The Best Beard Butter: Our Absolute Favorites
We're not one to play favorites, but it we absolutely had to, we'd admit: beard butter is our #1, absolute, top-tier favorite beard product, and it's not even close.
In terms of itch-relieving potential, beardruff-relieving potential, and just general feel on your skin—hands down, it's at the top of our list.
So here we'll go over our picks for the best beard butter, broken down into categories. We'll also tackle some of the most common questions guys have about beard butter (namely—"how is it different from all my other beard products?") and discuss why, exactly, it's so different than beard oils, or beard balms, or any of the other dozens of options you've got.
We value your time, so as we usually do, we'll start with...
A Quick Summary, for Those of You in a Rush
Here they are:
Best for Beardruff and Itch (Tie): Bluebeard's Original Beard Saver
> Not very well-known, but can be great for the itchiness and facial dandruff that comes with having a new beard (or with maintaining an old one!);
Best for Beardruff and Itch (Tie): Cremo Beard and Scruff Cream
> A great alternative, and great for relieving some itch and irritation in a beard; available in a VERY minty Mint Blend and a pleasantly pine-y Forest Blend;
Best Smelling: Lived Bearded Beard Butter
> A great beard butter offered in a wide range of manly scents, including "Campfire" and "Gunslinger" and "Executive";
Best All-Natural Formulation: Every Man Jack Beard Butter
> Most beard butters offer some great ingredients, but Every Man Jack goes above and beyond in that department, and includes lots of nutrients for skin;
Best Artwork: Grave Before Shave Beard Butter
> A good option in some great scents with *fantastic* design and artwork on the container; and finally
Most Unique Formulation: Maestro's Beard Butter
> A dignified, cologne-like butter that does a great job moisturizing skin and beard, and is sold in large containers (for those of you who may go through a lot of butter).
Alright, let's get into it, with a quick explanation and then some in-depth reviews:
Very Quickly, What is a Beard Butter Meant To Do?
Before we dive in, we should probably quickly mention what a good beard butter is supposed to do. There's a lot of confusion as to what makes the product worthwhile, and our reviews will make a lot more sense if you know the actual purpose of a beard butter. Here it is:
A beard butter moisturizes and fortifies beard hair, but its main purpose is to provide nutrients to the skin *underneath* your beard. It moisturizes your skin to keep it from being dry, and in doing so, relieves a lot of the itchiness and flakiness that comes with growing—and then maintaining—a beard.
Most beard products moisturize your beard hair and make your beard look fuller—and beard butter does that—but only beard butter is designed to really work on the skin below your beard. In fact, many beard butter recipes resemble skin care products, and have a lot of nutrients that are known to help skin.
So, if you've got beard itch or facial dandruff (which people usually refer to as "beardruff"), a beard butter can help a great deal. It's not a sure thing, but a lot of guys swear by beard butter, and say it's a turning point for them—using beard butter is where their beards went from "manly-looking-but-driving-me-crazy" to “something-I-couldn’t-live-without.”
Best Beard Butter: Our Picks
We’ll start with one that a lot of guys don’t seem to know about:
Best for Beardruff and Itch (Tie): Bluebeard's Original Beard Saver
Bluebeard's Original Beard Saver doesn't have the name recognition that some of the other beard butters have, and that's a shame, because we absolutely love it: it's packed full of ingredients that are great for skin (avocado oil to moisturize the skin and shea butter to fight itch), it treats both skin and hair (it can calm itch, but also coat beard hair in a way that's not greasy or slick), and it's easy to disburse through a beard with a wooden comb. Plus it's got a pleasant scent—a hint of citrus / a little bit of lime, but not so much that it knocks you out. Some beard butters go waaaaaay overboard when it comes to scent, but it seems like Bluebeard has reached a nice balance when it comes to fragrance.
The best aspect of Bluebeard, however, is its ability to deaden some of that itchiness that comes with new and mature beards. It contains a lot of ingredients that you'll actually find in women's skincare products, and that's FANTASTIC—we wish a lot more beard products took that approach. It's not an all-natural formulation—in fact, there are a ton of chemicals that aren't really recognizable unless you're a scientist—but that's par for the course when it comes to skincare products.
The only negative thing about it—and this is a critique of all beard butters, really—is that you can go through it pretty quickly, especially if you like to be generous with yourself when it comes to doses. The container itself is medium-sized (compared to a much larger container, like Maestro's Beard Butter, which we'll talk about in a moment), and it doesn't really hold that much (our tub contained 4 ounces—the norm for most beard butters). Plus, if you've got a longer beard and you like to get all your beard hair moisturized, that can mean you go through it even more quickly. But—what can you do? That's how it is with most beard butters. Even with that small complaint, it's one of our favorites.
