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Beard Balm vs Butter, Conditioner, Cream, Oil & Wax

beard balm vs butter cream conditioner oil wax

I love to have a well-kept beard but to be quite honest that’s difficult these days given the diverse nature of our lives. When I first grew my beard I wasn’t sure which beard care products were right for me.

Beard balm is used mainly to style your beard providing shape and hold. It is similar to beard butter and beard wax whilst beard oil, conditioner and cream are primarily used to keep your beard in great condition softening and hydrating your facial hair and skin underneath.

Having a barber as your best friend really helped me when it came to comparing the various beard care products on the market. I sat with my friend John for a morning chatting over how the products differed and when you might use each one.

After we’d gone through the beard care products I started to try each one in my daily routine.

Here’s what I discovered.

Beard Care Products – Comparision Table

If you want to skip the detail and head straight to a table where I compare all of these products then follow this link to the beard care comparison table.

What is Beard Balm?

Beard balm is a grooming product designed specifically for men with facial hair, particularly those with longer beards.

It is a grooming and styling product that helps condition, shape, and tame facial hair.

Beard balm typically consists of a blend of natural ingredients such as beeswax, shea butter, and various carrier oils like jojoba oil, coconut oil, or argan oil.

These ingredients work together to provide several benefits for your beard and the skin underneath it:

How I use Beard Balm

When using beard balm I simply scoop out a small amount from the container and rub it in my palms to make it softer.

Then I find it’s a simple case of working the product into my beard starting from my roots and working out to the tips.

I find a beard comb is an essential piece of kit to brush and distribute the balm evenly.

The brush also helps me create the style I’m looking for.

Pros and Cons of Beard Balm


  • Hold: Beard balm offers a light to medium hold, perfect for taming unruly hair and shaping your beard.
  • Moisture: It contains essential oils and butter that keep your beard hydrated, reducing itchiness and dryness.
  • Nourishment: Beard balm often contains ingredients like shea butter and beeswax, which nourish both your beard and the underlying skin.


  • Not suitable for all beard types: If you have a very long or thick beard, you might find that beard balm doesn’t provide enough hold.
  • Can feel greasy: Some beard balms may leave a slightly greasy residue, especially if you use too much.

I find beard balm a versatile grooming product that can help to keep my beard looking its best. It also provides essential care for my skin underneath.

What is Beard Butter?

Beard butter is a grooming product designed specifically for men with facial hair, particularly those with longer or thicker beards.

It is a type of beard conditioner and moisturizer that helps soften, hydrate, and tame facial hair while also nourishing the skin beneath the beard.

Beard butter typically has a creamy or balm-like consistency and contains a blend of natural oils, butter, and sometimes essential oils or fragrances.

How I use Beard Butter

I use beard butter every so often but if your goal is to have a wonderfully moisturised and soft beard then you may want to adopt it into your regular routine.

As with the other balm and cream products listed here, I take a small amount out of the container and warm it between my hands to melt it slightly.

I then massage the melted butter into my beard and onto the skin underneath.

This helps to moisturize and condition my beard, making it more manageable, reducing frizz and preventing dryness and itchiness.

Pros and Cons of Beard Butter


  • Deep Conditioning: Beard butter is excellent at moisturizing and softening your beard, leaving it feeling silky and manageable.
  • Minimal Hold: It provides minimal hold, making it ideal for shorter beards or those who prefer a natural look.
  • No Greasy Residue: Beard butter typically doesn’t leave a greasy residue on your beard or skin.


  • Limited Hold: If you need more control over your beard’s shape, beard butter may not be sufficient.
  • Not suitable for extreme styling: For intricate beard styles, beard butter alone might not be enough to maintain the desired shape.

Although I don’t use beard butter every day I do find that an added benefit is how my beard smells after I use it – wonderfully fragrant.

What is Beard Conditioner?

Beard conditioner is a grooming product designed specifically for the care and maintenance of facial hair, particularly beards.

It is similar in concept to hair conditioner used for the scalp and hair on the head but is formulated to address the unique needs of facial hair, which can be coarser, wirier, and more prone to dryness and brittleness.

beard conditioner keeps beards soft

How I use Beard Conditioner

When I use beard conditioner I typically apply it to my beard after washing it with beard shampoo or a mild facial cleanser.

Just like hair conditioner, I tend to leave beard conditioner in for a minute or two to allow it to work its magic, then rinse it out thoroughly.

Recently I found some beard conditioners that are leave-in, meaning you don’t rinse them out but instead apply a small amount and leave it to absorb into your beard throughout the day.

