Beard Balm : How to Choose

Beard Balm : How to Choose
February 1, 2014 The Mod Cabin Writer

Beard Balm: How to Choose

Beard Balm is a wonderful and necessary tool for growing and maintaining a healthy and awesome looking beard. That being said, just what is beard balm, and how do you know you are choosing the right one?

The Mod Cabin Beard Balm

The Mod Cabin All Natural Beard Balms

Beard Balm is a moisturizing, light to medium hold pomade.  Any Beard Balm worth its salt should do three things:

  • Moisturize
  • Seal
  • Style


First let’s cover moisturizing. There are several moisturizing oils that nourish your beard. When shopping for Beard Balm you will want to make sure your balm contains non-comedogenic oils that will moisturize your beard without clogging your pores. The following oils are all non-comedogenic and will help keep your beard properly moisturized.


Jojoba is technically not an oil, but a  liquid wax ester. Unlike a lot of oils jojoba does not contain triglycerides, so it will not become rancid in a short amount of time like grapeseed oil, and jojoba oil is non-allergenic and non-comedogenic so it will not block your pores. Jojoba contains generous amounts of important nutrients such as vitamin E and B complex vitamins and minerals that stimulate beard growth and soften your facial hair, preventing breakage and split ends.


Argan oil, often referred to as “liquid gold” by hair experts, penetrates facial hair pores where it enhances elasticity and stimulates beard growth. The natural antioxidants and vitamin E in argan oil strengthen your beard by repairing the damaged cellular membranes of your facial hair while also repairing damage done by synthetic chemicals found in most store bought soaps, shampoos and conditioners.

Whatever beard balm you choose should have one or more of these moisturizers as they are higher in quality, have a much longer shelf life, and do more to nourish your beard.

Matt Holding The Mod Cabin Beard Balm


Beard balm is similar to lotion in the sense that it seals in moisture. If your beard balm does not contain proper moisturizers like jojoba and argan, your beard balm will seal in nothing but dryness. So once you make sure your beard balm has plenty of moisturizing power, make sure it has something to properly seal in that moisture. There are three sealants commonly used in Beard Balms:

Petroleum Jelly

Petroleum Jelly is a petroleum byproduct made by mixing hydrocarbons. Petroleum jelly is water-repellent,  not water-soluble like shea butter and beeswax. So it seals moisture out and dries out your pores. Never use petroleum jelly on your beard!


Shea Butter is extracted from the nut of the African sheanut tree  and is widely considered the best sealant for facial hair. The Mod Cabin uses fair-trade shea butter. Unlike petroleum jelly, shea butter wont clog your pores and you will have no problem washing it out of your beard when it’s time.


Beeswax is a natural wax produced in the bee hive of honey bees. Like shea butter, beeswax is natural and non-comedogenic so it wont clog your pores or prevent growth. It has a stronger hold than Shea, and provides an excellent sealant to prevent moisture from escaping.

So the bottom line is keep petroleum jelly out of your beard and look for a beard balm with natural sealants like shea and beeswax.


Backwoods Beard Balm from The Mod Cabin is perfect for styling your beard


The third thing a good beard balm should do is provide hold for shaping. Shaping and styling can help smooth stray hairs, tame a wild beard, or even accentuate natural curl in your beard. The same things used to seal the moisture in your beard also provide the hold for shaping and styling. Shea butter also has the added benefit of making hair follicles appear thicker, thereby making your beard appear thicker, as well. We highly recommend finding an all-natural beard balm for providing hold. We have found the combination of shea and beeswax provides the perfect amount of hold, that’s why we use it in our Backwoods Beard Balm.

How to Use

Using beard balm is simple. Use the back of your thumbnail to scrape out a pea to dime sized amount of balm and rub between your palms to emulsify. Run your fingers through your beard, starting from the neck and working up, making sure to rub balm into the skin where your beard grows to nourish the hair at the roots. Reverse and run your fingers through your beard in a downward motion from top to bottom, spreading the balm down the hair follicles. Don’t forget your moustache and the hair around your mouth. Brush through with a natural boars hair bristle brush to help straighten your beard, or scrunch hair in fists to accentuate curl.

The Mod Cabin All Natural Products with Leather Toiletry Bag

We recommend using a boars hair bristle brush to do this. You can order a high quality boars hair bristle brush from The Mod Cabin here.

Comments (26)

  1. charly 6 years ago

    So which balm is better or you recomend me more, the backwoods beard balm or the honest amish one?

    • The Mod Cabin 6 years ago


      Both products use great, all natural ingredients, so it really comes down to preference in this case. The two products smell quite different, and the texture of both are a bit different, which I suspect is because of the different production methods we use. From my experience with both products the main difference you’ll notice will be the scent. To me, Honest Amish smells like a fresh, clean room, whereas The Mod Cabin’s smells like a woodsy forest.

      I hope that helps!

  2. Steve Young 6 years ago

    What about balms using grapefruit seed oil? Is this the same as grapeseed oil?

    • The Mod Cabin 6 years ago

      Hi, Steve! I’m aware of grapefruit seed extract, and grapeseed oil, but they are two different things. Grapefruit seed extract is a liquid derived from the seeds, pulp, and white membranes of grapefruit, and it’s used as a natural preservative because of it’s antimicrobial properties. That makes it great for preserving natural products, but it’s not something that would actually moisturize your beard, although I’m aware it does have other beneficial properties.

      Grapeseed oil on the other hand is pressed from the seeds of grapes, and is used as a light moisturizer. It is a great product, but not one that we feel we can use since it has such a short shelf life of 3-6 months before it begins to turn rancid.

      Thanks for your question. I hope that helps!

