A face wash specifically designed for men can help bring your skincare game up to par.

A quality face wash can rid your skin of any oil buildup, dead skin cells, general dirt, and grime, all while still being gentle on your skin – such as the Brickell Men’s Purifying Charcoal Face Wash.

Not only will we review some of the most popular and highly rated face wash brands currently on the market, but we will also go over a few key considerations that you should think about when making a purchase.

4 Tips for Buying a Face Wash

When buying a face wash, here are a few considerations you should think about:

1. Skin Type

When buying any skincare product intended for your face, you must consider your skin type. 

For example, for oily skin, get a face wash that is non-comedogenic.  For dry skin, go with a face wash that is packed with moisturizers.  For combination skin, then any non-specific face wash can work.  Lastly, if you have sensitive skin, then a gentle face wash that is fragrant-free will likely perform best.

2. Ingredients

When looking at any face wash ingredient list, there will nearly always be some artificial ingredients within the bottle. However, it’s essential to understand that some chemicals are needed for removing oil or dirt build-up. 

Additionally, natural ingredients may cause allergic reactions for men with sensitive skin.  As recently stated by the FDA, ingredients such as essential oils may “contain materials that are toxic, irritating, or likely to cause allergic reactions when applied to the skin.” 

The takeaway: Don’t dismiss products simply because they have some unfamiliar ingredients.  If you want to know the safety of a particular ingredient, we recommend searching the Environmental Working Group Skin Deep database for more information. 

3. Size

Some men like to use one face wash for home and another for the gym or business travel.  If this is your case, be sure the bottle size is TSA-friendly (3.4oz or less) if you plan on tucking the face wash away in your toiletry bag.  

4. Brand

Online marketplaces allow anyone to quickly list products and make them available to millions of men.  With such a loose vetting process, plenty of unknown brands try to make a quick profit.  Our recommendation when buying a face wash is to go with a trusted brand.  Ideally, you will want to buy from a company with a proven track record, customer support and have been in business for at least a few years.  

10 Best Face Washes & Cleansers for Men

1. All-Natural: Brickell Men’s Purifying Charcoal Face Wash for Men

Beloved by men who prefer a product that isn’t nearly as reliant on synthetic ingredients, Brickell offers a terrific daily use face wash.

Their exfoliator that we recently reviewed received top honors for delivering superior performance.

This face wash is a great complementary product that is perfect for daily use.  Containing 99% natural ingredients and 60% organic, you won’t have to worry about the long-term damage that may be happening on the surface of your skin with other cheap washes.

With ingredients like green tea extract that are natural antioxidants, this face wash will be incredibly effective at protecting your skin from free radicals.

The charcoal in this product won’t be nearly as abrasive as pumice which is found in exfoliators, and therefore, should help to release dead skin cells from your pores with regular use.

Other men have been happy with the performance of this product as well, exclaiming that it effectively deep cleans the skin without overly drying it out.

Pros

  • Effective at washing your face naturally
  • Charcoal helps to release dead skin cells
  • One of the most loved by men everywhere

Cons

  • It’s expensive (but worth it)

What You Need To Know

Brickell has made quite a name for itself over the past few years in the men’s grooming world.  Delivering excellent results through mostly all-natural products, it gets our pick as one of the best face washes available.

2. Oars + Alps Solid Face Wash

When it comes to quality grooming products, at the top of the list will be Oars + Alps.  Known for delivering stellar results through natural ingredients, it’s no wonder that they are quickly making a splash in the men’s grooming market.  Here are a few noteworthy features that we think you will love about their face wash:

  • Solid stick design is travel friendly making it a versatile face wash

Unlike so many other face washes we reviewed that come in liquid form, the Oars + Alps face wash is the first that delivers an effective product in a solid stick form.  Adhering to the strict TSA travel requirements, this stout 1.4oz stick can be stowed away in your favorite carry-on luggage and won’t cause any issues when going through security.  

This small and convenient design also makes it a terrific companion to the gym as well.

Of course, given that it’s in a solid form rather than liquid, you never have to worry about it spilling and ruining your Dopp kit or other grooming products.

  • Easier and cleaner application method

It’s important to note that traveling isn’t a requirement when it comes to considering this face wash.  The stick design allows for a much easier (and cleaner) application of the product on your face in the morning and evening.  With activated charcoal included within the product (more on this in a minute), you can see the application of the product in the mirror to make sure that you get all areas of your face.

  • Made with natural ingredients that deliver clean and clear results

One of the biggest problems when it comes to men’s face wash products is that many companies try to cut corners and use filler ingredients that deliver less than optimal results.  However, Oars + Alps pushes back on the trend and offers a face was that is largely all-natural.  Including standout ingredients like Alpine Caribou Moss (their secret sauce), activated charcoal powder, palm oil, and more.  If you want to learn more, Oars + Alps provides a great breakdown of each ingredient and what it does for the product on their site.

