This article was produced in partnership with Blu Atlas
Cleansing your face is the first, most essential part of any skincare routine. The act washes away dirt, oil, and grime; helps prevent clogged pores; and prepares the skin for the rest of your skincare routine. So while we all know that cleansing your face is a skincare must, it can be confusing and overwhelming when shopping for one to use. Let’s be honest, the market is flooded with face washes, some of which are good and some . . . not-so-good.
To help you weed out the not-so-good face washes from the bunch and choose the one that’s best for your skin needs, we’ve gathered our list of the 20 best face washes for men. From low-budget buys to face washes for every skin type, our list has it all. Ready to find out what they are? Let’s get to it.
Best of the Best Face Wash: Blu Atlas Volcanic Ash Face Cleanser
This all-natural, daily-use cleanser relies on volcanic ash to purify your skin by absorbing impurities and eradicating dirt and excess oil. It’s hands down the best face wash for men in 2022.
Best Face Wash for Dry Skin: Origins A Perfect World Antioxidant Cleanser with White Tea
Like a refreshing glass of iced tea for the skin, this antioxidant-rich face wash is incredibly hydrating and softening with ingredients like white tea, coconut, oat amino acid, magnolia flower extract, and aloe vera.
Best Face Wash for Normal Skin: La Roche-Posay Toleriane Purifying Foaming Facial Wash
This is a must-try skincare product for those with normal, balanced skin who just want a simple cleanser. This face wash balances the skin’s pH, protects the skin barrier, and removes dirt, oil, and pollutants—which is all you can really ask for.
Best Face Wash for Oily Skin: Disco Charcoal Face Cleanser Stick
This innovative cleansing stick uses activated charcoal to purify the skin from dirt, oil, and bacteria. Other ingredients like coconut oil hydrate and phytic acid gently exfoliate for fresh, new skin.
Best Face Wash for Combination Skin: Biossance Squalane + Amino Acid Gentle Cleanser
This face wash has a foaming gel consistency that deep cleans without over-stripping the skin. It is packed with skin-nourishing ingredients like aloe vera, squalane, and moringa that balance areas on the skin with excess oil and moisturize dry spots.
Best Face Wash for Sensitive Skin: Bulldog Sensitive Face Wash
This gentle, soothing face wash is formulated with ingredients like baobab oil, oat oil, and willow herb that calm irritation, boost moisture, and leave the skin feeling clean and refreshed.
Best Foaming Cleanser: Formulyst Clarifying AHA Cleanser
This foaming cleanser uses glycolic acid to smooth skin and dissolve dead skin cells. At the same time, its blend of citrus and botanical extracts supplies the skin with vitamins, antioxidants, and loads of other skin benefits.
Best Exfoliating Cleanser: Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser
This cleanser uses AHA and BHA chemical exfoliants salicylic, lactic, and glycolic acids plus physical exfoliants from biodegradable jojoba beads to exfoliate your skin in a convenient face wash.
Best Drugstore Cleanser: CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser
This best-selling face wash is loved by dermatologists and customers alike. Its simple, gentle formula utilizes nourishing ingredients like ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and glycerin that cleanse the skin while keeping it moisturized. You can find this face wash at most large retailers in the U.S. like Target or Walmart, but if you’re like us and would just rather order it on Amazon, you can do that too.
Best Budget-Friendly Cleanser: Simple Kind to Skin Moisturizing Facial Wash
At less than $5, this moisturizing face wash will cleanse and hydrate the skin with nourishing ingredients like pro-vitamin B5, vitamin E, and bisabolol. Plus, it’s hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic, and safe for sensitive skin.
1. Blu Atlas Volcanic Ash Face Cleanser
If you’re looking for a daily use face cleanser, ditch the sulfates and parabens and go all-natural with this Volcanic Ash Face Cleanser by Blu Atlas. Volcanic ash is packed with minerals and is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent that’ll deliver massive results for oily or acne-prone skin. This product also contains Lactobacillus Ferment Filtrate, a probiotic with soothing and anti-aging effects to keep you fresh-faced and radiant. This product is backed by Blu Atlas’ customer satisfaction guarantee, so you have absolutely nothing to lose by trying it.
2. Youth to the People Superfood Cleanser
This multi-award-winning face wash is the perfect daily cleanser for men who want a gentle, effective cleanse morning and night. Packed with skin-saving superfoods like anti-inflammatory green tea, moisturizing spinach, and vitamin-rich kale, Youth to the People’s coveted cleanser is the green juice of face washes. Its vegan formula has a gentle, gel-like consistency and a clean, fresh scent that makes it an absolute joy for all skin types to use.
