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A man running his fingers through his beard.


Does Beard Oil Work? Here’s Your Answer

Beard oil isn’t just for long, bushy beards: It’s a staple for all guys with facial hair. Here, learn why and how to use beard oil in your grooming routine.

Any good grooming routine should be tailored to your specific needs, but there are several products that we recommend every guy keep in his Dopp kit. This includes skincare staples, like cleanser and moisturizer, and grooming products, like shaving cream and a sharp, clean razor. If you have facial hair, a few beard care products, like beard oil, are necessities, as well.

While beard oil may seem unnecessary—particularly for guys who prefer a low-maintenance grooming routine—we’d argue that it’s a men’s grooming essential, particularly if you keep your facial hair on the longer side. Here, we’ll explain why and give you the scoop on our best beard oil for soft, manageable facial hair. We’ll also offer up tips on using our beard oil in your regular face care routine. Get ready to put your best facial hair forward, and read on for the Kiehl’s guide to beard oil.

What Is Beard Oil?

Beard oil is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: oil for your beard. More specifically, it’s a grooming aid, generally meant for guys with long, thick, or bushy facial hair (though, in reality, anyone with facial hair can use beard oil—even if that hair is just a little scruff).

While the ingredients can vary depending on the formula, beard oil is often made to be relatively lightweight and easily absorbed so as not to give the facial hair a greasy appearance.

What Does Beard Oil Do?

As a grooming aid, the primary purpose of beard oil is to condition and help tame unruly facial hair. Like hair conditioner, beard oil can also help address other hair concerns, like frizziness or dryness. Of course, the specific benefits of any given beard oil depend on the formula and what hair type it’s made for.

Grooming Solutions Nourishing Beard Oil

Our Grooming Solutions Nourishing Beard Oil contains several skin- and hair-friendly oils, including Amazonian pracaxi oil, avocado oil, and olive fruit oil. It also boasts a blend of aromatic essential oils that leave behind a clean, woodsy fragrance. The lightweight, non-greasy oil helps tame and smooth coarse facial hair, including full beards and light scruff. It absorbs quickly and helps nourish the hair for a well-groomed finish. The unique formula also helps refine the skin beneath your beard, diminishing dryness for a nourished look and feel. This Kiehl’s favorite is suitable for all skin and hair types and can be used daily as part of your regular beard grooming routine.

How Do You Use Beard Oil?

Typically, you’ll want to apply your beard oil toward the end of your grooming routine. Keep reading for our simple five-step men’s grooming routine starring our best beard oil.

Step 1:

Wash Your Beard To Remove Dirt and Oil

Before getting to work on trimming or shaping your beard, you’ll want to make sure your hair is clean and free of excess dirt, sweat, and oil. We recommend washing your beard with a gentle, non-drying shampoo, such as Grooming Solutions Nourishing Shampoo + Conditioner. This two-in-one formula for men’s hair (including facial hair) gently removes buildup and nourishes your hair for a soft, touchable feel. It also hydrates and refreshes the skin underneath for a thoroughly clean and healthy-looking finish.

To use this multi-tasking cleanser, apply a small amount to damp hair and work into a lather. Once you’ve created sufficient suds, rinse the foam out thoroughly to remove impurities and cleanser residue. We recommend using warm water to wash your beard, as anything too hot can strip your skin and hair of their natural oils.

Step 2:

Prep Your Skin With a Face Scrub

A few times per week, exfoliate to help release any trapped beard hairs (read: ingrowns) that may have taken up residence on your face. You can do this with an exfoliating cleanser, but for thorough exfoliation, we recommend reaching for a scrub, like Facial Fuel Energizing Face Scrub.

This men’s facial exfoliator with energizing caffeine and powdered apricot seed sloughs away dead skin and helps remove impurities, like dirt and oil, from the skin’s surface. When used before grooming, it also helps soften tough facial hair to allow for a closer, more comfortable shave. It’s suitable for all skin types and can be used two to three times weekly as part of your regular routine; on the other days, simply wash your face with a foaming cleanser, like Facial Fuel Energizing Face Wash.

Step 3:

Groom Your Facial Hair As Usual

Once your skin and beard are prepped, you can go ahead and shape your facial hair. Those who shave will want to prep the skin with a shaving cream or gel before breaking out the razor. For more shaving tips, check out our article How To Shave Your Face in 6 Steps.

Alternatively, if you’re simply trimming your beard, you can pretty much get right down to business. See our article How To Trim a Beard and Avoid Annoying Ingrowns for a simple, step-by-step guide to beard trimming.

Finally, once you’ve finished shaving, trimming, or shaping your beard, we recommend reaching for Ultimate Razor Burn and Bump Relief. While it’s technically an aftershave treatment, this men’s must-have is also useful for those who trim their beards. The lightweight cream absorbs quickly, instantly soothing and hydrating just-shaved skin. The exfoliating formula (which stars lipo-hydroxy acid and aloe vera) helps reduce the appearance of ingrown hairs—a common grooming concern that can arise after shaving or trimming your facial hair. Simply apply a small amount to your skin after shaving or trimming, focusing on irritated or bump-prone areas. Allow it to absorb fully before continuing on with your grooming routine.

Step 4:

Complete Your Skincare Routine

While your aftershave lotion sinks into your skin, you can go ahead and complete your men’s skincare routine. We recommend applying serum first, then layering moisturizer on top (and, of course, add SPF for daytime). If you need help determining which products are best for you, see our men’s serum guide here and our best men’s moisturizers here.

Step 5:

Massage Beard Oil Through Your Facial Hair

Finally, once everything else is complete, you can apply Grooming Solutions Nourishing Beard Oil to your facial hair. Dispense a few drops of the fragrant treatment onto your fingertips and gently massage the oil throughout your beard (and mustache, if you have one). As you work the product through, make sure to massage the oil onto the skin beneath your facial hair as well. Though this grooming oil is non-greasy, keep in mind that less is more: You don’t want to weigh down your facial hair with too much oil. Continue working the oil through your facial hair as needed for a smooth, tamed finish.

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