Whether you’re taking a walk down the drugstore skincare aisle or browsing online and scrolling and scrolling and scrolling, one thing is for sure: There are a lot of options when it comes to men’s skincare. So, we understand if you just grab the first thing off the shelf when shopping for a men’s moisturizer or can’t be bothered to make a decision and just use your girlfriend’s face wash. But it’s time to get a real skincare routine of your very own. And trust us when we say it’s worth getting products that are specifically formulated for guys, especially when they’re made by the best men’s skincare brands.
Regardless of gender, we pretty much all have the same skin goals, namely fighting fine lines, sun damage, texture, acne and redness. However, guys tend to have thicker, oilier skin, as well as larger pores than women, so the best men’s skincare brands know to target those differences with different ingredients and formulas. That’s why you’ll want to upgrade your routine with sex-specific products.
If you’re wondering,“What skincare routine?” then we strongly suggest you start with some combination of a facial cleanser (i.e. not the bar soap you use for your entire body), an exfoliator, sunscreen and moisturizer. We recently talked to the TIkTok celebrity dermatologist The Derm Doc about making a starter skincare routine for men, and that’s a great resource for skincare beginners.
To help you get started, we’ve created this regularly updated list of the best men’s skincare brands. All of the brands below have been personally tested by the SPY team for quality, and we only include a brand on this list when we’ve favorably reviewed two or more products from their skincare line.
Kiehl’s is definitely a bit of a luxury brand, but the company has a ton of products that simply work. The New York heritage brand has been around since 1851, making it one of the few men’s skincare brands with a real history. Kiehl’s was one of the first skincare brands in the country to list its ingredients on the label and are known for their efficacious, science-led formulas.
Kiehl’s has a ton of unisex products we love, including the famous Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream. However, for guys, we recommend checking out the brand’s Kieh’s for Men products, which include the popular Facial Fuel and Age Defender Lines, the latter of which is formulated specifically for men’s skin.
Many of their top-sellers have a cult following of their own, such as Kiehl’s Facial Fuel Energizing Moisture Treatment For Men. Packed with vitamins, this non-oily moisturizer delivers a burst of energy to dull, tired skin while fighting off environmental stress.
It’s hard to pick just a handful of Kiehl’s products. As our pick for the Best Men’s Skincare Brand for the second year in a row, there are a ton of award-winning products we could have chosen. However, it’s hard to go wrong with a daily cleanser, like the Facial Fuel Energizing Gel Face Wash. A little of this cleanser goes a long way, and it’s not overly harsh.
SPY AWARD WINNER
Skincare isn’t one size fits all and that’s exactly how Geologie operates. Everything is completely personalized, which makes it one of the best men’s skincare brands. Their site features a diagnostic tool to determine exactly what your skin needs, asking questions about your age and what you want out of your skincare routine, such as sun protection, wrinkle reduction, fighting acne and breakouts, de-slicking oil and smoother skin. Driven by dermatologists and formulated with clinically proven active ingredients, Geologie’s custom skincare delivers results.
Truly beauty sleep in a bottle, the Geologie Repairing Night Cream .05% Retinol reduces fine lines and puffiness while hydrating with hyaluronic acid.
Geologie is also a fantastic one-and-done solution if you don’t want to purchase five different products from five different brands. This DTC brand has a ton of products we love — face moisturizers for men, face sunscreen, under-eye treatments, face wash — and they can build a personalized subscription of products targeted to your exact needs. So if you prefer to keep things simple, then Geologie should be your new go-to.
Ben Smith couldn’t find a clean skincare line that covered all the bases for guys, so he decided to launch his own plant-based line of products designed specifically for the pH balance of men’s skin. Disco is a one-stop shop for a full skincare routine, offering premium products at accessible prices. When Smith created the brand, he conducted a 1,000-person study to understand what men really wanted and poured all those insights into Disco. They also infused their ethics into the line, as it’s vegan, cruelty-free and uses recyclable packaging.
The Disco Mineral Sun Block not only blocks the UV rays that cause aging and skin cancer, it does so without looking chalky or getting stuck in your beard. All that wrapped up in a moisturizing fresh feeling eucalyptus-scented package. Yes, please.
There are so many Disco products we love, but you can’t go wrong with the Disco Rejuvenating Face Mask. The brand’s signature eucalyptus fragrance is super soothing, and three powerful ingredients — bentonite clay, charcoal and willow bark extract — remove impurities in the skin. This is another SPY-award-winning product and a must-have for anyone that loves clay masks or face scrubs for men.