Best for Beardruff and Itch (Tie): Cremo Beard and Scruff Cream
Remember how we just said that Bluebeard Original Beard Saver doesn't have much name recognition? Our next favorite is a beard butter with a LOT of name recognition: Cremo Beard and Scruff Cream. As far as beard butters go—and beard butters aren't really a well-known product in the world of facial hair—Cremo is one of the bigger names.
The real advantage to Cremo's beard butter is that it can do a number on itchiness. Cremo—which sounds like an old family-owned Italian business, but is actually two dudes in California—has a WIDE range of grooming products, and that's fantastic, because it means they can put a lot of R&D into their products. Here, they've come up with a formulation that can take the bite out of a new beard—the product softens whiskers, so that they don't dig into your skin when you're growing a new beard out—but it also moisturizes your skin, so that when your beard is long and drawing your facial oil away from your skin (resulting in dryness and itchiness), the cream can hydrate it and relieve it.
Hence, the "beard and scruff" name—it's a dual-use product that's good for beards in the first stages of growth, all the way to fuller, more mature beards. That's pretty fantastic, because you can use it regardless of how long your beard is.
Our only gripe about Cremo Beard and Scruff Cream is 1) it doesn't explicitly say that it's a butter, even though it contains one of our favorite butters, which is cocoa butter, and 2) it only comes in two scents, which are “Mint Blend” and “Forest Blend.” For a company as big as Cremo, we'd love it if they'd offer a wider selection of scents, which plenty other beard companies do.
The good news, however, is that those scents really deliver. The Mint Blend is fresh and bracing and perky—it is very, very doubtful that you will not experience the experience of mint when you wear it—and the Forest Blend is deep and pine-y, as we’d hope.
So this is our co-pick for "Best for Beardruff and Itch."
Best Smelling: Live Bearded Beard Butter
We mentioned earlier that beard butters are kind of a "niche" product—most guys with beards know about beard oils and beard balms, but don’t know as much about butters.
That's fine, but it becomes a problem because beard companies don't want to invest a lot of money in a product that guys don't know a lot about. That means they'll make a beard butter, but wimp out about it—they'll make one scent and call it a day.
Live Bearded Beard Butter has a bolder approach, and they've leaned into scents in a big way: whereas most beard butters often a few scents, Live Bearded has (currently) SEVEN scents in their lineup:
> Legend Fragrance: sandalwood (deep) and vanilla (sweet)—the classic "barbershop" smell—warm and sweet;
> Campfire Fragrance: cedar (woodsy), vetiver (earthy/smoky), and bergamot (citrus-y)—outdoorsy and bright;
> Canyon Fragrance: juniper (perky), cypress (fresh/clean), fir needle (pine-y)—lively and rugged;
> Wingman Fragrance: citrus (bright), clove (sweet), and vanilla (also sweet)—pleasant and enticing;
> Gunslinger Fragrance (great name!): sweet tobacco (think in a pipe, not a cigarette) and cedar (pine-y)—this is actually very original;
> Executive Fragrance: leather (earthy), vanilla (sweet), cedar (forest-y)—think "debonair"; and finally
> Straight Up: unscented.
How great is that? Way to be bold, men of Live Bearded! If you're into scent—and we're really, really into scent—you may want to explore Live Bearded.
It's also worth noting that the formulation is top-notch. It leans heavy on the shea butter, which is a really effective moisturizer for both skin (it can coat and hydrate without feeling "heavy") and hair (it can make a beard soft while at the same time not making it feel stringy—not easy to do). We're going on about the scent, but the ingredient list is nothing to sneeze at.
Our one gripe? At 3 ounces, it's a little on the small side. Most containers are 4 ounces, so you may go through this a little faster than other beard butters, and have to replace it. If you're in it experience different scents, though, that can part of the fun. 🙂
Best All-Natural Formulation: Every Man Jack
Every Man Jack Beard Butter is an interesting one. If you're a guy who looks at ingredient lists—and we recognize that many men don't!—you'll find that beard oils and beard balms tend to have a lot of natural ingredients. It's usually one of two pure oils, maybe a beeswax, and a couple other things. It's almost rare that you'll come across some weird-sounding ingredient you've never heard and have a hard time pronouncing.
