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Beard balms for the win!

This handsome white-bearded guy is my husband, Don. He is the inspiration behind everything I do at my soap company. We jokingly call him "The Original Lizard" behind Green Iguana Bath. (Seriously, he has the T-shirt!) When he was having a hard time with "beardruff" he stated, with frustration, "I'm just going to have to stop wearing black shirts!" Oh, no, darling, we'll have none of that. Let me help you. My passion is taking care of people, so I accepted that gauntlet and got to work. I formulated a beard balm for him, with skin-loving butters and oils, and manly fragrances. For my 1.0, I reasoned that using refined beeswax might take away some of the benefits, and that led to a little bit of yellowing around the edges. OOPS. So I switched to refined beeswax.

This formula calls for unrefined cocoa butter and shea butter, but if you prefer you can use the deodorized. We carry both at It's a work-around to use the unrefined because of the scent, but I find I like the unrefined. You might decide differently, but you will end up with the same result. the consistency of the refined vs. unrefined is the same. The goal of a beard balm is to condition and soothe the skin under the beard, and the hard oils and beeswax can help with styling and texture. Beeswax is a humectant, and helps to soften the hair as it gives styling benefits as well. If they're going to wear one, they should groom it, right, ladies? A softened groomed beard is much easier to snuggle. It is always recommended that you use Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) when you make your products, and it makes good sense to do this if you're making for personal use, too. You can use a double boiling method, which is more controlled, temperature-wise, or the microwave, if you're careful and don't heat the materials too much. Caution is the key.

Each ingredient has it's own melting point, so if your balm sits at around 91-92F for a bit you might notice some granulation. This is frustrating for people who vend at outside events, so you'll want to figure out some way to keep them cool while on display. If your personal-use balm granulates, an easy way to return it to its smooth consistency is to place the open tin on a sheet pan, and heat in a 170F oven until melted. Allow to cool on the counter and the balm should be smooth again.

For packaging, I use 2 oz. tins that you can find at various suppliers, and fill them to 28g, or 1 oz by weight. We use weight in measuring cosmetic ingredients because it's the most accurate. I use grams because the gram is a very small unit, and I can be very precise.

No further ado, here's the formula:

Alternatively, you could substitute Avocado oil for the sweet almond, and that would give it a different feel. Do experiment and find your "sweet spot." You could also use Argan oil, which is specifically good for hair, meadowfoam oil, or a variety of other boutique or exotic butters and oils. Kokum is especially nice, as is mango. I love Sal (Shorea) butter for lotion bars, and that might be a good one to experiment with as well. The procedure is relatively simple. Melt the beeswax, hard butters and liquid butters, then remove from heat. Stir in Tocopherol T-50 and your fragrance, if desired. "Buck Nekkid" (unscented) is always an option. Need a Vegan beard balm? An easy fix is to substitute Candelilla wax at half the weight/percentage of the beeswax. Candelilla is more brittle than beeswax. You'll also have to consider the melting points, and adjust your procedure accordingly. Beeswax melts at 62 to 64 °C, and candelilla is a little higher at 65°C−68.8°C. Here's a formula for a vegan beard balm which has been well-received by my vegan customers. Note the addition of Pumpkin Seed Oil, which I added because I thought it need a little "more" since I dropped out the beeswax.

And there you have it. Two beard balm formulas, which were tested on my husband first, then trialed to bearded friends, and then they were well-received in my bath and body business.

I'll tackle Tattoo balms in my next post. All of the ingredients are available here on Happy creating!

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