9 Best Bar Soaps for Men Your Skin Will Thank You For

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best bar soap

Some say bar soap is done– old fashioned, outdated.

But the truth is, even if bar soap has lost some popularity with the emergence of liquid soap, there’s no replacement for the experience of using your own hands to get clean – whether it’s in the shower or at the sink.

The problem is so many bar soaps for men simply aren’t up to scratch.

So to help you find one that truly works for you, we’ve put together a list of the 9 very best bar soaps out there.

Our no.1 choice – Baxter of California Men’s Exfoliating Bar  – uses a formula of jojoba oil and crushed olive seed to create an exceptionally moisturizing soap that produces great lather and a subtle, masculine scent.

But we know that won’t be right for everyone, so we’ve got plenty of other options for you:

Our no.2 choice, for example – Tiege-Hanley’s Wash Body Bar – is a great choice for sheer value, with its combination of rich antioxidants and moisturizing oils.

So there really is something for everyone.

And we haven’t stopped there:

We’ve also put together an illustrated guide to using bar soap, as well as comparing bar soap with both body wash and liquid soap.

But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s start with the 5 things you need to consider when purchasing a bar soap.

Quick summary

bb2-table__imageBaxter of California Men’s Exfoliating Body Bar
  • Exfoliates and hydrates
  • Great lather
  • Perfect for everyday use
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bb2-table__imageTiege Hanley Wash Body Bar
  • Smells great
  • Packed with natural ingredients
  • Exfoliates and hydrates
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bb2-table__imageCetaphil Antibacterial Gentle Cleansing Bar
  • Designed by, and for, dermatologists
  • Great for sensitive skin
  • Moisturizing process promotes healthy skin
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bb2-table__imageJack Black, Charcoal Body Bar Massaging Soap
  • Pleasant scent
  • Unique raised numbs to massage muscles
  • Exfoliates and moisturizes the skin
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bb2-table__imageLicorice Kid All Natural Vegan Artisan Soap
  • All-natural
  • Soft, luxurious feel
  • Gentle on the skin
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bb2-table__imageMarlowe Men's Body Scrub Soap
  • Deep-cleansing while not being overpowering
  • Respected company ethos and natural formula
  • Long lasting and keeps its shape
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bb2-table__imageDr. Squatch Cedar Citrus Natural Bar Soap for Men
  • Superb scent
  • All-natural ingredients
  • Great for hydrating skin
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bb2-table__imageDead Sea Mud Soap Bar 100% Organic & Natural
  • Gets rid of impurities and toxins in the skin
  • Organic ingredients
  • Moisturizes and replenishes the skin
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bb2-table__imageDuke Cannon Men’s Bar Soap
  • Bigger and longer-lasting than other soap bars
  • Masculine scent
  • Easy to grip
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bb2-table__imageCrate 61 Dry Skin Soap 6-Pack Box Set
  • Variety of scents
  • Affordable and ethically sourced
  • Offer great hydration qualities
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Before you buy: 5 Things to consider when purchasing a bar soap

If there’s one thing about bar soap, it’s that there are plenty of choices – just like there are plenty of choices for shave creams, razors, deodorants, etc. The soap shelf at your favorite supermarket has a variety of brands, while countless other brands are available online.

So, how do you choose?

1. There are three broad genres of soap:

  • Conventional

Conventional soap is mass-produced soap (industrially mass-produced, that is) and often contains more detergent than soap – although that’s not always the case. They may contain preservatives, fragrances, etc.

  • Handmade

Handmade, or milled, soaps usually are made from vegetable-based oil, have a higher glycerin content (which hydrates skin), and contain ingredients such as essential oils, herbs, or botanicals. Handmade soaps usually have a softer texture.

  • Artisanal

Not as easy to find as other types of soaps, artisanal is specifically crafted with food-grade and organic ingredients and made with extra oils and butter.

2. Look for glycerin

Glycerin is a great moisturizer for any skin, but especially skin that’s dry and delicate. Mass-produced soaps tend to contain less glycerin than other types.

3. Bar soaps aren’t “unsanitary”

Liquid soaps, such as body washes, have become exceedingly popular over the past few years, with many people believing that they’re more sanitary than bar soap.

Yes, there’s been a study which shows that there may be a bit more bacteria on a used bar of soap than a brand new one, but it all gets rinsed off when you’re using it, anyway.

That said, don’t base your buying decision on the myth that bar soaps are unsanitary.

4. Consider Your Skin Type

Knowing what type of skin you have is of major importance when choosing a bar soap that’s right for you.

