Beard oils are a fantastic way for you to replenish the natural oils in your body naturally provides to your beard through your hair follicles, called "sebum". The problem is, when you wash your beard you are almost certainly washing all these wonderful oils out of your beard leaving it (and your face) dry and itchy. It also prevents your beard from being healthy and looking great. So, our goal is to replace natural oils stripped from your beard while practicing good beard hygiene.
With that in mind let's make one thing clear: your beard oil should be full of nothing but all natural oils. You are taking all natural oils out, so our goal is to put all natural oils back. When looking at an ingredient list it should be pretty straightforward . . . if there are ingredients listed with more than three syllables you should likely find another beard oil brand (I was going to say "if you can't pronounce it you should get another beard oil brand", but then I remembered how hard it is to pronounce "Jojoba").
Beard oils are going to be made of primarily two things: carrier oils and essential oils. Carrier oils will be literally like 99% of the beard oil blend. As such we will go into some detail below on what to look for and what some of the best ingredients are for your beard. Essential oils make up the other 1%, They provide not only great scents to a beard oil but also have a variety of health benefits unto themselves. We will have a whole other blog post about this in the future.
Jojoba Oil - This is truly the gold standard carrier oil for facial products. While commonly called an oil, it is "technically" a liquid plant wax (for all you science nerds out there). The reason it is so popular for face and beard products is that Jojoba oil is VERY similar in texture and use to the natural sebum that we are trying to replace in the first place. At ManBasics we considered using nothing but Jojoba oil as our carrier oil, but we eventually decided to add both Black Jamaican Castor Oil and Argon Oil because of their benefits (described below). Because Jojoba mimics the natural sebum it does a fine job of moisturizing your skin and beard hair. However, in the case of sebum, there CAN be too much of a good thing that can lead to acne and oily skin. The great news is that Jojoba oil actually removes sticky buildup or excess sebum oil, so it acts as a sort of oil regulator. This makes it excellent at helping to treat eczema and razor burn. Some people even use jojoba oil in place of shaving cream! Also, jojoba is non-comedogenic, which means it does not clog pores (but you knew that already didn't you?). A 2012 German Study even showed that jojoba oil reduced skin lesions and improved overall skin conditions. If there is a carrier oil superstar for beard oil, this is it.
Argan Oil - Is generally imported from Morocco after having been pressed from the nut of an Argan tree. Argan oil is high in Omega 6 and Omega 9 fatty acids, both of which aid acne-prone skin. Argan has high amounts of linoleic acid which is often deficient from the sebum of acne-prone individuals which is why it is so beneficial to preventing and curing acne. While Argan does not prevent clogged pores as Jojoba does, it also does not actively clog them itself (it has a comedogenic rating of "zero" which measures such things . . . the more you know!). Argan is also packed full of Vitamin A and Vitamin E AND is chock full of a ton of anti-oxidants, features that help ease skin inflammation while also moisturizing the skin as researched here, Tocopherol (from the vitamin E) promotes healthy skin and hair by helping to boost cell production. Is it any wonder that high-end cosmetic companies like to include it in their anti-aging, skin, and hair products? It is certainly why ManBasics includes it in OUR beard oils. Argan oil also "absorbs" quickly, which makes it an effective method to deliver all the benefits of Essential Oils included in beard oil.
Jamaican Black Castor Oil - This oil has been making a lot of headlines recently. While the science is still out on "peer-reviewed" benefits we believed the mountains of anecdotal evidence was too large to ignore. To be clear, castor oil is good for you there just needs to be more study on how or why Black Castor Oil specifically is good for you. All castor oils are great for your beard and face as they help to reduce acne and inflammation by stimulating the lymphatic system. It is also highly anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. In light of recent studies showing that beards tend to carry germs in them, we knew including this in our beard oil blend was a must (don't get us started on this "study" by the way . . . stay tuned for a future full-on rant/blog post). Black Castor oil is darker and thicker than other oils (it is black from the ashes of the roasted beans used to make the oil). We chose it because the black color can help darken beards and hide graying.
To be sure, there are other carrier oils with great benefits. They most certainly are not BAD for you. They all have some benefits, we just feel the three above are the clear superstars. Beard oils made with some of the oils below are going to work just fine, and are often less expensive for beard growers on a budget!
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