You have a go-to cleaner for your home, your car, your screens. It’s just as important to have one for your face. A good facial cleanser or face wash should be part of your daily skincare routine, as it removes dead skin cells and other impurities that clog pores lead to breakouts and other such skin issues. The best face wash for men, whether you have oily, dry, or sensitive skin, is the one that gently cleanses your skin without drying it out or causing any additional irritation. It’s out there. You just need to know what to look for.
First, some quick and dirty tips about dirty faces. “Most people should wash twice daily, because the amount of oil and dirt that builds up over 12 hours warrants a cleaning,” says Dr. Jeremy Fenton of the Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York City. That said, he notes that you don’t want a face wash that strips all the oil off the skin. “You need to choose carefully for your skin type, and even pay attention to the season or weather,” he adds.
So you must choose a cleanser based on your skin type: Sensitive, regular, or dry/combination. Non-foaming cleansers with ceramides and hyaluronic acid are the best face washes for dry or sensitive skin. A foaming gentle cleanser is ideal for those with regular skin. Have oily or acne-prone skin? Fenton suggests a salicylic or glycolic acid cleanser “to help exfoliate the skin and prevent breakouts.” (If you apply a cleanser and your skin tingles a lot? That’s a good sign that the cleanser is too strong and actually drying out your skin.)
As you look for a facial cleanser, keep this list in mind. Our product picks follow his Dr. Fenton’s guidelines. As with anything related to your skin care, if you want to be extra-cautious. Perform a patch-test on the inside of your arm, or your wrist, to quickly check how you react to the specific product. That said, here are the best face washes for men.
A stellar daily facial cleanser, this one is suitable for all skin types. It cleans skin without drying it out, thanks to its coconut-based cleansing ingredients. A bit of caffeine is there, too, to energize skin. Plus, you can use it to wash, soften, and tame your beard.
You get a two-for-one special with this workhorse facial cleanser and toner, which removes dirt and oil, without over-drying your skin. This is ideal for those with combination or normal skin.
A solid cleanser for acne-prone, oily, or combination skin, this vegan cleanser has a woodsy scent and also gently exfoliates with alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs).
A great face wash for those with normal slash oily skin. This foaming face wash is heavy on the coconut to get rid of extra oils and leave your complexion the opposite of shiny and greasy.
If oily skin is your cross to bear, use this face wash from the fantastic British brand. It is loaded with extracts of African whitewood to combat excess shine, so you don't look like you just rolled around in butter. The scent is musky and citrusy.
Use this wash before shaving, and it cleanses your skin without drying it out. It's suitable for oily, dry, and normal skin types, and helps condition your skin before you shave. Another point in its favor: It has a barely-there scent.
The brand known for its razors also has a pretty rad face wash. It's meant for guys with normal skin. Coconut water provides toning properties, while tea tree oil leaves you feeling refreshed.
If you work out and get sweaty, this charcoal-based face wash is a one-and-done cleanser that gets rid of all the gunk. It's non-drying and suitable for all skin types, but is particularly great for skin that tends to get oilier.
An ultra-gentle non-foaming cleanser that removes daily pollutants, this one is ideal for very dry, mature, or sensitive skin.
A gel-based cleanser for all skin types, this one is a blend of oak bark, spearmint, and peppermint. So if you're into a bracing face wash that really wakes you up, this is for you.
If you're dealing with oily skin, you need this non-foaming face wash; it is loaded with glycolic acid to gently purify your skin while also exfoliating it. It also softens your stubble before shaving.
This revitalizing face wash is great for guys with skin that's on the oilier side, or those with combination skin. The caffeine in it basically wakes you up, while the menthol is cooling on the face.
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