Beard Wash vs Shampoo vs Face Wash

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

Last Updated: March 2, 2019 | This Article May Contain Affiliate Links

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

Unfortunately though, not any off the shelf face wash will do a good job.  Instead, you should be using a face wash that has been specially formulated for a man’s skin.

To help you out, we went ahead and rounded up some of the best face washes for men that currently exist in the marketplace.

Any of the top-rated washes will do a terrific job at removing dirt and grime, while also relieving your face of excess oil build up.

Here’s a few that men had great results with:

Comparing The Best Face Washes & Cleansers For Men

NameContainer SizePrice RangeAll Skin Types?Contains Natural Ingredients?Reduce Acne?
Brickell Men’s Purifying Charcoal Face Wash for Men8oz$$$YYY
Bulldog Natural Skincare: Original Face Wash5.9oz$YYY
Clinique Men Face Wash6.7oz$$YYY
Dove Men+Care Face Wash5oz$YYY
Face and Stubble Wash by Percy Nobleman2.5oz$$YYY
Jack Black Pure Clean Daily Facial Cleanser3oz$$YYY
NIVEA Men Original Moisturizing Face Wash5oz$YYY

Face Wash Vs. An Exfoliator

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 an abrasive ingredient that will do the heavy lifting.

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.


Your skin is a living organ that sheds bits and pieces on a daily basis.

An exfoliator will help to ensure that the dead particles don’t stick around and clog a pore that will lead to an unsightly blemish.

Should you have oily, redness, or just generally poorer skin quality, an exfoliator can be a huge benefit for you.

Now when it comes to the ingredient within the bottle, the abrasive ingredients found in exfoliators will usually be pumice, walnut powder, or some other (usually natural) mineral.

Pumice, derived from aerated lava, is a rock that has been milled down to a powdery substance.  When applying an exfoliator to your skin, it’s imperative that you are extremely gentle as to not cause irritation.

But at the surface of your skin, these exfoliators will be the absolute best in clearing out your pores to make your face look and feel much better.

So, you might be wondering, if exfoliators are so good at what they do, then why not apply one daily?

Well to be quite clear, that would be overkill.

You must remember that you are still applying an abrasive material to your skin.  Overuse would cause severe irritation and dryness.  Too much exfoliation and you will be shredding up the new skin cells that just appeared on the surface.

Therefore, skin care experts often recommend to exfoliate no more than 3 times a week.

Contrary to an exfoliator, and the focus of this article is the face wash.

Also commonly referred to as a cleanser, face washes are absent of the abrasive ingredients that are found within exfoliators.

The goal of a face wash is to gently wash away all the pollutants and oil build up on your face at the end of the day.

Face washes may also contain moisturizing agents to further reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, especially around your eyes.

How Face Wash Fits Into A Proper Skin Care Routine

best face wash for men

While we unpacked a bit on the comparison between exfoliators and face washes, if you are looking to drastically upgrade your skin care game, there are several other factors that you need to take into consideration.

What’s Going On With Your Shaving Routine?

If you are still using canned shaving cream, please set it down and pay attention.

While canned creams can be extremely convenient and easily accessible, there are terrific alternatives out there that provide much better properties that will help to keep your skin intact for longer.

Check this out:

Canned shaving creams often contain pretty cheap ingredients such as alcohols that will dry out your skin.  Therefore, if you are using your favorite cartridge razor but can’t figure out why your cheeks remain dry after your shave, it’s likely due to the shaving cream.

Therefore, we like to recommend for men to check out our expert shaving cream comparison for further guidance.  In that guide we outline some terrific shaving creams that are packed full of moisturizing agents like carrier oils, hyaluronic acid, or glycerin that will provide a rich splash of moisture for your face.

Beyond the shaving cream, two other important components that can help deliver moisture to your face (and also 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.

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 invest in a quality eye cream.

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 of your appearance by keeping crows feet at bay.

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

Moisturizing Your Face After Your Done Washing

Get this guys:

Our skin naturally looks about 10 years younger than that of a woman at an equal age.  The only problem is that we do such a terrible job taking care of our skin during our daily regimen.

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, but will also provide adequate sun protection.

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.

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 pretty happy with the performance of this product as well exclaiming that it effectively deep cleans the skin without overly drying it out.

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, its 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 its 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.

Bulldog Natural Skincare: Original Face Wash

Starting to make inroads into major drug stores like Walgreens, Bulldog is delivering some really 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.

Clinique Men Face Wash

Formulated specifically for men with dry to normal skin, this daily face wash by Clinqiue 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.

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 its 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.

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.

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 dry 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.

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!

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