Soap, after all, has a huge impact on your skin’s “behavior.”

For example, an oily cleanser may be too harsh for dry skin, while soaps that contain significant amounts of fragrance may set off allergies if you’re susceptible.

If you have sensitive skin, you need to be especially diligent in choosing a bar soap. Look for soaps that contain moisturizers.

Many dermatologists recommend Cetaphil, a moisturizing agent, while other soothing ingredients include aloe vera, vitamin E, and sweet almond oil.

If your skin is especially dry, try an exfoliating soap that scrubs away dead skin cells. Soaps with oatmeal, orange seed, and other natural ingredients are known for their exfoliating qualities.

5. Read the Label

Take a close look at the label before purchasing bar soap. If you’re not careful, you may buy soap that strips your skin of moisture, leaving it dry and itchy.

Positive ingredients to look for include hypoallergenic, hydrating, moisturizing, creamy, gentle, and fragrance-free.

Furthermore, opt for products with as many natural ingredients as possible, such as almond oil, olive oil, oatmeal, etc.

Meanwhile, tea tree oil and eucalyptus are great for cleaning and fighting bacteria.

You may even want to follow the old rule-of-thumb that says, “If you can’t pronounce the ingredients, don’t buy the product.”

So, what is the best soap for men? Let’s dig into our reviews of soaps we think will serve you better than others.

The 9 best bar soaps for men in 2020

1. Baxter of California Men’s Exfoliating Body Bar

Baxter of California Men’s Exfoliating Body Bar

Baxter Finley started Baxter of California in 1965 out of a simple need.

Specifically, Finley noticed that there was a dearth of men’s grooming products, and he wanted to rectify the situation.

Finley founded his now-iconic company in Southern California and has made premium grooming products ever since – not the least of which is its Men’s Exfoliating Body Bar.

The latter is the best bar soap available and a great addition to any man’s grooming kit.

Here’s why we like it:

  • It exfoliates

First, the Baxter of California – as its name suggests – is only for your body.

Don’t use it on your face. It’s good for your body’s skin because it exfoliates, which means that it helps remove dead cells from the outer layer of skin.

Your skin is left cleaner and smoother, as well as noticeably softer.

  • It hydrates

The Baxter of California body bar moisturizes the skin while exfoliating it.

Its hydrating formula includes pumice, jojoba, and crushed olive seed. So, while you’re scrubbing away dirt and rough patches of skin, you’re not stripping your skin of moisture.

  • It’s good for daily use

While the men’s Exfoliating Body Bar is tough enough to rid your body’s skin of dead cells, it’s also gentle (and nourishing) enough to use every day.

Yes, it has a small amount of grit to it like the majority of exfoliating bars, but the grit is fine enough that you could even use the bar twice a day.

  • It’s good for everyone

Some bar soaps are best suited for men of certain skin types. Not the Baxter of California bar; however – men of all skin types can use it.

  • It lathers – a lot

As one reviewer put it, the Baxter of California Exfoliating Body Bar is a “lather monster.” Users love the fluffy clouds of later it produces, yet the bar doesn’t wear down any faster than other body bars.

  • It smells good

This soap not only revitalizes but smells good, too. Its scent isn’t overpowering, mind you, but subtly masculine with hints of cedarwood and oakmoss.

  • It doesn’t contain parabens

We’ve talked about parabens in previous posts, but it’s a subject that’s worth approaching again.

Parabens are synthetic compounds used as preservatives in a wide range of grooming products, including bar soaps and deodorants.

While most grooming products contain only a small amount of parabens, research has linked long-term paraben exposure with a variety of health problems. Your best bet is to avoid them altogether.

Pros

  • Exfoliates and hydrates
  • Great lather
  • Perfect for everyday use
  • Suitable for all skin types

Cons

  • Few, if any

Bottom Line

Baxter of California’s Exfoliating Body Bar does everything you ask: it cleans, it removes dead skin, it hydrates, and it leaves your skin feeling great. Moreover, its price tag won’t shock you, and it comes in a 7 oz. bar that will last a long time.

2. Tiege Hanley Wash Body Bar

Tiege Hanley Wash Body Bar

A quality body bar should do more than clean the skin. True, you want a soap that gets rid of the sweat, dirt, and grime you accumulate over the course of a day, but it should also nourish and moisturize it.

It should even exfoliate the skin to rid it of dead skin cells that can make skin look dull and lifeless.

Tiege Hanley has just such a product with its Wash Body Bar.

