Reviewed & updated: October 19, 2022 by Jamie Wilson BA
In the age of sponsored social media posts, Pinterest inspiration boards and mens magazines, male grooming is becoming a documented phenomenon and an ever-growing interest for the everyday man. We have seen beard trends come and go over the past few years, however it has to be said that facial hair never truly goes out of fashion. With so many new and unfamiliar products appearing on the market, it can become confusing and somewhat overwhelming for the modern day man.
So… back to beards. As mentioned above, there are therefore more products to help maintain your face fuzz. But which is which? Beard oil, beard wax and beard balm? Fear not, we are here to clear up any confusion and help to sharpen up your daily routine.
Probably known as the most recognised beard product at present- the Beard Oil. To clarify, beard oils often come packaged in small vials with a pipet which is used to drop the oil directly onto the beard. Don’t be deceived by these small products- a few drops goes a long way! As suggested in the name, the product is oil-based, so if you go overboard with the product, your cheeks and hair will become saturated in oil and a little greasy (in other words, use the product sparingly for the best results).
So… Why use beard or moustache oil? As you can imagine every time you wash your face, your skin becomes dehydrated and gets dry. As your face is partially covered by hair, these areas are even more prone to becoming dry (hence the need for beard oil). Beard oils tend to work better for shorter beards as they are absorbed quickly and are a lighter grooming option for the everyday man. For everyday use we strongly recommend Bulldog beard oil, however we have provided a slightly different selection below of alternative scents and choices. Whether you prefer sweeter smells, musky tones or something fresh, theres a scent out there to suit your preference.
The strongest of the trio: AKA beard wax (also know as moustache wax). So… What does beard wax do? Similarly to beard gel, if you are looking to make an impression or just to simply tame your wild facial hair, the best beard wax will sculpt and mould your beard into firm position (think of it as hairspray or a fixative for your facial fuzz). Due to the nature of beard wax, it is often popularly used for facial hair competitions to create artistic hairy visions (also known as goatee wax or beard styling wax), however it is also popular for everyday use to help control any monster beards.
How to apply beard wax? We recommend that your face and beard is completely dry (as wax and water tend not to bode too well!). Take a small amount in your fingers whilst gently running them through your beard. Similarly to beard styling gel, if you find you have used a little too much use a towel to gently remove any excess.
Beard Wax vs Beard Oil
Similarly to oils and balms, beard wax also comes in a variety of scents, however they tend not to be quite as strongly scented. For everyday use, we recommend this product for larger or unruly beards, as it will keep any stray hairs in place and is a great protectant against any harsh weather conditions.
As with beard oil, these products are best used a little at a time until you find the right balance for your beard.
Similarly to beard oils, beard balm is built for the purpose of softening and soothing the skin and beard. This can cause some confusion amongst consumers- so, what is the difference between beard oil and beard balm? Firstly, balms are more considered a stay-in conditioner for the beard, a more long term fix for heavier manes. Due to the solid form of the product, balms often contain bees wax to conceal the moisture in your skin and beard.
We recommend those with wilder “face manes” to go for balm, as its wax-like property lends itself to shaping larger beards. As expected, for larger beards this product is best paired with a grooming brush, to keep your beard under control whilst maintaining its natural form. To use this product, take a small amount of balm, rubbing in-between your hands until the oils and wax melt. Run the balm through your beard with your fingers, and use a beard comb or grooming brush to shape up.
Beard Balm vs Beard Oil
Whilst both beard balms and oils have moisturising properties, it all comes down to personal preference and your beard style. With the Cremo beard balm being a firm favourite product in the market, see some of our own personal favourite choices below for beard-spiration.
As you can imagine, there are a large variety of beard styling products out there- if there’s anything you can take away from this article, you now know the difference between the three products (if you uncertain before). Depending on your beard length, style and personal preferences, there is a product out there for you!