The 15 Best Bar Soaps for Men of 2023

Our best overall pick is the Native Cucumber and Mint Bar Soap

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Best Bar Soaps for Men

Byrdie / Sabrina Jiang

To understand what makes a bar of soap the best bar of soap (for men, for women, for anyone), you should first know a bit about how soap is made.

"Historically, soap was made with animal fat," says Dr. Yoram Harth, board-certified dermatologist and Medical Director of MDacne. "Today's common soap ingredients are coconut, palm, and olive oil [often] combined with fragrance, colors, essential oils, and herbs." (Though soaps targeting sensitive, dry, or acne-prone skin are often formulated without fragrance and artificial colorings.) 

Byrdie Researched & Approved

Our top overall pick is the Native Cucumber and Mint Bar Soap—it smells fresh and contains plant-based ingredients to cleanse and moisturize the skin. We also love the more affordable Aveeno Moisturizing Bar for Dry Skin, which soothes and conditions with colloidal oatmeal.

That being said, we'd never knock the traditional soapmakers and their methods, either. So we rounded up a list of the best on the market (synthetic or natural). To find the best bar soaps for men, we conducted hours of research—evaluating them on their benefits and active ingredients. After considering dozens of formulas, we landed on these top-rated picks.

Without further ado, here are the best bar soaps for men.

Best Overall

Native Cucumber and Mint Bar Soap

4.7
Native Cucumber and Mint Bar Soap
What We Like
  • Comes in a pack of two

  • Smells good

  • Vegan

What We Don't Like
  • Can be drying

Dr. Harth and I both love Native’s assortment of bar soaps, which has a nourishing base of shea butter, palm oil, and coconut oil. They come in a variety of refreshing scents (as well as an unscented option if you are fragrance averse). I recommend the fresh and re-fresh-ing cucumber and mint combo for its tingling powers and since it turns your shower into a gimlet spring cocktail. Also, Native pledges a clean, residue-free, vegan, and plastic-less product.

Price at time of publish: $6

Active Ingredients: Shea butter | Skin Type: All | Benefits: Softens skin, hydrates, lathers well | Size: 5 oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best Budget

Aveeno Moisturizing Bar for Dry Skin

Aveeno Moisturizing Bar for Dry Skin
What We Like
  • Fragrance- and dye-free

  • Affordable

  • Can be used daily

What We Don't Like
  • Scent may be too overpowering for some

By employing colloidal oatmeal in its soap recipe, Aveeno has engineered an incredibly nourishing, protein- and vitamin-rich bar that calms and cleans dry skin without added agony. Like any good “soap” (as in, it’s a syndet bar) for dry skin, it’s void of any fragrance and dyes.

Price at time of publish: $10

Active Ingredients: Collodial oatmeal | Skin Type: Dry | Benefits: Cleanses, hydrates, nourishes | Size: 3.5 oz. | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Drugstore

Dove Men+Care Extra Fresh Body and Face Bar Soap

Dove Men+Care Extra Fresh Body and Face Bar Soap
What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Multi-purpose product

  • Gentle formula

What We Don't Like
  • Could be more long-lasting

“Most dermatologists recommend Dove products because they were the first syndet bar to be launched,” Dr. Harth says. And he’s not lying about the fact that dermatologists love this bar. So many that I speak with obsess over Dove because of its moisturizing ingredients that compromise 25% of its recipe. On top of being a fan and doc favorite, Dove is one of the least expensive bars on the market, too. And while I’d tell you to use it just on your body, it’s technically engineered to be gentle enough for the face, too.

Price at time of publish: $11

Skin Type: Dry | Benefits: Cleanses, hydrates | Size: 3.75 oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best for Sensitive Skin

Naked Bar Soap Company Oatmeal Honey Bar Soap

Naked Bar Soap Company Oatmeal Honey Bar Soap
What We Like
  • Fragrance-free

  • Can use on face and body

  • Handmade

What We Don't Like
  • No return policy; everything is final sale

This handcrafted soap marries skin-soothing oatmeal and nourishing honey and even carries a light scent of both. It’s got a base of olive oil, palm oil, coconut oil, and castor oil, as well as shea butter, making it one of the most softening, soothing blends you can buy. Plus, it lacks any added fragrance or coloring, making it extremely safe for sensitive skin.