Surprisingly, the leave-in conditioner worked very well.

Pros and Cons of Beard Conditioner


  • Intense Hydration: Beard conditioners are designed to deeply hydrate and nourish your beard, making it softer and more manageable.
  • Works well with other products: You can use beard conditioner alongside other grooming products to enhance their effectiveness.


  • Limited Styling Benefits: Beard conditioner doesn’t provide hold or shaping capabilities, so it’s not ideal for those looking to sculpt their beard into specific styles.
  • Can be time-consuming: Applying conditioner can add extra time to your grooming routine.

What I found was that regular use of beard conditioner helped to keep my beard looking healthy, soft, and well-maintained but as it happens it’s particularly beneficial for those who have longer beards or live in dry climates, as these conditions can lead to beard dryness and discomfort.

What is Beard Cream?

Beard cream is indeed a grooming product designed for the care and maintenance of beards.

Beard cream is a product used to moisturize, condition, and style facial hair.

It typically contains a combination of natural oils, butter (such as shea or cocoa butter), and sometimes wax.

It is very similar to beard balm.

How I use Beard Cream

When I use beard cream, I typically take a small amount, warm it between my palms, and then apply it evenly throughout my beard, making sure to reach my skin beneath.

I then use a comb or brush to distribute the product and style my beard as desired.

Pros and Cons of Beard Cream


  • Light and Non-Greasy: Beard cream is perfect for daily use, as it won’t weigh your beard down or make it feel greasy.
  • Softens and Hydrates: It softens and hydrates your beard, making it feel more comfortable against your skin.


  • Limited Hold: Like beard butter, beard cream doesn’t offer significant hold, making it less suitable for intricate beard styles.
  • May require more frequent application: Due to its lightweight nature, you might need to reapply beard cream throughout the day for optimal results.

What is Beard Oil?

Beard oil is a grooming product designed specifically for men with facial hair, such as beards and moustaches.

It is a cosmetic product that typically consists of a blend of natural oils, such as jojoba oil, argan oil, coconut oil, grapeseed oil, and essential oils for fragrance.

The primary purpose of beard oil is to moisturize and condition facial hair and the skin underneath.

How I use Beard Oil

To use beard oil, I typically apply a few drops (the amount may vary depending on the length and thickness of your beard) onto your fingertips and then massage it into your beard and the skin beneath.

I find it best to apply beard oil when my beard is clean and slightly damp, such as after a shower, to help the oil distribute evenly.

Pros and Cons of Beard Oil


  • Lightweight Moisture: Beard oil absorbs quickly, providing instant hydration to both your beard and the skin underneath.
  • Reduces Itchiness: It helps alleviate beard itch and prevents dry, flaky skin.
  • Versatility: Beard oil can be used at any beard length and for various beard styles.


  • Limited Hold: Beard oil does not offer hold or control over your beard’s shape, so it’s not suitable for complex styles.
  • Frequent Application: Depending on your beard’s length and your environment, you may need to reapply beard oil throughout the day.

I’ve found beard oils come in various scents and formulations, so you can choose one that suits your preferences and skin type.

I also discovered recently that some beard oils may contain additional ingredients like vitamins or antioxidants to further promote beard and skin health although I haven’t tried these out yet.

What is Beard Wax?

Beard wax is a grooming product designed for men with facial hair, specifically those with longer beards or moustaches.

It is a styling product that provides a stronger hold compared to beard balm.

Beard wax is typically made from a combination of natural ingredients, including beeswax, shea butter, carrier oils (such as jojoba oil or coconut oil), and sometimes essential oils for fragrance.

How I use Beard Wax

I typically use beard wax when I travel especially if I’m away camping.

To use beard wax, I simply take a small amount from the container with my fingers, warm it between my fingers to soften it, and then work it into my beard and moustache.

I always use a comb or brush to make sure the wax is evenly distributed and after use it to create the style I’m looking for.

Top Tip: Try not to use too much wax, as it can make your beard feel heavy or greasy. How much is too much? Well, that depends on the length and fullness of your beard.

Pros and Cons of Beard Wax


  • Superior Hold: Beard wax provides a strong hold, allowing you to shape and style your beard precisely.
  • Long-Lasting: It keeps your beard in place throughout the day, even in challenging weather conditions.
  • Ideal for Beards with Volume: If you have a big, full beard, beard wax can help maintain its shape.


  • Heavier Texture: Beard wax can feel heavier and waxier on your beard compared to other products, which some may find uncomfortable.
  • Potential Residue: If you use too much, beard wax can leave a noticeable residue, making your beard look greasy.

