5 Best Face Washes For Men – Reviews & Top Picks (2023)

If you’ve been using bar soaps to wash your face, it’s time to stop. Bar soaps are terrible for your face!

They not only contain alkaline compounds that strip the face of its natural oils but they also excessively dry the face. You still need to use some sort of cleanser for the face, anyway. And that’s where facial washes come in.

The skin on the face is more delicate than the rest of the body, and it requires special attention.

By special attention, I mean special products that don’t harm it in any way. I’m speaking about best face washes. They are gentle, highly effective, and even leave behind nice fragrances.

I’ve put together a list of everything you need to know about face washes including a buying guide and top products.

Here are my best face washes for men article.

5 Best Face Washes For Men – At a Glance

Best For


Key Ingredients

Editor's Rating


Best for All skin types

Best Overall

InstaNatural Facial Cleanser

Emollients, Aloe Vera, Vitamin C


Best for Oily Skins


L'Oreal Men Expert Hydra Energetic Facial Cleanser

Antioxidants, Charcoal


Best for Oily, Dry Skins

NIVEA Men Maximum Hydration Moisturizing Face Wash

Alcohol, Emollients


Best for Dry Skins

Dove Men+Care Face Wash



Best for Oily Skins

Brickell Clarifying Gel Face Wash for Men

Aloe Vera, Coconut Oil, Germanium


(You could use the table of contents below to jump to the sections that are most important to you.)

Is there a Difference Between a Face Wash and a Face Cleanser?

As you get deeper into my article, in the review section, you’ll come across both face wash and facial cleanser products.

Well, it’s important to note that these two are different. Although they serve the same function, they are technically two different products.

Most manufacturers and advertisers use the two terms interchangeably and end up confusing the consumer.

Is there any difference between the two?

Yes! Face washes are rougher and stronger on the skin, thereby, being better at deep cleansing the pores.

Facial cleansers, on the other hand, are gentler on the skin. Moreover, they also contain nourishing and moisturizing agents in their ingredients.

Even so, some facial cleansers will contain ingredients commonly found in face washes, and vice versa.

So, differentiating the two based solely on their names becomes a little difficult. You’ll have to look closely at their effects to differentiate them.

5 Best Face Washes For Men – Product Reviews

1. InstaNatural Facial Cleanser

InstaNatural Facial Cleanser Review
  • Ingredients: Emollients, Aloe Vera, Vitamin C
  • Skin Type: Sensitive, Oily, Dry

Leading my review, the InstaNatural Facial Cleanser is one product that is difficult not to like. Whether your skin is dry, oily, or sensitive, this is the product to go for. The cleanser does not only clear your skin of oils and dirt, but it also smoothens your face for a youthful look.

Who is it best for?

Men with sensitive skin but who still desire thorough cleansing will find this product most useful. However, anyone interested in cleansing their face for a healthier look is welcome to use it.

This cleanser’s formula is made up of different ingredients; vitamin C, Emollients and Aloe Vera being the key ones. Each of the ingredients serves its unique functions.

Vitamin C boosts the skin’s ability to rejuvenate itself. Aloe Vera acts as a hydration agent while emollients make the skin healthier by reducing aging lines. These three combine to create a unique, highly effective and extremely gentle formula.

Citrus is added to the formula to provide the cleanser with a noticeable but not overpowering citrus-y fragrance.

Overall, this cleanser is an excellent pick for men who are looking for one product for their numerous skin problems.


  • Versatile for different skin types
  • Plenty of substance in the bottle
  • Gentle on the skin


  • Not everyone loves its fragrance

2. L’Oreal Men Expert Hydra Energetic Facial Cleanser 

L'Oreal Men Expert Hydra Energetic Facial Cleanser Review
  • Ingredients: Antioxidants, Charcoal
  • Skin Type: Oily Skin

At first, I was reluctant to purchase this product because it only offered 5 oz of product. After a long debate with my partner, we decided ‘why not, let’s try it out.‘ Nevertheless, at Menglowup, we go by the policy ‘quality over quantity.‘ 

Fast forward to today and the L’oreal Men Facial Cleanser is among my favorite products. Even with my super rough skin, this product still manages to bring out the best of me.

It’s unarguable that the success of this product lies entirely in its formula (price being a minor reason). The face wash combines antioxidants with charcoal to cleanse skin pores thoroughly and also rejuvenate them for the best health. The charcoal does an excellent job of sucking away dirt, excess oils and debris from the skin.

