A decent face wash should be the central component of any men's skincare routine, but it’s also the least interesting. Moisturisers, serums, night creams and face scrubs can promise the world, but a basic cleanser doesn’t have so much to boast about.
But face wash matters, probably more than anything else in your skincare regime. It’s not just about cleaning your face, but also balancing oil, removing all those free radicals that have set up camp in your pores, and eliminating bacteria that can lead to breakouts and blackheads. What's more, using the best face wash for your skin type will set you up for all the products that follow, ensuring optimum conditions for them to work as they should. In short, get your cleanser right and reap the rewards.
From lightweight face washes for oily skin to calming creams that will soothe sensitive souls, there’s a men’s face wash out there that is truly meant for you. Read on to discover your perfect match, according to our grooming expert.
1. Best Face Wash for All Skin Types
The brand makes several decent face washes for men, and this one is the crowd-pleaser. Formulated with all skin types in mind, it's simply a great cleanser that lathers well, sweeps away oil and grime, and leaves skin feeling hydrated—not tight.
For a more intensive pore cleanse, try the oil-absorbing Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleanser, or call on the salicylic acid-based Blue Herbal Gel Cleanser for quick clarifying.
2. Best Face Wash for Resurfacing
Proof that you don’t need to put in Patrick Bateman levels of effort to get great skin, Anthony's resurfacing cleanser contains glycolic acid: an alpha-hydroxy-acid that breaks down dead cells and trapped oil in the time it takes for you to wash your face. Consider it a face wash and an exfoliator in one.
3. Best Face Wash For Sensitive Skin
You need to treat sensitive skin nicely, or it'll only get redder and angrier in retaliation. Ditch the hardcore skin-strippers in favour of this ultra-gentle gel cleanser, which will keep the skin barrier clean and resilient, allowing it to heal itself.
4. Best Face Wash for Dehydrated Skin
What this one lacks in shelf appeal, it makes up for with sheer utilitarian performance. The workhorse of your skin routine, it delivers a satisfying lather and contains a heavy dose of ceramides, which work to reinforce your skin barrier to keep things calm and smooth. There's a reason all the dermatologists bang on about it.
5. Best Face Wash for Breakouts
The occasional breakout is inevitable, and the best line of attack is almost always salicylic acid. This gel-textured cleanser contains an effective dose, alongside AHAs to work on brightening tone and smoothing texture.
6. Best Exfoliating Face Wash
Part cleanser, part face scrub, this hardworking formula will wake you up in the morning—thanks to the orange-spiked scent—and help remove old, dead skin cells.
7. Best Face Wash for Enlarged Pores
If your pores are looking larger than you'd ideally like, it's probably because oil has become trapped inside them, stretching the cellular walls. Sounds terrifying, but it's really just a case of employing something pore-purging to dissolve that unwanted sebum and restore order.
Pai's new foaming face wash uses poly-hydroxy-acids, a gentle yet effective resurfacing ingredient ,to dissolve the gunk lingering within pores without upsetting sensitive skin.
8. Best Face Wash for Combination Skin
Part of the new school of affordable yet science-based skincare brands, Byoma creates fuss-free products that'll keep sensitive skin happy and resilient.
The brand's signature cleanser has a jelly-like texture that sweeps away oil without over-drying the skin's barrier. A great all-rounder for pretty much everyone.
9. Best Face Wash for Dry Skin
Hydrating cream cleansers are often missing that satisfying lather, but Soho Skin's cleverly combines moisture-boosting ingredients with a gentle foaming agent, meaning you get the best of both worlds. Squalane works to quench dry skin, while oat extract soothes irritation from shaving.