A soap designed for daily use, the Wash Body Bar consists of natural ingredients that clean and nourish the skin without irritating or drying it out.

Its key ingredients include aloe leaf juice, jojoba seed oil, and vitamin E.

Aloe leaf juice is rich in antioxidants that nourish the skin, while jojoba seed oil moisturizes and hydrates it. Vitamin E, meanwhile, nourishes and protects the skin.

We also like that the Wash Body Bar has a pleasant, natural scent that’s not overpowering and doesn’t resemble a made-up fragrance that all-too noticeable.

Again, you can use the Wash Body Bar for daily use and as part of your regular skincare routine.

It has a smooth, gentle abrasiveness, and you don’t need to scrub it into your skin with force to get the best results.

Pros

  • Loaded with natural ingredients
  • Pleasant scent
  • Nourishes, cleans, and exfoliates

Cons

  • Few, if any. Just don’t use it on your face.

Bottom line

There’s a lot to love about Tiege Hanley’s skin products, and their Wash Body Bar is certainly no exception.

3. Cetaphil Antibacterial Gentle Cleansing Bar

Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Bar for Dry Sensitive Skin

First, a word about Cetaphil.

Manufactured by the Galderma Foundation, which is a major benefactor of the Dermatology Foundation, Cetaphil is all about finding innovative solutions to treat skincare needs.

They have five global research and development centers that are devoted to finding skincare products that clean and moisturizing without irritation.

All that said, it’s no surprise that Cetaphil’s Antibacterial Gentle Cleansing Bar is great for your skin.

It gently removes dirt, sweat, excess oils, and bacteria without compromising the skin’s natural moisture barrier.

While it’s designed for dry, sensitive skin – and is the best soap for sensitive skin available – it’s also good for all skin types (and good for use on your face and body).

You’ll also love this soap if you work in dirty environments that can clog up your pores with various grime, or if you have naturally oily skin. Again, you’ll wash off excess oil without disrupting the natural oils your skin needs.

Instead, your skin is left smooth and soft – not dry and tight.

Remember, this soap is designed and used by dermatologists who make their living by finding ways to treat skin in the gentlest way possible. It’s also unscented, so you don’t have to worry about artificial fragrances that are bad for the skin.

Pros

  • Designed by, and for, dermatologists
  • Great for sensitive skin
  • Moisturizing process promotes healthy skin

Cons

  • Too gentle for some users

Bottom Line

The Cetaphil name is synonymous with “skin-friendly,” and their Antibacterial Gentle Cleansing Bar provides a gentle but thorough cleaning that leaves your skin feeling smooth, soft, and refreshed.

4. Jack Black, Charcoal Body Bar Massaging Soap

Jack Black, Charcoal Body Bar Massaging Soap

The people at Jack Black are awful smart, and the best proof of that fact is the design of their Charcoal Body Bar Massaging Soap – with its unique raised numbs, it actually massages the muscles as it scrubs them clean, creating the perfect storm of skincare and bodily relaxation. For a lot of men, it’s a total game-changer.

The charcoal-based formula helps it to exfoliate the skin deeply. Stuffed full of skin-friendly ingredients like jojoba beads, glycerine, and seaweed extract, it joins many other soaps in this review is not just cleaning the skin but actively softens and moisturizes it, leaving you feeling exceptionally fresh and looking great.

Not only that: it also actively deodorizes the skin and helps protect against excessive sweating. And the scent is pleasant without being super strong, making it perfectly good as a uni-sex product, too.

The only flaw is the mess it can make – several reviewers point out that it can be a bit tricky to get rid of the mess, and you do have to take care of it to maintain the numbs.

But the pros seriously outweigh the cons – this is an exceptional and uniquely relaxing soap that will leave your whole body feeling renewed.

Pros

  • Unique raised numbs for massage
  • Cleanses, exfoliates and moisturizes the skin
  • Deodorizes simultaneously

Cons

  • Some reviewers complain it makes a lot of mess in the tub

Bottom Line

A unique design that both gets you clean and tackles muscle tension; this is the kind of bar soap that could make bar soap cool again.

5. Marlowe Men’s Body Scrub Soap

Marlowe Men's Body Scrub Soap

Sandpaper isn’t usually a good thing to compare a grooming product to, but that may be the first thing you think when you feel Marlowe’s Body Scrub. And that might well put you off. But if you actually lather up this little exfoliating gem, you’ll see exactly why the sandpaper comparison is actually a positive thing!

