I am sometimes accused of being old fashioned. Is that a bad thing?
When it comes to certain things I like the old timey stuff. Shaving creams, colognes and, yes, best mens bar soaps.
I have never been a fan of body wash and prefer a big old bar soap to suds myself up.
Bar soaps get a bad rap, but they are actually much better than using a body wash. You just have to find the best mens bar soaps to get one that doesn’t dry out your skin and actually works.
The top rated soap brands will leave your skin silky soft, exfoliated, hydrated and glowing.
Another nice bonus is that they will save you money compared to men’s body wash.
What is the best bar soap for men? My personal favorite is an all natural soap called The Yellow Bird on Amazon.com. But, I have sensitive skin that is also very oily, so this works for me. Your skin is different so you will likely think another one is best.
That’s why I wrote this review of the best mens bar soaps.
If you don’t have time to read the whole thing, then just check out this handy comparison table to see their ratings.
Otherwise, keep reading to find the ideal soap for your cleansing needs.
Don’t forget to moisturize your skin with one of these body lotions to really seal the deal!
Bar Soap vs Body Wash
Before we get into the individual reviews, let me clear up a few things.
It’s not just that I am old fashioned that I like bar soaps better than body washes. Best mens bar soaps, the good ones anyway, are much better than body washes for a lot of reasons.
Bar soaps are cheaper.
The recommended dose of body wash is generally 2 tablespoons. That’s supposed to wash your whole body. Next time you use a liquid soap, try to measure and see how much you actually use.
You use way more than 2 tablespoons. I don’t need to watch you take a shower to know that. It’s common knowledge that we tend to go overboard.
So, you spend $10 on a body wash and it lasts you a couple of weeks.
You spend the same on a bar soap and it lasts twice as long.
Since it doesn’t need to be portioned, you tend to use only what you need.
If you calculate how much you spend on bar soap in a year, you will be amazed at how much you save.
Body wash is not environmentally friendly.
Compare the packaging of a body wash and then a bar soap.
Obviously the packaging of a liquid body wash takes a lot more resources to create and then recycle. If it even gets recycled. Usually it takes up space in a landfill.
Best mens bar soaps on the other hand either come wrapped in paper or in a small cardboard box.
Bar soaps are more hygienic.
Ok, there is a bit of a semantic issue with that statement.
Body washes are not less hygienic, but the loofah or sponge that you use to apply the soap is a breeding ground for bacteria and molds. So, for you to use body wash is not hygienic.
I know there was a study done that suggested that bar soaps contain bacteria on the surface and are therefore not safe to use.
The thing is, the bacteria are washed off as soon as you lather it up and that lather will actually kill most of the bacteria anyway.
They both clean the same.
This one is a push.
There is no clear winner in general. Some bar soaps are better than some shower gels, and some shower gels are better than some bar soaps.
It all depends on the brand and ingredients.
Which is why you need to keep reading to see which ones are worth it.
Types of bar soaps
It may seem like a bar soap is just a bar soap but the reality is that there are some different types. Which one will be best for you will depend on your needs and how you plan to use your soap.
Here are the different kinds that you can choose from.
These are your average everyday soaps that you probably grew up with. And some of them are downright bad for your skin. Usually they are chock full of harsh chemicals that are there for the company to save money and have no benefit to you at all.
They almost always float when you drop them in water. This is because they are actually detergents and not soaps. What’s the difference?
A soap is made from an alkali and a fat. That’s it. Nothing else needs to be added, though there often are different fats in the form of oil to be able to do other things like hydrate your skin.
A detergent is full of synthetics and its aim is just to clean your skin. Well, a soap cleans as well as a detergent so there is no need for harsh chemicals.
A natural soap needs to be milled, which is the process of removing the water. When you triple mill a soap it has almost no water and is hard as a rock. This is a good thing because it will last longer than any other type of soap. The lack of water means it can lather up nicely without needing to add synthetics to give the appearance of lots of lather.
Also it’s better to pay for actual soap instead of water. And when these soaps cost as much as a few dollars per bar, then that is a nice feature.
These soaps are hand made and need to sit for a while to cure. They are not the kind where you melt several ingredients and then pour it in a mold. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but cold processed soaps are generally better quality soaps. The curing process also allows for the release of water so you get a hard bar of soap that lasts a long time.
This is a funny way of saying that a soap just has more oils in it than soap. When lye and oil mix they become saponified and that is the soap. A superfatted soap is when there is more oil or fat than lye so it is very moisturizing.
People with dry or sensitive skin generally would be happy with the superfatted soaps, but other with oily or normal skin may find that they are not as cleansing as regular soap.
You have probably seen these sort of clear bars of soap. Sometimes they can be synthetic like a conventional soap, so make sure you go for the natural ones. They are very high in glycerin which accounts for the clearness.
What to Look for When Buying Bar Soap
Before you buy any soap or grooming product, you have to identify what your needs are. Once you know what you need, you can figure out which product is best.
