Beard Conditioner vs. Oil: A Comparison

Studies indicate that 22% of American men find beards to be fashionable. This is why good beard care is now the in-thing.

Two of the most popular products for beard grooming are beard conditioner and beard oil

But are these two products the same or different? What are their uses? Let us find this comparison between the two. 

One of the similarities between beard condition and beard oil is that they are both used in beard grooming. But on the other hand, they are different in their method of application and use.

Both have different ingredients, different application methods, and different expected results.  Let’s look at the two, compare and contrast them.

Beard Conditioner vs. Oil: Definition

What Is Beard Conditioner?

A beard conditioner is a lotion that is applied to the beards after taking a shower. It’s a traditional hair product. There are many types of beard conditions but they all serve the purpose of softening, moisturizing, and hydrating your beard. 

They have natural ingredients such as aloe Vera, jojoba oil, coconut oil, Argan oil, glycerin, cocoa seed butter, and other ingredients. Beard conditioners also have beneficial minerals and vitamins like Vitamin A, D, E, and B5. 

Lee's Razors
Lee's Razors
Beard conditioners moisturize and restore beards
Beard conditioners moisturize and restore beards

Differences Between The Regular Beard Conditioner And The Leave-In Conditioner

Typically, the beard conditioner is applied to the beard when showering. This is usually followed by shampoo.

The conditioner helps to clean and condition beards in the same way as the traditional head hair conditioner. Since this is applied when showering, you should also wipe it when wiping yourself.

Before leaving their homes, most men apply the leave-in conditioner, also known as beard balms. While it holds a little longer to enable styling, its primary goal is to moisturize the skin and the beards throughout the day.

It also helps to soften the beard hairs and reduce itching. This is usually washed away at the end of the day.

What Is Beard Oil?

Beard oil is designed in a way that enables it to mimic sebum oil, the natural oils produced on the scalp and face.

It contains a number of ingredients that provide users with healthy skin and beards. Since the hair on the face is usually thicker than other body hair, it requires more care.

The two main ingredients contained in beard oils are carrier oils and essential oils.

Beard oils provide moisture and shine
Beard oils provide moisture and shine

Carrier oils are the major ingredient in beard oils. These oils are usually derived from the plant or fruit’s fatty portion. They are very effective in beards because they are usually light and don’t clog the pores on the face or skin.

People with sensitive skins can use carrier oils without any problems. Some of the common carrier oils include argan oil, olive oil, peanut oil, and jojoba oil.

On the other hand, essential oils have the most beneficial properties. These oils provide therapeutic properties and a unique scent to the oil.

The list of beard essential oils is very long. But some of the most common beard essential oils include eucalyptus oil, cedarwood oil, tea tree oil, peppermint oil, and lavender oil.

Beard Conditioner vs. Oil:  Uses

Beard conditioner is used to make the hair soft. The leave-in conditions like beard balm serve the same purpose but temporarily (when on the beard). Beard conditioner also helps improve the softness, damage of the beard, and the dryness of the skin.

On the other hand, beard oil improves the shine and moisture of the beard. It moisturizes the skin underneath the beard and keeps the hair hydrated.

This minimizes itching caused by a dry beard while improving shine. But beard oil did not improve hair condition in any way.

Beard Conditioner vs. Oil: The Major Differences

There are several differences between beard conditions and beard oils. These include:


Like we have already noted, beard oil is made from a combination of carrier oil and essential oils. The carrier oils are usually the oil’s base while the essential oil provides the solution with a good smell.

This is on top of other benefits. It’s possible to make beard oils with a few different carrier oils and many different essential oils.

Beard conditioners are available in natural as well as artificial forms. They consist of water and an oil base such as coconut oil that is usually soaked into the beard hair in a similar way to warm water.

While beard conditioners don’t have a carrier and essential oil, they instead have conditioning ingredients that help to soften the beard as well the skin beneath it. Natural fats and oil are added to the base to soften the hair and nourish the surrounding skin.

It’s advisable to ensure that you only use beard conditioners that have natural ingredients. While these may be more expensive, they will serve you well.

Some ingredients in beard conditioner may be similar to those in beard oil but they may be in higher amounts so that they accomplish more.


Most men apply the beard oil as part of their morning grooming routine.

  • To apply the oil, you should start by washing your beard with a cleanser and lukewarm water.
  • Then, use the beard conditioner to moisturize the skin.
  • Next, you should drop three to five drops of beard oil into the palm of your hands. Massage the beard in a downward motion while it’s still wet but isn’t drenched.

Ensure that you apply through the entire beard. If you have a thick or long beard, use a comb to ensure that the beard oil is evenly distributed.

A few drops of beard oil
A few drops of beard oil will keep your beard and skin healthy

You can apply beard conditioner in the same way you do to the normal conditioner.

You can also use it as a multifunctional product that helps to cleanse, moisturize, soften and detangle the beards.

All you need to do is to smear the condition to the roots of your beards using your hands. You should ensure that you rinse thoroughly especially if you will apply the moisturizing conditioner.

Ensure that no residue is left behind as it can lead to dirt and bacteria and leave your beard greasier. 

There are leave-in beard conditions that are mostly labeled as beard balms and have conditioning properties. 

You should apply beard oils after showing and drying your beard with a towel. On the other hand, beard oil should be applied when the skin is still a bit damp.

Nature of product

Another difference between beard conditioners and oils is that beard oils are cosmetic products while beard conditioners are moisturizers.

Other differences between the two are:

  • Beard oils have a scent while beard conditioners are unscented
  • Beard conditioners are usually thicker than oil as they contain ingredients such as Mango Butter, Shea butter,  glycerin, and cocoa seed butter
  • Beard conditioners are usually more expensive than beard oils. This is because beard oils contain only carrier and essential oils
  • Beards oils get rancid if poorly stored but beard conditioners are usually stable unless their natural ingredients have been compromised during storage or due to lack of preservatives
  • Beard oil tends to penetrate the hair shaft and therefore, nourish the follicles internally and therefore, promote healthy growth. On the other hand, beard conditions only work by coating the beard to keep it soft and hydrated.

A Guide On Choosing Beard Conditioner And Oil

Choosing the right beard oil

There are a number of factors that you need to consider when buying beard oil. One of these is your beard type and skin type.

Go through the ingredients before you make the purchasing decision. Ensure that the beard oil is made of 100% natural chemicals and has no chemicals.

Consider if it has organic oils such as Argan oil and jojoba oil as these are rich in Vitamin E and essential fatty acids that can help nourish your beard.

Choosing a beard conditioner

Just like beard oils, the main factor to consider when buying beard conditioners is the ingredients. You will want to ensure that the beard oil has no Parabens, sulfates, phthalate, mineral oils, and other harmful substances. 

It’s also advisable to carry out an allergy test before you can use a beard conditioner on your beards. This will ensure that you do not get an allergic reaction to certain ingredients.

We recommend that you find a beard conditioner that has mango butter or Shea butter as it will help you moisturize your beard and skin.

Men with short beards should choose beard conditioners that have the same consistency as the balm. This will make it easier to apply the beard conditioner.

Final Thoughts

Beard oil is meant to restore the moisture and shine in your beards. It’s made of a number of oils that moisturize the beard and the underneath skin. There are certain beard oils that help to soften the hair but in a small way.

On the other hand, beard conditioners help to soften beard hairs, reduce irritation, and itchiness. A conditioner can also help to treat skin conditions such as dandruff around the beards.

Both of these products will keep your beards smelling fresh all day long. Therefore, you can choose one that meets your needs.

Lee Cantor

Provide the best shaving product reviews and shaving advices to the wetshaving community and friends.

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