Guys, have you nailed down your skincare regimen yet? Maybe you have, maybe you haven’t — but there’s always a new face mask to try out or beard oil to rub into your whiskers if you’re not as happy as you thought you’d be with your current routine. Realistically, when it comes to the heavy hitters like face washes, serums and moisturizers, most of us just want something that works. That’s where the best men’s skincare products come in.
From the very old (hello, Kiehl’s celebrating its 170th birthday!) to relative newcomers like Disco (one of our favorite men’s skincare brands from the past year), there are so many of the best men’s skincare products to consider for your face. So, how can the average dude even begin thinking about which of the best men’s skincare products are best for him?
Lucky for you, we’ve tested a lot of skincare products for men — Geologie, Kiehl’s, Lumin, Disco, Every Man Jack, Jack Black, Baxter of California, Cardon, Oars + Alps, just to name a few of our favorites. When picking the truly elite products, we went to our most beloved brands and picked their best men’s skincare products so your complexion will look and feel next level. These are the tubes, jars, bottles and masks that boast the best of the best when it comes to skin-smoothing, wrinkle-fighting and blemish-targeting ingredients. You’re welcome.
From creams to serums to moisturizers to washes, check out our picks for the best men’s skincare products of the year. You can also check out The 2021 Man, our end-of-year product awards, which features more of our favorite skincare, grooming and shaving products.
1. Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream
A cult favorite from a classic skincare brand means you simply can’t go wrong with Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream. Designed to keep skin nourished and hydrated in even the most extreme weather conditions, you’ll never have a thirsty complexion when you slather this on, making it one of the best men’s skincare products. It delivers 24-hour hydration, yet the formula feels light as a feather. Its secret power is that it reduces moisture loss while drawing and absorbing moisture from the air. This was our pick for the best men’s face moisturizer of the year, and it was an obvious choice when selecting the best men’s skincare products of 2021.
Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream
2. Baxter of California Purify Clay Mask AHA
Time to (face) mask up (still)! Like any good clay mask, it’ll deliver a deep clean and purify pores in just five to 10 minutes. But it takes the skincare staple up a notch with a combination of natural, bentonite and kaolin clays, along with a blend of botanicals to keep excess oily at bay, refine texture, soothe, hydrate and revitalize. That long list of perks qualifies this mask as one of the best men’s skincare products. We named this the best clay face mask of 2020, and we love it every bit as much today as we did then.
Baxter of California Purify Clay Mask AHA
3. Youth To The People Kale + Green Tea Superfood Face Cleanser
Superfoods work on the outside too. This gentle face cleanser from Youth To The People proves it. Vegan and cruelty-free, this face wash comes in a generous 8-ounce glass container and lasts forever. Gentle enough for sensitive skin yet durable for oily skin, this cleanser gets rid of the daily grime without stripping skin of the healthy oil it needs to stay, well, healthy.
Youth To The People Superfood Face Cleanser
4. Bulldog Original Face Scrub
As a two-time winner in our annual men’s product awards, it goes without saying that this is the best face scrub you can buy right now. The price is right, you can get it everywhere and it just plain works. This gentle scrub gets rid of dead skin cells, cleans out pores and removes blackheads, revealing healthy skin underneath. Aloe vera soothes, camelina oil smooths and green tea defends in this cruelty-free combination skin-friendly exfoliator. Since the rub does some serious exfoliating, it’ll also help prevent ingrown hairs from shaving, and give you an even closer shave.
Bulldog Original Face Scrub
Bulldog Original Face Scrub
5. Caldera+Lab The Good Multi-Functional Face Serum
True to its name, this is a good multitasking serum, so it’s right up there with the best men’s skincare products. Formulated with a whopping 27 wild-harvested active botanicals, each drop contains nearly 3.4 million antioxidants. It puts that plant power to good use by safeguarding your complexion from free radical damage and pollution. Super lightweight, it restores and nourishes skin while also moisturizing and firming.
