Which is why there’s eucalyptus cream for beard, eucalyptus beard growth oil, eucalyptus moisturizers, etc.
But does it really, and is there any evidence backing up the claims of using eucalyptus oil for beard growth?
In this post, we are going to figure that out, and not by just glorifying every single possible oil like many of the other beard blogs do (without even looking at their effects), but instead; by focusing on the actual components of this volatile essential oil.
Primarily, we are looking at how the eucalyptus oil impacts the androgenic hormones and receptors in your face that regulate and fuel facial hair growth (testosterone, DHT, the androgen receptor, the estrogen receptor).
Here are the quick facts:
- Eucalyptus essential oil is a popular beard oil ingredient.
- There’s no evidence that eucalyptus oil could promote beard growth.
- Four components of eucalyptus essential oil have been identified as antiandrogens.
- These same compounds have estrogenic effects and are not suitable for beard use.
What is Eucalyptus Essential Oil
The blanket term “eucalyptus” holds in many different varieties, but for the sake of this article and our purpose, we will be focusing on the oil produced from the leaves of the common eucalyptus (Eucalyptus Globulus).
After all, most of the eucalyptus oils used in beard oils and other facial hair care products come are from the globulus species.
The tree grows primarily in Australia, and the leaves are often consumed by Koala bears.
The major compounds in eucalyptus essential oil include:
- Eucalyptol (~70%).
- a-pinene & b-pinene (~10%).
- a-phellandre (~1%).
- d-limonene (~10%).
- camphor & sabinene (trace amounts).
Since eucalyptus oil is primarily polyunsaturated, extremely volatile, and prone to lipid peroxidation, it can go rancid very easily when in contact with heat, oxygen, and light.
When eucalyptus oil oxidizes, it produces harmful by-products that can suppress the beard growth hormones and damage the skin. The oxidation can be prevented (to some extent) when the oils are diluted into more stable carrier oils and blended with vitamin E.
Eucalyptus Oil for Beard Growth
Okay, so we know there are scented eucalyptus oil beard oils, different eucalyptus creams, and moisturizers for the beard.
Since it’s so widely used in the beard world, wouldn’t that mean it has to be pretty good for facial hair?
Well, not necessarily.
In our tea tree oil for beard article, we mention a study where tea tree oil and lavender were found to cause increased growth of man boob (gynecomastia) in pre-pubertal boys.
After the researchers had identified lotions and oils containing tea tree & lavender as the primary cause, they decided to break down the active compounds in the oils and test them separately in cell-cultures (in-vitro).
They found that four of the active compounds that appear in both tea tree oil and lavender strongly suppressed the activity of the human androgen receptors, while they upregulated the activity of the estrogen receptors1.
The four components studied were;
- and alpha-terpineol.
What does this have to do with eucalyptus oil for beard growth?
All of the above compounds can be found in eucalyptus oil, with eucalyptol making up roughly 70% of the eucalyptus essential oil.
This is bad news for beardsmen, as facial hair growth is regulated by the androgenic hormones (testosterone & DHT).
If four of the key compounds in eucalyptus essential oil have been identified as antiandrogenic and estrogenic, while also showing significant suppression of the human androgen receptors, you should be thinking twice before putting eucalyptus oil on your beard.
Four key components of the eucalyptus essential oil are antiandrogenic, estrogenic, and can downregulate the human androgen receptor.
(eucalyptol, 4-terpineol, d-limonene, and alpha-terpineol).
For this reason, using eucalyptus oil based beard creams, oils, or eucalyptus beard moisturizers is a really bad idea. After all, facial hair is androgenic-hair.