The 21 Best Face Washes and Cleansers for Men to Maintain Healthier Skin

Plus How Often to Wash Your Face, According to Dermatologists

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Oars + Alps, Amazon, Blu Atlas

The path to having healthy smooth skin is a meticulous one, but very much worth it when you start seeing the results you want. Just like with any part of your body inside and out, it takes work to achieve great skin. In addition to your diet and nutrition (which can also have an impact on skin), a proper cleanser and cleansing routine is needed in order to have success. Now skincare isn't a one-size-fits-all process, and it often takes experimentation to find exactly what's right for you. For example, a person that struggles with dry skin needs different products than somebody who deals with the issue of oily skin, and just because a certain product worked for someone else you know (even if they struggle with the same things you do), it doesn't automatically mean that product will be one that for works for you. But regardless of your needs, figuring out the best face wash and best facial cleanser for men to add to your regimen is a must. Additionally, like other parts of your body, your skin can change as you get older, and it can "adapt" to the products you're using to the point where it becomes ineffective—meaning you'll need to switch it up. As such, we've put together a list of the best face washes and best facial cleansers for men to achieve buttery smooth skin.

From Oars + Alps Foaming Face Wash ($20) to Neutrogena Deep Clean Gentle Face Wash ($6.27) these are some of the best available for various different skin types to use.

RELATED: The 15 Best Night Creams of 2023 According to a Dermatologist

The key to a good facial cleanser is one that doesn't strip your natural oils and leave your skin feeling dry. Face washes that contain glycolic acids are good getting rid of dead skin cells. Ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and retinol can also be good for hydrating the skin and keeping it looking nice and fresh. On the flip side, you'll want to avoid face washes that contain fragrances, sulfate, and alcohol.

How We Made Our Selections:

It was important for us to make sure we included a face wash for everyone, so we included cleansers for those with dry skin, sensitive skin, oily skin, and more so that way we could have a decent variety of products to list. We vetted our selections by looking through numerous user reviews, reading up on dermatologist recommendations and the experiences of our editors.

What to look for in the best face washes:

When selecting a face wash, you want to focus on picking something gentle that won't irritate your skin. It will come down to your skin type. Sulfate-free options make the most sense for sensitive skin. Instead opt for something with glycerin or ceramides. Consider salicylic acid if you're looking to combat acne. Vitamins, antioxidants, and aloe vera are all good things to look for in a face wash for maintaining healthy skin. Retinol, a form of Vitamin A, is a great option to help fight acne and reduce the effects of aging.

The Best Face Washes for Men, at a Glance:

1. Oars + Alps

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The Best Facial Cleanser for Men, Period

  • Best For: All skin types
  • Pros: Exfoliates the skin, has prebiotics, is gluten free
  • Cons: May not work for oily skin types

Oars + Alps offers a $20 affordable face wash that is suitable for all skin types, making this a solid choice for a morning cleanser as it isn't too heavy, or an option for those that may not yet know what category their skin type falls into. This face wash has prebiotics that help with balancing your skin PH for a healthy complexion, and aloe to prevent redness and irritation. We'd also say this is a good "transition" cleanser for those in the process of switching face washes that haven't made a decision yet on what they want to be their regular cleanser. You can really get a lot of bang for your buck out of the Gentle Cleanser, which is why we selected it as our best overall.


2. Nivea Deep Cleansing Face Wash

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Best for Dry Skin

  • Best For: Dry skin
  • Pros: Helpful for dry skin, contains Provitamin B5 and Vitamin E, unblocks pores
  • Cons: May not work for your skin type

Spoken from personal experience, dry skin can be a beast to deal with. It takes a combination of skin products (not just cleansers) and a great routine to tackle the problem, but the first start is finding a great cleanser that works for you. Nivea's Deep Cleaning Face Wash is a great cleanser to try out as it deep cleans with Provitamin B5 and Vitamin E (both essential for keeping the skin moisturized), and unblocks your pores. If it works for you then awesome! If not, the cleanser is only $20 so it's not like your out a ton of money.


