Contributed by Dr. Damian Rodriguez, DHSc, MS
According to recent surveys, 1 out of 4 of males aged 18–59 uses beard care products on a daily basis, and 3 out of 4 say they currently use them or have used them in the past year1. The look, feel, and health of beards is a legitimate concern for men—and those who love them—and the answer is just a bottle (or two) of CPTG® essential oils away.
The Science Behind It
Beard oils are becoming increasingly popular because they can change the look, texture, and health of your favorite facial friend in a matter of seconds. The science behind beard oil is quite simple. Within a matter of days, even the best efforts to grow a beard can result in a dry, itchy, and disheveled mess. While it may seem like it’s the hair, the root cause of these issues is actually the underlying skin and its sebaceous glands. Sebaceous glands are microscopic glands located at the root of every hair follicle. Their primary function is to secrete an oily and waxy substance called sebum that keeps skin and hair moisturized. While the hair follicle progressively becomes longer, the sebaceous glands do not grow nor do they have a means to increase production of sebum. The longer the beard becomes, the greater the discomfort and risk for dry and unhealthy skin and hair. Beard oil is a simple solution to the discomforts of a beard.
If you are reading this, you are likely applying “beard oil” to your skin on a daily basis without even knowing. Some beard oils may be fortified with vitamins or fragrances, but fundamentally, beard oil is composed of two ingredients: a carrier oil and an essential oil (or a blend of them). While many beard oils feature jojoba, avocado, or even olive oil as their base, the medium-chain triglycerides comprising Fractionated Coconut Oil (FCO) are the ideal carrier for a beard oil. FCO blends well with other oils, is moisturizing, leaves hair and skin soft and smooth, and it is odorless—so you can better enjoy the pleasant aroma of the added essential oils.
When choosing an essential oil to complement FCO in your beard oil, look for oils that are cleansing, hydrating, and promote overall health of the hair and underlying skin. Below are some great options.
- Cedarwood: Steam distilled from the wood pieces of the Juniperus virginiana, Cedarwood essential oil has a number of properties that promote the look and health of both hair and skin. Due to its concentration of cedrol, research suggests that when applied topically, Cedarwood oil may help to keep the skin looking healthy2. Cedarwood is also commonly used to reduce dryness and promote overall hair and skin health.
- Melaleuca (Tea Tree): Melaleuca has been used for centuries by the Aborigines of Australia as a panacea for a variety of reasons, but much of the modern scientific research has focused on Melaleuca’s many benefits when applied topically to hair and skin. One of the primary chemical constituents of Melaleuca essential oil is the monoterpene alcohol terpinen-4-ol. In experimental research, terpinen-4-ol has been shown to have cleansing properties, promote healthy looking skin, and reduce the appearance of blemishes3-5. Other primary constituents, such as gamma-terpinene and 1,8-cineole, have similar hair and skin health supporting properties. Melaleuca is one of the best essential oils for daily use to keep hair and skin looking clean and healthy.
- Patchouli: Patchouli is frequently used in cosmetics and soaps and is an ideal complement to FCO in a DIY beard oil because it is cleansing, purifying, and supports healthy looking hair and skin. Not only is Patchouli essential oil cleansing, but also experimental research suggests that it may help keep hair and skin smelling fresh6.
- Sandalwood: Sandalwood essential oil is a common ingredient in a variety of skin products not only for its woody scent, but also for its ability to support a healthy complexion when applied topically. Sandalwood essential oil is one of the best sources of alpha-santalol, a sesquiterpene alcohol that has been shown in in vitro research to be soothing and to promote healthy looking skin and hair when applied topically7. In human clinical research, a skin care regimen including topical administration of Sandalwood has been shown to reduce the appearance of blemishes and support overall skin health8.
The method is simple: Combine 1 ounce of FCO and 5–10 drops of your favorite essential oils for skin and hair in a small bottle and shake. Put a few drops of the mixture into your palms each morning and massage into the beard. If you don’t have the daring or the time to make your own, doTERRA Salon Essentials® Root to Tip Serum, which includes Cedarwood essential oil, can do the same thing to your beard as it does to the hair atop your head.
A few washes a week with your favorite shampoo and some extra attention with your homemade beard oil is all it takes to grow and maintain a healthy looking and feeling beard.