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

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best face wash for men

Everyone who washed his face with a bar of soap this morning, raise your hand.

Thanks for your honesty.

Don’t get us wrong, we like that you wash your face, but we’re not impressed that you used a bar of soap.

True, using soap is better than using nothing at all, but your face is different. Traditional bar soaps dry out your facial skin and may strip it of natural oils that it needs to look it best.

That’s why we’re here to talk about face washes and cleansers. Ditching the soap for one of these bad boys would work wonders for your skin.

Here’s why:

On a daily basis, your face goes to war with the environment, leading to dirt, bacteria, and pollution covering the surface of your skin. If these are not removed, the accumulation of unwanted debris can lead to dehydration, aged skin, and breakouts.

Daily facial cleansing is the most effective method of clearing every last trace of these impurities from the skin, giving you a fresher and more hydrated complexion in the process.

In a hurry? Here are our top picks:
Jack Black Pure Clean Daily Facial Cleanser

A modern man’s grooming routine demands a top-quality face wash/cleanser – such as Jack Black Pure Clean Daily Facial Cleanser. This is a cleanser that is fit for purpose. It’s efficient at removing excess oil and dirt, leaving your skin with an invigorated appearance. Simply put, it gets the job done.

ZELEN Life Cleanser

An excellent choice for men of all skin types, particularly sensitive and acne-prone skin. Its organic formula gives a deep-cleanse without the irritation. It also hydrates, balances the skin's pH and regulates oil (sebum) to control breakouts. ZELEN Life is a venture that I am partly involved in. You can read more about it in the product overview below.

But we don’t stop at reviewing two products.

What follows is a list of what we think are the best 9 face washes and cleansers in 2020. Whatever specific needs you have, rest assured we got you covered in this guide.

We’ll also talk about what you should know before you buy, how to properly apply wash and cleansers, the differences between facial care products, and we will answer the frequently asked questions.

Let’s get started.

Quick summary

bb2-table__imageJack Black Pure Clean Daily Facial Cleanser
  • Completely removes dirt and oil
  • Dual-purpose cleanser and toner
  • Paraben and sulfate-free
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bb2-table__imageZELEN Life Cleanser
  • Deep-cleansing, bio-active organic formula
  • Balances pH and moisturizes skin
  • Anti-aging benefits, boosts collagen and elastin
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bb2-table__imageTiege Hanley’s Daily Face Wash (Skin Care System Level 1)
  • Proven effective with daily use
  • Good for all skin types
  • Hydrates and helps tighten skin while also fighting acne
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bb2-table__imageUrsa Major Fantastic Face Wash
  • Won’t dry out skin
  • Long list of natural ingredients
  • Exfoliates dead skin cells
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bb2-table__imageRugged & Dapper Facial Cleanser for Men
  • Exfoliates the skin while unclogging pores
  • Natural ingredients
  • Manly fragrance
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bb2-table__imageCerave Hydrating Facial Cleanser
  • Excellent for dry skin
  • Formal includes essential ceramides
  • Helps restore the protective skin barrier
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bb2-table__imageBrickell Men's Purifying Charcoal Face Wash
  • Great for men with sensitive skin
  • 99% natural ingredients
  • Activated charcoal provides deep cleaning
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bb2-table__imageBulldog Natural Skincare Original Face Wash
  • Nice blend of natural ingredients with no parabens or sulfates
  • Gentle cleansing formula
  • Has many natural benefits for the skin
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bb2-table__imageYellow Bird All-Natural Soap
  • Natural and organic ingredients
  • Handmade
  • Effective on the face and body (and for men and women)
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Before you buy: 6 Things to consider when purchasing face wash or cleanser

1. Know your skin type

Sure, there are differences between men’s face washes and cleansers, just as there are differences within any grooming product, but choosing the right face wash for you all starts by knowing one thing: your skin type.

Every man’s face has its unique characteristics, not the least of which is skin type. Most men’s faces fit into five categories: oily skin, dry skin, sensitive skin, normal skin, and combination skin.

Oily skin

Your skin has a certain amount of oil it needs to maintain proper pH balance and homeostasis (internal stability)

But some men’s faces are oilier than others, and some tell-tale signs are large, visible pores and a greasy sheen that develops not long after you’ve cleansed your face.

If your face is oily, look for a face wash or cleanser that regulates oil production without drying out your face.

Dry skin

If your skin is flaky, itchy, feels tight, or rarely (or never) shows signs of excess oil, then you have a dry face. Your mission, then, is to find a cleanser that cleanses grime and impurities without stripping the skin of its natural oils. Look for a hydrating face wash.

Sensitive skin

Just because you’re a “sensitive” guy doesn’t mean that you have sensitive skin. But if you’re a sensitive guy – or any man, for that matter – and your facial skin is prone to irritation or often is red after shaving or cleansing, you have sensitive skin.

Focus your search on cleansers that have creamy, dense foams and soothing ingredients (aloe vera, etc.). It’s also essential to find a wash that balances your skin’s pH level.

Normal skin

You’re lucky if you’re a man with normal skin. For one, you can use most faces washes and cleansers without an issue.

Your skin has an even tone, it’s not flaky, red, or irritated, and it has no oily sheen. You’re like the guy with an oval face who’s able to rock just about every beard style. Feel free to use potent cleansers and body washes, as long as they’re non-drying.

