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Nourish, Condition, and Moisturize Facial Hair With These Vegan Beard Oils

by Charlotte Pointing

Nov 12, 2022

If you want fuller, softer, more nourished facial hair, a good place to start is with the right beard oil. While many of the most popular options on the market are not cruelty-free (looking at you, Gillette), there are plenty of ethical brands out there that don't test on animals or use animal ingredients. To help you out, we've gathered the best cruelty-free, vegan beard oils on the market below.

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Why use beard oil?

Like the hair on your head, the hair on your face often needs a little TLC. Essentially a conditioner, beard oil will help to soften your beard hair, and at the same time, make it shinier, less scraggly, and easier to manage.

But arguably one of the biggest benefits of beard oil is the effect it has beneath the hair. After all, a healthy beard starts with healthy skin. The right product will help to moisturize and nourish your skin, reducing the risk of dandruff, irritation, and itchiness.

Is beard oil cruelty-free?

As demonstrated by the list below, many beard oils are cruelty-free. But there are a few brands you need to watch out for. Gillette, for example, is one of the biggest names in the shaving industry, but it is not certified cruelty-free.

L’Oréal also offers a wide range of personal care products, but again, the beauty giant is not cruelty-free. This is because it allows animal tests to happen when required by law.

L’Oréal's animal testing policy reads: "L’Oréal no longer tests its ingredients on animals and no longer tolerates any exception to this rule. Certain health authorities may nevertheless decide to conduct animal tests themselves for certain cosmetic products, as is still the case in China."

Another popular shaving and beard care brand, Jack Black, is in the grey area when it comes to animal testing. This is because it has not provided enough information publically to determine whether or not it is cruelty-free.

While the brand manufactures all of its products in the US, it does, however, admit to selling them in China. This leaves the door open for potential post-market animal testing.

Is beard oil vegan?

Most beard oils on the market are vegan, with plant-based oils like jojoba, argan, and coconut often used in formulas. But there are occasional exceptions. Mink oil, for example, is sometimes used. The oil is a byproduct of the fur industry, as it is taken from the fat in mink pelts after the animals are slaughtered.

Fur farming is associated with significant animal welfare problems and disease risks. Mink are confined in cramped battery cages, where they are unable to express any of their natural behaviors. This results in both psychological and physical health problems, including stress, wound infection, cannibalism, and deformities.

Mink farming was also thrust into the spotlight in 2020 when millions of the farmed animals had to be culled due to a COVID-19 mutation.

Due to these issues, several countries have either banned or pledged to ban fur farming. But the industry is still hanging on. China is currently the world's largest fur exporter.

Other animal products that may be found in beard oils include lanolin (which comes from sheep) and collagen (which often comes from cows). Both are byproducts of environmentally-damaging animal agriculture.

That said, it is easy to come by beard oils that do not include any of these ingredients. Here are some of our top picks for vegan beard oil. And, of course, all are cruelty-free too.

Best vegan beard oil

Key ingredients Aloe vera, camelina oil, and green tea
Sustainable packaging?Recyclable
100% vegan company?No
Parent company tests on animals? Yes - Edgewell

British brand Bulldog was founded back in 2005 and aims to provide men with simple, yet high-performance personal care products for their skin, hair, and beards.

This budget-friendly formula contains vitamin-rich aloe vera, which is known for its ability to condition and moisturize both hair and skin. Camelina oil is also deeply moisturizing, while some studies have shown that green tea may help to support healthy hair growth.

Key ingredientsHemp and organic castor
Sustainable packaging?Recyclable
100% vegan company?Yes
Parent company tests on animals?No

Hemp has many beard-nourishing qualities. The vitamin and lipid-rich oil can help to strengthen the hairs on the face, as well as reduce irritation and dryness, all while boosting moisture. That's why Typology, a natural skincare brand based in France, chose to include it in its beard and hair oil formula.

Castor oil is also known for its anti-inflammatory properties, which means it will help to soothe any irritation or itchiness. Plus, research suggests it can help to stimulate hair follicles and improve blood flow.

To apply this product, Typology recommends you warm a few drops of oil in your hands before applying from the root to the tip of your facial hair and massaging in.

Key ingredientsKukui Nut, baobab, and Ceramide 3
Sustainable packaging?Recyclable glass bottle
100% vegan company?Yes
Parent company tests on animals?No

UK-based Facetheory has quickly become a popular skincare brand, known for its clean, science-backed formulas.

Its Satin Finish Beard Oil L15 contains a blend of fatty acid-rich organic oils, like kukui nut, baobab, pumpkin, and argan, as well as Ceramide 3.

Ceramides are beneficial for hair, beard, and skin care because they are rich in lipids (natural fats). They help to support and hydrate the skin barrier. The result is healthier, more nourished facial hair, whether it's a full-grown beard or just a little bit of stubble.

Thanks to the use of Emogreen, a liquid, plant-based alternative to silicone, this formula is also biodegradable.

