A great beard generally requires maintenance and care. Not only do you need to keep it trimmed with cleaned edges and lines, but the facial hair and skin need beard products to remain softer and healthier.
Beard balm is an easy mix of facial hair products that facilitates styling and shaping to tame flyaways, while also nourishing the hair giving it a healthy shine. The best beard balm will prevent split ends, keep the hair soft, and moisturize the skin below to minimize beardruff.
For those who use their beard balm every day, the cost of the tin can add up. Fortunately, DIY beard balm is easy to make on your own stovetop. Each beard balm recipe uses easy-to-obtain ingredients, some of which may already be in your pantry, such as coconut oil.
DIY beard balm gives you all the beard and skin health benefits of a commercial tin. It will not only save you money in the long run, but you can also customize it to your needs. You can give it a stronger hold like beard wax for more intricate styling, or make it creamier to better moisturize your beard in drier climates like some of the beard butters on the market.
This article will give you the details on how to make beard balm so good you won’t want to go back to buying it.
Why Make Your Own Beard Balm?
DIY beard balm from a reliable recipe means you won’t have to repurchase it every couple of months. Making it yourself can save you money in the long run.
The average tin of beard balm will run you about $15-$30, or just over $7-$15 an ounce. Your own homemade beard balm will have a cost of about $5-$10 a tin, running you somewhere around $5 an ounce or less depending on whether you buy the ingredients in bulk.
There’s a catch, though. To get these cost benefits you have to make more than one tin of the balm to compensate for the up-front cost of the materials and ingredients. Your first batch will set you back about $50 for the core ingredients. However, your following batches will be less expensive than it would be to purchase each name brand beard balm tin.
DIY beard balm allows you to control the ingredients, consistency, and scent of the product. This high level of customization may be important for those with allergies. Additionally, you avoid different abrasive and drying ingredients, such as alcohol, while choosing your favorite scent.
When you make your own beard balm, you’ll quickly become comfortable making larger batches at one time. This makes it easy to use your homemade beard balm for small gifts and amenities.
Beard Oil vs. Beard Balm
A common question is whether it’s better to use beard balm or beard oil. Many men would tell you that they use both for a softer beard.
The main difference between beard balm and oil is that beard balm offers a styling hold that keeps your beard appearing neat and clean.
On the other hand, beard oil will help to condition and soften your beard while keeping the hair healthy and free from split ends. Beard oil also tends to make the beard smell good from essential oils while moisturizing the skin to prevent dandruff and ingrown facial hairs.
Ultimately, beard oil is made from the same basic ingredients as beard balm without the butter and wax. The oil is a mix of the carrier oil and essential oils.
Using both can help to achieve a very soft and healthy beard that looks good and feels nice to the touch.
Beard Butter vs. Beard Balm
Beard butter is a more creamy beard conditioner than either beard oil or beard balm. It uses butter, such as shea butter, to create a lotion-like oil moisturizer that can replace beard oil use.
Beard butter tends to have a light, rich consistency, while beard balm is thicker and creamier. Beard butter does not have a hold or styling effect for your beard. It is simply there to help keep your beard hair moisturized and healthy.
Because of the moisturizing and skin nutrient-rich makeup of beard butter, this is a great product for dry climates and dry winters. Many men also find that using beard butter helps control dandruff and split ends.
What You’ll Need
Beard balm ingredients vary based on the recipe. Nonetheless, each home beard balm recipe uses four main ingredient categories:
- Wax – The majority of beard balms contain beeswax. This natural wax helps to bind all the ingredients together while also creating a good hold for styling. Although wax makes the beard balm thick, it should still melt at room temperature, particularly when you add the different oil ingredients.
- A Skin-friendly Butter – Most recipes use cocoa or shea butter. Butters are a smooth emollient that introduce moisture and nutrients to your skin and hair. They are also responsible for the product’s overall smooth and creamy consistency.
- Carrier Oils – This is where your balm gets the majority of the nutrients that will help to keep your beard hair soft, moisturized, and healthy. Common carrier oils include jojoba oil, argan oil, and coconut oil.
- Essential Oils – These oils will be your main source of fragrance as well as other additional vitamins and properties to keep your hair healthy and smelling great. There are many essential oil blends for men such as cedarwood.
Some beard balm recipes will add Vitamin E oil as well. Vitamin E helps to protect the skin from stress and aging while speeding along the healing process.
Some recipes claim that beeswax is an essential ingredient for making a beard balm. Beeswax provides a natural holding agent that allows you to shape and style your beard while taming any flyaway hairs.
However, beeswax isn’t vegan friendly. If you’re vegan, you will have your best success using carnauba wax to replace the beeswax as a holding agent. Check our recipe section to see how to mix this substitution for your own DIY vegan beard balm.
