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Cleansing is the first and arguably most important step in the skincare process. It prepares your skin to take on active ingredients contained in the rest of your routine. In today's market, there's an abundance of face washes to choose from. Understandably, guys can get overwhelmed. Skincare is still a new concept for many, but that doesn't mean it has to be complicated.
The key to choosing the right face wash for men lies in understanding what your skin needs. Perhaps you're looking for hydration, or you might be in need of balance. There are formulas for every skin type that address particular concerns. No matter what your budget is, there are options for you.
To that end, here are the best face washes for men.
Best Overall: Evolve Organic Beauty Daily Detox Facial Wash
If you’re looking for an affordable grown-up face wash with natural ingredients, you’ll find that and more in this green beauty favorite. This face wash keeps the skin balanced, while gently exfoliating using papaya enzymes. The formula is lightly foaming but doesn't dry out the skin. This cleanser works for all skin types but can be beneficial for combination skin.
Best for All Skin Types: Paula's Choice Skincare Defense Hydrating Gel-to-Cream Cleanser
Part of the brand’s Defense line, this cleanser doubles as anti-pollution skincare. It addresses blue light damage, caused by daily exposure to phone and computer screens. It comes in a mild formula that breaks down surface oils and impurities.
Best for Oily Skin: (MALIN+GOETZ) Grapefruit Face Cleanser
While it’s suitable for all skin types, it'll work especially well for oily skin. You’ll get a deep cleanse that won’t leave you feeling dry. This is a foaming cleanser without harsh ingredients. Grapefruit extract and amino acids help to keep skin balanced. This can be used as part of your day or nighttime regimes.
Best for Dry Skin: Aesop Purifying Facial Cream Cleanser
Aesop’s light and aromatic cleanser is ideal for those in need of hydration. This foam-free formula leaves the skin looking and feeling more supple and smooth. The cream also works to remove makeup and product buildup. It doubles as a purifying and hydrating mask if you leave it on for 10 minutes.
Best for Combination Skin: Susanne Kauffman Cleansing Gel
This is a good option for all skin types but works well with combination to oily skin. It's popular among celebrities but offers more than just hype. It uses alpine herbs and biodegradable ingredients to provide a soothing mild cleanse. This is a great cleanser for treating occasional breakouts and inflammation.
Best Anti-Aging: Grown Alchemist Hydra+ Oil-Gel Facial Cleanser
It’s never too early to defend your skin against the signs of aging. This gel to milky cleanser gently washes away surface impurities. It has an impressive list of ingredients like squalane and a host of antioxidants and fatty acids, all working to address the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It's also hydrating, which supports healthy, glowing skin.
Best for Dark Skin: Urban Skin Rx Clear Skin Cleansing Bar
Formulated to address common issues such as oily skin and uneven tone, this treatment cleanser is a favorite for darker skin tones. It also exfoliates and can be worn as a five-minute mask. Actives like niacinamide and salicylic acid help to improve the appearance of the skin over time. The bar comes enclosed in a jar for convenient application and storage.
Best Cleansing Oil: African Botanics Pure Marula Cleansing Oil
This rich cleanser created by the South African cult brand offers antioxidants and AHA acids. It's gentle enough for daily removal of SPF, dirt, and grime. The marula cleansing oil also provides gentle exfoliation. This is suitable for all skin types.
Best With Charcoal: Boscia Detoxifying Black Charcoal Cleanser
Another great pick for men who are more on the oily side is this warming gel cleanser. It uses charcoal to deep clean, gives balance, and reduces the appearance of pores. It can also be used as part of a double cleanse routine. Like all Boscia products, this is vegan and free of any artificial fragrances.
Best Micellar Water: Caudalie Micellar Cleansing Water
If you’re already double cleansing then you might be familiar with micellar water. It’s a staple of the multi-step skincare process. This no-rinse cleanser can be used to remove product residue, dirt, and oil. Caudalie's grape water, chamomile, and glycerin formula help to draw moisture back into the skin. This makes this micellar water a go-to for beauty and skincare enthusiasts.
Best Cleansing Balm: La Bella Figura The Clean Slate Rinsable Cleansing Concentrate
This buttery balm provides a deep cleanse without stripping the skin. Created by a brand dedicated to green skincare and beauty, it contains mostly organic ingredients. This balm offers a proper cleanse while providing a healthy and hydrated glow. It makes a great clarifying pre-shower stream mask.
Best No Frills: Homme Face Daily Face Wash
As the name might suggest, this brand was created with men’s skin in mind. This refreshing cleanser is soothing, making it a great option for frequent shavers. Tea tree and lavender add to its skin calming effect. This is an ideal cleanser for anyone looking for a more neutral daily wash, all for a price that won’t break the bank.
Best Investment: Dr. Barbara Sturm Enzyme Cleanser
In this formula, ascorbic acid and enzymes resurface and hydrate. It comes in a powder form that’s activated by water. This helps to prepare the skin for other products and treatments. It offers a deep cleanse that removes dead skin. This means it can be used as a mild weekly exfoliant. It also comes in a formula specifically for darker skin tones.
Best Budget: COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser
COSRX is an affordable Korean beauty brand that is leading the pack. This soothing cleanser is ideal for overactive skin. It contains tea tree and BHAs that help to clarify and improve the appearance of the skin. This is a great cleanser for anyone looking for a simple yet effective daily face wash.
Best Gentle: Arcadian Banana Face Wash
You might prefer an uncomplicated cleanser that doesn't sacrifice quality—if so, this one is for you. The formula is fragrance-free and good for sensitive skin. It’s also vegan and cruelty-free. It’s gentle enough for daily use and keeps the skin hydrated. Ingredients like organic aloe leaf juice and witch hazel help to soothe the skin.