If you have a beard yourself, or your husband or partner has a beard, you know the TLC that—in most cases—goes into keeping it looking and feeling good. Though professional barbers are still in demand, DIY beard grooming is booming, and today’s products are better than ever before. These are the best beard oils to help tame and soften facial hair while also caring for the skin underneath.
Jack Black Beard Oil ($28)
According to The NPD Group, this beard oil is the number-one in its category in the prestige market, and we know why. The blend of fatty acid–rich kalahari melon oil and marula oil keeps the hairs (and the skin underneath) hydrated and conditioned (preventing dryness and itchiness), but it absorbs quickly without a greasy residue.
Scent: There is no synthetic fragrance in the oil, but there is a mild scent from natural botanicals.
King C. Gillette Men’s Beard Oil ($10.50)
There are so many all-star ingredients in this formula, which is infused with 99-percent plant-based oils, including argan, jojoba, avocado, macadamia seed, and almond. You’d expect this mix to be heavy, but instead it’s lightweight and nongreasy, and works to moisturize and soften beard hair and facial skin simultaneously. You can also use it as a pre-shave oil to increase the skin’s slickness for a nice glide.
Scent: “Men’s cologne” with notes of bergamot, geranium and cedarwood
Ultra-nourishing and made with pracaxi oil (a miracle-working conditioning ingredient that’s native to the Amazon), this formula is great for those with coarse hair that needs extra smoothing. It works on all skin types, and is even clinically proven to diminish dry skin under facial hair.
Scent: Woodsy and earthy with notes of sandalwood, cedarwood and eucalyptus
Bevel Beard Oil ($15)
In a recent interview with John Legend, an investor in Bevel, he told me his brother, a barber, is a big fan of this beard oil, which was crafted for African-American men with textured hair. There’s a long list of oils packed into this little bottle, including macadamia seed, evening primose, grapeseed, jojoba, argan, and avocado, which give beard hair the prettiest sheen without a greasy residue. It keeps frizzy hairs at bay as it moisturizes the skin underneath, but won’t clog pores. The 100-plus five-star reviews back it up.
Scent: Subtle botanical
My brother’s favorite shaving brand—I got him hooked years ago and now he won’t use anything else—Art of Shaving products truly remind me of simpler times, when more men were groomed by their barber (not just a quick haircut) with the full feet-up experience. Jojoba, avocado and evening primrose oils are the standouts in this formula, as they help moisturize the hair and skin and make the beard more manageable. The addition of grape seed extract lends anti-aging skin-care benefits too.
Scent: Black pepper and cedar from essential oils
Balmain Homme Beard Oil ($110)
For the man who appreciates the finer things in life, this luxurious beard oil is a no-brainer. Argan oil and hydrolyzed silk (it’s used in many hair masks and conditioners) team up to tame rowdy hairs while also delivering an intense moisturizing effect. It also comes with a comb for styling ease.
Scent: The oriental-woody Balmain Homme fragrance, which contains notes of bergamot and sandalwood