Best Body Wash for Men
It’s an increasingly untrue stereotype that men don’t care about what they use in the shower. While a bar of nondescript white soap and a raggedy washcloth might have been enough for grandpa, men today are less inclined to settle for the dry skin and weak lather of bar soap. But with so many different body washes and shower gels on the market, it’s important to select a product that actually gives you what you need- whether that’s intensive moisturizing, a long-lasting scent, or gentle cleansing for sensitive skin. Keep reading to see which of the bestselling body washes out there might be perfect for you.
Body Wash vs. Bar Soap
Even if you’ve never thought twice about how you lather up, the benefits of body wash over bar soap are worth considering. While basic bar soap can be highly effective at killing germs and cleaning dirt, it can also remove the proteins on your skin’s surface responsible for maintaining moisture. In contrast, most body washes contain moisture-rich emollients to replace any moisture lost in cleansing and keep your skin feeling soft.
There’s a hygienic aspect as well- a bar of soap that sits out all day risks accumulating mold or bacteria, not to mention unsightly loose hairs and a slimy outer texture. And as most men don’t wear cologne on a daily basis, body wash can provide a foundational scent to help combat the stresses and smells of a long day. To put it simply, a good body wash can offer more function than your typical bar soap.
Best for a Truly Deep Clean: NIVEA Men DEEP Active Clean Body Wash with Charcoal
If you’ve questioned a switch to body wash because you’re concerned it just won’t clean as thoroughly as bar soap, here’s your answer. NIVEA’s DEEP line delivers an intense clean with the benefits of active charcoal, which acts as a magnet to draw dirt, oil, and impurities out from within your skin. This makes it a perfect choice for anyone with easily irritated skin or an existing condition, as the charcoal also helps combat inflammation while retaining skin moisture. Don’t worry, you won’t smell like a barbeque grill- the scent is more of a sweet, light amber smell that doesn’t necessarily live up to the 8 hours promised on the bottle, but is entirely pleasant nonetheless.
Best for Anti-Loofa Washers: Dove Men + Care Foaming Body Wash, Extra Fresh
While there’s no shame in using whatever helps you work up a lather, there may be any number of reasons why you don’t want to keep one in the shower, especially if it’s one you share with roommates. Luckily, Dove Men + Care Foaming Body Wash uses an instant lather pump (seen more frequently on hand and kitchen soap dispensers) to dispense a foamy lather directly from the bottle, enabling you to easily and comprehensively soap up without a loofah or washcloth. While the lather can’t match the richness of a thicker body wash, it still manages to leave skin clean and surprisingly moisturized- a result Dove credits to a proprietary “NutriumMoisture” designed to fully absorb into skin. The scent is the same crisp, masculine fragrance as their Dove Men + Care Extra Fresh Antiperspirant, one of our favorites in that category, which makes a great pairing for easy all-day freshness.
Best for Seriously Dry Skin: Old Spice Hydro Wash, Smoother Swagger
If you suffer from perpetually dry skin after showering, you may need a body wash specifically designed for intensive moisturizing. Old Spice Hydro Wash is formulated with a unique twist- over 20% of the formula is a “hydro-moisturizing complex” that they claim keeps the ingredients separate so that the moisturizers stay on the skin and don’t wash away with the lather. While the science sounds pretty bogus, the results speak for themselves, as Old Spice Hydro Wash provided the richest lather and most effective moisturizing of any body wash we tested. This richness extended to the scent, as well, which was strong and long lasting- a plus or a minus depending on how you feel about the slightly bro-y vibe of Old Spice.
Best Dr. Bronner’s Replacement: Brickell Men's Invigorating Mint Body Wash
No offense to the classic “All-In-One” liquid soap, but despite providing a great peppermint tingle, Dr. Bronner’s pure castile soap can dry out skin just as bad as bar soap can. Go instead for Brickell’s Invigorating Mint Body Wash, which replicates that energizing skin feel with organic peppermint and tea tree oils, but adds aloe vera, jojoba oil, and vitamin E to replenish moisture and deep clean at the same time. The lather doesn’t get quite as rich as we’d like, and for its price point it’s not exactly the best value item on the list. On the other hand, with a 97% natural formula, you’re getting a deeply invigorating, highly moisturizing body wash with no unpronounceable chemical ingredients. If you prefer a crisp, naturally fresh body wash to the bro’d out scents of some of the leading brands, Brickell Men’s Invigorating Mint might be worth the investment.
Best Scent for a Grown Up Man: Cremo All Season Body Wash, Bourbon & Oak
As we just acknowledged in discussing the previous scent, sometimes it feels like products marketed towards men are really for teenagers- that’s certainly the case when most major brands offer black-and-neon bottles and scents named things like Arctic Dragon. Cremo All Season Body Wash is made to offer thoughtful, sophisticated scents that combine identifiable fragrance notes- put together more like a high-end men’s cologne than an extreme sports themed body wash. Our favorite is the Bourbon & Oak, which combines the smooth, sweet spice of whiskey with the rich, warm depths of oakwood. It’s sexy and comforting, all at the same time. And the “All Season” part of the name isn’t for show either- Cremo’s special marula oil moisturizing blend is designed to feel light on the skin, even in hot or humid weather. It all adds up to a bottle you won’t be embarrassed for someone to see in your shower.