Pros

  • Versatile design great for gym and travel
  • Natural ingredients work with most skin types
  • Easy application method

Cons

  • A bit pricey

What You Need To Know

There is no better option out there than this solid stick from Oars + Alps when it comes to men’s face wash.  The travel-friendly design coupled with a list of quality ingredients makes it a winner.

3. For Oily Skin: Ursa Major Face Wash

Have naturally oily skin? Then you should move the Ursa Major Face Wash to the top of your consideration list.

Containing a mixture of natural ingredients along with AHA for gentle chemical-based exfoliation, this face wash will gently remove surface oils, unclog pores, while not over-drying your skin or throwing off the pH balance.

Men who used this face wash daily found that it began to both brighten and tone their skin – giving them a much more healthier and vibrant appearance.

For the eco-conscious men out there that are wary of suspect ingredients, you will be happy to learn that Ursa Major is sulfate-free and paraben-free.

Evoking a slightly woodsy aroma mixed with peppermint, it’s an invigorating face wash that will wake you up in the morning without smelling overly pungent.

While this face wash is priced fairly high (nearly $30 for a single bottle), it was formulated in a cruelty-free manner along with being made in the USA.

Pros

  • Great for oily or acne-prone skin
  • 36 natural ingredients will make your skin look and feel better
  • Hydration properties will reduce fine lines
  • Made in the USA

Cons

  • It’s expensive – but gets the job done
  • Scent is subjective (some men loved it, other’s not so much)

What You Need To Know

Designed for men with oily and acne-prone skin (although it’s completely fine to use on normal skin as well), it will gently wash your skin and unclog pores.

4. Scotch Porter Face Wash

This low-foaming face wash by Scotch Porter is a vegan face wash that primarily relies on a unique mixture of both charcoal and licorice along with their own proprietary ‘Skin Renewal Complex’ making it one of the most distinct face washes to make our list.

Of all the face washes on the market, this Scotch Porter face wash is a personal favorite of men everywhere.  With over 100 reviews on the Scotch Porter website alone, you will find men making claims that this was the ‘best face wash I’ve ever used‘ to simply ‘better than expected‘.

What many men loved about this face wash compared to so many other mass-produced brands on the market, is that it not only kept the pH balance natural to your own skin but also easily controlled shine and oil – drastically reducing any occurrence of pimples or mild breakouts on your face.

Pros

  • Won rave reviews with an average rating of 4.8 out of 5.0
  • Unique formula controls both oil and shine
  • Proprietary formula for a natural pH balance

Cons

  • Men with dry skin may want to look elsewhere

What You Need To Know

Expect to get smooth skin and an even complexion after using this a few times.

5. Luxury Pick: Jack Black Pure Clean Daily Facial Cleanser

At the top of the men’s luxury grooming market, you will find a familiar company – Jack Black.  Featured in countless men’s lifestyle magazines and men’s cabinets across the U.S. and abroad, it’s easy to see why everyone loves this company.

First and foremost, they keep their products simple.  Developing solutions that are free of so much bad stuff on so many levels, you will find in this 2-in-1 face wash that is colorant-free, paraben-free, and free of any synthetic fragrances.

To further make the label ‘clean’, they also largely rely on natural and organic ingredients to get the job done.

The wash itself is terrific in that it’s not only effective at lifting dead skin cells and excess oil from your pores, but it will also help to tone your skin.  It largely achieves this toning ability through the inclusion of witch hazel (which also doubles as an antioxidant and astringent).

Leaving your skin looking and feeling great, you can’t go wrong with this excellent face wash by Jack Black.

Pros

  • A premium brand with a premium offering
  • Helps to both clean and tone skin
  • Variety of size options

Cons

  • May not work well for those with oily skin

What You Need To Know

Jack Black is recommended by skincare experts across the spectrum.  The Jack Black Pure Clean Daily Facial Cleanser does a great job at cleansing out most skin types in a gentle manner.

6. Affordable: Bulldog Natural Skin Care: Original Face Wash

Starting to make inroads into major drug stores like Alpha XR, Bulldog is delivering some awesome skincare products for men.

This face wash is packed with eight essential oils that deliver a plethora of natural benefits for your skin.

In addition to the wide array of essential oils, you will also find green tea that is a natural antioxidant that will stop free radicals from damaging your skin.

Men who have oily skin have exclaimed that this face wash by Bulldog was extremely effective in keeping acne flare-ups at bay with continued use.

Use this along with their top-rated face cream for best results.

Pros

  • Cheap and accessible face wash for all
  • Great for men with oily skin
  • Contains several natural ingredients

Cons

  • May not deliver the same results as premium brands

What You Need To Know

Bulldog Face Wash is a perfect starter pick for those men who are just looking for an upgrade from a standard bar of soap.  Sure, it might not deliver like the premium offerings, but it’s good enough.