Caldera + Lab The Good Serum
Caldera+Lab The Good Multi-Functional Face Serum
6. Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay
It’s no secret: the world is obsessed with Aztec Secret, and so are SPY’s product testers. This is one of Amazon’s top-rated products of all time for the sheer fact that it actually works. It uses clay from bentonite, which is a volcanic ash made to clean and fix impurities naturally. Use it on your face, body, in the tub, for a “me” night and more. It’s not the “everyday” kind of grooming product, but it is great for using every so often for revitalizing your mug.
Read More: Best Men’s Skincare Products on Amazon
Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay
7. King C. Gillette Men’s Beard and Face Wash
Everyone loves a twofer, like this cleanser that doubles as a face wash and beard wash. It’s gentle on skin and tough on dirt and oil and nourishes and hydrates skin and hair with ingredients like coconut water, argan oil and avocado oil. To keep your beard in top condition, it has patented hair conditioning technology that’s designed just for beards, leave skin and hair looking and feeling super soft and smooth. Menthol leaves a crisp, cooling sensation behind for extra freshness.
King C. Gillette Men’s Beard and Face Wash
8. Disco Mineral Sun Block
At SPY, we are big fans of sunscreen. And the best sunscreen out there is the sunscreen you’ll actually wear. Broad spectrum SPF of 30 or more will not only help prevent age spots and wrinkles but prevent cancer at the same time. That’s a one-two punch right there. What makes this the best sunscreen of the moment is that is made up of the best mineral sun protector there is — zinc oxide — but blends into the skin like no mineral sunscreen you’ve ever seen before. No white cast here, even in melanated skin, just the fresh scent of eucalyptus and healthy, happy skin.
Disco Mineral Sun Block
9. Cardon Daily SPF + Moisturizer
If you’re someone who is hesitant to use a mineral sunblock (even though we swear it’s the best) then we have another option for you — Cardon. This sunscreen is a burst of freshness upon application and still yields the broad spectrum SPF 30 dermatologists recommend to best prevent skin aging and cancer. Additional ingredients that set this apart from its zinc oxide brother up above is the cactus. The prickly succulent has major soothing properties and produces a firming effect on all sorts of skin types. The hydrating plant has been used for its healing properties as long ago as the Aztecs. Looks like healing clay isn’t the only Aztec secret.
Cardon Daily SPF + Moisturizer
10. Pacific Shaving Co. Caffeinated Aftershave
Just like caffeine can get you going in the morning, it can also give a boost to your skin. It’ll minimize redness and irritation after a shave, plus help your skin repair itself, which is why it takes the ingredient spotlight in this aftershave. Did you know caffeine is also an antioxidant? Now you have even more reason to love the stuff. Plus, the rest of the ingredients in this aftershave also work to boost skin health. Bonus: It’s made in the USA.
Pacific Shaving Co. Caffeinated Aftershave
11. Oars + Alps Natural Face Moisturizer and Eye Cream
If your skin needs some extra help, use a facial moisturizer that really (and we mean really) gets the job done. Lock-in and boost your skin’s moisture for days and nights of hydration. The moisturizer never feels too heavy or too greasy when on to minimize shine and the potential for new blemishes. Also, this moisturizer diminishes the need for adding an eye cream to your regimen. Because, yeah, this is an eye cream, too.
Oars + Alps Natural Face Moisturizer and Eye Cream
12. RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Anti Aging Night Cream
An excellent anti-ager is another must-have in every guy’s skincare arsenal. This face cream by RoC — the bran that basically put retinol on the map — gets the job done by not only rescuing dry, rough skin overnight when your skin is its most active but also helps to prevent and actively reverse age-related issues including dark spots and wrinkles. Whereas retinol used to be an ingredient that was reserved for two or three nights per week, RoC has formulated this gentle cream for nightly use.
RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Anti Aging Night Cream
13. Jack Black Protein Booster Eye Rescue
The eyes are often the first place to show signs of aging since the skin there is extra thin, so keep your peepers looking young with the Jack Black Protein Booster Eye Rescue. It’ll turn back time by minimizing the appearance of crow’s feet, fine lines and wrinkles around the eye area. The smart eye cream uses peptides to boost cell communication that affects the skin’s response.
