Best Body Wash Options for Men
In search of the best body wash for men? Trying to determine which product works best for your skincare needs? Hoping to find something that cleans and moisturizes effectively?
If the answer is yes, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s be real – a lot of the information appearing online related to men’s grooming products stinks.
What annoys me most is how so many websites make you read through a bunch of hypermasculine bravado because they operate under the assumption that guys need “manning up” before buying something (Douglas, K, McNeil, L, 2011).
What a bunch of non-sense. The hard truth is the men’s personal care market is a multibillion dollar industry and has been for some time. Quality grooming gear is highly sought after by men because – as it turns out – we give a crap about how we look.
On this page, I’m going to give you the real deal on men’s body washes, just like I have in the past with this post on men’s face moisturizers.
Moreover, I’ll break it all down according to your skin, meaning suggestions for normal, dry, combo and oily types. Believe it or not, the kind of body wash you use has an enormous impact on how your skin looks and feels.
There are even anti-aging benefits to be gained, provided you use the right product.
As a matter of full disclosure, I need to say now that all of the suggestions offered below are linked to Amazon; an organization of which I am affiliated.
But that doesn’t mean you must buy these online. Some are available at your local drug store.
Body Moisturizer Personal Story
Several years ago, I went to the dermatologist to seek his guidance on a problem I was having. The long and the short of it is I had flakey skin.
It wasn’t super obvious but it was something I noticed. The main problem was drying around my legs and particularly my ankles. Obviously, the cold winters of the Midwest didn’t help but this issue also popped up during summer.
At any rate, after the doctor checked me out, he asked me a question. “Do you use bar soap to wash yourself up?” he asked.
Indeed, that is exactly what I was using. As I write this out now, I don’t recall the brand but I do know it was marketed to men.
“Yep – I do,” I replied.
His response was immediate. “You don’t want to put anything like that on your skin. It will dry you up and cause damage. Do yourself a favor and pick up a high-quality body wash,” he said.
And that’s exactly what I did. After the appointment, I headed over to the drugstore to get something. In my case, I ended up buying Cetaphil Gentle Body Wash (see Amazon).
It’s not like I just decided on this one by happenstance. Instead, I did it because my doc suggested it to me just as I was leaving his office.
And the result? Well, after using the Cetaphil for a week, plus moisturizing after each shower, the dryness went away. Gone were scaly, unsightly patchy areas that were causing the occasional itch.
And it has mostly been this way ever since. I still get dry skin in the dead of winter. I think that’s normal. But it’s nowhere near what it was like prior to switching from a soap to a body wash.
The purpose of sharing this story with you is to point out the obvious: When men make changes to their skin care routine, there can be very real benefits.
And so that is the inspiration for this post – to help guys identify the best body cleansers for their grooming needs.
With the help of consumer reviews and customer feedback, I examined scores of different products to identify the top picks.
The process wasn’t easy. There are more body washes on the market than you can imagine. But I was determined. After months of research, I am ready to share my findings.
We’re going to be covering a lot of information in what follows. I highly encourage you to read this entire page so that you can make the best choices for your unique situation.
After all, this is your skin we are talking about.
In this article you will learn:
- The unique features of men’s skin
- The role of collagen
- Five common men’s skin types
- Designer body washes vs. niche products
- Why price isn’t always an indicator of quality
- How to pick a men’s body moisturizer
I recognize there is a lot to go over and I’ve tried super hard to stick to the essentials. Let’s start off with your skin because that’s where everything starts.
Unique Features of Men’s Skin
Many guys think “skin is skin” and there’s not much difference between a man’s dermal layer vs. a woman’s. As a result, they reach for something their girlfriend uses or copy something a buddy uses.
But here is the thing – men have vastly different skin than their female counterparts. While we may have similar attributes, men typically have thicker, oilier, and more porous skin than females.
In the end, this means guys are more prone to developing body acne. Additionally, we tend to develop more pronounced lines, also known as wrinkles.
Here’s the deal – once you move into your 30’s, the physiological process of protein synthesis starts to slow down. In turn, collagen production decreases (Zivkovic, 2011).
