7 Best Soap Brands for Men: Manly Cleaning for Every Skin Type

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by  David Martin | Last Updated:  Apr 11, 2021

So many manly soaps. Some brands just slap a random label on regular soap and call it a day. 

But a few rise above the crowd. These seven brands have created the best soaps available for men. 

Best Bar Soap
  • Natural soaps that don’t treat your skin like a dirty plate
  • Massive selection of scents to make you “feel like a man and smell like a champion.”
  • Manly packaging and branding that will get you pumped to brush that dirt off your shoulder
  • Chock-full of essential oils, shea butter, kaolin clay, and sea salt for gentle exfoliation
Best for Eczema
  • Moisturizing powerhouse made with jojoba esters, coconut oil, and cocoa butter.
  • Additional ingredient of Vitamin C-rich lime peel gives slight UV protection, counters age spots, and revitalizes skin
  • Comes in custom scents based on the results of a brief quiz
Best Moisturizing
  • Moisturizing powerhouse made with jojoba esters, coconut oil, and cocoa butter.
  • Additional ingredient of Vitamin C-rich lime peel gives slight UV protection, counters age spots, and revitalizes skin
  • Comes in custom scents based on the results of a brief quiz
Best for Black Men
  • Palm ash, tamarind, tar, and plantain peel combine to gently clean and moisturize skin without removing excess moisture
  • Shea butter, oats, and aloe nourish, hydrate, and rebalance chronically dry skin
  • Helps clear blemishes from troubled, irritable skin
Best Unscented
  • Soap-free and sulfate-free all-in-one cleanser that can be used on both body and hair
  • Shea butter and oat flour combine to keep skin happy and hair healthy
  • Coconut-derived cleanser that is much more gentle than soap and leaves skin moisturized
Best for Acne
  • Reduces acne breakouts through a combination of black charcoal and salicylic acid
  • Black charcoal removes toxins and impurities from skin, reducing aging signs and keeping skin healthy
  • Cruelty and paraben-free
Best for Oily Skin
  • Crafted with shea butter, murumuru seed butter, and blue lotus, this soap maximizes cleaning and rebalancing of irritable, oily skin
  • Lava rock gently exfoliates dead skin cells and clears away excess sebum to let the moisturizing ingredients do their best work
  • Gingko biloba leaf extract’s rich antioxidant properties condition the skin after exfoliation and moisturizing to leave skin soft and nourished

The world of men’s soap is confounding.

So many companies, so many exotic ingredients that may or may not work, and so many soaps claiming to do the exact same thing—how are you supposed to know which soap to trust with your hygiene and skin? 

Here at The Adult Man we got squeaky clean over and over all in the name of finding you a soap that keeps your skin moisturized and your stank eradicated. (Spoiler: Bigfoot is actually a very clean and happy reclusive beast.)

Without further ado, we’re proud to present the seven best soaps for men.

7 Best Soaps for Men

Best Bar Soap: Dr. Squatch

Lineup of Dr. Squatch Soaps on White background

Our top pick for sudsing superiority is Dr. Squatch. Featuring natural ingredients and manly scents, Dr. Squatch is here to help you feel less like a dish and more like a man. 

Most men’s body washes are made with harsh ingredients that classify them as detergent rather than soap, and your skin suffers accordingly. Dry skin and stripped natural oils are bad, but the blow to your confidence by industrial-strength soap is worse.

Dr. Squatch soap is made with natural ingredients like shea butter and oats that gently clean and nourish while restoring tired, dry skin and your damaged ego. 

Dr. Squatch Cool Fresh Aloe soap on marble

Besides soap that works well and doesn’t make your skin look like a Death Valley salt flat, Dr. Squatch has an impressive lineup of soap scents. While we’re all men that like to break things, build things, and get a little dirty, the Squatch wisely recognizes that not all men like to smell the same. 

Want to smell like an undiscovered waterfall? Try Fresh Falls.

Want to embody a sweet alpine breeze? They’ve got you covered.

Want to take a bath in whiskey? Try Wood Barrel Bourbon.

What I Like

  • All Dr. Squatch’s soaps are made with natural ingredients that keep your skin healthy and moisturized.

  • These are big bars of soap that last a long time. A little lathering goes a long way. 

  • The scents not only smell great on the bar, but also on your skin. 

What I Don’t Like

  • Nothing!

What Other Reviewers Say

Dudes love the Squatch. With a high rating and thousands of reviews on Amazon, there’s an overwhelming majority of guys whose skin is happy and smelling good. 

