What’s the best face washes for Black men? Does it really matter what color your skin is when it comes to skincare products? And is there a difference between how men should wash their faces and how women do it? These are the questions we’ll answer today.
First off, it does matter what you use to wash your face. Melanin-rich skin is prone to ashiness, bumps, and a build-up of dead skin (1). Therefore, the best face wash for an African-American man would treat all of those issues. If you want to cut to the chase, here are our top picks:
|The best face washes for black men||Why we love them|
|Buttah Skin by Dorian Renaud Facial Cleanser||
|CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser||
|JACK BLACK Pure Clean Daily Facial Cleanser||
|Sheamoisture Facial Wash and Scrub for Blemish Prone Skin||
|Brickell Men's Purifying Charcoal Face Wash||
How Black men should wash their faces?
Not all of the best face washes for men meet the needs of Black skin. Too many of them will dehydrate the skin or irritate it. For example, if your men’s facial cleanser leaves your skin feeling tight, it’s time to change to something more moisturizing. If it’s not making your pores look smaller, ditto.
You don’t need your face to be squeaky clean after washing because that may mean you stripped all the oil from it. If you take away too much of the natural oil, your skin will freak out and make more to compensate. Then it becomes a vicious cycle with repeated acne breakouts.
Also, you don’t need to exfoliate every single day. Once a week is enough for dry skin. Even those with oily or combination skin don’t need to exfoliate more than two or three times a week.
Choose a gentle face wash that you can use morning and night and after a sweaty workout. It should leave you feeling refreshed with your skin comfortable. Rinse with lukewarm, not hot water. To wrap up, apply moisturizer.
Next are our tips for choosing the best face wash for guys.
How to pick the perfect face wash
If you’re anything like me, you try to sneak a sniff before buying face wash, soap, or shampoo. But fragrance isn’t what’s important, especially if you have sensitive skin. In fact, if your current hygiene or shaving products are making your skin sting or turn red, get rid of them and choose something milder.
Men with sensitive skin are prone to breakouts, ingrown hairs, rashes, rosacea flare-ups, and eczema. It’s smart to use fragrance-free and oil-free products to prevent all of these problems. This is a good default choice for any man regardless of skin type (2).
If you don’t have to worry about adverse reactions, look for a face wash that meets your specific needs. For example, there are charcoal face washes for oily skin and hydrating cleansers for dry skin.
Combination skin is a little trickier as you’re dealing with a greasy, nose, chin, and forehead with dry cheeks. Our recommendation is to choose a face wash for sensitive skin that won’t dehydrate the cheeks but will tamp down the oiliness elsewhere.
Best Face Washes for Black Men in 2023
We’re confident you’ll find the best men’s face wash below.
Buttah Skin by Dorian Renaud Facial Cleanser
Can you imagine being an actor and model that has to deal with hyperpigmentation and acne? The founder of this Black-owned company grew up in Texas in a community where Black skin care for men just wasn’t discussed. But once he became educated about the options and was able to manage his skin successfully, he started this brand specifically for Black needs.
The company develops products for melanin-rich skin. Take a closer look at this face wash. It avoids all the cheap, toxic ingredients common to drugstore cleansers. Instead, it’s packed with healing ingredients that won’t strip all the natural oil or upset the pH of the skin.
Still, it lathers away grease, dirt, dead skin, and impurities that clog pores. Then, it calms the complexion with plant oils and natural extracts. It even comes with a satisfaction guarantee.
We checked the label and found that the formula is free of drying sulfates, parabens, and artificial fragrances. After that, we consulted with reviewers who were thrilled with the results. They said it feels refreshing and has improved the appearance of their skin after only a couple of weeks of daily use.
If you’re worried that your job leaves you too greasy or grimy for a fancy face wash, think again. Women who have tried this product say that it even removes waterproof makeup, and that’s quite an achievement.
- Made by a Black-owned brand
- Fragrance-free and non-comedogenic, promotes healthy pH and moisture levels
- Features healing ingredients to calm the complexion
- No harsh sulfates or parabens, either
- Pricier than a drugstore face wash but cheaper than other premium brands
CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser
Speaking of drugstore face washes, CeraVe makes more than one kind. This one happens to be ideal for dry, sensitive skin, but there’s another version for oily complexions. Be sure to check the label carefully because the packaging is virtually identical.
No, this is not marketed as a men’s face wash. It’s a skincare product for anyone in search of a healthier complexion. It’s a lot like a lotion in texture as it doesn’t foam up, but it still sweeps away dirt and oil. The best part is that it leaves the skin smooth and comfortable.
It’s moisturizing enough that the National Eczema Association has given it a Seal of Approval. Like all products from this brand, it has three essential ceramides that rebuild the skin’s natural barrier. That’s great news if you’re tired of ashiness.
