What in the world is beard moisturizer, how do you use it, and what are the best lotions for beard you can get?

Those are the main questions we are going to uncover in this article, which focuses on an important, but often over-looked beard care product that is hiding in the shadow cast by its big brother; the beard oil.

You may have heard all sorts of things about using lotion on facial hair and how water-based moisturizers would not be as good as beard oils and such…

But is there actually any merit to those claims? Read down below to find that out, along with a bunch of other beard moisturiser facts.

Best Beard Moisturizer Quick Summary

Preview
Our Choice
Lotion for Beards by Beardsley and Company Beard, Care Products. Softens and Soothes, 4 oz
Runner-Up
Mr. Rugged Beard Lotion Conditioner - Repair Soften & Protect Facial Hair - Luxurious Beard Conditioner - Healthy Beard Growth - Paraben & Sodium Chloride Free – Better Then Beard Oils or Beard Balms
Best Value
Shea Moisture Mens Full Beard Detangler, All Natural ingredients, Maracuja Oil & Shea Butter, Soften Hair & Ease Out Knots for a Scuff-Free Beard, 4 Ounce
Product
Beardsley Moisturizing Lotion for Beard
Mr. Rugged Beard Moisturizer
Shea Moisture Beard Detangler
Size
4 fl oz. (118ml)
4 fl oz. (118ml)
4 fl oz. (118ml)
Type
Water-based lotion
Water-based lotion
Water-based lotion
Quick to Absorb
Makes Beard Softer
Adds Shine
Price
$13.95
$17.95
$17.47
Prime Status
-
Our Choice
Preview
Lotion for Beards by Beardsley and Company Beard, Care Products. Softens and Soothes, 4 oz
Product
Beardsley Moisturizing Lotion for Beard
Size
4 fl oz. (118ml)
Type
Water-based lotion
Quick to Absorb
Makes Beard Softer
Adds Shine
Price
$13.95
Prime Status
Where to Buy
Runner-Up
Preview
Mr. Rugged Beard Lotion Conditioner - Repair Soften & Protect Facial Hair - Luxurious Beard Conditioner - Healthy Beard Growth - Paraben & Sodium Chloride Free – Better Then Beard Oils or Beard Balms
Product
Mr. Rugged Beard Moisturizer
Size
4 fl oz. (118ml)
Type
Water-based lotion
Quick to Absorb
Makes Beard Softer
Adds Shine
Price
$17.95
Prime Status
Where to Buy
Best Value
Preview
Shea Moisture Mens Full Beard Detangler, All Natural ingredients, Maracuja Oil & Shea Butter, Soften Hair & Ease Out Knots for a Scuff-Free Beard, 4 Ounce
Product
Shea Moisture Beard Detangler
Size
4 fl oz. (118ml)
Type
Water-based lotion
Quick to Absorb
Makes Beard Softer
Adds Shine
Price
$17.47
Prime Status
-
Where to Buy

What Even is a Beard Moisturizer

man applying beard moisturizer

There are so many different beard products that it can sometimes get confusing which to use and when.

One of these products is a beard moisturizer, which is a water-based lotion that is used to moisturize your beard hairs, and especially the roots and the skin underneath your beard.

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But, “beard moisturizer” can also be used as a blanket term to describe anything that can help moisturize and prevent dryness in your facial hair, be it a lotion, beard oil, beard balm, or even beard conditioner.

What makes the lotion-like creamy beard moisturizers different from beard oil and balms, is just that the lotion is water-based, whereas the oils and balms are – of course – oil-based and contain little to no water at all.

Bottom line: Beard moisturizers are water-based lotions that you can use to moisturize and soften the facial hair and the skin underneath it. The term beard moisturizer can also be used to describe beard oils and beard balms because they also work to moisturize the whiskers.

Different Types of Beard Moisturizers

types of beard moisturizers

Like said, beard moisturizer can mean many different things, and as a blanket term, there are a few different products under it.

As a rule of thumb:

  • The water-based beard lotions work best on the skin underneath your beard but are not the ideal product to use directly on the actual beard hairs.
  • The beard oils are more of an all-rounder, which helps to moisturize both the skin and the beard hairs, but it’s better for the whiskers.
  • The beard balms work best to “seal” and protect your beard thanks to the beeswax in them. Balms are not ideal for the skin but great for the beard hairs.

Bottom line: The broad term of a beard moisturizer can mean lotion, oil, or balm. Below, are full explanations of what makes each of these moisturizer types different.