Unlike many exfoliants, you’ll truly notice the dead skin cells when you’re done with Marlowe’s body scrub. And unlike other products, the exfoliant beads won’t stick to your skin, and you won’t be left feeling cut up or worn down: Marlowe has made sure to include plenty of lovelies like shea butter and glycerine to make sure the soap not only gets rid of your dead skin cells but moisturizes and cleans the layer of skin that process reveals.

They craft the soap using a proprietary blend that combines passionflower fruit, green tea, and willow bark in ways that really do work wonders. And it’s free of the Big Nasties of grooming – parabens? None! Phthalates? None! Just a beautifully blended, glycerine-based formula.

It holds shape really well and seems to be remarkably tough and durable. Plus, the lovely, masculine scent, made from agarwood, sandalwood, and musk, is a true pleasure and sticks around in a subtle way that will just give a little punch to your aftershave or cologne.

It’s also worth noting that Marlowe is a genuinely progressive, positive company and has partnered with Clean the World to pledge that for every item purchased from them, they distribute a bar of soap to people at risk of hygiene-related illnesses. So you can feel good not just about the product but also about what your purchase has done for people in need. Beautiful!

Pros

  • Really deep cleansing without ripping your skin apart
  • Natural ingredients are lovely, and the business’s ethic is on point
  • Holds shape great and is very durable

Cons

  • Marlowe themselves admit using palm oil isn’t ideal, and while they’re ‘working on it,’ it may still put some off

Bottom Line

A wonderful product from a wonderful company: great for getting your skin truly sparkling.

6. Dr. Squatch Cedar Citrus Natural Bar Soap for Men

Dr. Squatch Cedar Citrus Natural Bar Soap for Men

The Dr. Squatch brand started out of a need to find a soap that was strong enough to deal with everyday dirt, grime, and sweat but to also treat skin without the addition of harsh chemicals.

They’ve certainly succeeded so far.

Dr. Squatch’s Cedar Citrus Natural Bar Soap – made, as its name suggests, from all-natural products – is strong enough for any man but delicate enough for all types of skin, including sensitive skin.

And it smells good.

Really good.

Indeed, one of the first things you’ll notice about this soap is its excellent scent: it’s a mix of cedarwood and zesty orange oils that produce a decidedly masculine smell. There’s also a hint of soothing peppermint.

It’s truly one of the best-smelling men’s bar soaps on the market.

But, then again, Dr. Squatch prides itself on the manly scents found in all of their products.

They also pride themselves on their strict use of natural ingredients. You won’t find chemicals or preservatives in any of their products, including sulfates that cause skin cancer or parabens.

What the Cedar Citrus Natural Bar Soap does include is natural oils (olive, coconut, hemp, and soybean), moisturizers (shea butter and peppermint leaves), as well as its natural masculine scents.

Here’s another thing: all of Dr. Squatch’s soaps are made by a handmade cold process and in small batches.

Handmade soaps tend to have a higher glycerin content than mass-produced soaps and typically have a softer texture.

The glycerin is retained within the bar and combines with coconut and olive oils to nourish the skin with nutrients, not chemicals.

What you’ll also notice about the Cedar Citrus Natural Bar Soap is that it leaves your skin hydrated throughout the day and is perhaps the best soap for dry skin. There’s no need to worry about using post-shower moisturizers.

Dr. Squatch’s products also come with a “Sudsifaction” guarantee. If you don’t like a specific product, Dr. Squatch will give you a full refund.

Pros

  • Superb scent
  • All-natural ingredients
  • Great for hydrating skin
  • Money-back guarantee

Cons

  • The bar is thinner than some others

Bottom Line         

A lot of thought and care go into the making of Dr. Squatch’s soaps, and it shows in the quality of their products. The Cedar Citrus Natural Bar Soap smells great, is good for your skin, and is tough enough to deal with a man’s skin.

7. Dead Sea Mud Soap Bar 100% Organic & Natural

Dead Sea Mud Soap Bar

The Dead Sea Mud Soap is a great solution for people 1) who prefer organic products, 2) of all skin types, and 3) who have skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis, and eczema.

In other words, it’s a multi-functional bar that isn’t chock full of chemicals, and that should be good enough for most people.

The Dead Sea Mud Bar Soap partly consists of 100% Dead Sea mineral mud from Israel.

The mud is proven to draw out impurities, toxins, and dirt particles to leave your skin feeling clean and refreshed.

People travel from all over the world to rub nutrient-rich Dead Sea mud over their bodies – no wonder this soap is perhaps the best body soap available.

