Men are notorious for not taking care of their skin and bodies as they should. Part of this is using soaps that are harsh on our skin or those that have pungent fragrances — and this we seem to do far too often.
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To guide the grooming-impaired among us, we have compiled a list of the best soaps for all sorts of occasions. This includes trying out a pleasant scent for work, spicing up your intimate life with scents that encourage close contact, or even trying to take better care of your body with skin-soothing soaps.
What’s the Best Smelling Bar Soap?
While there are a lot of soaps that smell terrible, there are several men’s soaps that smell quite good. However, one clearly stood above the rest: Dr. Squatch Mens Cedar Citrus Soap. This handmade brand is infused with fresh notes of cedar, orange, and rosemary. We found it to be a fresh, crisp scent that was not too strong and not too weak. Just right!
We are big fans of the Dr. Squatch brand, in particular, because of the great scents on offer. However, because they don’t use chemical additives or other harsh ingredients, this brand and cedar citrus bar soap are good options for keeping your skin looking healthy and smooth.
But here’s a shout out to the guys who struggle with dry, damaged, or excessively oily skin. You will likely want the best bar soap for men that is more targeted to your needs.
What’s the Best Bar for Dry Skin for Men?
Chronic, dry skin is a tough challenge, but we found that the Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Bar was up to the task. Cetaphil is well-known for its lotions targeted to treating dry skin, and their Gentle Cleansing Bar was more of the same.
It doesn’t remove the skin’s natural oil or irritate damaged skin. A big selling point was how easily it rinses off, as moisturizing bars have a reputation for feeling oily and uncomfortable once you’re out of the shower. The Cetaphil bar avoids this issue, leaving your skin feeling not only healthy and repaired but also comfortable.
The strengths of Cetaphil in treating dry skin paradoxically introduces some drawbacks. The bar is scentless, which is great for sensitive skin but not so great for those looking for a fresh scent to follow them through the day.
This bar soap for men won’t be a good exfoliator either, meaning it’s not a great choice as a regular face soap. Of course, if you struggle with chronically dry, damaged skin, you shouldn’t be looking for an exfoliator bar anyway.
If you have chronically dry skin but would love a good strong scent, we recommend alternating between different soaps. A perfect choice to swap with Cetaphil bar soap is The Yellow Bird Soap Bar or any other scented soap made with shea butter.
What’s the Best Soap for Men’s Oily Skin?
Most bars of soap can remove oil from your skin well, but the challenge comes from removing oil without over-drying the skin underneath. It’s a tough tight-rope to walk, but SheaMoisture Face & Body Bar for Oily, Blemish-Prone Skin walks it well.
As the name implies, this body bar uses shea butter to keep skin moisturized and healthy, but there’s more than just shea butter. There’s also tamarind extract and tree oil to help wash away oil and soothe irritated skin.
The results of using this body bar showed that it effectively cleaned away excess oil without overdrying or damaging the underlying skin. You’ll be hard-pressed to find another bar that balances the two so perfectly, which is why this is a definite favorite for oily skin.
Its scent is quite light, so if you want a bar that gives you a noticeable, long-lasting scent, consider other brands, like Dr. Squatch.
What’s the Best Bar Soap for Men’s Faces?
Finding a daily facial soap that won’t dry or damage your skin can be a challenge. The first rule is to look for a soap specifically made for faces. For a combination of a soap that is gentle on skin but provides a thorough clean, we recommend The Yellow Bird Soap Bar.
Activated charcoal removes oil, but the all-natural ingredients help protect your skin. It is also made with shea butter to make sure your face stays moisturized and looking healthy. It exfoliates without irritating or damaging your skin, making it an ideal choice.
Unlike many soaps geared towards those with sensitive skin, The Yellow Bird has a noticeable lemongrass lavender scent, but it’s certainly not overwhelming.
This bar soap for men is a good secondary option for those with oily skin but want a stronger scent than the SheaMoisture bar.
What’s the Best Handmade Natural Bar Soap for Men?
This was a tough call. Some of our favorites, like Dr. Squatch and The Yellow Bird Soap Bar, are strong contenders for the best handmade natural bar soap for men. However, as an overall best, we couldn’t say no to Dr. Bronner’s – Pure-Castile Bar Soap.
Dr. Bronner’s is a well-known all-natural brand, and they have all kinds of scents to choose from (they also have unscented varieties). Plus chemicals or harsh additives aren’t used in their soaps, most of the ingredients are organic, and the brand has a strong commitment to environmentally friendly practices.
Dr. Bronner’s also has the advantage of a full-utility soap, meaning it can be used on your face, body, and even as a shampoo. Of course, the brand offers more traditional shampoos if you’d prefer not to lather your hair with a bar.
While we love this bar as the overall best for handmade natural soaps, it is not for everyone. The oils used in these bars may work well for keeping normal skin healthy and looking good, but they are not ideal for those with irritable or acne-prone skin.
If you have chronically dry, damaged skin, you should consider a bar made with shea butter. The Pure-Castile soap bar may over-dry skin that is already prone to flaking or irritation, likely because of the presence of oil.
However, with the large variety of scents, an ideal soap recipe for average skin, and a voracious commitment to sustainable production, we still found Dr. Bronner’s bar to be our overall favorite handmade soap.
What’s the Best Bar Soap for Men in Summer?
Summer means you are struggling with sweat, heat, and body odor. The season sets some challenges for the average guy to smell good and feel cool, so Dr. Squatch Spearmint Basil won us over. The brand avoids harsh chemicals that can irritate your skin, and their spearmint bar is no exception.
The cooling sensation of the spearmint and the sharp scents of the basil make this just perfect for a summer soap. It’s a wonderful combination of sensations to relax, cool off, with an attractive lingering scent that lasts through the day.
Which Bar Soap Is Best for Me?
Although we’ve named our favorites, don’t just take our word for it. Examine what you want and need out of a soap bar. Do you prioritize scent or prefer to tackle your dry or oily skin? Perhaps you want an all-body soap or one that specializes in facial cleansing?
There are a lot of unknown factors to consider that are best explored by trying several options yourself. You will likely discover a few new preferences you never knew you had.
It might take time to find the best bar soap for men, but the journey is half the fun. We recommend using our suggestions as starting points to find the one that is best for you.