Not all beard oils are created equally.
One of the aspects that most men seem to ignore completely is looking after their beards, thinking that a quick shave (or not) should be enough to maintain them. It. Is. Not. There is smell and touch and just general appearance to think of! To that end, we've tried and tested a number of different brands of beards oils and creams (most of which are available at Arnotts or your wherever you stock up on men's grooming products), giving each one of them a week. We took a few days off in between, so the good work built up by one didn't just automatically give the next product a head start. Yep, this was given weeks and weeks of hard, beard-y work, and this is what we discovered:
CLINIQUE - For Men 2 in 1 Skin Hydrator & Beard Conditioner
- Pros: There’s help at hand if you’re feeling overwhelmed by everything at the moment. As it says right there, it isn't JUST for you beard, as it can also be used on your entire face.
- Cons: There is no scent from it (you can decide if that is a bad thing), and the fact that it doesn't focus on the beard exclusively can make it feel like it is less specialised for your lovely face hair.
After One Week: The beard does feel nice and soft, and the skin does look better and fresher. Truth be told though, the difference isn't all THAT noticeable, might be a good entry point beard groomer for first-time buyers.
KIEHLS - Nourishing Beard Grooming Oil Fulfil
- Pros: It has a very lovely smell.
- Cons: The bottle does feel quite small for the price.
After One Week: Beard looks and smells great. Perfectly suited for when the beard was slightly shorter, and after a bit more growth. A lot of prompts from people asking "Can I feel you beard?" because they had noticed it looked softer. Take that as you will.
LQD - Skin Care Beard Oil
- Pros: Very fancy packaging.
- Cons: The droplet applicator isn't very easy to use, basically using gravity to drop the oil back into your hand. Plus, again, no scent.
After One Week: Beard is softer, but the oil itself left more of a glistening aftereffect which wasn't always that visually appealing. Might be one for folks with a longer beard, but seriously, that applicator just wasn't doing it for me. Plus the heaviness of the packaging itself meant I had no idea how much oil I had used or had left after the week.
L'OREAL - Barber Club Beard & Hair Styling Cream
- Pros: Quite cost effective, and a very nice smell.
- Cons: It is also supposedly used to style your actual hair, as in your head hair, as opposed to your face hair, which again diminishes the specialty. Also, the texture of the cream isn't very nice.
After One Week: Out of all the products, this is the one that smelled the best. It was also the one that is DEFINITELY better suited to longer beards, as short beards will definitely get matted down by the texture of the cream itself, no matter how little you think you're using.
OVERALL: While some of these work better depending on different length face fuzz, the overall winner for us had to be the Kiehl's Nourishing Beard Grooming Oil. It had a perfect balance of nice smell, nice feel, and the effects lasting for several hours throughout the day, too.