Moisturizing Lotions & Creams

The “real” moisturizers for facial hair are the water-based lotions explained above.

These typically list water (or aqua) as the first ingredient, which is then followed up by stabilizers, emulsifying agents, absorbents, and small amounts of natural carrier oils and fragrance.

These type of beard lotions are not very different from normal face moisturizers, usually just a bit runnier for better “access” to the under beard skin.

The moisturizer also absorbs and disappears from the skin surface much faster than oils and balms do, which is why some beardsmen prefer to use them over the more popular beard products.

Bottom line: Moisturizers for beard are similar to face creams and lotions, but they are a little bit lighter for easier use on a bearded face. They absorb quickly and work better on the skin underneath your beard rather than on the actual beard hairs.

Beard Oil

Beard oil is the most popular type of beard moisturizer out there, although it’s not a “moisturizer” in the classic sense since it’s not water-based.

Typically, beard oil is a combination of carrier oils with a few drops of essential oils used for scent purposes.

Beard oils are fantastic for preventing beard dandruff, beard itch, and beard split-ends, and in my opinion, they work best to moisturize the dry and brittle beard hairs more so than the skin underneath.

Bottom line: Oil-based moisturizers like beard oil are fantastic for overall beard care purposes, but where they really shine are in moisturizing and repairing the actual beard hair fibers rather than nourishing the skin underneath (which is where lotions would be superior).

Beard Balm

Beard balm is a heavy-duty beard moisturizer that is a step up from the beard lotions and beard oils.

It’s oil-based and has very similar ingredients to beard oils, but with an addition of beeswax.

The beeswax makes it solid in room temperature, and once you apply it to your facial hair, it actually helps to create a very thin layer on top of your facial hair that prevents moisture from escaping.

This, in turn, helps your beard stay healthier and softer, and naturally prevents things like itchiness and dandruff.

The downfall of balms is that while it’s amazing for the actual beard hair fibers, it’s not that great to be applied directly into the skin underneath as it can easily clog the pores.

Bottom line: Beard balm is a stronger, heavier version of beard oil. It’s excellent at moisturizing the beard, but also “comedogenic” which means that it can clog the pores if you apply it directly to the skin.

Best Beard Moisturizers of 2019

1. Beardsley Moisturizer Lotion for Beards

beardsley beard moisturizer

Beardsley has been making beard care products for over fifteen years. In fact, they were some of the first – if not the first – brands to enter the game.

One of their most interesting products is the beard lotion, which is a simple water-based moisturizer for facial hair.

This beard moisturizer is incredibly light and quick to absorb, and the 4 fl oz. pump bottle will last quite a long time since it takes about 2-3 deprecations to cover full beard skin with the stuff.

Since it’s a quick-absorbing water-based lotion, you will, of course, find water and a couple of absorbent compounds as the primary ingredients, which are then followed up by the small number of natural oils like jojoba oil and shea butter.

What I really dig about this product is that they have added in some squalane, which is a natural moisturizer actually found in the sebum oils produced by the beard follicles.

Key Specs

  • Size: 4 fl oz (118ml)
  • Type: Water-based lotion
  • Absorbs: Very fast
  • Scent: Warm spice (light)
  • User Feedback: Positive
  • Price: $$

Ingredients

Water, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Abyssinian Seed Oil, C14-22 Alcohols, C12-20 Alkyl Glucoside, Bay Leaf Oil, Fragrance, Sodium PCA, Glycerin, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyl Dimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Phenoxyethanol, Vitamin E, Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate, Squalane, Ethylhexylglycerin, Polysorbate-60, Jojoba Oil, Shea Butter, Hydrolyzed Quinoa, Hydrolyzed Keratin

Pros:

  • Top of the line when it comes to beard moisturizers.
  • Contains squalane, which is closest to the natural sebum oil.
  • The 4 fl oz. pump-bottle will last a long time.
  • No parabens or sulfates in the formulation.

Cons:

  • The spicy scent is not appreciated by some users.
  • Runny consistency makes it hard to apply under a big beard.

Where to buy it: You can find this product from Amazon.Com

Bottom line: Beardsley can be proud of their beard moisturizer. With the mostly natural ingredients and light, emolient consistency that contains squalene, I can easily recommend this product as the best beard moisturizer without losing my sleep.

2. Mr. Rugged Beard Moisturizing Lotion

mr rugged beard moisturizer

Mr. Rugged’s Beard Lotion is a good alternative to the Beardsley lotion, and more suitable for men who want a bit of a thicker creamier consistency from their beard moisturizer.