You should know that collagen is an important substance to skin. It’s the very thing that gives your face and body it’s youthful look.
You may be wondering how all of this relates to men’s body washes? It’s simple. The type of product you use to needs to match your “type”.
If you want to learn more about this topic, I encourage you to read this comprehensive post on men’s moisturizers.
The windup is this: Don’t assume all body washes are the same or hold the same benefits. The reality is some can cause skin problems, including drying, cracking, and skin damage.
Designer vs. Niche Body Washes
You may be wondering if price is indicative of quality. The simple answer is no. Designer body washes usually are made by a company as part of co-branding another product.
An example of this can be found in Eternity for Men Body Wash.
While there is nothing wrong with a designer product, they tend to be more expensive than niche products. Designer products are trying to sell you an image – a lifestyle.
The main point is to stress that price has absolutely zero to do with quality. Many niche washes fall on the lower end of the money spectrum and do a phenomenal job.
An example of a niche can be found in Gillette’s hydrating product.
Men’s Skin Types Explained
As mentioned earlier, it’s important to know your skin type. I’ve kept things simple by using bullet points below with each typology.
Which of these most closely matches you?
1) Normal skin
Men in the normal skin type category typically have the following characteristics:
- Some imperfections
- Skin that’s not super sensitive
- Pores are not visible to naked eye
- Even tone with radiant features
2) Combo skin
Guys who have a combo skin type will usually:
- Have some blackheads/whiteheads
- Have dry and oily areas
- Some shine on cheeks, nose, and/or forehead
- Dry skin “patchy” areas
- Somewhat uneven skin tone
3) Oily skin
A lot of guys have this skin type. Genetics, environmental issues, and daily stress can all influence oily skin problems. Some men experience acne as a result. (See this post on stress and acne to learn more). Examples:
- Signs of oily skin:
- History of whiteheads
- History of blackheads
- Sebaceous hyperplasia (oily glands causing bumps)
- Visible shine on cheeks, forehead, and nose
- History of acne
4) Dry skin
Men who have dry skin can easily identify this as a problem because it’s so noticeable. Examples:
- Areas that are reddish and patchy
- Rough skin, sometimes cracked
- Visible lines
- A dull complexion
- Pores that are nearly invisible
5) Sensitive skin
Males who have sensitive skin will often see the following:
- Areas of redness
- Blotches on face, back or chest
- Very sensitive to touch
- Areas of dryness
- Some itchiness
- Bumps due to irritation
Before concluding this section, I just want to say that if don’t know your skin type or you are concerned about the causes of your skin problems, you need to see a dermatologist.
If that’s not something you want to do, you can always opt for a natural product that is good for all skin types. More on that in a bit.
Let’s move on now to the different body washes for men. Notice I’ve broken it all down according to skin type.
25 Body Wash Options for Men
Here are the 25 best body washes for men based on skin typology. Because grooming products for guys are always changing, the suggestions below are updated from time to time.
Check it out.
1. Olivina Men All in One
If you are looking for a product does a great job with cleaning while offering a manly scent, Olivina’s product is a good one. This guy gives off a cedar and smoky vanilla vibe, which is awesome.
2. Every Man Jack Body Wash
Great product that does an amazing job cleaning your skin, leaving it fresh and supple. Comes in a variety of scents but cedarwood is probably the most popular.
3. No. 63 Shower Gel
Want something that cleans, moisturizes and vibes out masculine? Then you’ll love No. 63. Think warm and woody when you apply this product. I personally have used and think is it awesome.
4. The Gambler
If you like the old school smell of tobacco, leather, and bourbon, The Gambler body wash is a terrific choice. Many guys going for a rugged vibe opt for this baby. Great cleanser. They those who use the wash get lucky.
5. Rugged and Dapper Body Wash + Shampoo
Made from natural ingredients, this product is great for men who want to hit their skin and hair in one fell swoop. Has a fresh, masculine scent. Some use as a facial cleanser as well.
6. CeraVe Hydrating Body Wash
If you have combo skin with dry areas, CeraVe makes a lot of good products. Their body wash is terrific for men who aren’t sure what to buy. Also approved by the National Eczema Foundation.
