I know what you’re thinking.
What, another beard product I’m supposed to spend money on!
I know, I know. You already have beard oil, balm, beard wash and so many other products that your Dopp bag is bursting at the seems.
This article on beard cream is not for everyone. Let me get that out of the way right now.
The guys reading this should be the ones with long beards that are having trouble shaping and styling a beard and need a high voltage beard moisturizer.
If you have a shorter beard or are not interested in styling yours, then you don’t need to run out and buy a beard cream. Unless you want one anyway, of course. In which case keep reading!
What is a beard cream?
Just hearing the term could mean any number of things, but in this case, we are talking about a beard cream that will soften and help style your beard.
In fact, I won’t limit the scope of this article to only cream. I will also go over some beard moisturizers that also help to style a beard in addition to hydrating the skin and facial hair.
Basically, it’s a beard lotion conditioner that has enough backbone that it helps to also shape your beard.
Here are the things a beard cream can do for you:
- Soften and straighten your beard
- Detangles your beard
- Prevent beard itch and beard dandruff
- Soothes irritated skin
- Helps shape and style a beard
When to use it
When you need a beard cream depends on what you need it to do. As you can see from the list above, beard cream serves a lot of different purposes.
If you need to use it like a beard gel or beard pomade, then use it when you need some help styling your beard.
I’m not talking about some wild shape that wins beard competitions, I mean if your beard grows in funny directions and you would like a uniform beard.
Beards can have funny growth patterns and are hard to manage. You don’t often see cowlicks like on your head, which makes it a bit easier to use a product to get it to behave the way you want.
If your beard is also unruly even after using a beard oil or balm then you can use a good beard moisturizer.
Oils and balms are great conditioners for most guys, but in some cases, a very rough or wiry beard will need a dedicated beard moisturizer or beard lotion like a leave-in conditioner.
If you have neglected your beard for a long time and have decided to get it in gear then you may want to bring out the heavy artillery from the beginning and go with a high test beard cream.
What to look for
As I mentioned, not all beard creams are for softening and styling. There are even some for growth so you want to make sure you pick the right one.
Usually, a beard cream is also called a beard butter since it has the texture of a thick beard lotion.
There are so many great natural products out there for beards that it makes little sense to use anything that doesn’t have mostly natural and organic ingredients.
There are tons of beard lotion conditioners that come from butters or oils that work better than anything artificial anyway.
- Shea Butter
- Jojoba Oil
- Cocoa butter
- Coconut oil
- Argan Oil
The idea is for maximum hydration and those ingredients listed there will do just that. With quick absorption properties, they won’t weigh your beard down or leave your skin feeling greasy.
Since this is more like a beard lotion, the ingredients are on the creamy side and are considered more like butters than oils to get the right consistency.
I like recommending a beard cream to guys who think that a balm is too thick to apply evenly. This is especially true for long, thick beards. An oil is easier to apply when you have a long beard, but you end up needing so much of it that it makes your beard look greasy.
The beard moisturizer cream should not be too runny, though. In other words, you should have to squeeze it out and if you leave it open it won’t come gushing out of the top.
It should be easy to apply and not leave any trace behind.
This is obviously very much up to personal preference as what smells good to me might not smell good to you.
The thing to remember is that the scent should come from the essential oils in the beard lotion and not from a synthetic fragrance. At least try to avoid it. I know how it goes when you find a fragrance you like and then find out it isn’t natural. As long as the beard cream is mostly natural it should still be alright.
With so many different scents available, there is no doubt you will find the right one for you.
Cream vs Beard Gel vs Beard Pomade
When you’re looking for a styling product for your beard it’s easy to get confused and think that there would be an equivalent product for your beard as you have for your hair.
Case in point beard gel and beard pomade.
The fact is that they don’t really exist. Well, there are some beard gels that I have seen but they are hard to come by.
As far as beard pomade, well, you could just use a hair one on your beard, but I am not sure why you would want to. I get that you want to style your beard, but a beard pomade would be kind of weird as you aren’t slicking it back or anything. Not only that, but it won’t stay in place long anyway. Your beard hair is way different than your head.
And beard gel could possibly work, but it does get hard. And then it can flake as you move around. Your head hair doesn’t rub against anything during the course of the day so the gel stays in place. Your beard is a different beast altogether. Since a gel is hard, your beard will not really benefit from it.
So, a beard cream can help you style it, but it is soft and will just help you give your beard shape and do double duty as a beard moisturizer.
So in place of a beard gel or beard pomade I recommend going with a beard wax when you need it to be highly styled and stay in place. There is an added benefit that beard wax contains essential oils that will nourish your beard while it holds its shape.
I will give you a list of some good ones after the best beard creams reviews so scroll down if you want to see those right away.
