Which is Better: Beard Oil or Beard Butter?

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Written By Dominic Howard

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For men who sport facial hair, properly caring for your beard is an important part of your grooming routine. Keeping your beard soft, hydrated, and healthy not only makes it look better but also feel more comfortable. Two of the most popular beard care products on the market are beard oil and beard butter. Both can provide numerous benefits for your beard, but they also have some differences. So which one is better for your beard – oil or butter?

Here’s a detailed comparison of the pros and cons of each to help you decide.

What is Beard Oil?

Beard oil is a leave-in conditioner specially formulated for your facial hair. It typically contains various natural oils such as argan, jojoba, grapeseed, almond, and coconut oils as the main ingredients. Essential oils like tea tree, cedarwood, or eucalyptus may also be added by some manufacturers for their beneficial properties or nice scent.

The oils in beard oil are absorbed by the hair follicles and skin underneath your beard. This provides multiple advantages:

  • Hydrates Facial Hair – The oils moisturize each hair strand from root to tip. This prevents dryness and resulting beardruff.
  • Softens & Conditions – The oils make facial hair more supple and manageable. Your beard will feel softer and less coarse.
  • Reduces Itching and flaking – Well-hydrated follicles are less prone to itchiness and dandruff. The oils help cleanse away dead skin cells.
  • Adds Shine & Luster – The oils give your beard a healthy, glossy sheen so it looks its best.
  • Aids Styling – Oiled-up facial hair is easier to shape, train, and style as desired.
  • Soothes Skin – The oils moisturize and nourish the skin beneath your beard which is often stripped of natural oils. This prevents dryness, irritation, and acne.
  • Pleasant Scent – Many beard oils contain essential oils that provide light aromatherapy benefits and make your beard smell great. Apply after showering for a long-lasting scent.

Beard oil is easy to apply – simply rub a few drops thoroughly into your dry or slightly damp beard and skin underneath. Use it daily after cleaning your beard to keep the hair and skin hydrated. The oils absorb quickly and won’t leave any greasy residue. Be sure to wash your hands immediately after application. Carry a small bottle for easy touch-ups during the day as needed.

What is Beard Butter?

Like beard oil, beard butter is another leave-in conditioner for maintaining your facial hair. It contains many of the same moisturizing carrier oils as beard oil but has a thicker, whipped consistency almost like hair pomade. This comes from the addition of plant butter or wax as the main ingredient – typically shea, cocoa, mango, or kokum butter.

The thicker whipped texture provides some different advantages than liquid beard oil:

  • Thicker Moisturizing – The dense, creamy texture penetrates and coats the hair and skin more effectively for heavier conditioning. This gives more intense softening and hydrating effects
  • Longer Lasting – The thicker butter sticks to your beard and skin longer than lighter beard oil. The moisturizing effects last most of the day.
  • Better Shaping/Holding – The thicker texture allows you to mold and shape your beard more easily. It provides a light hold for styling like a pomade.
  • Seals in Moisture – Creates a protective barrier on each hair strand to seal in moisture and prevent dryness. Also gives light sun protection.
  • Soothes Itch and Flaking – The richer butter helps relieve dry itchy skin and beard dandruff. Its thicker consistency removes flakes better.
  • Softens Coarse Hair – Intensive conditioning makes coarse or kinky beard hair much softer and more manageable. Minimizes split ends
  • Stronger Scents – Since it’s thicker, beard butter absorbs and holds essential oils better. This provides a stronger, longer-lasting fragrance.

Beard butter shares many ingredients with beard oil, but has a denser feel and consistency due to the plant butter or wax base. Apply by scooping out a small amount with your fingers, then rub thoroughly into your beard and skin underneath. Use it daily after washing for maximized conditioning. The thicker texture allows beard butter to double as a styling product for light hold and shaping.

