When I was entering adulthood and starting to care a bit more about the way my beard looked, good products to assist with this were far and few. Fast forward to 2016 and the category seems to be in its prime and growing from strength to strength.
Of course, there’s no denying that East London hipsters have brought the beard back in vogue. But ‘fashion stubble’ has always been around, hence the requirement for shaving products that step outside the supermarket heroes such as Gillette and Wilkinson Sword.
There’s a variety of products on the market from beard oils, shaving oils, thickening serums, washes and balms and it can be overwhelming to decide which ones to go for. So here’s a selection of the very best on the market, at a variety of budgets:
Beard oils are effectively a conditioner, specifically designed for facial hair. It will help keep your skin healthy, hydrated, strengthened and smelling great. Here are my top beard oils picks:
The Great British Grooming Co. Beard Oil, with Argan Oil, helps to alleviate a dry, coarse beard, leaving it with a smooth soft finish. Although unscented, it smells fantastic. I also like the fact that it comes in a pump dispenser.
London Beard Company Orchard Haze Beard Oil, A concoction of lime with bergamot blended together with notes of sweet orange and vanilla create a unique rich aroma. This beard oil is sweet, smooth & captivating with a tropical hint.
Gentleman’s Chuckaboo Moustache Beard Oil – The Bludger, The Bludger contains Ginger Oil, which is great for dry and brittle hair as it contains vitamins, zinc and phosphorus which impart sheen to your hair, Cypress Oil adds the woody, forest notes to the oil but acts as an Astringent, which reduces the spread of acne.
Hamilton’s Signature Vanilla & Lime Beard Oil, with Argan Oil, high in vitamin E (known for promoting healthy skin). This oil is perfect for repairing damaged facial follicles, with a marriage of sweet and citrus, providing the perfect shine for your beard.
Osmo Beard Complex, a multi-purpose ‘intense conditioning oil’, which as well as deeply nourishing and restoring wayward beards with its infusions of Argan Oil and rich vitamins A &E, doubles up as a deep conditioning and colour enhancing oil for tattoos.
Shave oils are designed to replace shaving gels and creams when clean shaving. We all know how painful a clean shave can be, especially if like myself you don’t clean shave that often. Although beards and stubble are good for keeping natural oils in the skin, it’s good to clean shave every once in a while to give what’s lurking underneath a good scrub! here are my top shave oils recommendations:
King of Shaves Advanced Shave Oil formulated to give a superbly close and comfortable shave. As well as improving razor glide – down to the fact that you can see your skin closer when it’s not covered in foam/gel.
Mr Natty Shave Oil, the modern-day version of shaving creams, with the dual purpose of protecting the skin pre-shave and conditioning after.
A beard balm is a pomade made especially for beards. It is thicker than a beard oil and normally contains more ingredients. It is also less thick and sticky than a beard wax used for firm styling of the beard. Here is a few of my favourite beard balms on the market:
Mr Natty Save Ya Own Skin Moisturising Butter, packed full of shea butter and olive oil to hydrate your skin. It also includes beeswax, a known anti-allergenic that helps relieve itching. It’s also anti-inflammatory so any little nicks you might make while shaving can be calmed down with a quick rub. Patchouli and bergamot oil lend a rich, rustic scent that is reminiscent of aged wood and adventure and there’s a little hint of zesty citrus there too.
The Great British Grooming Co. Beard Balm, with Argan Oil, Shea Butter and Coconut Oil nourishes and conditions your beard while providing a light hold.