Today we’re getting back to basics, and tackling one of the most frequently asked questions we get here at Zeus: Can I use beard oil and beard balm together? The short answer is yes. But to understand why, we need to look at the differences between the two. From there, we’ll take you through a full beard care routine using beard oil and beard balm, and throw in some tips for maximum beard game.

Beard oil vs. beard balm

Beard oil

Beard oil is a beard conditioner that hydrates and reduces beard itch. Beard oil is also your MVP for preventing skin from getting irritated and flaky. Flaky skin may not sound like a big deal if you’re a tough guy, but problems arise when flaky skin clogs your pores and prevents beard growth.

Our beard oil is a blend of natural oils which deodorize and soften your beard hair so it’s more manageable. Its oil base means it absorbs more readily and deeply than a wax-based beard balm.

Beard balm

Beard balm is a hybrid conditioner and styling aid – think of it as a light-to-medium hold pomade for your man mane. Like beard oil, beard balm contains a blend of natural oils, with the addition of beeswax. Beard balm does two things: 1. Tames stray beard and mustache hairs while training them to grow a certain way, plus tame stray hairs. 2. Hydrates while sealing in moisture, protecting your beard from environmental stressors.

Beard balm also adds a touch of shine, making it fitting for special occasions when you need your beard to look presentable.

How to use beard oil and beard balm together

Step 1: Beard oil

1. Put a few drops of beard oil on your palm. The amount you need will vary based on the length and thickness of your beard. Start with a few drops and add more as necessary.

2. Rub the beard oil between your palms and then distribute it through your beard. Use your fingers to massage the oil through your hair and into your skin.

3. Use a boar bristle beard brush, comb, or both to help evenly distribute the beard oil. A beard brush, especially one cut at staggered lengths like the Zeus Small Mustache and Beard Brush with Handle, will penetrate all layers of your beard and exfoliate skin to get rid of dead skin that can cause beardruff. Meanwhile, a comb will massage the skin underneath to stimulate circulation and encourage healthy beard growth.

Step 2: Beard balm

1. Scoop out a dime-sized amount using the back of your thumbnail.

2. Rub your hands together to soften the beard balm for an easier application.

3. Work the beard balm into your beard, starting at the sides and then focusing on areas where you have particularly rebellious bristles. Don’t forget your mustache. Comb through your beard with your fingers.

4. Use a boar bristle beard brush, comb, or both to help evenly distribute the beard balm.

When one is better than the other

We recommend using beard oil and beard balm together for an epic beard. However, there are situations where using just one might be more beneficial:

    • If your beard is a fully grown thicket, beard balm is better at smoothing flyaways and sculpting a tidy appearance.

    • Going on a trip? Pack beard balm rather than beard oil, since it’s less likely to spill in your dopp kit.

    • If you’re in the first few weeks of beard growth, beard oil is like the nectar of the gods. Apply it daily (and reapply up to 3x during the day) for relief from itch, redness, and irritation.