/The Best Face Wash for Men in 2023

The Best Face Wash for Men in 2023

We rounded up the best face wash because skin care is never one-size-fits-all. For instance, what works on “normal” skin can be harsh, drying, and irritating on the more sensitive folks. The best face wash for sensitive skin is going to be gentler, with soothing ingredients that preserve the skin’s precious balance

While it’s tempting to reach for a heavy-duty cleanser (perhaps you live for that “tight” feeling, the telltale sensation of your skin being pulled across your cheekbones as you scrub it down) those formulas will only hurt your skin in the long run. These picks, on the other hand, are as gentle as a lamb. They range from on-the-go wipes to milky washes, from pore-clearing powders to oil-eliminating wonders. Which means there’s bound to be an option here that’s right for your skin type, ridding your moneymaker of unwanted impurities. (And once you’ve locked down the face wash that’s right for your skin care routine, why not pick out a moisturizer and some UV-blocking sunscreen too?)

How Often Should You Really Wash Your Face?

In most cases, we’d recommend washing your face twice a day: once in the morning, to remove any built up dirt and oils you might have trapped while sleeping on the pillowcase you keep forgetting to wash, and again in the evening to take away the sweat and grime from the day (along with your trusty SPF). That said, if your skin is particularly sensitive or runs extremely dry especially in the cooler months, keeping your skin hydrated is going to be key in reducing irritation and inflammation so you can get away with a light cleanse in the morning (or forgo it altogether as long as you do a thorough clean at night). 

As for the best place to wipe the slate clean? You can suds up in the shower—but you make sure your hair is rinsed of any shampoo and conditioner before you do so it doesn’t run all over your face and cause an annoying breakout. The sink is a better option—but when you’re in a rush, do what you gotta do.

Ingredients to Look Out For

The whole point of washing your face is to remove unwanted oils and dirt so that you can minimize breakouts and allow the following serums and moisturizers you layer on to really penetrate the epidermis. But too much of a good thing can actually have the opposite effect. To make sure you’re cleaning and not stripping your face of necessary moisture look out for cleansers that have hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid, squalane, shea butter and non comedogenic oils (rosehip, almond, jojoba are good ones to have on your radar).

The Best Face Washes, at a Glance

The Best Face Wash, Period 

Philosophy purity made simple one-step facial cleanser

Philosophy’s ridiculously popular cleanser (and a 2022 GQ Grooming Award winner) remains a hallmark of eco-conscious skin care for a reason. Its secret sauce? The brand’s meadowfoam seed oil, an antioxidant-rich formula suitable for all skin types and sourced from the imprint’s extensive roster of environmentally-minded suppliers.

The Best Gentle Face Wash

The Ordinary squalane cleanser

You get what you pay for, the old adage goes. In this case, that means a solid cleanser that won’t strip your skin—but will remove the layers of sunscreen and serums you’re already sweating through—for less than 10 bucks. The Ordinary’s original cleanser starts off as a balm before quickly transforming into a slick oil with the heat of your palms as you work it in. It’s an extremely gentle formula that’s packed with squalane, a natural oil that locks in moisture to keep your skin smooth and soft, while lipophilic esters break down dirt and grime. 

The Best Face Wash for Dry Skin

Eadem Dew Dream cleansing balm

If your skin depends on every last drop of moisture to stay soft and radiant, a cleansing balm could be the key to getting a deep clean without stripping you dry. Eadem’s Dew Dream starts off as a gel-like balm packed with soothing tiger grass and skin plumping fatty acids and antioxidants that, with the heat of your hands, transitions into an oil that’s equipped to trap all the dirt you’ve somehow managed to accumulate by staying indoors. Once you’ve sufficiently slicked up, add water to emulsify the oil then rinse away. 

The Best Face Wash for Fighting Oil

Caudalie Vinopure pore purifying gel cleanser

Every day, we get closer to that sweat-inducing summer heat meaning those with oily, acne-prone skin would be wise to lock down a cleanser that gently removed excess sebum without the harsh stripping. Caudalie’s gentle purifying gel cleanser is formulated with exfoliating salicylic acid and antioxidant-rich grape water to tackle unwanted blemishes and inject skin-plumping hydration back into the skin. Essential oils like peppermint are also in the mix, making for a great morning pick-m- up if you struggle to get going in the AM. 