3. Blu Atlas Volcanic Ash Face Cleanser

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Blu Atlas

Best for Oily Skin

  • Best For: Oily skin
  • Pros: Helps with oily skin, exfoliates as you wash, contains natural ingredients
  • Cons: May not work for all skin types

Oily skin can also be a beast to deal with that requires a full skincare routine to deal with. Once again, the base is your face wash, and Blu Atlas is awesome for exfoliating and removing the gunk from your skin. Most of the ingredients come from natural origins like plants, minerals, and fruits, and the volcanic ash also helps to purify your skin and tighten your pores. It's only $25 as well which is a steal considering the quality.


4. Paula's Choice Extra Strength Kit

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Best for Acne

  • Best For: Oily skin
  • Pros: Good for acne, comes in an entire set, helps prevent future breakouts
  • Cons: May not work for your skin, could cause further breakouts

Paula's Choice has a simple three step process to help you with clearing up and preventing acne outbreaks. You start with Pure Normalizing Cleanser, then you use the Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution which helps to clear stubborn breakouts and unclog pores, and then you finish with the Daily Skin Clearing Treatment, which helps to prevent future breakouts. 1, 2, 3, and voila! You can get the entire package for $75.


5. Neutrogena Deep Clean Gentle Face Wash

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Best Drugstore Face Wash

  • Best For: Exfoliating Skin
  • Pros: Exfoliates skin, affordable, oil-free
  • Cons: Doesn't have a lot of granular material according to some users

Obviously Neutrogena is renowned for being one of the best brands out there when it comes to skincare and skin care products, and they offer a range of different facial washes and cleansers for various different skin types. We selected their $6 Deep Clean and Facial scrub because it's a gentle exfoliator that's great for all skin-types, but you can definitely take a look at their entire selection either online or in-person since most Neutrogena products are at your local drugstores as well.


6. Geologie Sensitive Face Wash

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Best Dermatologist Recommended Face Wash

  • Best For: Sensitive Skin
  • Pros: Removes oil and dirt buildup, helps with skin sensitivity, dermatologist recommended
  • Cons: Leaves skin feeling dry according to some users

Geologie's Sensitive Face Wash helps those with sensitive skin by. stripping away the oil and dirt buildup that accumulates on your skin through the course of the day, which in turn leaves your skin balanced and refreshed. If you struggle with sensitive skin in particular and are looking to test something new, you can grab one, or two, or three for roughly $20.


7. Philosophy One-Step Facial Cleanser

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  • Best For: Sensitive Skin
  • Pros: Is award-winning, gentle to the skin, dermatologist recommended
  • Cons: May not work for your specific skin type

If we had to pick one cleanser that we think would automatically work for everyone regardless of individual skin type, we would bet our money on Philosophy's One-Step Facial Cleanser as it has literally won awards for its formula. In fact, the cleanser is considered to be the number one cleanser in America. The prices range from $14 for their 3 oz bottle, to $70 for 22 oz bottle. We'd venture to say that you can't go wrong with the number one cleanser in the USA.


8. Tatcha Rice Wash Skin-Softening Cleanser

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  • Best For: Dry Skin/Combo
  • Pros: Has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, can work for multiple skin types
  • Cons: On the pricier side

Rice-water sometimes gets overlooked when it comes to cleansers, and it shouldn't be because it has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that are very good for your skin. While this $40 Tatcha Rice Wash Skin-Softening Cleanser can be used for every skin type, it does work especially well for those with dry skin. Something to consider.


9. Klur Gentle Matter Cleanser

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  • Best For: Normal/Sensitive Skin
  • Pros: Has antioxidants and organic botanicals, can last for a long time, good for normal/sensitive skin
  • Cons: On the pricier side

Klur's Gentle Matter cleanser is rightfully hyped as well, and not sure if this is a relevant piece of information, but it smell amazing. The cleanser blends antioxidants and organic botanicals, and you don't have to use a lot of the product to get results, which means while you're spending $40 upfront to purchase, it can easily last you about a year. Did we mention it smells good?