The best beard moisturizers
Or, also called beard cream. For these reviews I am going to only list beard lotions that condition and some that can also help style. I am steering clear of beard balms or beard oils since those are very different even they all kind of do some of the same stuff. It is like the difference between pomade and hair paste. They both style but the texture and hold are different.
So the list below is basically anything that is a beard lotion and can comes in either a tub or tube.
King Manes Beard Balm
Ok so I just said I wasn’t going to add any balms to the list, so what gives?
Well, since this is in a tube and has a looser consistency than you normally find in a beard balm, it made the cut.
It is way easier to use than a balm in a tin since you can just squeeze out the perfect amount right into your hands. In addition to all the benefits, it has it is also mess free because it is easier to dispense and apply.
What I love about it is that it is all natural and has a nice hold to keep your beard manageable.
Shea butter and jojoba oil are the main ingredients that will hydrate your skin and hair. In fact, jojoba oil is as close as you can get to the makeup of your body’s natural oil called sebum.
And shea butter gives it just the right consistency to spread and stay on your hair to be absorbed all day long.
The addition of candelilla wax gives it the hold that you need to be able to keep your beard shaped the way you like. Yet, at the same time, it is not so thick that you can reshape it during the day if you feel it lost some of its style. You won’t need to add more, just use your brush or comb to get it back in place.
If you suffer from beard itch then this is the ideal solution as it is packed with moisturizers to keep your skin hydrated and healthy forming a barrier against the discomfort of your beard growing. And since the beard is considerably softer, it won’t itch anyway.
It has an interesting scent due to the mix of peppermint, lavender and anise so it is kind of hard to pin down exactly what the fragrance is. It is invigorating though.
Live Bearded Unscented Beard Butter
Called a beard butter as it has the texture of a whipped butter, the Live Bearded beard lotion still won’t weigh your beard down.
It is essentially a fortified shea butter so it is highly moisturizing yet lightweight. It also contains jojoba oil, coconut oil and avocado oil. All of these are quickly absorbed into the skin and hair.
There isn’t any wax in it, though so it doesn’t give a very high hold. If you are doing a style that requires your beard to more or less stay in place, this is going to be too light. However, if your beard just needs to be detangles so it stays smooth all day then this is the ticket.
It is slightly thicker than a balm, however, so it should be great for most normal beards, especially for long ones.
Even though it is thicker viscosity wise and comes in a jar it may seem like it would be harder to dispense and apply than a balm, but it is the opposite. It is very easy to scoop and apply. It is like a thick beard lotion.
A little goes a long way too. You only need a little bit to evenly coat your entire beard, even if it is long.
The nice part about it is that it doesn’t have a shine. If you like the benefits from using a beard oil or balm but hate how it makes your beard shine too much, then this is a good way around that problem.
Your beard will end up looking exactly how you want it from it being smoother and with more manageability.
The particular one I linked to above is unscented, but if you do want some fragrance then there are options for that as well. The more interesting one is campfire that has a slightly smoky smell.
Shea Moisture Mens Full Beard Detangler
Are you tired of the knots in your beard that are painful to comb out? Or even if not painful, end up tearing your beard up and leaving you with split ends?
Then you need a beard cream that acts as a powerful detangler.
This one from Shea Moisture is packed with butters like shea and maracuja. Nutrient dense and highly moisturizing beard moisturizer, they leave your beard incredibly soft that allows you to freely run your fingers through without pulling. Each strand is lubricated and smooth without leaving any greasiness or heaviness to weigh it down.
It doesn’t have much hold, however, so styling is not really an option here. If you need to have a complex style or for the beard to stay in place then this is not for that. If you like the idea of your long beard flowing in the breeze, however, then this is perfect.
Your strands will be so soft and light that your beard will literally look and feel like the hair on your head.
Besides how it looks, it also will be healthier and stronger then ever. And that includes your skin underneath. With some argan oil in the mix, it helps repair the cells and leaves the skin very elastic.
If you suffer from an itchy beard then you will love how soft your skin feels after using this and beard itch will be a thing of the past.
The blends of oils give it a very refreshing, though light fragrance. It’s hard to pin down exactly what it is. It does not last long, however so I wouldn’t buy it for scent alone.
Best Beard Waxes
That was the list of the beard lotions that will condition, soften and strengthen your beard as well as give it some stability. But, when you need to really set your facial hair you’ll need a beard wax.
If you have been searching for a beard gel or beard pomade, then what you actually need is a beard wax that is sturdy and will handle the beard well. Though a beard wax is not a beard moisturizer like the beard creams, it does offer some nutrients and even will hydrate the beard somewhat.
