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For Dudes Who Want to Freshen Up; The Best Face Washes & Scrubs We Swear By!

Bro, clean your mug.

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Best Face Wash For Men 2024


From too much sun exposure and sloppy shaving, sometimes our face could use a little refresher.  Whether you have oily skin or dry skin you need a little something extra that will help with your current skin situation and still get you ready for that daily shave all at the same time.  Plus, adult acne isn’t the most fun to deal with so why not use a face wash that’s gentle and keep that situation at bay?

I’ve consulted with Cecily Braden, famed Esthetician and Founder of Cecily Braden Spa & Wellness in NYC, about the differences between face washes for men vs. women and if there really was a difference at all.  According to Cecily,

While there may be products made and marked to men, the skin functions the same whether you're male or female. What's important is providing products that address their specific skin type and concerns, not their gender. With that said, men tend to be attracted to products that are not heavily scented and lean more towards earthy, natural aromas. They want simple and are less likely to use products that require multiple steps and while they want to feel it working, they shy away from products that feel heavy or greasy.

I’ve personally used 5 out of the 6 face cleansers I’m recommending below.  And I don’t mean I tried it once for this article.  I mean that I use most of them on a regular basis – some for more than 10 years.  I’ve also researched the heck out of these to see what other users thought about them.  Remember, everyone’s face and skin is different so what works for one person may not work exactly the same for someone else.

I tried to choose face washes for guys who have “normal” skin, dry, oily, sensitive, and acne prone.  My goal is to recommend something to you that I use or would use myself and that works for me.  My list isn’t that long because I wanted to try and make your decision making process that much easier.



Cetaphil Gentle Face Cleanser

best face wash overall

Cetaphil Gentle Face Wash


Back when I was 15 years old, my dermatologist recommended that I try Cetaphil to help with my acne.  I had (and still have) very sensitive skin that can dry out quickly.  For me it works better than the classic Dove bar I used to use and I’ve been using Cetaphil ever since.

Not only does it help to hydrate my skin, but there is virtually no scent to it.  Fragrance free!  It feels more like a light and liquidy moisturizer than it does a thick liquid face cleanser you may be used to using.  It also doesn’t foam up on your face like some other brands but, trust me, it’s gently cleansing your face and leaving it feel hydrated, soft, and even smoother after about a week or two of daily use.

My only real gripe is that you really (like really) have to be care about which Cetaphil you’re buying.  The one I’ve listed above is the one that I use.  They have another one called “Daily Facial Cleanser” that’s more for oily skin.  The packaging looks so similar that I’ve accidentally purchased the wrong one about 5 times.  The Daily Facial Cleanser is more of a gel, as a medicinal scent to it, and really dries my face right out.  So just make sure you’re picking out the right one!




Kiehl's Facial Fuel For Men

best for twice per week use

Kiehl's Facial Fuel Face Wash For Guys


If you’re looking for the perfect facial cleanser to wake you the heck up in the morning, this is it.  I’ve been personally using Kiehl’s Facial Fuel since 2010.  It contains key ingredients to help revitalize your face like caffeine, menthol, and vitamin E.  

To me it’s like a guys-guy scent that’s masculine without being overpowering and smells like your barber shop with you’re getting a professional shave

You only need a small amount to squeeze into your hands and then apply it directly to your face, lightly rubbing in small circular motions all over.  I pay extra attention to my beard and mustache area because it helps clean out any dry skin (those gross flakes) that tend to get stuck in there.

It really feels like it helps me wake up in the morning and helps to push me into first gear to get things started.  While you can use it as a daily face wash, for me I only use it twice a week at most.  First off, it’s expensive so I don’t want to go through it so quickly but, more importantly, when I used it too often I found it drying out my face.  So I use my Cetaphil (mentioned above) daily, but I incorporate Facial Fuel about twice per week, especially when I’m planing on shaving.  It helps to make all my facial hairs stand at attention, giving me a quicker and pain-free shave.



Defenage 1-Step Face Cleanser

best miracle in a bottle

Denfenage Face Wash


I’m pretty sure you’re going to roll your eyes at me for recommending this facial cleanser from Defenage.  The price is dumb, but here’s the thing – I promise you it’s worth it.

My facialist (everyone should get one) recommended the Defenage 8-in-1 Bioserum to help get my face back into fighting shape.  Now that one is dumb expensive – like $200!  But that works like nothing else I’ve ever used in my life and I’ll die on that hill.  So I had to try their 1-Step facial cleanser.

I was not disappointed.  After using it for just 4 days, my face immediately felt softer, my fine lines looked less intense, and my forehead felt so smooth, like silk.  Friends legit asked me what I had done to my face.  

You don’t need a lot of this face wash, which is great because like I said it’s hella expensive.  Now, in full disclosure I haven’t used it in a while because I’m running so low and am honestly having a hard time spending $62 for a face wash. So, I save it for special occasions a few days a head of time like a wedding, a holiday, an upcoming date I actually care about – you name it.