Combination skin

Men with combination skin tend to have an oily forehead, nose, and chin but dry cheeks. Look for a cleanser that gets rid of grime and oil without stripping your skin of its natural oils.

An ideal face wash for combination skin is one that protects the skin’s lipid barriers to lock in natural moisture. You’re looking for a product that thoroughly cleanses but also provides hydration to the areas of your face which need it.

2. Consider your daily routine and environment

It’s worth thinking about what your typical daily routine is like and what environment your skin finds itself in regularly.

For example, if you spend a lot of your time in the city with polluted air, or if you work outdoors in dirtier environments, the chances are you are collecting a lot of debris on the surface of your face. The likelihood is you need a cleanser to remove it.

The same goes for you fitness buffs out there. If you spend a lot of time working out and sweating, you need a good face wash that can remove the sweat and clean out your pores without leaving your skin feeling dry and tight.

Being mindful of your daily activities can help you pinpoint what facial cleansing product is right for you.

3. Check the labels

The saying goes, proper preparation prevents poor performance. Well, this applies to skincare. It’s wise to check the labels before you go ahead and purchase your preferred face wash.

From a glance at the ingredients list, you’ll be able to check if the face wash contains anything that your skin may not tolerate. If your skin is on the sensitive side or has allergies, then this is a no brainer to avoid unwanted skin irritations. Keep an eye out for those harmful chemicals, and your skin will thank you for it.

Also, what a shame it would be to spend your hard-earned money on a face wash, only for you to realize that you can’t use it.

4. Be aware of the most common harmful chemicals

Chemicals surround our daily lives, and certain ones notoriously crop up in skincare products. It may seem impossible to find a chemical-free face wash or cleanser, but it is possible to find ones that are ‘non-toxic.’

Your chances of finding one are increased when you are aware of the common nasties. So when you are checking the label, if you see the likes of parabens, sulfates, petrochemicals, synthetic colors and fragrances in the ingredients list, be aware that these are the biggest culprits for aggravating your skin.

Sure, it’s difficult to avoid everything, especially fragrances. Every face wash and cleanser will have its pros and cons. The key is to find one that is not packed full of chemicals to reduce the toxic burden on your skin.

The good news is that the most reputable skincare brands nowadays leave the likes of parabens and sulfates out of their formulas, like the face washes we have reviewed in this guide.

5. Realize the importance of cleansing your skin

Remember, healthy skin all starts with clean skin. As a face wash is only applied for what feels like a split second, it’s easy to underestimate its importance, and this is a common mistake worth avoiding. In that short period, a lot of good can be done to your skin and equally, a lot of damage.

Our budget always comes into play, and in skincare, face washes and cleansers are easier to make compromises on when it comes to price. We are quick to spend that extra dollar on moisturizers, anti-aging creams, and serums because we are aware of the benefits they bring.

But before reaching for a cheap face wash or cleanser, know that a quality product to clean your face without leaving it dry and irritated is the baseline for any skincare routine.

More expensive does not always mean better, however investing in a well-formulated face wash with quality ingredients increases the chances of healthier, happier skin. Generally speaking, the price tag usually reflects the quality of ingredients in the product.

6. Consider organic vs. cosmetic

Long term use of artificial cosmetics that contain chemicals is not going to keep your facial skin at its youthful, vibrant best.

But let’s face it. We have busy lives, and studying labels and ingredients to find the ‘perfect product’ can start to feel a bit much.

An alternative approach (without the headache!) is by going for an organic face wash. Not only are you dodging the harmful chemicals, but you are also avoiding dyes, fragrances, and heavy soap content that are not too kind on the skin either.

Switching to organic brings other benefits to your skin other than simply avoiding the bad stuff. You’ll also be optimizing the good stuff. In organic products, the natural ingredients consist of purer compounds, making them more active when applied to the skin.

The chances are you’ll like what you see while also being eco-friendly. However, the downside is higher quality organic products also tend to reflect a higher price point.

This concludes our 6 things before you buy a facial wash or cleanser. Be mindful of your skin type and your lifestyle, along with paying attention to ingredients, and you’re on the right track.

Now, let’s dig a bit deeper and review what we think are the best face washes for men and the best facial cleansers for men.

The 9 best face washes for men in 2020

1. Jack Black Pure Clean Daily Facial Cleanser

Jack Black Pure Clean Daily Facial Cleanser

Best features:

  • An all-encompassing product that cleans skin with zero fuss
  • 2-in-1 action cleanses and tones skin at the same time
  • Doesn’t contain harsh chemicals such as parabens and sulfates

Best face wash/cleanser for:

Men whose faces that attract a lot of dirt and are prone to clogged pores.

Overview:

Jack Black, like Brickell, is a relative newcomer to the world of men’s grooming and skincare, but they’ve earned their stripes.

Their Pure Clean Daily Facial Cleanser is representative of their strong line of products and is one of the best washes/cleansers on the market.

Jack Black’s daily facial cleanser is a 2-in-1 product in that it cleanses and tones the skin. It helps you remove excess dirt and oil (it’s ideal for men whose occupations attract a lot of dirt and grime) while leaving your skin hydrated and fresh.