Price at time of publish: $4

Active Ingredients: Olive oil, coconut oil, palm oil, shea butter, castor oil, oatmeal, honey | Skin Type: Sensitive | Benefits: Cleanses, hydrates | Size: 0.5 oz. | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best for Dry Skin

Marius Fabre Savon de Marseille 72% Olive Oil

Marius Fabre Savon de Marseille 72% Olive Oil
What We Like
  • Long-lasting

  • Generous amount

  • Natural formula

What We Don't Like
  • Reviewers note it has a strong smell

No place in the world is more famous for its soap than Marseille. The region’s signature 72%+ olive oil-based bar soaps (with an overall 100% vegetable oil base) are universal cleaners, and they last forever, too. This one from Marius Fabre is a whopping 21.2 oz, meaning you may even have to saw part of it off to not be bathing with soap the size of a small animal. It’s cooked over 10 days inside cauldrons, following the precise standards of Marseille soapmaking. 

Price at time of publish: $12

Active Ingredients: Olive oil | Skin Type: Dry, sensitive | Benefits: Cleanses, hydrates | Size: 21.1 oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best for Dull Skin

Baxter of California Exfoliating Body Bar

baxter exfoliating body bar
What We Like
  • Smells good

  • Can use on face and body

What We Don't Like
  • Can be too harsh for sensitive skin types

While it’s also a frontrunner for best-smelling bar soap, Baxter’s cedarwood, and oakmoss scented soap is filled with pumice, jojoba meal, and olive seeds, giving you a light exfoliation all over the body as you scrub clean. A palm-oil base leaves skin feeling soft and renewed, especially if you follow the wash with a refreshing body lotion.

Price at time of publish: $20

Active Ingredients: Jojoba meal, crushed olive seed | Skin Type: All | Benefits: Cleanses, exfoliates, lathers well | Size: 7 oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best for Itchy Skin + Eczema + Psoriasis

SheaMoisture African Black Soap Eczema & Psoriasis Therapy

SheaMoisture African Black Soap Eczema & Psoriasis Therapy
What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Contains organic ingredients

  • Smells good

What We Don't Like
  • Contains fragrance

Dr. Harth notes the popularity of African Black Soap, particularly in calming and soothing dry, itchy skin, especially conditions like eczema and psoriasis. However, he says to prioritize blends with shea butter as a base. Otherwise, they can be overdrying. Look no further than SheaMoisture for that solution, with a blend that also combines antimicrobial lemon balm and Gotu kola herbs (aka pennywort), as well as soothing aloe and seaweed.

Price at time of publish: $6

Active Ingredients: Shea butter, sunflower seed oil, coconut oil, palm oil, willow bark extracts, oat, tea tree oil | Skin Type: Dry, sensitive | Benefits: Cleanses, hydrates, soothes | Size: 5 oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best for Acne-Prone Skin

111 MedCo 10% Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Bar

111 MedCo 10% Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Bar
What We Like
  • Fragrance-free

  • pH-balanced

  • Non-comedogenic

What We Don't Like
  • Can bleach clothes

If you’re prone to breakouts on your body, then try this powerful bar. It's formulated with benzoyl peroxide and helps to unclog pores from deep within the skin to neutralize and prevent further episodes. It is also formulated without any fragrance or dyes to remain sensitive while maintaining a pH balance of 6-6.5 (which means it won’t dry your skin since this is a generally safe range for cleansing agents). Still, follow the wash with a lightweight, non-comedogenic body lotion, and avoid contact with your face when using this bar. It’s not like it’ll melt your face or anything, but you should instead use a benzoyl peroxide liquid facial cleanser on your mug if that’s what your board-certified dermatologist recommends.

Price at time of publish: $9

Active Ingredients: Benzoyl peroxide | Skin Type: Acne-prone | Benefits: Cleanses, treats acne | Size: 4 oz. | Byrdie Clean: No

Best for Oily Skin

Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Bar

4.3
Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Bar

Walmart

What We Like
  • Dermatologist-tested

  • Gentle formula

  • Affordable

What We Don't Like
  • Scent may be too overpowering for some

"For people with oily skin that want to use body soap bars, I would recommend this Cetaphil bar," says Dr. Harth. "It's a good cleansing body bar that cleans the skin without over irritating. That said, the best method to wash your face when you have acne is with a liquid non-foaming cleanser and not with bar soap." Luckily, Cetaphil has a liquid facial cleanser for precisely that purpose. Like Dove and Aveeno on this list, this Cetaphil bar is a syndet one. Again, that's not a bad thing—it's just an important distinction.