4. Caldera + Lab
Caldera + Lab is a very young company, but it’s already made a powerful impression on SPY’s grooming editors and product testers. The company’s first product, a face serum for men, changed our editors’ skincare routines and set a new standard for what we consider “natural” and “eco-friendly.” The brand uses only 100% non-GMO ingredients, has a green production facility and uses sustainable packaging, but they go even further to sustainably harvest natural ingredients.
The Good Face Serum contains 27 different botanicals wild harvested from the Teton Mountain Range in Wyoming, which are then seeped in moisturizing oil for 4 weeks at a time. The end result is a powerful face serum that absorbs quickly, smells great and helps promote a more even skin tone while fighting the signs of aging. Yes, this skincare product is expensive, but it’s worth the investment for guys who take skincare seriously. SPY readers can also save 15% using the exclusive discount code “SPY15”.
SAVE 15% W/CODE SPY15
Caldera + Lab has expanded its product line to include a face wash and face mask, and we’ve also fallen in love with these products. In particular, we love The Clean Slate, a new face wash. Like the brand’s face serum, it’s a powerful skincare product made from natural ingredients. The Clean Slate uses plant-based cleansing ingredients instead of harsh acids or chemical cleansers. It also contains probiotics, plant extracts, amino acids and mineral-rich glacial silt extracts.
5. Baxter of California
Introduce the California lifestyle to your grooming routine with Baxter of California. Since 1965, their hair, skin and shave products have been tested at the award-winning Baxter Finley Barber + Shop in Los Angeles. We featured this brand’s hair and skin care products in The 2020 Man and The 2021 Man, our grooming and style awards.
Since they certainly have shaving down to a science, give the Baxter of California After Shave Balm a try. Alcohol-free, the aftershave lotion soothes, cools and conditions skin, guarding it against irritation and dryness, with the potent combination of glycerin, aloe vera and allantoin.
The Baxter of California Oil Free Face Moisturizer is everything you could ever want in a daily hydrator. The oil-free formula sinks right into skin and works to restore the natural moisture barrier to keep skin hydrated over time. Incredibly lightweight, it also soothes skin while minimizing shine. It’s spiked with antioxidants and botanicals to protect from free radicals.
We also highly recommend the Baxter of California Clay Mask AHA. This soothing face mask draws out impurities from your skin using bentonite and kaolin clay. At the same time, botanical extracts such as avocado oil and aloe vera moisturize your skin. Easily one of the best clay face masks for men, it’s a great way to practice some self-care at the end of the day.
Cardon is a new skincare brand, but it’s made big waves in just a few short years, and it truly has earned its spot among the best men’s skincare brands of 2022. Cardon is bringing the efficacy of Korean skincare to men’s grooming, and the brand also recently added hair and body care products, so it’s definitely up and coming. Picking up the Cardon Anti-Aging Skincare Set is probably the best move to get familiar with the brand, but there are two Cardon-specific products that stand out even more.
The Cardon Exfoliating Toner Face Wipes pack polyhydroxy acids and caffeine into a convenient wipe to cleanse and exfoliate blemish-prone skin.
And once you’re done with the toner face wipes, you just might want to throw on the Cardon Men’s Cactus Soothing Face Mask. Just leave it on for 15-20 minutes to minimize redness and deeply moisturize your skin.
7. Neutrogena for Men
When you want quality products without breaking the bank, Neutrogena for Men delivers, as it’s one of the best men’s skincare brands on a budget. Every single product is designed just for guys to target their unique needs. The brand is especially beloved by customers and dermatologists alike for their sunscreens and moisturizers.
For everyday protection, the Neutrogena Men Triple Protect Face Lotion with Sunscreen SPF 20 is a solid choice. In addition to delivering broad-spectrum protection from the sun, the multitasker moisturizes to condition skin and turns back the clock by minimizing fine lines and smoothing rough texture. The non-greasy formula also helps relieve razor irritation.
As one of the best men’s skincare brands, this luxe line has gained global popularity for its formulas that focus on natural and organic ingredients. You won’t find questionable synthetics or toxic chemicals in their line. That’s why Brickell is sold in more than 110 countries around the world. Proudly made in the US, the brand taps the latest technology to create products that deliver the results guys crave without sacrificing ingredients.
The Brickell Daily Essential Face Moisturizer is chock full of the natural and organic ingredients that the brand is famous for, including aloe, jojoba oil, vitamin E, hyaluronic acid and green tea. This moisturizer is designed to work for all skin types, delivering hydration while nourishing and renewing skin.
Seeing spots? The Brickell Acne Controlling Spot Treatment will get that under control. The breakout buster uses the powerful, natural trio of salicylic acid, willow bark extract and witch hazel to clear up skin fast. It works for guys of all ages and skin types, making it a universal savior.