In my experience, the key difference between beard wax and beard balm is the higher wax in beard wax gives it a stronger hold – but more on that in the next section.

Beard Balm Compared to Other Beard Grooming Products

Beard Balm vs Beard Butter

When it comes to choosing between beard balm and beard butter my view is that the decision will depend on your beard’s specific needs.

I find beard balm will provide a better hold for styling, making it ideal for longer beards that require shape and control.

On the other hand, beard butter excels in deep conditioning and moisturizing, making it an excellent choice for coarse or dry beards.

Here’s a quick summary:

  • Beard balm offers more hold than beard butter.
  • Beard butter provides deeper conditioning and a softer feel.
  • Choose balm for light styling and conditioning; choose butter for intense hydration.

Beard Balm vs Beard Conditioner

If you’re thinking of using either beard balm or beard conditioner you’ll need to understand that the two products are used for different purposes.

Beard balm offers styling capabilities and light conditioning, while beard conditioner focuses solely on intensive hydration and softening.

Top Tip: Sometimes I combine both beard balm and beard conditioner in my daily routine.

It keeps my beard soft but also helps me to produce the style I want for my beard.

Here’s a quick summary of how beard balm and beard conditioner compare.

  • Beard balm provides hold and styling capabilities, which conditioner lacks.
  • Beard conditioner excels at moisturizing and should be used in conjunction with other products.
  • Use balm for styling; use conditioner for hydration.

Beard Balm vs Beard Cream

When it comes to beard balm or beard cream I find they are both quite similar.

In my experience beard balm has a firmer hold for styling, while beard cream provides a more natural look.

So if like me you have a more structured beard then maybe beard balm is for you. If your beard is more casual then beard cream can be a great option.

If this is your dilemma then here’s a quick summary so you can make an informed decision.

  • Beard balm provides hold and mild conditioning.
  • Beard cream is lightweight and offers minimal hold but great daily moisture.
  • Opt for balm for styling; opt for cream for everyday softness.

Beard Balm vs Beard Oil

beard balm vs beard oil

This is the most common question I’m asked, should I use beard oil or beard balm and the answer is quite simple.

Beard balm and beard oil are both versatile products, but beard balm offers more hold and control for shaping and styling your beard.

Beard oil is better suited for those looking for light hydration and a more natural appearance.

So if you’re looking to add style then choose beard balm whereas if you’re looking to get your beard into better shape then go for the beard oil.

Here’s a summary of how each product can help you.

  • Beard balm offers more hold and styling power.
  • Beard oil excels in providing instant hydration and reducing itchiness.
  • Choose balm for shaping; choose oil for hydration and comfort.

Beard Balm vs Beard Wax

So I find beard balm and beard wax very similar but in my opinion beard wax does offer a much stronger hold.

If you have an untameable beard or if you want to shape your beard and have a long-lasting hold, beard wax is the better choice.

However, if like me you prefer a more natural look and feel, beard balm will most likely be sufficient.

Here’s a summary of beard balm compared to beard wax.

  • Beard balm offers some hold but less than wax.
  • Beard wax provides the strongest hold and is ideal for intricate styles.
  • Use balm for light control; use wax for precision and maximum hold.

Beard Care Products Comparision Table

When I was doing my research on the various beard care products I made a lot of notes which I’ve consolidated into the following table – I hope you find it useful.

PS: If you’re on a mobile swipe to view the whole table below.

CriteriaBeard BalmBeard ButterBeard ConditionerBeard CreamBeard OilBeard Wax
Lightweight TextureNoYesNoYesYesNo
Suitable for Daily UseYesYesYesYesYesNo
Styling CapabilitiesYesMinimalNoLimitedNoYes
Ideal for Long BeardsYesYesYesLimitedYesYes
Ideal for Short BeardsYesYesYesYesYesYes
Ideal for Beard StylesYesMinimalNoLimitedNoYes
Beard Care Products Comparison Table


Choosing the right beard grooming product depends on your personal preferences and beard type.

Beard balm is a versatile option that combines hold, moisture, and nourishment, making it suitable for a wide range of beard styles.

However, for those seeking a more natural or relaxed look, beard butter, beard cream, or beard oil might be better choices.

If you require maximum hold and precision for intricate beard styles, beard wax is your go-to option.

Remember that a combination of these products can also work wonders for your beard.

You can use beard oil for daily hydration and comfort, and then add a touch of beard balm or wax when you want to style and shape your beard for special occasions.

Ultimately, the best choice comes down to your beard grooming goals and preferences, so don’t hesitate to experiment until you find the perfect routine that suits your beard’s unique needs.

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