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Aside from a good moisturizer, face washes are the most important part of your grooming routine. If you’re unhappy with your current face wash (or you’re still using body soap on your face) you’re in luck — there has never been a better time to shop the best men’s face washes than right now.
Between aftershaves, moisturizers, eye creams and beard oils, men now have dozens of grooming products to take or leave depending on their preferences. Face washes are different. Every guy — whether you’re a clean-cut businessman or bearded lumberjack — needs a great face wash. The best men’s face washes will keep away excess oil, dry cracks, age lines and, worst of all, pimples to ensure that your mug looks as good as possible.
What is the Best Face Wash for Men?
The best men’s face washes do three things: clean, nourish and soothe. Throughout the day, our faces are exposed to pore-clogging sweat, dirt, grime and pollutants – even when indoors. Cleaning all this with a face wash is essential for clear, healthy skin. The nourishing aspect of a great face wash will ensure that your skin is properly hydrated throughout the day (I.e. not too oily or too dry) while soothing powers can relax the face and ease stress from shaving.
What to Know Before Buying Face Wash
There are a few factors to consider when looking for the best face wash for you. Here are some things to keep in mind.
Skin Type: The first step in choosing a face wash is understanding your own skin. Your skin type exists somewhere on a spectrum from oily to dry. If your skin doesn’t seem oily or dry – or maybe it’s both at different times – you probably fall in the “normal skin” category. Some face washes are also extra light and soothing for sensitive skin.
Face washes geared toward oily skin will strip that layer of grime while balancing your face’s natural moisture. Face washes designed for dry skin will clean your pores while greatly upping moisture to improve elasticity and prevent cracks or aging creases.
Ingredients: Different brands employ a wide range of ingredients to clean, nourish and soothe skin. For example, some use charcoal to draw out toxins while others use plant extracts. Nourishment and soothing typically come from aloe, jojoba and/or vitamins. Look out for some of these high-quality ingredients while shopping.
Brand: The label on a men’s face wash isn’t just marketing. With the best face washes, that label is a mark of quality. We’ve selected face washes from brands that have established themselves as trustworthy sources for products that many dudes have used and loved.
Scent: Most face washes have a scent, even if they’re labeled as fragrance-free. We believe that the best men’s face washes sport a light, masculine scent to boost confidence and, well, make you smell your best. Be sure to note the scent of a face wash before purchasing.
Now that guys are coming around to the benefits of high-quality grooming, there’s a surplus of great face washes designed for men’s skin. This can make it challenging to separate the best men’s face washes from the good. We’re here to help with our top five face washes for men, as well as some shopping tips.
BEST FOR ALL SKIN TYPES: Brickell Charcoal Face Wash for Men
Since its foundation in 2014, Brickell has quickly become a go-to for quality men’s grooming products. Unlike many skincare brands, Brickell was created exclusively for the unique needs of men’s skin. This purifying face wash is one of Brickell’s best-sellers, delivering serious cleansing powers with natural ingredients and a fresh scent of peppermint, eucalyptus and lemongrass.
The primary ingredient in this face wash is charcoal, which has recently blown up in the skincare world for its cleansing potential. Instead of scrubbing away grime, the charcoal absorbs oil and pore-clogging pollutants for a clear complexion. The face wash also employs a healthy dose of hydrating aloe vera and rejuvenating vitamin E to help fight dryness. This makes it a great choice for all skin types.
BEST FOR OILY SKIN: Jack Black Deep Dive Glycolic Facial Cleanser
Oily skin is uncomfortable and embarrassing. The underlying issue is often a lack of moisture that leads your skin to overcompensate by secreting too much oil. This Deep Dive cleanser and exfoliant from Jack Black does a great job of bringing your skin back to a neutral state of clear and moisturized.
Among the Deep Dive cleanser’s oil-fighting ingredients are kaolin clay and volcanic ash. These ingredients might sound a little out-there, but they’re actually very good at drawing out impurities, absorbing oil and repairing skin that’s been damaged from too much oil. The cleanser also features a handful of other rejuvenating natural ingredients including aloe, vitamin E and soothing willowherb.
We also like this Deep Dive cleanser because it comes from Jack Black, one of the first modern skincare brands created exclusively for men. All their products, including this cleanser, are high-quality and very effective for a wide range of dudes.
BEST FOR DRY SKIN: Lumin Charcoal Cleanser
On the flip-side of oily is dry skin, characterized by cracks, flakes and early age lines. This charcoal cleanser from Lumin should take care of that dryness by gently removing bacteria and build-up that might be drying out your skin.
Lumin’s cleanser uses two key ingredients: charcoal and rosemary leaf extract. The charcoal lifts out dirt, impurities and dead skin while the rosemary soothes and repairs skin that’s been damaged from dryness. The rosemary also lends a very light, natural scent.
We also recommend this cleanser because it’s from Lumin, one of the hottest new brands in men’s skincare. Lumin started just a couple years ago in 2018 with help from experts in Japan and Korea, which is currently the world’s foremost hub of skincare. The result was a minimal, effective line of men’s skincare products – and they’re selling fast.
BEST FOR SENSITIVE SKIN: Clarins Men Active Face Wash
I’ve personally used this Clarins face wash every day for the past four years. Since then I’ve gone from oily and pimply to clear-skinned, and I’m sure that this Clarins played a key role.
The reason I initially picked up Clarins’ face wash was the brand. I was done sampling drug store products and wanted a high-quality face wash from an established name. Naturally, I went French, and I was not disappointed. Unlike the cheap stuff, this Clarins deeply cleanses without disturbing my sensitive skin.
The foaming scrub is super lightweight (but only requires a small amount) with natural plant extracts. The cleanser removes impurities and pore-clogging gunk while maintaining moisture and skin elasticity, making it effective for all skin types and especially easy on sensitive skin.
BEST LUX PICK: Aesop Amazing Face Cleanser
If all else fails when trying to find the best face wash, it never hurts to try the best of the best. This face cleanser from Aesop is our suggestion if you choose to go the luxury route. The established Australian label is famous for its premium unisex products such as this cleanser.
The cleanser, fittingly called Amazing, uses a blend of natural extracts. The leading ingredients are mandarin rind, ylang ylang and lavender oil which cleanse pores, remove grime and rejuvenate without disturbing the skin’s natural state. This gives the Aesop Amazing a uniquely gentle, upscale quality that will keep your skin as healthy as possible. The citruses also yield a very nice scent that smells great on anyone – no matter their gender.