How does it work? Oat and coconut-derived natural surfactants clean the skin, while it also includes witch hazel – which acts as an astringent and antioxidant.

The Pure Clean Daily Facial Cleanser’s list of ingredients also includes organic sage leaf and rosemary for antibacterial benefits, while chamomile and aloe leaf soothe and reduce redness.

There are plenty of other reasons why this facial cleanser belongs on this “best of” list.

This cleanser is dermatologist-tested, paraben, gluten, and sulfate-free as part of Jack Black’s PureScience formulas that lock in the therapeutic benefits of natural ingredients like those listed above.

The Jack Black Pure Clean Daily Facial Cleanser is also great for men whose pores are frequently clogged, or who suffer from blackheads and acne. You’ll like how your complexion looks after using this cleanser.

Type:

Cleanser

Pros

  • Completely removes dirt and oil
  • Dual-purpose cleanser and toner
  • Paraben and sulfate-free

Cons

  • Consistency is a bit thin when compared with other cleansers

Bottom line

Jack Black’s Pure Clean Daily Facial Cleanser provides the deep clean that many men are looking for – especially men who accumulate a lot of dirt during the day and who have skin that’s easily irritated – but it’s also suitable for men of all skin types.

2. ZELEN Life CleanserZELEN Life Cleanser

Best features:

  • Organic formula gives a powerful deep cleanse while gentle on the skin
  • Boosts hydration and restores the skin’s natural pH balance
  • Promotes fibroblast health which brings anti-aging benefits

Best face wash/cleanser for:

Men of all skin types, particularly those with sensitive, acne-prone, or aged skin.

Overview:

The ZELEN Life Cleanser provides a gentle cleansing action but with powerful results. It takes cleansing to another level. In fact, a deeper level.

It contains three organic powerhouses in Jojoba, Aloe Vera, and Sunflower that work together to penetrate the deep layers of pores, removing dirt, excess oil, and impurities. It moisturizes the skin as it cleanses, leaving the skin feeling fresh and hydrated.

Have you ever heard of the oil cleansing method? Well, jojoba is often the go-to oil for this and with good reason. Firstly jojoba oil is non-comedogenic, meaning that it does not clog the pores. It is also very similar to the skin’s natural oil (sebum), which helps to dissolve the dirty sebum and replace it with clean sebum.

Sunflower oil contains essential fatty acids that help to preserve the function of the skin’s natural barrier. It soothes irritation and reduces redness by preventing allergens and irritants from penetrating the skin.

Aloe vera has an illustrious history that dates back thousands of years. First used by the ancient Egyptians, it was considered a skincare secret due to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory qualities.

The ZELEN Life Cleanser clears pores without blocking them, regulates the amount of oil the skin produces and hydrates by locking in moisture.

It restores the skin’s natural pH balance. It also encourages the healing of fibroblasts – the structures in the skin found at the deepest layer that is responsible for creating collagen and elastin, which restore a youthful look.

The non-drying, non-irritating formula makes it suitable for all skin types, including the most sensitive and those prone to acne breakouts.

ZELEN Life is a brand I am partly involved in, with someone who is no stranger to skincare issues, Jordan Sully. A completely natural and organic, Mediterranean-inspired skincare range.

Type:

Cleanser

Pros

  • Non-drying formula restores pH balance and rehydrates skin after cleansing
  • Heals deep structures for tighter, firmer-looking skin
  • Chemical-free, hypoallergenic and non-sensitizing

Cons

  • Slightly higher price tag

Bottom line

The ZELEN Life Cleanser is an organic solution packed full of nutrients that gives a deep-cleanse while helping to heal skin and retain moisture. The high volume of hypoallergenic, health-promoting compounds comes with a slightly higher cost.

3. Tiege Hanley’s Daily Face Wash (Skin Care System Level 1)

Tiege Hanley Men's Skin Care System - Level 1

Best features:

  • Contains four core ingredients
  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Uncomplicated product

Best face wash/cleanser for:

Men who like to keep things simple and looking for a good all-around face wash.

Overview:

The Tiege Hanley story is interesting and features a group of entrepreneurs who saw a need and did their best to fill it.

Founded by four self-proclaimed “regular” guys, TH came into existence because of what they perceived as three basic truths about men’s skin care:

1) men don’t know much about it;

2) men’s skin care products are overly-complicated and confusing, and

3) men’s skin care products are, as a whole, overpriced.

The fourth partner, known only as The Chemist, is a master skin formulator and creator of what the Tiege Hanley team calls its “Ferrari formulas.”

Tiege Hanley has three levels – or “systems” – of skin care to fit all of a man’s unique skin needs. We think Skin Care System Level 1 provides an ideal face wash that men will love.

How does it work? It all starts with Tiege Handley’s four core ingredients:

  • Cucumber extract

Cucumber extract hydrates and smooths skin and is considered a “superfood” for the skin. It contains proteins, vitamin C, and a variety of minerals, as well as many moisturizing and emollient properties.

It also aids your skin’s natural shedding of its outer layer during cell turnover. It even acts as an astringent to tighten and firm skin.

  • Salix Alba bark

Salix Alba bark extract reduces inflammation and irritation of the skin, promotes wound healing, and also helps the skin during the natural shedding process.

