The industry is saturated with lots of different beard products you can select from, and all of them report different purposes and results. But when two beard grooming products have the same effect on hair, customers stumble when knowing which product to pick.
So, what the difference between beard oil and beard balm?
Although the answer to this question weighs heavily on personal preference, there are some aspects of both you and the products that need to be considered. For example, what kind of beard you’re rocking (is it a long beard that requires lots of product, or is it a short groomed beard for work?). Another variable to take into consideration is skin type. Is your skin dryer than typical, or is it excessively oily? Do you like your beard to have a shiny appearance, or do you prefer a matte finish? Do you work in food and hospitality, at an office, or outdoors?
This is the fundamental grooming accessory for the modern beardsman. This product is typically recommended for all beards, but especially in early stages of beard growth. Its moisturizing factors help treat beard dandruff and flaking, and also calm down the itchy phase of newer and younger beards.
Beard oil is an oil-based light moisturizer that can be applied throughout your entire beard quickly and effortlessly. Its liquid form also means it’s more effective in hydrating the skin through shorter or trimmed beards as opposed to their larger counterparts.
Beard oil absorbs into the skin and hair more quickly than balm. As a result, your beard will have a matte finish appearance, rather than glossy or shiny. Longer beards should use a beard brush or comb to distribute the oil evenly through the entire beard. While their appearance is subtle, oils will afford you a silky smooth beard without the gunky texture you might get from commercial conditioners and silicone products.
Beard balm is a great product for a medium to large sized beard, but also a solid choice if your skin is dryer than most. The utility balm was designed to have a higher viscosity than the oil – meaning it’s thicker in texture and takes longer to absorb. Where beard oil comes in a bottle of liquid, utility balm is closer in texture to pomade or solid cologne.
The balm actually sits on your beard and skin longer than the oil does before absorbing, which gives you more nourishing and longer-lasting moisture. This is also what gives your beard some extra shine while keeping it healthy.
The thickness of utility balm is also functional – it has just enough hold to comb down stubborn beard hairs and fly-aways that go against your beard’s shape and grooming goals. It can also be used as a low-hold styling agent for your mustache and sideburns for a bit more finish around the edges.
One more thing sets beard balm apart from its oil-based cousin: versatility. Beard oil is fantastic for keeping the skin under your beard and your beard healthy, but utility balm was designed to use as a skin moisturizer, too. You can use it as a daily moisturizer, something to keep your tattoos bright, or you can save it for dryer months that require some extra TLC.
source: Beard Brand