Make Your Own at Home: DIY Beard Balm
Although beards may look rugged and manly, many of them actually require a lot of care and hard work to stay looking their best. Just like the hair on your head, a simple trimming, styling and washing doesn’t always cut it, which is why many men in the know use beard balms to help nourish and condition their beard and also to provide a bit more hold. Not only that, but a high quality beard balm can also help soften the hair, which is something your partner will definitely enjoy.
While there are many excellent beard balms out there, it’s also one product that only requires a few essential ingredients and is incredibly simple to make at home. Plus, DIY beard balm only costs a fraction of what you’d pay for basically the exact same thing in a shop. With DIY beard balm, you can also try out different fragrances, mixing and matching until you find something that both you and your partner are satisfied with (or that you think will drive others wild).
So instead of running out and buying the first beard balm you come across, why not check out our DIY beard balm recipes and learn the secrets to making some of the best balm money can buy. Both your beard and your love life will thank you for it.
DIY Beard Balm Essential Ingredients
When it comes to making your own DIY beard balm, there are really only three necessary ingredients (four if you want to add a fragrance). These three primary ingredients fall into the general categories of waxes, butters and carrier oils.
Waxes. Probably the most essential ingredient in any beard balm is wax, as this is what helps to give the balm its thick consistency and allows it to provide a slight hold. Beeswax is perfect for beard balm, as it is solid at room temperature and yet still melts easily when you work it a bit with your hands—allowing the balm to be easily rubbed into the beard. In fact, nearly all DIY beard balm recipes use beeswax, but for those vegans out there, you can always substitute it with a plant based wax instead.
If you do plan on using beeswax, you’ve got a few different ways you can buy it, namely in white or yellow pellets or blocks. Any of them will work the same, but for my money, I prefer using the pellets as they’re simply a lot easier to measure out and work with. If you do plan on using a bar, you’ll want to grab a set of kitchen scales to weigh it out properly.
When reading beard balm recipes, you’ll probably see the beeswax amounts listed in either teaspoons, tablespoons or ounces. If you’re confused about what’s what, a handy rule of thumb is that 1 ounce of beeswax equals 2 tablespoons (1 tsp. = 0.167 ounces).
Butters. When it comes to making beard balm, you’ll want to use either shea butter or cocoa butter. The butters are absolutely essential, as they help to soften up the balm, making it less waxy so it is more easily worked into the beard.
Both types of butter provide different benefits to the hair and skin, and in truth, a high quality balm should contain not one but both. Although it’s often more associated with chocolates, cocoa butter is an ingredient in many lotions due to the various vitamins and oxidants it contains and its pleasant smell. Similarly, shea butter is used in cosmetics as it absorbs easily through the skin and acts as an anti-inflammatory.
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Some DIY beard balms also substitute mango butter for one or both of these other two butters, or else use it in addition to them. Although it may be a bit more difficult to find, mango butter can provide many excellent qualities to the balm. However, keep in mind that it is much firmer than the other two, so you’ll need to use less wax to prevent the balm from becoming overly hard or too waxy.
Carrier Oils. The third ingredient you’ll need to make your own beard balm is some type of carrier oil. Similar to the butters, the carrier oils help to soften up the balm and give it its unique texture. They also help to carry the essential oil fragrances should you be putting any in. There are a huge number of carrier oils you can choose from, each of which has its own unique properties and benefits. In fact, virtually the only difference between the different beard balms on the market is the type/s of carrier oils used and the scent. So don’t be afraid to mix and try many different combinations, as each of them can be substituted for any other carrier oil. Some of the most popular carrier oils include-
- Coconut Oil. Reduces skin inflammation and helps to hydrate and lock in moisture.
- Sweet Almond Oil. Can reduce skin inflammation to help prevent ingrown bead hairs.
- Avocado Oil. Helps reduce wrinkles and prevent premature aging.
- Apricot Oil. Quickly absorbed into the skin. Helps fight against overly dry or itchy skin.
- Jojoba Oil. Also easily absorbed into the skin, where it helps moisturize and hydrate.
- Grapeseed Oil. Reduces inflammation in the pores caused by dry skin and beard hairs.
- Argan Oil. Helps soften the skin and reduces wrinkles and other signs of aging.
- Emu Oil. Helps to soften the beard hairs. Basically a natural beard conditioner.
- Hazelnut Oil. Fights against certain skin problems, such as acne.
- Other carrier oils include: Macadamia Nut Oil, Hemp Seed Oil, Kukui Nut Oil, Walnut Oil, Camellia Seed Oil, etc.
Essential Oils (And Other Non-Essential Ingredients). Although many DIY beard balm recipes call for one or the other essential oils, it’s important to note that they are in no way necessary. Essential oils are the thing that gives your beard oil its scent, but serve no purpose if you wear cologne or prefer a fragrance free beard balm for whatever other reason. Still, if you do want something with a bit of smell, you’ve got a huge range of essential oils to choose from in scents ranging from woody to citrusy, floral to spicy and earthy. Sandalwood, cedarwood, vanilla, bourbon, lemon, patchouli, myrrh and bergamot are all popular fragrances, but again, don’t be afraid to try out different scents until you arrive at one you love.
