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Nécessaire Review for Men: I Tried Their Most Popular Products

Disclosure: We received courtesy product from Nécessaire in exchange for our honest review only. If you click on a link and make a purchase, we may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. Learn more.

Matt Gulielmi
Expertise:

Style, Jewelry, Watches, Skincare, Brand Activations

Matt is a NYC-based merchandise planner in the luxury space and moonlights as a retail documentarian through his TikTok blog @retailecology. His fashion career has waltzed through styling for Michigan State's VIM Magazine, translating brand copy into Spanish for cosmetic startups, to managing inventory for some of the biggest retailers in the US. Read full bio.


Published: May 14, 2024
13 min read
Selection of Necessaire products on a marble background

Having an effective skincare routine is foundational to an attractive complexion, but so many of the products out there only do the bare minimum. Even worse, most contain chemicals that are fighting against the exact thing you’re looking to keep in shape.

My review of Nécessaire summarizes a month of using four of their best sellers to help you decide if their products will benefit your looks and skin health.

The Adult Man Image/Icon Image source: Necessaire
Nécessaire

Bottom line: Nécessaire’s soaps, moisturizers, and deodorant do what they’re supposed to, and more. They’re infused with skin-nourishing and image-lifting elements made my skin feel rejuvenated. Coming from a guy who’s tried it all, The Scalp Serum is worth a look if you’re a guy looking to protect your hair as you age.

Ratings: The Adult Man Image/Icon  Design The Adult Man Image/Icon  Quality of Materials The Adult Man Image/Icon  Value for Money The Adult Man Image/Icon  Craftsmanship The Adult Man Image/Icon  Customer Service
Pros:
  • Most of Nécessaire products tackle multiple parts of your appearance, not just one use case
  • The Scalp Serum can be a great alternative to prescription hair-growth remedies
  • Nothing I tested left a greasy residue on my skin or hair
Cons:
  • The Scalp Serum’s instructions aren’t found on the packaging itself
  • My body chemistry didn’t respond to The Deodorant Gel

As I approach 27 and reflect on the first quarter of my life, I’ve realized that I always took my good skin for granted.

I didn’t endure a bout of acne in high school and an unsightly pimple never dampened my confidence before a big interview.

Now my hairline is creeping up my temples. I used to have thick hair like Michael Corleone, but I’ll look like Fredo in a decade if I don’t start taking action.

I never followed a skincare routine outside of a face wash and occasional moisturizing. While my assortment is modest, all of it is premium—Aesop, Kiehl’s, and Le Labo to name a few. 

Their products work and I don’t need to replace them as often, but relying on fewer products would simplify my routine.

Now that I’m noticing signs of aging, I’ve scoured the web for multi-use remedies in hopes of delaying the sands of time. 

Nécessaire seemed like my kind of brand. The reviews were promising, their product is gentle on sensitive skin, and they aim for sustainability. I scored their body lotion, scalp serum, body wash, and deodorant to see if they could improve my appearance with consistent use.

What Is Nécessaire?

Necessaire Side by Side

Nécessaire is the passion project of industry heavyweights Randi Christiansen and Nick Axelrod.

Christiansen, a former vice president with 16+ years of experience at Estée Lauder, and Axelrod, previously the co-founder of beauty blog Into The Gloss, founded the beauty brand in 2018 with one thing in mind: Creating a transparent personal care company for the entire body.

This endeavour starts with the ingredients. Nécessaire abides by the EU’s strict formulation guidelines, so potentially harmful substances such as phthalates, silicones, and parabens aren’t found in their products. Many of them are fragrance-free as well.

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The brand is also plastic-neutral, meaning they offset their plastic use with the amount they recover. Nécessaire also uses post-consumer aluminum, bio-resin derived from plants, and virgin glass to cut down on plastic packaging.

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These practices earn them B Corp certification, verifying they meet strict social and environmental criteria, and 1% of their sales go towards land, water, and wildlife conservation.

Their offerings have received over 90 awards from beauty authorities like GQ, Harper’s bazaar, and Men’s Health.

Self care products need replenishing every so often. For customer convenience, Nécessaire offers 15% off every order through their subscription service, and they ship expedited for free. 

They also offer free returns on anything, which is extra convenient if you want to test something new.

Things to Consider Before Buying

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If their highly-decorated product didn’t make it clear enough, Nécessaire is a premium brand, which pretty much always equals premium price tag.

Their smallest container of body wash will run you $25—most pharmacies don’t carry a bottle that expensive.

If you aren’t overly concerned with ingredient quality or brand impact, Nécessaire might not be justifiable for you from a cost standpoint.

My Hands-on Review

The Body Wash

Necessaire The Body Wash With

Body wash always seemed like a basic product that didn’t require much thought.