3. Dermalogica Precleanse
For the guys who want to take their cleansing game to the next level, meet Dermalogica’s Precleanse. This deep-cleansing oil melts away sunscreen, layers of grime from the day, excess oil, and environmental pollutants for a truly good cleanse. In addition to cleaning the skin, this precleanse also conditions the skin with nourishing fatty acids for a boost of moisture.
You’ll massage this oil cleanser onto dry skin to break down dirt and oil, then wet your hands and continue massaging as the cleanser creates a milky emulsion. Rinse with warm water and follow with your favorite face wash.
If you have oily skin, the idea of a precleansing oil might sound scary. But don’t worry, an oil-based cleanser can actually help balance oil production and cleanse away excess sebum (remember, like attracts like).
4. Biossance Squalane + Amino Acid Gentle Cleanser
Biossance’s Squalane + Amino Acid face wash gives you that deep clean feeling without over-stripping the skin thanks to gentle, nourishing formula. Its superstar ingredients include amino acids that help break down dirt, aloe vera that calms and soothes redness and inflammation, moringa extract that breaks down environmental pollutants, and squalane that effortlessly moisturizes. This face wash is awesome for men of all skin types—normal, combination, oily, dry, mature, or sensitive.
5. Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Pore Perfecting Cleansing Gel
This gel to foam face wash uses gentle cleansing agents to create a rich lather, removing all the dirt, oil, and grime from your day. To refine pores and balance your complexion, the formula leans on ingredients such as willow bark and farnesol to unclog pores and inhibit the growth of acne-causing bacteria.
At the same time, alpha-hydroxy and beta-hydroxy acids exfoliate away dead skin cells to reveal smoother, brighter skin. This face wash works for all skin types but is especially great for those guys who want to control their oil production, unclog pores, and even out their skin tone.
6. Bulldog Sensitive Face Wash
For those men with sensitive skin, it can be hard to find a face wash that is calming and non-irritating. That’s why Bulldog Skincare created this Sensitive Face Wash perfectly suited for men with skin that’s prone to dryness, redness, and irritation.
The fragrance-free formula lathers into a luxuriously creamy foam to cleanse the skin while calming ingredients like baobab oil, oat oil, and willow herb reduce sensitivity, boost moisture content, and even skin tone. Did we also mention that this soothing face wash is only $6.99? Talk about a good deal.
7. Origins A Perfect World Antioxidant Cleanser with White Tea
Antioxidants are one category of skincare ingredients that anyone can benefit from. Just like antioxidants are a vital part of a healthy diet, these potent molecules work topically to protect the skin from damaging free radicals, environmental pollutants, and UV rays. In this foaming face wash by Origins, your skin will get a hydrating drink of antioxidant-rich white tea, along with other skin-benefiting ingredients such as coconut, oat amino acid, magnolia flower extract, and aloe vera.
Because it’s so hydrating, the brand recommends this face wash is best for those with dry or combination skin types, but it’d also work wonderfully for those men with mature skin.
8. La Roche-Posay Toleriane Purifying Foaming Facial Wash
Best for normal, oily, and sensitive skin types, this Purifying Foaming Facial Wash by La Roche-Posay is formulated with the brand’s signature prebiotic thermal spring water. You’ll also find niacinamide and ceramides in this formula that’s optimized pH level will cleanse the skin while keeping the skin’s natural moisture barrier intact.
This dermatologist-tested face wash is ideal for men who want a fuss-free foaming wash that won’t irritate or dry out their skin.
9. CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser
CeraVe is one of the most popular, widely-used skincare brands trusted by customers and dermatologists alike. So if you’re in the market for a new face wash and don’t know where to start, you can pretty much never go wrong with a CeraVe product.
Their Hydrating Facial Cleanser is great for normal to dry skin types who want a gentle face wash that will cleanse and moisturize the skin with ingredients like ceramides and hyaluronic acid. Your skin will feel fresh and clean after using this face wash, not tight and dry, thanks to its skin barrier protecting ingredients.
10. Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser
Exfoliation is an essential step you need in your skincare routine if you want to slough away dullness and reveal brighter, smoother skin. Murad’s Exfoliating Cleanser uses popular AHA and BHA chemical exfoliants salicylic, lactic, and glycolic acids plus physical exfoliants from biodegradable jojoba beads to give you the benefits of exfoliation in a convenient face wash.
The formula is also filled with hydrating ingredients like sodium PCA, a humectant that draws water into the skin. Because of its exfoliation powers, this face wash is best used in place of your everyday cleanser two to three times a week.
11. Naturium Niacinamide Cleansing Gelée 3%
Niacinamide (also known as vitamin B3) is the star of the show in this face wash by Naturium. As a skincare ingredient, niacinamide visibly improves skin tone and texture, balances oil production, and strengthens the skin barrier.
Alongside ingredients like glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin C, this gel cleanser will cleanse away dirt, oil, and other impurities while leaving skin feeling and looking smoother and more balanced. This face wash can also be used as a face mask; just leave it on the skin for five minutes before rinsing.