  3. Steve Young 6 years ago

    What I was wondering is about the shelf life of grapefruit seed oil, is it short like grape seed oil?

    • The Mod Cabin 6 years ago

      Well, since the grapefruit seed extract is a natural preservative with antimicrobial properties it has a long shelf life. However it isn’t a carrier oil, but rather a preservative, which means it will be used in small amounts meant to help preserve a product, and not something that will provide moisture for your beard.

  4. Ray 6 years ago

    So if i am currently using beard oil, should i use a beard balm too or i will be ok to use either one?

    • The Mod Cabin 6 years ago

      Hi, Ray.

      Your beard will have the answer to that question. There are no steadfast rules regarding which you should use, but if you notice your beard needs a little extra taming, or a little more moisture, we suggest using the balm along with the oil. The balm has butters and waxes that will help seal in moisture. You can use it over beard oil or alone depending on how much moisture your beard needs.

      Let us know if you have any other questions! Thanks!


  5. Ray 6 years ago

    There are so many beard balms available… can you recommend the best?

    • The Mod Cabin 6 years ago

      Well, Ray, we’re going to be a little biased. Of course, we feel that The Mod Cabin Backwoods Beard Balm is the best, but we encourage you to try out the different brands for yourself and let your beard tell you which one it likes best! 🙂

  6. Lawrence 6 years ago

    I use beard balm after trimming my beard. I also used conditioner but I stopped because of skin irritation.

  7. Nathan 5 years ago

    This sounds like a promising product. Will this beard balm help fill in some of the bald spots on my face?

    • The Mod Cabin 5 years ago

      Thanks Nathan! The unrefined jojoba and and pure argan oil will help create the conditions for healthy growth and the shea butter and beeswax will help your beard to look thicker. Make sure to exfoliate with an all natural beard washing soap like our birch tar soap. The combination of birch tar soap and our beard balm will create the conditions you need to grow the best beard you can.

  8. cam 5 years ago

    Thank you for this very informative article! I’m looking for the best products for my husband’s beard, and was so overwhelmed by all the different options. This explained a lot! Can you tell me more about the scent of your beard balm? Such as, what types of scent are used (essential oils? Which ones?)?

    • cam 5 years ago

      I’m kind of sad that I never received a reply to my question, but I also realized after I posted that I’d asked a dumb question- it was answered in the store description of the item. Sorry!

      • The Mod Cabin 5 years ago

        My sincerest apologies, Cam! I think with the holiday rush your question got lost in the shuffle! It’s not a stupid question at all, but I’m glad you found what you were looking for on the product description. Let us know if you have any other questions and we’ll make sure they get answered! Happy Holidays!

        • cam 5 years ago

          Oh, I hoped it was just lost in the rush. Thanks for replying, though. Your products looked fantastic, so I went ahead and bought beard balm & birch tar soap for my husband for Christmas–I can’t wait to give them to him! I’ll come back & review them after he tries them out. Out of everything this year, it’s the gift I’m looking the most forward to giving! He’s had a beard forever, but only uses shampoo on it and never puts any product in it–so it’s pretty out of control. 😉

          • The Mod Cabin 5 years ago

            We can’t wait to hear how he likes it, and (just as important) how you like it!! Have a Merry Christmas!

  9. eivohan 5 years ago

    For styling and shaping a severe beard a 2 Oz can doesn`t go very far, does it?
    I guess I`ll need quite a bit before I`m at the shaping mode?

    • The Mod Cabin 5 years ago

      Hi! You’d be surprised how far our 2 oz tins go! Keep in mind our beard balm is a natural light to medium hold, so if you’re looking for severe shaping check out our moustache wax. It’s great for stray beard hairs, spot styling of your beard, and of course, shaping your moustache. It does take some heat to get it plyable, though, so be prepared to run the tin under hot water, warm it in your jeans pocket, or use a blow dryer to heat it up quickly.

      • eivohan 5 years ago

        Ok, I`ve been using oil until know, and thinking about mixing argan oil, jojoba oil, hemp oil and Sesame oil and then mixing it up with patchouli, cedarwood or lemongrass and clove. Can get it all on ebay, but it all comes in 100 ml7 6.4 OZ bottles. All the oils will prpbably die on my shelf, so might just buy pippetglasses and give to my bearded friends, who many started growing a beard after I got meself one 😉
        I have the mustash wax “stiff upper lip”, the best hold and only $7, never applied it to my beard though.

  10. Eric 5 years ago

    How often should I apply beard balm? Whats the usual? Everyday?

    • The Mod Cabin 5 years ago

      Hi, Eric! Thanks for the question! It really varies from beard to beard. A good rule of thumb is to start with an application in the morning. Start with a small pea size amount and rub it between your palms then apply with hands distributing it all throughout your beard. Apply a little more if you have a longer or very thick beard, as needed. You’re looking for a softer beard, but don’t apply so much that you have a greasy beard. It should be softer, and have a very nice sheen to it. Just notice how dry your beard gets throughout the day by seeing how wiry it gets, and apply more as needed. Everyone’s hair is different, so you’ll find what works best for you and your beard.

      I hope that helps!

  11. George C 5 years ago

    How about gray beard’s. Looks like these hair’s want to go anywhere they want.

    • The Mod Cabin 5 years ago

      HI George. Since gray beards tend to become wiry easily, a beard balm containing both natural moisturizers like unrefined jojoba and pure argan oil as well natural sealants like organic shea and beeswax would be ideal for conditioning gray whiskers and keeping them in check. Either our Backwoods beard balm or Essential beard balm would work great.

  12. Jason 2 years ago

    Or I could just let it grow like man did before our times. I, for one, dont need any cosmetic. I will leave those to my wife.

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