7. Clinique Men Face Wash

Formulated specifically for men with dry to normal skin, this daily face wash by Clinique will do an effective job at clearing out your pores.

With the absence of inferior ingredients found in other more affordable face washes on the market, Clinique won’t leave your face feeling overly dry or stretched out after application.

Packed in a hefty 6.7-ounce tube, this face wash isn’t the most travel-friendly.  If you plan on traveling via plane, you will have to check your bag as it doesn’t adhere to the standard 3.4-ounce liquid rule enforced by the TSA.

Therefore, this makes for a great at-home wash that will be incredibly easy to use either before your morning shave, or just a simple wash before you hit the sack at the end of the night.

Pros

  • A great offering from a skin care focused company
  • Perfect for men with dry to normal skin

Cons

  • Expensive compared to others

What You Need To Know

This mild cleanser by Clinique is a great pick for those men who have skin that tends to be a bit dryer.  In addition to a cleanser, it’s also a great way to soften your facial hair before shaving.

8. Face and Stubble Wash by Percy Nobleman

One of the highest peer-reviewed face washes on this list comes from Percy Nobleman.

But you see, this face wash isn’t like most other face washes.  What really sets this solution apart from the rest is that it’s also a stubble wash.

Therefore, Percy Nobleman really straddles between being a full-blown face wash and a beard shampoo.

Expertly crafted in England (which has a long lineage of excellent grooming products for men), the Percy Nobleman solution competes head-to-head with both Brickell and Jack Black face washes when it comes to their reliance on natural ingredients.  At a 98% composition of natural ingredients, this product will be able to fully wash your face in an extremely comfortable and effective manner without the use of harsh and suspect chemicals.

Ingredients like glycerin (which is a natural humectant) will work to trap the moisture in your skin that will help to reduce the appearance of fine lines.

Evoking scents of peppermint and cucumber, once you use this face wash you will feel invigorated before you head out the door.

In a stout 2.5-ounce. bottle, this face wash is perfect for men who travel frequently and need to adhere to the TSA liquid container rules.

This product is also great for men who don’t mind investing a few extra bucks for quality when it comes to their grooming routine.

Pros

  • Perfect travel-friendly pick
  • The largely natural ingredients are welcomed by many
  • Invigorating scent

Cons

  • Given the size, it’s quite pricey

What You Need To Know

This is the perfect face wash for those men who are always on the go.  Being 2.5 ounces and having a great ingredient profile, it should work well and not irritate sensitive skin.

9. Dove Men+Care Face Wash

Matching their incredibly well-made body wash, Dove Men+Care delivers another quality product to the men’s grooming repertoire.

This face wash comes in three variants, including deep clean, sensitive, and hydrate (pictured above) to suit just about any man’s preference.

The dermatologist-tested solution will very gently and mildly wash away the excess dirt from the surface of your face in a non-abrasive manner.

If you have dryer than average skin, this face wash should do a terrific job at providing adequate moisture to keep any skin flakes at bay.

Should you be a man on a shoestring budget that is just dipping your toes into a proper skincare regimen, then this face wash by Dove Men is a terrific product at an affordable price point.

Pros

  • Can be found everywhere
  • Hydrating properties helps to moisturize skin
  • Wide lineup for all skin types

Cons

  • Not many natural ingredients

What You Need To Know

Like Bulldog, this face wash by Dove Men+Care is a great no-frills entry-level face wash.  Available just about everywhere, it’s a great pick if you are in desperate need.

10. NIVEA Men Original Moisturizing Face Wash

NIVEA knows a thing or two when it comes to making quality products.  As we recently featured their aftershave balm in our latest product roundup, the NIVEA moisturizing face wash is another great addition to their lineup.

Packed with Provitamin B5 and Vitamin E, your skin will start to realize the full benefits of this product almost immediately.

Providing a nice sudsy lather upon application, this face wash is great for men with normal to oily skin.

Should you have slightly more sensitive skin, it’s important to note that NIVEA does provide a Sensitive face wash for you.

While this is one of the most affordable face washes on this list, it doesn’t come without a caveat.  One of the leading ingredients on the side of the label is denatured alcohol; therefore, we recommend that you use a face cream in tandem with this product.

Pros

  • One of the best mass-marketed picks
  • Menthol scent is invigorating
  • Deep cleanse

Cons

  • Contains alcohol

What You Need To Know

This deep cleansing face wash by NIVEA is a perfect pick for those men who have normal to oily skin.  The addition of alcohol can be a deal-breaker for some, especially those with dry skin already.

Shawn Burns

Shawn Burns is the founder and senior editor of Tools of Men. He started this site with the goal of teaching men proper grooming habits and sensible style. Shawn's expertise includes in-depth product reviews and how-to articles. Shawn was recently featured in the Wall Street Journal for his expertise.

Published: July 15, 2021

Last Updated: October 12, 2021