It’s the most wonderful time of the year. No, it’s not quite Christmas yet. We’re talking about the other most wonderful time of the year – Beard season.
November means we’re knee-deep into Movember and No-Shave November, and while the mere act of growing a beard (especially for awareness of these great causes) is worth celebrating, you’ve got to make sure you’re giving that luscious man mane – and the rest of the skin on your beautiful face – the proper care and attention. That’s why we’re here with the ultimate 2017 Beard and Skin Care Guide. We’ve got the products and brands you need to know and use this year to make this your most handsome year yet.
Bush Klawz was established in 2016, and in its short time it has managed to produce some of the most kickass products around. They offer four scents in their Prince lines: Naked Prince (unscented), Lumber Prince (tobacco, leather, pine, vanilla and musk), Urban Prince (masculine, sporty, refreshing and crisp), and Pacific Prince (bergamot, grapefruit, ginger, jasmine, and peppermint).
Our Picks: Beard Balm / Wooden Combs
The Bush Klawz beard balm is an absolute rockstar in any scent you choose. I’m a big fan of the Urban and Pacific Prince scents, and love the fact that these balms are lightweight and very non-greasy while providing a great hold. You’ll sometimes find certain balms and oils can leave a lot of residue, plus your beard will look wet and a little greasy. These balms are fairly low-shine, but make your beard look healthy, feel soft, and lock it into place.
The wood combs are a great addition to your bathroom cabinet – Well-made, heavy and durable, and built to last, BushKlawz combs come in a variety of sizes and shapes, but I have to say my personal favorite is the 4-sided pocket comb. It’s versatile, it’s convenient to carry with you or use as your travel comb, and it’s just kind of cool to look at.
Grave Before Shave is just the epitome of cool. From the packaging to the branding to the products themselves, GBS stands out from the crowd for a variety of reasons. First is the packaging; while this doesn’t have any actual bearing on the quality of the products (which is very high, but we’ll get to that in a second) it does count for a lot when it comes to cool factor and being a product that you’ll want to leave out on your bathroom counter because the aesthetic is so awesome. Second is the quality of their products – Take their balms for example. Consisting of all natural ingredients like coconut and tea tree oil, shea butter, vitamin E, and aloe vera, they have the kind of beard care products that you can use confidently knowing you’re giving your beard a healthy dose of healthy ingredients.
Our Picks: Cigar Blend Beard Balm / Beard Wash
The Cigar Blend balm is creamy and smooth, and gives a great hold. But what you won’t be able to get over is the smell; This blend is smoky and rich with a hint of sweet vanilla, and it lasts for hours, so you’ll still be catching whiffs of this balm long after you’ve applied it.
The beard wash is exactly what you need – A little goes a long way and it lathers up really well so a bottle is going to last a long while. The fresh, clean smell reminds you of a barber shop and isn’t too overpowering or pungent, so you come away with a squeaky clean beard and sporting a light crisp scent.
Texas Beard Co‘s stuff is top notch, end of story. All natural and hand made in small batches, you’re getting premium quality products that your beard will love you for. Started in 2014 Texas Beard Co is ” made up by four 20-somethin’ dudes in Texas,” who joined together to up the beard care game and offer customers the best possible products. And they deliver.
Our Picks: Big Thicket Beard Balm / Pecan Coffee Organic Beard Wash
I’m an avid outdoorsman, I love being in the mountains and the forest, and I love the fresh, clean smell of pine and crisp mountain air. Texas Beard Co has managed to package that scent up in their Big Thicket Balm. With hints of cedarwood and pine needle, this stuff is like Christmas in a tin. It also has no wax, meaning it’s a softer balm that goes in smooth and gives a light to medium hold.
And right behind my love of the outdoors is my love of coffee. So the fact that I can wash my beard with pecan coffee scented beard wash makes me doubly happy. Made with all organic ingredients and no harsh chemicals, solvents, or detergents, this bar wash features real caffeine, along with aloe, goat milk, and avocado oil. The scent is amazing, and the ingredients are guaranteed to leave your beard healthy and nourished.
Thatchface has become a personal favorite; not just because of the quality of the product, but because of the story and mission behind it. ThatchFace was founded in early 2017 by Ben Cleaver and his wife Leanne. The reasoning wasn’t just to create a superior set of beard oils, it was to give back to a cause close to Ben’s heart.