9. Oars + Alps
Oars + Alps has carved out a legit niche with its natural formulas and hero ingredient Alpine caribou moss, known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammation properties.
The Oars + Alps Natural Face Moisturizer + Eye Cream is the two-for-one product to restore even your most haggard and exhausted face, with moisturizing ingredients like shea butter, jojoba oil, aloe vera, vitamin E and many more.
Gym-goers and regular sweaters will also appreciate the Oars + Alps Cleansing + Cooling Wipes. With no washing required, one side helps exfoliate, removing dirt and grime, while the other side offers a caffeinated boost to skin. Use it on your face or your body skin when you need a quick freshen-up.
Plus, you can subscribe and create your own bundle to have your favorite Oars + Alps products delivered regularly. So if you want to bundle some of the best natural skincare products, Oars + Alps will be one of the best men’s skincare brands for you.
GREAT FOR ANTI-AGING
Not only is Lumin made for men’s skin, but it’s also made for your skin. Whenever you order any of their skin, hair or body products, they’ll ask for your age and skin type to ensure you’ll get the best results possible. Products can be ordered individually or in full sets that zero in on your needs, such as anti-aging and anti-fatigue. There are a lot of great men’s skincare brands, but if you’re specifically looking for anti-aging grooming products, then Lumin is our top recommendation.
(As of May 2022, you can now buy Lumin skincare products at Target and via Amazon.)
For stubborn dark circles, we highly recommend Lumin Dark Circle Defense. This hydrating eye serum uses Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), Lemon Extract and Caffeine to fight dark circles, wrinkles and puffiness.
The Lumin Classic Maintenance Set is great for the low-maintenance guy who needs cleansing, hydrating and renewal basics. The trio includes their Moisturizing Balm, Charcoal Cleanser and Exfoliating Rub.
The Lumin Charcoal Cleansing Pore Strip will seriously bust your blackheads. The pore strip works to pull out all of the impurities and dirt trapped deep down in your pores, preventing breakouts in the process. The pore strips contain charcoal for its ability to combat toxins, tea tree extract for its anti-inflammatory and acne-fighting powers, and lemon extract to brighten and deliver a dose of antioxidants.
GREAT SHAVE BRAND
Formulated for Black men by Black men, Bevel takes the unique needs of highly melanated skin into mind. Whether it’s the shave kit that started it all or the latest hair and body products designed for coily and textured hair or skin that needs added hydration, Bevel has become a trusted brand by all men, regardless of race. Founded by Tristan Walker in 2013, Bevel has set a new standard for the products men of color can expect to see on drugstore shelves.
For those looking to up their shaving game, no matter who you are, the Bevel Shave System has everything you need from start to finish.
For added exfoliating benefits between shaves, the Bevel Exfoliating Face Toner packs a power punch with 10% glycolic acid. As one of the most gentle exfoliating acids for the face, this formulation is specially designed to keep pores clean and clear, thereby minimizing bumps and irritation.
12. The Ordinary
The Ordinary is one of the most unique skincare brands for its intensely science-focused approach. That means whatever you’re getting is likely to be highly pure, concentrated and effective.
For one, take The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% Serum. It’s perfect for blemish-prone skin, helping to smooth, brighten and improve skin quality with regular use. Though it’s not designed to fight active breakouts, it goes a long way to restore your skin to its typical appearance in the aftermath of bad acne.
Patricks is one of the priciest skincare brands out there, but if you don’t mind dropping the extra cash, you will be in for a premium treat.
The Patricks FW1 Face Wash may just be the perfect cleanser. With a batch of unique ingredients, it gently cleanses skin without any of that too-clean, stripped-down skin feeling afterward.
For a more serious clean, go for the Patricks FS1 Face Scrub. This gritty scrub features volcanic sand and crushed diamond to physically exfoliate your skin, breaking down blemishes and leaving smoother skin.
14. Jack Black
Jack Black takes the honor of being one of the top-selling and best men’s skincare brands. The company is all about creating no-nonsense products for guys that are made with the best ingredients, which are never tested on animals. Their advanced formulas deliver the results guys crave and cover every grooming category, including moisturizers, cleansers, anti-aging, body care, shaving cream and hair care.
The Jack Black All-Over Wash for Hair for Face, Hair & Body is a multitasker that will save you time and clutter in the shower. The pH-balanced formula works into a rich lather to gently wash away dirt and sweat without stripping skin. “I really like the Jack Black All-Over Wash because you can use it on your body, hair and face,” says board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. David Shafer of Shafer Clinic Fifth Avenue. “It cleanses to eliminate dirt and sweat without stripping the skin or hair of moisture, thanks to hydrating ingredients like jojoba protein, vitamin B5 and shea butter.”