There is water in the formulation, but it’s much later in the ingredient list, making the lotion thicker and not so runny as the one above.

This moisturizing lotion has a strong sandalwood scent, which is appreciated by many but disliked by some users as well.

When it comes to the price, Mr. Rugged’s beard moisturizer is a pretty good investment. The 4 oz bottle will last a long time, and it costs just little over $17 at the time of writing this.

NOTE: The manufacturer recommends it to be used in a similar way that beard leave-in conditioners are used, so basically apply it to a towel-damp beard skin right after a shower.

Key Specs

  • Size: 4 fl oz (118ml)
  • Type: Creamy lotion
  • Absorbs: Quite fast
  • Scent: Sandalwood
  • User Feedback: Positive
  • Price: $$

Ingredients

Argan Oil, Jojoba Oil, Aloe Vera Juice, Sandalwood Essential Oil, Olive Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Vegetable Glycerin, Sorbitan Laurate, Ceryl Alcohol, Behentrimoniun Chloride, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Panthenol (Vitamin B5 Complex), Hydrolyzed Rice Protein, Citric Acid, Lactic Acid, Ascorbic Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Water.

Pros:

  • Comparable to the Beardsley moisturizer, but thicker.
  • Contains aloe vera and provitamin B5 for extra conditioning.
  • Lasts much longer than a typical beard oil, and costs less.
  • Free of SLS, parabens, and other questionable chemicals.

Cons:

  • Poorly packaged in some cases. Not ideal for a liquid.
  • Good for beard skin, but not that amazing for the beard hairs.

Where to buy it: Mr. Rugged’s Beard Moisturizer is available on Amazon.Com as you can probably expect.

Bottom line: Like most beard moisturizers, this one does amazing job at nourishing the skin underneath your beard and elminating itchiness fast. It’s not the best thing for beard hairs, however, so I would still occasionally use oil with it.

3. Ranger Grooming Co. Unscented Beard Oil

ranger beard oil

While it’s not a classic “beard moisturizer”, beard oil is still one of the best all-round choices for moisturizing both the beard and the skin underneath.

For this reason, I have decided to include Leven Rosen’s Ranger Unscented Beard Oil to the list.

This thing is simple, well-priced, contains just two high-quality organic ingredients, and it is not scented at all, so you can either use it as is or mix your own favorite essential oils into it.

It’s very light and quick to absorb for oil, and there are more than four-thousand mostly positive reviews on their Amazon listing, making this one of the most popular beard oils of all time.

Key Specs

  • Size: 1 oz (30ml)
  • Type: Beard oil
  • Absorbs: Quick
  • Scent: Unscented
  • User Feedback: Positive
  • Price: $$

Ingredients

Organic Jojoba Oil (Simmondsia Chinensis), Organic Argan Oil (Argania Spinosa).

Pros:

  • Pretty much a perfect light base for beard oil.
  • Organic ingredients sourced from the US and Morocco.
  • Amazing at moisturizing the actual beard hairs.
  • One of the most positively reviewed beard oils ever.

Cons:

  • Not as good for hydrating the deep skin layers as a lotion.
  • Cheap, but would still be cheaper to make DIY beard oil.

Where to buy it: This beard oil has currently nearly five thousand reviews on Amazon, go check them out here.

Bottom line: Beard oil is not a “moisturizer” in the classic sense since it’s not water based, but this oil does help moisturize the skin and the beard hairs, so it’s a good addition to the list of the best beard moisturizers.

4. Bluebeards Original Beard Saver Lotion

bluebeards orinigal beard moisturizer lotion

Bluebeards Original has been in the beard industry for a long time, and they have made a variety of products from beard scissors all the way to beard shampoos.

They do also have a dedicated beard moisturizer & conditioning lotion called the “Beard Saver”.

It comes in a 4 fl oz jar and costs a little under $24 at the time of writing, which means that it’s slightly more expensive than the two other lotions above, but not by much.

According to the manufacturer, this beard lotion is best suited for fighting of itchiness and ingrown beard hairs at the skin level.

Like said, it’s water-based but does have a few natural oils in it like avocado oil and shea butter. It also contains vitamin E and a pleasant citrus scent.

