Beard Oil vs Beard Butter: Differences & How to Choose

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Eric Melillo


Beard oil vs beard butter

If you want the best for your beard, you probably have wondered beard oil vs beard butter? Both of these beard care products offer benefits for your facial hair.

Beard care products like beard growth oils may be able to help with patchy beards, while others work best as skin moisturizers. Here’s how to tell which would work best: beard oil or beard butter.

Beard Oil or Beard Butter

Beard oils have been on the market for many years. There are various brands with formulas that help with dry skin under your beard and help tame coarse beard hair. Though both products share some basic characteristics, they mostly differ in purpose.

Beard Oil promotes healthy skin by reducing itchiness, soothes irritation and encourages stronger growth but is not a styling product. With its creamy texture, beard butter will add volume and soften beard hair while providing all day shape and hold.

Beard oil vs beard butter
What’s best for moisturizing your beard? Take a closer look at beard oil and beard butter to see what works for your skin type.

Beard butter just recently started becoming more popular as formulas began, including more shea butter, cocoa butter, mango butter, and other ingredients like this for a smoother, creamier product.

Which one of these is better? It truly depends on the current state of your beard and what you want to achieve.

Beard Oil Basics

What is Beard Oil?

The best beard oils are made up of carrier oils and essential oils, which is why these products have a high viscosity. It’s also known as a non-comedogenic skin care product, which means that it won’t clog your pores.

beard oil vs beard butter
Beard oil works best for those with acne-prone or oily skin because it’s a non-comedogenic product. However, check ingredients to ensure you’re not allergic to any ingredients.

There are some insane benefits for your facial hair and skin with beard oil. The ingredients have high concentrations of vitamin E, D, iron, and vitamin C. These oils can make your hair extremely shiny, and most have incredible scents like sandalwood or cedarwood.

Beard Oil Ingredients

  • Carrier oils
  • Essential oils
  • Shea butter (optional)
  • Aloe vera (sometimes)

The two key ingredients typically include a carrier oil like argan oil or sweet almond oil, and a second ingredient known as essential oils, which include peppermint or sandalwood. These are best known for their aromatherapy properties.

For additional benefits like growing a beard faster, beard growth oils are highly recommended for your beard care routine. These high-quality growth oils may have biotin or saw palmetto in the formula. These may also be called beard growth serums.

Try our DIY beard oil recipe and see how to make your own.

How Does Beard Oil Help Your Beard?

When you apply beard oil, your beard and skin soak in the vitamins and minerals in these formulas. Depending on what oils you want, beard oils may help with skin problems or hair loss.

With ingredients like jojoba oil, you can also moisturize and remedy dry skin underneath your beard.

The major difference between beard oil and beard butter is that skin tends to absorb oils much faster. There isn’t as much shea butter or wax in beard oil as well.

How to Use Beard Oil

  1. Wash and dry your beard before applying beard oil.
  2. Use the applicator to drop only directly onto your beard hair and let it soak into your skin.
  3. Short beards only need 1-2 drops, while longer, thicker beards may need 3 to 6 drops to get the most coverage.
  4. Massage into your skin and hair with gentle strokes from your fingers.
  5. Use a beard brush or comb to spread oil from root to tip.
  6. For extra thick beards, repeat process if you don’t see shiny beard hair.

Beard Butter Basics

What is Beard Butter?

Beard butter is made from shea butter, beeswax, and oils, providing moisture and shine for your beard hair. The consistency of beard butter is tackier and more solid than beard oil, which adds a deep conditioning component to this product.

why beard butter is better than beard oil
Beard butter is creamier and may soften your beard hair more than beard oil.

Both beard oil and butter work well for adding moisture to your beard hair, which can help with dry skin. However, beard butter coats your beard hair with a thicker layer of shea butter and wax. This can be problematic if you already have oily skin.

Beard Butter Ingredients

  • Shea butter
  • Carrier oils like jojoba oil or argan oil
  • Essential oils like sandalwood
  • Beeswax (optional)

How Does Beard Butter Help Your Beard?

With ingredients like vitamin E and D in these products, beard butter is the perfect way to get shiny, healthy beard hair.

Most beard butters contain several ingredients to moisturize your skin and soften beard hair. Depending on the type of shea butter used, beard butter products also apply a light scent and shine.

However, you should be careful of using this product every day unless you have dry skin that needs this much hydration.

Shea butter has a high concentration of oleic acid, which causes more buildup on oily, acne-prone skin. Some users with oily skin report that the heavy shea butter ingredients caused more issues with pimples under their beard.

How to Use Beard Butter

  1. Wash and dry your beard before applying beard butter.
  2. Scoop a small amount of beard butter and rub into fingers, then massage into beard hair.
  3. Apply more beard butter if you have a longer beard to cover all hair.
  4. Brush through with a boar bristle brush or beard comb.

Still Can’t Choose? Then Use Both!

If you are prone to acne and want more healing ingredients, try a beard oil first. These products soak into your hair follicles and skin but don’t cause clogged pores. Then stacking a good beard butter product will also help with beard itch and flyaway hairs, softening your beard hair.

If you have very dry skin and want shinier, softer beard hair, a beard butter or beard balm may work best for you.

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I'm the founder of Bald & Beards, an amateur barber and I've been obsessed with men's grooming, styles, and trends for over 20 years.