Price at time of publish: $12

Active Ingredients: Vitamin B3 | Skin Type: Balanced, dry, sensitive | Benefits: Cleanses, lathers well, hydrates | Size: 4.5 oz. | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No

Best for Your Face

Herbivore Bamboo Charcoal Detoxifying Soap Bar

Herbivore Bamboo Charcoal Detoxifying Soap Bar
What We Like
  • Can use on face and body

  • Natural formula

  • Vegan

What We Don't Like
  • Pricier than other options

Bar soaps or beauty soaps for the face will usually have milder ingredients than bar soaps intended to be used on the body,” says Dr. Harth. “Body bar soaps are too harsh for the face. Using bar soap on the face is not a good idea for sensitive skin or acne-prone skin.” That being said, some bar soaps are formulated first for the face, making them friendly to the entire body, too. (That rationale doesn’t work in reverse.) 

Herbivore’s bamboo charcoal bar is one example of a terrific face bar (also good for the body). It harnesses the powers of white clay and bamboo charcoal to extract excess grease and grime, tea tree oil to neutralize bacteria and prevent breakouts, and bergamot oil to tone oil production in the skin. It has a clean recipe and a base of coconut, olive, and palm oil.

Price at time of publish: $14

Active Ingredients: Activated bamboo charcoal, tea tree essential oil | Skin Type: Oily, acne-prone, combination | Benefits: Cleanses, treats acne, lathers well | Size: 4 oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best for Your Hands

Claus Porto Voga Bar Soap

Claus Porto Voga Bar Soap
What We Like
  • Smells good

  • Long-lasting

What We Don't Like
  • Contains fragrance

I keep one of these giant bar soaps on my kitchen sink ledge and use it to refresh my mitts after cleaning the house. It smells incredible and has a springy blend of acacia blossoms and sweet tuberose flowers. It lasts forever, too, since it’s triple-milled by the cult-favorite Portuguese soapmakers at Claus Porto; I use it a couple of times daily and have it for upwards of six months. Its skin-nourishing powers come from a vegetable oil base, along with shea oil.

Price at time of publish: $21

Active Ingredients: Shea oil | Benefits: Cleanses, hydrates | Size: 5.3 oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best Scented

Cream Blends Peppermint Soaps

Cream Blends Peppermint Soaps
What We Like
  • Smells good

  • Gentle formula

  • Contains organic ingredients

What We Don't Like
  • Scent may be too overpowering for some

With a base of sunflower, safflower, coconut, and palm oils, Naked Bar Soap’s products are highly nourishing and restorative for the skin. Any fragrance and coloration are natural and derived from essential oils or extracts, as with this refreshing soap formulated with peppermint oil (its buzzy peppermint scent lingers on the skin after use). Not only is it a terrific-smelling soap, but it also washes gently on sensitive skin and even tickles to the touch.

Price at time of publish: $6

Active Ingredients: Pure mint essential oils, organic peppermint lead, menthol | Skin Type: Sensitive | Benefits: Cleanses, lathers well | Size: 4 oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Runner-Up, Best Scented

Harry's Bar Soap (2 Pack)

Harry's Bar Soap

Harry's

What We Like
  • Many fragrance options

  • Affordable

  • Sulfate-free

What We Don't Like
  • Scent isn't long-lasting

Coming in five distinct, earth-inspired scents, this pick is a great choice if the smell of your soap is what's most important to you. Between combinations like japanese yuzu and bergamot or fig and blood orange, you'll definitely have a spa-like experience during your shower. We also love that the formula lathers well without sulfates, so it will leave your skin soft and balanced.

Price at time of publish: $6

Active Ingredients: Shea butter, coconut oil | Skin Type: All | Benefits: Cleanses, softens skin, lathers well | Size: 4 oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best Detoxifying

Erno Laszlo Sea Mud Deep Cleansing Bar

Erno Laszlo Sea Mud Deep Cleansing Bar

Amazon

What We Like
  • Absorbs excess oil

  • Deep cleans

  • Lathers well

What We Don't Like
  • Contains fragrance

If you have oily skin or just feel like your skin needs a serious clean at the end of the day, this purifying soap bar is the perfect choice. Made with dead sea mud, charcoal, and 26 minerals, it's able to detoxify, unclog pores, and gently exfoliate while cleansing. Exfoliating can sometimes mean drying, but this formula also has glycerin to lock in moisture and keep the skin balanced.

