Read on to learn ingredients and tools for making beard balm, or skip straight to the recipes.
Before we get to the beard balm recipes, let’s go over a few principles to making your own beard balm. I assume you already know what beard balm is–a buttery substance used to condition a beard and give it slight hold. Beard balm is a popular alternative to beard oil (and the two can be used together–I use both every morning). See my collection of favorite beard balms to see what is already out there.
One thing you will notice is that beard balms range in prices, from $15 to $25 a tin. That’s a LOT of money to spend on beard balm. If you’re not into making it yourself, then the price is totally worth it (nothing tames my beard better than beard balm), but if you’re a bit on the frugal side, then this guide will help you make beard balm at home.
DIY Beard Balm Recipe
In this guide, I will show you how to make your own beard balm, and I will share some of the top beard balm recipes for you to experiment with.
There are four parts to making a quality beard balm, Beeswax, Butter, Carrier Oils, and Essential Oils.
Beard Balm Ingredients
Beeswax is the go-to wax for making beard balm (vegans can use a vegan plant wax to achieve similar results). Beeswax is what gives beard balm its hold, which is essential for keeping beards in line. It is rich in vitamin A, and has a pleasant scent. It melts easily with a little friction, and solidifies fairly quickly.
Beeswax comes in two forms–the solid bars of beeswax, and chopped up (or in pellet form). The type you choose depends on how you decide to make your beard balm. If you plan to make a lot of it to sell, then go with pellets. You can throw your pellets in a big vat and make many tins at once (plus, the pellets are cheaper per ounce). However if you are only making one or two tins for personal use, then go with the beeswax bars. Some beard balm recipes call for 1oz or 1 bar exactly.
Beeswax Pellets – Bulk – Yellow
The two butters used for beard balm are shea butter and cocoa butter. Both butters have different qualities, and smell different. Shea butter is great for skin as it acts as an anti-inflammatory, and is easily absorbed by the skin. Cocoa butter has a pleasant smell (and taste), and is often used in chocolates. It also brings many different vitamins and antioxidants. A well-rounded beard balm will use both shea and cocoa butters.
These butters are essential to beard balm, as they give the balm its spreading texture. Beeswax alone is very stiff. The butter is what allows the beard balm the ability to melt in your fingers and hands, and get absorbed by your hairs and follicles.
Shea butter comes in both yellow and ivory. I personally prefer the ivory color. I think it gives a beard balm a good “balmy” appearance.
A third, and rather unique, option is to use mango butter. It is similar to cacao butter, only it is a firmer butter, which lends to making stick-products, like deodorant sticks or lip-balm sticks. You need less beeswax for mango butter, so it’s a great ingredient for making less waxy balms. It comes with a number of useful properties, including sun protection, anti-wrinkle agents, and skin moisturizing. It’s supposed to be good against psoriasis and eczema, so you could use mango butter to create and market a “skin healing” or “anti-dandruff” beard balm.
Carrier oils are thicker oils used as mediums for essential oils. They make up the bulk of beard oils, and are used in beard balms to give a balm its signature texture. Every beard balm has beeswax, cocoa, and shea butter. What makes yours different than all the others are the oils you use.
Carrier oils include:
- Jojoba Oil – This oil has been used for years in hair care products. It closely mimics human oil, and is easily absorbed
- Argan Oil – Makes skin soft and protects against signs of aging, including wrinkles and spots.
- Sweet Almond Oil – Reduces skin inflammation, which can help prevent ingrown beard hairs.
- Grapeseed Oil – Helps reduce pore inflammation (due to dry skin or non-conditioned beard hairs).
- Avacado Oil – Helps keep skin wrinkle free (a bonus for beards!)
- Vegetable Glycerin – Used as a moisturizing agent in oils.
- Kukui Nut Oil – An excellent moisturizer.
- Rice Bran Oil
- Apricot Oil – Quickly absorbed by the skin. Helps cure dry, itchy, flaky skin.
- Borage Seed Oil – Relieves dehydrated and super-sensitive skin.
