Technically, growing a beard requires nothing more than a face, swarthy genes, and time. However, that manner of growing facial hair is ill-advised, lest you succumb to an unruly, itchy face monster. There are a few additional items you’ll need to maximize your beard’s potential. Beard oil, for example, can keep your mane soft, help stave off unwelcome itchiness, and keep your facial hair manageable. No matter the season, we suggest that you eschew big and bushy in favor of neat and trim, and an oil can help keep your beard looking its best. You don’t want just any product, however; you want the best beard oil there is and we’re here to help.
Portland General Store Black Fly Beard Oil, $30
Don’t you just hate when flying creatures flock to your beard as if it’s some kind of bug haven? Yeah, that’s a rhetorical question. Rather than dousing your face with toxic, stinky bug spray, you can simply use this beard oil that uses a pleasant-smelling cocktail of citronella, chamomile, tobacco and black pepper to repel insects.
Penhaligon’s Bayolea Beard & Shave Oil, $80
Because you don’t want to jam up your medicine cabinet with a million products, it’s always helpful to stock up on two-in-ones like this beard slash shave oil. So whether you’re having a hirsute phase or hairless moment, this bay rum scented tonic keeps you well groomed.
Mayron’s Goods Black Malt Man Oil, $55
If you want your beard to be insanely soft and to smell like heaven–vanilla-and-black-pepper heaven, that is–this is the oil for you. Formulated with jojoba, sunflower, Abyssinian and meadowfoam oils, Man Oil will keep your beard from becoming an itchy nuisance. You’ll never want to shave your face again.
Proraso Beard Oil, $16
If you’re going to trust a brand to keep your beard in check, you could do worse than a century-old Italian barbershop. With that much experience, you can trust that this citrus-scented oil will tame even the untamable of facial hair.
Yuli Mr. Incredible, $68
While this is technically a shaving oil, it is nourishing and powerful enough to use as a catch-all beard oil. Mr. Incredible is also made with a mixture of jojoba, argan, and grapeseed oils. You’re probably noticing a theme here. This beard/shave oil sets itself apart with a brilliant blend of essential oils, which create a cornucopia of amazing scents. As you apply this oil liberally to your beard, you’ll enjoy notes of champaka, black calla lily, and Vanuatu sandalwood.
Brooklyn Grooming Commando Beard Oil, $29
In addition to organic argan and jojoba oil, Commando is loaded with hempseed and sesame oil for additional moisturizing. Since this oil does not have any additional fragrances, it will make it easier for you disappear while stalking your prey. Of course, you don’t have to be a seasoned woodsman to enjoy Commando. This is the perfect beard oil for anyone with a sensitive nose.
Lucky Scruff Tea Tree Beard Oil, $20
Tea Tree Beard Oil from Lucky Scruff has been carefully formulated to soothe and moisturize your beard without making it feel heavy and oily. Sweet almond oil and sandalwood essential oil help build the scent profile of this wonderful blend, but tea tree oil is the real star of the show. The crisp, refreshing scent of tea tree oil will help wake you up in the morning and keep you going all day.
The Bearded Bastard Woodsman Beard Oil, $20
The Woodsman Beard Oil has many of the classic ingredients of beard oil—including argan, jojoba, and grapeseed oil—plus safflower, almond, castor, and olive oil. These soothing oils are partnered with the wild scents of pine needle oil, sandalwood, and Texas cedarwood. If you marinate your beard in this mountainy blend, don’t be surprised when people mistake you for a turn-of-the-century lumberjack.
Beardbrand Spiced Citrus Beard Oil, $25
If you’re looking for a light, fruity beard oil, you’ll thoroughly enjoy the Spiced Citrus blend from Beardbrand. The exquisite mix of vanilla, clove, and grapefruit will leave you smelling fresh—and slightly hungry—all day long. This oil will also give your beard a healthy sheen that makes it look as good as it smells. You’ll also want to check out the tea tree oil version as well.
Grave Before Shave Bay Rum Beard Oil, $13
Pirates can endure cannon fire, sword battles, and scurvy, but an itchy beard is where they draw the line. If you’re looking to infuse your beard with a Caribbean scent, then Bay Rum Beard Oil from Grave Before Shave is for you. In addition to soothing your skin, this beard oil will treat you to the sweet notes of rum and coconut.
Finding a good oil is an important aspect of grooming a beard. Since you are the only one with your particular beard, we encourage you to try the above beard oils until you find one that soothes your skin and charms your nose in just the right way. Good luck, and happy bearding!
Article originally published July 20, 2015. Updated July 29, 2016 by Chase McPeak.