Buying Your Beeswax
You can obtain your beeswax online or straight from a local beekeeper if you have a farmer’s market that sells it.
When you start shopping for beeswax, you’ll find there are a few different options. Most often, your beeswax will come in bars, but you can also find sheets or pellets. Bars will be some of the easiest to work with, while pellets will cost more simply for their convenience.
There will also be beeswax that is whiter in appearance and beeswax that is more yellow. You can use either for your beard balm, and it’s not necessary to pay more for one or the other.
Picking a Butter
Butter is the key to making your balm recipe creamy and spreadable. The two best butters for beard balm are shea butter and cocoa butter.
Shea butter is a safe ingredient. It holds many nutrients and moisturizing benefits to nourish your skin. It is also great for all skin types.
If you want an alternative to shea butter, you can also check out cocoa butter.
Choosing a Carrier Oil
The main difference between beard balms on the market has to do with what carrier oil they use. There are many possible carrier oils that you can use in your beard balm. This is where your beard balm gets its primary moisture and nutrients, making this an important choice for how your beard balm works.
To put this in perspective, a quality beard oil is made up of about 95 percent carrier oil. In your beard balm, your carrier oil will make up about 30 percent of the recipe.
There are a few things to look for when purchasing a carrier oil. To begin with, you want your carrier oil to be packaged in an amber bottle. This helps to protect the oil from sun exposure which can cause it to spoil.
Additionally, check that the oil you’re selecting is either cold-pressed or expeller-pressed. Oils that aren’t expeller-pressed are most often extracted through either heat processing or chemical processing. Heat processing often causes the oil to lose many of its nutrients from the heat. Additionally, chemical processing may cause the oil to have harmful contaminants.
The ideal product is a cold-pressed oil. Not only do cold-pressed oils go through an expeller -pressing process, but the process is also much more controlled to minimize nutrient loss. The carrier oils used in making a DIY beard balm recipe can be relatively delicate, so it’s important for them to be high quality.
Common carrier oils include:
- Coconut and Sweet Almond are great for hydration and can reduce skin inflammation to make the skin appear less red or irritated.
- Argan and Avocado promote healthy hair and give extra moisture to soak into the skin and reduce the development of wrinkles.
- Jojoba and Apricot absorb quickly for those who are particularly sensitive to the greasy feel of lotions. It also helps those with itchy skin.
- Grapeseed helps to tighten pores, reducing inflammation and redness.
- Hazelnut has antimicrobial properties to help reduce acne-causing bacteria on the skin’s surface.
- Also consider macadamia nut oil, hemp seed oil, kukui nut oil, walnut oil, camellia seed oil, and other carrier oils used in lotions and cosmetics.
Keep in mind that different carrier oils will come at various price points. Some will be more expensive than others.
Additionally, be mindful of your own allergies when picking an oil. For example, if you already know that you’re allergic to tree nuts, there’s no need to risk it with something like almond oil. Try your carrier oil on a small patch of skin to make sure that it does not cause you irritation.
Picking an Essential Oil
Essential oils are the heart of the fragrance for your beard balm. They can be strong when it comes to scent, so you won’t want to use a lot of it.
Essential oils can also provide other benefits for your skin. For example, peppermint and tea tree oil are antimicrobial, to help keep your skin clear and cut down on acne. They’ve also been known to help limit the amount of dead skin that flakes from your beard (aka beardruff).
Not sure what kind of scents you like? Take a look at the beard balm or beard oils that you’re already using. It’s more than likely that these use essential oils for fragrances and you can take note from their ingredients list.
If you’re still not sure what kind of scent profile you want, you can purchase an essential oil sampler pack to test out different scent types and mixes. Common essential oil scents for men include sandalwood, bergamot, myrrh, cedarwood, vanilla, bourbon, lemon, peppermint, and patchouli.
Make sure that your essential oils are just that: oils. Avoid anything that’s labeled a ‘fragrance’. It’s also a bad idea to use cologne since most fragrances and colognes contain alcohol. While alcohol evaporates quickly so that the fragrance permeates the air better, they can irritate and dry out sensitive skin.
The majority of beard balm recipes ask for essential oils. However, they aren’t always necessary if you want to make a relatively unscented beard balm. Although, unscented doesn’t mean scentless. Beeswax, shea butter, cocoa butter, and many of the carrier oils do have their own slight fragrance. It wouldn’t be enough that others will smell it without being very close, but it will have a noticeable scent.
Most tools needed for each beard balm recipe can be found around the home.
Basic tools include a metal spoon for mixing and blending the ingredients.
You will also need tins or a container to hold your balm once it’s finished. Some people will purchase inexpensive unmarked metal tins. However, if you’re on a budget you can save and use tins that you’ve collected from other products.
A pouring funnel can also help to keep your tins neat and tidy as you pour the liquid beard balm into them.