When I combine the process with my 8-in-1 Serum (which I do use daily because it works that well) I feel like i leave my house looking like I just got a facial.  My skin is totally hydrated and my face soaks up my moisturizer so quickly.  Do this one if you can.  And, if you can, send me one.  

"For guys, I recommend Blissoma's Fresh - Mild Rice Facial Cleanser. It's a 2-in-1 cleanser and mild exfoliant that isn't a soap, so it provides a deep cleanse while leaving your skin feeling refreshed, not dry. It's perfect for men!"
Cecily Braden Brostrick
Cecily Braden
Founder of Cecily Braden Spa & Wellness

CeraVe Facial Cleanser

best for oily skin

CeraVe Face Wash For Oily Skin


When I was a teenager my skin was definitely more on the oily side, but these days it’s more normal-to-dry especially if I’m not using my moisturizer regularly.  So, if you do have oily skin I definitely recommend this options from CeraVe.

Their Foaming Facial Cleanser is really geared towards those with normal-to-oily skin, but I find that it works best if you have oily skin.   For me, it makes my normally drier skin feel more dried out if I use it regularly, but it does a fantastic job at helping to get rid of those oil slicks on your face without clogging your pores or drying you out.

I would say this one reminds me the most of Cetaphil, but for oily skin.  And you can get this at almost any drugstore and, of course, online.  You may want to consider for yourself or, especially, if you got a teen  in the house who may be suffering from acne breakouts due to oil buildup.



Harry's Exfoliating Face Wash

best for exfoliating

Harry's Exfoliating Face Wash


I’m a big fan of exfoliating my skin, especially my face.  I find it important to do before I’m about to shave, in the summer when my face is kind of a mess due to all the sunblock and, well, sun – and in the winter when I look like death warmed over.  

This daily exfoliating face scrub from Harry’s does the trick if you want some light exfoliation. Their addition of volcanic rock and essential oils is the duo your face never knew it needed.  It helps to prepare your beard for a shave, helps to get rid of dead skin, cleanses, and leave your face feeling pretty soft and smooth.  Plus, it smells like a nice jolt of peppermint which, like my Kiehl’s Facial Fuel, helps to wake me and my mug up.

Now, it’s safe for just about any skin type and can be used daily.  But, for me, I’m not a big believer in exfoliating every day.   It tends to dry me out.  So while it may not do that for you, you might want to start off using it a few times per week and see how your skin reacts.  



Brickell Acne Control Face Wash

best for acne

Brickell Acne Face Wash


Full disclosure, I don’t use this face wash since – at this time – I don’t suffer from acne prone skin (finally!).  But I’ve read dozens of reviews from users who swear by it and researched the brand and found top men’s publishers who have highly recommended it all throughout the year, especially if you’re trying to focus on clearing up that pesky acne.

I’ve listed other Brickell products in some of Brostrick’s famous gift guides because I have used some of their other products, so I know and trust the brand personally.

This time around, Brickell is focusing on men with acne in their popular face wash.  This one contains salicylic acid, which helps to treat acne at the root and can help clear up your skin, get rid of and prevent future blackheads, get rid of and prevent whiteheads, and even reduce how often you typically breakout.  

While it does pack a punch with their acne fighting ingredients, most claim it is gentle enough to use daily – in fact, you can even use it twice per day (morning and night).  It’s great if you have oily skin, but you may want to pass on this one if you have acne and very dry-to-sensitive skin.  

Having been a guy who suffered from acne in my teens and early twenties, I do want to mention that (in my opinion) products like this can definitely help if you suffer from regular everyday acne breakouts here and there.  Trust me, I tried just about every topical under the sun when I suffered from acne and while it may have helped a bit you may need something stronger, which you can certainly talk to your dermatologist about.  



Honestly, yeah.  It’s kind of like shaving without shaving cream.  Sure you can do it, but the shaving cream makes everything better.  The same with the right facial cleanser.  

So many guys don’t really pay attention to their beards, their face, and especially their dry or oily skin.  Using the proper face wash for your skin type can really help keep (or get) your face to be softer, hydrated, smoother and even help you to look less tired – something we could all use!

Hopefully you found the answer to that question above in the cleaners that I named, use, and recommend.  Again, every man is different and so is their face so what works for one may not work for someone else – especially based on your own personal skin type.  

That said, the brands I personally use and recommend include:  Cetaphil Gentle Facial Cleanser, Kiehl’s Facial Fuel, DefenAge 1-Step Cleanser, CeraVe Foaming Face Cleanser, and Harry’s Exfoliating Face Wash For Men.

This is a tricky one because some guys have to wash their face more than others and, well, some of us could dry out our skin if we wash it too much.  

So, most will recommend to wash twice per day usually once in the morning when you wake up/shower and once at the end of the day before you hit the hay.

My facialist recommended for me to wash my face with the face wash I usually use at night, followed by a moisturizer.  Then, in the morning use a face cloth and luke-warm water to lightly cleanse and exfoliate my face without using a face wash or soap at all.  Of course, followed by more moisturizer and sunscreen.

Check with your derm if you want to know what you should specifically do for your current face/skin situation.