Best luxury:

Key ingredients Sunflower, grapeseed, and jojoba
Sustainable packaging?Not specified
100% vegan company?Yes
Parent company tests on animals?Yes - Estée Lauder

With a fresh, floral scent of bergamot, lavender, violet, and tonka bean, this beard oil from Le Labo combines the brand's knowledge of luxury fragrance with its ability to create high-performance, nourishing formulas.

The ingredients list features sunflower oil, which is associated with strengthening hair and reducing breakage, as well as grapeseed, which may even help to promote beard growth, thanks to its linolenic acid content.

Finally, jojoba oil will help to provide relief from irritation on the skin. It can also soften and smooth hair, and help you keep beards looking tidy and neat.

Key ingredientsSage, clove, cedar, coconut oil, babassu oil, soya oil
Sustainable packaging?Recyclable with the brand's return scheme
100% vegan company?No
Parent company tests on animals?No - Natura

When it comes to simple, effective, nourishing formulas at an affordable price point, The Body Shop always delivers.

Sage, clove, and cedar help to provide this beard oil's fresh and woody aroma, while coconut oil helps to hydrate, soften, and condition facial hair. Babassu oil also helps to moisturize the hair and skin, while soya oil may help to smooth and detangle any scraggly hairs.

Best budget:

Key ingredientsArgania spinosa kernel oil
Sustainable packaging?Partly recyclable
100% vegan company?Yes
Parent company tests on animals?Yes - Estée Lauder

Simple yet effective, The Ordinary's argan oil is a great alternative to some of the more expensive beard products on the market.

Originally found in Morocco, argan oil has been hailed as a skin and hair hero for centuries. Originally, it was used to protect people's skin from the dry climate in the north African country.

The nutrient-rich oil is gentle, moisturizing, and will help to soften, smooth, and nourish both the hair on your face and the skin underneath.

Key ingredientsMaqui, acai, prickly pear, goji berry, sunflower, jojoba, moringa, and squalane
Sustainable packaging?Recyclable
100% vegan company?Yes
Parent company tests on animals?Yes - L'Oréal

Youth to the People's berry-packed formula is rich in antioxidants, as well as hydrating oils like squalane. When used on beards, the latter is associated with a reduction in irritation, itchiness, and redness. It's also an extremely effective moisturizer.

While Youth to the People doesn't sell any products that are specifically labeled as beard oil, even the brand's co-founder Joe Cloyes is a fan of using the brand's oils to soften and nourish his facial hair.

He has said in the past: “Using it in the beard isn’t that unconventional, but it’s not labeled for that use, and at the end of the day, it’s really great for it."

Best for the planet:

Key ingredientsBabassu and jojoba oil
Sustainable packaging?Recyclable glass
100% vegan company?No
Parent company tests on animals?No

Since the mid-1990s, Badger Balm has been formulating and manufacturing natural, organic skincare products in New Hampshire.

The brand is a certified B Corporation, which means it has been vetted thoroughly to ensure it runs its company with high social and environmental standards. In 2020, it switched its factory to solar power, which means all of its products are created with energy from the sun.

Its vegan beard oil utilizes simple, organic ingredients, including moisturizing babassu oil and softening jojoba oil. The aroma is pleasant, refreshing, and just a little bit spicy, thanks to sandalwood, cardamom, and vetivert.

The brand also offers a similar beard balm, however, this formula is not vegan due to the inclusion of beeswax.

Key ingredientsOat kernel oil, castor seed oil 
Sustainable packaging?None specified
100% vegan company?No
Parent company tests on animals?No

This simple, non-greasy formula from Revolution will leave your beard hair feeling soft, smooth, and nourished.

Oat kernel oil is both softening and hydrating, plus, due to its linoleic acid content, it may also help to strengthen hair follicles. Antioxidant-rich castor oil, which also contains linoleic acid, may help to moisturize beard hair, as well as reduce dandruff, dryness, and irritation.

Key ingredientsBorage seed, jojoba seed, petitgrain
Sustainable packaging?Partly recyclable
100% vegan company?Yes
Parent company tests on animals?No

Since the 1980s, Australian brand Aesop has been formulating plant-based, high-performance skin, hair, and body products.

With this hair and beard oil, the brand utilizes borage seed oil, which, as an anti-inflammatory, is known for its ability to soothe skin irritation. The oil is also good at strengthening hair and may even help to boost growth.

Jojoba is known for its softening impact on beards, while petitgrain, which is a natural conditioner, can help to manage any oil or grease in the hair.

According to Aesop, this product is particularly suited to people with coarse, dry, and thick hair.

The verdict

While some of the biggest shaving and beard care companies on the market are not cruelty-free, there are plenty of brands on the market that do not engage in animal testing. Many of them also offer nourishing, moisturizing, and high-performance vegan beard oils. To recap, here are some of our top picks:

Best budget: The Ordinary's Organic Cold-Pressed Argan Oil
Luxury: Le Labo Beard Oil
For the planet: Badger Beard Oil

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