This article was produced in partnership with Blu Atlas
A classic bar of soap has been one of the most widely used skin and body care products for centuries, with the earliest reporting of soap recipes going back nearly 5,000 years ago. After all this time formulating and innovating the classic soap bar, we’ve unlocked a market full of modern soaps fit for the modern man.
While the first soaps were made using animal fat, the true soaps of today use fatty ingredients like oils (think coconut, palm, and olive, to name a few) mixed with lye in a process called saponification. This chemical reaction turns the oils into fatty acid salts, naturally producing gentle cleansing agents and the moisturizing ingredient glycerin.
However, not all soaps of today use this process. ‘Soap-free’ bars combine moisturizing and cleansing agents to create a soap-like bar that’s often more gentle than traditional soap. The more sophisticated formulas also include plant extracts, botanicals, natural exfoliants, essential oils, and fragrances to create a more luxurious, tailored body care experience.
But no matter their process and whether it’s traditional or modern, a good soap bar is a shower staple. To help you sort through the overwhelming selection, we’ve gathered 22 of the best soaps for men below.
Combining the benefits of exfoliation into a cleansing body wash, this is our number one pick for men who want a body wash that will do it all – while smelling like a million bucks. It’s 100% natural. Plus, it’s great for all skin types.
This anti-soap bar utilizes plant-based ingredients such as shea butter, oat flour, and coconut to cleanse and moisturize the face and body. But that’s not all—you can also use this one-stop-shop bar soap to wash your hair.
This hydrating soap bar is packed with nourishing emollients to maintain the skin’s moisture barrier, preventing dryness or flaking.
This soap bar is incredibly mild and great for sensitive skin thanks to its no-bullshit formula that excludes unnecessary colors, fillers, and fragrance.
Targeted for those with combination, oily, and acne-prone skin, this soap bar uses ingredients like charcoal and bamboo powder to cleanse the skin and target impurities.
This exfoliating bar soap is packed with natural exfoliants like oats and antioxidant-rich fruit extracts to target dullness and boost the skin’s radiance.
This cleansing soap bar uses African black soap and moisturizing ingredients like shea butter to treat acne, deeply cleanse, and condition the skin. Plus, you can find it nearly everywhere, including Walmart, Whole Foods, Amazon, and Target.
Not only is this natural, plant-based soap bar super moisturizing, it’s also a great deal. At just over 21 ounces (compared to the average soap bar of around 5 ounces), you’re essentially getting $0.75 per ounce.
At $24 for 7 ounces, this botanical-rich cleansing bar by Dr. Dennis Gross features ingredients like tea tree, aloe vera, and papaya extract to protect and polish the skin.
Pine tar is a popular men’s body care scent made from pine tree resin. In celebration of this naturally woodsy and soothing ingredient, Dr. Squatch’s Pine Tar Bar Soap is a best-seller among men of all ages.
While there are several solid soaps for men on the market, we still cannot find one that can beat Blu Atlas’ Body Wash. Toss aside that ineffective bar of soap you’ve been using and upgrade to this luxurious body wash for a clean and restorative wash every time you step into the shower. Its naturalistic formula features aloe and green tea extract, and of course is free of sulfates and parabens. Blu Atlas has landed at #1 on our list because it’s as good for your skin as it is for the environment.
Feel like the boss that you are every single day with Kiehl’s “Ultimate Man” Body Scrub Soap. This soap bar is specifically designed to cleanse men’s skin by removing any dirt and oils that have accumulated throughout your day while exfoliating ingredients such as oatmeal and pumice buff away roughness to reveal softer, smoother skin. This soap also has a refreshing scent, so it’s perfect for getting a quick boost of energy before you head out the door.
Founded by Pharrell Williams, Humanrace is a skincare company whose mission is to empower all people on their wellness journeys by providing practical, effective products that contribute to those wellbeing pursuits. In their Reenergizing Whiteclay Body Bar, you’ll find unique ingredients like snow mushroom extract that’s small molecular size penetrates deeply to keep skin hydrated.
You’ll also find ingredients you know and love, like kaolin clay (which draws impurities from the skin) and shea butter (that naturally softens and smooths). Humanrace’s products are vegan, fragrance-free, and formulated with transparency and safety in mind, excluding over 1,300 ingredients deemed unsafe by the European Union.