“Jack Black actually recently launched its new Acne Remedy collection,” Dr. Shafer says. “I like the Jack Black Acne Remedy Overnight Repair Moisturizer because it’s oil-free and works to clear and prevent breakouts while you sleep. Salicylic acid and alpha hydroxy acids work to clear blemishes and exfoliate dead skin cells to reduce acne, fine lines and wrinkles, and it also has hydrating and soothing ingredients like hyaluronic acid and aloe vera.”
If you want to keep your showers short, we’d strongly recommend giving Jack Black’s overnight moisturizer a try.
You’re probably more than familiar with Marlowe and for good reason. The brand offers simple and highly effective skincare products at surprisingly affordable prices for their quality.
The Marlowe No. 121 Facial Cleanser is one of our favorites. It delivers a stronger-than-average cleanse to get rid of whatever grime you’ve accumulated on your face.
This being the case, we highly encourage you to follow the cleanser with the Marlowe No. 123 Facial Moisturizer. The moisturizer is lightweight and fast-absorbing and will guarantee your skin won’t dry out from the cleanser.
Overall, as long as your skin doesn’t run extremely dry or extremely oily, Marlowe will be one of the best men’s skincare brands for most guys.
Harry’s may have started with shaving but it’s expanded into one of the best men’s skincare brands and full-on grooming brands for affordable daily products. We covered the original launch of Harry’s skincare line, and we’ve come to love a lot of the brand’s non-shaving products.
That’s why we’d recommend buying the Harry’s Full Skincare Suite. It features Harry’s entire line of skincare products, including the Harry’s Exfoliating Face Wash, Freshening Face Toner, Daily Face Lotion, Hydrating Night Lotion, Brightening Eye Cream and Targeted Blemish Treatment. Whatever your facial skincare need, those products will be able to help.
17. Every Man Jack
If you want to look good and feel good, add Every Man Jack to your routine. The clean brand uses as many natural and plant-based ingredients as possible in their potent formulations. Born in San Francisco, Every Man Jack is infused with the city’s eco-friendly values, as the vegan line is responsibly made, using bottles created with 50% post-consumer recycled content. Plus, the entire line is manufactured in the US with the quality standards to prove it.
Their full grooming range offers everything you could possibly need for happy, healthy skin, such as the Every Man Jack Sandalwood Beard + Face Wash. The twofer cleanses and conditioners your skin and your beard, leaving both super soft thanks to glycerin and aloe, and smelling of woodsy, masculine sandalwood.
We love Every Man Jack’s bath products, particularly their body wash and shampoo, which is free of all the crap you usually find in drug store products. The company brings the same approach to skincare, and the Every Man Jack Face Scrub is a great option for most guys. This facial scrub uses coconut-derived surfactants to clean and jojoba beads to remove dead skin. On top of that, natural ingredients such as chamomile, organic aloe vera and vitamin E soothe your skin. (Every Man Jack also makes this face scrub with Menthol, which is also linked below.)
18. Bulk Homme
Bulk Homme is doing the same thing as Cardon, except it’s bringing the best of Japanese skincare stateside. The brand calls itself “basic but exciting” and that’s exactly right in the best way, going of testing from samples Bulk Homme sent SPY.
The Bulk Homme Face Wash doesn’t lather that well on its own without the Bulk Homme Bubble Net, but that has no effect on its efficacy. A little still goes a long way and will leave your face feeling squeaky clean. And if you do use the Bubble Net, it foams up like crazy in the best way.
The Bulk Homme Lotion is an excellent complement and follow-up after you’re finished with the Face Wash. It’s lightweight and maybe a little runny, but we were totally satisfied with the level of post-wash hydration.
Plus both feature a light floral fragrance and ship in environmentally friendly, low-waste bags, just two other “basic but exciting” features.
19. Lab Series
Lab Series has multiple series of skincare products to optimize whatever results you’re seeking and is one of the best men’s skincare brands in the affordable-premium price level. Our favorite is the Daily Rescue Series, including the Lab Series Daily Rescue Gel Cleanser. In testing, we found the cleanser to be surprisingly gentle, as long as you don’t overuse it or rub it in too long.
After the Gel Cleanser, go for the Lab Series Daily Rescue Energizing Face Lotion. This moisturizer puts the “rescue” in Daily Rescue. With ginseng, caffeine and vitamin B3 (aka niacinamide), it’ll wake your skin up and keep it feeling soft, smooth and healthy all day.