7. Jack Black Turbo Wash
Made from natural ingredients, this guy can be used on your body and hair. I like that it has a vegan vibe and it uses eucalyptus to help relax tired, cramped muscles. Doesn’t strip your skin of moisture.
8. Dr. Wood’s Raw Black Liquid
Terrific product if you are looking for a cleanser for your entire body. Can even be used on your face and for your hair. Helps to exfoliate and remove dead skin, leaving your dermal layer feeling soft. Uses skin-nourishing nutrients A, E and iron. Organic.
8. Gentlemen’s Reserve Organic Reserve
Using all-natural ingredients, this is an excellent choice for combination skin types. Lather yourself with an amazing trio of cedarwood, pine, and lemon oils. Contains anti-oxidants, which helps your skin fight off free radicals that can contribute to premature aging.
10. Brickell Men’s Rapid Wash
Need something that cleans, hydrates, and invigorates? Would you like an all-in-one product for body, face, and hair? Then you might want to try t
his product. Uses natural and certified organic ingredients. Contains nutrients for your skin to keep it looking its best.
11. Bath and Body Works Signature Collection
I’ve heard a lot of positive feedback from guys who have shared this is a very good product for oily skin types. Contains an exotic blend of black cardamom, smoky vanilla and a hint of musk.
12. Burt’s Bee’s Natural Body Wash
Good for all skin types, including oily types, this wash is light and designed to pour onto your hands or a wash cloth and rinse off. Has a clean, citrus scent that isn’t overpowering.
13. Gentlemen’s Reserve Tea Tree Mint
Designed to cleanse and hydrate, this body wash can be used for guys on the go. Can be applied to face and body and is very good if you have oily skin. No alcohol – which means no hard drying of your dermal layer.
14. Rocky Mountain Barber Company
If you are hoping to get a manly smelling body wash that does an amazing job for your hair, face, and beard then you’ll want to check this product out. Light citrus scent with cedarwood. Good for men on the move.
15. Manscaped All in One Body Wash
This is another product I have heard good things about from guys who struggle with oily skin. If you want something that can be used for your body and hair, you might want to check this one out. Ingredients include soothing aloe and sea salt.
16. DOVE MEN CARE HYDRATION
16 Recommended by dermatologists, Dove Men + Care offers a great product for guys who have dry skin. Locks in the dermal layer’s natural moisture and leaves your skin feeling clean and refreshed. You can get a many drug stores.
17 ArtNaturals Natural Body Wash
Infused with aloe vera and coco butter, this guy is great for men who want to smell good, and have smooth, clean feeling skin. No greasy residue. Great if you have itchy skin.
18. Cetaphil Ultra Gentle
Want something fragrance free that is designed for dry skin? Hoping for a product that is recommended by dermatologists? Want something hypoallergenic? Then you’ll want to consider this product. I’ve used for years and have been very happy with the results.
19. Mountain Falls Deep Moisturizing Wash
This one offers a rich, creamy lather. Contains natural moisturizers. Good for guys with dry skin that want to infuse a bit of softness. Comparable to Dove’s Men’s products. Not tested on animals.
20. Irish Spring Moisture Blast
I have used this product in the past and have to say I really liked it. Great choice for guys who want a fresh, clean smell and need a little extra moisture. The liquid in the bottle is a cool looking blue.
21. Murad Acne Body Wash
Do you have sensitive skin? Are you a man that breaks out with acne on your shoulders, back or butt? Want something that offers a good clean while mindful of your skin. This might be a product to check out.
22. Aveeno Sensitive Skin Wash
Terrific product if you want something that gently cleans and moisturizes. Leaves skin feeling hydrated and smooth. Contains natural ingredients, including soothing oatmeal. Recommended by dermatologists.
23. The Seaweed Bath Co. Body Wash
This is a calming body wash that cleanses and moisturizes. Uses organic harvested seaweed and contains over 65 vitamins. Repairs dermal layer. Many people with sensitive skin say this products works well. Hard to find at stores.
