Beard Wash vs Shampoo vs Face Wash
  • Save

7 Best Face Wash (Cleansers) For Men Reviewed In 2019

Last Updated: May 16, 2019

This Article May Contain Affiliate Links

Article Rating:

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

Unfortunately, not all face washes will do a good job.  Instead, you should use a face wash will not only rid your skin of any oil buildup, dead skin cells, general dirt and grim, all while still being gentle on your skin – such as the Brickell Men’s Purifying Charcoal Face Wash.

Not only do we review some of the most popular and highly rated face wash brands currently on the market, but we also go over a few key considerations that you should think about when making a purchase, explain how face wash is an essential part of your grooming routine, and how to get the most out of your new face wash.

Let’s dive in:

Summary of The Best Face Washes & Cleansers for Men

Take 5 Before You Buy: What You Should Think About Before Purchasing A Face Wash

When it comes to selecting the perfect face wash for you, there are a few factors you will want to take a minute or two to think about before you buy.

1. Skin Complexion

By far the most important factor to consider when purchasing a face wash is to find the right one for your skin type.

As you will quickly see in a minute, some face washes are formulated to target oils more than others.

In addition, you will also find some face wash brands claiming that they are full of moisturizers in order to help those men who have dry skin.

A man’s skin will fall into any one of the 5 categories:

  • Oily
  • Dry
  • Sensitive
  • Combination (Both Oily & Dry)
  • Normal

If you are unsure which skin type you are, simply take a minute to look in the mirror and see if areas of your face are either oily/shiny or are chalky/dry.

Naturally, for those men who are combating acne, there are some great anti-acne face washes out there that will often contain key ingredients like salicylic acid that will easily dissolve oil when applied to your skin.

2. Price

Based on what is currently available within the marketplace, expect to pay anywhere between $10 to $25 for a high performing face wash.

We found that those that are cheaper, particularly under the $10 price point, contained a highly concentration of chemically derived ingredients that often generate less than desirable results (i.e. irritation, dry skin, etc.).

3. Your Current Grooming Regimen

While we will expand on this in just a few minutes, its important to understand that face wash is only one part of a larger grooming regimen.

Therefore, some men may prefer to stay within the same brand of products for best results (i.e. all Khiel’s, Jack Black, or Brickell products).

This can have an advantage as all the products will deliver consistent results and will also have equally consistent scents.

4. Natural vs. Un-Natural

When it comes to face washes, there will nearly always be some level of chemical-based ingredients contained within the bottle.

It’s important to understand that some chemicals are essential in fully removing oil or dirt build up that is on the surface of your skin.

Some of the common and effective ingredients to look out for when it comes to face washes will be any of the following:

  • Aloe Vera
  • Cucumber Extract
  • Willow Bark Extract
  • Peppermint Leaf Extract
  • Grapefruit Extract
  • Mineral Clay
  • Sage Leaf
  • Charcoal

…and many more.

5. Company Background

With online marketplaces expanding at an exponential rate and new companies showing up daily, its important to use some caution when shopping online.

While there are certain label standards required by the FDA, much of the information is never audited by a third party.

Therefore, we recommend going with trusted brands you are already familiar with or those featured below.

Best Face Washes & Cleansers for Men Reviewed

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 complimentary 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 be incredibly effective at protecting your skin from free radicals.

The charcoal in this product won’t be nearly as abrasive like pumice 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.


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


  • It’s expensive (but worth it)

Bottom Line

Brickell has made quite a name for themselves over the past few years in the men’s grooming world.  Delivering excellent results through mostly all-natural products, it gets our pick as the best face wash for men in 2019.

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 its colorant free, paraben free, and free of 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 an effective at lifting dead skin cells and excess oil from your pores but 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.


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


  • May not work well for those with oily skin

Bottom Line

Jack Black is recommended by skin care 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.

Bulldog Natural Skincare: Original Face Wash

Starting to make inroads into major drug stores like Walgreens, Bulldog is delivering some awesome skin care products for men.

