What is Beard Balm & Who Should Use It?
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While most men with beards are beginning to get acquainted with beard oils, many are more insecure about beard balm.
What exactly is beard balm and who should use it? Learn more in our quick guide below.
Fuller than Beard Oil
Beard balm is a moisturizer for the beard.
A beard balm binds moisture to a greater extent than a beard oil and is particularly suitable for those who have a short beard or particularly dry skin. Since the cream is heavier than oil, it weighs down the beard slightly more than a beard oil, but unlike a beard pomade, it does not provide an active hold.
To reach the skin below, a beard balm is thinner than a regular face cream, but at the same time more vicious than beard oil.
The active ingredients in beard oil are mostly so-called emollients and moisturizers. Emollients are fatty acids that seal the gaps between skin and hair cells to make them more elastic. Moisturizers attract moisture from further down the skin and from the surrounding air.
Beard balm, on the other hand, contains larger doses of moisturizers in addition to the other two types. These are ingredients that prevent moisture from evaporating and lock it into skin and hair. Vaseline is a moisture binder – we recommend products that use a natural alternative such as Argan oil and jojoba oil.
Who Should use Beard Balm?
Beard balm is for you who have:
- Short beard
- Dry skin
- Beard split ends
Men with particularly dry skin may find that even the best beard oil fails to retain enough moisture. Although the beard becomes softer and easier to shape, it can still be plagued by dry skin under the beard. If you know you have dry skin, you should consider a beard balm instead – then you get all the benefits of a good face cream without it settling like a greasy lid over the beard hair.
Since beard balm weighs more than beard oil, it weighs down the beard and can help you tame loose tips. This is especially relevant if you have a short beard – then the hairs themselves weigh little and often want to split in all directions. If your beard is so stiff that you need an active hold to shape it, you should rather use beard pomade.
Remember that you can also use beard balm as a general moisturizer for the whole face – ideal if you only have a beard on parts of it!
Who Should NOT use Beard Balm?
Beard balm is not optimal for you who have:
- Long beard
- Dense beard growth
- Oily skin
Beard balm struggles with long and thick beards. Because it is so oily, it can feel sticky if you use it all over the beard and don’t get deep enough to reach the skin underneath. If you have a long and strong full beard, we recommend beard oil instead, or possibly a beard pomade if you need the hold.
Men with particularly oily skin should also avoid beard balm. When the skin produces too much sebum (oil), it is better to use a beard oil with moisturizers, which draw moisture up from the skin, rather than a balm with a lot of moisturizers, which locks the moisture in place.
How to use Beard Balm
As with other moisturizers, beard balm works best after a shower since there is more moisture to bind in place.
- Wash your beard with beard shampoo
- Let the beard air dry if you have a short beard
- Dry until there is some moisture left if you have a longer beard
- Use a finger-tip sized dollop of beard balm (this will vary depending on your beards length, size, and thickness)
- Massage thoroughly into the facial skin
- Put the beard in place with a beard brush
On dry days, for example in the winter, you can use beard oil or beard pomade as usual and supplement with some beard balm before going out the door. Then you get the maximum protection of the beard against drying out.
And as we approach the end, we hope you have found this article useful – remember a quality beard balm is a necessary item in most beard grooming kits. For more beard information – check out our small beard guide.
Ruiru Kibet is passionate about beard care and male grooming. He believes it’s an art form and is happy to share his insight with men across the globe. He’s into wet shaving and evidence-based grooming, a passion that helps him analyze men’s grooming brands, products, and wet shaving practices presenting you with the best recommendations and advice.