Bar soaps are getting a bad rap lately for harboring bacteria. Which is not true at all, but since many men are moving towards shower gel instead, I decided to write up a review of the best mens body washes.
I know you’ve been just grabbing your wife or girlfriends instead of just getting your own, but remember, men’s and women’s skin are different and should be cleaned differently.
Get yourself a body wash for men and your skin will love it, especially if it is one of the best natural body washes.
Spoiler Alert! Every Man Jack Body Wash from Amazon.com is quickly becoming my favorite! I’ll go into all the details about why I love it a little further down in the review section.
In fact I even have a list of some of the best natural body wash for men since they are so readily available now.
Read on for the whole article including a buyer guide on what to look for when thinking about a shower gel for men.Top Pick
- Every Man Jack Body Wash
- Best For:
Mostly natural ingredients that is gentle and good for all skin types
- Active Ingredients:
Glycerin, Castor Oil
Rich Lather, Moisturizes, Great Price
- Brickell Men’s Invigorating Mint
- Best For:
Men who are looking for an all natural, organic and animal cruelty free product
- Active Ingredients:
Glycerin, Peppermint Oil, Tea Tree Oil
Invigorating scent and sensation
- Molton Brown Black Peppercorn Bath & Shower Gel
- Best For:
A luxurious bath and shower experience with a unique scent
- Active Ingredients:
Glycerin, Honeysuckle Extract
Black Pepper, Vetiver
Unique scent of peppercorn, coriander, and vetiver
- MARLOWE. No. 103
- Best For:
Guys with sensitive skin that gets irritated from dyes, fragrances and chemicals as it is mild, gentle and chemical free.
- Active Ingredients:
Willow Bark Extract, Sea Algae & Green Tea
Very Mild, Hypoallergenic, Non Comedogenic
- Safe House Naturals Detox
- Best For:
Guys that have oily skin and blemishes
- Active Ingredients:
Activated Charcoal, Vitamin E, Clary Sage
Herbal and Minty
Dye Free, Rich Lather and Antibacterial
Bar Soap vs Body Wash
I’ll reiterate that bar soaps do not spread bacteria, so that isn’t really a good reason to go with a body wash over one.
Don’t believe me?
If you don’t mind reading a dry scientific journal, here is a study where they inoculated a bar of soap with E. Coli to see how much of it remained on the hands and in the rinse water.
There was not enough left to spread infection so using a bar soap is totally safe.
But, there are other reasons to want to use the best mens body wash instead of a bar soap.
Body Wash Pros
A shower gel can be formulated much differently than a bar soap so it can give the skin much more of a benefit. In other words, both a body wash and a bar soap can be moisturizing, but the way the body wash is formulated means it can transfer those moisturizing properties better than a bar soap. They are more effective.
Body Wash Cons
Body wash can be expensive and since it is hard to know how much to use, you can blast through a bottle fairly quickly. And if you are using a sponge to apply the body wash, then a lot of it ends up in the sponge instead of your body and most of that gets washed away.
Bar Soap Pros
Bar soaps are almost always less expensive than a body wash. Even the expensive ones still come out costing less since they last a lot longer than body wash.
They also can contain glycerin, which a body wash usually doesn’t so you can get a great lather worked up with a bar soap that moisturizes the skin well. The best mens body washes that do have glycerin are the ones that tend to be the most expensive.
There are also a lot more options for an all natural bar soap than for body wash. Though, I will do some reviews of the best natural body wash, so there are actually some around.
Bar Soap Cons
Some bar soaps, especially the natural ones, can leave a film on your skin that feels kind of gross to be honest. Not all obviously, but I have used a fair amount of them.
If you use one that doesn’t contain glycerin, then there is a pretty good chance your skin could dry out, too.
You can read a whole article I dedicated just to the best bar soaps by clicking that link if you want to know more.
Which is better?
It is kind of a toss up. I tend to use more bar soaps than shower gels but I don’t have anything against them.
It really comes down to personal preference, but it is helpful to weigh the pros and cons of each to understand which will work better for you.