This face wash is packed with 8 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, as we covered earlier, 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 with their top-rated face cream for best results.


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


  • May not deliver same results as premium brands

Bottom Line

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.

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 6.7oz 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 3.4oz 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.


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


  • Expensive compared to others

Bottom Line

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.

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 used this face wash you will feel invigorated before you head out the door.

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

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


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


  • Given the size its quite pricey

Bottom Line

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

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 skin care regimen, then this face wash by Dove Men is a terrific product at an affordable price point.


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


  • Not many natural ingredients

Bottom Line

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.

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 by NIVEA will be 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 couple a face cream with this product.


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


  • Contains alcohol

Bottom Line

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.

How to Use A Face Wash

While using a face wash may seem rather intuitive, in order to get the best results, we recommend that you follow these steps:

1. After Shower / Before Shaving

face wash after shower
  • Save

Depending on your work environment, some men may decide to cleanse either once or twice a day.

When you cleanse, most skin care experts recommend that you do it after a shower or before bedtime.

While morning after a shower is preferable given that some of the dirt and oil may have loosened during your shower, thus making the face wash more effective at unclogging your pores.

Beyond the time of day, using a face wash before shaving can help make for a gentle shave as it will help reduce any mild irritation or razor burn you may otherwise encounter.

2. The Right Amount

how much face wash to use
  • Save

If it’s your first-time using face wash, simply using about a half-dollar size amount in the palm of your hand should be more than enough for some men.

Should you have thicker facial hair or a beard, more face wash may be required.

3. Generate Even Lather

generate a lather for face wash
  • Save

Before a face wash is applied, make sure that you add a bit of water to the face wash and generate a rich lather.

When you go to wash your face, you will have even coverage of soap.

This is important as it will not only help your overall complexion on your skin, but if you are also scrubbing one area with too much soap, it may lead to some irritation.

4. Proper Water Temperature

what temperature when washing face
  • Save

While you are washing your face, make sure that you don’t use water that is too hot or too cold.

While it may be a common claim that your pores will open or close with hot or cold water, this is wrong (source).

Pores don’t have muscles and cannot contract.

Skin care experts like to recommend that you go with a temperature that is somewhere around lukewarm.

Not only will this prevent your skin from being shocked, but overly hot water may cause the moisture in your skin to escape – which is detrimental if you are concerned with how your skin looks in the first place.

5. Work in Thoroughly

wash face thoroughly
  • Save

When cleansing your face, you will want to make sure that you wash long enough and properly.

Therefore, we like to recommend that men here wash their face for a good solid couple of minutes.

When washing you will also want to have your hands go in circular motions.  Circular motions are much gentler on your skin as opposed to going vigorously back and forth – which can cause unnecessary stress on the surface of your skin.

6. Rinse Out Completely

rinse face fully after washing
  • Save

Once you have adequately cleaned your skin, you will then want to go ahead and rinse your face completely off.

Simply take a few handfuls of water and splash your face.

7. Pat Dry Your Face

When drying your face, make sure that you simply pat your face.

Unlike the rest of your body, the skin on your face is much more delicate and thinner.

Vigorous rubbing may lead to pre-mature wrinkles and overly dry skin.

Face Wash vs. Face Cleanser vs. Face Scrub vs. Face Soap (Bar) – Are They Really All the Same Thing?

wash vs cleanser
  • Save

In the world of grooming products, there is very little oversight when it comes to labeling requirements.

Therefore, terms like wash, cleanse, and scrubs can all be tossed around without any oversight.

However, when it comes to face washes, companies do tend to loosely stick to certain categories as it makes marketing their product a bit easier.

Here’s a look at how each of the categories slightly differ from one another:

Face Wash

The most popular category of the four will be the face wash.  Face washes tend to be foaming solutions that are designed to be tough on dirt and pollutants while still being generally mild on your skin.

The foaming properties of face wash provide that satisfying feedback that the product is working hard and doing its job at clearing out any dead skin cells.

Unlike scrubs, face washes will generally have a smooth viscosity and will be similar in consistency to hand soap.