24. Ivory Free and Gentle
This product is free of dyes or parabens. Scented with sandalwood and pear. Leaves skin feeling fresh and clean without the use of harsh chemicals. You can get at many drug stores and grocers.
25. Puracy Natural Body Wash
Product was created by doctors. Uses citrus and sea salt to deliver a moisturizing lather. No harsh chemicals or dyes. Good for men and women. Difficult to find at stores.
How To Apply Men’s Body Wash
All body washes come with a set of instructions, usually printed on the back of the bottle. You may be thinking to yourself, “What is there to know? You just start using it.”
Well, on some level sure – there is an intuitive aspect to application. But if you want to get the most out of your product and allow it to do an effective job, here are some tips.
- Consider using a loofah sponge. Not only will this help with even distribution, it also helps with exfoliation. You can get these online at Amazon or at many pharmacies.
- Use warm water but not hot. If you are using a product to lock in moisture, warmish water will help open your pores. Hot water will too but it can also cause drying and scaling.
- Remember to use your body wash on all of your man areas, this means your genitals and butt.
- If you are manscaping, opt for a product that has some kind of anti-bacterial ingredient.
How Often Should I Use?
A lot of guys ask: “How often should I use a body wash?” You’ll read lots of different opinions on this topic so for what it is worth, here are my two-cents.
Most men shower at least once a day. Ideally, this is when you will use your product. That said, during warm weather months when temps are high, you may want to shower more frequently.
So, what’s the answer?
Here’s the deal – I’m not a fan of applying lots of chemicals to skin. Once a day should be sufficient unless there is a reason you need to do it more.
I guess what you are hearing me say is that if you are simply rinsing off to cool – why apply a product?
Can I put it on my face?
You may be tempted to a body wash on your face. I don’t blame you – why not knock everything off at once? But I encourage you to carefully read the directions before making this choice.
Here is why: Not all body washes are designed for the face. If you have sensitive skin (for example) your product may cause irritation.
Depending on the ingredients, some can even contribute to lines and wrinkles. Be sure to read this facial care guide for men to learn more.
Should I use a fragrance?
Many body washes have a manly fragrance. The question becomes should you use it? Well, all I can tell you is that it’s a personal choice.
One thing to consider is if you are going to apply some type of cologne, it may best to use something without a scent. See men’s cologne post to learn more.
Should I moisturize After
The quick answer to this question is – yes. Even if your product of choice says it “moisturizes skin” the reality is once you rinse off the liquid and dry yourself with a towel, many of the benefits evaporate.
That’s why you’ll want to follow up with a moisturizer that hydrates. The goal is to lock in water and seal the dermal layer.
The best way to do this is to apply a body lotion after showering.
Body Wash for Men by Season
If you live in an area that experiences the four seasons, it makes sense to use different products throughout the year. For example, you may not want to apply a hydrating body wash during summer.
On the flipside, wintertime may mean picking something that hydrates.
If you aren’t sure what to buy or don’t want to purchase multiple products, consider using something that’s good for all skin types and designed for year-round use.
Men’s Body Wash Myths
There are more myths about men’s body washes than I can shake a stick at. Many are the direct result of clever marketing campaigns, designed to get you to buy something super expensive.
Below, I’ve tried to mention the “biggies”.
- All body washes are the same
- Soaps and body washes are identical.
- A woman’s body wash is the same as a man’s.
- Scented body washes for men don’t clean well.
- The more expensive a wash, the better the product.
- Inexpensive body washes are low in quality.
- Celebrity endorsements mean high quality.
- Body washes dry your skin out.
As a guy, you should take pride in your self-care routine. This means focusing on grooming and wanting to look as attractive as possible.
If you have time, check out this post on how to look more handsome for men.
Thanks for stopping by Guy Counseling!
Douglas, K. McNeil, L. (2011). Retailing masculinity: Gender expectations and social image of male grooming products in New Zealand. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0969698911000634
Zivkovic, B. (2011, August 20). BIO101 – Protein Synthesis: Transcription and Translation. Retrieved from Scientific American: https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/a-blog-around-the-clock/bio101-protein-synthesis-transcription-and-translation/