We asked 300 men from different backgrounds to test 24 brands of facial oil. Our aim was to find the best products for softening and smoothing facial hair. They also provided feedback on the softness and hydration as well as any improvement in itching.
Driven by effective results and the conservation of the Kent coastline, where the brand was founded and is based, many of Haeckels' signature formulations have marine-based ingredients at their heart. Enriched with seaweed extract suspended with vitamin E, its iconic conditioning beard oil (originally known as the Sailors Beard Oil) follows the tradition of using (where possible) indigenous raw materials. Best suited for longer beards and, more specifically, very dry, coarse and damaged facial hair, it deeply hydrates, helps repair, protects and nourishes, using a blend of oils such as jojoba, sweet almond, clove and sandalwood. Neroli oil also features as a natural antibacterial and antiseptic.
No matter how long or short your beard is, you need to care for the skin underneath. The packaging might look like a tiny bottle of whisky, but 86% of our testers found the liquid to be softening their skin.
This vegan and organic option can be used on all parts of the body to relieve dryness. 86% of those who tried it claimed that it absorbed quickly and left their hair and skin softening. 79% claimed it left no greasiness and 79% said it moisturized well.
Dedicated to helping grow and groom awesome beards, this Danish brand is a celebration of all things facial hair. Its signature beard oil (which is not just a beard oil, but more on that in a minute), which took a year of research to develop, effectively leaves bristles hydrated and fuller-bodied for up to 72 hours. It is further powered by a combo of two nutrient-rich ingredients: limnanthes alba seed oil, which softens dry or coarse hair by coating the fibre and sealing in hydration, and NaturePep amaranth, a patented ingredient which actively thickens the beard (11.3 per cent thicker after only three applications) by increasing the diameter of the individual hair fibre. Delivered in a silky, serum-like texture, it rehydrates and nourishes tired-looking bristles from the inside out, resulting in a healthier-looking mane. Copenhagen Grooming also offers a loyalty scheme: the more stock you buy, the cheaper the prices get.
You want a silky smooth finish? This is the one. The reparative serum contains silk protein, avocado oils and aloe vera. It will leave your skin in pristine condition. Our panel reported that facial hair felt more soft after just a few uses, while 92% of them said it left no sticky residue.
Our top pick, which includes avocado, jojoba, sweet almond oil, received high marks from the lab. 93% of panelists said it lasted the entire day. It also helps to reduce itching. 79% claimed it helped with this issue, while everyone else said it was easier and more manageable to style facial hair.
Anthony’s innovative dual-action formula can be used either as an effective pre-shave prep or intensely conditioning beard oil. Engineered to soften the skin and rein in unruly and wild whiskers, it is super lightweight, so particularly beneficial for anyone who suffers from acute sensitivity. Infused with essential oils of basil and rosemary, which nourish and soften the bristles, tea tree (which acts as an anti-inflammatory) and calendula and olive oils which take care of dry, flaky and itchy skin, it has a light and uplifting scent of orange peel with a mint-fresh and eucalyptus aftertaste and will help you achieve your bearded or clean shaven best.
This light, non-greasy, lightweight formula can be used to nourish your beard. It gave 92% of our panel softer skin and hair. That's pretty good!
Coconut oil can be used for whitening teeth, shouting at others, and even to put in a frying-pan a-la Joe Wicks. It is best to only use a small amount. Once it's melted, work it into your beard. It's lighter than other oils because of its lauric Acid content. It will nourish and condition beards. The scent may remind you of a Bounty chocolate bar.
This dual-purpose face and beard oil can be used as both a shave prep and a conditioning oil to keep facial hair in tip-top shape. A vitamin-rich and deeply hydrating blend of jojoba (known to have soothing and healing properties), hazelnut and grape seed oils, it serves a comfortable glide if using it with a razor and is a stellar styling aid for keeping your bristles nourished and easy to tame. Suitable for all skin types, it’s the ideal formula for part-time beard wearers, who regularly fluctuate between clean-cut and rocking facial hair.
If you want to try the water, this product is on sale. You don't need convincing. It passed the lab test and 75% said that it gives their beards a smooth finish. It did not cause skin irritation and 83% of those who tried it said they liked its lightweight feel.
When you do use it we suggest that you wash your hair with a beard oil -- such as this Bulldog 2-in-1 conditioner and shampoo for beards -- which is better suited to coarse hair than regular shampoo. Use a towel to dry your beard, or blow-dry it depending on its thickness. Once dried, apply the oil as directed on the bottle. Smoothen it down by combing or using your fingers.
Simon Duffy’s vision in 2005 to create a range of ethically sound, natural ingredient-based targeted grooming solutions for men that would hold their own alongside the big boys on the supermarket shelves unleashed Bulldog Skincare For Men into the world. And in our opinion, its shaving and facial hair products are among the brand’s finest moments. In fact, infused with eight essential oils, including aloe vera, camelina oil and green tea, the conditioning and hydrating Original beard oil in the range has acquired an almost cult-like following. Quickly absorbed and light in texture, it leaves facial hair glossy without looking greasy and longer, and coarser beards easy to tame, style and shape into submission.
This quick-acting oil for beards is made from shea butter, Argan oil, and will help you combat frizz and dryness. For added comfort, it also moisturizes the skin under your beard hair. The beard oil is subtle and pleasant in scent, keeping your beard soft and moisturized. It is recommended to use in the mornings. One customer said that it has made a difference in their beard's health.
This is the guy to use if you want to give your hair shine. It was not only a great product in the lab, but it impressed our testers too. They were impressed with how it made their beards soft and glossy. It made hair easier to manage. 88% reported that their hair was easier after using just a few drops.
Daimon Barber offers a no-nonsense core range of sustainable grooming heroes that put transparency and ease of use front and centre. This doesn’t distract from the high-performance efficacy of its well-balanced, science-meets-nature formulas. The Beard & Stubble Softener in this range thoughtfully considers the skin beneath our bristles as much as it does in conditioning the facial forest. Packed with plant-based oils and vitamins and free from parabens or chemical nasties, it is enriched with hydrolysed silk protein, nutrient-rich avocado oil and aloe vera and is infused with kahai oil, which boasts 50 per cent more vitamin E than is found in the more commonly used beard oil stalwart, argan oil. A British “bromance” brand, with all ingredients sourced and made in the UK, this bestseller within the line protects, repairs and rehydrates the hair fibres, leaving beards silky-smooth and scented with a signature Oudh and Egyptian mallow fragrance.
This product is great for anyone who wants to blend in with different beard sizes and absorb quickly.
To determine the hair's smoothness, we used a Diatron device in the Lab. Higher scores for beard oils were determined by how easy the switches were to use.
Inspired by professional barber expertise, L’Oreal Men Expert’s Barber Club system offers targeted solutions to help condition and fortify a healthy-looking bush of shiny facial hair. Designed for men with medium to long beards, and as equally beneficial to the moisture balance of your skin, this multi-functional aid is enriched with 88 per cent natural ingredients, such as eucalyptus leaf oil, and is suitable for all skin types. Free from parabens, the formula is powered by deeply hydrating cedarwood essential oil and is surprisingly non-greasy. It conditions and tames and is uplifted with a nostalgic, old-school barbershop fragrance.
This beard oil contains a unique blend of woodsy essential oil. It is quick and easy to absorb, softening your hair and soothing the skin underneath. To prevent dandruff, exfoliating Salicylic Acid gently cleans your skin cells.