bearded man in cold winter

Growing a winter beard is a great idea. Facial hair works as a natural insulator which will keep your face and neck warm, and it just so happens to look good as well.

Maybe, if you want to stunt around in social media, you could go for a run outside, and snap a selfie with iced up the beard to flex upon the non-bearded.

And according to the Art of Manliness, growing a winter beard could literally save your life if you end up falling into ice (as you can freeze it into the edge and use it to climb out).

However, when the temperature and humidity both go down, it can be really bad news for your beard’s health, and winter beard care is much different from summer beard care – the polar opposite in fact.

Below are some of the most important steps you need to take to prepare your beard for winter. ↓

You Have to Moisturize the Skin Underneath

bearded man in winter forest

Using beard oil during any other season than winter is kind of important, but not mandatory.

Moisturizing the beard skin with beard oil during the cold of winter is absolutely a must if you want to prevent dry skin under the facial hair, beardruff, beard itch, and beard split-ends.

This is because of the cold air, the wind, and the low humidity all working in harmony to dehydrate your skin. It happens incredibly fast, and the natural sebum oil produced by the sebaceous glands simply cannot keep up with the demands.

Don’t believe me?

Go into a car and blast the AC directed towards your face for 30 minutes or so. First, you will notice that your eyes dry up and you will start blinking like crazy, next your beard hairs will start to feel wiry and brittle from the tips, and eventually the skin underneath your facial hair will start to get noticeably dry.

This happens in just thirty minutes or so, and the car AC isn’t even comparable to the real cold of winter (which is harsher and more dehydrating on the beard).

“So, how do you make sure your beard says moisturized and nourished during the coldest time of the year?”

Easy, you start by just applying beard oil. Use a little more than you would in the summer, every morning before you head out into the cold.

I recommend that you use an oil that does not contain tropical fats like coconut oil, cacao butter or shea butter. That’s because all of those will turn solid when it gets below ~68°F (20°C)

Your best bet would be to just use something like jojoba oil, meadowfoam seed oil, and castor oil, and maybe follow some of our beard oil recipes from this list to get you started on making your own winter beard oils.

Here’s a quick recipe example:

The Woodsy Winter Beard Oil Blend

Recipe & Instructions

    • 1/2 oz. Organic jojoba oil
    • 1/4 oz. Organic castor oil
    • 1/4 oz. Meadowfoam seed oil
    • 8 drops balsam fir needle oil
    • 5 drops vitamin E oil (vit. E oil is fantastic for beard)
  1. Pour all of the oils into a small measuring cup.
  2. Use a small funnel to pour them into a 1 oz. dark glass bottle.
  3. Shake the bottle well and close the dropper-cap.

Extra Layer of Protection with Beard Balm or Wax

beard wax or beard balm

The next stop in our winter beard care routine would be to apply a protective layer on top of our already moisturized face and beard.

This can be achieved by using beard balm or beard wax.

Both of them work because both contain natural beeswax in the formulations, which creates an ultra-thin protective layer on top of your beard.

using beard balm or wax helps by retaining the moisture in the skin underneath your beard without letting it escape, and also through preventing some of the cold air and wind from reaching the beard skin and follicles.

“Beard balm is the lighter version, as it typically has less beeswax in the tin. Whereas beard wax would be the heavy-duty alternative with higher amounts of beeswax.”

Which one you should use depends on your needs, but the only major beard balm vs. beard wax difference is just the amount of wax, so it isn’t really big deal which one you end up using…

You will barely notice a difference between them, other than the fact that the wax is harder to scoop out and it comes with a tad bit more hold than the balm.

Try Beard Co-Washing Over Normal Wash Routine

washing and conditioning the beard

Retaining the natural nourishing sebum oils within your beard skin is extremely important during the winter.

This is why you should avoid washing the beard with generic shampoo, and even limit your use of special beard shampoos during the coldest time of the year.

What you should be doing instead is beard co-washing, which simply means that you don’t use shampoo at all, and only wash the facial hair with beard conditioner.

This works pretty well to clean the beard since conditioners do have a small amount of detergent in them but the amount of detergent is so minuscule that it won’t strip off the natural sebum oils like regular shampoo or beard shampoo would.

On top of this, the glycerin, carrier oils, and buttery fats formulated into the conditioners help soften and nourish the beard, while they also keep the skin underneath supple.


I hope this simple checklist will help you keep your beard well-moisturized and protected during the winter.

To recap…

  1. Moisturize with beard oil.
  2. Protect with beard balm or beard wax.
  3. Switch from regular washing to beard co-washing.

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Ali is a published author and a beard grooming expert. To this date, his articles have been read more than 15-million times on various sites, and he has helped thousands of men make their beards look better and grow thicker. His work has been featured and cited in Seeker, Wikihow, GQ, TED, and Buzzfeed.


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