What to look for in a body wash
Just like with so many other things in life, there is no one size fits all approach to the best mens body wash.
You have to know what you want it to do before you can find the one that is going to give you the best results.
Now, most of you probably don’t care and just want to get clean and smell nice in the process. But, if you are reading this then it means that you do actually care. So let’s analyze the different types of body washes and what you should look for and what you should avoid.
Types of Body Washes
There are three different kinds of body wash. Though each will leave you cleaner after using it, they are geared towards more specific uses so keep this in mind.
Shower Gel – This can be kind of interchanged with body wash and most people that use the term shower gel really mean the same thing. Make sure if it is labeled as a shower gel that it is specifically for your body and not also a shampoo. Your skin and hair have different needs so a body wash is formulated differently than a shampoo.
Moisturizing Body Wash – You need to add moisture to your skin to keep it healthy and strong. If you suffer from dry skin or you find that many soaps end up leaving you with dry skin then look for a moisturizer. Be careful though as many body washes use petroleum by products as a moisturizer and that can lead to problems.
Exfoliant – Not that you want to use one every day, but some body washes contain little abrasive micro beads that will scrub away the dead skin cells and expose the softer, plumper skin underneath. Then this new skin is able to absorb more of the nutrients that you are hopefully adding with a moisturizer or lotion afterwards.
What to Avoid
There are a lot of chemicals in grooming products that really don’t need to be there. And these ingredients may help for shelf life of a product, or even make you cleaner when you use it, but can invite a whole host of other problems so they are not worth it. If you see any of these on the label, put the bottle back on the shelf and move along.
Sodium lauryl sulfate – Commonly called SLS it is a natural based ingredient that has been chemically altered so it is in essence a made made chemical. Its purpose is as a humectant, which means it is supposed to lift dirt away from the skin. It is basically added to give a rich lather to shampoos and body washes. Why is it bad? Well, some people claim its a carcinogen since it is processed with petroleum, but there has been no link made to date about that. But, it should be avoided anyway since it strips the skin and hair of its natural oil and leaves your skin dry. It can also cause irritation in many people with sensitive skin as it is quite harsh.
Parabens – Nobody really knows what effect parabens have on our bodies, but it seems that it isn’t good. Some studies were done in which parabens were detected in the blood stream of men who had used a lotion after just a few hours. This can’t be good so it is best to avoid anything that contains them since more studies are needed to determine how safe they are to use.
Diethanolamine (DEA) – This is a chemical that is used to create a lasting lather that stays wet. It also can be found in antifreeze. Yes, the antifreeze you put in your car radiator. On its own it seems safe, but it can react with other chemicals and create a toxic carcinogen called nitrosodiethanolamine which is known to cause stomach, esophagus, liver and bladder cancers. Is lather really that important that we need to expose ourselves to potential carcinogens for it?
Different skin types will need different ingredients. Understand what kind of skin you have and you will be able to zero in on the best mens body wash for you.
Sensitive skin – If you have skin that is easily irritated by many soaps, look for gentle formulas. They are almost always labeled as good for sensitive skin. They contain moisturizers that keep your skin from getting dry which is usually the cause of irritation for people. Avoid dyes and fragrances.
Oily skin – If you seem to always have a film of grease on your skin then look out for those body washes formulated for that. You may want to avoid moisturizers, but in many cases now you can use a lightweight moisturizing body wash that won’t leave your skin feeling greasy.
Look for body washes that are pH balanced as they will generally have around a 5.6 pH. This is the same pH as your skin.
Acne or blackheads – If you have acne or blackheads then an exfoliant is a good way to clear the dead skin cells from the pores which will cut down on the bacteria causing your blemishes. Make sure you use a good body lotion afterwards to repair the skin layers after. The best natural body wash will be very effective against bacteria even when using natural ingredients.
Top Pick | Every Man Jack Body Wash
Though I wouldn’t call this 100% natural, it is free from harsh chemicals and parabens. It’s great for people with sensitive skin as it also has no dyes or artificial colors.
The best part is how inexpensive it is. It feels high end, works great and smells incredible, but costs as much as a drug store soap.
