Beard oil before bed: is it a waste of time and money?

Oh, this question is a really awesome one. Beard oil has become the go-to product for bearded people. It has so many benefits such as moisturizing the skin and hair – ensuring you don’t end up with beardruff! You know – dandruff for the beard. But do these benefits still happen if you apply beard oil before bed? Let’s take a look at that question in detail!

Using beard oil before bed can cause a lot of the oil to end up on your pillow and not actually making its way into your skin or beard hair. Most men use beard oil in the morning as the oil is able to penetrate completely and have beneficial effects during the morning and throughout the day.

Before we jump into the bedtime vs morning argument of using beard oil. We have to remember why we are using beard oil in the first place.

Let’s take a look at the best reasons that you should be buying and using beard oil.

The benefits of beard oil – make sure you get them!

There are many, many reasons why beard oil should be part of your daily routine (night or day application aside at this point). For me, the primary reason that I use beard oil is that I like the way it makes my beard LOOK.

It keeps it tame and reduced how wild my beard becomes. But there are a few more reasons that I recommend using beard oil.

Get rid of beard itch

Beard itch is caused by a couple of things.

First, if you used to shave beard itch can be caused by the sharp beard hairs that are emerging out from under your skin after being cut. Sometimes these hairs can become trapped under the skin and cause ingrown hair.

At this stage, you should be exfoliating your face and moisturizing regularly to deal with the beard itch.

Also as the beard is growing and in the early stages of its life, the hairs can curl around and irritate the skin. Using a good beard conditioner to soften the hair is really the only option you have. If you want a beard – you have to go through this phase – but the good news is that it only lasts a little while. For the stages of growth check out this other post – click here.

And secondly, if your beard is still itchy after you have grown out the hair away from the skin it could be itchy due to these factors:

  • Dirt – dirt could be trapped at the base of the hairs, against the skin. There it could be irritating the skin and causing inflammation. The only thing you have to do it wash your beard with a good beard shampoo and get to the roots!
  • Dryness – Dryness is another factor that can cause itchiness. More on that in a moment.
  • Messy and damaged hair – your hair not groomed into shape or laying the way you need it to lay can also cause irritation. If the pointy bit of the hair is always touching the skin you’ll get itchy. Keep that beard maintained!

Fights dryness

Beard oils are made up of more than 95% of carrier oils. Carrier oils are where the majority of the benefits of oils come from. That includes having a moisturizing effect. Here are a few examples of the therapeutic properties of beard oils.

AraganIt is rich in vitamin E, carotenes, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids. Argan Oil is used to nourish the hair making it shiny and healthy-looking.
JojobaIt is known to closely resembles the sebum of the skin and is rich in vitamin E.
SunflowerUse this oil to treat dry & damaged skin, eczema, and psoriasis.
AvocadoIt is typically added to other carrier oils in order to boost protein and vitamin content.
CoconutCoconut oil can be used as a skin moisturizer, helping with dry skin. It also reduces protein loss when used in hair.
CastorIt is used to treat split hairs and add volume to the beard.
Rice BranIt adds sheen while moisturizing and conditioning the hair without weighing it down.
Sweet AlmondIt is rich in proteins, Olein Glyceride Linoleic Acid, and Vitamin D, and should be used by those with dry skin.
GrapeseedThe high contents of omega 6 fatty acids are known to nourish and improve the texture of the skin.

I really love Jojoba oil and have made sure that it makes up most of my beard oil. It is the closest oil to the natural sebum that your face produces.

It smells nice

Using beard oil can help you smell nice! Beards have got a little bit of a reputation that they are dirt and smell bad. By using a beard oil with a nice essential oil in it you will smell nice for the rest of the day!

Just make sure that you like the smell of it because you will be smelling it too!

Essential oils

Essential oils, when used directly, can burn the skin and cause damage to the beard. We add them in a very small amount to the carrier oil. Here are some examples of oils that can be added to beard oil:

  • Lavender
  • Patchouli
  • Cedarwood Oil
  • Clove Bud
  • Eucalyptus
  • Lemon
  • Peppermint

There are all examples of essential oils that have been used in beard oils. For a full list and run down on the benefits of each carrier and essential oil – check out my blog post: How to apply beard oil for beginners – click here.

Most men use beard oil in the morning

Okay, the truth is that most men use beard oil in the morning. That is because the oil is applied after a shower or during morning grooming routine.

By applying the beard oil in the morning you are able to ensure that you are limiting the ways that it can get rubbed off. All of the benefits mentioned above can only be realized if the oil is making contact with your hair and skin for long enough that it actually gets absorbed.

In general, the oils take up to one hour to be absorbed into the skin and some oils actually require much longer to be absorbed by the hair. Oils with quick penetration include coconut oil and Ucuuba oil and Avocado oil, argan oil and olive oil are readily absorbed by the hair.

Jojoba oil, however, is great for skin but doesn’t absorb well into the hair. That is why a beard oil with a good mixture is important!

Over application risk and skin irritation

My applying beard oil at night you risk the over-application of beard oil. Sometimes more is not better and beard oil is one of those things.

If the beard oil contains essential oils it can irritate and cause the skin and hair to become damaged. Putting the beard oil on at night may cause increased exposure to the essential oils as they get trapped against your skin and pillow.

These are some of the essential oils that may cause irritation:

  • Basil
  • Benzoin
  • Birch
  • Black Pepper
  • Cassia
  • Clove
  • Cinnamon
  • Ginger
  • Lemon
  • Lemongrass
  • Lemon Verbena
  • Oregano
  • Peppermint
  • Pimento Berry
  • Pine
  • Tagetes
  • Red Thyme
  • Wintergreen

Over application can also cause your beard to look as if it is wet all the time. I know that this is real because I was adding too much beard oil to my beard in the mornings and someone embarrassingly asked me if my beard was wet! I said no it’s well hydrated but I quickly stopped using as much oil!

Will it result in a better-looking beard?

There are many more reasons why your beard will look great and the time in which you apply the beard oil will be pretty low down on the list.

The things that really matter are:

  • How often you trim your beard
  • How often you clean and condition your beard with products formulated for beards!
  • The products you use for shape i.e wax and balm
  • Getting a professional to give you advice on shaping and maintaining your beard!

There’s no doubt that beard oil plays an important role in beard maintenance but trimming and lining your beard properly will be the thing that really makes your beard shine!

Check out these other posts on how you can make sure that your beard is looking awesome!

Can you replace day time with night time application?

Sure, you can apply beard oil once a day at any time during that day! But bear in mind that the oil has to penetrate the skin and hair for it to do all of its good work.

Applying your beard oil just once a day – weather that is in the evening or otherwise is a really great idea. Don’t get too hung up on the time of day that you actually apply the oil.

Most people apply in the morning since it matches their daily routine better (I am one of those people). But apply whenever it suits you just leave enough time between applying and going to sleep!

So should you apply beard oil before bed? Perhaps…just with a few caveats!

The Author

Andy Stapleton

Andy is a writer and YouTuber with a PhD in science. He has written and/or produced videos for Science Alert, COSMOS magazine, and Australia's Science Channel among others. He is an avid beard grower and after many years of growing and trialling different beard styles, he started this blog to share the tips, tricks, and science that he has learned along the way!