Our Cremo Beard and Scruff Cream Review
Cremo makes a wide range of male grooming products, and for a company that's branched out a lot over the years, most of their beard-care products remain fantastic—at least in our humble opinion, anyway.
So here we'll provide our Cremo Beard and Scruff Cream review. We'll take a detailed look at it, and ask the important questions, like...
Does it moisturize as well as a beard balm or a beard oil would?
Can it alleviate any of that whisker-itch you get as your beard grows out?
And perhaps most importantly...
Does their mint beard cream feel appropriately cool on your skin, or does it make you feel like your skin has frozen solid and might chip if someone bumps into you wrong?
And those questions and more, below!
First Things First: It's a Really Effective Moisturizer
That's really the most important factor when it comes to any beard product—a beard oil, a beard balm, or a beard butter or cream: how well it hydrates your beard hair and the skin underneath your beard hair. In our experience, this does a really good job. The beard looked a little bushier, and we could actually feel the moisture from the formulation, and it seemed to last for a while. It relieved some itchiness and had a nice, cooling feel.
One of the reasons it's able to moisturize so well is its ingredient list: it's got some heavy-hitters when it comes to hydration, such as cocoa butter (which has been shown to moisturize skin and hair very well) and coconut oil (which is used in a looooot of beard and skin products, and has also been shown to be a great skin and hair moisturizer). It also contains aloe barbadensis leaf extract, which is the liquid substance taken from the leaves of the aloe vera plant, and has been used for skin care for millennia by people all through history and throughout the world.
There are a lot of synthetic-y sounding ingredients in the formulation, like cetyl alcohol, stearic acid, glyceryl stearate SE, and butylene glycol, and that's a bit of a bummer—and it’s one of the things that makes beard creams different from beard balms and beard oils, which tend to have "all-natural" ingredient lists.
The inclusion of synthetic ingredients is not uncommon for creams, though—very often, they need to include additives to keep the formulation together, and it’s actually pretty difficult to find an all-natural beard cream. In fact, it actually has far fewer ingredients, and far fewer synthetic ingredients, than another beard cream we like, which is the Wahl Beard Softener Creme. We don't really know of a beard cream that has an all-natural ingredient list (and if you know of one, please jump over to our "Contact" page and tell us about it—we'd love to hear about it).
Another reason it's able to moisturize so well is that it's an actual cream. The go-to products for beard moisturizing tend to be 1) beard oils, which moisturize well, but can evaporate quickly, and 2) beard balms, which moisturize beard hair very well, but because of their thick, hard-to-spread nature, often fail to permeate past beard hair and onto the skin. When it comes to moisturizing, both of those products have their strengths, but they have some issues because of their consistency. Because Cremo is an actual, spreadable cream, it's easy to actually get it onto your skin, and that’s obviously an important aspect of a moisturizer. And, keep in mind—the length of your facial hair is a really important factor when it comes to this product, and it’s a much better moisturizer on scruff or a shorter beard.
It's Very Good for That Irritating "Awkward Beard" Stage of Facial Hair Growth
If you've had your beard for a while, you might have forgotten how irritating that two- to three-week's worth of beard growth can be. It's scratchy and irritating and it can drive you nuts, and it seems to last forever.
That's another area where Cremo can actually help: because it's designed to soften whisker hair—via the cocoa butter and the coconut oil we mentioned above—it can make all those pointy whiskers a little less dagger-like. It can make them a little more pliable and wispier, and that can provide some much-welcome relief.
It can't really be said that it will alleviate that awkward beard stage completely—that's really not been our experience (and it would be wonderful if that were the case). Only time can do that, really—after a while, your whiskers get long enough so that they're not poking your skin, and your skin seems to adapt to having hair on it. It can seem to relieve some of the itch, though, and that's reaaaaaaaaaaaaal nice. In fact, we liked it so much, we included it in our list of our top beard butters, even though it's not technically a butter.
But—and there's always a but!—with that comes a negative about the product:
It's Not Really a Great Option for Anything More Than Scruff or a Very Short Beard
On the lid of the tin we received, it says "Beard and Scruff Cream," and then below it says "Conditions stubble and scruff" and "Shapes shorter beards" [Editor's Note: they may have updated the design on the tin to some new wording, but this is what it says on the can we have. We'll include a photo].
