V76 Beard Oil is a facial care product from the mononymous barber "Vaughn." that is specially-designed for coarse, thick beards and mustaches.
It will probably work better for men with shorter, close-cropped and very thick facial hair.
Vaughn developed his beard oil after years of professional barber work, which included celebrity clients like Bill Clinton, Bruce Springsteen, and Tom Brady. V76 is American-made and British-designed, which explains its high-fashion approach.
Since V76 comes from more of a traditional cosmetic background than some of its single- or dual-ingredient competitors, its ingredient list is far lengthier. V76 is a beard oil that relies on a refined recipe consisting of many different ingredients to get the job done.
It is a little difficult to discern what the balance of priorities in the ingredients is—on one hand, there are many exotic ingredients and specialized compounds, but on the other, the first two ingredients are castor oil and safflower oil—inexpensive commercial oils that don't have any particularly unique cosmetic properties.
The first several ingredients are a blend of oils like this. Fairly common culinary oils, like canola oil and olive oil make up the bulk of the product. Things get a little more interesting with the inclusion of capric triglyceride, which is a fractionated product isolated from coconut oil.
Capric triglyceride is a very gentle skin-softening agent that reduces the evaporation of water from the skin's surface and helps make skin more pliable (1). It's considered an "excellent" cosmetic ingredient according to Paula's Choice Beautypedia. For men with beards, this means it is a great compound for helping with dry skin or itchiness along the edges or underneath your beard.
Among the ingredients included in lower quantities in the V76 formulation are even more unique and esoteric oils, including jojoba oil and grape seed oil. Jojoba seed oil is known for its ability to create a protective layer along the skin that holds in moisture and prevents dryness (2). While useful, there are other beard oil formulations that have substantially more jojoba oil than V76, so it should not be the main attraction if you're going for this product.
Something not found in other competitors is the chemical bisabolol, which is isolated from the essential oil of the chamomile plant. According to a scientific article published in 2014 in the journal Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, bisabolol has the ability to attack pro-inflammatory cells in your body and moreover, can be used to reduce skin inflammation. If you have irritation, redness, or itchiness under your beard, the bisabolol in V76 might do the trick.
V76 also includes the herbal extract saw palmetto (Serenoa serrulata on the ingredients list), which the manufacturer claims can promote skin and hair health and help improve scalp condition. However, there isn't any research on this supplement as a skin treatment—it's more typically used as an herbal remedy for male pattern balding and benign prostate enlargement.
You might think there'd be a connection between healthy head hair and healthy beard hair, but saw palmetto's mechanism of action for reducing balding appears to have to do with its ability to modulate an enzyme called 5-α reductase (3). This enzyme helps convert testosterone to dihydrotestosterone. This activated form of testosterone is what causes your head hair to fall out, but beard hair is resistant to its effects to begin with, so saw palmetto won't improve anything.
The one "mystery" ingredient in V76 is perfume. Scented blends are always proprietary secrets, and the only way to tell if a particular scented product is appealing to you (or anyone who gets close to your beard!) is to try it out. V76 is well-reviewed; the scent has been described as "light," "vegetal," and "floral."
How to use
Unlike many other beard oils, V76 comes in a spray bottle. This means that it's easy to spray into your beard directly, or spray on your fingers and massage into your beard manually. Its spray delivery form should also give you a clue as to what kind of beards it works best on—course, thick, short ones. A more viscous oil can't be easily and efficiently sprayed into a beard; this is why many of V76's competitors come in eyedropper bottles.
V76 is light, thin and "slippery," which are all great qualities for men looking for a beard oil designed for short beards. Men who have long, large beards will find it less useful, since it won't be able to penetrate deep into their beard and soothe the skin underneath.
V76 is a great option for a very specific set of men. If you have a short beard or mustache that is fairly course, and you are looking for a "high fashion" or cosmetic-style product to keep it soft and take care of the skin underneath, V76 is a great choice.
It's not one of the new artisan-ingredient beard oils based entirely around exotic plant oils; V76 mostly uses common, inexpensive plant oils like castor oil, safflower oil, and olive oil as a delivery vehicle for the less concentrated ingredients that help improve beard softness and hydrate the skin underneath.
As a high fashion-style product, one of the big draws is its expert-designed scent. Great if you are looking for something to augment your scent, but not so great if you have a sensitive nose or find perfumes to be aggravating. You might love it, or you might hate it—not only do different people have different tastes when it comes to scents and fragrances, but the same scent or perfume can have different interactions with the unique chemistry in different men's beards. The only way to figure out if you like it is to give it a shot.