Pros and cons of Beard Oil vs. Butter

Now that you know the basics of what beard oil and butter are, let’s compare their respective advantages and disadvantages:

Beard Oil Pros

  • Absorbs quickly into hair & skin without residue
  • Leaves no greasy or waxy feeling
  • Works well for shorter beards & minimalists
  • Easier to apply – liquids spread effortlessly
  • More portable and convenient for travel
  • Less goes a longer way (bottle lasts longer)

Beard Oil Cons

  • Can feel too lightweight for coarse or dry beards
  • Doesn’t provide styling like beard balm or wax
  • Moisturizing effects wear off faster
  • Requires more frequent application

Beard Butter Pros

  • Intense hydration & conditioning for drier beards
  • Seals in moisture & prevents flaking/itching
  • A little goes a long way (a small amount is needed)
  • Thick texture doubles as a styling product
  • Provides light hold for shaping & training beard
  • Longer lasting effects compared to oil

Beard Butter Cons

  • Can feel too thick & waxy for some people
  • It not ideal for shorter beards needs less conditioning
  • Harder to apply than liquid oils
  • Can leave residue and stain clothing
  • Not as portable or travel-friendly

As shown above, beard oil and butter each have their own sets of advantages that make them better suited for particular needs and preferences. Some key factors to consider when choosing between the two:

  • Beard Length – Oils typically work better for shorter beards, while longer beards benefit more from the thicker butter.
  • Climate & Environment – In drier climates or seasons, butter seals in more moisture. Oil may be better for more humid environments.
  • Beard Texture – Coarse or kinky beards often respond better to the heavier conditioning of butter. Softer beards may only need lighter oil.
  • Desired Finish – Oils absorb clean without residue. Butter provides light styling and shaping ability.
  • Lifestyle – Oils are easier for travel and on-the-go. Butter lasts longer between applications.
  • Personal Preference – Some simply don’t like thicker waxes or greasier oils. Testing each will determine your own tastes.

Best Practices When Using Beard Oils and Butters

To get the most out of your chosen beard conditioning product, follow these tips for success:

  • Always start with a clean beard – wash with a mild beard shampoo before application.
  • Apply to a slightly damp beard – a little moisture helps absorption for maximum hydration.
  • Use sparingly – a little oil or butter goes a long way. Use too much and it will feel greasy.
  • Spread evenly & thoroughly – apply to skin as well as hair for best coverage.
  • Let it soak in – give the product 5-10 minutes to absorb fully before styling or touching the beard.
  • Style & shape the beard as desired – oils and butter make this easier.
  • Wash hands immediately – prevent staining on clothes or surfaces from touching the product.
  • Experiment with different products – ingredient formulas vary so try different oils/butter to see which beard care product works best for your hair.
  • Use it daily – consistent conditioning is key for soft, healthy facial hair.
  • Adjust amount for season – lighter oil in summer, heavier butter in winter.

Follow these tips and the conditioning product you choose will keep your beard looking and feeling its best.

Other Beard Care & Grooming Tips

While beard oil and butter are great for hydrating and conditioning, they aren’t the only products to incorporate into your beard care routine. Here are some other tips for maintaining healthy facial hair:

  • Use a beard-specific shampoo 2-3x a week – gently cleanses without stripping oils.
  • Brush beard daily – distributes oils, exfoliates the skin, neatens hair, and enhances shine.
  • Apply balm for styling – waxes and balms add hold for sculpting and shaping longer beards
  • Use a beard comb for neatness – especially mustaches and errant strands.
  • Trim regularly – remove stray hairs with a beard trimmer or scissors for a neat appearance.
  • Eat healthy foods – diet affects hair growth and quality. Focus on nutrient-dense foods.
  • Stay hydrated – drinking adequate water keeps skin and hair healthy.
  • Take beard-friendly supplements – vitamins like biotin, vitamin E, and fish oils promote beard growth.
  • Reduce stress – High cortisol levels can disrupt hormones that influence beard fullness and growth.
  • Get adequate sleep – fatigue taxes the body’s ability to produce hair-enhancing hormones.
  • Don’t overwash – shampooing too often strips beneficial oils. Twice a week is ideal for most men.

Following a complete beard care regimen improves the health, condition, and appearance of your facial hair so your beard looks its best.

Beard Oil and Butter Recipes To Try at Home

You can easily make your own DIY beard oil and butter at home using natural ingredients. Here are some simple recipes to try:

Easy Beard Oil Recipe:

  • 1 oz carrier oil(s) – jojoba, argan, grapeseed
  • 12-15 drops essential oils – sandalwood, cedarwood, tea tree, etc.
  • Optional: Vitamin E oil


Combine carrier and essential oils in a dark glass bottle or dropper bottle. Shake well before each use to blend. Apply 4-8 drops per use. Store away from heat and sunlight.