  • Lavandula Oil

More commonly known as lavender, this oil hydrates, fights acne, and reduces redness on facial skin.

  • Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus oil has many health benefits for the skin, including that it stimulates the skin and serves as an antiseptic.

Tiege Hanley’s face wash also includes rosemary oil, which reduces oily skin while providing it with needed iron, calcium, vitamins, and antioxidants.

The System Level 1 includes the daily face wash (yes, it’s gentle enough to use every day), an exfoliating scrub, a morning face moisturizer with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 20, and a bedtime facial moisturizer.

Another thing we like about Tiege Hanley’s products is that they’re formulated for men of all skin types, whether you have normal skin, dry skin, sensitive skin, or anything in between.

Type:

Complete system

Pro tip:

You can use the code “BALDINGBEARDS10” at checkout to get a free Tiege Hanley Dopp bag.

Pros

  • Proven effective with daily use
  • Good for all skin types
  • Hydrates and helps tighten skin while also fighting acne
  • Free U.S. shipping

Cons

  • Few, if any, but some users say they wish the bottles were bigger

Bottom line

The Tiege Hanley face wash represents a simple yet amazingly effective solution to men’s facial skin issues. It’s an all-in-one wash made for men of all skin types.

4. Ursa Major Fantastic Face Wash

Ursa Major Fantastic Face Wash

Best features:

  • Hydrating properties make it suitable for everyday use
  • Natural formula and no synthetic ingredients
  • Exfoliates the skin during the wash

Best face wash/cleanser for:

Men with combination skin that want an everyday wash with a moisturizing effect.

Overview:

If you haven’t heard of Ursa Major, it’s worth your time to check out their products – including their Fantastic Face Wash.

After all, if you’re a fan of products that leave out synthetic ingredients in favor of those loaded with natural ingredients, you’ll like the company. If you’re looking for a cleanser that resolves a lot of common issues, you’ll love the face wash.

Indeed, the Fantastic Face Wash will help you get clear, healthy skin, as well as a deep cleansing that won’t strip your skin of needed moisture. Plus, it has a great scent that’s influenced by essential oils, such as cedar, spearmint, rosemary, lavender, and others.

Ursa Major’s face wash has 36 naturally-derived ingredients in all, including aloe – which always is good for soothing the skin – and rice seed, which provides hydration. It also gently exfoliates skin while not, as mentioned, stripping away needed moisture.

The Fantastic Face Wash ingredient list is 99.5% naturally-derived and sourced, whenever possible, from family-owned, sustainable growers.

What you won’t find on the list are petrochemicals, sulfates, parabens, synthetic fragrance, artificial color, and silicones.

The wash is gluten-free, vegan, and cruelty-free.

It’s also a wash that’s good for everyday use because it won’t dry out your skin. It’s ideal for men with normal and oily skin but also suitable for acne and other types of temperamental skin.

Your skin will look clearer, while you won’t have to worry about losing much-needed moisture.

Type:

Wash

Pros

  • Won’t dry out the skin
  • Long list of natural ingredients
  • Exfoliates dead skin cells

Cons

  • Scent is too strong for some

Bottom line

You can’t go wrong with Ursa Major Fantastic Face Wash. It works with every skin type, it provides a thorough cleansing without stripping your skin of its natural oils, and it moisturizes.

It’s simply a very good all-around product that belongs in any man’s grooming kit. It’s our choice for best men’s face wash 2020.

5. Rugged & Dapper Facial Cleanser for Men

RUGGED & DAPPER Facial Cleanser for Men

Best features:

  • A cleanser suitable for all skin types
  • Foaming action that also exfoliates the skin
  • Masculine fragrance

Best face wash/cleanser for:

Men wanting an all-in-one product without the harmful chemicals.

Overview:

Rugged & Dapper has the natural solution for keeping your facial skin in top condition. Made with natural ingredients, such as aloe vera, vitamin C and willow bark, R & D’s Facial Cleanser for Men is easy on the skin but tough on dirt and grime.

But there are other reasons why Rugged & Dapper is the best face cleanser for men:

  • Plant-based exfoliants remove dead skin cells while preventing congested pores and the endless march of aging (and its effects on your skin).
  • Specially formulated for men, it attacks dirt and excess oil to eliminate skin breakouts, such as acne. In fact, it’s the best acne face wash for men.
  • It works for all skin types, from normal to sensitive to oily, as well as good for men of all ages.
  • You won’t find harmful chemicals or parabens in Rugged & Dapper’s Facial Cleanser.
  • It has a grit-like texture that helps with exfoliating skin while also producing excellent foaming action. The texture comes from small exfoliating beads mixed into the cleanser. Rest assured, your skin will feel smooth and polished after using this cleanser.
  • It has a nice, manly fragrance that isn’t overpowering but won’t be confused with your wife’s or girlfriend’s facial cleanser, either.
  • It’s an all-in-one product because it combines an energizing face wash with an exfoliator. It won’t strip your skin of moisture.
  • It comes in an 8-ounce bottle and is highly-concentrated, which means it will last you through months of daily use. It also has an easy-to-use snap cap top.
  • Another important ingredient in the Rugged & Dapper formula is tea tree oil, which comes with a long list of benefits for the skin, not the least of which is fighting acne.

