Here’s some good news for dudes struggling with unruly Movember facial hair: Essential oils, which so often star in natural and organic beauty products made for women, are now being used to create a new, manly grooming product.
Beard oil, now made by handful of indie brands, is made to relax beard and moustache hair, creating a silky, smooth look—and its benefits go deeper, too. “It’s supposed to make the beard look shiny, but at the same time it moisturizes the skin on your face,” explains Alfredo Ortiz, co-founder of Brooklyn Grooming. That helps prevent what facial hair aficionados call “beardruff.” (Yes, really.) Plus,”it’s nice to have a nice smell on your facial hair,” he says. Versus the scent of breakfast.
When I told my significant other I wanted him to test out a few, he was skeptical of what he thought was an entirely unnecessary product. But in the end, the oils really made a noticeable difference: His beard suddenly looked shiny and full, and the hair laid down nicely instead of sticking out (a bonus for girlfriends who get pricked when going in for a kiss).
His biggest insight? “You’re going to smell it all day, especially if you rub it on your moustache, because it’s right under your nose.” So a little goes a long way.
Here are three different blends to give to your bearded boyfriend or brother this Movember, or holiday season. —Lisa Elaine Held
(Photo: Brooklyn Grooming)
Beardbrand was created by beard competitor (yup) Eric Bandholz, so he knows a little something about facial hair. The company has three lines at different price points, all of which are made with essential oils. Four Vices is from the premium line, and in addition to its jojoba-argan oil base, it’s scented with tobacco, coffee, hops, and hemp cannabis oils. (Get it?) Despite the complex-sounding concept, the scent is balanced and much more subtle than the others we tried, so it’s great for the guy who likes a less intense fragrance. $29.99, www.beardbrand.com
Co-founder and product formulator Mckenzie Santiago was a bartender before she started making natural skin-care products, and she uses that experience to created fragrances that are balanced like a great cocktail. Her beard oils come in scents named for Brooklyn neighborhoods, like Fort Greene and Red Hook. Anchor is nod to the company’s new home at the Brooklyn Naval Yard, and its masculine, woodsy scent comes from oils like cedar wood and palo santo. $29, www.brooklyngrooming.com
(Photo: Brooklyn Grooming)
Handmade in Portland, Maine, by a couple with a serious passion for natural skin-care, Portland General Store’s beard oils are made with a base of nourishing hempseed, marula, and jojoba oil. And this best-selling Whiskey scent comes with an ultra musky, masculine fragrance they say will “bring out that inner Brando.” $30, www.portlandgeneralstore.com
(Photo: Portland General Store)