10. Dove Men Care Hydrate + Face Wash

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  • Best For: Dry/Normal Skin
  • Pros: Helps with dry skin, lasts throughout the entire day, comes in a 3-pack
  • Cons: Texture changes over time according to some users

Dove's Men + Care facial wash contains a unique formula that helps to replenish moisture, which it makes it an ideal choice for those that struggle with dry skin. It also provides advanced protection to last you through the entire day which is an added bonus in our book. It's only about $16 for a 3-pack as well! Something to try if searching for a new cleanser.


11. Jack Black Pure Clean Daily Facial Cleanser

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  • Best For: Pre-shaving
  • Pros: Contains sulfate-free surfactants, helps with bumps and irritation
  • Cons: May cause further irritation to some skin types

Jack Black's Pure Cleanser contains sulfate-free surfactants that helps to prep your skin for shaving. Bumps and irritation are no fun to deal with at all, so any little thing you can do to prevent that is a big help to your skin routine. If shaving irritation is a problem that you struggle with, then you should definitely check out Jack Black's $16 cleanser.


12. Kiehl’s Facial Fuel

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  • Best For: All skin types
  • Pros: Paraben and sulfate free, cleanses skin efficiently
  • Cons: On the pricier side

Kiehl's $45 Facial Fuel is exactly that—a facial fuel. The cleanser is an energizing moisturizer treatment that is both paraben and sulfate-free. The reviews say that this cleanser is great, with some going as far as to say they are never going back to the face wash they were using before trying out Kiehl's. That's enough to have us sold on including.


13. L'Oreal Men Expert Face Wash

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  • Best For: Acne and dry skin
  • Pros: Removes skin buildup, helps with oily skin, unclogs pores
  • Cons: Product has too much scent according to some users

L'Oreal's Men Expert Facial cleansers contains charcoal that helps to fight problems caused by skin buildup which include oily skin, shininess, and clogged pores. The cleanser also helps to remove dirt and excess oils from your face, which leaves your skin looking healthy and fresh. You can purchase this special formula for roughly $22 at Amazon.


14. Bulldog Sensitive Face Wash

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  • Best For: Sensitive skin
  • Pros: Good for sensitive skin, unscented, helps with avoiding irritation, has natural ingredients
  • Cons: May not work for all skin types

If sensitive skin is an issue and you've yet to try Bulldog's $7 cleanser, consider this your sign that you should give it a shot. Their Sensitive Face Wash contains the ingredients Baobab, oat oil, and willow herb, which has undergone a specific formula to help you achieve skin that is flawless. Bulldog's products are also fragrance-free, which helps to avoid irritation. The natural ingredients really make this cleanser a winner.


15. La Roche-Posay Facial Wash

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  • Best For: Oily skin
  • Pros: Helps with oily skin, refreshes skin, has a gentle gel cleanser
  • Cons: Could dry out sensitive skin types according to some users

La Roche-Posay Toleriane $20 Purifying Foaming Face Wash transforms a gel texture into a foam that helps to remove dirt, unclog pores, and restore moisture in the face. While the cleanser is especially helpful for oily skin, it can be used for normal and sensitive skin types as well, making it a versatile wash that will have your skin feeling rich.


16. Naturium Niacinamide Cleansing Gelée

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  • Best For: All skin types
  • Pros: Can work for all skin types, has hyaluronic acid and vitamin c
  • Cons: Could irritate skin according to some users

The Naturium Niacinamide Cleansing Gelée has three percent niacinamide that helps to improve your complexion through balancing your natural skin properties. The $18 cleanser contains hyaluronic acid, vitamin c, and other properties that will have your skin thanking you. And then you'll be thanking us for putting you on!


