The Ultimate Guide to Men's Face Cleansers: Choosing the Right Product for Healthy Skin

Gents, you may not realize it, but using gentle skincare products like face wash can be a game changer for your skin. While you may be cleansing your face with a bar soap or body wash, you’re likely not getting all the benefits you could reap from a simple skincare routine. 


A skincare routine is essential for healthy skin. Face washes are the first step of a basic routine (which should also include a moisturizer and sunscreen). Men’s face cleansers are specially formulated to treat common issues and concerns like dryness or breakouts. 


In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about men’s face cleansers, including how to choose one and proper application techniques. 

Types of Face Cleanser for Men

There are several types of face cleansers designed specifically for men. Here are the most popular face cleanser options: 

  1. Foaming face wash: When mixed with water, these cleansers create a rich lather, helping to remove dirt, oil, and impurities from the skin. They are usually formulated with hydrating ingredients that add moisture to the skin. Foaming face washes are ideal for men with dry, sensitive, or combination skin. 
  2. Gel cleansers: Gel cleansers have a lightweight, non-foaming texture that easily glides over the skin. They are suitable for oily or acne-prone skin types, as they help control excess oil production and clear out the pores. 
  3. Clay-based cleansers: Clay-based cleansers contain natural clays, such as bentonite or kaolin, which help absorb excess oil and remove impurities from the pores. They are often ideal for men with oily or combination skin. Clay-based cleansers are great to add to your skincare routine one to two times a week when you want a deeper clean. 
  4. Exfoliating cleansers: These cleansers contain gentle exfoliating agents like beads, jojoba beads, or fruit enzymes, which help remove dead skin cells and unclog pores. Exfoliating cleansers are ideal for men who want a brighter, smoother complexion. They’re great to add to your skincare routine (one to two times a week) when you want extra skin brightness. 
  5. Bar soaps: Traditional bar soaps are still popular among men for their convenience and affordability. Look for bar soaps specifically formulated for the face, as they are gentler and less drying than regular body soaps (which are meant for the body).
  6. Charcoal cleansers: Activated charcoal has become a popular ingredient in men's face cleansers due to its ability to draw out impurities and toxins from the skin. These cleansers are excellent for deep pore cleansing and are ideal for those with oily or acne-prone skin. Toss it into your regular skincare lineup once or twice weekly for a deeper clean. 
  7. Cream Cleansers: Cream cleansers have a rich, moisturizing texture, ideal for men with dry or mature skin. They gently remove dirt and oil without stripping the skin of its natural oils. Cream cleansers are very popular in skincare regimens as they’re gentle on the skin. 

How to Choose the Right Face Cleanser

When choosing a face cleanser, consider your skin type, concerns (such as acne or aging), and personal preferences. Some men prefer a refreshing, tingling sensation, while others prefer a gentle, non-irritating formula.

Here’s what to consider before buying a new face wash. 

Consider Your Skin Type

There are five main skin types. Each type has its own characteristics and needs. 

  1. Normal skin: Normal skin is well-balanced, with no visible issues like dryness, oiliness, or sensitivity. Normal skin has a smooth texture and rarely experiences skin concerns or problems, even when using new products.
  2. Dry skin: Dry skin lacks moisture and often feels tight, rough, or flaky. Dehydrated skin is prone to premature aging, fine lines, and wrinkles, so it requires products with more moisture and hydrating ingredients.
  3. Oily skin: Oily skin produces excess sebum (aka oil), leading to a shiny appearance and clogged pores. This skin type is more prone to acne, blackheads, and enlarged pores. Facial cleansers with gentle exfoliating products are ideal for this skin type. 
  4. Combination skin: This skin type is characterized by an oily T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin) and drier cheeks and jawline. It requires a balance of products to control oil and hydrate dry areas. Men with this skin type should assemble products that treat these two different skin types and use them on a rotating schedule. 
  5. Sensitive skin: Sensitive skin is easily irritated by certain ingredients, environmental factors, or skincare products. It may appear red, inflamed, or prone to rashes and rosacea. This skin type requires gentle, fragrance-free, and hypoallergenic products.

Additionally, some men may have specific skin concerns or conditions, such as mature skin or skin with hyperpigmentation, which may require targeted treatments or products.

Identifying your skin type is essential to finding the right skincare products and routines that address your needs and concerns. Consulting a dermatologist or skincare professional can also help determine your skin type, and they are qualified to recommend appropriate products and treatments.