You don’t want to get a soap that is packed with oils if you have oily skin. On the other hand, if you have dry skin, you don’t want to get a soap that won’t hydrate it well.
Always look for the type of soap it is.
Moisturizing, exfoliating, toning.
Get moisturizing if you have dry skin since it will replenish the skin and keep it moist and hydrated.
If you have sensitive skin you should stay away from exfoliating soaps. These usually have either acids or grit to strip the tops layer of dead skin cells away and leave fresh, new skin instead.
Obviously, this is a disaster if you have sensitive skin. Look for gentle formulas if your skin often gets irritated when using soaps.
Lastly, a toning soap has ingredients like Witch Hazel and other astringents that will close up your pores and tighten up your skin.
If your skin is dry this type of soap may actually exacerbate the dryness.
Stay away from soaps with synthetic fragrances. These can generally cause some skin and overall health problems.
Look for essential oils for fragrance, or, better yet, go for unscented if you feel like your skin might not like the oils used for fragrance.
Parabens, sulfates and a host of unpronounceable ingredients are generally in there to preserve the soap or make it cheaper by using a chemical instead of a natural ingredient.
Usually, bar soaps don’t contain paraben, a suspected carcinogen, but it is always a good idea to check first.
Glycerin, Fat Content
For a soap to actually be a soap and not just a detergent, it needs to contain some fat, whether in the form of a shea butter, olive oil, tallow or other types of fat. (If you have ever seen Fight Club then you know Tyler Durden’s favorite fat for his handmade soap was human fat he got from a plastic surgeon!)
The fat has acids which mix with lye, an alkali, which together end up forming a process called saponification. This is what actually makes it soap and it is what cleans the skin.
Glycerin is a moisturizer that generally is not found in liquid soaps. Soaps high in glycerin are the best at moisturizing the skin while still being gentle.
So, the higher the fat content and the glycerin content, the better the soap is.
Our Picks for the Best Bar Soaps for Men
Best Bar Soap for Men with Oily Skin
Dr. Squatch Pine Tar Soap Review
This unique bar soap is cold-pressed and made with glycerin to naturally hydrate your skin, and that is one reason why it makes it to our list of best mens bar soaps. The cold pressed process is ideal for creating a bar soap that lathers up well and has a creamy texture. The cold process makes it very refined, so it doesn’t leave a residue on the skin. It won’t leave you feeling like you need to rinse off again after you’ve already dried off.
Pine tar is produced while burning the wood of pine trees.
It’s a sticky substance that’s been used for centuries in skin care because of its healing properties. Not only has it been known to cure eczema and psoriasis, but it also helps to treat dandruff. Its anti-inflammatory properties make it a perfect salve for a flaking scalp. It can even relieve the itch left by bug bites and poison plants.
This is a gritty bar soap thanks to the light addition of some sand to really aid in exfoliating the skin naturally.
Your dead skin cells will be stripped away and only the fresh, tender skin underneath will remain.
Loads of natural glycerin combined with coconut and olive oil will moisturize the skin and leave it plump and glowing.
The scent is pure woodsy and masculine from the pine tar. If you have ever gone camping in a pine forest, then you already know what this smells like.
It is gluten free, and animal cruelty free. It does have some oatmeal in there to nourish the skin, but oatmeal doesn’t contain gluten.
If you keep this dry after you use it and don’t let it sit under the running water of the shower while you bath, then expect this to last roughly a month.
Best Smelling Bar Soap for Guys
Mistral Men’s Soap – Set
There is a lot to love about this deodorant bar soap for men, besides the incredible scent.
I’ll get into that in a minute as we have to first talk about how great smelling this is. Is it the best smelling soap in the world? I’ll leave that up to you to decide, but I love the scent.
It is like a cologne soap as it changes its scents as it dries.
The top notes, like a cologne, are citrusy with bergamot and orange. Ever so slightly sweet.
Then it mellows into some floral notes of lavender spiced with a little mint.
Finally, the many, woody scent of oakmoss and sandalwood comes through and that is the scent that stays with you for a while. If you’re looking for the best mens bar soaps that’s made from sandalwood, you’ve found it!
You can pair this with just about any fougere cologne and it won’t compete with it. If you want to see some of our favorite colognes, you can read more about them here.
For a luxury brand, the price is more than reasonable. Compare it to a Tom Ford Oud Wood soap, and it comes in at less than half the price.
Also justifying the high price is that this is also easily the longest lasting soap that I have tried. It is triple milled and hard as a rock. Keep it dry when you’re not in the shower and don’t let the water run over it while you are washing and it could last a couple of months.
Aside from the scent and long lasting properties, it is also a great cleansing soap as it is antibacterial and toning with grape leaf extracts.
It lathers up really well and has a wonderfully creamy texture.
