Leven Rose is a minimalist, organic, and fragrance-free beard oil and leave-in beard conditioner that's designed to improve the texture of your facial hear and reduce itchiness, flakiness, and acne underneath and along the edges of your beard.
Because it's fairly oil-heavy, it's slightly better for longer, thicker beards, but many men use it for shorter beards just fine.
The original and classic Leven Rose Beard Oil has only two ingredients: argan oil and jojoba oil. Argan oil is from a plant native to Morocco, and has long been used in that region both as a culinary ingredient and as a cosmetic ingredient. Argan oil is known to moisturize skin, which helps control dryness and itchiness. It's also great at hydrating hair—Moroccan women use it for luscious, shiny, and opulently dark hair (1). As it turns out, it does the same thing for your beard!
According to a 2010 scientific article in the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, argan oil is useful in curing acne and hydrating skin. These are good qualities for a beard oil, as many men get aggravated pimples, dry skin, or both underneath their beard or along the edges, where they use their razor to form the border of their beard line.
Jojoba il comes from the Jojoba plant, which is a bush that occurs throughout the southwest United States. Jojoba oil is useful in cosmetic products because it is non-occlusive, non-comedogenic, and does not cause follicular aggravation, according to a 1998 paper published in the Journal of Cosmetic Science (2).
These might sound like super-technical scientific terms, but they have very simple meanings. Non-occlusive just means that jojoba oil does not occlude, or block, the skin. Some oils, like soybean oil or Vaseline, "pile up" on the skin and don't allow free passage of other compounds through. This is great if you're looking to moisturize a heavily-dried out area, but it's bad news for keeping your sweat pores and skin healthy, since it keeps water "stuck" inside your skin.
Non-comedogenic means that the compound in question (jojoba oil, in our case) does not clog sweat pores. When these get plugged up, this is when you get blackheads. That might not be a huge problem if it's underneath your beard, but a blackhead on your cheek or above your whiskers would be an eyesore. So it's good that jojoba oil is non-comedogenic as well.
The most important point, however, is that scientific testing determined that jojoba oil does not aggravate hair follicle units. Razor burn and ingrown hairs are two examples of the results when a follicle unit does get aggravated. This aggravation is caused by a combination of irritation or sensitization of the skin that surrounds hair follicle units (3). As reported by W.F. Bergfeld in a chapter in the book in Hair Research, some compounds in cosmetics are known to cause irritation or sensitization, while still others can, but don't always (it depends on the person).
When you read reviews of Leven Rose, you'll see there's some confusion about its scent. Leven Rose (the original formula) is fragrance-free—there are no added scenting agents. This does not mean it is smell-free! Both argan oil and jojoba oil have a faint natural scent to them, like pretty much any plant oil will, whether it's soybean oil or olive oil or something more exotic. If you are expecting a completely smell-free beard oil, you'll be disappointed.
The reason fragrance-free products are popular is because some people find that essential oils, perfumes, or other agents that add a pleasing smell to a cosmetic product can aggravate their skin.
Fortunately, Leven Rose recognizes that the tradeoff is different for different men—some people want a scented product, and don't have particularly sensitive skin. For men like that, they offer three different scented versions of Leven Rose, with the same jojoba oil and argan oil combination, but scented with essential oils and rosehip. The good news is that Leven Rose beard oil is not very expensive, so it's easy to try out both the scented and unscented versions and see which you prefer.
How to use
Leven Rose Beard Oil is easy to use. Using just a few drops on your finger tips, you massage the oil directly into your beard with your fingers. You can use a beard comb if you want, but Leven Rose doesn't require one (perhaps because the oil's viscosity doesn't demand it). Because of the versatile skin and hair-care properties, you can even rub any leftovers through your hair and on your face!
Though Leven Rose Beard Oil comes in an amber glass bottle, it's still best to store it out of the light. Over long periods of time, exposing the oil to light—especially ultraviolet radiation—can deteriorate the relatively delicate oil molecules in the formulation, so store it in a cupboard in your bathroom, not on the windowsill.
The Bottom Line
Leven Rose beard oil is great for guys with dry, difficult-to-manage beards, especially if they are accompanied by dry skin, acne, or blackheads underneath the beard or along the border of your beard. It's also a great choice if you know your skin is sensitive to essential oils, fragrances, and perfumes. Remember, it may not be smell-free, but it is fragrance-free.
Many users report that it's fairly oily, and because of the argon oil, it will definitely darken and shine up your beard. Great if you've got a thick, dark beard to begin with, but it could spell trouble if you have wispy blond facial hair.