The best beard butters... are not like that. In fact, beard butters almost all have a long list of weird, synthetic-y sounding ingredients in them. Sad, but true.
Why is that, you may ask? Well, it's because beard butters are expected to do a lot more for your beard than a beard oil or a beard balm. Those are really just used to moisturize beard hair, whereas beard butter has to moisturize beard hair—but ALSO deliver on skincare. To do that, companies usually need to include a lot of synthetic ingredients that are known to fortify and protect skin. It's kind of a bummer, but it's the truth—most of the truly effective skincare products out there contain a lot of weird ingredients.
That's where Every Man Jack stands out—it focuses on utilizing naturally-derived ingredients. It's got no parabens, phthalates, harmful chemicals, or dyes, and it utilizes a gluten-free formula, as a lot of people seem to have gluten allergies. Plus, it's vegan and certified cruelty-free, which is excellent. Most beard butters don't make such an effort to include so many great ingredients—they approach it from a skincare standpoint (and perhaps imagine that no one will look anyway!).
So we applaud Every Man Jack for including so much good stuff—especially across all three of its scents, which are Sandalwood (classic), Natural Hemp (earthy), and Sea Salt (beach-y!). This is not to say that it's an all-natural formulation—it's got things like cetrimonium chloride as a preservative and Ceteareth-20 to stabilize it, and a handful of others. As far as beard butters go, though, it's got one of the most natural formulations we've found (in fact, even while it's not an all-natural formulation, nothing else comes close, as far as we can see).
This is, surprisingly, also one of the more accessible beard butters out there, and it may not break the bank in a way that some of the other options on our list might. Some beard butters can get a little pricey, but Every Man Jack doesn't really fall into that category, and that's a nice surprise, considering that it's a really well-devised product.
Best Artwork: Grave Before Shave Beard Butter
You might be wondering why we'd include a winner for "Best Artwork." After all—what does that have to do with anything?
Well... nothing, really! If we're being honest, we're just absolute suckers when it comes to artwork. We like design, tattoos, icons, you name it. We like the way it looks in the medicine cabinet, and we like the feel of using well-designed and attractive products. And when you consider that there are so. very. many. dull-looking beard brands out there, that have opted for a lazy, minimalist design on their products, it's nice to see a company going all-in on emblems and logos.
And that's why we love, love, love Grave Before Shave Beard Butter. Look at it in that image above—that's some fantastic artwork right there! Gorgeous.
This is not to say that it's not also a great product—it is (and we wouldn't include it if it wasn't). It's actually got some tattoos really fantastic ingredients, including shea butter and mango butter, and aloe vera, which is used in cultures throughout the world as a skincare ingredient. All good stuff, but it also smells fantastic—just like Live Bearded, Grave Before Shave really dove into scents head first, and in addition to their Grave Before Shave Cigar Blend Beard Butter (which is a pleasant fresh tobacco + vanilla fragrance), they've got the Aphrodisiac Scent (leather + cedarwood), Gentleman's Blend Scent (sandalwood + bourbon), and the classic Bay Rum Scent (ray + spices). All fantastic.
Most Unique Formulation: Maestro's Beard Butter
We're not sure when Maestro's Beard Butter came out, but it has an old-school, classic feel to it, and it's one of our go-to beard butters. Right off the bat, it's very unique, and for a lot of good reasons:
> It's got a one-of-a-kind, enticing scent. It's a mix of grapefruit, black pepper, and bergamot. As you'd imagine, that smells like... wait, there's literally no imagining what that smells like. The grapefruit is citrus-y, but not really by much. The black pepper has that sort of lively, earth-y smell, but isn't overpowering. The bergamot... well, most people don't even know what bergamot is, and scent-wise, it's somewhere between a lemon and a lime. The final result is surprisingly pleasant. It's almost like a cologne—it has a deep, sort of "dignified" feel, and it's a great option for more formal events. It doesn't have that sort of "frivolous" scent that some beard products can have.
> It's large! It's often made in a 6-ounce container, and if you've got a big bushy beard and go through beard butter like there's no tomorrow—or you have a small or medium-length beard and just like to use a lot of butter—it can last you a lot longer than the smaller 3- or 4-ounce versions that seem to be everything. Maestro's: go big or go home! Nice.
> It works really well. There are plenty of beard butters that have—well, a butter-y feel—but Maestro's is water-based, and doesn't have that sort of "heaviness" that lesser-made butters can imbue.
All in all, this is one of our favorites, and if we have a big night, the one that we usually reach for.