Ingredients to Look for in Men’s Face Cleanser

When shopping for a men's face cleanser, looking for ingredients that address your specific skin concerns and needs is essential. Here are some key ingredients to look for:

  • Salicylic acid: Salicylic acid, also known as beta-hydroxy acid (BHA), is excellent for combating acne, managing excess oil, and unclogging pores. BHA is ideal for oily and acne-prone skin as the exfoliant helps break down oil and debris that cause clogged pores.
  • Charcoal: Activated charcoal has absorbent properties that help draw out impurities and excess oil and remove toxins from the skin. It's beneficial for deep pore cleansing and detoxifying the skin. Activated charcoal is an ideal ingredient for those with oily or acne-prone skin. 
  • Vitamin C: Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps protect the skin from environmental stressors and promotes a brighter complexion. It’s great for every skin type and helps skin look more radiant. 
  • Tea tree oil: Known for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, tea tree oil can help combat acne and soothe inflamed skin. It can also help with excess oil production and is ideal for those with acne-prone or oily skin. 
  • Glycolic acid: Glycolic acid, also known as alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA), gently exfoliates the skin, improves skin texture, and promotes cellular turnover. AHAs are ideal for all skin types and are especially beneficial for mature skin. 
  • Niacinamide (Vitamin B3): Niacinamide helps regulate sebum production, minimize the appearance of pores, and improve overall skin texture. It’s an excellent ingredient for those with combination, oily, or acne-prone skin. 
  • Aloe vera: Aloe vera is a soothing and hydrating ingredient that can help calm irritated skin and provide moisture. It contains natural antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that help treat injuries. Aloe vera is an excellent hydrating ingredient for all skin types. 
  • Ceramides: Ceramides are lipids that help strengthen the skin's barrier function, preventing moisture loss and protecting against environmental stressors. They’re an ideal ingredient for all skin types. 
  • Antioxidants: Antioxidants like green tea and vitamin E help neutralize free radicals and protect the skin from oxidative stress, which can lead to premature aging. Antioxidants are great for the skin and help rejuvenate all skin types. 

Ingredients to Avoid 

Whether you’re shopping for a new face wash or a moisturizer, there are a few ingredients you should always avoid. 


Avoid harsh chemicals like parabens, sulfates, phthalates, artificial fragrances, and dyes. These can cause dryness, redness, irritation, inflammation, and more. 

How to Properly Cleanse Your Face

Here is a step-by-step guide to cleansing the skin. 

Step-By-Step Guide to Cleanse the Face

  1. Grab your face cleanser formulated for men and put a pea-sized amount of product on your fingertips or palm. 
  2. Wet your face with the other hand and gently massage the cleanser into the skin. 
  3. Use gentle circular motions, and don’t push or pull the skin. 
  4. When your face feels clean, rinse it with lukewarm or cool water. 
  5. Pat your face dry before going to the next step in your skincare routine. 

Dermatologists recommend following a daily skincare routine and applying skin care products in the correct order. Start with a face wash, followed by spot treatment or medication, moisturizer, sunscreen, and makeup. 

The Best Men’s Face Cleansers

Blu Atlas Volcanic Ash Face Cleanser is one of the best men’s face cleansers. The formula combines naturally derived ingredients to remove impurities from the skin while keeping the skin moisturized and radiant. 


Volcanic ash (bentonite), pomegranate seed oil, and lactobacillus ferment filtrate work together to ensure the skin stays clean while offering optimal hydration. The formula is vegan, cruelty-free, and free from harsh ingredients like parabens, sulfates, phthalates, and artificial fragrances. 


Volcanic Ash Face Cleanser is a skin-satisfying face wash that works well for all skin types, including dry skin. For the best results, build a simple skincare routine like a 3-step, 4-step, or even 5-step routine that treats your skin concerns and type. 


Every skincare routine should include a skin-boosting Face Moisturizer and sunscreen. They seal in hydration and protect the skin from damage. If you want a pre-made skincare set, try the Basic Bundle or Advanced Skincare Set to meet your skin needs.  

Frequently Asked Questions

Should men use face cleansers? 

Yes, men should use face cleansers. It’s the best way to clear away dirt, grime, and excess oil and keep the pores clean and clear. Men should follow a simple skincare routine in the morning or evening, and it should include a face wash, moisturizer, and sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher. 

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The Ultimate Guide to Men's Face Cleansers: Choosing the Right Product for Healthy Skin

The Ultimate Guide to Men's Face Cleansers: Choosing the Right Product for Healthy Skin

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