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NATURAL MEN'S GROOMING PRODUCTS | Offering all natural beard conditioners, traditional hand made soaps & shampoos, and the finest quality old-world combs & brushes. All of our products are mildly scented with high quality essential oils. No artificial fragrance oils are used in any of our products. | NATURAL GROOMING PRODUCTS FOR THE NATURAL MAN

30 Jan '17

What Are You Paying For?

Posted by Matthew Newsome in beard oil, carrier oil, consumer, shopping, value

Recently I saw a nice looking ad for beard oil from another company in my Facebook feed. It featured good photography, and the product had a great looking label. You can tell someone put a lot of time and energy into the sleek looking design. 

Always interested in what the competition has to offer, I clicked on it. The great looking ad led to a great looking web site. I found their beard oil and read the ingredients. That's where things started to not look so good. Their beard oil consisted of a single carrier oil.

Carrier oils are what make up the bulk of any beard oil. The term comes from their use in aromatherapy as an essential oil delivery method. Most all essential oils are too strong to use on your skin undiluted. So a carrier oil, like sweet almond oil, is used to dilute the essential oil making it safe and convenient to use.

In a beard oil, however, the carrier oil is far more than a delivery agent. It's what does the heavy lifting in terms of conditioning your hair and moisturizing your skin. The carrier oils are the power house of any beard oil. That's why its a bit fishy when a beard oil company is offering a beard oil made from only one kind of carrier oil. 

Why does that matter? Well, different oils have different properties when it comes to caring for your hair and skin. For example, sweet almond oil is great at moisturizing the skin and preventing ingrown hairs. Hemp seed oil helps to coat the hair, preventing it from drying out. Some oils are thicker (more viscous) than others. A light oil will penetrate the hair quickly, offering immediate results, while a heavier oil will coat the hair, taking longer to soak in. St. Kilda Beard Oils are made from a combination of light and heavy oils, yielding a beard oil of medium viscosity that our customers love.

A beard oil made from a single kind of carrier oil won't have the range of benefits offered by one made from a variety of oils. But more than that, when you purchase a beard oil containing only one kind of carrier oil, it's fair to ask, what exactly are you paying for?

Carrier oils such as Sweet Almond, Jojoba, Hemp Seed and others are all available to purchase online. Even most drug stores carry the more popular ones on the shelf. The cost of even expensive carrier oils is less than most beard oils on the market. Beard oils cost more because you are paying for a specific oil blend that was crafted to give you a healthy and good looking beard. You are paying for the recipe and the research that went into it. You are paying for the mixing and the bottling. You are willing to pay more, because you get more.

But when all you are getting is one carrier oil, what are you paying for? You are paying for someone to pour the oil into a smaller bottle and then charge you more for it. That's not such a great deal.

To be fair, there were a couple of essential oils in the mix. Two, to be precise. Pine and Tea Tree, two of the most common on the market. These two scents smell nice and refreshing when used together, but its not a complex blend. And like the carrier oils, these essential oils are readily available on most drug store shelves. So again, what are you paying for?

You might think that a single carrier oil with just a couple of common essential oils added for scent might make a good budget beard oil. But in this case, the product was listed for 2.5 times the cost of our own St. Kilda beard oil. ($24.95 vs. $9.95 for a one oz bottle). So what are you paying for? It must be the nice labels, because it certainly isn't the beard oil.

So if you want something that will look nice on your bathroom shelf, feel free to go for the fancy label. But if you care about what you put on your beard, and want to get the most value for your money, it's a good idea to look beyond the label and pay attention to what's in the bottle.