But what are these essential oils exactly and why are they used? What are the benefits of essential oils in beard care, and what are the best essential oils for beard use?
These are some burning questions this article seeks to answer in full detail, so that you know exactly what essential oil to use on your beard, and for what purpose you chose it for.
What Are Essential Oils in Beard Products
Essential oils are added into beard oils, beard balms, and beard waxes in drop amounts (typically anywhere from 1 to 20 drops per 1 oz. dropper bottle or tin).
The rest of the beard oils contents is made up of carrier oil, which serves as the base upon which the essential oils are diluted into.
The main reason essential oils are included in beard care products is for aromatic purposes, but there are some other benefits as well, like some anti-dandruff, anti-itch effects that come from their antiseptic and antibacterial compounds.
It’s crucial to understand that all pure essential oils need to be diluted before use. They are extremely potent and condensed forms of plants, tree resins, flowers, and fruits and if used without dilution you will experience rashes, skin burns, drowsiness, and even vomiting.
To give you a quick example of just how volatile and potent a tiny bottle of essential oil can be, take a look at this:
It takes 250lb of peppermint leaves to produce just a measly 1lb of peppermint essential oil. In other words; 1 oz. of peppermint oil contains the active fat-soluble compounds of a whopping 16 pounds of peppermint leaves. This is why just a few drops diluted into a bottle full of carrier oil is usually enough.
How to Choose the Right Essential Oil for Your Beard
There are hundreds of different essential oils to choose from, but which one is the right one for your beard?
It depends on your beard type, your beard care goals, and what kind of scents do you prefer. There are many things you should look for when selecting an essential oil for beard use.
- Safety: You might think essential oils have to be safe because they’re natural. Wrong. They are incredibly potent and condensed, and some of them can cause serious issues when used excessively, without dilution, or in the wrong places (more about this at the end of the article).
- Scent: The main reason essential oils are added into beard care products is the scent they provide. There’s a World full of interesting aromas when it comes to essential oils, and you can only find your own favorites by testing them out and seeing which ones you like to have on your beard.
- Benefits: All essential oils have their own active compounds which have different benefits for your beard health. Peppermint oil for example is known for its beard growth promoting effects, lemon (and many other citrus oils) have antiseptic benefits that can help with beardruff and itchiness, etc.
- Pick the Right Note: Essential oil scents are categorized into three groups based on the strength and type of the aroma. These are the top notes (light, fresh, evaporates fast), medium notes (warm, soft, medium evaporation), and base notes (heavy oils, strong fragrance, long-lasting scent).
How to Use Essential Oils in Your Own Beard Oils
Using essential oils in your own beard oils is quick and easy.
You basically have two options:
- Buy a bottle of premade unscented beard oil (such as the N°1 from Zilberhaar) and scent it yourself with the use of your favorite essential oils.
- Start from scratch and make your own DIY beard oil with your own mix of the best carrier oils for beard and then add in your favorite essential oils.
You will need the following items:
- Unscented beard oil or empty 1 oz. dropper bottles.
- Essential oils (get a kit of samples if you want to test scents).
- Small metal funnel (optional, but very cheap and helpful).
Once you have decided your method of using essential oils and you have all the tools necessary, you can get to work. The steps to adding essential oil to beard oil (DIY or premade) are super simple…
- Fill the 1 oz. dropper bottle almost to brim with your carrier oil mix (or use premade unscented beard oil)
- Put the metal funnel in from the top, and start dripping in the essential oils you want to use (start from 1 drop and gradually add more).
- Experiment with different combinations of essential oils and carrier oil bases until you find the perfect fit for your beard.
Here’s one example DIY beard oil recipe I use daily:
- 1/2 oz. Organic jojoba oil
- 1/4 oz. Organic castor oil
- 1/4 oz. Meadowfoam seed oil
- 6 drops Bergamot essential oil
- 4 drops Peppermint essential oil
Essential Oil Features Comparison Table
|Essential Oil||Main Use||Scent|
|Peppermint Oil||Beard Growth||Fresh, Minty|
|Lemon Oil||Anti-Dandruff||Fresh, Citrus|
|Bergamot Oil||Anti-Itch||Acidic, Citrus|
|Pine Oil||Aromatic||Woodsy, Balsamic|
|Cedarwood Oil||Aromatic||Woodsy, Sweet|
|Sandalwood Oil||Aromatic||Woodsy, Floral|
|Frankincense Oil||Aromatic||Earthy, Musty|
|Vitamin E Oil||Preservative||Nutty, Earthy|
Best Essential Oils for Beard
Peppermint essential oil (Mentha Piperita) is a fresh and minty top note essential oil that is heavily used as a beard oil ingredient.
However, not many people know that peppermint oil may promote beard growth. Evidence of this was first seen in a mice study where the researchers applied four different topical compounds (saline solution, jojoba oil, minoxidil, and peppermint oil) to the rodents skin and monitored how it impacted their hair follicles and hair growth.
Surprisingly enough, peppermint oil was the most potent at stimulating new growth and increasing the size and density of the hair spewing out of the follicles. It did so through enhanced blood circulation and activation of the IGF-1 growth hormone inside the follicles.
This and many anecdotal reports hint that peppermint oil could be the best essential oil for beard growth we currently know of.
How to use: For general use in beard oils and balms, add 2-6 drops of peppermint essential oil per 1 oz. of carrier oil. For beard growth promotion, add approximately 18 drops to 1 oz. of carrier oil to achieve the 3% dilution used in the study.
Lemon essential oil provides a nice citrus top note scent to any beard oil, balm, or wax.
The aroma is primarily why it’s used, but that’s not the only benefit of lemon oil; like many of the oils in the citrus family, it too contains potent antimicrobial, antifungal, and antiseptic compounds.