The most common complaints are regarding price, but I noticed nearly all of these reviews were from several years ago and quoted the price for a bar of Dr. Squatch at $10. A cursory trip to the Squatch shows each bar of soap at $7, so it looks like they took the criticism in stride and lowered prices.

The Verdict

Dr. Squatch is our best soap overall for a reason. It’s the complete package of organic, nourishing soap, happy scents, and manly vibes. 

Natural oils and shea butter help clean and moisturize your skin, while essential oils leave you smelling fresh. If you’re looking for a soap that can treat you and maybe even your significant other, Dr. Squatch is an excellent choice.

Best Bar Soap
Dr. Squatch Bar Soaps
(Subscribe to Dr. Squatch and get a free month of UFC Fight Pass. Use code UFC20 to Get 20% off your first subscription---now through 4/25 only)

A pet peeve of mine is when a bar soap smells good, but it doesn't transfer that smell to your skin. I'm a big fan of these soaps (especially the Cedar Citrus) because the natural oils and shea butter nourish your skin and infuse it with essential oils.

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Best for Eczema: Cetaphil Deep Cleansing Bar

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The Cetaphil Deep Cleansing Bar hits that sweet spot of effective soap at a low price point. While low price is just a bonus, the real reason we’ve chosen this soap for eczema-prone dudes is its hydrating properties. 

Eczema is itchy, dry, sensitive skin that can be inflamed and discolored. If you’re looking for a quick way to make eczema worse and bring on full grayscale from Game of Thrones, use any soap but the Cetaphil Deep Cleansing Bar. 

The soap is formulated with five nourishing ingredients that combine to gently wash your skin, but not strip or dry it. It’s also been dermatologically tested and proven to be hypoallergenic, so any guys with extra dramatic and sensitive skin out there should find a friend in the soothing nature of Cetaphil.

What I Like

  • I have historically dry skin and this soap keeps me clean and moisturized with ease.

  • This soap is not just easy on the skin, it’s also easy on your wallet.

  • It’s hypoallergenic, meaning guys with sensitive skin don’t need a test run to ensure it’s worth continued use. 

What I Don’t Like

  • It doesn’t use exclusively natural ingredients.

What Other Reviewers Say

Reviews on Amazon are overwhelmingly positive.

Many reviewers with psoriasis or eczema report seeing rapid improvement while using this soap and recommend it to anyone else dealing with rough skin.

The most common complaint I found was regarding the soap’s smell. Common descriptors were “hospital”, “medical”, and “old lady.” However, the smell seems to get better over time, or people get used to it.

The Verdict

While the Cetaphil Deep Cleansing Bar is not distinctly a men’s soap, it’s an excellent choice for anyone whose skin has ever been compared to a rhinoceros. 

The bar’s nourishing ingredients gently clean sensitive skin without excessive drying or stripping of natural oils. This is ideal for eczema-prone men who already have dry and irritable skin that would become more inflamed by harsh soaps.

Best for Eczema
Cetaphil Deep Cleansing Face & Body Bar

While the Cetaphil Deep Cleansing Bar is not distinctly a men’s soap, it’s an excellent choice for anyone whose skin has ever been compared to a rhinoceros. 

The bar’s nourishing ingredients gently clean sensitive skin without excessive drying or stripping of natural oils. This is ideal for eczema-prone men who already have dry and irritable skin that would become more inflamed by harsh soaps.

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Best Moisturizing: Hawthorne Hydrating Bar Soap

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Hawthorne’s Hydrating Bar Soap is a powerhouse of moisture through the use of natural, proven ingredients. Jojoba esters and coconut oil are well-regarded as top tier moisturizers, and are prominent ingredients in Hawthorne’s soap. 

Another notable ingredient is lime peel, which is used to counter UV exposure and reduce age spots. Lastly, mint and eucalyptus invigorate and tighten newly-moisturized skin. 

Hawthorne diversifies itself from the competition by creating custom scents for users based on a short quiz of lifestyle questions. Most people think of Hawthorne’s customization with regard to their colognes, but they’ll add your custom scent to these bars of soap as well. 

To be expected, this soap comes with a hefty price tag: $17. Last I checked, I could almost fill my gas tank with $17. 

That being said, Hawthorne captures a sense of novelty and exclusivity through its custom-scented bars. Premium ingredients help to sweeten the pot as well if you’re really looking to treat yo’ self.

What I Like

  • It uses natural, proven ingredients to moisturize and invigorate your skin.

  • The custom scent is unique in an industry that suffers heavily from ingredient and feature overlap.