The formula is free of artificial fragrances and parabens. Plus, this is a multitool among cleansers. It’s great for washing the hands, face, and body any time throughout the day. It’s not going to wreck your skin if you can’t moisturize right afterward.
- The perfect face wash for sensitive, dry skin
- Creamy and non-foaming with no artificial fragrance or parabens
- Prevents ashy skin with ceramides and moisturizers and no harsh cleansers
- Has the National Eczema Association Seal of Approval
- Also suitable for use as body wash or hand soap
- Double-check the packaging because CeraVe puts face washes for oily and acne-prone skin in similar-looking bottles
JACK BLACK Pure Clean Daily Facial Cleanser
There are many reasons to love this premium men’s face wash. It lathers well and cleanses deeply without drying. Moreover, it’s infused with antioxidants to calm irritation as well as an astringent to tighten pores. It’s excellent for washing before shaving as it leaves the skin smooth and refreshed.
Many guys find that it helps reduce acne. That may be because of the witch hazel, rosemary, and sage that control oiliness and fight bacteria.
It has a subtle forest fragrance from natural ingredients, not from an artificial fragrance. Happily, many of these botanicals are certified organic, too.
However, if you have an oily complexion, try the Jack Black Deep Dive cleanser with glycolic acid. It’s a chemical exfoliant with anti-aging properties.
- Certified organic ingredients with no harsh sulfates, parabens, or artificial fragrances
- Cleanses without drying, leaves the skin smooth for shaving
- Has witch hazel to tighten pores and soothe the skin
- Reduces oiliness and acne, promotes healing
- Subtle forest aroma
- Not cheap, but provides excellent value for the price
SheaMoisture Facial Wash and Scrub for Blemish Prone Skin
Many men with acne-prone complexions swear by African black soap. It exfoliates and eliminates excess oil, so it’s not surprising to find it in a face wash. This one builds upon that base with other anti-acne ingredients like tea tree oil and willow bark to unclog pores and kill bacteria. It even prevents shiny skin for hours after washing.
The scrubby texture comes from jojoba beads made from a biodegradable plant wax. Users say the cleanser is pretty much magical in the way it clears up pimples. It also lightens acne scars within a week or two.
Once upon a time, this was a Black-owned brand. It’s not anymore, but it still makes superior products for African American skin. Furthermore, they don’t include phthalates, parabens, sulfates, or mineral oil in their formulas.
- Exfoliating cleanser based on African black soap, alpha hydroxy acids from tamarind extract, and tea tree oil
- Clears up and prevents acne, reduces oiliness
- Doubles as a face scrub with jojoba wax beads
- Free from parabens, phthalates, and sulfates
- Although the product description says it can be used for dry skin, we recommend using it sparingly unless you have combination or oily skin
Brickell Men’s Purifying Charcoal Face Wash
It was a hard choice between this purifying cleanser, the clarifying gel face wash, and the foaming daily cleanser from the same brand. In the end, we selected this product because it’s suitable for all skin types, even dry and sensitive faces. That’s rare for a charcoal face wash as they can be drying.
What are the advantages other than the fact that it’s been featured in so many men’s magazines? Well, for one, several of the ingredients are certified organic, plus the formula contains no petrochemicals, synthetic fragrances, dyes, parabens, sulfates, or other nasties. There are no quality shortcuts here.
Next, it cleanses pores to reduce blackheads and acne. The magic ingredients include activated charcoal, willow bark, and eucalyptus. But there are also anti-aging benefits from green tea, vitamin E, and lichen.
Lastly, aloe, jojoba, and olive oil keep the skin moisturized while peppermint and lemongrass soothe it. Guys say it feels pleasant to use and has a subtle clean scent. It leaves the skin brighter and more supple.
- Suitable for all skin types including dry and sensitive
- Purifies pores and exfoliates with activated charcoal, willow bark, and other natural ingredients
- Free of petrochemicals and toxins
- Reduces acne and has anti-aging benefits, leaves the skin brighter and suppler
- It may make your wallet cringe at first, but just a little goes a long way, and the large bottle can last for months
Let’s change the conversation and get Black men talking about skin care. Guys deserve to feel better about their appearance and take good care of their skin. It starts with the right face wash.
You need something that removes grime and oil without causing dryness and bath soap isn’t cutting it. Face cleanser may be one extra step in your routine, but it’s worth it to clear up acne, reduce greasiness, and enjoy smooth, comfortable skin.
1. https://www.leaf.tv/5259240/how-to-take-care-of-black-skin/ by Jonae Fredericks, accessed September 9, 2021
2. https://www.aad.org/public/everyday-care/skin-care-basics/care/skin-care-for-men American Academy of Dermatology Association, accessed September 9, 2021