It’s just liquid soap, right? Once I experimented with better shower gel, it hit me how dry and irritated the cheap options left my skin, so I had to see how Nécessaire felt.

It isn’t every day I get to ceremoniously unbox a bottle of body wash, so I have to give them credit for the cool packaging. The twist-open cap is genius, and it doesn’t allow buildup around the opening.

Necessaire The Body Wash Oil

The Body Wash is the first I’ve tried that is an oil-in-gel formula. I thought this would result in a greasy feel post-shower, but it’s decadently smooth and leaves my skin feeling hydrated.

If you love a thick lather, this is your soap. There’s nothing as pathetic as a body wash that has a weak sud game. This whips up a voluminous cloud of foam in an instant.

Necessaire The Body Wash Foam in Loofah

Nécessaire opts for facial-grade marula, cacay, and meadowfarm oils to deliver the vitamin A/C/E and omega 3/9 benefits.

The plant-derived vitamin triol helps to stimulate skin regeneration and slow signs of aging.

The “seaside-breeze-scented” shower gel I used in college could never.

Wherever the self-care product is, I spring for botanical scents—eucalyptus, tea tree, peppermint, etc.

Knowing a lot of Nécessaire’s products are fragrance-free, I’m relieved that they have scented options. I secured the eucalyptus.

Necessaire The Body Wash Covered in Suds

It leaves my shower smelling like a spa, but I’m not walking around all day with an overbearing aura of zest.

Once I finish my bottle (my 250ml bottle will last me about a month), I want to try their sandalwood or bergamot variants. If you prefer no fragrance at all, they have that too.

I’m a geek with what I’m putting in my body. Even since I knew how harmful parabens are, I scan the back of every label.

The preservative imitates estrogen in the body, potentially disrupting fertility, reproductive development, and overall function. I haven’t had kids yet, and I’m not letting a 2-for-$5 soap get in the way of fathering healthy children.

I’d think a chemical-conscious brand like Nécessaire would print that on the big next to their benefits list, but it’s nowhere to be found. It’s on their website, but if I were them, I’d make it clear that sulfates, silicones, parabens, and PEGs are not found in the wash.

Necessaire The Body Wash Screw Top

The only thing keeping The Body Wash from being a permanent resident in my shower is the price.

Sure, I can spend an extra $10 for twice the volume, but $25 for a month’s worth of soap becomes more of a luxury than an everyday commodity.

I respect Nécessaire’s mission, and I’m sure their sustainability efforts are built into the cost. However, the all-natural bar soap I use is roughly a quarter of the price and lasts me just as long.

With almost a month of testing behind me, The Body Wash has more to offer than delightful smells. The ingredients are beneficial, the packaging is innovative, and Nécessaire told preservatives to beat it. It might be more expensive than I’m used to paying, but the benefits are obvious for anyone who values nontoxic body wash from an ethical company.

Nécessaire The Body Wash

The Body Wash is packed with anti-aging nutrients to keep skin looking youthful, unlike basic soaps that just strip oil from the skin. Whether you like herbaceous scents or none at all, the rich lather leaves skin feeling clean and refreshed. The only downside? It’s a tad pricey.

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The Body Lotion

Necessaire The Body Lotion With

My current go-to body lotion is the Resolute Hydrating Body Balm from Aesop. The spicy aroma is addicting but it spreads on like concrete.

The Body Lotion has an unscented profile, but I’m willing to trade in an attractive fragrance for something easier to apply.

It has a standard lotion texture—creamy yet structured.

If you like runnier lotions that absorb quickly, it requires a bit more handiwork to spread around the skin.

Necessaire The Body Lotion

It’ll suit most people’s texture expectations, but for me, it’s far easier to apply than my current moisturizer. The Body Lotion doesn’t gunk up my chest hair, either.

Like The Body Wash, The Body Lotion contains the same nutrient profile of Vitamins A/C/E and Omega 6/9, but with an added boost of vitamin F.

My skin tends to get oily quickly, and vitamin F helps fight inflammation that can lead to psoriasis, acne, and pimples. I rarely suffer from any, but it’s nice to know The Body Lotion serves as an active defense.

Necessaire The Body Lotion Packaging Details

Some people seek lotion with a low amount of SPF to keep sun damage at bay without having to fully commit to an everyday sunblock.

My developing sunspots have me considering if I should have considered one.

Either way, The Body Lotion does not contain any UV protection. It does however contain a 2.5% niacinamide solution to smoothen out dark spots.

I’ve used this lotion for almost four weeks and haven’t seen noticeable effects. Niacinamide takes 8-12 weeks for visible improvements, though, so I’ll remain patient to see its effects on my dark spots.