Its charcoal is so effective that you don’t have to scrub the cleanser vigorously to eliminate the impurities. Everything comes off when you wash your face – cool, right?

What’s the catch with this product? You may ask.

I wouldn’t recommend it for men with sensitive skin. And this is because of its roughness and highly vigorous charcoal. But if your skin is oily (like mine), not a lot of formulas can beat this one!

Its price tag is highly affordable, and you shouldn’t have any problems purchasing it.

Pro Tip: The charcoal-based formula of this cleanser stings once it comes into contact with the eye. So, avoid applying it near the eyes.


  • Highly affordable
  • Superb at cleansing the pores
  • Rejuvenates the skin for future health


  • Not suited for sensitive skin
  • Stings upon contact with the eye

3. NIVEA Men Maximum Hydration Moisturizing Face Wash

NIVEA Men Maximum Hydration Moisturizing Face Wash Review
  • Ingredients: Alcohol, Emollients
  • Skin Type: Oily, Dry Skins

Even without overselling it, Nivea has established itself as a trusted brand that deals with premium quality products only. It doesn’t fall any short of this description with the NIVEA Men Moisturizing Face Wash.

As customary with Nivea’s products, this face wash reduces the signs of aging by tightening the skin and making it appear young. With alcohol as a primary ingredient, it deep cleanses the pores, removing any excess dirt or debris.

Emollients are also used to hydrate and rejuvenate the skin. They counterattack the effects of alcohol. Moreover, they also eliminate wrinkles leaving the skin young and healthy. This combination allows men with both oily and dry skins to use the product. 

Another ingredient included in the face wash is Aloe Vera. It helps trap moisture within the skin cells. The Menglowup team found that applying this face wash left the skin clean and fresh without being dry or tight.

 Lastly, the Nivea face wash comes with a mild but noticeable fragrance. You can easily cover it with cologne or deodorant.

Pro Tip: Even with the presence of emollients and Aloe Vera, I’d still recommend applying a moisturizer after using this face wash. Its alcohol effects are strong and can dry out the skin excessively.

This face wash comes in a small bottle and makes a perfect companion during trips. You should keep up with your skincare routine no matter where you are.


  • Highly affordable
  • Eliminates wrinkles and restores a youthful look
  • Excellent at cleaning dirt and impurities


  • Has a slight fragrance
  • Dries the skin even with the presence of Aloe Vera

4. Dove Men+Care Face Wash

Dove Men+Care Face Wash Review
  • Ingredients: Alcohol
  • Skin Type: Dry

Dove Men+Care Face Wash uses alcohol as its primary cleansing ingredient. While this isn’t the most premium pick, it will ensure that the job is done. It is more of a mild cleanser and doesn’t deep clean the pores like the other products.

But you can look on the positive side. Since this face wash doesn’t deep cleanse, it fits perfectly for daily use as a morning hygiene routine. Moreover, the product is affordable and packs decent amounts of substance in its bottle. 

So, if you’re tight on budget but still want something worthy, Dove Men+Care Face Wash is the product to settle for. I also love this face wash because it is comfortable on the skin. It doesn’t penetrate deep enough to cause inflammation.

As earlier mentioned, this face wash uses alcohol for the effective removal of grime and dirt from the pores. However, it also contains moisturizing agents to counterattack the drying effect of the alcohol.

Should you or shouldn’t you buy this face wash?

While it is true that it’s not the most premium pick, this product is good at what it does.

It’s comfortable on the skin, ideal for dry skin, highly affordable and comes with a good amount of formula in the bottle. What’s there not to like about it?


  • Good performance
  • Affordable
  • A high amount of formula
  • Moisturizes the skin


  • Doesn’t deep cleanse pores of dirt and debris
  • Not ideal for numerous skin types

5. Brickell Clarifying Gel Face Wash for Men

Brickell Clarifying Gel Face Wash for Men Review
  • Ingredients: Aloe Vera, Coconut Oil, Germanium
  • Skin Type: Oily Skin

Last but not least is the Brickell Clarifying Gel Face Wash for Men.

With hundreds of brands focusing on the prices of their products, Brickell is among the few who still value quality.

Yes, you’ll spend a little bit more on this face wash, but it’s totally worth it.