  • It features lime peel, which counter UV exposure and keeps your skin healthy longer.

What I Don’t Like

  • It’s expensive to a fault.

What Other Reviewers Say

Reviews for Hawthorne are hard to come by, but the few I was able to scour were positive. Of note, most reviewers seemed pleasantly surprised by the complexity and quality of the scent.

The Verdict

The Hawthorne Hydrating Bar Soap gets our pick for best moisturizing soap for men because of the premium ingredients and custom scent. We didn’t pick this as the best soap for eczema because the complexity of ingredients and custom scents may irritate those with sensitive skin, whereas the Cetaphil Deep Cleansing Bar has a proven track record with eczema and psoriasis. 

Hawthorne’s body bar offers slight UV protection and blemish correction which is unique in the world of men’s soap, but at a premium price.

Best Moisturizing
Hawthorne Hydrating Bar Soap
(Get 10% off with code TAM10)

This moisturizing powerhouse is made with jojoba esters, coconut oil, and cocoa butter.

If that wasn't enough, additions of Vitamin C-rich lime peel gives slight UV protection, counters age spots, and revitalizes skin. If you take a brief quiz, you can get this bar soap in a custom fragrance based on your lifestyle. Pretty sweet, right?

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Best for Black Men: Shea Moisture African Black Soap

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Shea Moisture’s African Black Soap is a soap designed for the dermatological needs of African Americans. Palm ash, tamarind, tar, and plantain peel combine to gently clean and moisturize skin without removing excess moisture.

Dry, flaky skin is easily cleaned and hydrated by shea butter, oats, and aloe. Once an honored beauty secret, this soap has since become a staple in many Black men’s hygiene routine. 

The soap is also great for calming irritable skin and removing age blemishes over time.

What I Like

  • It uses natural ingredients that are tailored specifically for dry, flaky skin.

  • The company has been around since 1912, meaning this is a time-tested and proven soap.

  • This beauty secret is inexpensive at only $5.

What I Don’t Like

  • It can cause breakouts in some cases.

What Other Reviewers Say

This time-honored soap is still loved today. Many reviewers cite quick, powerful results with ashy skin and cystic acne.

There are several contrarian reviews stating bad breakouts, but these are likely the results of a change in routine. Sensitive skin can often react poorly to a change in routine, which often leads to new acne breakouts. The problem will likely go away with continued use, but if you’re still having issues after six weeks we recommend you discontinue use.

The Verdict

Shea Moisture’s African Black Soap is tailored to meet the skin needs of the African American community. Ashy skin is all but eradicated after several days of continued use and age blemishes meet the same fate.

Best for Black Men
Shea Moisture African Black Soap

Shea Moisture’s African Black Soap is tailored to meet the skin needs of the African American community. Ashy skin is all but eradicated after several days of continued use and age blemishes meet the same fate.

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Best Unscented: Bravo Sierra Hair and Body Cleanser

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Many men’s soaps today functionally double as cologne and lead us to believe that we’ll smell so good after a shower that our partner can’t help but pull us into bed. Whether this is your experience or not, this isn’t an option for some guys due to sensitive skin.

If you’re one of the unlucky blokes whose skin is sensitive to scented soaps, the Bravo Sierra Unscented Hair and Body Cleanser is more than enough to get you feeling manly again. Designed by veterans and tested by the military, this soap is about as tough and sensitive as it gets. Imagine Rambo and Mr. Rogers packed up into a bar of soap, and you’ve got Bravo Sierra’s soap. 

This soap-free and sulfate-free product isn’t technically soap, it’s cleanser. Both get you clean, but soap is typically harsher. An unscented cleanser is the perfect combo for temper tantrum-prone skin.

What I Like

  • It’s a coconut-based cleanser, and coconuts are hydrating as heck. 

  • This unscented cleanser can be used on your body and your hair for those who like to keep showers simple. 

  • From its testing to its branding and packaging, this is a manly soap through and through.

What I Don’t Like

  • It’s on the pricier side of bar soaps, coming in at $9 per bar. 

What Other Reviewers Say

The Bravo Sierra Unscented Cleanser has 4.7 out of 5 stars on their own website, with many reviewers happily reporting successful use despite their existing fragrance allergies. 

The only complaints were regarding customer service. Founded in 2018, Bravo Sierra is still a relatively young company and is likely working out the kinks of the complicated customer service world.

The Verdict

This unscented cleanser is an excellent choice for any guy seeking a manly soap to treat sensitive skin. If you have known allergies to fragrances in laundry detergent or hand soap, Bravo Sierra’s Unscented Cleanser is likely a safe bet. 