In addition to using essential oils to add fragrance to your DIY beard balm, many recipes also call for vitamin E—usually in the form of drops or gelcaps. The reason many people use vitamin E oil or powder is twofold. First, vitamin E has numerous beneficial properties that help to heal and protect the skin. Furthermore, vitamin E is also a natural preservative that should help the beard balm to last longer, provided it is stored properly.
Other Items You’ll Need to Make Your Own Beard Balm
In addition to your waxes, butters and oils, you’ll also need to gather up a few essential tools for preparing your beard balm.
A Clean Pot or Metal Tin. Making beard balm requires melting all of the ingredients over low heat, so you’ll need to find yourself a clean pot or small metal tin that’s up to the job. Since you’ll be using wax, cleaning up the pot can be a pain, which is why I’d recommend using a metal tin or other heatproof container, but I’ll get more into that later. A glass container can also be used, but be careful as it can shatter due to the heat. If you do plan on using a pot, I’d recommend purchasing a used one or setting an old pot aside specifically for this task. After all, you don’t want your dinner tasting like beard balm.
Storage Container. After heating up and mixing your beard balm, you’ll need to have something to pour it into so you can store it. I’d recommend using either a round metal tin or tinted glass jar, as letting the balm get exposed to too much light can cause it to go bad quicker (this is why I also recommend only making a small batch at a time unless you plan on adding a preservative like vitamin E). You’ll also need a container with a tight fitting lid that keeps excess air out for the same reason.
Funnel. Although not essential, I always use a funnel to help pour the melted balm into my container as it helps to prevent things from becoming a huge mess. Melting the ingredients in a pot or tin with a pour spout also works just as well.
How to Make Your Own Beard Balm- A Step by Step Guide
Step 1- Measure Out the Ingredients
To make your own beard balm, first start by measuring out the specific amounts of waxes, butters and carrier oils you’re using and then place them all in your pot or tin. Before mixing the ingredients in the pot, it’s important to thoroughly sterilize the pot, tin, container and basically any tools you’ll be using, as this will prevent bacteria or fungus from spoiling your beard balm.
Step 2- Slowly Melt and Mix
If you’re using a container other than a pot, place this inside a large pot. Then fill the pot up with water to an inch or two below the rim of the container and slowly melt the ingredients over low to medium heat, turning it off as soon as everything is fully melted and mixed together. If you’re using a simple pot, you can put this directly over low heat until everything melts together. Just be sure to keep it from boiling, otherwise you’ll destroy all of the beneficial nutrients in the various ingredients. Some people also prefer to use a candle warmer or even a strong lamp for this reason, as it doesn’t take much heat to get the job done.
Step 3- Mix In the Essential Oils
Once everything is melted, take it off the heat and mix in your essential oils if you plan on using any. Be sure to carefully read the recipe and smell as you go, as it’s super easy to overdo it with the fragrance.
Step 4- Pour It Out and Let it Cool
Once everything is properly mixed, all that’s left is to pour the melted balm into your container and let it sit out to cool and harden. As soon as it is fully cooled, put the lid on and let it sit for a few hours (preferably overnight) and then it’s ready to be applied to your beard.
DIY Beard Balm Recipes
Since not every man wants to rush out and buy a ton of different butters and oils for their beard balm, we’ll start off with a super simple recipe and then move on to some more inventive combinations we’ve come across.
Prim & Prep Basic Beard Balm
2 tsp. Beeswax
2 tsp. Coconut Oil (Can be jojoba, avocado, argan or any other oil)
2 tsp. Shea butter
1 tsp. Cocoa butter
“Whiskey & Woodsmoke” Bourbon Beard Balm (from Transient Expression)
2 Tbsp. beeswax
2 Tbsp. shea butter
1 Tbsp. cocoa butter
3 tsp. jojoba oil
2 tsp. sweet almond oil
1/8 tsp. bourbon oil
4-8 drops cedar essential oil
1 drop rosemary essential oil
Beauty By the Geeks Beard Balm
1 tsp. beeswax
1 tsp. shea butter
1 Tbsp. jojoba oil, sweet almond oil or argan oil
2-3 drops vanilla essential oil
2 vitamin E capsule/ 4 drops vitamin E oil
Smoky Cedar Beard Balm
2 tsp. beeswax
1 tsp. shea butter
2 tsp. argan oil
3 tsp. hemp oil
1 tsp. camellia seed oil
5 drops cedarwood essential oil
3 drops bergamot essential oil
3 drops tea tree oil
Modern Man Beard Balm
4 tsp. coconut oil
2 tsp. shea butter
1 tsp. beeswax
3-5 drops rosemary essential oil
3-5 drops lavender essential oil
Citrus and Sandalwood Beard Balm
2 tsp. beeswax
2 tsp. cocoa butter
2 tsp. avocado oil
2 tsp. argan oil
1 tsp. sweet almond oil
2-3 drops sandalwood essential oil
1-2 drops lemon essential oil
1-2 drops vanilla essential oil
Other Helpful Articles
Hope you found this article helpful. Be sure to check out our other most popular articles for beard maintenance:
- Ten Best Beard Growth Products: For a Full, Manly Beard
- Best Beard Oils – P&P’s Official List
- Beard balm vs Beard oil – What’s the difference?
- The Definitive Guide to the Best Beard Trimmers
- Finding the Best Safety Razor – P&P’s Ultimate Guide
- Best Shaving Creams for Men: Quality Matters!