So many natural grooming products end up costing an arm and a leg so it is refreshing to have such a low cost option which is one of the biggest reasons I like to promote it.
I have been using this shampoo in the barber shop where I work for years now and my clients really love it.
Especially the smell. The one I linked to above has a sandalwood scent that reminds you of that classic barber shop smell. Like a good shaving cream or the powder used to dust your neck.
The consistency of the gel is very thick. This may seem like a bad thing but is actually a positive. The thickness helps you to not overuse it. If you lather it up in your hands or on a sponge then wash yourself then you don’t need very much. This is good news as the bottle is not that large so it will still last a while.
It lathers up really nicely without leaving a film after you’ve rinsed.
Since it is mostly natural and also animal cruelty free, then you can use it guilt free and enjoy being clean. One thing I will add, though is that it is advertised as being a body wash and shampoo, but don’t use it for your hair. Instead buy an Every Man Jack shampoo from Amazon.com.
Best Natural Body Washes for Men
Brickell Men’s Invigorating Mint
Not only is Brickell body wash all natural but it is organic. This may not sound so important since you aren’t going to eat it, but since it is labeled organic then you know they used good practices in processing the ingredients too.
It works on any skin type including sensitive since it has no harsh ingredients. It does have tea tree oil in it though so it does tingle. In fact, the name says it all. It is invigorating. The scent will definitely wake you up and the mint and tea tree oil will leave your skin feeling fresh.
If you have acne or other skin conditions then you’ll be disinfecting your skin and killing the bacteria that is clogging your pores thanks to the tea tree oil.
You’ll get a nice lather out of it since it actually does contain glycerin. Which will also hydrate the skin. Then add jojoba, aloe vera and Vitamin E and you have a can’t miss product that is so god for you.
Now, the price. I know it is pretty expensive. Is it worth it? For the results, yeah I think so. But, the thing is it actually lasts a really long time. You’ll easily get a few months out of this bottle.
You don’t need a ton of it to get a thick, rich lather going. Especially if you use a loofah or sponge.
The best mens body washes don’t need to have harsh chemicals and toxins to work well. Brickell is proof positive of that concept. Even though I do think it is worth the high price tag, I do wish it wasn’t so expensive so more guys would buy it. All of their grooming products are exceptional so I know if you do buy it you will love it.
Molton Brown Black Peppercorn Bath & Shower Gel
If the Brickell body wash is invigorating then this Molton Brown is downright spicy! Yes, it has the smell and tingle of black peppercorn so you can feel it really getting into your pores.
The pepper isn’t there just for the shock factor, it is a powerful antioxidant so it will help repair your skin cells damaged from free radicals. And it also helps disinfect any bacteria present in your skin to prevent acne. It will give your blood flow an increase in circulation so it actually helps your skin get healthier and stay that way.
Coriander and vetiver brighten up the scent which will remind you of a nice summery cologne. As far as lather, it doesn’t produce a thick lather, but just enough. It does have glycerin, but it seems to be in low doses. Though more than enough to moisturize the skin. And lather isn’t super important anyway.
Then there is the price. Like Brickell before it is very pricy. This is more of a luxury body wash when you want something different. I do think that for the price it should be all natural, but, alas, it is not. It does have SLS which needs to be noted for those with sensitive skin.
This is an excellent body wash that would be better and have a more justifiable price tag if it was all natural. It does do a great job and if you like the idea of having a men’s luxury product then you will love bathing with this.
Best Smelling Natural Body Wash for Men | MARLOWE. No. 103
If you want to smell like a classic man, and want to do it naturally then you will love this Marlowe nr 103 body wash.
It has the scent of agarwood and sandalwood. What does that smell like? Picture going into an old-timey barber shop that still uses shaving soap and does straight razor shaves. It literally smells old school and masculine. With just a little hint of musk at the end it has a warm and rich scent.
The best part is that it is also one of the best natural body washes and nourishes the skin while it cleans.
With ingredients like green tea, willow bark extract and algae, it will bring a ton of nutrients to your skin to keep it healthy and strong.