Ro Derm is the dermatology arm of Ro, the company behind Roman. If you want to work with an actual medical professional while you go on your skincare journey and get great skincare products to boot, Ro will be the way to go.
Ro offered SPY a chance to test their process a few months ago and we were pretty pleased with the results. We filled out an online questionnaire on our skincare goals and then Ro, in consultation with licensed medical providers, prescribed individualized routines. Though most of the brand’s products don’t require a prescription, you’re likely to receive a Ro Custom Rx Treatment. For us, that was a tretinoin and niacinamide serum to be applied nightly that helped bring down our acne a bit and brightened our skin.
Whatever your skincare needs are, you’re likely to receive the Ro Hydrating Cleanser and the Ro Protecting SPF Lotion, and both worked great for us to cleanse and protect our skin before taking on the day. If you enjoy the results, just continue your subscription, otherwise, you can cancel.
21. Jaxon Lane
STUFF THAT JUST WORKS
Their goal is simple: Jaxon Lane aims to create skincare products made for men that work better than anything else. With their ingredients-first approach, they’re doing a pretty good job of just that. Their entire range is simple, straightforward and efficacious, which is why Jaxon Lane is one of the best men’s skincare brands. After all, what more could you ask for?
Take the Jaxon Lane Bro Mask, for example. The award-winning hydrogel sheet mask comes in two pieces so that guys with beards can use it, too. The multitasking mask helps with dull skin, redness and fine lines with the potent combo of 3% niacinamide, collagen, hyaluronic acid, peptides, green tea, licorice and ginger.
Another standout is the Jaxon Lane Rain or Shine Moisturizing Sunscreen. Accurately named, it’s a great sunscreen for every day, no matter the weather or occasion. The non-greasy formula goes on clear, so you never have to worry about it leaving a white cast. Plus, it’s fragrance-free, so there’s no fear of that sunscreen smell, either. It safeguards skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays while giving it hydration, brightening and an antioxidant boost with vitamin E, hyaluronic acid, green tea, licorice root and ginseng
Queer and employee-owned Wiselands has made a significant mark on the skincare scene with its sustainably-produced trio of environmentally-friendly face products. We have our eye on this brand, and we know that this is only the beginning for the sustainable, vegan, cruelty-free brand.
The Wiselands Daily Rosemary Cleanser is its star, boasting a combination of super-hydrators aimed to soothe all skin types. Rosemary water calms any irritation and flaxseed extract helps to plump and firm. The product is also vegan, biodegradable and made in the good ol’ USA, making it a purchase you’ll really feel good about.
How We Selected the Top Men’s Skincare Brands
SPY editors receive a lot of grooming products for testing and review. Like, a ridiculous amount. And in our experience, the true test of a product’s quality comes down to one question: will we buy more when we’re done testing the product?
In addition, when evaluating skincare products, we ask our product testers to answer two additional questions: Would you recommend this product to a friend or family member? And, most importantly, does it work?
After testing Baxter of California’s Deep Clean Shampoo, we became obsessed, and now it’s our favorite shampoo. When we tested Lumin Dark Circle Defense, we either had to buy more or let those annoying dark circles come back. Once we started applying Disco’s mineral sunscreen, it was hard to stop. Put another way: it’s obvious when a skincare product actually does what it promises to do.
More than anything, we want the best men’s skincare products to work.
When selecting the best skincare brands for men, the ingredients are also incredibly important. The top brands use plenty of natural skin-nourishing ingredients and botanical extracts such as aloe vera, jojoba oil, green tee, avocado oil and willow bark extract. In addition, we also look for proven anti-aging ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, collagen, retinol and caffeine. We’ve spoken to multiple dermatologists over the years to arrive at this list of critical ingredients.
Finally, when selecting the best skincare brands for men, we looked for brands with a commitment to natural and organic ingredients, eco-friendly packaging, and environmentally-friendly practices. Lots of brands like to slap the word “natural” on their labels, but do they wild harvest dozens of botanicals from the wilds of Wyoming, as Caldera + Lab does?
When you examine all of these factors together, a few men’s skincare brands in particular rise above the competition. In the interest of offering a wide variety of men’s skincare brands, we erred on the side of including more of our favorites than fewer, leaving you with the 22 best skincare brands for men.
To check out more SPY-Award Winning skincare products, check out our end-of-year awards:
Updates: SPY’s guide to the best men’s skincare brands of 2022 was last updated on October 14. After additional product testing, we decided to update our overall rankings. While Kieh’s for Men, Geologie and Disco remained in the top three spots, we decided to rank several skincare brands more highly in this review. Caldera + Lab, Cardon, Baxter of California and Oars + Alps were all moved higher in the piece.