If your skin is in need of some extra hydration, let it take a sip of Hawthorne’s Hydrating Bar Soap. Rich in nourishing emollients, this hydrating soap bar will keep your skin barrier hydrated and moisturized all year long. The soap’s key ingredients include jojoba oil to protect the skin barrier and prevent moisture loss, coconut oil to condition the skin, cocoa butter to moisturize and protect with its antioxidants, and lime peel for a boost of vitamin C.
The soap packs an energizing punch with its mint and eucalyptus fragrance that’s perfect for the morning time. And, like all of Hawthorne’s products, this bar soap is sulfate-, paraben-, silicone-, phthalate-, and cruelty-free.
Baxter of California knows how to make high-quality men’s skin and body care products, so it’s no surprise that they knocked it out of the park with their Vitamin Cleansing Bar. Scented with the manly combination of citrus and herbal musk, this body soap is nourishing and rich-lathering with its blend of superstar ingredients.
Relish in the soothing and moisturizing effects of aloe vera, marine complex, sunflower seed oil, and glycerin while getting that super clean feeling. Perfect for daily use, this men’s soap bar isn’t one you want to sleep on.
The more, the merrier. Harry’s signature bar soap uses gentle ingredients like coconut oil and shea butter to create a rich, creamy lather that leaves your skin feeling soft and moisturized even after your shower. What’s even more fun (besides the fact that you get four bars of soap for $15) is that you can choose between four different scents: stone, shiso, fig, and redwood. Harry’s lets you choose your favorite scent or opt for a variety box with all four signature smells.
For the guys searching for an all-in-one soap bar that cleanses, exfoliates, and leaves skin feeling so fresh and so clean, look no further. Marlowe’s Body Scrub Soap Bar uses apricot seeds and pumice to exfoliate rough, dull skin while ingredients like olive oil, shea butter, and camellia oleifera leaf extract soften and moisturize skin. NO. 102’s original scent is fresh and woody with notes of pine, but you can also opt for their other scent options like oud wood and santal.
Get your mojo back with Ursa Major. Their exhilarating morning bar soap uses peppermint, eucalyptus, and rosemary extract for an instantly fresh boost of energy. On top of its energizing scent are ingredients like honey, coconut, and shea butter that hydrate and moisturize the skin, while volcanic rock supplies the soap with grip and gentle exfoliating action. You can buy this soap for a one-time purchase of $14 or opt for their subscribe and save option and get it delivered every one, two, three, four, five, or six months.
For dull and tired skin in need of a good refresh. This Rebalancing Cleansing Bar is suitable for both face and body with its oil-regulating blend of fatty acids, nettle, and essential oils.
The soap focuses on two primary oil-balancing ingredients: organic eucalyptus essential oil to control sebum production and pore size and organic nettle powder to rebalance oily skin. You’ll also find nourishing ingredients like organic spearmint essential oil, olive oil, sunflower oil, and shea butter to soothe, nourish, and repair damaged skin. These are all the reasons it makes it onto our list of the best soaps for men.
With nearly 12,000 4.5-star reviews, Dr. Squatch’s Pine Tar Bar Soap is a must-try product for all skin types. Formulated with oatmeal and sand for an exfoliating grit, activated charcoal and kaolin clay for a purifying clean, and saponified oils for a moisturizing wash—this men’s bar soap really does do it all. Scented with natural orange, pine tar, and pine essential oil, reviewers rave about the soap’s rugged, woodsy smell.
You can never go wrong with a classic bar of Dove soap, so the brand’s manly upgrade to their signature body care bar makes it an instant favorite. Specifically designed to support men’s skin, this 3-in-1 soap is ideal for hand and body, face, and shaving. This soap effectively cleanses and refreshes skin, while its 1/4 moisturizing cream complex ensures that your skin will never feel tight, dry, or irritated after use. Use this soap bar daily to give your skin the daily cleanse and pamper it deserves.
With a composition of 72% olive oil, this 100% natural and eco-friendly bar soap is perfect for those with normal or sensitive skin. It’s made in Marseille, France using a traditional soap-making method where the soap is cooked in cauldrons for 10 days. Plus, this minimal-ingredient soap bar is 600 grams, so it will last you forever.