Simple Beard Butter Recipe:

  • 2 oz shea or cocoa butter
  • 1 oz carrier oil(s) – coconut, almond, castor
  • 10-15 drops essential oil(s)


Gently melt butter and oil either together in a double boiler or separately at low heat. Let cool slightly then add essential oils. Whisk or blend until creamy. Pour into a container and let harden fully before use. Rub a small amount into the beard.

These easy DIY recipes allow you to customize your own beard conditioning products using your preferred ingredients and scents. They make thoughtful homemade gifts for bearded men in your life too!

The Bottom Line – It’s a Draw!

When comparing beard oil and beard butter, neither product clearly comes out on top. They both have unique sets of benefits that make them useful for different needs:

  • Beard oil is lighter and absorbs cleanly for convenient daily conditioning of shorter beards.
  • Beard butter provides thicker moisturizing, styling, and flaking relief ideally suited to longer, drier beards.

The right choice ultimately comes down to personal factors – beard length and texture, climate, desired finish, application preference, etc.

There’s no need to limit yourself to just oil or butter though. Many bearded men find success using both products as part of their grooming routine:

  • Use oil daily or a few times a week for convenient lightweight conditioning
  • Using butter once or twice weekly for a more intensive moisturizing treatment

Alternating between the two gives you the best of both worlds. Test out beard oils and butter to see which your beard responds to best. With some experimentation, you’ll find the ideal products and routine to keep your facial hair looking healthy and majestic. Both your beard and your face will thank you!

Frequently Asked Question

1. What is beard oil, and what does it do?

Beard oil is a grooming product made from a blend of natural oils such as jojoba, argan, and coconut oil. It’s designed to moisturize the skin underneath your beard and condition the facial hair, making it softer, more manageable, and less prone to itching or dandruff.

2. How do I use beard oil?

Apply a few drops of beard oil to your palms, rub your hands together, and then massage the oil into your beard and the skin underneath. Make sure to distribute the oil evenly and comb or brush your beard afterward for best results.

3. Will using beard oil make my beard grow faster?

Beard oil doesn’t directly stimulate beard growth, but by promoting a healthy environment for your facial hair, it can help your beard appear fuller and healthier over time.

4. Can I use beard oil on a short beard?

Yes, beard oil can benefit all lengths of facial hair. It helps keep the skin moisturized and prevents itchiness, which is common even with short beards.

5. How often should I apply beard oil?

The frequency of use varies based on personal preference and your beard’s needs. Generally, applying beard oil once a day or every other day is recommended.

6. Can I use beard oil on sensitive skin?

Yes, most beard oils are formulated with natural ingredients that are gentle on the skin. However, it’s a good idea to do a patch test before applying it to your entire beard, especially if you have sensitive skin.

7. Can beard oil replace regular moisturizer?

While beard oil is specifically designed for the beard and the skin underneath, it’s not a replacement for a regular facial moisturizer. It’s best to use both products for optimal skin and beard health.

8. Can women use beard oil?

Absolutely! Beard oil’s benefits extend beyond gender. Anyone with facial hair or even just dry skin can benefit from the moisturizing and conditioning properties of beard oil.


In conclusion, whether you choose beard oil or beard butter depends on your personal preferences and grooming needs. Beard oil offers a lightweight and versatile option, providing essential hydration and promoting a healthy, soft beard. It’s ideal for those who prefer a non-greasy feel and want to focus on maintaining a well-conditioned beard and skin underneath.

On the other hand, beard butter provides a richer, more nourishing experience, particularly suited for individuals with longer beards or those seeking extra styling control. It offers deep conditioning benefits while helping to tame unruly facial hair and giving your beard a well-groomed appearance.

Ultimately, both beard oil and beard butter have their unique advantages, contributing to a well-maintained and impressive beard. Whether you opt for the quick-absorbing benefits of beard oil or the luxurious conditioning of beard butter, incorporating either product into your grooming routine will undoubtedly enhance the health and appearance of your facial hair.

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