Type:

Cleanser

Pros

  • Exfoliates the skin while unclogging pore
  • Natural ingredients
  • Manly fragrance

Cons

  • Exfoliating beads can be tough to rinse out of beards

Bottom line

Rugged & Dapper is just what its name suggests: it’s tough on dirt and grime but gentle enough to energize your skin, all while leaving it smooth and looking its best. If you prefer natural ingredients, this is a cleanser that deserves a long look.

6. CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser

CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser

Best features:

  • MVE Delivery Technology delivers moisturizing ingredients to the skin gradually
  • Encourages a protective skin barrier with ceramides
  • Non-irritating formula

Best face wash/cleanser for:

Men with problematic and dry skin, such as eczema.

Overview:

It’s not easy for men with dry skin to find a daily cleanser or wash. The cleanser has to, first, wipe away dirt and grime, but it must do so without stripping away needed moisture. Of course, it also needs to relieve dryness.

CeraVe’s Hydrating Facial Cleanser does all of that, and more, with a formula that makes it the best face wash for men with dry skin. It cleanses, hydrates, and helps restore the protective skin barrier with ceramides.

What are ceramides, you ask?

A ceramide is a lipid molecule found in high concentrations in skin cell membranes. Ceramides hold cells together in the upper layer of skin to form a protective layer that, among other things, retains moisture.

In products such as CeraVe’s facial cleanser, ceramides replenish the natural lipids lost due to drying products, aging, and harsh environmental conditions.

CeraVe’s Hydrating Facial Cleanser includes three essential ceramides, along with hyaluronic acid that helps retain the skin’s moisture. It’s a formula that makes for a gentle, non-irritating wash that men with dry skin can use every day.

Another feature to like about CeraVe’s products is their patented MVE Delivery Technology. MVE, a.k.a. as MultiVesicular Emulsion, delivers moisturizing ingredients to the skin slowly, ensuring that they’ll last long after application.

We also like that the CeraVe cleanser comes with the seal of approval by the National Eczema Association, meaning it meets the criteria for men with eczema or sensitive skin.

Meanwhile, reviewers like it because it leaves their skin feeling clean, but not tight, while also experiencing relief in their dry patches of skin.

Type:Cleanser

Pros

  • Excellent for dry skin
  • Formal includes essential ceramides
  • Helps restore the protective skin barrier

Cons

  • Contains parabens

Bottom line

As a man with dry skin, you face unique challenges while cleansing your face – not the least of which is stripping the skin of moisture – but CeraVe’s Hydrating Facial Cleanser is designed with you in mind, and you’ll love how your skin feels after applying it.

7. Brickell Men’s Purifying Charcoal Face Wash

Brickell Men’s Purifying Charcoal Face Wash

Best features:

  • Contains activated charcoal that cleanses deeply
  • Retains moisture within the skin
  • Made with sensitive skin in mind, no parabens or sulfates

Best face wash/cleanser for:

Men with sensitive skin who favor using activated charcoal.

Overview:

While you may not think of charcoal as an ingredient used to wash your face, it’s actually an excellent cleansing agent.

Many shampoos contain activated charcoal – no, not the kind you use for your cookout – and Brickell Men’s Purifying Face Wash takes full advantage of its cleaning properties.

Charcoal not only provides a deep cleansing while removing excess oil, bacteria, free radicals, and other irritants from skin pores, it does so without ridding dry or sensitive skin of needed moisture.

But there’s more to Brickell’s face wash than simply charcoal. For one, it contains a host of natural and organic ingredients, including olive oil, jojoba oil, and aloe vera.

Jojoba oil supplies a protective cushion to your skin to help retain moisture, and olive oil gently removes dirt and oils while replacing them with essential oils that nourish the face.

The Purifying Charcoal Face Wash is suitable for men of all facial skin types, but it’s a go-to option for men with sensitive skin.

Then again, Brickell is all about natural ingredients. Founded in 2014 by Josh Meyer and Matt Bolduc (and started in Matt’s garage), Brickell is one of the fastest-growing men’s skincare and grooming companies worldwide.

They sell their products in over 20 countries, and thousands of men use them daily.

The Purifying Charcoal Face Wash has a natural scent, consisting of peppermint, eucalyptus, and lemongrass essential oils. Note: you won’t find any parabens or sulfates in Brickell’s skincare products.

The folks at Brickell say that you should use their face wash in the morning, before bed, and after you exercise. If used twice daily, one 8 oz. bottle should last two months.

Type:Wash

Pros

  • Great for men with sensitive skin
  • 99% natural ingredients
  • Activated charcoal provides deep cleaning

Cons

  • Some reviewers don’t like the scent, but it does diminish slowly

Bottom line

Brickell has made a name for itself with skincare and grooming products for men that make the most of natural and organic ingredients.

Their Purifying Charcoal Face Wash provides a deep cleaning without being too harsh on your skin.

8. Bulldog Natural Skincare Original Face Wash

Bulldog Natural Skincare Original Face Wash

Best features:

  • Easy to apply
  • Natural formula with essential oils
  • Leaves skin clean and soft, without a drying effect

Best face wash/cleanser for:

Men with oily skin who prefer a gel-based facial wash.

