Beard oil is a cosmetic product that is used to moisturize the skin under the beard in order to keep it "soft, shiny, and smooth". Beard oil mimics the natural oils produced by skin, such as sebum, and is composed mainly of carrier oils and essential oils.
Oil beard products are a blend of one or more ingredients, such as jojoba oil, argan oil, coconut oil, grape seed oil, rosemary or hempseed oil that are used to address specific beard problems such as itching, sensitive skin or dryness by going straight to the follicle in a similar fashion to hair conditioner.
Beard oil is usually scented (though unscented versions are available) using a variety of masculine natural and artificial scents ranging from sweet to bitter and can be used to substitute cologne or aftershave.
Beard oil obtained from natural oil such as almond, castor and grape seed has been used by Native American Indians who lived in rough climates for many years in order to keep their beards moisturized and radiant. The product has been available commercially since the early 1930s but otherwise there is little historical data available about the commercialization of beard oil as a cosmetic product. According to google trends data, the product was basically nonexistent online before 2006 but has risen constantly year after year on the search engines, skyrocketing in the year 2013. Beard oil is still not highly-available in common drugstores and chain supermarkets, being more of a niche, boutique product bought mostly online.
Beard oil acts as a moisturizer that goes straight to the hair follicle and prevents hair from growing brittle, especially in cold, windy environments as these weather conditions cause the natural moisture of the beard area to wick. Hydration around this area helps prevent flaking, dandruff and skin dryness. Beard oil also works below the surface of the skin by working as a grooming tool, making the beard itself more manageable, neat and smooth. Some brands of beard oil may contain added vitamins or nutrients such as vitamin E.
Beard oil is generally put on the beard area after showering, or cleansing in order to have the opened pores easily absorb the oil. Beard oil usually comes in a small flask or bottle with a dropper in order to administer the correct amount of oil which is then rubbed into the palm of the hand and vigorously applied to the beard area.
Chemical Makeup & Formulations
Beard oils are manufactured with the intent to emulate the natural oils produced by the skin, known as sebum. Carrier type oils generally contain vitamins A, D and E, as well as a high concentration of Linoleic acids and low concentrations of oleic acids. Natural and synthetic scents may be added to the oil in order to enhance its properties and aroma. Natural scents (essential oils, absolutes, and extracts) are derived differently than synthetic scents and contain different chemical compounds that enhance their functionality. This can give beard oils properties such as antibacterial, deodorant, anti-inflammatory and anti-aging. Beard oils making claims to be therapeutic must be approved by the FDA.
Natural beard oils are typically created with both carrier oils and essential oils, absolutes, and/or extracts. Carrier oils are oils that make up the bulk of the volume of the product and are formulated to condition the skin and beard. The most popular types of carrier oils are coconut, grape seed, jojoba, saffron and argan. They are used as a natural fragrance for the beard oils, but also may havearomatherapy benefits. Since essential oils, absolutes, and extracts are usually very strong they may cause chemical burns or skin irritation, they are commonly paired up with carrier oils.
The popularity of beard oil has skyrocketed over the last few years. A google trends analysis indicates that the popularity of this product in search engines has grown steadily since 2006 and achieved its peak during late 2013. The popularity of beard oil and beard-grooming products in general has increased due to the fact that “men are taking better care of their beards.” now that industries have become “more permissive” of facial hair. The popularity increase of some online grooming communities and forums have also contributed to the notable increase of sales in beard-grooming products