But, again, the Dead Sea Mud Bar Soap is also 100% organic, making it the best organic soap around.

Just check out its list of ingredients: organic unrefined shea butter, extra virgin olive oil, sunflower oil, palm oil, and castor bean oil.

Meanwhile, a blend of lemongrass, peppermint, and eucalyptus gives it a light, pleasing scent that won’t overpower you.

Fine grains of Dead Sea mud also tighten the pores to provide an anti-aging effect while moisturizing and hydrating the skin to reduce wrinkles.

It even increases blood circulation, which is important because low blood pressure causes uneven skin tone, dark spots, and wrinkles.

The Dead Sea Mud Bar Soap is a favorite of folks who suffer from skin issues such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis.

Many common soaps contain irritants that exacerbate skin disorders, but the minerals in Dead Sea mud treat and detoxify the skin.

Users have even applied it to other parts of their body – like their hands – to treat eczema (with excellent results).

But people of all skin types will benefit from the Dead Sea Mud Bar’s many good qualities. The soap also rinses off easily and leaves no residue on your skin. Hell, some people use it as a shaving soap.

Pros

  • Gets rid of impurities and toxins in the skin
  • Organic ingredients
  • Moisturizes and replenishes the skin
  • Handmade

Cons

  • Dissolves quickly

Bottom Line

The Dead Sea Mud Bar Soap is all about treating your skin and not just cleaning it. You’ll love this bar if you suffer from acne or other skin disorders, but you’ll also love it no matter what your skin type.

8. Duke Cannon Men’s Bar Soap

Duke Cannon Men’s Bar Soap

Imagine a military drill instructor, his face only inches from yours, screaming at you about your choice of bath soaps.

“This,” he concludes while handing you a “brick” of Duke Cannon Men’s Bar Soap, “is what a man uses!”

Yes, sir!

OK, we’re men. Certain things naturally appeal to many of us – bad-ass things, big things, fast cars, hot women – so, when someone presents us with a bar of soap that’s three times larger than average, we pay attention.

The founders of Duke Cannon want you to pick up their big-ass brick of soap (it’s 10 oz.!) and take it with you to the shower.

Then, they want you to scrub yourself like a man, not like your wife or girlfriend, because you’re using their favorite bar of soap.

How manly is this soap? Well, it’s modeled after the soap that GIs used in the Korean War.

Like that soap, the current version has steel-cut grains that give it an easy, secure grip (as well as heavy texture).

Furthermore, Duke Cannon puts a portion of its proceeds toward supporting U.S. Veterans, while current GIs field-test the soap.

Not that the folks at Duke Cannon are hard-ass about everything. After all, they test none of their products on animals – “just interns.”

At 10 ounces, Duke Cannon’s soap won’t wear out on you anytime soon, but it has more going for it than just its size.

It’s triple-milled for the highest quality and comes in masculine scents such as “Accomplishment” and “Productivity,” geared for a hard-working man who doesn’t mind getting dirty.

You’ll get clean and smell good with this Stonehenge of a bath bar.

No, you won’t smell like perfume. You will smell – and feel – like a man, whether you’re a true bad-ass or not.

Pros

  • Bigger and longer-lasting than other soap bars
  • Masculine scent
  • Easy to grip

Cons

  • The scent isn’t for everyone

Bottom Line

Sometimes, bigger is better.

While Duke Cannon’s Men’s Bar Soap may seem like a novelty because of its size, it provides a good lather and a thorough cleaning while leaving you feeling refreshed. Just don’t drop it on your toes.

9. Crate 61 Dry Skin Soap 6-Pack Box Set

Crate 61 Dry Skin Soap 6-Pack Box Set

There is an awful lot to like about Crate’s 61 Dry Skin Soap 6-Pack. For one thing, it provides you with a lovely range of options in one go:

  • Lavender
  • Seaweed & Sea Salt
  • Castile
  • Chamomile Calendula
  • Oatmeal Shea
  • Activated Charcoal.

Each has its own natural – and quite lovely – scent, and each is worthy in itself of praise. They come in a lovely little box – which feels very authentic and homespun. But in terms of actual cleaning, what sets this collection apart?

Well, firstly, every bar of soap is entirely vegan, made only with the best quality natural ingredients and premium oils – coconut oil, 100% certified sustainable source palm oil, extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil: no added scents or any of that nonsense.

And they are all handmade, too, which gives them a really authentic quality and results in a higher glycerine content, which makes them great for keeping your skin nicely moisturized.