I take a dissolvable collagen peptide weekly to nourish my skin, hair, and nails, and The Body Lotion contains five variants of the amino acid. The skin naturally produces peptides, but supplementing them through cosmetic or consumable routes can help firm the skin.

Did a single application lead to a night-and-day difference? Not so much. Like the benefits from niacinamide, I’ll need consistent application over a long period to see a difference, but the peptide content makes The Body Lotion a better moisturizer compared to the competition that lacks it.

Half of my 200ml bottle remains after three weeks of applying it to my arms, chest, and torso, so the ~$30 price doesn’t feel like splurge compared to the body wash.

I don’t leave the house with a pleasant scent that my other lotion delivers, but The Body Lotion is the clear winner for dermatological benefits. The peptide and vitamin profiles are known skin boosters, and the bottle lasts long enough to justify continued use for maximal results.

Nécessaire The Body Lotion

The Body Lotion gets more skin-soothing horsepower from vitamins, peptides, and niacinamide. For those dealing with uneven skin tone or those who want to tackle gradual aging, the medicinal enhancements make it a potent alternative to lotion that just retains moisture.

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The Deodorant Gel

Necessaire The Deodorant Gel With

I knew going into the review that Nécessaire has cool packaging, but The Deodorant Gel really wowed.

Instead of the plastic oblong we know too well, The Deodorant Gel comes in a sleek metal cylinder with a roll-on applicator. Somehow Nécessaire has made my stink-control ritual feel lavish.

Applying The Deodorant Gel is easy and mess-free. The roller ball works like a charm without leaks, spills, or clogs. Its quick drying time is handy if you’re in a rush, too.

Pasty leftovers from yesterday’s deodorant requires serious elbow grease to get out of my hairy underarms. Put simply, it washes out effortlessly.

Necessaire The Deodorant Gel On Stand

If your tees have succumbed to pit stains, I’d recommend The Deodorant Gel. The clear liquid hasn’t worsened any discoloration, and the lighter body doesn’t accumulate in a shirt’s weave.

Maybe The Deodorant Gel doesn’t get along with my chemistry, because it doesn’t last nearly as long as I’d hoped.

This isn’t an antiperspirant. Nécessaire proudly claims there isn’t any aluminum, baking soda, or synthetic fragrance, which is great, but the 5% alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) and niacinamide lasts six hours tops on a sedentary day.

AHA is great for improving skin texture and unblocking pores, and I touched on niacinamide’s hyperpigmentation benefits. Based on my research, Neither of them seem to be widely praised for their odor-defense properties. 

Necessaire The Deodorant Gel Smooth

While the long-term health effects of aluminum are debated, there’s no question it keeps pits fresh. AHA and Niacinamide can provide aesthetic remedies to the underarms, but that isn’t something I personally deal with.

If you’ve noticed underarm bumps or hyperpigmentation, paying ~$20 for the 50ml bottle might be a no-brainer. Its anti-odor properties could be more compatible with your body chemistry, too.

Necessaire The Deodorant Gel Roller Ball Applicator

The inventive packaging gave me high hopes for The Deodorant Gel. The AHA and niacinamide content can be great for those who want to improve the appearance of their underarms or those without strong body aroma, but its fleeting odor control brings our love story to an end. 

Nécessaire The Deodorant Gel

The mess-free roller-ball applicator, compact design, and beauty-enhancing ingredients are qualities rarely found in competing deodorants. Even if the smell-fighting ingredients don’t work for everyone, it’s a must try for those looking to ditch antiperspirants laden with heavy metals

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The Scalp Serum

Necessaire The Scalp Serum With

Do people think it’s vain to obsess over one’s looks? Sure. Does every guy want a luscious head of locks forever? Undoubtedly, whether they admit it or not.

I’ve tried finasteride, but it made me a foggy-headed, lethargic mess. Minoxidil raised my heart rate to uncomfortable levels. I retired both without a second thought.

These powerful chemicals work for some guys, but I wasn’t going to take my chances with heart problems or finasteride-induced infertility. I discovered The Scalp Serum and couldn’t wait to try it.

The glass container is a nice touch, but otherwise, it’s your run-of-the-mill dropper bottle. I spotted in some reviews that the dropper only holds half of what it should, and mine did the same.

Maybe that’s by design? I skipped over the instructions in my excitement over what my hair could soon look like. Do I need one dropper worth of liquid, or just half? Do I apply it everywhere, or just the crown?

Necessaire The Scalp Serum Applying to Hair

Then I realized the instructions weren’t printed on the box. I found them on the product description page, but this is a massive oversight for such a niche product.

For the last 21 days, I’ve applied it to my hairline and crown after towel drying. My hair is still pretty thick, it’s just my hairline’s shape I’m bummed about. The liquid is smooth enough to fall through to my scalp, which is essential for it to work. It doesn’t leave any greasy residue, either.

