If your grandma has a few choice words at the sight of a freshly grown-out beard, or worse, insists you shave it off, it’s probably because you haven’t been introduced to the joys of a beard balm yet. Made with a heap of nourishing butters and moisturizers, beard balms are meant to groom, provide lightweight control, and soften rough stubble. When you find *the one*, your facial hair will look less like Tom Hanks in Cast Away, and more like Bradley Cooper on the red carpet.
Although anyone with a beard can use beard balm, it’s preferred by guys with medium to long beards that need some help in the taming department. Men with shorter stubble may prefer beard oil, which won’t feel as heavy when it comes in direct contact with the skin. And if you need some extra hydration on the hard-to-reach skin underneath, just make sure the beard balm you choose is noncomedogenic (won’t clog pores), or you’ll wind up with more acne than you want as an adult man.
You’ve seen them at Target, and you’ve likely been gifted one in the past, but if you’ve never really given beard balms a second thought, that’s about to change. Here are seven of the best on the market.