Now, it’s worth noting that these are specifically designed for dry skin – it isn’t that you can’t use them if you have normal skin, it’s just that they work particular wonders on dry skinned men.

The result is a set which many people swear by: it helps countless men deal with their dry skin and stay clean and hydrated, but it also gives many an opportunity to consume ethically and use good quality, affordable soap without endorsing less-than-ethical activities.

Pros

  • Comes with a great range of scents
  • Really good, hydrating qualities
  • Looks lovely and is very ethically sourced

Cons

  • Not the best for oily skinned people

Bottom Line

A lovely little set: ethical, affordable, and fantastically effective for those with dry skin. It’s great!

Choosing the best bar soaps for men

There’s a lot that goes into the making of a good bar soap, as our reviews above indicate.

Choosing the best bar soaps requires a lot of research – especially when you consider the hundreds of soaps available today – but we took into account several factors:

  • What others thought

While we make up our own mind in the end, we’re always conscious of the reviews of others.

Soaps that keep showing up in various reviews must be doing something right.

What customers say is equally, if not more, important, and we read online customer reviews carefully.

Products that get a high rating on a site like Amazon and a large number of reviews are worth examining closely.

  • Performance

Nothing reveals how good soap is like actual use.

How does it work in the shower?

On your face?

How does it make your skin feel?

Does it leave your skin feeling moisturized and refreshed? Is it helpful if you have skin disorders such as acne and eczema?

  • Price

We always aim to include a wide price range in the products we choose.

Sometimes, we’re more successful than others, but it’s always best to provide options that touch on both ends of the price scale.

  • Ingredients

We’re always in favor of natural ingredients over ingredients that include a bunch of chemicals. Natural is better for you, your skin, and the environment.

  • Other factors

We also took into account each soap’s scent. While it’s not a big determining factor for us, it is to a lot of customers. A pleasing scent is always best, of course, but it shouldn’t be too overpowering, either.

How to best use bar soap in easy, illustrated steps

There’s nothing complicated about using bar soap, right? It’s very intuitive, and the majority of people use it without giving it much thought.

But that doesn’t mean you’re doing it correctly.

While it’s true that using soap in any way is better than using no soap at all, there still are some things to consider before you hop into the shower (or get in front of the sink) and grab your favorite bar of soap.

Washing your body (while in the shower)

rinse firstRinse first – Give your body a good rinse before you wash it. The warm water loosens up dirt and excess oils while also making it easier to get a good lather.

Wash from top to bottomWash from top to bottom – Start from your neck and work your way down as you wash your shoulders, arms and elbows, chest and waist area, and then to your back (including buttocks and the backs of your legs).

Hands or no handsHands or no hands? – Whether you scrub yourself with your hands or with a washcloth or loofah is a matter of personal choice, but many folks argue that you’ll get a better lather by using the latter items.

Washing your face

Wash your hands firstWash your hands first – Washing your face doesn’t mean your hands get clean, as well. Always wash your hands before starting on your face.

Wet your faceWet your face – Use lukewarm water to wet your face before washing it.

Work up a latherWork up a lather – Rub your soap onto your hands before applying it to your face.

Give it some timeGive it some time – Gently massage the soap into your skin for 30 seconds while using small circular motions. Don’t rub too hard, because you may irritate your skin.

Washing your hands

Remember what your mother taught youRemember what your mother taught you – Perhaps nothing aggravates a mom more than a child who gives their hands a cursory 5-second wash in which little soap reaches the hand before a hurried rinse-off. Instead, take your time.

After wetting your hands with running water (warm or cold will do), vigorously rub the soap lather between your hands for 20 seconds before rinsing it off.

Scrub all surfaces of your handsBe thorough – Scrub all surfaces of your hands, including the wrists, fingertips, and under your fingernails. Be like that doctor who’s washing his hands before surgery.

If possible, use a towel or your elbowIf possible, use a towel or your elbow to turn off the faucet. You’ll avoid transferring germs to your newly-scrubbed hands.

Dry your handsDry your hands with a clean towel or under an air dryer, and make sure to jump into a nice bathrobe afterward.

Body cleansing – Bar soap vs. body wash

For the most part, bar soap was the only game in town when it came to cleansing your face and body.

Body washes rose in popularity to put a dent into bar soap’s hold on the grooming industry while giving voice to people worldwide who argued the merits of body wash compared to soap.

For one, detractors pointed to soap’s reputation for stripping the skin of natural oils.

While it’s true that the soap-making process often creates a product that is a bit high in alkalinity, many soaps include moisturizing agents that hydrate the skin while cleaning it.