In this study, it was shown that lemon essential oil reduced the activity of 15 different gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria, and 12 different fungi.
On top of this, insects typically hate the scent of lemon essential oil, so if you use it in your beard oil, you can be sure that fewer mosquitoes will be buzzing around your face.
If you suffer from dry skin under your beard, you might also be happy to learn that lemon essential oil works as a skin penetration enhancer. It helps the moisturizing carrier oils better absorb into your skin and beard follicles.
How much to use: Add 5-10 drops of pure lemon essential oil to each 1 oz. of carrier oil for optimal dilution in beard oil use. Same amount works for beard balms and waxes if you use 1 oz. tins.
Bergamot essential oil belongs to the family of citrus fruits. It’s cold-pressed directly from the inner rinds of the bergamot orange fruit, which gives it its unique scent.
Scent-wise, I like bergamot to be the best essential oil for beard use. It has that light citrus scent you’re used to, but also a masculine darker undertone that makes it perfect for beard oil.
Like all essential oils, bergamot oil is incredibly potent and condensed. It takes more than 30 bergamot orange rinds to yield just 1 oz of the oil.
Aside from having calming, sedative, and soothing benefits; bergamot oil also has antibacterial and antifungal effects – even more so than lemon oil.
How to use: Add 5-10 drops of pure bergamot essential oil to each 1 oz of carrier oil for best results.
If you like a woodsy forest scent in your beard oils, then pine needle essential oil is the right aromatic oil for you.
Depending on the pine variety and production country this essential oil can range from top notes all the way to bottom notes, with usually the brands from the U.S and Canada providing the strongest most long-lasting pine scents.
The main benefit of pine essential oil on your skin is hidden within its anti-inflammatory compounds that can alleviate beard itchiness, beard pimples, and redness of the skin underneath. It’s the perfect essential oil for men with sensitive beards.
How to use: Add 1-3 drops of pine needle essential oil per 1 oz of carrier oil for best results.
Cedarwood is another great base note essential oil for bearded men that love a the smell of forest and fresh timber.
Unlike many other bitter balsamic “woodsy” type of aromas, cedarwood has a sweet yet foresty scent, which is one of the key reasons why so many brands have chosen to use it in their beard oil formulations.
Aside from its aromatic effects, cedarwood essential oil is known for its antibacterial and skin repairing benefits. It has a historical use among Native Americans as a wound-healing substance.
If you have been looking for a sweet yet masculine smelling essential oil, then look no further than cedarwood oil.
How to use: Add 2-4 drops of pure cedarwood essential oil per each 1 oz of carrier oil.
You may know sandalwood from being one of the most used material in wooden beard combs. One of the main reasons behind its popularity is the rich base note scent that retains itself for decades in the material (that and also the durability).
When it comes to sandalwood essential oil, it’s also used for the same purpose; the amazing scent. Obviously it wont stay on your beard for decades after use, but as a base note aroma it doesn’t fade away even after a full-day of being on the facial hair.
If you want to add some “oomph” to your beard oils, sandalwood is a great choice. It’s ultra-masculine and woodsy, and like many base-note essential oils, you either love it or hate it.
When it comes to the price, essential oils aren’t often that expensive (considering the miniscule amounts used), but sandalwood is on the more expensive side of things. In fact, the raw materials of which it’s extracted from – the Santalum genus of trees – are often said to be the most expensive wood in the world.
How to use: Add 1-3 drops of sandalwood essential oil to each 1 oz of carrier oil.
Frankincense essential oil is extracted by steam distillation from the dry frankincense tree resin.
It’s an intense base note scent with a dark smoky aroma that should be used in very small quantities in beard oils to give that cologne-like scent that many beardsmen love.
To put it simply; you either love or hate the scent of frankincense essential oil, there is no in-between.
How to use: Add 1-3 drops of frankincense essential oil per each 1 oz of carrier oil.
Vitamin E oil is not specifically an essential oil, but it’s used in small drop amounts alongside the essential oils which is why I decided to include it in this list.
The reason you should always include vitamin E oil in your beard oil formulations is simple; it’s a natural fat-soluble antioxidant, which preserves the carrier oils and the volatile essential oils from lipid peroxidation (going rancid).
Additionally, vitamin E oil also has beneficial effects on skin hydration and overall health of the facial hair, so it’s definitely a wise choice to include in your beard oil formulations.
There are many sources from where vitamin E oil can be extracted from, but the classic way of cold-pressing it from wheatgerm oil is the ideal one.
I talk more about the great benefits of vitamin E oil in our article titled: “Why your Beard Needs vitamin E Oil“.
How to use: Add 10-20 drops of vitamin E oil as a preservative to protect each 1 oz of beard oil (carrier + essential oil).
Why Didn’t You Include Lavender or Tea Tree Essential Oils?
Tea tree oil is the most used essential oil in all beard oils and lavender is not far behind.
Which begs the question:
Why on earth weren’t they included in our list of best essential oils for beard above?
Well, it only takes a quick look into the Wikipedia page of tea tree oil to notice something quite alarming…
“Tea tree oil potentially poses a risk for causing abnormal breast enlargement in men.”
This claim comes from studies which found that certain active compounds in some essential oils (eucalyptol, 4-terpineol, dipentene and alpha-terpineol) are endocrine disruptors and can – even in small doses and when applied to the skin – mess up with your hormone levels.
Now you know which essential oils are best for beard care, growth, fighting dandruff, and for beard itch prevention.
You also know how to use them, and why you need to be cautious with essential oils, even if they are natural and organic.
Armed with this information, you are ready to embark on the journey of making your own beard oils and essential oil mixes, maybe it could even turn into a small business for you!