- Coconut Oil – Hydrating; reduces inflammation and locks in moisture.
- Pure Emu Oil – Acts as a natural beard hair conditioner.
- Organic Hazelnut Oil – Helps prevent skin disorders, like acne or eczema.
- Hemp Seed Oil – Helps keep skin moist so beard hairs don’t become brittle.
- Macadamia Nut Oil
- Broccoli Seed Oil
- Camellia Seed Oil
- Walnut Oil
Bulk Carrier Oils
If you’re creating beard oil to sell en masse, you’ll want to stock up on bulk supply of carrier oils, since you’ll go through so much of it. Here are bulk sources for the more popular beard oil carrier oils:
Carrier Oil Set
Experimenting with a wide range of carrier oils is a great way to give your beard oil the precise texture and feel that you want. This carrier oil set includes 4oz each of 5 different carrier oils–Apricot, Grapeseed, Coconut, Avocado, and Sweet Almond carrier oils. It’s a great place to start when forging your oils’ unique texture.
Essential oils are the oils that give your beard balm its scent. Use essential oils sparingly, as some essential oils, like tea tree oil, can irritate your skin if used too much. That said, essential oils give your beard balm its defining character. A masculine smelling beard balm will have sandalwood, cedar, or pine essential oils, for example. Oils like tea tree have amazing medical benefits, like helping with dandruff.
I realize it’s hard to smell oils from your computer screen, but here is a handy chart with an example of some essential oils and where they fall within a range of masculine scents. See my guide to pairing essential oils for more scent ideas.
Grow a Beard NOW Essential Oil Scent Chart
- Balsamic (soft, warm smell): Benzoin, Frankincense, Labdanum, Myrrh, Peru Balsam, Tolu Balsam, Vanilla
- Citrus: Bergamot, Lemon, Litsea Cubeba, Orange, Tangerine
- Earthy: Patchouli, Spikenard, Vetiver
- Floral: Carnation, Neroli, Ylang Ylang
- Spicy: Bay Leaf, Black Pepper, Cardamom, Clove, Ginger, Nutmeg
- Woody: Cedarwood, Cypress, Fir, Pine, Sandalwood, Spruce
In addition to the measurement and transfer tools I list on my beard oil recipe page (I include important things like funnels, transfer pipetts, and eyedroppers), crafting beard balm requires its own special tools. Here is what you’ll need.
You probably already have one of these in your kitchen, but if not, snag one for weighing your shea butter and cocoa butter. This will become important when you start making large batches for sale. Empire! Legacy! Mwahaha!
The Cooking Vat
I highly recommend you buy a special pot or vat used solely for cooking beard balm. Beard balm is buttery and waxy and can be a pain to clean, especially if you leave the vat out unwashed all night. Besides, you don’t want your dinner tasting like beard balm. Since you will be pouring your melted mixture into your desired container, find a pot that is easy to pour. This is the one I use:
If you are making smaller portions, use a smaller 2lb pitcher like this:
The container you choose gives your beard balm character. Most beard balms come in round tins. This is useful because it suits the natural way people get balm out of the tin–by moving their fingers along the balm in a circle. Rectangular tins also exist. These are often used for lip balms. Since few beard balms come in rectangular tins, it may make your beard balm stand out.
You need to figure out how much beard balm you want in each tin, as tins come in different sizes, ranging from .25 oz to 8 oz. Here is a collection of tins in various sizes:
Many makers of fine beard balm deliver their balms in small burlap or cotton muslin sacks. This adds a nice touch that your customer will greatly appreciate. Muslin sacks are very cheap. You can get a stack of 100 small sacks for $21, making each sack $.21.
Nothing sells a custom tin of beard balm better than a well-made label. The label you create, and the photo quality you use to promote your products online, are the two most important aspects to your success.
The easiest way to make labels for your tins is to print self-adhesive stickers. Many label kits will come with a backing you have to wet first like a stamp, or will require you to use glue. Stickers just make it easier.