Overview:

You have to love the motto: “Bulldog is Man’s Best Friend.” We’re talking the company, not the breed, and there’s certainly some merit to its best friend claim. Founded in 2005 by England’s Simon Duffy, Bulldog provides quality skincare options to men worldwide.

For Duffy, Bulldog was a solution to what he found lacking, i.e., that there were no straightforward skincare options with natural ingredients for men. His company’s Natural Skincare Original Face Wash is just that, and more.

The Bulldog Natural Skincare Original Face Wash is one of many top skin and body products made by the company, and, like everything in Bulldog’s product line, it’s packed with natural ingredients.

You’ll find eight essential oils on its list of ingredients, as well as green tea, that combines to form a gentle cleanser that rids your face of dirt and debris. The wash also includes aloe vera, which has its own soothing, irritation-reducing qualities, as well as many other uses.

The Natural Skincare Original Face Wash comes in a gel that goes on easily and doesn’t dry the skin. Men with oily skin, meanwhile, say its extremely effective in preventing acne flare-ups. In any case, your skin will feel soft, clean, and without irritation.

Type:

Gel wash

Pros

  • Nice blend of natural ingredients with no parabens or sulfates
  • Gentle cleansing formula
  • Has many natural benefits for the skin

Cons

  • Scent is off-putting to some

Bottom line

Bulldog specializes in men’s skincare and shows with products such as the Natural Skincare Original Face Wash. You’ll like the deep cleaning you’ll get from such a gentle product as this.

9. Yellow Bird All-Natural Soap

yellow bird soap bar

Best features:

  • Packed with natural ingredients that detox and hydrate skin
  • Has a money-back guarantee if you don’t like the product for any reason
  • Free of chemicals, such as dyes, fragrances, and synthetics

Best face wash/cleanser for:

Men who prefer to wash their face (and body) with soap and in need of a natural solution.

Overview:

Yellow Bird’s All-Natural Soap is handmade in the traditional small-batch, a cold-processed method that preserves the quality and effectiveness of its all-natural ingredients.

It’s more time-consuming than other processes, but the folks at Yellow Bird think it’s important for having complete control over the ingredients that they use in their soaps.

By “control,” they mean ensuring that their All-Natural Soap contains no chemical preservatives, synthetic lathering agents and dyes, or artificial fragrances. There’s always something to be said about avoiding synthetic products that are harsh on your skin.

That said, let’s check out what’s in Yellow Bird’s All Natural Soap and why they benefit your skin:

  • Activated charcoal, which helps detox your skin by absorbing dirt and oil (while also eliminating acne).
  • Shea butter, which leaves your skin moisturized and soft for a more youthful appearance.
  • Essential oils of lemongrass and lavender to help restore your skin to its natural luster while removing blemishes and other unsightly patches. Lemongrass and lavender also create a calming, pleasing scent while having antibacterial and anti-fungal properties.
  • Sunflower oil, palm oil, and coconut oil, which slows the effects of aging on the skin while also helping to create a formula that’s effective in dealing with oily skin.

The soap comes in a black bar that looks like something you’d expect from a product that includes charcoal. But, again, charcoal is a proven skin detoxing agent that absorbs dirt and oil.

Another thing you’ll like is Yellow Bird’s money-back guarantee. Just send it back for a refund if you don’t like it or if it doesn’t prove useful in treating your skin issues.

Type:

Soap bar

Pros

  • Natural and organic ingredients
  • Handmade
  • Effective on the face and body (for both men and women)

Cons

  • Soap bar doesn’t last as long as gels and foams

Bottom line

The Yellow Bird All-Natural Soap Bar is effective in dealing with different types of skin and skin issues, such as acne and rosacea. It also has a nice lather and leaves your skin feeling fresh and energized.

The art of applying face wash and cleanser (A simple, illustrated guide)

Now that you’ve chosen the best face wash or cleanser for you, it’s time to get down to the business of washing your face.

And washing your face used to be so easy, right? Just work up a nice lather in your hands from that soap bar you’re using for your entire body and then give your face a good scrubbing. Then just rinse it off with hot water, and you’re good to go.

Not so fast, gents.

First of all, that typical bar of soap may be great for your hands, and even OK for your body, but it will dry out your face and, especially if you have sensitive skin, can lead to skin irritation or breakouts.

That’s why we recommend a wash or cleanser made for your face for all of the reasons we’ve already discussed: it gets rid of dirt and oil, it clears away dead skin cells, it moisturizes your skin, and it helps prevent skin conditions such as acne.

So, put that bar of soap down and pick up your bottle or tube of wash or cleanser (or a soap bar designed for the job, like Yellow Bird All-Natural soap).

It’s time to wash your face the right way.

1. Choosing the right time

best times to wash your face 01Morning or night (or both) are the best times to wash your face.

There’s not a ton of corroborative research to back up this claim, but the reality is that most men don’t have time to wash their face in the middle of a busy day, and there’s no question that there’s a build-up of dirt and oil in the morning and evening.

Besides, the morning is when you typically devote more time to grooming than any other time of the day.

It’s also not a bad idea to cleanse your face before you shave. By removing dirt and dead skin cells, your razor has a better chance of smoothly running over your face.

2. Work up a lather

Work up a lather 02Squeeze a small amount of wash or cleanser into your hands and then work up a nice lather before applying it to your face. Lathering it up also helps to activate the cleanser’s ingredients. Spread the lather evenly over your face, all the way up to your hairline.