The point here is that it's not always a great option for anything longer than a very short beard. Creams tend to run out very quickly—because they're creams, they're light and fluffy and not very dense—so somehow there seems to be less-per-container than a denser material, like beard balm. And, to moisturize a medium- to long-length beard, you'd need a lot of it. That doesn't negate their strength—out of all the beard products out there, they're probably the best moisturizer of the bunch—but they can disappear pretty fast.
That's not to say you can't—or shouldn't—use it on a medium- to long-length beard. You absolutely can, and it can look great. Just know that your container might not go very far if you do. We tend to use it as a special treat, and use beard oil and beard balm on a day-to-day basis, and beard cream when it looks like the old beard needs some extra love.
OK, with all that out of the way, we should probably mention the feel:
If You Like the Feeling of Cool Mint on Your Skin, You Might Really Like This
This next section is about the "Wild Mind" / "Mint Blend." We'll talk about the Forest Blend in a moment.
Mint is a really popular option when it comes to beard and shaving products, and pretty much every variety of beard oil and beard balm you'll find has a mint version. Some are great, but some are WEAK. We're here to tell you: the Cremo Wild Mint Beard Cream is not weak. It is very, very strong.
And that's fantastic. You can smell it in the container, which is wonderful—you'd be surprised at how many oils and balms and creams don't smell like anything in the container—and you can smell it in your beard and on your skin. If that's you're looking for, you may really like this.
What's more is that you can really feel it on your skin. There are a lot of mint and tea tree products that you can't really feel, and that's always the mark of a product that has an ample amount of mint or tea tree—whether you can actually experience it on your skin.
Here, it's very clear—it's cool, refreshing, and it lasts a while.
Of course, we should probably also mention the converse:
If You Dislike the Feeling of Cool Mint on Your Skin, You Might Really Hate This
If you're not a fan of that cool feeling—and it can feel so cool that it's almost cold—this could drive you absolutely nuts.
Cremo products are generally well-made, and that's the case here—they didn't scrimp *at all* when it came to adding the mint. You absolutely feel it on your skin, and it stays there. It's not like using a mint or tea tree beard wash in the shower, where it tingles and then you wash it off, and you go about your day. If the mint cream touches your skin, you'll absolutely feel it. If you don't like that feeling, it can be very intense and very distracting.
If you like mint, but you don't like Cremo's version of it—or anyone else's—you can always use a recipe and make beard butter to your liking, and include as much or as little mint as you want.
Again, if you like that sort of thing, it can be nirvana. If you don’t like that sort of thing, the mint version might not be your cup of tea, and you may want to consider that...
The Forest Blend Is a Nice Alternative to the Mint
We mentioned earlier that Cremo doesn't really scrimp on scents, and that's true for their Forest Blend as well—you can actually smell it, and it smells like we hope a forest blend would smell: pine-y, fir-like, and a little bit like woodchips or sawdust. It smells like the forest, and that's great.
A New Variety?
It's come to our attention that Cremo has made a new version of their Beard and Scruff Cream, and it's the Cremo Beard and Scruss Cream Citrus and Mint Leaf / Cooling version. We haven't tried it yet, so we can’t really opine on it here in our Cremo Beard and Scruff Cream review, but those are two very bright and very lively scents—citrus and mint—and it sounds interesting.
It's Nice to Have a Product Designed for Scruff
We'll wrap it up here—it's actually really nice to have a product made for the "scruff" stage of beard growth. To have a beard, you have to get through that scruff stage, and there aren't really any products that alleviate some of the issues you go through at that point in your... "beard's journey," let's say. We like this one a lot—it's a great moisturizer, and it smells and feels great—even if it does tend to go pretty quickly.
Alrighty, y'all! That's it from all of us here at Rough and Tumble Gentleman. We hope something here helps you in some way. Be good, have fun, and happy beard!
Michael Morris is the head writer here at Rough and Tumble Gentleman. He's got a ducktail beard and loves Brazilian jiu-jitsu. He's married to the woman of his dreams and lives in Brooklyn, NY.