12. Maapilim Face Cleanser
Maapilim is a brand whose products are crafted with the ingredients and vibe of the Mediterranean. They want you to slow down, be in the present moment, and enjoy every part of your skincare routine (it is a self-care ritual, after all).
In their face wash, you’ll find ingredients like aloe vera, which moisturizes and prevents transepidermal water loss, and witch hazel, which reduces inflammation and excess oil. Though this face wash is fantastic for all skin types, if you’re sensitive to fragrance or essential oils, keep in mind that this cleanser is naturally scented with bergamot, jasmine, and cedarwood.
13. Brickell Men’s Purifying Charcoal Face Wash
Brickell Men’s signature face wash is formulated with purifying activated charcoal that cleanses the skin and removes impurities. It also contains moisturizing plant extracts and vitamin-rich oils to ensure the skin gets nice and clean, minus getting tight and dry.
The plant-based oils in this purifying face wash (such as olive and jojoba oil) help cleanse the skin from dirt and oil while also rebuilding the skin’s moisture barrier. Other ingredients like aloe vera moisturize and soothe, making it a great face wash for men with sensitive or dry skin.
14. Paula’s Choice Hydrating Gel-to-Cream Cleanser
This hydrating face wash by Paula’s Choice transforms from a smooth gel to a skin-softening cream as it mixes with water to clean skin without over-drying. Its unique formula cuts through oil, dirt, debris, and sunscreen and rinses away without any greasy residue left on your skin.
The face wash also contains superfoods and antioxidants like aloe vera leaf juice, lactic acid, camellia leaf extract, and licorice root to hydrate, protect, and soothe—cleansing away any environmental pollutants and defending the skin against signs of aging.
15. Disco Charcoal Face Cleanser Stick
This face wash by Disco is vegan, non-toxic, dermatologist approved, and formulated into a unique cleansing stick that’s perfect for travel, throwing in your gym bag, or keeping your bathroom counter mess-free. In its plant-based formula, you’ll find coconut oil which hydrates the skin and breaks down dirt and oil, phytic acid that gently exfoliates and encourages skin cell turnover, and purifying charcoal that removes even the smallest impurities from the skin (including chemicals and bacteria).
You’ll apply this face wash morning and night onto dry skin in circular motions and then apply warm water with your hands, continuing to rub in circular motions for 30 to 60 seconds. Because of its charcoal-based formula, this face wash is best for those with acne-prone, oily skin.
16. Hawthorne Natural Face Cleanser
Hawthorne created this natural face wash to help clean and soothe compromised skin. Its key ingredients include calendula, whose antibacterial and calming properties soothe and heal skin; aloe vera, which hydrates and soothes itchiness; and antioxidant-rich Centella asiatica, which treats irritation, redness, and a compromised skin barrier.
This face wash for men is ideal for those with dry, sensitive skin or compromised skin that is tight, flaky, and itchy. It can also be a great wash to switch to during the winter when the weather changes and your skin becomes more prone to dryness and irritation.
17. Formulyst Clarifying AHA Cleanser
This clarifying, foaming cleanser by Formulyst utilizes chemical exfoliant glycolic acid along with a blend of citrus and botanical extracts to clean the skin, remove excess oil, gently exfoliate dead skin cells, and unclog pores.
Some botanicals include rosehip seed oil which moisturizes with skin-friendly fatty acids, chamomile flower oil which is anti-inflammatory, and algae extract to defend against environmental stressors. And, thanks to its exfoliating acid and citrus extracts, this face wash can help even and smooth skin texture over time.
18. Selfless by Hyram Centella & Green Tea Hydrating Gel Cleanser
Co-founded by skincare expert and YouTuber Hyram (alongside other cosmetic chemists and field experts), Selfless by Hyram is a skincare brand that cares deeply about skin health and longevity, as well as other social and environmental issues such as climate change and the global water crisis. The brand’s Centella & Green Tea Hydrating Gel Cleanser highlights calming, antioxidant-rich ingredients Centella and green tea to give skin a clean, refreshed feel morning and night. It’s great for all skin types and can really help those who struggle with redness.
Each purchase of a Selfless product helps provide clean drinking water or protect tropical forests from deforestation, so you’re not just buying for yourself—it goes to help the world too. And that’s something worth spending money on.
19. Jack Black Pure Clean Daily Facial Cleanser
This innovative 2-in-1 daily face wash by Jack Black combines the skincare steps of cleansing and toning to remove deep-down dirt and oil and get your skin ready for wherever your day takes you. This face wash for men uses natural oat and coconut surfactants to remove dirt, oil, and other residues.