Bar soaps are already a more sustainable cleansing option than traditional body washes. But there’s always room to be even more eco-friendly, even for a body bar. This super sustainable bar soap by Goldune is packed with moisturizing ingredients like glycerin, sunflower, coconut, palm, and safflower oil that keep skin feeling smooth and conditioned. It also contains the energizing scents of yuzu, grapefruit, petitgrain, and black pepper that will leave you feeling fresh morning or night.
The brand considers this their “anti-soap bar,” maybe because it’s really a 3-in-1 cleanser for hair, face, and body. If you’re wondering, how does that work? Let us explain. This soap bar uses a mild coconut-derived cleansing agent to cleanse skin and hair while shea butter and oat kernel flour moisturize and soften. It also contains plant extracts like aloe leaf juice, Panax ginseng root, and spirulina to soothe, calm inflammation, and support a healthy complexion.
Choose from their original scent or something more spontaneous like citrus and cedarwood or tonka bean and lemon. Oh, and did we mention that this soap has nearly a thousand 5-star reviews? Don’t just take our word for it—buyers love this stuff.
As one of SheaMoisture’s most iconic products, you need to try this bar soap at least once in your life. African black soap is a time-honored African beauty staple and skin cleanser made from palm ash, tamarind extract, tar, and plantain peel. The result is a naturally clarifying bar soap that effortlessly cleanses away dirt, oil, and bacteria.
Because of its purifying properties, this bar soap can be used on the face and body to cleanse pores and help clear blemishes. SheaMoisture has also formulated it with calming, moisturizing ingredients like shea butter, oats, and aloe to prevent any dryness and make it suitable for those with sensitive, eczema-prone skin.
Formulated with tea tree and aloe vera, this botanical-rich soap bar by Dr. Dennis Gross is perfect for face and body. Tea tree essential oil is naturally antimicrobial, so it will protect the skin from bacteria (including the kind that causes acne).
Organic aloe vera is there to hydrate and protect the skin barrier from environmental stressors. This soap bar for men also uses papaya extracts to gently exfoliate for softer, smoother skin. Rich in antioxidants (like vitamins C and A), this soap bar can be used on all skin types, including those who have acne-prone, sensitive, or mature skin.
Combining the best natural ingredients for exfoliation, cleansing, and moisturizing, Hawthorne landed on this: their Exfoliating Bar Soap. This men’s soap uses saponin-rich oats to cleanse and exfoliate, olive oil to supply the skin with vitamins and antioxidants, wheat bran to protect the skin with minerals like zinc and selenium, and sunflower seed oil to moisturize skin without clogging pores.
To ensure this exfoliating soap packs an antioxidant punch, they’ve also added fruity and tropical ingredients like apricot seed powder, pomegranate, lotus flower, and peach fruit extract.
Celebrity esthetician and skincare expert Joanna Vargas created her skincare line with the goal of using clean, innovative formulas that anyone can use—even men. The brand’s Miracle Bar targets those with combination, oily, and acne-prone skin that want to cleanse and target concerns such as acne and oiliness.
To target those concerns without over stripping the skin, Miracle Bar uses charcoal to cleanse impurities and remove build up, olive oil for a protected skin barrier, and shea butter to nourish the skin with vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids. Because this bar soap is non-drying, it can be used on the face and body.
Give your body a good wash and a good massage at the same time with Jack Black’s Massaging Soap bar. This multitasking bar uses charcoal to cleanse the skin from dirt and oil, jojoba beads to gently exfoliate, seaweed extract to soothe irritation, and glycerin to moisturize and protect the skin from dryness. At the same time, its unique massaging shape can press into muscles to relieve stress and tension.
If you’ve always wanted to go and visit Iceland’s Blue Lagoon geothermal spa, consider this your sign to book your ticket. Also, consider this your sign to experience the cleansing, soothing effects of the Blue Lagoon in your own home.
Made from the bioactive lava surrounding the lagoon, this gentle soap lightly exfoliates while Blue Lagoon Microalgae supplies the skin with antioxidants and anti-aging minerals. Because it is super gentle, this soap bar is suitable for all skin types and can be used on the face and body. It also comes in four different color options (white, green, blue, or black), but the formulation is the same for each.
If you want a simple, straightforward soap with a touch of luxury: meet the DHC Mild Soap. This soap bar effortlessly cleanses men’s skin and creates an indulgent, emollient-rich lather to remove dirt, oil, and bacteria from the face and body.