Coconut, shea butter, and oat flour combine for a gentle clean without the harsh effects of soap, resulting in nourished, healthy, non-irritated skin. The only drawback to this kind of luxurious, rugged skin treatment is the price, coming in at $9 per bar.


Best for Acne: Every Man Jack Activated Charcoal Body Wash

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We’ve all been there. You’re a man trying to do man things: close a deal, woo the 10 at the bar, cultivate unstoppable confidence, etc. The only thing stopping you? 

Acne. 

Lucky for you, other men trying to do man things have come across the same red, inflamed roadblock and solutions exist.

The Every Man Jack Activated Charcoal Body Wash is all about the deep clean. Toxins, impurities, and stubborn dirt are cleaned out by the neutralizing effects of activated charcoal, leaving your skin smoother, healthier, and ideally acne free. 

Every Man Jack infuses this body wash with salicylic acid, a well-known agent for reducing acne by exfoliating skin and keeping pores clear. An additional bonus of this body soap, in their own words, “Dingleberries and deodorant residue are no match.”

What I Like

  • The activated charcoal and salicylic acid combo is a powerful tool against the puberty-induced PTSD of acne. 

  • It’s useful for guys who deal with bacne or any other breakout spots besides the face.

  • Every Man Jack has simple, modern, and masculine packaging.

What I Don’t Like

  • It’s a liquid body wash, not a bar of soap, which means it’s less eco-friendly due to the use of plastic containers.

What Other Reviewers Say

Hundreds of acne-emasculated dudes have had their confidence restored with this body wash.

A common complaint was on the packaging. The caps are more prone to breaking if you drop the body wash in the shower. So just keep firm mitts on the bottle and you’ll have no trouble.

The Verdict

If acne breakouts keep you from being the man you want to be, Every Man Jack’s Activated Charcoal Body Wash is an excellent choice to clear your skin. Activated charcoal purifies your skin and cleans out toxins, while salicylic acid exfoliates and deep-cleans pores to keep skin clear.

Every Man Jack Body Wash

This body wash reduces acne breakouts through a combination of black charcoal and salicylic acid. You can call it the wombo-combo, or you can call it something else. No matter what you call it, this stuff rocks for kicking acne to the curb.

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Best for Oily Skin: JackBlack Turbo Body Bar

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Have you ever felt like a cheap pizza that needs to have excess oil dabbed off? 

Oily skin is a common problem for guys and occurs when sebaceous glands in the skin produce too much sebum. Besides having a greasy sheen that can reflect the sun into innocent bystander’s eyes, excess sebum can mix with dead skin cells and get caught in your pores, causing acne breakouts. 

JackBlack’s Turbo Body Bar is jam-packed with useful ingredients to keep your skin healthy and balanced. Murumuru seed butter and blue lotus gently clean the skin and help rebalance over-producing sebaceous glands, while lava rock gently exfoliates dead skin cells that might cause breakouts. 

To round out this cleaning process, ginkgo biloba leaf extract’s rich antioxidant properties nourish your skin and sebaceous glands to make oily skin a thing of the past.

What I Like

  • Premium natural ingredients make for a powerful but gentle cleaning experience.

  • The lava rock exfoliation is also gentle, but effective at clearing dead skin cells from your whole body. 

  • Ingredients with antioxidant properties are great for your skin and seldom seen among men’s soaps.

What I Don’t Like

  • The premium ingredients come at a premium price of $15 per bar. 

What Other Reviewers Say

Users cite excellent results with oil-prone skin, and the majority of reviewers had excellent remarks regarding the soap’s scent. 

The most common dissent I found was with the soap’s longevity. Few people complained about the price but many felt jilted by how quickly the soap was used up.

The Verdict

JackBlack’s Turbo Body Bar is a well-proven solution to oily skin. The gentle cleansers and antioxidant properties combine to calm down sebaceous glands and bring sebum production to a normal level, reducing skin shine and acne breakouts. 

I find the price to be steep, but it’s hard to put a price on the feeling of clean, balanced skin.

Best for Oily Skin
JackBlack Turbo Body Bar

JackBlack’s Turbo Body Bar is a well-proven solution to oily skin. The gentle cleansers and antioxidant properties combine to calm down sebaceous glands and bring sebum production to a normal level, reducing skin shine and acne breakouts.

Check Best Price on Amazon Read Our Review
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What Kind of Soap Works for Dry, Sensitive Skin?