A Designated Pot
You’ll need a designated pot for cooking up your beard balm. Do not use a Teflon-coated pot or a pot that’s coated with any non-stick element for making your beard balm. Teflon may leak carcinogens, so it’s not something that you want to put all over your face or beard.
Once you start using this pot for making your beard balm, you may need to wash it a few times before cooking with it again. The essential oils in particular require a lot of scrubbing to remove from the pot. One option is to choose a pot that you almost never use, or you can purchase an inexpensive pot for this kind of home DIY project.
Kitchen scales are commonly used for measuring beeswax.
You will also see recipes using measuring cups.
Many of your oils will come with droppers. Measuring spoons will work for these as well.
Top 5 Beard Balm Recipes to Try Out
Once you make your first beard balm, you can make notes on what you like or don’t like about it. This way you can adjust the recipe in the future. Each small adjustment will get you closer to your ideal beard balm recipe.
For example, if you find that your beard balm is too stiff and it’s making your beard feel too crunchy, you can reduce the beeswax. If you want your beard balm to be more creamy, you can increase the amount of butter in the recipe.
Additionally, you can alter or use different carrier oils as substitutes in each recipe listed below. These carrier oils are selected just to give you an idea of the options and recipe composition.
Tips To Nail It On the First Try
In a nutshell, the process of making beard balm is boiled down to melting beeswax, adding in the butter and carrier oils, and then mixing in your favorite essential oils for fragrance.
- Pay attention to how much wax you add to your beard balm. Too much will cause a really stiff hold, much like a mustache wax, which will make your beard look unnatural. If you want a creamier beard balm and don’t need a strong hold, it’s a good idea to use less wax.
- Make sure that you have everything you need before you start.
- Prepare before beginning the process. This means measuring out everything before you begin. This step will not only help you make sure that you’re not forgetting anything, but it will also make it the process much easier and more organized once you get started.
- Your burner never needs to be on high throughout the whole process. Don’t get impatient! If your ingredients boil, it will destroy the nutrients present in the butter and carrier oil, thus ruining many of the benefits of using your own beard balm.
The Basic Process
For each beard balm recipe, the process tends to be the same.
- With the stove set to low heat, add your measured wax and butter into the pot. Using a spoon, stir occasionally as it melts.
- As soon as the beeswax and butter have melted, turn off the heat and stir in the carrier oil. Make sure to mix the oil thoroughly throughout the wax and butter mixture.
- Mix in the essential oils.
- Pour the liquid beard balm into the ready container or tins.
- Leave the container or tins uncovered and undisturbed until cool, about 12 hours. To make sure that the open container doesn’t collect dust or dirt, you can loosely cover it with wax paper.
Below, we have collected some easy beard balm recipes to get making your first balm. Don’t forget that you can add in your own ideas and preferences, such as alternating in jojoba oil, adding Vitamin E oil, or experimenting with your own favorite scents.
Basic Beard Balm DIY
- 2 tsp. Beeswax
- 2 tsp. Coconut Oil (or carrier oil of your choice)
- 2 tsp. Shea Butter
- 1 tsp. Cocoa Butter
Bourbon and Campfire Beard Balm with Shea Butter
- 2 Tbsp. Beeswax
- 2 Tbsp. Shea Butter
- 1 Tbsp. Cocoa Butter
- 2 tsp. Sweet Almond Oil
- 1/8 tsp. Bourbon Oil
- 4-8 drops Cedar Essential Oil
- 1 drop Rosemary Oil
Woods and Tea Beard Balm
- 2 tsp. Beeswax
- 1 tsp. Shea Butter
- 2 tsp. Argan Oil
- 3 tsp. Hemp Oil
- 1 tsp. Camellia Seed Oil
- 5 drops Cedar Essential Oil
- 2 drops Bergamot Essential Oil
- 3 drops Tea Tree Oil
Citrus and Woods Beard Balm Homemade
- 2 tsp. Beeswax
- 2 tsp. Cocoa Butter
- 2 tsp. Avocado Oil
- 2 tsp. Argan Oil
- 1 tsp. Sweet Almond Oil
- 2-3 drops Sandalwood Essential Oil
- 1-2 drops Lemon Essential Oil
- 1-2 drops Vanilla Essential Oil
Vegan Beard Balm Recipe
- 2 Tbsp. Carnauba Wax
- 1 Tbsp. Shea Butter
- 1 Tbsp. Coconut Oil
- 2-3 drops Bergamot Essential Oil
- 1-3 drops Cedar Essential Oil
- 2-3 drops Tea Tree Oil
One of the great things about making your own beard balm is that once you get a feel for it, you will be able to enjoy mixing it to your favorite specifications. Your perfect balm should give your beard a good style while keeping it soft, shiny, and moisturized.