66 The Label – All products featured on GQ are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
The best beard oil is an easy sell: if you want to grow a beard, or improve the one you’ve already got, this is just about the easiest and best-smelling step you could take. Because a great beard starts with the proper products, a little patience to fill those patches, and a little intel on how to shape and style. But what separates the bush-league growers from the big league bushes is elbow grease: That beard is a labor of love, and a daily application of beard oil will keep your scruff looking lush and feeling soft, while moisturizing the skin underneath. Meanwhile, the rookies are growing a glorified Brillo pad on their face and rocking dry, flaky skin underneath.
Next to a good beard trimmer, beard oil is an essential for any guy, no matter how long or short his stubble. The best beard oils are overflowing with nourishing ingredients (usually a combination of natural oils). They rapidly absorb into skin and hair, and, depending on the beard, help ground any flyaways. (Some lighter oils don’t tame as well as others—which isn’t necessarily a bad thing if you’ve got a close-cropped beard.)
A daily application of oil comes with numerous benefits. First and foremost, it keeps both beard and skin hydrated. It’s hard to moisturize the skin beneath your facial hair, and beard oil slips in there quite easily to nourish and soften it all. (This prevents the dreaded beard dandruff, particularly in winter.) And by hydrating the beard hairs themselves, the oil prevents them from turning brittle and wiry. This prevents breakage, and it also prevents the beard from scratching you.
3 Reasons You Should Be Using Beard Oil
1. To tame even the wildest whiskers: Your beard doesn’t just grow neatly into shape; it needs coaching and conditioning. A dense blend of essential oils will do the trick. Something heavy enough to keep your strays in check, but light enough that it still absorbs quickly into the hair and avoid any greasiness.
2. A little sillage: Most beard oils have a subtle scent, though they aren’t often overpowering after absorbing into your whiskers. This ability to project is called sillage, and a nice scented beard oil can pinch-hit in place of a cologne.
3. Versatility: You can use beard oils as pre-shave lubricants, post-shave nourishment, or even as standalone moisturizers to keep dry skin hydrated.
Here are 22 of the best beard oils. Stock up for the cold months, or for the beard-growing journey ahead.
The Top-Shelf Beard Oil
Anything the other brands do…Tom Ford does fancier. His beard oil comes in a trio of scents that recall his classic fragrance line. May we suggest Oud Wood or Neroli Portofino?
The Beard Oil with the Wildest Ingredients
At first glance, the recipe is familiar: Almond and jojoba oil are there to soften your boar-ish beard bristles. But then things get weird: Extract of sea buckthorn (it’s an orange berry) moisturizes the skin. Pine oil fights fungal infections and prevents beard dandruff. Quite the potion, this one.
The Best Jumbo-Size Beard Oil
Double the size of most beard oils, Reamir’s soothes skin, beard, and senses alike with lavender oil. It adds vitamins A and E to the mix, to pump youthful vitality into your mane, and to make sure that it grows as full, thick, and expedient as possible.
The Best Deeply Hydrating Beard Oil
If you’re not hip to the transformative powers of argan oil yet, Oars + Alps’s specialty beard formula just might convert you. The brand’s carefully-formulated concoction uses a blend of argan and jojoba to sooth and nourish your scruff, plus a healthy dose of grapefruit and vetiver to ensure your whiskers smell as inviting as the rest of you.
The Best Homegrown Beard Oil
Combining oils of argan, jojoba, grape seed, juniper berry, rosemary, and clary sage, this homespun beard oil has been on top of our list for years. Brothers Artisan offers four scented “grooming” oils, which conquer a number of soothing and nourishing tasks around the face and head; use it to nourish skin, tame and condition the hair, or calm pesky beard hairs, and we particularly like eucalyptus and juniper.
The Best Beard Oil for Your Buck
Size, sillage, and absorbency are V76’s strengths. Its oil is double the size of most competitors’ (2 oz. vs 1 for most others), and at $19 it’s one of the best deals, too. A blue cedar scent lingers long and soothes the senses, and lastly, this castor-safflower-olive-jojoba oil blend soaks into your skin and facial hair quickly, so that it doesn’t weigh you down.
The Best Beard Oil to Prevent Beard Dandruff
Beard dandruff is a real pain, but Stubble & ‘Stache’s blend combines sunflower and hemp seed oils to nourish the cheeks and chin just as much as the beard itself. Along with argan, jojoba, and castor oils (as well as vitamin E), this one is a super nourisher for a soft beard, soft skin, soft everything.
The Best Beard Oil for Big Beards
Beardbrand is aptly named, given they sell some of the most trusted, effective beard products in an extremely crowded retail space. And while they’ve got an outstanding assortment of premium and scented oils (as well as washes, stylers, hydrators, and more), we love this unscented blend that suits all skin types (even the most oily!). It combines oils of apricot kernel, grape seed, jojoba, and castor, and packs a mighty punch for a low price.
The Best All-in-One Beard Oil
A super blend of 10 oils, including argan, marula, and grape seed. Together they fend off pretty much every malady that could compromise the beard and skin, from toxins to dryness to irritation. Best of all, it doubles as a face oil, triples as a hair oil, and moonlights as an all-over-your-body oil.
The Best Hot Beard Oil Treatment
A hot oil treatment is a mega nourisher for your beard, and feels like a soothing barbershop experience. You heat it up, then wear it for 15-20 minutes after warming the skin and whiskers. Then, after rinsing, you have instantly softer scruff. Proraso’s product helps open the pores and extract the natural oils in your skin, working in tandem with those oils to give you this once-weekly boost.
The Best Detangling Beard Oil
Great for big, bushy beards, this beard oil serum soaks quickly into the hairs and softens them, priming everything for a detangling. Take a beard comb and wade through the beast, while you further distribute the sweet almond and grapeseed oils that give this lightweight potion its potency.
The Best Taming Beard Oil
Squalene and avocado oil help relax those hairs like liquid Xanax. Comb it through for a swift detangling, and a prompt softening.
The Best Low-Cost Beard Oil
Low cost, high results, thanks to the marriage of argan and jojoba oils in this 1-oz. bottle.
The Best Pre-Shave + Beard Oil Combo
Lots of beard oils can double as pre-shave oils, and vice versa, but few are designed specifically for both. By using almond oil in its blend, Davines targets inflammation, and combines the ingredient with jojoba oil for a skin-and-beard-soothing result.
The Best Strengthening and Softening Beard Oil
Argan oil and shea butter join forces in Hawkins & Bumble’s beard oil. Together they simultaneously make everything both strong and soft, while preventing split ends, flyaways, and dullness.
Plus 7 More Beard Oils We Love
Once you’ve found the best beard oil for your needs, learn how to shape your beard like a pro, soften your beard, and dip into all the other tools, washes, scrubs, and tonics you can use to optimize your facial hair.