17. Hawthorne Natural Face Cleanser

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  • Best For: All skin types
  • Pros: Calms sensitive skin, has centella asiatica and aloe vera, affordable
  • Cons: May not work for all skin types

Hawthorne's Natural Skin Face Cleanser is an all-natural face wash built to calms sensitive skin with its centella asiatica and aloe vera properties. The aloe vera contains skin-repairing enzymes that repair the skin and calms itchiness, the glycerin helps your skin retain moisture all day, and the centella asiatica soothes irritation. You get all this for the price of $13. Not bad.


18. Drunk Elephant Beste™ No. 9 Jelly Cleanser

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  • Best For: All skin types
  • Pros: Works for all skin types, is a gentle cleanser, fragrance free, cruelty-free, vegan
  • Cons: On the pricier side

If you're into skincare (or know of somebody that is), then you are probably already more than aware of Drunk Elephant's Beste No. 9 $34 skin cleanser, as it's been one of those skincare products that have been heavily hyped (especially on social media). The cleanser is a gentle one in the form of a jelly, and it's also fragrance and cruelty-free and vegan.


19. CeraVe Foaming Cleanser

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  • Best For: Normal to oily skin
  • Pros: Good for normal and oily skin types, has a foaming base, refreshes skin, affordable
  • Cons: Can dry out skin according to some users

Warning: this may not be the best face wash for dry skin as it's listed as best for normal to oily. That said, CeraVe's $15 Foaming Facial wash is another face wash that taken social media by storm due to its affordability and the fact that works very well. Foaming cleansers as a whole makes the skin feel amazing, and this one in particular can be used as either a day or night face wash.


20. Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip Cleanser

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  • Best For: Oily skin
  • Pros: Hydrates and purifies skin, is plant-based, makes skin smooth
  • Cons: On the pricier side

Sunday Riley's $35 Ceramic Slip French Gray Cleanser might seem a little pricey compared to some of the others we've listed, but it's well worth the splurge as it is a gentle plant-based cleaner that purifies and hydrates the skin at the same time giving you a perfect smooth shine to your face.


21. The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser

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  • Best For: All skin types
  • Pros: Works for all skin types, keeps skin healthy, gluten-free, sulfate-free, vegan
  • Cons: May not work for sensitive skin according to some users

For a $19 smooth rich cleanser that leaves your skin moisturized to the fullest, check out the Squalane Cleanser by The Original. The brand is a sustainable one, and keeps the skin healthy by not removing the barrier. The formula is also vegan (bonus), sulfate, and gluten-free (another bonus). Its gentleness allows you to use on all skin types, and as we just mentioned, it's well worth the $19 price tag you'll be spending.


How Often Should You Wash Your Face?

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According to dermatologists, it's recommended that you wash your face twice a day—once in the morning and once in the evening as your skin builds up with oil and sebum through the course of the day. Now as we just mentioned, you might have to experiment a bit to see what works for you. This might mean using a gentle morning cleanser in the A.M., and a completely different face wash in the evening. If, however you decide two times a day is too much (or you choose to go a different route in the morning such as a hydrating facial spray), then at minimum you should wash your face with a cleanser every night to ensure you're removing any build-up from the day.

What Sets Men's Face Wash Apart From Others?

Seeing as though men in general have thicker skin and larger pores than women, face washes that are meant for men are typically heavier/thicker themselves to make sure that the skin gets properly cleansed. Since men's pores are larger as a whole, most men's face washes are specifically targeted towards cleaning and removing buildup in the pore area, while also making sure to contain ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and salicylic acid to promote skin hydration, exfoliation, and skin calming.

How Can Men Add Face Wash to Their Skincare Routine?

If they haven't already, men can start by searching for a face wash meant specifically for their skin type. Once they have found a match, they can begin to incorporate the face wash by applying in the morning, and then applying again in the evening to remove any buildup accumulated in the skin during the day. If possible, you should also plan on exfoliating twice a week for ultimate skin health.

RELATED: The 25 Best Shampoos for Men: An Option for Every Hair Type

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