Face Cleanser

Opposite of the face wash you will have the face cleanser.  Relying on many of the same ingredients as a face wash, cleansers are typically non-foaming solutions whereas most face washes foam when used.

This helps to provide a bit milder solution that is great for those men who have severely sensitive skin.

Unlike face washes and scrubs, there is no visual feedback when you use a face cleanser due to the lack of bubbles forming.

However, you must trust that a cleanser is still working to clean your face.

Face Scrub

Somewhere between a face wash and an exfoliator you will find the face scrub.

Face scrubs carry many of the same properties as a standard face wash with the addition of some light exfoliating beads or plant bits.

Face scrubs are an excellent bridge between two product categories, face washes and exfoliators, and still get excellent results.

Given that face scrubs often contain some sort of exfoliant, or rough little bits, we recommend that you don’t use them nearly as frequently as a face wash.

It is recommended that men use a face scrub no more than 4 or 5 times in a given week.

Face Soap

If you took a liquid face wash and solidified it, you would have the face soap.

Face soaps are a great pick for those men who like the form factor of a standard bar of soap or are packing for a trip.

Not only are face soaps compact, but they are still effective at lifting dirt and other pollutants from your skin in a gentle manner.

When using face soaps, its important that you pay extra attention to the lathering process as they require a bit more effort on your behalf to match the lather thickness of a standard bottle of face wash.

How Face Wash Fits into A Proper Skin Care Routine

While we discussed a bit on all the different face washes.

Here we wanted to take a step back and explain how a face wash fits into your overall skin care routine:


One common question that a lot of men have when they start exploring a skin care routine is understanding the differences between a common face wash and exfoliator.

While they are both applied to your face, their properties and effects vary greatly.

As we outlined just recently, some of the best exfoliators for men have a higher concentration of an abrasive ingredient that will do the heavy lifting – even more so than a face scrub that we covered above.

An exfoliators core purpose is to use this abrasive ingredient to completely remove all dead skin cells from your face to make way for your fresh new skin to appear.

Unlike face washes that can be used twice daily, an exfoliator should be used no more than 3 times a week.

In addition to physical removal of dead skin cells, exfoliators can also be chemical based and are often sold in pads.

Typically relying on either salicylic acid (BHA) or glycolic acid (AHA), they will remove deep set oils and dirt with very little effort.

Many skin care experts like to recommend these particularly as part of an anti-acne regimen as they are effective at unclogging pores.

Caring for Your Eyes Properly

While a quality face wash will gently rid your skin of environmental pollutants and excess oils, the area around your eyes is much more delicate than the rest of your face.

Therefore, when taking care of your eyes, you will want to tread much more lightly here.

In addition to a gentler wash, you will want to apply an eye cream afterwards.

Eye creams are specifically formulated to fight dark circles and fine lines.  So, if you are in your late 20s or early 30s, these products can shave years off your appearance by keeping crow’s feet at bay.

Click here for a full review of the best eye creams for men.

Facial Moisturizers After Your Done Washing

A man’s skin naturally looks about 10 years younger than that of a woman at an equal age.  The only problem is that men often do a poor job taking care of their skin regularly.

Therefore, what we recommend for men in their 20s and later is to work in a face cream that has been specially formulated for men.

A quality face cream will not only add an additional layer of moisture to your skin that acts as a protective barrier, but also will act as an anti-aging cream as well.

Daily use of a face cream will make you look far younger and fresher towards the later years of your life.

Click here for a full review of the best face creams for men.


The importance of sunscreen is critical to overall skin health.

No matter your ancestry, you should get in the habit of applying some sunscreen daily.

While its true that some facial moisturizers do include some sun protection, a dedicated sunscreen will always be a much better and effective choice as it won’t be diluted at all.

What’s Going on With Your Shaving Routine?

While it’s not technically part of a skin care routine, shave cream still plays an important part of your skin’s health.

Many canned creams are quite bad for your skin since they lack any true moisturizing properties.