OK! Adding all that up, we've arrived at the main event:
The Award for Best Butter Overall Goes To...
How to choose? There are so many great options. Here's what we'd say:
If you're experiencing beard itch, you may want to try Cremo Beard and Scruff Cream;
If you're experiencing dry skin, Bluebeard's Original can be a good option;
If you're looking for lots of heathy ingredients, Every Man Jack may be a good selection; and
If you've going out for the night and want to wear something cologne-like, we think Maestro's can be a good fit.
There you have it!
Now, because we know that the topic of butters is an utterly confusing one rife with baffling names and bewildering ingredients, we'll answer all of the butter-related concerns you may have, starting with:
How to Choose a Beard Butter
So what makes a good beard butter? This is a lot more "art" than "science," just because beard butters tend to all use similar ingredient lists, and often “the best beard butter” is a matter of personal taste.
There are a couple of things we look for, though:
Size of the Container. We'll put this one first, even though it seems a little arbitrary.
Perhaps more than any other beard product, beard butters can go fast. Especially if you find one that you like. Because you need to use a fair amount of it to actually work it into your beard, and because you'll tend to use it every day if you have a really itchy or irritating beard, it's not uncommon to fly through these containers much faster than other beard products.
So, just keep an eye out for the size of the container you're getting. For most beard products, you don't have to consider that sort of thing—beard balms usually come in the same-size tin, no matter what brand you buy—but there is some variation among beard butters, and if you run out of it quickly, it may help you to buy larger containers of it.
The Scent. At the end of the day, this is the big question when it comes to beard products: what's it going to smell like? Most beard products are very similar. There are the bad ones—and we never recommend any we consider sub-par—but among the good ones, the only real distinguishing feature among them is the feel (which we'll talk about in a moment) and the scent.
If you're not too adventurous on scents, try to stick with single-note scents—a lemon, or a lime, or something like that. If you are willing to roll the dice on fragrance, try new things until you find one you want to stick with. Very few of them are downright objectionable (and again, we don't mention or review ones that we / other people find objectionable), and you might surprise yourself. We thought the "Executive" Beard Butter from Live Bearded was going to be silly, but it turns out to be one of our favorite scents, and we wear it around the office, in a sort of ironic joke-y way. In other words, allow yourself to be surprised when it comes to scents—a lot of these companies do a really good job creating interesting, unique fragrances.
Feel / Texture. This is one of the other—and few—properties that make a beard butter unique: how it feels in your hands and on your skin. Some have a warm feel (like Every Man Jack) and some have a cool feel (like Cremo Mint and Bluebeard Original). Try to imagine what might do it for you.
Nutrients in the Ingredient List. We know that most guys don't really care too much about the ingredient lists of the products they use, but for a lot of guys, it's incredibly important. It won't take long to do some ingredient-comparisons, and if there are any ingredients that are in your "no go" zone, look for another product. There aren't that many beard butters out there, but there are enough for you to be selective.
Artwork on the Label. Again, this doesn't really have anything to do with the product; we're suckers for marketing. Be better than us, and you can probably ignore this.
A Quick Review of Terms: How is Beard Butter Different Than...
We flirted with this idea above, but we'll provide a quick recap if you're not clear what makes beard butter unique from other beard products.
(And, by the way—if you're a little mystified by all this, you're not alone. The beard product industry is notorious for naming its products whatever it wants, and it can be confusing to figure all these products out).
So here's how it goes:
Beard Oil. This is just... well, beard oil is just oil! It's slick and wet and slippery. Very often it's a combination of a few oils mixed together, like a carrier oil that provides nutrients (grapeseed oil, argan oil, and jojoba oil are examples) as well as a few essentials oils (like lavender / rose / peppermint / etc.) to make it smell nice—but that's it. It's just oil. It's great for your moisturizing your beard hair, but it doesn't really provide any styling capability, and it doesn't really do much for the skin underneath your beard.
Beard Balm. Beard balm is a combination of the carrier oils and essential oils we mentioned above, plus some butters (like the butters you'd find in a beard balm—cocoa butter, or mango butter, or shea butter), some waxes (which you usually won't find in a butter, like beeswax), and maybe a few additives. Beard balm is usually thick and pasty, and it feels like a heavy, spreadable cream. It's great for moisturizing your beard hair, and it can provide a little bit of styling ability, which is great, but it doesn't usually do anything for the skin underneath your beard. It's better than nothing, but as far as itchiness and beardruff, it doesn't always help. Of all the beard products, though, beard balm might be the most popular—a lot of guys really love it.