Valid arguments exist for both sides, of course, but let’s break the comparison down via different categories.

1. Hygiene

We talked previously about bar soap’s reputation of not being as sanitary as body washes.

The truth is, however, that, because soap bars are rinsed off between uses, the likelihood of bacteria transfer to the skin is slim to none.

On the flip side, many people use body washes with washcloths or loofahs, which can become very bacteria-friendly if not cleaned frequently.

2. Skincare

Body washes made their mark, in part, thanks to their reputation as having superior moisturizing qualities to bar soap.

Bar soap was said to dry out the skin, but most higher-end bar soaps today include the same moisture-rich ingredients that you’ll find in a body wash.

3. Ease of use

While there’s nothing overly complicated about using a body wash, it doesn’t get much simpler than using a bar of soap.

Regarding travel-friendliness, however, it’s hard to beat a travel-sized body wash, and not many people carry around their personal bar of soap.

4. Space

Most shower units include a specialized space for bar soap. Body wash, on the other hand, tends to take up more than its fair share of ledge space.

5. Lifespan

Bar soaps tend to last longer than body washes, but that completely depends on the size of your body wash and how much you use each time. At the end of their lifespan, a bar soap’s usability diminishes.

You can always turn your body wash bottle upside down to get every last drop.

6. Price

Comparing the cost of bar soaps vs. body washes primarily depends on individual products. Bar soap is typically less expensive than body wash, but quality bar soaps with specific qualities (such as moisturizing agents) can cost more than a body wash.

Hand cleansing – Bar soap vs. liquid soap

We wash our hands to prevent the spread of germs and to eliminate bacteria that can lead to a host of illnesses and diseases.

Period.

True, you may wash your hands, so they smell good, but the majority of us, taught during our toddler days, understand that washing them is a great way to avoid getting sick.

And when it comes to washing hands, bar soap was a primary go-to option until anti-bacterial liquid soap emerged a few decades ago to challenge the throne.

Today, it seems as if every sink has a bottle of liquid soap on it, although you’ll certainly still find “old-fashioned” bars around, too.

The question is, which one is better? Bar or liquid? Here are some things to consider when deciding for yourself.

1. The Bacteria Question

Liquid soaps emerged on the market, waving their anti-bacterial flag, and many people simply assumed that liquid would do a more thorough job of cleaning than bar soap.

The thing is, it’s an assumption that doesn’t have solid footing.

  • For one, bar soap has been used for centuries. Doctors still use it while scrubbing their hands before surgery. If they feared that bacteria would transfer from their hands to the patient, they wouldn’t do it.
  • The primary argument against bar soap is that bacteria accumulate on soap while it’s not in use. Yet, scientific studies show that washing with bar soap eliminates bacteria from the soap, just as the soap is eliminating bacteria from our skin.
  • Yes, liquid anti-bacterial soap does a great job of removing bacteria from our hands, but so does bar soap.

2. pH Levels

Bar soap has a higher pH level than liquid soap, which means it can dry the skin – not a great scenario if you have sensitive skin – but there’s not just one type of bar soap out there, as our reviews above attest.

Many bar soaps come with lower pH levels, while many contain glycerin, which is therapeutic for dry skin.

3. The Mess

A couple of knocks against bar soap are A) it’s slippery and sometimes hard to handle, and B) it leaves a lathery residue on sinks and counters.

Meanwhile, a liquid soap dispenser isn’t slippery and doesn’t leave a mess. There’s no soap scum to clean up in the end.

4. Fragrance

Bar soaps offer a variety of options when it comes to fragrance, including no fragrance at all, but it’s hard to find fragrance-free liquid soaps, which presents a dilemma if you have allergies to fragrances.

5. The Waste

While liquid soap dispensers present less of a mess when you’re washing your hands, you have better control over how much you use with a bar of soap.

You rub the soap bar between your hands until you get the desired lather, then rinse off the residue after scrubbing.

The amount you need is harder to control on a liquid dispenser pump because the pump, in most cases, squirts out a pre-determined amount. The amount is often more than you need to clean your hands sufficiently.

Conclusion

That wraps up our review of the best bar soaps for men 2020. We welcome your feedback, as always, and would love to hear from you. Do you have a favorite soap that you think belongs on this list?

Do you have experience – good or bad – with any of the soaps listed here? Let us know.