Most organic soaps you come across will tout some ingredient that has the ability to moisturize and nourish dry, sensitive skin. Unfortunately, that leaves you with a tricky choice to make and money to spend on a product that may not work. 

For simplicity’s sake we’ll split this question into the best soaps for dry skin and the best for sensitive skin, as there’s a bit of nuance. 

The Best Soaps for Dry Skin

Of the soaps reviewed above many claim to have moisturizing prowess, but here’s our list of the best:

  1. Dr. Squatch: natural soap that smells amazing, hydrates skin, and doesn’t break the bank.
  2. Hawthorne Hydrating Bar Soap: premium skin hydration ingredients and UV protection makes this a unique, hydrating soap among other men’s soaps.
  3. Cetaphil Deep Cleansing Bar: ultra-affordable soap that’s designed to cleanse skin without stripping healthy natural oils. 

The Best Soaps for Sensitive Skin

These soaps are also hydrating, but are better for sensitive skin because of their gentle ingredients and lack of scent. Sensitive skin will often react poorly to soaps with added fragrance, and these soaps have a proven track record of not rocking the boat.

  1. Bravo Sierra Hair and Body Cleanser: this coconut-based cleanser is not actually soap, but gets you just as clean. It’s unscented, making it perfect for guys with sensitive skin.
  2. Shea Moisture African Black Soap: this time-proven soap is great for skin that’s prone to blemishes, irritation, and flakiness. 

What Is the Best Smelling Soap for Guys?

If you’re a man trying to be a better man and want a soap that will augment your manliness, you need soap that smells the part. But how do you know which scents are manly, and which are the vestiges of what you thought smelled good as a pre-teen?

Man Scents

The definition of a manly scent is largely subjective, so we’ll talk about scents that are societally associated with masculine activities. Here’s a brief list of stereotypical “mantivities”:

  • Chopping wood
  • Sailing a boat
  • Riding a motorcycle
  • Drinking whiskey
  • Wearing lots of leather
  • Smoking cigars
  • Burning stuff

Based off this list we can easily pull out some manly scents. 

  • Wood
  • Pine
  • Ocean breezes
  • Gasoline
  • Metal
  • Whiskey
  • Old leather
  • Tobacco
  • Campfires

If you choose a soap that’s reminiscent of any of these scents you’re good to go, manly soap scent achieved. This is by no means an exhaustive list, just a quick overview as many men will have a specific opinion on what smells manly and what doesn’t. 

Man Soaps

Based on these criteria our top pick for the best smelling soap for guys is Dr. Squatch. Not only do they have the most extensive selection of soap scents, they have soap scents that are sure to put hair on your chest. Here’s a few examples:

  • Pine Tar
  • Wood Barrel Bourbon
  • Alpine Sage
  • Grapefruit IPA
  • Bay Rum
  • Cedar Citrus

Suds Up

As for the seven best soaps for men, Dr. Squatch rises above the competition.

It’s the full men’s package of tough on dirt and sweat, kind to your skin, delicious smelling to boost your confidence and attract your mate, and sympathetic to your wallet. 

Dr. Squatch Bar Soaps
(Subscribe to Dr. Squatch and get a free month of UFC Fight Pass. Use code UFC20 to Get 20% off your first subscription---now through 4/25 only)

A pet peeve of mine is when a bar soap smells good, but it doesn't transfer that smell to your skin. I'm a big fan of these soaps (especially the Cedar Citrus) because the natural oils and shea butter nourish your skin and infuse it with essential oils.

Check Best Price Read Our Review
If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Our runner-ups are Bravo Sierra’s Hair and Body Cleanser and Shea Moisture’s African Black Soap.

Bravo Sierra provides a soap-free cleanser that’s gentle enough for sensitive skin but tough enough for the military. Shea Moisture’s African Black Soap is an excellent choice for moisturizing tired skin and removing blemishes.

Let’s hit the showers. 

FAQs

Can bacteria live on bar soap?

Bacteria can and does live on bar soap, but it is very unlikely to make you sick or cause infection. In short, it’s not something you have to worry about.

Which is the best soap for daily use?

Dr. Squatch is the best soap we’ve tested for daily use. It cleans well, doesn’t dry your skin out, and smells amazing.

Is bar soap better than body wash?

Bar soap is not better than body wash, or vice versa. The question between the two is a matter of personal preference. Bar soap is more eco-friendly than body wash, as it is typically stored in cardboard or paper rather than a plastic bottle. However, bar soap and body wash clean skin with the same effectiveness. If you’re looking for acne treatment, body wash likely provides better options than bar soap.

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