At its core, this is a straightforward, mild soap bar, but natural ingredients like honey and olive oil give you a little something extra to look forward to when you step in the shower. The simple formula is free of unnecessary colors, fragrances, and additives, so it works for even the most sensitive skin types.
If you’re looking for the best of the best in drugstore basics, let us introduce you to the CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser Bar. This mild-soap bar has a formulation of 5% moisturizing cream to target dry skin and lock in moisture. And if there’s one thing you can count on from CeraVe, it’s their use of beneficial skincare ingredients like ceramides to nourish the skin barrier and hyaluronic acid to draw in water for extra hydration.
This non-comedogenic (meaning it won’t clog your pores), fragrance-free soap is dermatologist-approved for cleaning both the face and body.
Navigating the skin and body care world is challenging, and even the bar soap section can get overwhelming with all of its choices. When shopping for new bar soap, here are a few things to consider:
Your Skin Type:
Knowing your skin type makes shopping for any skincare item 1,000 times easier, and the same logic applies when shopping for soap. If your skin is often oily and sweaty due to your job, gym routine, or genetics, then opting for a soap that targets oiliness with ingredients like charcoal or kaolin clay is a great option.
If your skin is dry and in need of deep conditioning, choose a soap that will hydrate and moisturize your skin. If your skin is often flakey or dull, a soap with exfoliating ingredients can help slough away dirt and dead skin.
When You Shower:
Some soaps have invigorating fragrances that are great for waking up your mind and body during the morning. But if you often shower at night, using a soap that’s too refreshing might not give your mind the calmness it’s craving after a long day.
Ingredients are perhaps the most important part of a soap. They tell you whether or not the soap will be moisturizing, rich in antioxidants, exfoliating, skin balancing, and so much more. Each soap bar will have a different formulation and set of ingredients that make them unique.
All of the soap bars mentioned on our list of the top 22 best soaps for men are transparent about what ingredients you’ll find in the product, so feel free to check out the ingredient lists and see if you like it or if there are ingredients that won’t work for you. In general, we recommend avoiding those bar soaps that contain harsh chemicals and unnecessary additives because you want to be putting your money towards products that actually do something for your skin.
Some of the best ingredients for soap include hydrating ingredients like glycerin and hyaluronic acid and natural plant moisturizers like olive oil and shea butter. Other notable ingredients include plant extracts or botanicals that nourish the skin with their unique properties, antioxidants that help protect the skin, and natural exfoliants like jojoba esters or pumice that remove dead cells from the surface of the skin.
How Your Skin Feels:
If you’ve tried a soap bar before and felt like it left your skin feeling dry, tight, or irritated, then it’s not the right soap for you. So pay attention to how your skin feels right after using and in the days or weeks that follow to get a clear verdict on whether or not it is a product for you. A soap bar that works for your skin will leave it feeling clean, moisturized, bright, and smooth. So if you feel like the soap bar you’re currently using is just “okay,” there’s no harm in searching for the perfect bar.
Face and Body:
Most bar soaps are designed to cleanse hands and bodies. If you want a multifunctional soap that can also be used on the face, you’ll want to double-check that the soap bar was formulated to be used on the face. Using a soap that’s only meant for the body on your face can lead to dryness, irritation, and breakouts. But choosing a 2-in-1 soap means the brand’s already thought about what ingredients can treat the face and body for an all rounded clean.
How do I store my bar soap?
To ensure your soap bar lasts and keeps its shape, the best way to store it is out of the shower water’s path. You can still store it in your shower, but leaving it towards the side or in an area that isn’t directly in the water’s stream will help keep its shape. You can also store it on a slotted soap dish that allows for drainage to ensure it stays dry and long-lasting.
Should I use body wash or bar soap?
The preference between body wash and bar soap is entirely up to you, as most washes and soaps have the same purpose: to cleanse the skin. Because of their minimal packaging and durable design, soap bars tend to be the more economical and environmentally-friendly option.
And if you tend to opt for body wash based on its scent, we’re here to remind you that bar soaps are no longer boring. Bar soaps can be just as fragrant and indulgent as your favorite body wash, and some can even be exfoliating. Bar soaps are also convenient for those who frequently travel since they are compact and won’t spill all over your suitcase.
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