The Science Behind our Custom Blends
***Disclaimer***Science Geek Post***You’ve Been Warned****
I promise to be as brief as possible. If you want to move on with your day, here is the Cliff’s Notes version: Linoleic Acid (LA), alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA), and gamma-Linolenic Acid (GLA) are very good for you (both overall health as well as skin/hair health). Also Vitamins A and E. Our four Custom Oil Blends contain different amounts of these nutrients for different situations. We take this stuff seriously, so we went ahead and patented our formulas. You may now resume whatever it was you were previously doing.
Essential Fatty Acids
If you’re still here, this is the deal. LA and ALA are the two “Essential Fatty Acids” or EFAs. The reason they’re called essential is because the human body requires them to function, but doesn't have the biological equipment to make them. So it’s essential that we consume them in order to survive (and thrive!). Although humans can make GLA, many people don’t do this efficiently (especially as age increases), so GLA is often also classified as essential or “Conditionally Essential.”
There is a lot of information about fats out there, and its complicated. Essential vs. non-essential, Omega 3 vs. Omega 6, saturated vs. unsaturated, mono-unsaturated vs. polyunsaturated. What does it all mean, and which ones are good or bad? If you’re really interested, there’s a great article dissecting it all here. For the purpose of this discussion, we’re only going to concern ourselves with the three EFAs mentioned above, and what they can do for your beard.
Suffice it to say that western diet and agriculture have evolved to make some types of fats cheap and plentiful while others are scarce and expensive. This is where problems start - when we’re not exposed to a properly balanced profile of different types of fats. The result is chronic inflammation, which manifests itself as a variety of problems (general health as well as cosmetic).
The three EFAs, especially ALA and GLA, play critical roles in controlling inflammation. When things get out of whack, adding the right EFAs to your diet can help significantly. Applying these nutrients directly to your skin and hair can solve a lot of cosmetic issues too! It turns out that many cosmetic problems ranging from mild itch/irritation up to more serious issues like acne, dandruff, excessively oily skin and/or hair, and even patchy baldness can be attributed to inflammation and can be addressed by rebalancing the profile of EFAs on the skin and hair.
Vitamins are also critical for regulating inflammation. While it’s obviously important to have proper levels of all vitamins for general health and well-being, we’re going to focus on Vitamins A and E here. These fat soluble nutrients are extremely useful when applied directly to both skin and hair. Vitamin E is a strong anti-oxidant, so it helps to minimize environmental damage. This provides a healthy appearance, shine, and softness. Improving skin health also increases moisture retention, eliminating dry skin and itch/irritation.
Vitamin A is also critical to overall skin and hair health, as it regulates the growth of hair follicles. This key nutrient is also highly anti-inflammatory, making it effective against the cosmetic issues discussed above. In fact, topical applications of Vitamin A include prescription acne medication and treatment for hair loss.
Customized Oil Blends for Different Situations
Many cosmetics that are geared towards certain problems are really just basic formulas supplemented with a few additional nutrients (e.g. Contains Vitamin E for Sensitive Skin). Instead of cramming additional (and often synthetic) additives into a product to try to boost effectiveness, why not just choose ingredients that are already high in the needed nutrients?
This is exactly how we developed ManBeast Beard Oils. We analyzed every carrier oil we could find, determining the complete fatty acid profile along with vitamin content. Then we developed four unique blends that optimize these nutrients for different situations. The table below outlines the anti-inflammatory components of our different blends.
Side Note: Tall Bunyan has the same nutritional profile as Vladimeerkat, but is made entirely from seed oils to alleviate any concerns regarding tree-nut allergies.
So what else is in there?
The other 50-70% of our oil blends are comprised of the following fatty acids. Look any of them up and you’ll see that they’re all great for your skin and hair - they just don’t play quite as critical a role in combating inflammation as the EFAs do.
- Oleic Acid (Multiple Sources)
- Palmitic Acid (Multiple Sources)
- Ricinoleic Acid (Castor Seed Oil)
- Eicosenoic Acid (Jojoba Seed Oil)
- Erucic Acid (Jojoba Seed Oil)
Most carrier oils contain both Oleic and Palmitic Acids, but there are really only two good sources of the last 3 on the list - Castor Seed and Jojoba Seed oils. Since these ingredients are uniquely beneficial to both skin and hair health, all of our blends contain the same amount. So as we move from one product line to the next, the concentration of EFAs increases at the expense of the first two components on the list.
Functionality and Fragrance Options
There you have the basic concept behind our custom beard oils. It's honestly not that complicated, it's just different than anything else out there. Your beard is a personal choice, and we believe it deserves a personalized approach to care. Once you've decided which blend is right for you, don't forget that you can also personalize your order by choosing your favorite scent.
Garbage In - Garbage Out
One final note on ingredient quality. We put a lot of effort into developing these blends. It’s equally as important to use the highest quality ingredients possible to be certain the nutrient profile remains intact. This means harvesting the ingredients from their natural sources as gently as possible (cold-pressing).
High heat (from expeller pressing) destroys the prized EFAs we’ve been discussing (and can destroy vitamins as well). So even though the quality of an organic plant may be higher to begin with, the final quality of the oil will be low if harvested incorrectly. Nearly all of the products we use are both cold-pressed and organic. But for the few that we can’t find both, we always prioritize cold-pressed.