3. Choose the right water temp

Choose the right water temp 03Some men prefer using hot water during their morning routine, while others like a splash of cold water on their face because it helps jolt them out of their A.M. fog. Don’t do it.

Water that’s too hot or too cold will stress out your skin and, not to mention, shock your system. Hot water also enables moisture to escape from the skin. All that said, use lukewarm water instead. It will open up your pores while soothing your skin.

4. Massage the product into your skin

Massage the product into your skin 04Use circular motions to massage your wash onto the face and neck gently.

There’s no need to scrub with the same force you’d use to wash your car; instead, just use enough force to loosen up dirt, grime, and excess oil.

Do this for about 30 seconds, spending extra time on those areas where you tend to have an excess build-up of oil or sweat. Remember, take it easy. Scrubbing with too much force doesn’t do your skin a bit of good.

5. Rinse

Rinse 05After scrubbing, rinse your face with lukewarm or cold water, and that’s it.

Note: use the same technique above for applying a facial cleanser. The key difference, however, is that you don’t rinse off the cleanser once you’ve applied it. Simply use a towel to remove any excess cleanser, but be careful not to wipe off too much.

Face wash, cleanser, scrub, soap – What’s the difference?

So many choices, so little time. That’s how it may sometimes feel when you’re shopping for the right product with which to clean your face. There’s a face wash, face cleanser, face scrub, and good ol’ bar soap.

So, what are their differences, and why should you use one rather than another? Here’s a look:

  • Face wash

Face wash and cleanser serve the same basic function: their job is to clean your face. But there are differences.

For one, face wash is more like soap, including in the way it lathers (quite a bit) vs. how a cleanser lathers (which is non-foaming).

Face wash is a liquid facial cleanser that uses mild cleansing ingredients to deliver a deep, yet gentle cleaning of your face. Unlike bar soap, face wash doesn’t include ingredients – at least it shouldn’t – that dehydrate and destroy skin cells.

Choosing face wash over, say, a cleanser comes down to your everyday routine.

Face wash is ideal for use first thing in the morning and after you get home from work. However, if you were exposed to excess air pollutants and other dirt and grime during the day, you may want to use a cleanser when you get home from work instead.

Also, face washes tend to be a tad harsher than cleansers – generally speaking, that is. If you have sensitive skin, make sure that you aren’t using a face wash that irritates.

  • Face cleanser

A face cleanser is a non-foaming liquid that is used to clean the face.

Unlike a face wash, it doesn’t need to be rinsed out after application. Like a facial wash, cleansers are used to remove dead skin cells, excess oils, and dirt from your face.

Cleansers tend to be gentler on your skin than face washes and scrubs and do a great job of leaving your skin feeling well-hydrated and moisturized.

Also, a cleanser is designed to remove oil-soluble impurities from you’re the skin – in many cases, more effectively than a face wash.

However, face washes and face cleansers often are used together. Both are effective in preparing your skin for your morning shave, as well.

  • Face scrub

While face washes and cleansers serve the basic function of washing your face, face scrubs dig a bit deeper to exfoliate skin and remove the top layer of dead skin cells (as do some face washes and scrubs).

Face scrubs include “beads” or plant matter to help deliver a deeper cleansing.

Another difference between washes, cleansers, and scrubs is that you don’t need to use a scrub every day – in fact, you shouldn’t. Instead, use a scrub once or twice a week, especially as your skin is first getting used to it.

  • Bar soap

Most of us are guilty of using traditional bar soap to cleanse our faces and are probably still using it. That’s OK, kind of, as long as you’re using soap that’s mild enough to use on your face.

But it’s a Catch-22 in many ways: you need to find a soap that has a low pH level, but those that do are often too mild to remove the oily build-up on your face’s skin.

Bar soap is alkaline-based and, in most cases, strips your face of its natural oils. Even if your skin is excessively oily, you’re better off not using bar soap.

It not only will dry your skin out but also contains harsh chemicals that work well for cleaning the skin, though not so well in protecting your skin.

Not that all soaps are bad for your skin, mind you. The ones that consist of natural and organic ingredients are much milder, while there are others specially formulated for facial skin. Just be sure that you choose one that’s not going dry out your skin.

How we chose the best face washes and cleansers

Choosing the eight best face washes and cleansers for men doesn’t mean that they’re the only good products on the market.

Far from it.

But our goal is always to choose those products that are a cut above, unique in some way, and, most importantly, effective.

If they don’t do what they say they’re supposed to do or aren’t backed by the positive reviews of many customers, then they won’t make our “best of” list for any product.

We also pay attention to price while striving to find products to fit any budget, plus considering each brand’s list of ingredients.

We prefer natural ingredients, but good washes and cleansers aren’t only of the natural and organic variety.

We hope to provide enough information to help you make a sound buying decision.

Frequently asked questions

What does a cleanser do?

A facial cleanser offers many benefits, including that it removes dirt, excess oil, dead skin cells, and other types of pollutants from the skin. A good facial cleanser should clean the skin without stripping it of its top layer.

What is a facial cleanser?

