So, I recently got a discount from the manufacturer of a beard oil company to review their product. I have always had a somewhat patchy beard and though it is never itchy, I do occasionally get beard dandruff, so I was excited by the claims made by Growth Strong about their product, The Gentleman’s Beard Oil. They said it would do three things:
- Increase mustache and beard growth
- Act as a skin conditioner and beard softener
- Ease itching and irritation. Dry skin.
If any of the three things could be accomplished I would be very happy with the product, but before I tell you how it went I want to touch on a couple other thoughts.
I found the product packaging to be very appealing. It’s true that a good display will make your product easier to sell and this was the case for me with the beard oil. If things look cheap or generic I sometimes stay away but I was intrigued by the box. It’s simple and clean and feels like it is designed for a man. The information on the box states that the oil is made the USA which, in my opinion, is a big plus for any product. I also found that lettering and logos look great with the white and tan (and green leaf) on the black background.
When I opened the box I was happy to discover amber glass bottle with a dropper built into the cap. The dropper is glass and works effectively. It feels like a sturdy, high-class product. The label is minimalistic with three clear and separate sections: ingredients, directions, and the logo.
Considering that the ingredients were listed with their scientific name rather than their common names I had no idea what any of these ingredients were, aside from eucalyptus, and that was a little unsettling. I’m not sure why, since I trust most personal care products without reading the ingredient list, but I guess I wanted to know how it would help make my beard grow. Nevertheless, I decided to do a little research on them.
Simmondsia Chinensis is commonly known as Jojoba, but it also is known as goat nut, deer nut, coffeeberry and also as a few other aliases. Jojoba is an interesting plant. The extract, a liquid wax, is found in the seeds of the plant. It’s unique from most other seeds in that it more closely resembles whale oil than vegetable oils because it contains a straight-chain wax ester and not a triglyceride. Because of its unique composition, jojoba was considered as a biodiesel option, but since cultivation can’t keep up with traditional fossil fuels it is used in personal care products.
Jojoba is native to the South Western United States and Mexico and it has been known to be used by Native Americans on their skin and hair to heal and condition since the early 18th century.
In modern products, it is still used in skin and hair care. It is associated with eliminating dandruff and preventing hair loss. I also found it is used to prevent frizzy hair, protect from sunburn, to treat eczema and chapped lips, and as a makeup remover.
Melaleuca alternifolia is commonly known in its cultivated form as “tea tree oil.” Tea tree oil seems to be a very useful topical oil but it needs to be stress that it is topical only. Apparently, the extract, which is made from distilling the leaves and twigs of the tea tree (not related to trees we drink) is extremely toxic. According to www.organicfacts.net, some effects of ingestion include”confusion, hallucinations, drowsiness, coma, unsteadiness, severe rashes, vomiting, diarrhea, general weakness, stomach upset, and blood cell abnormalities.”
As a topic agent, however, it has been shown to have antibacterial, antimicrobial and antiviral properties. It is useful for those with dandruff or hair loss because of its stimulant properties. It helps increase blood flow to keep skin and hair follicles healthy so dandruff is reduced and the follicles strengthen their hold on your hair.
Tea tree oil has also been used as an antiseptic, fungicide, insecticide, to prevent ear infections, and to help clear up acne. Regarding acne, the tea tree oil is said to clear up clogged sebum glands, which is a common cause of acne and therefore reduce pimples.
In the case of eucalyptus globulus, or simply eucalyptus, the essential oil is derived from steam distilling the leaves. The tree is native to Australia but it has been exported and cultivated in places like California, Spain, Portugal and Southern Africa. It is now considered an invasive species in California now because of its ability to quickly spread.
As for the essential oil, it has numerous health benefits including benefits in skin care. This is mostly due to its antibacterial properties and helping to heal wounds.
I didn’t find any benefits regarding hair growth but some of the other claimed benefits include: providing an immune system boost, helping to control diabetes, reducing anxiety and stress, and improving respiratory health.
After researching Cedrus Atlantica, I feel I should have been able to figure out what it was just from the name. Cedrus Atlantica is derived from cedar and is thus called cedarwood oil. As a carpenter, I was aware of cedar’s ability to resist rot and that it was insect resistant but I had no idea of its capabilities once the wood had been distilled.
In addition to helping clear up both dandruff and oily skin, cedarwood oil has been used in the treatment of acne.
It can help prevent infections, reduce inflammation, treat eczema, relieve spasms, eliminate coughs and act as an astringent.
The directions are simple but I hoped they were more thorough. When I was reading about the different ingredients I found that some of them can be toxic certain doses. While this is not designed to be taken internally and it says to apply to the beard, a warning might be warranted.
I also would like to know how often it is recommended to use and what to look for when deciding to continue to use the product. Finally, an expectation of when results might start to be noticeable would have been appreciated as well.
Unfortunately, I did not get a chance to test the beard oil as thoroughly as I had hoped when I first order it. I trimmed my beard right before my first use and I quickly noticed that I was breaking out with some pimples along my mustache and a few spots in my beard. I put the first application on despite this and before doing research about the ingredients. My beard did feel softer right away despite have shorter and therefore courser hair and my skin did feel moisturized but not greasy so that was great.
But I immediately had regrets. I asked myself “Is it a good idea to apply oil to your skin when you are starting to break out? Won’t that make it worse?” I waited a few minutes and rinsed my face.
It was a couple of days before I sat down to do my research on the ingredients to discover that using the oil the whole time may have actually been beneficial to reduce the breakout.
So how did The Gentleman’s Beard Oil stack up against its claims?
- Increase mustache and beard growth-I can’t speak to how effective it is in increasing beard growth. I read comments from the manufacturer that this can take a while, so I am not sure I would have noticed anything during my first two weeks trying the product.
- Act as a skin conditioner and beard softener-This seems to be absolutely true. As I mentioned earlier, I noticed effects within seconds of trying it. I can imagine even greater benefits using this on a consistent basis.
- Ease itching and irritation. Dry skin.-I can imagine this will work but after my first application, I actually felt itching. This might have been because I was nervous about it worsening my acne but some of the ingredients are also allergens. Considering the claimed benefits of each of the ingredients, however, I think it will be effective.
All things considered, I would consider The Gentleman’s Beard Oil to be an effective product. I suggest they add more information about the ingredients because of the other added benefits. I would have used it more frequently sooner if I had known it could help with my acne. Fear of it worsening my breakout was the biggest reason I used it less than planned.
If this product succeeds in only two of its claimed benefits I would say it is worth purchasing. It takes adds maybe 20 seconds to your daily routine to apply the oil. I am happy with the moisturizing qualities and hopeful about the prospects of a thicker beard though the jury remains out on the latter.
I like this product enough that I think I will add it to my upcoming Father’s Day gift guide. I will also post an update on its effectiveness in a few weeks.
What do you guys think? If you haven’t already, would you try beard oil? What do you think about the rise in the use of essential oils these days?