Price at time of publish: $44

Active Ingredients: Dead sea mud, charcoal, glycerin | Skin Type: All | Benefits: Cleanses, unclogs pores, lathers well | Size: 3.4 oz. | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Hydrating

Hawthorne Hydrating Bar Soap

Hawthorne Hydrating Bar Soap

Hawthorne

What We Like
  • Clean formula

  • Great fragrance

  • Vegan

What We Don't Like
  • Might irritate acne-prone skin

Consistently dry skin can be a pain, but this bar from Hawthorne will definitely be the end to your winter skin woes. It's nutrient-rich formula contains many hydrating plant oils and butters, including jojoba oil, coconut oil, shea butter and cocoa butter for a moisturized complexion. Many reviewers noted that their skin felt pleasantly soft after using, with some even noting that they didn't feel the need to apply lotion afterwards.

Active Ingredients: Jojoba oil, coconut oil, shea butter, lime peel | Skin Type: Balanced, dry, sensitive | Benefits: Cleanses, hydrates, lathers well | Size: 9 oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Final Verdict

We're giving top honors to the Native Cucumber and Mint Bar Soap as the best bar soap for men. It has a simple formula with nourishing ingredients that'll benefit your skin with long-term use. For an even more budget-friendly pick, we recommend the Aveeno Moisturizing Bar for Dry Skin, which is fragrance- and dye-free, and can soothe the skin while cleansing.

Meet the Expert

Dr. Yoram Harth is a board-certified dermatologist and co-founder of MDacne, an app that creates personalized skin care products based on your skin. He is based in the San Francisco Bay Area.

What To Look For When Buying Bar Soaps

Syndets vs. Your Soaps

According to Dr. Harth, "most bar soaps are not real soaps—they are syndet bars, a hybrid of the words' synthetic' and 'detergent.' Instead of alkali, animal fats, and vegetable oils, syndet bars contain ingredients like sodium coyly isethionate, sulfosuccinates, sulfonates, and betaines. These "soap-free cleansing bars are usually gentler and better than the real soaps." So, while they may masquerade themselves as soaps, they are technically not—but that doesn't mean you should avoid the syndet options. Science can be good, especially when it comes to hygiene.

Good Base

When it comes to the natural (non-syndet) soaps, be informed of the nourishing base of the soap. Typically, glycerin, shea butter, coconut oil, olive oil, and more making for effective, nourishing, and soothing bases. But Dr. Harth warns of anything that he calls 'superfatted': "These bars contain extra oil or glycerin," he says. "They are usually less effective in cleansing the skin and are not recommended for people with acne-prone skin."

Face Friendly Ingredients

Remember, body bars are not intended for use on the face unless noted. Even then, it's worth keeping them separate—and substituting in a liquid cleanser for your face to avoid any risk of sensitive or drying reactions on your mug. The face skin is much more reactive and should only come in contact with gentler recipes. Some bar soaps are formulated as such and can be used on the face if that's the intention. All of that said, it's usually safe to use facial bar soap on the body, just not the other way around.

FAQ
  • What is the best way to store bar soap?

    While studies claim bar soaps cannot transfer to your body from a bar soap, Dr. Harth notes that bacteria can still increase and flourish on the soap itself. "To reduce the amount of those bacteria, rinse off the bar in running water before you use it," he advises. "Always store soap out of water (i.e., not in a wet dish or tub), allowing it to dry between uses. That way, there's no moist environment for germs to flock to in the first place."

  • What is the difference between a syndet and a soap?

    As Dr. Harth outlined, many 'soaps' as advertised are not actually so. They are synthetic detergents and are engineered in a lab to mimic soap's cleansing and nourishing powers—what we know as syndets. This doesn't make them any less than, but it often does make them cost less than, given the mass-production capabilities. Often, as he pointed out, some syndet bars are even more effective at keeping skin clean and moisturized than natural remedies. 

  • Is bar soap better than body wash?

    There's not much of a difference between the two—they both effectively cleanse the skin and can be applied in the same way. Some body washes may have more moisturizing ingredients, but you can find similar components in bar soaps as well.

Why Trust Byrdie

Byrdie contributor Adam Hurly has been covering grooming for nearly 8 years. He began working for Birchbox in 2013, then became a freelance writer/editor in 2016. Since then, he has written for GQ, Men’s Journal, Men’s Health, Esquire, Gear Patrol, Bloomberg, Men’s Fitness, Muscle & Fitness, Forbes...and of course, Byrdie. 

Updated by Shannon Stubbs

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