Key Specs

  • Size: 4 fl oz. (118ml)
  • Type: Water-based lotion
  • Absorbs: Very fast
  • Scent: Citrus
  • User Feedback: Mostly Positive
  • Price: $$$

Ingredients

Purified Water, Avocado Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetearyl Alcohol, Polysorbate 60, Cetyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Shea Butter, Aloe Leaf Juice, Xanthan Gum, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Vitamin E Acetate, Phenoxyethanol, Polyacrylamide C13-14 Isoparaffin, Disodium EDTA, Laureth-7, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Lime Oil, Citral, Geraniol, Limonene.

Pros:

  • Provides a fresh moisturizing kick to the skin under your beard.
  • Formulated to ward of itchiness, dry skin, and ingrown hairs.
  • Decently priced and the 4 fl oz jar lasts for months.
  • A respected brand with a long history in the industry.

Cons:

  • Priced themselves out of competition with other lotions.
  • Some of the chemicals used like sodium benzoate are not ideal.

Where to buy it: You can find Bluebeards products from Amazon.

Bottom line: I have been using many of this brand’s products before, and been very pleased with their standards of quality. Their beard lotion did not dissapoint me either, even though I think it’s not the best one out there at the moment.

5. Big Forest Beard Balm by OneDTQ

big forest beard balm

Beard balm is a heavy-duty version of beard oil, and also a type of beard moisturizer even though it’s not a water-based lotion at all.

One of the best beard balms is the Big Forest Beard Balm from OneDTQ.

I have frequently recommended it as my go-to, and I love everything about their choice of ingredients to the masculine woodsy scent, all the way to the design and consistency of the product.

It comes in a 2 oz tin that is half smaller than the lotion jars and bottles are, but the idea of beard balm is not necessarily to moisturize the skin directly.

Instead, you want to apply a very light layer of it into your beard hairs to create a moisture barrier that prevents water from escaping.

So if you’re looking for a bit of thicker solution to moisturize your beard but not so much directly the beard skin, then consider investing into the Big Forest Beard Balm.

Key Specs

  • Size: 2 oz. (60ml)
  • Type: Beard balm
  • Absorbs: Slow
  • Scent: Woodsy
  • User Feedback: Positive
  • Price: $$

Ingredients

Organic Shea Butter, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Beeswax, 100% Pure Liquid Lanolin, Cedarwood Oil, Balsam Fir Needle Oil, Bergamot Oil, Vitamin E.

Pros:

  • Protects the beard and prevents moisture from escaping.
  • Really good choice and quality of the ingredients.
  • Since it’s chunkier than lotions and oils, it helps you in styling.

Cons:

  • Most balms like this shouldn’t be applied directly on the skin.
  • Looking for a real anti-itchiness moisturizer? Don’t get balm.

Where to buy it: OneDTQ sells its products mostly on Amazon and on their own website here.

Bottom line: I wouldn’t necessarily choose balm as the go-to product for moisturizing the beard, but it’s still a type of beard moisturizer for sure as it prevents water from escaping the skin thanks to the beeswax in the formulation.

6. Shea Moisture Full Beard Detangler

shea moisturizer beard detangler

The Shea Moisture Beard Detangler is an interesting product that is parts beard conditioner and parts a water-based moisturizer.

The ingredient list is dominated by water and vegetable glycerin, but it’s then quickly followed by a high number of moisturizing oils as well, such as shea butter, maracuja oil, coconut oil, and argan oil.

To me, that strikes a perfect balance between moisturizing the skin underneath the beard and also nourishing the facial hair fibers.

The coconut oil especially is known for its great benefits for the beard hairs, as there is a study which shows that due to its low molecular weight, coconut oil is able to penetrate the hair fiber and moisturize from deep within.

So if you’re looking for a great all-rounder of a beard moisturizer, this one might be your top choice. It also comes in a 4 fl oz tube and is extremely inexpensive.

Key Specs

  • Size: 4 fl oz. (118ml)
  • Type: Leave-in conditioner
  • Absorbs: Medium
  • Scent: Woodsy
  • User Feedback: Positive
  • Price: $$

Ingredients

Water, Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate/Citrate, Cetrimonium Chloride, Glyceryl Caprylate, Shea Butter, Marajuca Oil, Coconut Oil, Argan Oil, Hydrolyzed Rice Protein, Aloe Vera Juice, Cetyl Alcohol, Allantoin, Panthenol, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Glyceryl Undecylenate, Essential Oils.

Pros:

  • Good balance between moisturizing the skin and the beard hairs.
  • Contains a nice blend of carrier oils for beard nourishment.
  • Doubles as a leave-in beard conditioner to be used after a shower.

Cons:

  • Some users don’t like the scent of shea butter that is present.
  • There’s a small amount of sulfate and alcohols in the ingredients.

