Understanding The Differences Between Beard Oil, Balm, Wax


Beards have been back in fashion for years now, and yet we still feel that people severely fail to get the most out of their facial hair.

You don’t simply leave the hair on your head, do you? You wash it, shampoo it, condition it, style it. In short, you maintain it. So, we have to ask, why wouldn’t you do the same for the hair on your face?

There’s far more to maintaining your facial hair than simply trimming it every now and again. You need to actively care for your beard, and - crucially - the skin beneath it. Fortunately for you, there are a range of effective, easy-to-use products on the market which can help you do both.

Chief amongst these are beard oil, beard balm and beard wax. We’ll give you a detailed breakdown for each of these products and their various advantages, guide you through their ingredients, and explain exactly how you should use them.

Let’s get to it.

What is Beard Oil?

what is beard oil

We’ll begin with beard oil. It’s arguably the most well-known beard-maintenance product there is; although, given that this whole range flies tragically under the radar, that’s not saying much.

Though its name is singular, a good beard oil is actually made up of a combination of different oils. There will usually be a base, or “carrier” oil, which is mixed with a series of other essential oils. Whilst there are a bevy of potential oils that can be included, there are a few that have proved particularly popular.

Although there are alternatives, the most common carrier oil is jojoba. Derived from jojoba seeds, this oil has excellent moisturizing and hydrating properties. It’s completely natural, hypoallergenic, and works wonders on both your skin and your beard.

As for the essential oils, there are literally dozens of options, including grapeseed, sweet almond and sandalwood. These ingredients moisturize and hydrate your beard hair and your skin, and also give your face a quite intoxicating, irresistible scent (although unscented beard oils are also available). On top of that, many essential oils are also antiseptic, meaning they can help to clean up your pores and clear out acne and eczema from your skin.

Now that we’ve broken down how beard oils are constituted, let’s take a closer look at how exactly they work.

Just like the hair on top of your head, the hair on your face needs to be cleaned, conditioned and generally cared for. In fact, given that beard hair is coarser than head hair, it actually requires more maintenance. The longer you grow your beard, the more care it requires, because the nutrients which your skin naturally provides increasingly struggle to reach the ends of the lengthier hairs.

In short, your facial hair needs help to stay conditioned. That’s where beard oil comes in. It basically mimics the oils which are naturally produced by your skin, but which are unable to reach the ends of the hairs.

You truly won’t realize how dry your beard normally is until you try using beard oil for the first time. This product greatly softens the hair, and keeps it softer for longer. In turn, this helps to reduce the beard itch and irritation which many men experience. The softer hair also makes the beard far easier to manage and style, and even helps to promote greater beard growth.

Beard oil doesn’t only benefit your beard; it also works wonders on your skin too. It doesn’t just moisturize the actual beard, but also the skin underneath; something which can be tricky when using a standard facial moisturizer. As well as simply making your skin feel great, this also helps to prevent beard dandruff, which occurs when the skin beneath the beard dries out and flakes down into the hair.

Finally, as we briefly mentioned, it helps to make your beard smell wonderful. That’s nothing to be sneered at if you’re trying to attract that special someone, or keep them attracted.

We’re guessing you get the picture by now - beard oil is pretty great. Here’s how to apply the product in the most effective manner possible.

Like many facial products, beard oil is best applied straight after you’ve showered, or washed your face. This is because the warm water helps to open up the pores in your skin, making absorption far easier. Do make sure that your face is damp rather than wet, however, as too much water will dilute the oil.

A quality beard oil (such as the Seven Potions variants) will come with a pipette. Use this to put a few drops into the palm of your hand (or, if you haven’t got a pipette, try to just use a penny-sized amount). Rub your palms together until both hands have a light coating, then start to apply the oil.

Begin by rubbing it directly into the skin beneath the beard, then work your fingers up and out through the hair itself. Be sure to apply it all the way to the ends of the hair, as the tips will typically be the driest part of the beard. Don’t be afraid to use a second coat, if your beard still feels dry after the initial application. If you like to style or simply comb your beard, now’s the perfect time to do so.

What is Beard Balm?

What is beard balm

Beard balm is a similar - but far from identical - product to beard oil.

The biggest difference comes in its typical ingredients and ensuing consistency, with beard balm being a pomade rather than an oil.

The specific ingredients vary, as you’d expect, depending on the manufacturer, but most beard balms will contain a moisturising agent and a sealant. Regarding the former, shea butter is probably the most popular choice; it has wonderful moisturising qualities, and can also add volume to your beard. Beeswax is often used as the sealant, which retains the moisture in your beard.

Whatever the particular ingredients, it’s best to look for a beard balm that is 100% natural. In fact, that goes for all beard-related products. If a product has got something in it that you’ve never heard of and can’t pronounce, it’s typically a bad sign.

Generally speaking, the benefits of beard balm are the same as those you’ll get from beard oil. It conditions, moisturises and softens your facial hair, adds volume, and makes it easier to style.

So, what’s the difference between this and beard oil?

Because of its thicker consistency, beard balm takes considerably longer to be absorbed than beard oil, meaning it’ll help your beard to stay softer for longer. If you do like to style your beard, balm will also provide you with a stronger hold. This makes it useful for those with lengthier, more unruly beards, which it should help to keep in check. Unlike oil, balm is applied directly to the beard, rather than to your skin as well (because of this, combining oil and balm - and thus taking care of your skin too - can actually be a smart choice). Finally, whilst beard oil leaves a matte finish, beard balm tends to give a shinier appearance which can really help your beard to stand out.