You might also like:

Best Men’s Hand Creams & Lotions for Soft, Smooth Hands

Best Body Washes for Men Your Skin Would Adore

Best Face Washes & Cleansers for Men (All Skin Types)

Best Men’s Robes You’ll Absolutely Love Wearing All Day

Best Deodorants & Antiperspirants for Men That Work 110%

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About The Author

Domen Hrovatin
Domen Hrovatin

Domen—a self-confessed facial hair addict—is a grooming professional, style enthusiast, and someone with deep personal experience and knowledge about male pattern baldness. His work was mentioned in countless notable men's grooming and style publications, including Beardbrand and AskMen.

  • The Dr. Bronner company makes a good soap, but it’s a very strange company. Just read all the print on a bar of its soap. Some of the causes they support contradict the point of the company – Cleanliness.

  • Liquid soaps generate a lot of plastic waste with empty bottles, bar soaps typically do not. Your ocean will approve of bar soap.

  • Thank you for share the helpful information. This post I found very much knowledge and helped me so much when cleaning my body. I hope this bar soap can clean the hair and skin problems. I really wish this advice will be more favorable to come to many other people. Keep up the useful article.

    • Hello Ingeborg,
      One thing that gets overlooked all the time is a good soap dish. It can make or brake a bar soap experience. It should provide ample air-flow around the soap so it dries. Dry soap has no bacteria.I tested a lot of soap dishes and found the cheap silicone soap dish to work the best.
      Sincerely, Hairy Mary’s Soap Works.

  • I am a big fan of Grandpa’s Pine Tar soap, I use it a couple times a week so a bar lasts a reasonable amount of time. On the what I call pine tars scrub down days I scrub everything with it including my hair and beard, it has a woodsy smell that my girlfriend and I enjoy, works great on my skin and works great on my hair. The rest of the week I use Black soap on my face and Irish Springs or such, I am in construction in the gulf south so I sweat alot.

    • Yes!!!! I love Grandpa’s Soap. My last girlfriend, my late wife, and my roommate, however, did not like the smell so much. I love it I think it smells manly. That said, Duke Cannon Leather and Leaf has my present vote , as well as the one that has black pepper in the notes, I can’t remember the name of it now. But Yeah, like the article says, don’t drop that soap on your toes. I had a near miss, the other day. Put it down on the soap dish, the one built into the shower, and was washing my hair when I heard a very loud, THUMP! I’m blind, so it took me a bit to find the soap, which suffered a minor crack on the bottom, but that thing is triple milled and shows it. So, yes, both Grandpas and Duke Cannon are good. Outlaw Soaps also makes a soap called Blazing Saddles which is really good, my dear late Priscilla loved when I had that soap on. You can guess the outcome.

      Dave Bahr, author of Prave: the Adventures of the Blind and the Brittle available on Amazon.

  • Putting the ‘anal’ in Artisanal.

    Artisanal means nothing, other than as a word to make people think ‘ooh this is special!’. I can call my soap ‘Artisanal’ and it absolutely DOES NOT mean ‘specifically crafted with food-grade and organic ingredients and made with extra oils and butter’. There is so much utter shit written about almost every beauty/personal care/grooming product, it is simply ridiculous.

    • Hello Steve,
      Lol, I will take you up on this. My soaps are everything you say they are not. If you provide me with a shipping address I will send you a couple of my soaps On the House to try. I think you will be surprised, but its up to you. Let me know. You can write me here: hairymaryssoapworks at gmail dot com.
      Dusan (Hairy Mary’s Soap Works)

    • Steve, that’s a fucking great subject line. Can I say fucking here? Anyway…I do agree with your comment. I guess the only thing that occurred to me, maybe, is that artisanal usually means small batch an/or handcrafted at least from what I’ve seen.

      However!

      I agree with you on overuse of labels. It’s like using the word “natural” for a product. You have to dig into the ingredients to really find out if the thing is actually a “natural” product. But I suppose the same could be said for music and book genres. What one person might call a memoir, another might call a biography. Maybe that was a bad example, but you get the idea. Really, it’s about branding and marketing and people like catchphrases or words to latch onto.

      Those are just my thoughts, I’m not trying to start a debate here, because there is no right or wrong answer. That’s one of my maxims as a Vision Coach, “nobody gets to be right, nobody gets to be wrong.” It makes coaching and philosophizing, and heated arguments, so much easier. Not that this is a heated argument of course. Aaaaaaanyway, I talk a lot, so I’ll stop for now.

      Dave Bahr, author of Prave: the Adventures of the Blind and the Brittle, available on Amazon.

  • Another men’s line of soaps that have great products and scents is Buck Ridge Soap Company, all made in USA with vegan options.

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