The Best Drugstore Face Wash 

Neutrogena Hydroboost cleanser

Your favorite high school cleanser is now better than ever. Formulated with hyaluronic acid, Hydroboost actively adds in hydration while making sure your skin is clean of the excess sludge that led to those greasy yearbook photos, one of the many reasons it nabbed a GQ Grooming Award last year. Cleansing capabilities aside, Neutrogena is incredibly accessible, easily picked up online or in your local drugstore—so you won’t have to panic and debate whether to pay more for overnight shipping when you suddenly run out. 

The Dermatologist’s Pick

La Roche-Posay Toleriane purifying foam cleanser

If there’s one thing your derm and the French can agree on it’s La Roche-Posay. The brand has been churning out effective, science-backed formulas since 1975, and its purifying foam cleanser is one of its biggest hits. Packed with niacinamide to smooth fine lines and even out skin tone along with moisturizing ceramides and glycerin, this oil-free face wash won’t clog your pores—but it will give you a satisfying deep clean. Even better, one bottle cost way less than a trip to your doctor’s office, so if you’re into preventative skin care and saving money, look no further.

Plus 14 More Face Washes We Love

Youth to the People superfood antioxidant refillable cleanser

Packed with kale, spinach, and green tea, this gel cleanser is the perfect morning detox for your face.

Malin + Goetz grapefruit face cleaner

Coconut-based surfactants soften up the acidity of this cleanser’s star ingredient making it an invigorating face wash even the most sensitive skin types can enjoy.

Sulwhasoo gentle cleansing foam

This nutty, botanical blend makes for a lightweight yet extremely heavy duty cleanser.

Etude House Soon Jung ph 6.5 whip cleanser

Ultra gentle, this creamy, foaming cleanser sucks all the grime you’ve somehow managed to accumulate overnight and leaves you with pillowy soft skin.

IS clinical cleansing complex

skin care routine should include more than washing your face. But when shit hits the fan (read: your roving apothecary of beauty products explodes in your duffel) or you’re in a pinch, iS’s cleansing complex offers a pretty close approximation of the whole shebang with exfoliating willow bark and restorative antioxidants. 

Klur Gentle Matter cleanser

If your skin can’t tolerate even the faintest whif of fragrance, then this soothing cleanser is for you. Plant-based and infused with green tea, coconut milk and sweet almond oil, Gentle Matter won’t foam up as it gently lifts away dirt and grime revealing soft, clean skin.

Tatcha rice wash skin-softening cleanser

For those who like the sensation of a deep scrub, Tatcha’s rice cleanser starts off slightly grainy before quickly transforming into a ultra-soft foam while it works to lift away the day’s buildup. The result is clean smooth skin.

Ursa Major Fantastic face wash

A high-foaming, sulfate-free cleanser that manages to gently, yet effectively, remove all the gunk your face without drying you out? Sign us up. A little bit goes a long way so you’ll be set long into the new year, while a minute dose of AHA exfoliation helps to keep your skin extra smooth over time.

Krave matcha hemp cleanser

Matcha isn’t just for amped up coffee-drinkers looking for a change of pace. The antioxidant-rich leaf calms down inflammation and is packed with vitamin E, which is great for cell repair and keeping your skin barrier nicely moisturized.

Fulton & Roark aftershave cloths

Part cleanser, part toner, these cloths gently balance the skin after each shave. They disinfect and clean pores with the help of tea tree oil and witch hazel, while soothing sensitivities with eucalyptus. You can pack them for one-offs to the gym or for a midday refresh, even if you aren’t shaving.

Murad clarifying cleanser

Acne-prone folks, you should be exfoliating too. Murad’s cleanser helps vanish existing blemishes and prevent more of ’em from cropping up down the line, soothing your skin in the process.

The Inkey List salicylic acid acne + pore cleanser

pimple-clearing miracle we can’t get enough of, thanks to its strategic use of salicylic acid and that sweet, sweet price.

Fresh soy face cleanser

Fresh’s cult-loved, fragrance-free cleanser comes full of soothing ingredients like aloe vera to protect your skin from the grating irritants of the great outdoors.

Dermalogica ultracalming cleanser

If you like your face wash the way you like your water (that is, with a refreshing splash of mint and lavender), Dermalogica’s cleanser is for you. The brand’s soft, creamy formula lathers on easy and will leave your skin feeling soothed post-application.