In 2009 Ben was diagnosed with testicular cancer and underwent surgery to remove the original tumor. This was followed by rounds of chemotherapy to cure the remaining cancer that had spread to his groin. Now, 8 years later, Ben’s aim with ThatchFace is simple: to give back to men’s cancer charities by donating 10% of profits from each beard oil to help other men in their own personal battles with this disease.
Our Picks: Their whole beard oil line
Made with premium and natural ingredients, the trilogy of oils is worth collecting in full. Wild Zest combines sweet orange, lemon and lime oil and fuses them together with ylang ylang to create a fresh, citrusy scent. The Full Minty (get it?) keeps it simple by focusing the refreshing scent of peppermint and eucalyptus to give your beard a fresh minty aroma. And Got Wood might be my number one pick – A blend of sweet almond oil and argan oil, this one blends the scents of sandalwood and cedarwood and toss in a healthy dose of pine needle oil. It’s like a pine forest in a bottle.
Maestro’s is about more than just the beard, they’re about the guy behind it. As they explain, “[Maestro’s] is a movement in masculinity, with a nod to love, hard work, strength and creativity… We celebrate the integrity of man and honor his commitment to family, community and craft while shaping the bearded path for the next generation of young men.” How do they do this, exactly? By offering top-quality products that a lot of other companies don’t offer. Case in point – our picks from their shop. Beard butters mixing scents of tobacco and vanilla, grapefruit and black pepper, juniper berry; their scents and their quality make them unique and worth checking out.
Our Picks: Speakeasy Beard Butter / Speakeasy Beard Wash
With a musky, smoky blend of vanilla and tobacco, you’ll get addicted to this stuff. The butter is reminiscent of a leave-in conditioner in texture and application. It goes in quite smooth, the scent is intoxicating, and your beard ends up silky smooth, soft to the touch, and perfectly hydrated.
The wash mirrors the butter – The scent is masculine and smoky, and it leaves your beard fresh and clean without drying it out.
These guys are another rustic, outdoorsy type of brand I can get behind. Inspired by nature and the great outdoors, Rocky Mountain puts value in natural materials and ingredients, primarily being coconut oil, sandalwood essential oil, beeswax, shea butter, argan oil, cedarwood oil, and jojoba oil. This is men’s grooming directly inspired by nature.
Our Pick: Cedarwood Balm
Featuring over eight essential oils, this all-natural balm is a rockstar. Leaving your beard shiny, healthy, and super hydrated, they aren’t lying when they say that this balm “will have you smelling like you were just building fine wood furniture in the mountains.” Cedarwood is one of my favorite scents, and this balm reminds me of being out on a winter hike.
You’ve seen Cremo in your local pharmacy, you’ve wandered by it in Walgreens, you’ve wondered if it’s any good and if you should give it a try. It is, and you should. As explained on their website, Cremo “was created from scratch because Mike, one of [the] founders, couldn’t find a shave cream at any price that actually performed in a seriously meaningful way.” His answer? Make his own products. The brand has expanded to include a variety of men and women’s grooming products, and their beard products are worth checking out.
Our Pick: Beard Balm
With a citrusy and crisp scent, this beard balm performs a little differently than others. It’s quite lightweight and acts more like an oil than a traditional balm. While this one isn’t going to give your beard a lot of hold, it is going to get it hydrated, soft, and shiny.
Bonus Pick: Truefitt & Hill
For over two centuries (They’re in the Guinness Book of World Records as being the world’s oldest barbershop) London’s Truefitt & Hill has been recognized as the finest traditional gentlemen’s barber and perfumer in London, and has provided guys with only the finest in grooming products and services. Their products are comprised of 100% natural, non-synthetic ingredients, and are many are both alcohol and paraben free.
Our Pick: Mustache Wax
Made with Bees Wax, and Shea Butter with Jojoba, Kukui Nut, Avocado, Sunflower and Aloe Vera Oil this mustache wax is a cut above – It’s built to condition and soften while also giving an excellent moldable hold that allows your mustache to be styled and locked in place. The scent? Super fresh. Grapefruit, Mandarin and Bergamot oil, give a clean, fresh scent that is perfect for a crisp autumn afternoon.