For Christmas this year I made my husband a batch of beard balm to help tame and condition his unruly facial hair. He has an aversion to the trendy naming convention of “blank & blank,” so as a joke I made a label for my fake brand of Whiskey & Woodsmoke. I guess I made a pretty convincing label, since when he opened up the package on Christmas morning he said, “Oh, I remember this from the shop we were in the other day.” I had to break it him that that couldn’t be true, since I’d made it myself.

I wanted this beard balm to smell like bourbon, so I bought a bourbon fragrance oil from an amazon seller, but I wasn’t totally happy with it. It mostly smells like vanilla, with just a hint of bourbon. Combined with the cedar and rosemary oils, though, it creates a nice woodsy, manly scent. If you don’t want to buy bourbon fragrance, you can definitely leave it out, or even experiment with adding vanilla or other scents.

DIY beard balm tutorial recipe
Beard Balm Base:
2 Tbsp beeswax, coarsely chopped
2 Tbsp shea butter
1 Tbsp cocoa butter
3 tsp jojoba oil
2 tsp sweet almond oil
1/8 tsp bourbon oil
4-8 drops cedar essential oil
1 drop rosemary essential oil

Add the beeswax, shea butter, cocoa butter, jojoba oil, and sweet almond oil to a small jar or tin, and place in a saucepan. A tin can is a good choice, but you should avoid glass, since it can crack from direct heat. Add water to an inch or two below the top of the jar, and heat over a stovetop until everything melts and liquifies. Stir with a disposable popsicle stick or wooden chopstick.

Add essential oils just a few drops at a time to scent your balm, and stir to combine. When you’ve achieved the scent you want, pour your balm into a mini mason jar, and allow to cool.

DIY beard balm tutorial recipe

To use, rub a small amount on your fingers and smooth onto your beard.

Christmas is over, but this would make a great DIY Valentine’s Day or birthday gift for the bearded man in your life.

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  • Maggie

    This would make great gift for my sons both who now have beards! Thanks for sharing.

  • Jay Robinson

    Do you know how big your tin was? 8 oz? I would love to know as it would help me scale your recipe. Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Ian Pickering

    I am curious about the bourbon fragrance. Can you tell me a little more? This is the first I have heard of it.

  • Mary Sternick Brock

    I love the (what I perceive to be) double meaning in the name of the scent! Great job!

    • transientexpression

      Thanks Mary :-)

  • Tammy Thiele

    I love the story…and I bet this smells amazing!

    • transientexpression

      Thanks Tammy!

  • Nikki

    What size jar did you use? 4 oz? I have some leftover 8oz canning jars and I’m wondering if I’d need to double the recipe to use them. Thanks!

    • transientexpression

      Nikki, it’s a 4 oz jar.

  • Tim

    I loved this. Made it today with different essential oils. This is a great beard balm…Thanks

    • Rachel

      Tim, I’m so glad you like it!

  • Lisa Brock Wright

    can you just add a few drops of real bourbon?

    • Rachel

      Lisa, I was tempted to try that, but I’m not sure if it would work. You might have to experiment a bit. Let me know if you try it.

    • Aaron

      no, Bourbon is water based, all other ingredients are oil based.

  • Aaron

    3 tsp = 1 Tbs

  • Aaron

    Tammy great recipe, mine is similar but uses argan oil instead of cocobutter…and different scents

  • THRobinson

    Made a half-batch of this for myself just as a tester (never made a balm before), replaced the sweet almond oil with coconut oil since I had one not the other. I only had cedarwood essential oil, ended up using about a 1/2tsp trying to mask the smell of the wax/cocoabutter.

    Do the ingredients you use have much smell to them? I tried the triple filtered white beeswax to limit the smell as much as I could but, may be better vendors to buy from that have products with less smell to them. The wax/cocoabutter especially.

    • Rachel

      THRobinson, the cocoa butter I used didn’t have much of a scent, but my beeswax smells like honey. I think it’s nice, but if you don’t like the scents of the starting ingredients than you may not like the smell of the end product. More refined versions will definitely have less of a scent.

  • Justin

    Exactly how much does this recipe yield? Have you came across any improvements to this recipe? New scents? Thank you!

  • The Mod Cabin

    It is important that your beard balm has all natural moisturizers and sealants. The best moisturizers for beard balm are jojoba and argan. The best sealants are shea and beeswax. :) Always avoid fragrance oils as they are harmful. Go with 100% pure essential oils instead.

    • Justin

      Mod cabin, im having trouble with my beeswax, the honey scent over powers the essential oils.. Any reccomendations?

      • The Mod Cabin

        What essential oils are you using? Are you using just beeswax or are you also using shea or another sealant?

        • Justin

          Beeswax, shea, cocoa butter, argan, jojoba, vitamin e, and i tried a few drops of peppermint but the honey smell still overwhelms it, i also tried lemon too but same results

          • The Mod Cabin

            Try Texas cedar and lime. Those essential oils are cheap and the lime can cut through beeswax pretty good. If that doesn’t work perhaps try cutting down on the beeswax and increasing the shea.

