7 Awesome Face Washes for Men (Because the Supermarket Stuff Doesn’t Always Cut It)

When you think about it, your face really cops it.

Sun, sweat, dirt.

Oil, pollution, dryness.

Shaving, sore muscles from fake smiles during meetings that could be emails, etc.

OK, even the best face wash for men won’t fix the last item on that list. However, choosing the right face wash or facial cleanser can help with the rest.

It’s tempting to pick just anything on the supermarket shelves that says it’s ‘for men’. But what works on Nathan-next-door’s skin may be totally different to what works on yours.

So what is the best face wash for men? It all depends on your skin type and specific concerns.

You can watch our boys Matt and Eddie share their experiences with being new to skin care and give some advice to fellow newbies in the YouTube video below...

What is my skin type?

There are four main skin types:

  • Dry skin produces less oil and can be flaky, tight, dull, or rough.

  • Normal skin is not too oily, not too dry (like the best peanut butter).

  • Oily skin shows large pores, produces excess sebum, and is more prone to redness, pimples, and blackheads.

  • Combination skin mixes dry and oily areas. For example, the forehead, nose, and chin are often oilier than the cheeks and lips.

Confused? Don’t be! Once you’ve worked out your skin profile, you can match it to a men’s face wash or cleanser that addresses your needs.

Broadly, cream and milk cleansers work well on normal-to-dry and sensitive skin.

Gel cleansers suit all skin types.

And foaming cleansers are best reserved for oily or acne-prone skin.

Without further ado, let’s talk options for each.

Men's face wash for dry and/or sensitive skin

Hey, Mr Smooth Skin, do you even Aesop? This daily cleansing milk is suitable for most skin types, but it’s got serious cred for dry and sensitive skin. Aesop Gentle Facial Cleansing Milk is a vegan blend of botanicals and essential oils known to soothe skin, preserve its natural defences, and leave it clean, soft, and hydrated. Ingredients include Panthenol (Provitamin B5), Grape Seed Oil, Sandalwood, and Soybean Oil. Winter dryness, don’t even start with us!

If your skin gets dry or particularly sensitive with shaving, Sodashi’s emulsion is a top choice. This gentle, non-foaming cleanser doubles as a shaving cream. Who doesn’t love a 2-in-1 product? Sodashi Mens Clean Skin Cleanser and Shaving Emulsion soothes and balances the skin while also removing impurities and maintaining healthy hydration. Plus, it’s got a blend of gorgeous-smelling natural ingredients like Jojoba, Macadamia, Apricot Kernel, and Almond oils along with activated White Clay, Cedarwood, and Lime. It’s Australian-made, cruelty-free, artificial fragrance-free, sulphate-free, and vegan, too.

Face wash for men with normal skin

When we say ‘tried-and-true’, we really mean it: Kiehl’s has been making quality skincare since 1851. And Adore Beauty reviewers have some glowing things to say about Kiehl’s Facial Fuel Energising Face Wash. Of note: it ‘cleanses the face but also wakes me up’ and ‘doesn’t irritate before or after shaving’. We likey. Ingredients include Caffeine, which stimulates the skin and reduces the appearance of under-eye puffiness. Vitamin E neutralises free radical damage, and Menthol cools and soothes. So you can shave, sweat, or smile through that morning meeting with a fresh face. Ya hear?

Best cleansers for oily skin men

La Roche-Posay is one of the most trusted brands for sensitive skin, especially when it comes to that pesky acne. The brand’s daily-use anti-acne cleanser kicks excess sebum in the butt. Effaclar Foaming Gel also tightens the pores of oily and thickened skin without drying it out. How? Oh, with ingredients like Zinc Pidolate, which helps decongest pores and remove excess oil, bad bacteria, and dead skin cells. Antioxidant-rich Thermal Spring Water makes an appearance in almost all LRP skincare to calm and protect. The soap-free, alcohol-free, paraben-free formula is safe to use morning and night. Less breakouts, more make-outs.

The best cleanser for oily skin men might just be Clinique For Men Charcoal Face Wash. This one’s a deep-cleaning warrior when it comes to those pores. Whether you’re out in the elements often or just break out a lot, Clinique’s gel wash does the job using natural Charcoal to draw out dirt and excess oil from your skin. It’s a hugely popular face wash because it deeply cleanses while soothing and can be used on all skin types. Plus, it’s made without parabens, phthalates, or fragrances.

Face wash for men with combination skin

The only kind of toxic we’ll have is Britney’s ‘Toxic’, thank you very much. Purity is Grown Alchemist all over: a certified organic, cruelty-free, vegan Aussie brand with high-profile fans like Gwyneth Paltrow and Alexander Wang. Thankfully, this classy ethical cleanser is available to non-famous-people skin. The formula is recommended for combination, dry, and sensitive skin types. With a blend of Geranium Leaf, Bergamot, and Rosebud, Grown Alchemist Gentle Gel Facial Cleanser gently removes impurities without stripping the skin. It’s also good for reducing apparent pore size and regulating sebum production. Yes, combination friends, it does a lot without any toxic BS.

We’ve included another Aesop cleanser (1) to show how cleansers are made for different skin types and (2) because this one’s awesome. Aesop In Two Minds Facial Cleanser is a gentle, gel-based foaming cleanser made for combination skin. But it also can be used by those who have normal-to-oily skin or are prone to hormonal breakouts. How so? Well, it works to decongest your skin without removing moisture. It’s a good Salicylic Acid cleanser for men, which means it helps gently exfoliate the skin and unclog pores. Other ingredients include antioxidant-rich Witch Hazel to soothe and Sage Leaf to help hydrate and purify.

So, these are some men’s face washes and cleansers for different skin types. Always make sure to check the ingredients before you buy, just in case there’s anything your skin hasn’t reacted well with before (like alcohol or soap).

And of course, slot that face wash or cleanser into a routine with a good moisturiser and possibly a serum to further target any other skin concerns. Hello, handsome!

Explore Adore Beauty’s entire men's category for more.

Want more of the best products for men? Check out the guides below...

Brand and product inclusions are at the sole discretion of Adore Beauty. We do not seek or accept payment from brands or individuals listed in our guides.

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