This best mens bar soaps is great for dry skin as it leaves you moisturized and feeling smooth.
Best Men’s Exfoliating Bar Soap
MARLOWE. No. 102 Men’s Body Scrub Soap
Runner up for best sandalwood bar soap happens to also be the best soap that you would expect to be an expensive soap brand. It punches way above its class.
For starters, the scent is very manly and classic. It hits just the right notes of sandalwood and musk.
Then it exfoliates with pumice powder, but gently. It is good even on sensitive skin. Since it is all natural, it won’t leave your skin irritated afterward. Instead, you are left with soft, smooth skin that is hydrated with passionfruit flower, green tea and willow bark.
It also lathers up really nice, so it makes quick work of getting your skin clean and nourished.
It is glycerin based so you will find it works great at getting your skin moisturized after the dead cells and layer of skin are removed. Pores are opened up and unclogged and then the skin is tightened by toning green tea.
If you have sensitive skin that gets irritated by fragrances, then you will love having a soap that smells great and is still ideal for sensitive skin.
Best Bar Soap for Men with Sensitive Skin
Basis Sensitive Skin Bar
Dermatologist recommended is this mild and gentle Basis bar.
There are no dyes, fragrances or harsh chemicals that could irritate your skin. It’s hypoallergenic and actually one of the healthiest, best mens bar soaps and for your skin. The pH level is between 5 and 6 so it is very close to your skin’s natural pH.
It leaves the skin very clean, especially considering how mild it is. With aloe vera and chamomile it is very soothing to use, as well as calming.
Though there is a bit of a scent that comes from the chamomile extract, it does not have any added fragrances. I rate this up there as one of the best mens bar soaps that don’t have a scent. With any type of soap, especially one that has essential oils, it is very hard for it to have no scent at all.
Your skin will be left hydrated and soft thanks to the glycerin. Even if you have oily skin, you will find this doesn’t leave your pores clogged since it has a non greasy formula to rehydrate.
Since it is so gentle, it works great as a body or face bar soap. Usually, the face is where the skin feels the most sensitive and acne is usually a problem there. That isn’t an issue here as you won’t find your face breaking out.
Best Mens Bar Soap for Dry Skin
Imperial Barber Glycerin Soap
For guys with sensitive skin, the very best high glycerin soap by Imperial Barber can’t be beat.
It is so superfatted that it can even be used as a shaving lotion.
It is clear, unscented and produces a rich, thick lather that works as the best facial cleansing bar out there.
Besides the glycerin, your skin will get hydrated with coconut oil and safflower oil and then gets nourished by Vitamin E.
Your dry, flaky skin will suddenly feel plump, glowing and smooth after just a few uses.
This also works as the best bar soap for beards since it can get under the fur on your face works down deep into the skin to get it back on track.
It hardly has any ingredients so it is very gentle on your skin.
Without leaving any residue, it washes off fast and easy making your shower a quick experience. Since it doesn’t have any essential oils, it is truly an unscented bar soap for men. Whether you like your soap with no scent because you just want to smell neutral or because you don’t want it to conflict with your cologne.
This is definitely the best for black men with ashy skin as it will supply more than enough moisture to keep your skin from getting rough and flaky.
Best Antibacterial Bar Soap for Men
Submission Soap Antifungal Tea Tree Oil Soap
Though the name may seem like this is the best bar soaps that’s also good for BDSM practitioners, the fact that the tagline is that it taps out germs means it is a wrestling and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu reference.
Since athletic guys can pick up all kinds of bacteria and fungi from gym locker rooms, it is ideal for after working out.
With a base of tea tree oil, it is antiseptic and cleans your skin of bacteria, viruses and fungus.
It is made with 100% natural ingredients that are proven to beat ringworm, jock itch, athlete’s foot and acne.
Some antibacterial soaps can dry out your skin, but with the addition of coconut oil, shea butter and hemp oil, your skin will feel moist and fresh. You don’t need to use a harsh and strong soap to get rid of germs and bacteria. You just need to use a soap with the right ingredients.
The scent is very invigorating and stimulating with fresh peppermint and eucalyptus.
A handmade bar soap for men that doesn’t make you feel like a hippy for using it? This will definitely hit the spot for a lot of guys who just need a natural yet effective way to shower after working out that doesn’t dry the skin.
Wrapping up the Best Bar Soaps for Men Reviews
So, the question remains. Am I old-fashioned for preferring bar soaps over liquid body wash?
Or does it seem like there is a bar soap for every man’s needs out there?
As you can see from reading the product descriptions, there are so many soaps available that all take care of a specific need. It doesn’t matter if you have dry or oily skin, prefer a great smelling soap or prefer unscented. One thing is for sure, if you stay away from the drugstore brand mens bar soaps, you will get an effective, long lasting and healthy soap to use for any skin type.
Do you have a preferred brand that you love to rave about? Need a question answered? Drop a comment below and we will get back to you ASAP!