Instead, many of them focus on the antiseptic qualities given that you will be taking a razor across the surface of your skin.

While these antiseptic qualities are of course important, we do recommend that men upgrade to a more formal shave cream – one that compliments your face rather than sterilizes it.

Whether you are using a cartridge razor  or safety razor, a quality shave cream like a few that we outlined here, will make a world of difference when it comes to both shave comfort and skin feeling post-shave.

Beyond the shaving cream, two other important components that can help deliver moisture to your face (and deliver a much more comfortable pre/post shave feeling) is pre shave oil and aftershave balms.

Containing very similar ingredients, pre shave oils and aftershave balms often rely on carrier and essential oils to achieve desirable results.  Pre shave oils will help to add an extra layer of lubrication that will allow the razor to glide effortlessly with each pass.  Aftershave balms on the other hand will help to close your pores and moisturize your skin.

FYI: Aftershave balms aren’t the same as aftershave splashes or lotions (they contain alcohol).  See a full write up about these differences here.

Common Questions Men Have About Face Washes

Brickell vs. Jack Black: Which is better?

This is hard to pick a winner and will come down to your own personal preference.

However, we can say that both brands are not only priced similarly, but also will typically rely on uncompromising natural and organic ingredients.

They both do a great job at delivering results in a non-abrasive way.

What face wash do dermatologists recommend for acne?

Everyone is unique and delivering a straight answer would be tough.

However if you want a face wash that targets acne, we would recommend getting one that contains either one of the three ingredients:

  • Salicylic Acid
  • Glycolic Acid
  • Benzoyl Peroxide

These active ingredients do a terrific job at dissolving oil and clearing up acne for a lot of men.

During our research we came across this great article from Dermstore that we wanted to share as there was some good info in here.

What are some good antibacterial face washes?

One company that we saw recommended from others was Uncle Harry’s Natural Antibacterial Face Wash.

Much like Brickell and Jack Black, it to also relies on a largely natural ingredient profile.

Furthermore, it is also pH balanced in order to make for better results for your face.

Is [INSERT PRODUCT] bad for my skin?

We see these accusations all the time on popular forums like /r/skincareaddiction, Quora, and countless others.

It’s worth repeating that your skin is a living organ.

How a simple product like a face wash reacts for your skin will be completely different from that of another person.

Therefore, by and large we recommend that you take other claims with little weight and test for yourself.

You know your skin better than anyone else.

If you skin is severely sensitive, then of course you need to proceed with caution.

What are some easy wins to a clearer face?

While spending a lot of money on skin care products is a marketer’s dream, the reality is that you don’t need a whole lot.

While we outlined some of the essential staples, face wash included, the quickest way to clearer skin is through simple lifestyle changes.

We recommend that you are diligent in your face washing regimen.  Make sure you get into the habit of washing daily.

Secondly, environmental pollutants such as those found in dense urban areas influence your skin.  Therefore, cleansing regularly will become even more important for you.

A healthy diet and plenty of water will make marked improvements almost immediately.  Healthy eating for a couple of weeks can completely transform the appearance of your skin.

Lastly, if you apply colognes and body sprays to your face, stop immediately.  They contain a high concentration of alcohol and will dry out your skin.

Can I use a face wash on my beard or facial hair stubble?

Should you be using a face wash for your facial hair or full on beard, we would like to recommend that you check out beard washes or shampoos instead.

These products are made to not only clean the surface of your face, but also accounts for the much different properties found in facial hair.


There you have it gents, the best face wash for men in 2019.

We are confident that the information contained in this guide will help to provide you with all the important information needed in order to find the perfect face wash to fit into your daily regimen!


How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating / 5. Vote count:

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Shawn Burns | @toolsofmen

Hey there, I'm Shawn, the founder of Tools of Men! This site was created to help out other guys by teaching them proper grooming habits and the basics of sensible style. We try to make things here a bit of fun while giving you clear info. If you want to get in touch with us, drop us a line on the contact page or via social media. Thanks for checking out the site - and make sure to come back again!

Tools Of Men is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Share via