This face wash is a gel type, meaning it’s cooler and thinner than most face washes. This way, it is less likely to clog your pores and worsen your skin situation.

Who is the face wash for?

Men with tough skin who are also fighting acne will find the Brickell face wash most useful.

However, it’s not a great pick for men with sensitive skin as it contains alcohol. Alcohol deep cleanses skin pores while being aggressive.

This face wash combines coconut cleansers and germanium to get rid of dirt and excess oil. There is some Aloe Vera too, although, this is mostly for preventing the skin from drying.

Overall, the Brickell Face Wash for Men is one of the toughest products in terms of deep cleansing your pores.

It’s slightly expensive but totally worth it. If you have sensitive skin, you’re better off going for another product, sorry. 


  • Excellent at deep cleansing
  • Packs lots of product in the bottle
  • Fights acne too


  • Slightly expensive
  • Rough for sensitive skin

5 Factors to Consider When Purchasing The Best Face Washes

Narrowing our top 5 best face washes for men wasn’t a walk in the park. We did intensive research, tested hundreds of cleansers and filtered out products that weren’t worthy.

How did we come up with the final five? We focused on specific factors that decide the success of a face wash. 

Here are some of the things to consider when buying a face wash.

1. Skin Type

Your skin type determines what product is most effective for you. The skin’s surface and complexion affect how easy it is to clean out dirt, penetrate the pores and hydrate the skin.

Different products are designed for different skins. Humans have four main types of skin.

Oily Skin

A man’s skin contains excess testosterone, the organ responsible for producing body oils. With this, we tend to possess more oily skins than women. Aside from this, oily skins are also a result of the skin getting clogged by dirt and debris.

In this case, you’ll need a face wash that performs its function without clogging your pores further. Such products are thin and non-comedogenic. Non-comedogenic products mean that they’ll not clog your pores excessively.

Face washes for oily skin are also used to reduce acne over time. There are some face washes designed specifically for oily skin (confirm with my list). These are excellent at removing dirt and debris from deep within.

Dry Skin

Dry skin is common among aging men. This is the age where cells produce less of the natural oils, leaving the skin slightly dry. The condition is further worsened when we use regular soap to wash our faces. Regular soaps are known to strip the skin of their natural oils.

If you’re in this group, you need a facial cleanser with hydrating or moisturizing components. Such products will not only cleanse your face but also reprieve it of its oils – pretty much killing two birds with one stone.

The good news is that most facial cleansers come with moisturizing components, so finding one won’t be difficult.

As long as the product contains high amounts of moisturizers, then you’re good to go.

Sensitive Skin

I am aware of the struggle that people with sensitive skin undergo. You can’t just settle for any product on the shelf. Your skin is easily inflammable and irritable, and so, you need to be extra picky. 

Face washes for men with sensitive skin designed in a manner that they don’t irritate the skin. This is made possible by eliminating alcohol from the formula. Alcohol is rough on the skin and can cause irritation.

Normal/Combination Skin

Your skin might be a combo of any of these types or even none of them. Normal skin is considered not to fall under one category. Such skin can technically work with any product as they aren’t choosy. Lucky for you!

2. Ingredients

Like any other skincare product, it’s important to check the ingredients used to manufacture your face wash. The ingredients have a direct impact on the skin, and how effective the face wash will be. 

Cleansing agents are a common ingredient in all face washes. Therefore, I’ll look at other ingredients that aren’t included in every product.


Antioxidants work to remove free radicals from the skin cells. Free radicals are oxygen molecules that cause irritation and damage to skin cells. Antioxidants absorb and remove the free radicals leaving your skin more regenerated than ever.

Other antioxidants such as Vitamin C help the skin boost its collagen production. Collagen is crucial to the body as it helps cells divide and heal properly. This property makes antioxidants excellent anti-aging compounds.

They can help alleviate aging signs and eliminate wrinkles with time. Your skin should appear tighter and brighter with continued use of antioxidants. 


The common moisturizers found in face washes include hyaluronic acid, Aloe Vera and natural-sourced compounds. These elements help the skin retain moisture and prevent water loss throughout the day.

If you have dry skin, moisturizer should be the first ingredient you look out for in a face wash.


Charcoal is the most common cleansing agent used in skincare products, leave alone face washes. The reason behind this is that charcoal is super effective. It acts like a magnet, sucking up impurities in the pores before washing off.