Jack Black Protein Booster Eye Rescue
14. Brickell Balancing Toner
Toner tends to be a step that lots of guys skip, but trust us when we say it’s worth a few seconds of your time, especially when you’re using Brickell’s Balancing Toner. The alcohol- and oil-free toner is made for normal to oily and acne-prone skin. It’s made to remove any excess oil and reduces inflammation with witch hazel, hydrates with aloe vera, unclogs and shrinks pores with cucumber distillate and gets rid of impurities with peppermint.
Brickell Balancing Toner
15. OSEA Malibu Blemish Balm
Oily skin sufferers, rejoice! This ultra-lightweight, non-drying moisturizer promises to gently hydrate while minimizing breakouts and pores. Thanks to tea tree oil, rosemary, juniper, cypress and thyme, the earthy blend balances acne-prone skin to create a wonderfully matted and clean-smelling surface that rivals any results you may have post-facial.
OSEA Malibu Blemish Balm
16. Lancome Absolue Eye Cream
Baggy eyes? We don’t know them. Or at least they’ve started to fade after consistently using Lancome’s Absolue eye cream. Sure, the price tag is steep, but a little goes a long way and it’s a significantly cheaper alternative to Botox. Simply dab in a pea-sized amount each night before bed and watch as this miracle in a jar transforms your eye area from tired to rejuvenated.
Lancome Absolue Eye Cream
17. Harry’s Post-Shave Mist
Shaving is one of the most irritating things you can do to your skin. While there are plenty of high-quality after-shaves on the market, never underestimate the power of a cooling post-shave mist. Harry’s iteration, which touts botanical extracts like aloe, seaweed and Thai basil, assists in reducing razor burn by refreshing and hydrating the sensitive skin after hair is removed. The smell is also lovely and the product is extremely affordable, making it a must-have on many men’s top skin care lists.
Harry's Post-Shave Mist
18. Jaxon Lane Bro Masks
We could do without the gender-specific marketing (men should enjoy any type of face mask without shame), but this product more than delivers in providing hydrated skin. Its hydrogel technology allows for ingredients like green tea, vitamins C and E and hydrolyzed collagen to really penetrate the dermis so that your face feels silky smooth and free of any dryness. Another bonus? They’re oversized to properly fit larger mugs.
Jaxon Lane Bro Masks
19. Geologie Trial Set
After all these great products, are you still just looking for a one-and-done routine built just for you? Enter Geologie — the SPY 2021 Man Award-winning brand for the Best Skincare Subscription. Customize everything from your face cleanser to your eye cream for your skin type for less than two or three of the products above (and they’re all still a great deal for the benefits they offer). If you run low or fall in love with something else, no worries. You can buy these personalized products à la carte.
Geologie Trial Set
How We Chose the Best Men’s Skincare Products of 2021
SPY editors, grooming writers and product testers receive new skincare products on a near-daily basis, and we’re always covering the latest product launches in this space. We know that most guys aren’t looking for a 12-step Korean skincare routine, and so we try to be very selective when choosing which products to recommend to our readers. We would never recommend a product that we wouldn’t use ourselves, and you’ll find the products featured in this skincare guide in the medicine cabinets and bathroom shelves of SPY’s editors.
For this guide, we focused on a few specific criteria: quality of ingredients, effectiveness and price. There are many other criteria to consider, but at the end of the day, we want to know it contains skin-nourishing ingredients that really work — without totally blowing your budget.
For this particular guide, we tapped three extremely experienced beauty and grooming writers to select the best of the best in men’s skincare — Barret Wertz, Celia Shatzman and Joey Skladany. All three of them have written extensively about grooming products, and they’ve written many, many product reviews. Because we’re always on the hunt for more effective cleansers, anti-aging products and moisturizers, we’ll continue to update this list as we find new amazing products.