Where to buy it: This “beard detangler” can be found in Amazon.Com

Bottom line: If you’re on a tight budget and looking for a great moisturizer for your facial hair, then you really can’t go wrong with this one.

7. Nivea Soft Basic Moisturizer

nivea soft moisturizer for beard use

You may recognize this moisturizer jar as one of the most accessible and popular moisturizing creams for practically any use.

Why would you use it on the beard skin though?

Well, it has a “clean” formulation with no useless extra chemicals like parabens, benzoates, or sulfates. And it also contains natural jojoba oil and vitamin E, which aren’t typically found in low-cost super-market grade lotions.

This is also the most recommended moisturizer for guys who use Minoxidil on their beards (which causes extreme skin dryness).

Key Specs

  • Size: 6.8 oz (192g)
  • Type: Moisturizing creme
  • Absorbs: Pretty fast
  • Scent: Unscented
  • User Feedback: Positive
  • Price: $

Ingredients

Water, Glycerin, Myristyl Alcohol, Mineral Oil, Butylene Glycol, Alcohol Denat., Stearic Acid, Petrolatum, Myristyl Myristate, Glyceryl Stearate, Hydrogenated Coco-Glycerides, Dimethicone, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate, Lanolin Alcohol, Polyglyceryl-2 Caprate, Fragrance, Carbomer, Sodium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol.

Pros:

  • Inexpensive and accessible pretty much anywhere.
  • Good blend of ingredients, unseen for a super-market moisturizer.
  • Enriched with jojoba oil and vitamin E for extra skincare benefits.

Cons:

  • There’s some mineral oil in the product which can clog the pores.
  • As a “creme” it isn’t the faster to absorb and not that light.

Where to buy it: You can find this in pretty much any big store in most countries, or online from Amazon.

Bottom line: If you just want to get a decently good beard moisturizer fast, go down to your local store and see if they carry this. Chances are they do.

How to Use and Apply Beard Moisturizers

how to use beard moisturizer

On this quick how-to guide, we focus specifically on how to use the water-based beard lotions, as we have previously talked about how to use beard oil and balm numerous times.

How to use beard moisturizer step-by-step:

  1. Squeeze or pump out a dime-sized amount of lotion to your fingers or palm (you may need a bit more if you have a big beard)
  2. Rub it evenly into the skin underneath your beard. Focus on the skin, not the hairs, although some will inevitably get into the hairs too.
  3. If you want to moisturize the beard hairs at the same time, apply a few drops of beard oil afterward, not directly into the skin but into the hairs.
  4. Then use a beard comb to evenly distribute the beard oil from the roots to the tips, with as little as possible going into the skin where the moisturizer is.

A quick tip: beard lotions are best to be used directly on the beard skin and close to the facial hair roots. Beard oil should be used in addition to the lotion if you want to also moisturize and soften the actual whiskers.

Isn’t it Bad to Use Lotion on the Beard?

can you apply lotion on beard

I get some emails from guys asking me about all sorts of beard oil substitutes.

Many of them, ask something like this…

“Can I use lotion on the beard? I hear this is bad practice.”

Well, in all honesty, beard oil is better for the actual facial hair. BUT there is nothing wrong about applying moisturizer to the beard skin and having some of it coat the hairs as well.

It’s going to absorb, it won’t damage the hairs, and it won’t leave the beard looking greasy or anything, so I don’t see any issue on that.

However, you should look out for petroleum jelly and vaseline containing moisturizers, and avoid using those on the beard skin as they will most certainly clog the pores and leave everything looking super greasy.

Bottom line: As long as you use light moisturizers and nothing with petroleum jelly or vaseline in them, then they’re perfectly fine and safe to be used on facial hair.

Conclusion

The term “beard moisturizer” is a broad one, as it can mean either the classic water-based lotions or be a blanket term for everything that moisturizes the facial hair area (beard oil, beard balm, etc).

As a rule of thumb, it’s good to keep in mind that the skin underneath your beard is best moisturized by water-based lotions like the Beardsley beard lotion.

The actual beard hairs, on the other hand, are better to be moisturized with beard oils, balms, or conditioners, and it doesn’t hurt to use them both together.

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Ali is a published author and a beard grooming expert from Finland. To this date, his articles have been read more than 15-million times on various sites, and he has helped thousands of men make their beards look better and grow thicker. His work has been featured and cited in Seeker, Wikihow, GQ, TED, and Buzzfeed.

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