As you may have learned in its dedicated guide, beard oil is nothing new and can be traced as far back as ancient civilizations in today’s Persian Gulf. Although beard balm is slightly more recent, it borrows from a number of preexisting natural remedies and treatments.
In short, beard balms are structurally similar to lip balms and other natural moisturisers and creams. Unlike beard oil, it comes as a hard paste that melts when rubbed in the palms of your hands. Otherwise, natural beard balms follow the same concept as beard oils in that they’re composed of a combination between essential and carrier oils.
Firstly, essential oils are volatile ingredients that offer natural scents and other therapeutic effects such as soothing irritation and healing acne. Meanwhile, carrier oils function partly as a solvent to bind the essential oils and improve their lifespan.
Furthermore, they’re vitamin-rich moisturisers that emulate the skin’s natural oils such as sebum.
However, balms have an entirely different texture to oils. This is due to the presence of butters such as shea or cocoa as well as beeswax, all of which fulfill their own unique roles. The butters provide natural, long-lasting hydration and improve the balm’s spread. Simultaneously, beeswax offers an extra layer of protection by sealing the moisture into the hair and skin with a natural barrier.
Finally, the use of these extra ingredients in balms provide secondary benefits. For instance, the butters create a long-lasting glossy shine whereas oils tend to become matte once absorbed into the beard and skin. In addition, the beeswax creates a light hold on the beard, which helps with styling and taming unruly beards.