Facial cleansers come in a variety of forms, each sharing the same purpose of removing dirt, dead skin cells, grime, and excess oil from the skin. A facial cleanser may include all-natural ingredients or chemicals designed to treat the skin.

How to use a cleanser?

The first step in using a cleanser is to rinse your face with warm – not hot – water. Use a small amount of cleanser (no more than a quarter-size amount) and massage it into your face with circular motions for up to 30 seconds. You don’t need to rinse off your cleanser; instead, pat your face dry with a clean, soft towel.

How often should you wash your face?

You should wash your face twice a day – once in the morning and once at night, as well as after workouts or physical activity that causes you to sweat. It’s essential to wash your face in the evening because oil and dirt accumulated throughout the day. Only wash your face as often as what is necessary. You risk drying out your skin if you wash it more than twice a day.

How to properly wash your face?

In general, you don’t need a large amount of cleanser or wash to clean your face correctly. Spread the cleanser over your face evenly and massage it into the skin with circular motions. You don’t need to scrub aggressively; instead, use just enough force to loosen up the dirt, grime, and excess oil. Rinse with lukewarm water.

If I have oily skin, don’t I need the strongest product possible?

Not necessarily. Everyone’s skin is different, and your goal should be to balance sebum production. Using a product that is too strong will end up removing your skin of all its natural oils, which are needed to maintain hydration levels. If your skin is super oily, you could try something stronger, but remember to find the balance between removing excess oil while leaving enough to protect the skin and prevent dryness. Start with a product middle of the range, evaluate how your skin responds and adjust accordingly.

Can I wash my skin too much, even if I have oily skin?

Washing your skin too regularly can reduce the amount of oil build-up. However, repeated washing does not lead to less oily skin. If you wash too much, you’ll feel some short term satisfaction of clean feeling skin. However, stripping your skin of all its natural oils will lead to dryness, and trigger your skin to produce more oil over the long term. Be careful as overwashing can be counterproductive.

Can I scrub harder if I have oily or acne-prone skin?

No. Scrubbing your skin harder may help you remove a little bit more debris from the deeper layers of the skin; however, being aggressive with your skin leads to irritation. This can make acne-prone skin worse.

Is it possible to scrub too hard?

Yes, be kind to your face. Resist the temptation of scrubbing your skin too harshly. Being overly abrasive toward your skin can lead to skin irritations and inflammation. Increasing the chances of problems. Using your fingertips are sufficient. Massage your skin gently.

Can I skip cleaning if I have dry skin?

No, this is not advisable. You should still follow a consistent routine, particularly at night, as everyone’s skin has dead skin cells, residue, dirt, and debris that build upon the face during the day and needs removing. However, cleansing in the morning is not as essential if you were looking for the best time to skip.

Do I need to moisturize after washing?

Using a moisturizer after washing your face helps to lock in moisture to the skin. During the process of washing, essential moisture can be removed from the skin, particularly if you are using a strong face wash or soap-based product. Using a mild cleanser that has hydrating properties, followed by a moisturizer, can help your skin remain hydrated and protected with a healthy barrier.

Can’t I just use bar soap or body wash on my face?

Bar soaps and body washes are designed for stronger skin on other parts of the body and are often too harsh for our face. It is best practice to stick to face washes and cleansers, which are more suitable for more delicate skin. This avoids the risk of your face becoming dry and irritated.

Why are facial washes better than bar soap?

Facial washes have less of a drying effect on the skin than bar soaps have. They both perform the same function, which is to remove dirt and excess oil from the skin. However, a face wash will do this while maintaining the healthy oils and natural pH balance of your skin. Soaps are more aggressive when it comes to drying out your face.

What can I combine my wash with?

It is possible to combine face washes and cleansers, along with other products together. This forms the basis of a strong skincare routine. However, as mentioned throughout this guide, be mindful of the number of chemicals and artificial ingredients present in the products you are using. Remember to use one product at a time and for their specific purpose. Follow their instructions and give your skin time to breathe in between each product.

What does hypoallergenic mean?

“Hypoallergenic” means that the manufacturer claims their product is less susceptible to causing allergic reactions compared to non-hypoallergenic products. As nothing can be guaranteed, this is not an exact science. Using a product labeled as hypoallergenic does not mean there are no risks of creating an allergic reaction.

Can I wash my face in the shower?

Yes, but ensure you shower with lukewarm water. Most people shower with hot water, and hot water can dry out the skin while aggravating skin conditions such as acne and rosacea.

What is the best face wash for acne?

There are plenty of good face washes and cleansers that also help to treat acne. From our list, the ZELEN Life Cleanser is an excellent option due to its non-drying and non-comedogenic formula of organic jojoba, aloe vera, and sunflower. These are powerful natural acne fighters.

Conclusion

Have you used any of the products on our list? If so, how do you like them? Is there another wash, cleanser, or scrub that you’d recommend? We’d love to hear from you! As always, we welcome your comments and suggestions and promise to respond ASAP.

Talk to you soon, friends.


You might also like:

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

Best Bar Soaps for Men Your Skin Will Thank You For

Best Body Washes for Men Your Skin Would Adore

Best Skin Care Products for Men: Upgrade Your Daily Routine

Best Eye Creams for Men to Fight Aging & Puffy Eyes

Best Toners For Men Reviewed (All Skin Types)

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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.

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