Like beard oil, beard balm is extremely easy to use. It’s best applied to slightly damp hair, but do ensure there’s no excess moisture.

Don’t skimp on the quantity when it comes to application - make sure you use enough to cover your entire beard. Rub the balm between your fingers until they’re fully coated, then start to run them through your beard. Begin at the bottom of your beard, near the neck, and head upwards, working the balm from the roots right up to the tips of the hair. Afterwards, repeat the process from the tips back down to the roots.

If you’ve only used beard oil before, be aware that balm will feel noticeably different. It will seem as if the product is sitting on your beard, instead of quickly being absorbed, but that’s perfectly normal.

What is Beard Wax?

What is beard wax

Whilst it shares a number of common ingredients with oil and balm, beard wax serves a much different purpose to the products we’ve looked at so far. Beard wax has a much stronger consistency than either oil or balm, and is primarily used as a styling product.

In terms of its constitution, beard wax is almost identical to balm. It has a carrier oil and an essential oil as its base components, and a wax - usually beeswax - which provides the necessary strong hold. The difference comes in the proportion of these ingredients, with the wax being the dominant component. Many also include lanolin, another waxy substance which provides additional hold.

All of that hold adds up to a phenomenal styling product (it’s sometimes referred to as being akin to a “beard hairspray”), perfect for longer beards that are traditionally harder to tame. Because the oils are still present, however, beard wax does help to condition and moisturise your facial hair. The oils also serve to give your beard an attractive scent, albeit one which is fainter than you’ll find in beard oil or balm.

The application of beard wax is very similar to that of beard balm. Take a good dollop of product (begin with a thumbnail-sized amount, and add more if necessary), and rub it between your palms. When it has completely melted you can start applying it to your beard, starting at the roots and working it up through to the tips. Once the entire beard is well covered you can style it however you desire, with the confidence that it’ll hold firm throughout the day.

Seven Potions Oil, Balm and Wax

If you want to get the most out of your beard, and make it as thick and attractive as it possibly can be, you need to use products like beard oil, balm or wax. Committing to using these products is only half the battle, however; to get the best possible results, you need to invest in the best possible products.

On that note, we invite you to consider the Seven Potions range of beard products.

We don’t cut any corners here at Seven Potions. We’ve put the time, effort and expense into researching the best possible ingredients - and the best combinations of those ingredients - for each of our beard-related products. Our oils, balms and waxes are all 100% natural, ensuring that - under our watch - your skin is never exposed to artificial, potentially harmful chemicals.

We offer three different beard oils: Citrus Tonic, Pure Equilibrium and Woodland Harmony.

Citrus Tonic lends your beard a scent which is at once masculine and luxurious; a combination of citrus, wood and sage which is sure to stimulate the senses. Despite the intoxicating smell, Citrus Tonic still effectively provides all the nourishment you’d expect from a beard oil.

For a different yet equally alluring scent, take a look at Woodland Equilibrium. It provides a smell which is both musky and sweet, but certainly won’t interfere with the aroma of your cologne. Woodland Equilibrium beard oil is a light, grease-free and easy-to-use way to nourish your facial hair and skin.

Scented products aren’t your thing? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Pure Equilibrium softens your beard and makes it more manageable, whilst being completely scent-free. If you desire all the aforementioned benefits of a beard oil, but you still want to let your natural smell or cologne take precedence, go for Pure Equilibrium.

We may have two beard balms with similar scents as our beard oils. More particularly, the Woodland Equilibrium and the Citrus Tonic. Our Beard Balm is simple to apply, and will transform your beard almost immediately. Even the longest, most unruly beards will be tamed, and that dreaded beard itchiness will be eliminated. All the while, you can savour the woody, masculine aroma which Woodland Equilibrium emits.

Last, but certainly not least, is our Woodland Harmony and Citrus Tonic beard waxes. Like our other scented beard care products, this beard wax exudes an attractive, which never threatens to overpower the nostrils. It allows you to take control of your beard like never before, offering unprecedented styling capabilities whilst also adding volume and shine to your facial hair.

Closing thoughts

We’ve said it before, and we’ll keep saying it for as long as we need to. If you’re not using products to enhance your beard, you simply have no idea what you’re missing out on. Dullness, itchiness, lack of volume - all these problems which plague beard-growers can be eliminated with minimal effort.

We’ve outlined the specific benefits which each product possesses, in a concise yet comprehensive manner.

Beard oil is a great, light all-round choice, which nourishes both your skin and your facial hair.

Beard balm doesn’t have the same effect on your skin, but still works wonders on your hair, makes it easier to style, and gives your beard a healthy shine.

Beard wax offers an unparalleled degree of hold, making styling even the longest, most unruly beards a cinch.

So, which product should you opt for? Well, only you can decide that. We would point out, however, that combining two different products can lead to the best results of all, particularly for longer beards. Use oil first, for example, then follow it up with balm or wax, and you ensure optimal nourishment for your skin and hair, whilst still being able to tame and style your beard.

You should simply pick the product - or products - which you most like the sound of. The most important thing you can do is simply use something. Take care of your beard just as you take care of the hair on your head. The benefits of doing so are indisputable and, once you start - trust us - you’ll never go back.

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