While nourishing plant extracts like organic sage leaf (to cleanse and soothe), chamomile (to calm and reduce redness), rosemary (to control oil and fight bacteria), and aloe leaf (to soften and soothe) work synergistically to help balance and protect the skin. This face wash gets a lot of its skin-toning abilities from natural astringent and antioxidant witch hazel, which acts as a toner in this solution to soothe skin and balance oil production.
20. Simple Kind to Skin Moisturizing Facial Wash
For a simple, straightforward face wash, look no further. This moisturizing cleanser by Simple Skincare uses skin balancing ingredients like pro-vitamin B5, vitamin E, and bisabolol to nourish the skin while providing a deep clean.
It also avoids any artificial fragrances, colors, and harsh chemicals that can wreak havoc on the skin. Thanks to its skin-loving ingredients (and absence of irritating ones), this face wash can be used on all skin types, even sensitive skin. Plus, you can pick it up at Target for less than $5.
What to Look for in a Men’s Face Wash
Ensure that you pick a good one.
A face wash can be fantastic, but if it doesn’t work with your specific skin type, then you might not see the results you’re looking for. If you have dry skin, you’re going to want a face wash that focuses less on tackling excess oil and more on utilizing hydrating, moisturizing ingredients to nourish dryness. On the flip side, men with oily skin should look for a cleanser to help balance oil production and treat breakouts without stripping the skin of its essential oils and moisturizing factors.
Those with sensitive skin should opt for a face wash that is labeled suitable for sensitive skin. Sensitive skin safe cleansers will often be fragrance-free and contain gentle, soothing plant extracts and oils. If you have specific skin concerns such as texture or anti-aging, go for a face wash that is known to target those concerns, perhaps with ingredients like chemical exfoliants and antioxidants.
Because you use face wash morning and night, it’s essential that you’re getting the most bang out of your buck. You want to choose a face wash that utilizes skin-benefiting ingredients that target your skin concerns. For example, if you have dry skin, reach for a creamier, more hydrating face wash with ingredients like aloe vera and ceramides to replenish dull, dry skin.
If you want to treat acne, choose a face wash with acne-fighting ingredients like AHAs and BHAs, willow bark extract, and activated charcoal. If you want a brighter, more even skin tone, go for cleansers with ingredients like AHAs, licorice root, and niacinamide. Hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid and antioxidants are amazing ingredients that anyone can use and enjoy in a face wash.
Avoid Irritating Ingredients
The overall goal with choosing a face wash is to go for one that has a lot of great ingredients that you like and none that will irritate your skin. While not all chemicals and alcohols are harmful (some help to stabilize the skincare formula), in general, it’s best to avoid harsh chemicals, sulfates, and alcohols that can be overly drying on the skin. Choose a face wash formula that contains more skin-benefiting ingredients than filler ingredients.
When in Doubt, Go for Hydration
By nature, face washes can remove some of our skin’s natural oils and moisturizing factors. Cleansers that use harsh surfactants to cleanse the skin will unnecessarily strip it and throw it off of balance, leading to dryness and a damaged skin barrier. That’s why it’s best to opt for those face washes that use gentle cleansing agents and hydrating ingredients such as glycerin and hyaluronic acid to put some of that lost moisture and hydration back into the skin.
Face Wash for Men FAQ:
Should men clean their skin?
Yes! The first step to any skincare routine is washing or cleansing your face once to twice a day (once in the morning and once at night) with a facial cleanser that works for your skin type and concerns. Washing your face for 30 to 60 seconds will cleanse away any dirt, oil, and grime that’s accumulated throughout your day.
This is a crucial step in your skincare routine if your skin is oily, prone to getting dirty from your job, or gets sweaty from a workout and will reduce your risk for breakouts and clogged pores. However, washing with too harsh of a cleanser or washing your face too often can result in dry, damaged skin.
Can we use face wash daily?
Absolutely. Men can (and should) use face wash morning and night to cleanse the skin. However, try not to wash your face more than twice a day, as this can lead to unnecessary dryness and irritation by stripping your skin of its essential moisture barrier.
Does face wash damage skin?
In general, no. If you are using one of the best face washes that work well with your skin and you’re using it correctly, you shouldn’t experience any skin damage. Really, you should only see benefits! However, over-washing and scrubbing your skin abrasively can damage your skin and disrupt its protective moisture barrier.
A face wash isn’t supposed to give you that “squeaky clean” feeling (that’s a myth!). Your skin should feel normal after washing and following with a moisturizer. If it’s feeling squeaky clean and tight, you may be using the wrong cleanser for your skin or cleansing too frequently.
Can I wash my face with just water?
Yes (sort of). If you wake up in the morning and your skin isn’t feeling too dirty or oily, then it’s okay to just wash your face with water for your morning skincare routine. However, you really should use a face wash in the evenings, primarily to ensure you’re correctly cleansing away dirt, oil, and pollutants that have accumulated on your skin throughout the day.