A beard softener can come in one of two forms. The first is a beard conditioner and pre-shave treatment, and the second is a leave-in treatment. You should first decide which type of product suits you best and then look at the consistency of the product. A good beard softener should be suited to your skin type and contain both moisturizing and conditioning ingredients. Looking for all-natural products or making your own softener might be a good solution if you have sensitive skin.
Beard conditioners usually have the consistency of ordinary hair conditioner. Using this type of product before you shave may help to reduce skin irritation because ingredients like shea butter can help to reduce the dragging effect of the blade. Conditioning products may also include ingredients like lemon oil, sage, and eucalyptus to create a fresh after feel and to help fight bacterial infection.
Softeners can also come in the form of a leave-in treatment that can be applied and left in so that it moisturizes and conditions the beard throughout the day. Leave-in treatments usually have a liquid or runny consistency and are usually made of essential oils such as jojoba, chamomile, lavender, sesame, and lime oil. These beard oils usually work on both the beard and skin and may help to make the beard more manageable while preventing flaky and dry skin.
Conditioners may be easier to apply than leave-in products because they are slightly thicker, but if you prefer a runnier product you should choose a beard softener or beard oil. The runny consistency may make it harder to apply, but you'll probably only need a few drops at a time. A beard gloss may also have softening properties and may have a harder, wax-like, consistency.
If you suffer from dry or sensitive skin, you should opt for a beard softener that will moisturize and soothe your skin. A product that contains jojoba oil and shea butter, for instance, may deliver higher levels of moisturization than other products. Jojoba oil is also believed to help control sebum production, and this may be helpful if your skin tends to be oily at times. Hazelnut oil is also believed to be a good astringent, so if you have oily skin, consider looking for a beard softener that contains it.
There are a number of all-natural beard softeners available, and if you have sensitive skin it's best to look for a product that contains no artificial ingredients or potentially harmful chemicals. Making your own beard softener might also be a good idea if you want to know exactly what goes into the product you're using. Essential oils such as lavender, chamomile, tea tree, and lemon can be mixed together in a base oil to create your own beard softener at home.