          • Justin

            Thanks! Appreciate the help!

          • The Mod Cabin

            You’re welcome! Good luck! :)

          • Justin

            I ended up going with 1tsp beeswax, 2tsp shea, 1tsp argon, 1tsp jojoba, 2 vitamin e oil pills, 2 drops of lemon, 3 drops of lime and the citrus cut the honey smell way down. I am also gonna try the refined white wax, i also heard it has a little less smell.

          • Kristen

            Careful with citrus essential oils. They are photosensitive and thus can cause your skin to darken. And not in a nice way. I learned the hard way.

  • Danielle

    I just made my first batch using a blend of earthy/woody oils. Now my hubby looks like a well groomed lumberjack… and smells like one too (in a good way of course). Oh, and I found that empty pipe tobacco tins make FANTASTIC containers!

    • Rachel

      Danielle, awesome, so glad you (and your husband) like the recipe. And that’s good to know about the pipe tobacco tins.

  • Dru Swallow

    Hi, this is a great recipe and I’ve enjoyed making it although I’ve found it to be a little greasy compared to shop bought ones and I wondered if you had any thoughts on adding arrowroot powder to cut down on the greasy texture

    • Rachel

      Hmm, instead of adding arrowroot powder I would just cut down the oils a little bit. I’d start with a teaspoon less of the jojoba or sweet almond oil. Hope that helps!

    • Sam

      I’m having the same problem. Did you try the arrowroot?

      • Dru Swallow

        Hi Sam, I did try the arrowroot powder with mixed results, some batches were fine not greasy at all but some were very lumpy, very hit and miss so I’ve been looking at kaolin clay as an alternative but I haven’t had the chance to try it yet, hope this helps

  • DanaButlerAllDay

    Awesome would the ingredients be expensive to come by?

    • Dylan Fit Hardwick

      56 dollars on amazon. and it enough to make balm for at least a year. and a commerical balm cost 18-25 dollars for a 2oz can

  • Arielle Tubbs

    What brand of oil did you use? Also, do you think it would be ok just to put in some actual liquor or does it need to be oil? I’ve never made anything like this and would love to try!

  • Nadine Hartman Bourne

    I’m wondering if fragrance oils could be used in place of the essential oils.

  • keeks

    what form do you buy the beeswax in ?

    • Rachel

      Keeks, my beeswax came in a big brick.

    • transientexpression

      keeks, my beeswax came in a big brick.

  • mia

    where could i get a container for it?

    • jaramark

      You can get 4oz Ball jars on amazon… or possibly at your local grocery store.

  • Nick

    I’ve tried this receipt except I substituted the rosemary with vanilla and both times the smell of honey was overbearing (the second time I even cut the amount of beeswax by 1/2). Could it be because of the type of beeswax I’m using? Everything I’m using is natural; beeswax, shea butter, cocoa butter, sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, vitamin E oil, Eden Garden essential oil, etc. Any insight would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

  • Laura Pinter Brooks

    where can I find most of these ingredients?

    • jaramark


  • Pyum

    Hi. I live in Vancouver WA… Just over the river from Portland Or. Is there a way I can buy some of this from you??? If so how do I get in contact with you to do so?

  • Lisa

    This is awesome :) The consistency is great and so is the feel in my partners beard. I added a little vitamin e oil, and used cedar, cinnamon leaf and holy basil oils instead. Thanks for getting the recipe so dialed!

  • Patrick Watters

    Where did you find bourbon oil, please help. I’ve been scowering the internet for it.

    • Jaramark

      Amazon has it all… also known as geraniam oil…

  • Christy

    I look for bourbon oil but geranium oil keeps coming up with bourbon in parenthesis. Is this the same thing?

    • jaramark


  • Michael Shlafman

    I tried this, but the cocoa butter completely overpowered everything else in terms of scent. Did you use cocoa butter that was fragrance free?

  • Heather

    I would LOVE to make this! But I have a question … The scented oils … I found an Old Spice Swagger type Fragrance Oil — would that be suitable to use for this? Or will it be detrimental to his wondrous beard? (I can gladly share the link to the oil that I’d like to use)

  • Rich

    I have a Shea Butter, Cocoa butter, Mango butter blend with Beeswax and other natural oils. I left it in a cold car for an hour and the balm cracked. How can I ship these without it cracking?

  • Angela Cialdella Gluck

    Curious, why not use a double boiler method to melt everything down?

  • Pete Lovegrove

    Love this idea. Does this have a fairly long shelf-life? (I would imagine it has due to the ingredients)

  • BigJ

    Great info, I was looking for an alternative to buying the $20 for a 2 ounce tin. Being an African American and having different hair texture is a challenge. After finding your recipe and doing a bit of research I am excited to make a batch this coming week. Thanks for the good find

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