In the quest for a healthy beard, moisture — for both the actual hair follicle and the skin underneath — is paramount. Without moisture, your beard will look dull and brittle, and it might start to feel itchy or develop dandruff — something you definitely don’t want. But just a few drops of beard oil massaged from the roots of your facial hair to the tips can make your beard glow with the intensity of polished gold.
The world of beard oils, though, can quickly feel overwhelming: a quick Google search will turn up more iterations of the concoction than we can count. So we called up nine grooming experts to help us separate the good from the great. Two top criteria came up over and over again in our conversations: ingredients (and their quality) and scent. In both cases, our experts agree that less is more. Tony DeAngelis, a co-owner of Blue & Black Barbers who makes his own beard oil that he sells at his shop, says to look for a “light oil that’s paraben-free with a scent you won’t get tired of.” He and the rest of our experts all agreed that the best beard oils will all contain jojoba, argan, grape-seed, or other naturally derived oils that will condition your facial hair and moisturize your skin without clogging your pores. But each had their own favorites when it came to specific brands. Read on for all of their picks, which include fast-absorbing options, oils for treating dandruff and promoting hair growth, and others that come in various soothing scents. We’ve even included the ingredients the pros say you should buy if you want to make your own beard oil at home.
Best overall beard oil
All of the beard oils our experts recommend, including this one, either contain jojoba oil, argan oil, grape-seed oil, avocado oil — or a combination of the four. According to Chad Beightol of New York City–based grooming store Consiglieri, “jojoba oil is closest to the oil in your skin, and therefore doesn’t clog your pores.” Argan oil has high levels of vitamin E, omega 3 fatty acids, and antioxidants, making it an excellent anti-aging moisturizer and great for softening dry, damaged hair. Grape-seed oil, which is lighter than jojoba oil, is high in linoleic acid and thought to reduce clogged pores, so it’s great for oily skin. And avocado oil is rich in oleic acid and monounsaturated fats, which help it to penetrate into the hair shaft.
Grave Before Shave, which is formulated with jojoba oil, also contains tea-tree oil, a common ingredient in dandruff shampoos because it soothes skin while clearing clogged pores. Arthur Iskhakov, master barber at Barbers Blueprint; beard-care expert Matt Benevento (who describes himself as a “faithfully bearded man”); and Colorado-based plastic surgeon Dr. Manish Shah all recommend it for its solid but simple list of ingredients. The oil also comes in a variety of scents, including bay rum, sandalwood, and pine, a feature Iskhakov likes because “there is a scent for every man’s preference.”
Best (less expensive) overall beard oil
This oil from Honest Amish Man, which has jojoba and argan oils in it, comes recommended by Luca Blandi of Oscar Blandi salon, who says it’s versatile enough to handle all hair types and has a pleasing “manly” scent. It’s also an oil that Strategist writer David Notis used when growing out his beard; he says it’s “really terrific,” adding “if you’re concerned about synthetics and preservatives, the stuff is just a blend of different organic oils, avocado, pumpkin