Beardilizer Beard Growth All Natural Beard Wax
You can kill two birds with one stone by using this awesome beard wax. Well, actually maybe three birds. You can condition, style and grow your beard faster with this beard wax thanks to the formula of essential oils it contains.
This is not a very stiff wax like for a handlebar mustache, for instance. Instead, it acts more like a beard pomade than a gel. It will give hold but still some workability. If you need to touch it you will still be able to run your fingers through it. In fact, they will glide through since your hairs will be softened and nice and smooth.
It does act as a beard moisturizer more than other waxes since it has so many hydrating oils. Argan oil, apricot kernel oil, Greek olive oil and mango seed butter are all rich in vitamins and nutrients and nourish your hair while providing a ton of moisture. The argan oil not only adds moisture to your beard but it also locks that moisture in so it stays hydrated.
With the addition of rosemary oil and Jamaican black castor oil, you have a formula that helps stimulate the circulation of your skin so it brings new, fresh blood to the hair follicle. It isn’t going to turbo blast your growth, but it will speed things up a bit. It’s more like a bonus you get since you are mainly looking to subdue your wild facial hair.
The scent is a classic masculine sandalwood that kind of smells like shaving cream. It will remind you of a classic barbershop scent.
Urban Nomads Stronghold Beard Wax
The best high hold beard wax that acts more like a beard gel is this one from Urban Nomads. And the best part it is vegan and all natural.
The ingredients are such high quality that it goes on very light and does not clog your pores.
In fact, the salicylic acid it contains, in small doses, will clear out your pores and help clear up and prevent acne from forming under your beard. If you have beardruff or blemishes that are affecting how your beard grows then this is a great way to deal with that while also giving you some high hold. If you have a handlebar mustache, it can definitely handle that without it eventually sagging.
If your beard style requires more hold than a typical wax, then you are in luck. And the best part is that it doesn’t feel stiff. It will leave it shiny though, but that is part of the appeal too.
It has a ton of essential oils that will nourish your beard plus some glycerin that will add tons of moisture at the same time. The oils will repair your hair of split ends, or brittleness and will help strengthen the follicles.
The beeswax which is used for a firm hold is a but stiff so application is not super easy. This is normal, though when you consider the strong hold you will get. Again, there is no such thing as a beard gel so when you want that type of hold it won’t be something that can be squeezed out of a bottle or tube. This isn’t even a beard pomade, really, though it does offer some shine to give it a pomade appearance. It won’t look greasy, though.
The smell is really refreshing with lots of citrus notes from bergamot.
I highly recommend this beard wax for high hold.
Beard cream vs beard conditioner
If you read my other article about why you need a beard conditioner, then you are likely wondering what the difference is between one of the beard creams I reviewed above and a conditioner.
A regular beard conditioner like the ones I talked about in the article I linked to above are very similar to a hair conditioner you would use after washing your beard. Many of them would be applied and then washed out in the shower. Obviously, the point is to soften and nourish your beard.
A beard cream is different in that it acts more like a leave in conditioner that also helps to shape your beard. Look around the barbershop next time you go for a haircut and on their hair styling product shelf, you’ll no doubt see some hair creams there. Like a beard lotion, it can be used whenever you need some style or softness to your beard. You can apply it whenever you want and not just when your beard is wet or in the shower.
You’d apply it just like it was a beard gel or beard pomade.
But aside from the styling capabilities, a beard cream provides some body and slight hold to style.
Look, I know this all sounds confusing and you didn’t think you needed to study a dissertation to grow a beard.
I get it. You want a beard to be simple and not spend a fortune on grooming products. Why get a beard moisturizer cream when you can use a beard oil? Well, I hope that you understand that there is a difference now and that you should use the right products for your needs.
I hope I made it clear that a beard lotion is the way to go for guys that have extra rough beards and that are very long. Then those guys looking for a lot of hold now understand that a beard gel doesn’t exist and they need to get a beard wax. Not everybody needs these products I reviewed, but those guys that do will get more of a benefit than if they just went with a balm or oil for instance.
If some of this is not clear and you have questions, then please let me know by adding a comment to the box below. I will respond as soon as possible and will even make revisions on the article if it is not clear enough.
I’m an outdoor enthusiast and have sported a full beard since I was in my early 20’s. Originally, growing a beard was a way to save time when getting ready each day, but I quickly realized that keeping a neatly trimmed beard takes work and some forethought. That’s where this site comes in.
You get to benefit from my years of experience. I’ve reviewed many of the top hair clippers on the market today and also included some information on what works best for me. A great beard will turn lots of heads in your direction.
Since I never know when I’m going to find myself being photographed, whether it’s climbing in Yosemite, or playing volleyball on the beach, it’s important to me to always look my very best. Maintaining my beard is part of my daily routine and I hope you’ll find some useful tips and information on this site to help you on your journey.