I also encourage you not to print your own labels using your home printer, unless you have a professional printer. The printing decal packs you find at office stores are fine for every-day clerical use, but rubbish for professional products. Anyone can spot an ink-jet label instantly. Plus, printed labels are not waterproof, and these tins will likely be kept in a bathroom, handled by men just out of the shower.
I use Overnight Stickers to print my labels. Simply upload your graphic to their website, and they will ship you a stack of self-adhesive stickers ready to go on your bottles. They have templates you can download to use as the basis for making your own label. You will likely use the Round or Rectangle shapes, but Overnight Stickers supports many other shapes.
Protip: Overnight Stickers is offering growabeardnow.com readers $30 off every order if you use the code ILIKESTICKERS when checking out. You’re welcome.
Since Overnight Stickers has a minimum order quantity of 250, I use another company, Sticker Hub, when I need smaller batches of labels. Their minimum order size is 25. For beard beard balm tins, I suggest going with the Round, or Rectangle shapes (they have many more shapes available), and using Die Cut – Laminated finishing. Like Overnight Stickers, they allow you to upload a graphic of your label. They also offer label creation services, for those not artistically inclined.
Protip: These guys offer free shipping and 10% back on every order.
How to Make Beard Balm
Making beard balm is the easiest thing in the world. The trick is knowing when to mix essential oils, and not to burn your butter.
Place your wax, butter, and carrier oils in your candle-making pitcher and place on your range at low heat. If you are worried about burning your wax, and if you are only making small portions, consider using a candle warmer instead of your range.
Then, just sit by and wait for your wax and butter to melt, stirring occasionally.
Make sure that your mixture does not come to a boil. If it boils, then you have burned it, and robbed your balm of many of the therapeutic powers it naturally has. Instead, just wait until everything has melted so that it looks entirely liquid, and remove it from the heat.
Quickly, before your balm can solidify, add your essential oils. This will likely be only a few drops, depending on how much you are making. Stir them in well!
Immediately pour your melted balm into your desired tin. Some people choose to use glass mason jars as their container, instead of a tin. If you do, make sure that you warm the mason jars in hot water before pouring your balm mixture, or else the glass could shatter. You don’t need to worry about this if you use tins.
Set your tins aside to harden overnight. In the morning, you will have a handsome batch of custom made beard balm. Congratulations, O bearded fellow! You can now add your brand labels to the tins, and sell them or hand out to friends.
Beard Balm Recipes
The following are sample beard balm recipes I have collected from around the net. Each has its own unique flair. Experiment with your own essential oils to come up with something entirely unique and yours.
The following chart comes from Super Formulas Arts & Crafts by Elaine C. White.
Measuring Beeswax - Beeswax Conversion Chart
Unlike most ingredients, the liquid volume of beeswax is exactly the same as its dry weight. This makes for easy conversion. Thus, if you melt down one ounce (by dry weight) of beeswax, it will equal one fluid ounce of melted beeswax.
By Beauty by Geeks. Makes about 1.5 ounces.
- 2 tbsp beeswax
- 1 tsp shea butter
- 1 tsp jojoba oil or sweet almond oil
- 1 tsp argan oil
- 4 drops vitamin E oil
- 2-3 drops vanilla oil
Note: This recipe has correct units for beeswax according to the source recipe–however, readers who have made it say that it calls for way too much beeswax. Try only 2 tsp of beeswax instead of 2 tbsp, or increase the amount of butter and oil you use, if you feel like your recipe is making too much.
Reader Submitted Balms
Makes about 3 oz
Makes about 16 oz
Use a double boiler and melt over low heat and cool immediately in a tin.
Makes about 40ml
Do you have a beard balm recipe that you’d like to share with the world? Share it in the comments below, and I will add it to this list.
Build Your Shop
Now that you have your product, it’s time to build your online shop. Shopify is a great place to build your online shop. They have a drag-and-drop interface that anyone can use, and they handle all the payment processing for you. There’s no easier way to craft an online shop for your beard product empire than to use Shopify.
If you are looking for a more high-touch service, I build websites and do marketing consulting. Send me a line on my consulting website with details of your project and I’ll give you a quote.