I’m happy to share that I’ve already noticed less shedding in the shower.

Nécessaire states it “promotes fuller, thicker, healthier hair in 90 days”. I still have some time to go before I’ve reached peak lusciousness, but that also means I’ll need two more bottles before then—almost $50 each.

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Luckily, there’s a 90-day supply that saves about $30. That’s definitely what I’ll be getting next.

The active ingredient is 5% capixyl, which is a hair-growth promoter containing biomimetic peptides and red clover flower extract.

I’ve seen capixyl used in competing products in my quest towards hair restoration, so I trust that Nécessaire isn’t pushing snake oil with this.

Unlike systemic solutions like finasteride that alter hormones, this is a topical solution. It might not be as effective, but I’m not putting myself through unbearable side effects again. The Scalp Serum hasn’t given me any.

Necessaire The Scalp Serum Dropper

Some guys deal with hair loss that isn’t genetic. Sometimes it’s from an irritated scalp. My shoulders are snow-capped with dandruff if I shampoo too often, and hair fall usually coincides.

The Scalp Serum also contains a 1% hyaluronic acid solution to curb scalp dryness. It’s improved my flakiness quicker than I expected, so I’m thrilled about tackling two hair-related nuisances.

Take it from Tom Ford or Jude Law: A full head of hair isn’t the end-all-be-all of handsomeness. There’s nothing wrong with keeping what you’ve got, though. Given Nécessaire’s statistics that 90% saw thicker hair, I’m full steam ahead for the next ~70 days to see the best results. I don’t mind less dandruff for the time being, either.

Nécessaire The Scalp Serum

Nécessaire’s Scalp Serum tackles thinning hair and scalp dryness in one smooth liquid. I’ve tried prescription-strength hair stabilizers, but unlike them, The Scalp Serum gently promotes hair growth in 90 days. Applying it daily doesn’t leave me with an oily look, either, even with my long hair.

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What Do Other Reviewers Say?

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The Body Lotion has 1200+ alone, with a 4.5/5 star average at the time of writing. It seems like people fragrance enthusiasts gravitate to the unscented formula as perfumed moisturizer would muddy their cologne of choice. Everyone loves the non-greasy texture.

The Scalp Serum is the only thing I tested that doesn’t have a lot of reviews, with only 12 of them averaging to a 4.5/5 star rating. Most of them share that they’ve seen noticeable improvements in their hair growth. Like myself, a few haven’t seen results quickly, but they have no complaints regarding bad reactions to it.

My Thoughts Overall

What I Like

  • The Body Wash’s twistable cap prevents any spills or buildup, and I’d like to see this design become more common.
  • My skin feels more hydrated after using The Body Wash compared to other shower gels I’ve bought.
  • The Body Lotion doesn’t leave an oily feeling on my skin after absorbing.
  • Both The Body Wash and The Body Lotion contain skin nutrients that help fight aging and blemishes.
  • Unlike pasty antiperspirants, The Deodorant Gel dries clear, doesn’t accumulate on hair, and hasn’t stained any of my clothes yet.
  • Even with my long hair, The Scalp Serum reaches my scalp easily to promote hair health and treat dryness.

What I Don’t Like

  • The Deodorant Gel’s anti-odor ingredients don’t last long on me.
  • For such a specialized product, Nécessaire should consider printing The Scalp Serum’s instructions on the box.

Who Is Nécessaire For?

I believe Nécessaire is good for any guy who’s willing to spend the money on versatile self-care products that don’t address a single problem.

If you’re wary of the ingredients found in high-volume cosmetic brands, I think Nécessaire’s transparency behind their formulations makes it easy to make a decision. Their clinical studies are helpful nuggets of information as well.

Guys who have experienced negative side effects from hair loss treatments should give The Scalp Serum a shot. It only relates to one of their products, but not every man wants to resort to risky elixirs to maintain the mane.

The Verdict

As a whole, Nécessaire fills a void I’ve been looking for in a beauty brand: honest, modern, and I actually feel like I’m getting something special for the higher cost.

The same old self-care remedies that call my bathroom home treat a single issue. Buying one product from Nécessaire addresses multiple things. The Body Wash cleans skin while firming it over time. The Body Lotion moisturizes while harmonizing skin discoloration. The Scalp Serum invites new hair while soothing flaky dryness.

I could save money by continuing with my normal self-care lineup, but I’d have to buy several products that Nécessaire can do in one.

Nécessaire

Nécessaire’s soaps, moisturizers, and deodorant do what they’re supposed to, and more. They’re infused with skin-nourishing and image-lifting elements made my skin feel rejuvenated. Coming from a guy who’s tried it all, The Scalp Serum is worth a look if you’re a guy looking to protect your hair as you age.

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