And the price is great. I know I keep bringing up the price in this list of the best mens body wash, but I feel like people don’t want to spend a lot. And luckily with Marlowe you can get a superior product without spending a ton. After all, you don’t want to hear a cha-ching every time you pour some into your hand.
Speaking of which, another bonus is that it has a pump dispenser. With wet hands and maybe steam clouding your vision, you won’t be wasting any because you overpoured.
A little will lather up really well and leave your skin feeling clean, moisturized and plump. I love when body washes also heal and nourish the skin.
It isn’t just a pleasant scent, though it is really great, it is just a really effective cleanser for your skin. It smells and feels luxurious but at a great bargain price. There is not a lot to dislike about this gel.
Best Mens Body Wash for Oily Skin | Safe House Naturals Detox
What could be better than having a body wash that takes care of your oily skin, prevents acne and rejuvenates? When you can do it with an all natural and organic body wash. If you have oily skin then for you this is the best mens body wash without a doubt.
To clear out your pores it has activated charcoal and bentonite clay. This draws all the impurities out of your skin for them to get washed away. Coconut oil is a natural disinfectant that will kill the bacteria and fungus that is usually present when somebody has oily skin and clogged pores.
It has a great blend of essential oils that will naturally take care of your skin. Clary sage oil is abundant which is also a great way to naturally disinfect the skin and prevent acne from returning. Lavender oil will help regulate how much oil your skin produces. And rosemary oil will help renew the skin cells and treat blackheads and acne. There is a ton more going on here and each of the ingredients has a specific purpose. Suffice it to say that all the bases are covered including hydrating the skin without adding any greasiness that you are trying to beat. It works great.
You can enjoy your newfound balanced skin guilt free since it is vegan and animal cruelty free. They also source their ingredients from sustainable sources.
I have always had oily skin and find this to be one of the best soaps out there for guys like me. If you suffer from bacne then this is the body wash for you.
How to apply body wash
Am I seriously going to tell you how to wash yourself right now? Yes. Yes, I am.
See, sometimes those things you do every day are not being done properly and you have no idea. And with body wash, you are probably not getting as clean as you think. So here are a few pointers.
Don’t use a sponge or loofah.
The problem with using sponges is that they end up collecting bacteria. Ironic since so many people are turning away from bar soaps for fear they are spreading bacteria but end up using a bacteria and mildew bomb to clean themselves when they use a sponge or washcloth.
Instead, use a silicone antibacterial silicone scrubber. This one has a set so you can go for an exfoliant scrub, or a soft gentle one just to lather up and wash. They are easy to keep clean and won’t attract mold and mildew. They also feel great to use.
Use only a quarter size amount.
You really don’t need as much as you think. The problem is that most guys are using their bare hands to apply. Which means that you are losing a lot as you rub to get it lathered up. Then you use more to get another area of the body.
Once you get a bit of a lather going on the sponge, then just scrub all over.
Make sure that if you aren’t using a moisturizing body wash that you take the time to get your skin re-hydrated after the shower.
This is especially true if you used an exfoliant. Just after you towel dry yourself, take a moisturizing lotion and rub that in. This will help you nourish your skin and prevent any dry or rough spots.
In fact, you shouldn’t just be using a body wash and thinking your skin care job is done. Here is an article about a men’s skin care routine that you should be following including washing your skin.
Not all of the products on this best mens body wash review list are all natural, but they are all well made. There are an absolute ton of products out there to choose from and most of them are fairly synthetic and not very good for you to be using.
So, even ones that are not totally natural are still better than some of the really cheap and overly processed body washes that are available. I would avoid just grabbing the first one off the shelf at the drugstore or big box store as they are usually the worst offenders.
Yes, you might have to spend more money, but isn’t it money well spent when you’re paying for it to actually do the thing it’s supposed to do instead of the opposite? Cheap brands end up drying and damaging your skin or can end up giving you health problems.
Do you have a brand in mind that you’re unsure about? Ask me to take a look at it and I will let you know if it is decent or not by adding your question or comment in the box below.