Beard Wax. This is a lot simpler—beard wax is *mostly* wax, and it's used solely for styling purposes. If you've got a big bushy beard that needs to discipline, or a mustache that you like to curl up at the end, a wax is usually what you're looking for. It provides zero moisturization for skin or hair, and it's super-duper hard to use—in fact, a lot of waxes you need to heat with a hair-dryer to apply, because... well, it's a wax. If you've ever seen a beard competition with guys who have facial hair that seems to defy gravity, you're seeing guys who use a lot of wax.
Beard Butter. Hooray! Our personal favorite. Beard butter is a combination of oils and butters and other ingredients used specifically for skincare. It doesn't provide much hold, but it can do an incredible job moisturizing beard hair, but *especially* the skin below a beard. It's great for itchiness, beardruff, and irritation.
So, to sum up:
Beard Oil: slick; used to moisturize beards; doesn't provide hold;
Beard Balm: thick; used to moisturize beards; does provide hold;
Beard Wax: hard; doesn't moisturize beards (or skin); provides an exceptional amount of hold; and finally
Beard Butter: creamy; moisturizes beard hair but also skin and fights itchiness and beardruff; doesn't provide any hold (but can make a beard look bushy and healthy).
All of these products can make a beard look a little healthier, which is nice.
Be on the Look for Items That Seem Like Beard Butter But Are Not
This will be an odd section, but it's something we want to inform that broader beard-having public about: beard butters that aren't really beard butters.
As we've mentioned, the world of beard products plays it "fast and loose" when it comes to nomenclature. The FDA doesn't really regulate beard products, so makers of beard products can name their goods in any way they please. That's fine, most of the time, but sometimes it creates situations that are genuinely confusing.
Take Wild Willies Co Beard Butter, for example, and look at the tin:
Notice anything odd? Take another look.
Do you see it? The name of the product is "Wild Willies Beard Butter" and it is... a beard balm.
Why would Wild Willie, a good and reasonable man in all other respects, be so misleading when naming his products? We have no idea. Maybe he thought the word "Butter" would make his beard balm sound more exotic? We don't know.
The irony is, Wild Willies Beard Butter" is a great balm. It's got a lot of great ingredients, and it's got some great staying power. Why they didn't just call it a beard balm—we don't know.
Anyway. This is all to say: when you're looking for a beard butter, make sure what you're buying is actually a beard butter. There are a lot of products that call themselves a beard butter that aren't a beard butter. Weird, but true.
Products That Don't Advertise as Butters... But are Great Butters
This is the flip side of what we've just discussed—that there are some products that call themselves butters but are not butters. Believe it or not, there are plenty of products that are beard butters, that don't have "Beard Butter" in their name.
Confused yet? Frustrated? Welcome to the world of beard products. It's the Wild West out there, man.
We don't know spreadable why they don't call themselves beard butters, but... whatever. Who knows.
The best example of that is Wahl Beard Softener. There are a lot of interesting ingredients in Wahl Beard Softener, including manuka oil (which fights facial dandruff), meadowfoam (which softens your skin), and clove oil (which is believed to fight acne). That's definitely in line with a beard butter's mission to moisturize and fortify the skin underneath a beard. We don't know they've failed to embrace the "beard butter" name—and in fact, they currently advertise this as "better than butter," which is odd—but it's got everything we'd look for in a butter. If none of the options above appeal to you, this can be worth a look.
There are plenty of others out there, and usually they go a different name—sometimes it's "beard softener," other times it's "beard cream"—but if it's a product that is created to soothe and hydrate skin, combat facial dandruff / beardruff, and has some type of butter in it—usually cocoa or shea—then it's really a beard butter. If you're looking for a butter but you find something that doesn't call itself butter but fits the bill... enjoy! And welcome to the weird, poorly-named world of beard products.
Smooth Like BUTTA
Ah, beard butter—the most misunderstood of all the misunderstood beard products. For some guys, it's a perplexing concoction that sounds weirdly like food. For many of us, though—and in particular, the guys here at Rough and Tumble Gentleman in particular—it can be a godsend. If you've had a torturously itchy, scratchy, dandruff-y beard, and came *this* close to shaving it—only to find a beard butter that works that alleviates those problems and leaves you with a peaceful, happy pillow of beard hair on your face—you understand what we're talking about.
Hopefully there's something here that helps you. If you've got questions, jump on over to our "Contact" page and drop us a line. Otherwise, be good, have fun, and happy beard!