In addition, charcoal isn’t hard on the skin. Everyone, even those with sensitive skin, can use it. And since it removes excess oil from the skin, it is perfect for men with oily skin.

Not all face washes feature charcoal as a primary ingredient, but those that do are considered highly effective.


Alcohol is a great cleansing agent that digs deep into the pores and removes excess dirt and oils from the skin. If deep cleansing is your primary objective, alcohol should be the ingredient to look out for. 

But alcohol can dry the skin when used in excess. Therefore, if you have dry skin, you’re better off with face washes with no alcohol. Also, alcohol is known to be rough on sensitive skin. It can lead to irritation and inflammation.


Pretty much like antioxidants, emollients help skin cells to produce collagen. They also shorten the spaces between cells making your skin tighter and more youthful. With this, emollients are perfect for men who want to combat aging signs 

A great example of an emollient is the shea butter.

3. Scent

Some facial washes come with fragrances. The scent of your face wash is an important factor to consider especially if you frequently use cologne or perfume. You don’t want the two scents to collide.

Masculine facial cleansers are normally accompanied by masculine scents. However, some men prefer facial cleansers without any fragrance.

It’s all a matter of personal preference here. Those who don’t love scented face washes will cross off unsuccessful products from their list.

4. Amount

The amount of product you get with your purchase directly affects the value of your money. Some products have tons of formula in their bottle while other products only come with a few ounces.

However, at Menglowup, we have a ‘quality over quantity’ policy. There is no harm in purchasing a one-ounce facial cleanser if it’s of the best quality.

5. Thickness

The thickness of a face wash comes into play when you have acne. Thick face washes are highly likely to clog your pores than thin face washes. Also, thick cleansers feel odd and irritating, even after washing them off.

Which is better between thick and thin facial cleansers?

It all narrows down to personal preference. If it’s not your first time using facial cleansers, then you know what you prefer. If you’re a newbie, it’s a matter of trial and error.

Best Face Washes For Men – FAQs

Are facial washes better than soaps?

Yes, they are, and for good reasons. Soaps are great, but most of them contain alkaline-based compositions. Why is this bad? The skin on your face is more delicate than the rest of the body. These compounds can easily strip the face of its natural oils that that keep the face fresh and flexible.

With this, bar soaps don’t qualify to be good when cleansing the face. Also, bar soaps quickly dry the skin, worsening the situation if you already have dry skin.

It’s fine to wash your body with bar soaps but as for the face, stick to facial washes.

How Do I Use my Facial Wash?

Using a facial wash is no brainer. Begin by squeezing some of the product in your hands. Be careful not to overdo it. You only require a small amount. Now, rub it across your hands and create a lather. This is similar to that of shampoo.

Lathering the face wash activates the ingredients. Next, spread it across your face and rub it. There’s no need to apply a lot of pressure. Be light and gentle, while you ensure to capture all areas. 

The aim here is to work the cleanser into your pores and get rid of all oils and dirt. Do this for around 30 seconds. You can now rinse it using warm water. The process will be easier and faster when you are showering.

Avoid cold water as this closes the pores and traps some of the facial wash inside. It’s important to note that some products don’t require rinsing. Instead, they’re designed to be absorbed automatically by the skin. Read the product’s instructions to know what category it falls under.

How often should I use my face wash?

It’s good to use your face wash every day, either in the morning or at night depending on your preference. I would also recommend using your face wash while showering as you already have water flowing.

If you want to shave, use the facial washer beforehand since it will clear your pores and allow the razor to cut closer to the hair root.

Here is a video illustrating a natural DIY face wash recipe:

Final Thoughts

It’s okay if you haven’t had time to go through the entire article. As customary, I have to pick my top best products. The product leading my list is also my best, the InstaNatural Facial Cleanser.

As I stated earlier, it’s hard not to like this cleanser. It does an amazing job in deep cleansing the pores and also clears the skin of aging lines. The fact that it’s suitable for all skin types is also a bonus.

I also loved the L’oreal Men Facial Cleanser and you will too. Although it comes in a small bottle, it has a lot to offer. 

Now that you know bar soaps are bad for your face, don’t go back to them. Make a step forward by using face washes. 

Which is your best product from my list? Let me know in the comments section.

About MGU Team

The Men Glow Up editorial team consists of a group of enthusiastic writers with a keen interest in men's grooming, style icons of yesteryear. Connect us via Pinterest or Facebook or Twitter.

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