard oils contain SPF, which protects your skin from the sun’s harmful rays.
It’s important to check that your beard oil does actually contain SPF protection before relying on it for this purpose. Presuming it does would be too much of a risk.
5. Reduces itchiness
The first few weeks after you stop shaving will be the itchiest. That is, of course, unless you use beard oil. When new hairs grow, they damage the skin beneath them.
This causes the skin to become flaky and itchy, which can be too much for some men to handle.
Beard oil can help solve this, as it conditions and soothes your skin. Hydrated and conditioned skin won’t itch as much because it’s healthier. It doesn’t flake as much either.
You can begin applying the beard oil as soon as you start growing stubble.
This will make sure that your skin is in the best possible condition during the most awkward phase of beard growth. So, not only does beard oil solve the itch – it prevents it from happening in the first place.
6. Gets rid of dandruff
As we mentioned, beard oil can reduce and prevent flaky skin. This is great news, as many men suffer from “beardruff” (beard dandruff). These flakes are a sign of dry, unhealthy skin, and the resulting look is not one that is envied.
Beard oil will prevent and remove beardruff, as it will keep the skin beneath your beard hydrated and healthy.
You won’t have to worry about unsightly white flakes of skin falling from your magnificent beard.
7. Keeps you smelling amazing
One of the first things we notice about a person is how they smell. Using a scented beard oil will ensure that you are noticed for all the right reasons.
Not only will your beard look amazing, but it will also smell great too. With so many scents to choose from, you can easily find a beard oil to suit your individual preferences. Here’s a great scented beard oil you can check out.
How will beard oil make your beard look?
Beard oil coats each hair in a slight shine, making your beard appear healthier and fuller. The conditioning ingredients in beard oil (such as Vitamin E) and the oils themselves create a subtle sheen that will help your beard look more polished and put together.
What level of hold should I expect?
Although beard oil will make your hair more manageable, it will not hold your style. Beard oil has no level of hold. So, if you want a product to hold your beard or mustache in a specific style, beard oil won’t do the job.
Applying beard oil is an essential step in your grooming routine, but you might have to supplement it with another product. Enter – beard butter.
What is Beard Butter?
Beard butter is essentially a lotion for your beard. It is a mixture of oil and natural butters such as Shea or Cocoa butter. It usually has a creamy consistency and emulsifies beautifully when rubbed between the hands.
Beard butter is often described as “the best of both worlds”, as it lies somewhere in the middle between beard oil and wax.
It’s thicker than beard oil, with a texture similar to whipped butter.
It will intensely hydrate your beard, making it great for anyone with dry, brittle facial hair. So it has the moisturizing properties of beard oil but with styling capabilities as well. It may not have as strong a hold as wax, but it certainly doesn’t feel as heavy or obvious either.
This one’s my favorite beard butter at the moment. It’s simple, comfortable to use, and very effective.
What are the benefits of beard butter?
1. Soothes irritation
Similarly to beard oil, beard butter will soothe any irritation your skin is experiencing. If your face feels itchy or painful because of your beard, butter may be your saving grace.
When beards grow longer, as I said, they sometimes become curlier and wirier.
These coarse curly hairs can rub against the skin, causing irritation.
Natural butters such as coconut and shea butter contain anti-inflammatory ingredients that will also help reduce irritation. This could become essential if you have sensitive skin.
2. Moisturizes your hair and skin
As beard butter is thicker than beard oil, it helps to lock in the moisture of your skin and beard.
This, when combined with the deep conditioning ingredients included in these products, will help to repair your dry and damaged skin and hair.
For those with coarse hair, beard butter will have a dramatic effect on the feel of your beard. Due to the thicker consistency and buttery texture, this product can absorb more easily into coarse hair, moisturizing it from within.
3. Hold your style
Beard butter has a light to medium hold. This is great for taming any flyaways, while still maintaining a fairly natural look. It has more hold than beard oil, but less hold than beard wax.
The natural butter and oils in this product help to relax your facial hairs, making them easier to style.
The butter then holds these hairs in place, ensuring your beard is shaped and styled to perfection.
If you have a particular style in mind, you’re probably not going to achieve it with beard oil alone. Butter is excellent for those with a longer or more complex beard. Those with mustaches that need taming will also benefit significantly from the styling capabilities of butter.
As I said, it lies very nicely in the middle. It provides a level of hold while still feeling light and comfortable to use.
How will beard butter make my beard look?
If you’re not a fan of the shine from beard oil, beard butter may be for you. It creates a more subtle look, as most of the product is absorbed into the skin instead of leaving a coating on the beard.
With more of a matte finish, it’s less attention-grabbing than a look that beard wax would achieve. For many men, that could be perfect.
These two products are different animals. Which one you choose depends on the length, texture, and style of your beard. Not to mention, the sensitivity of the skin underneath.
They both have their place in the ever-expanding world of beard grooming products. Hopefully, this article has given you a better understanding of what each product can do for you.