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If your skin deserves the best (hint: it does) and the best comes from nature, then it follows that natural soap is the way to go. Hoping to find some clean formulas to suds up with? Start with this list of the 10 best natural soaps for men in 2023.
Why Use Soap?
You probably know it’s important for personal hygiene to wash your body in the shower, but chances are you’ve used shampoo as body wash a few too many times. While this might make you feel clean enough, since it isn’t formulated for skin, using shampoo instead of body wash may set off a reaction or leave skin dull or acne-prone. Soaps and body washes, meanwhile, are designed with your skin in mind.
This means they contain surfactants, which reduce the surface tension between water and your skin while also bonding to oil. This property allows them to seek out and destroy harmful bacteria, while also surrounding dirt and impurities so that they wash off easily. By using soap or body wash on your skin, you remove dirt, buildup, excess oil, dead skin, bacteria, and viruses, allowing your skin to resume its healthy functioning without any obstacles in the way.
Soap can also have additional skin benefits, which is perhaps the most compelling reason to use it. In the modern skincare market, soaps with beneficial ingredients abound—you can find a soap that soothes your eczema, addresses your bacne, evens out redness, quenches dry skin, fades fine lines and wrinkles, and so much more! That’s why it’s a good idea to have some sense of your skin needs while browsing through soap options.
Why is Natural Soap Better?
There are so many reasons natural soaps are better that this question is better answered in a list:
- Gentler on Your Skin. Synthetic skin care products contain chemicals, and some skin does not react well to these chemicals. Get in the habit of reading the ingredient lists of skincare products before you purchase them, and avoid ones with ingredient names you can’t recognize or pronounce, as these are the culprits behind a lot of skin discomfort. With most natural soaps, you avoid itching, redness, swelling, and irritation.
- Safer for Your Health. Chemicals don’t just irritate the skin—in some cases, they may actually harm your health, too! Formaldehyde, which is used as a preservative, is a known carcinogen, and phthalates can cause hormonal damage. Sticking to natural soap is a good way to guard your health.
- Better for the Environment. Environmentally conscious men are better served by natural soaps than synthetic ones! Chemical-ridden products can be harmful to plants and animals when they go down your drain and out into the world, plus the processes that create synthetic skin care products can contribute to pollution. While natural soaps can have harmful effects, too, most are made in more sustainable ways and won’t cause harm once they leave your drain.
- Full of Nutrients. Synthetic skin care ingredients are developed to do what they need to do. That’s great, but it may not actually benefit your skin in the long run. Meanwhile, natural ingredients perform their functions while also providing skin with lots of nutrients that your skin needs to be happy and healthy. For example, some skincare brands put butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) in their products to serve as an antioxidant, but BHA can cause allergic reactions. By using vitamin extracts instead, such as vitamins C and E, skincare products can both fight free radical damage and provide extra hydrating and brightening benefits, without all the side effects.
- More Effective. If you’ve ever used natural skin care solutions before, you’ve probably noticed something: they work way better than synthetic skin care products. This shouldn’t come as a surprise—we’ve been living in harmony with nature since homo sapiens first roamed the planet. Natural soap is going to give you that squeaky clean feeling (and whatever other benefits it promises) without any of the unpleasant side effects.
- More Likely Cruelty-Free. While unfortunately, not every natural skincare brand is cruelty-free, they’re more likely to be than brands that use artificial ingredients. Cruelty-free means the products are not tested on animals, and sometimes goes hand-in-hand with being vegan, meaning that they don’t contain any ingredients that come from animals either. Because many chemicals have been tested on animals at some point in time, the non-natural skincare brands have at the very least benefited from prior animal research. We just can’t have that!
Soap vs. Body Wash vs. Shower Gel
These products have different names and forms, but all do the same thing: get your skin clean when you bathe. So what’s actually the difference, and which product should you go with?
When you think of soap, you typically think of bar soap, which comes in a hard bar that lathers when wet. Solid soaps have a reputation for being harsher on the skin, often because of the ingredients in them that cause them to alter the skin’s pH levels and irritate the skin. While, in general, bar soaps aren’t ideal for dry or sensitive skin, you can still find solid soaps that have natural oils and moisturizers. Bar soaps come without plastic packaging, so they’re definitely better for the environment, but another downside to them is that they can grow bacteria as they sit uncovered in the shower. Just something to think about!
Body washes are liquid products that often contain emollients to moisturize skin, along with some kind of surfactant and ingredients that improve skin health. They can be creamy, oil-based, or light, but typically are more hydrating and soothing than shower gels and bar soaps.
Shower gels, meanwhile, are gel-like substances that are often clear and similar to hand soap in texture. Often shower gels will have a high concentration of fragrance, which makes them less suitable for those with sensitive skin. Since they still contain hydrating ingredients and are often non-comedogenic, shower gels are best for those with oily skin, while those with dry to combination skin may prefer body washes.
It really comes down to what’s in your products, not their classification! There are some bar soaps that are far more hydrating than some body washes—it’s all about the ingredients.
Best Natural Soap Ingredients
Here are some of the most effective natural soap ingredients that you should look for in the products you purchase:
- Aloe. This is one of the most important skin ingredients out there, as it comes with a whole host of benefits. Thanks to its cooling and anti-inflammatory properties, aloe is great for burns, swelling, and irritation, helping to calm skin down. It’s also a super hydrator that deeply conditions the skin without leaving a residue and contains enough vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta carotene to nourish skin and fight signs of aging.
- Natural Oils. There are so many helpful natural oils out there that we had to include this as a category rather than a specific ingredient. Some of the best oils in soaps and body washes include jojoba, coconut, sweet almond, olive, avocado, and castor oils. These oils moisturize the skin, contain fatty acids and micronutrients the skin needs, and some even reduce your skin’s sebum production.
- Shea Butter. Shea butter is an emollient that works to soften and smooth skin. Since it also contains anti-inflammatory properties, it’s great for inflamed skin and discomfort, plus it combats aging with antioxidants, treats eczema, protects skin from sun damage, and is hypoallergenic, too.
- Glycerin. We love glycerin in skincare products because it acts both as a humectant and an emollient, meaning it draws moisture throughout the skin and then seals it in from above. This ensures that your skin gets and stays hydrated.
- Coconut-Based Surfactants. The whole point of soap is to clean skin, so you’re going to need surfactants of some kind in there. The cleaning superstars of natural soaps are coconut-derived surfactants that work to clean without stripping skin of its natural moisture protection. Look for ingredients like coco betaine or coco glucoside.
- Vitamins. Just like your body in general, your skin needs micronutrients to reach peak health. Some formulas contain vitamins in their purest forms, while others contain vitamins from fruit or plant extracts. Either way, make sure your skin is getting its nutrients with the natural soap you choose.
1. Blu Atlas Body Wash
The best natural soaps for men harness the power of mother nature to cleanse and rejuvenate your skin each day. This body wash from Blu Atlas absolutely meets that description, containing 99% ingredients from natural origins, meaning plants, minerals, and fruits. With a rich, creamy formula, this wash not only gives you a thorough clean but also improves the look and feel of your skin, too. It has anti-aging, soothing, hydrating, and nourishing properties, making it an optimal choice for men of all skin types.
To understand why this is one of the best, we turn to the ingredient list, which is where the magic happens. Coconut-derived surfactants reduce the surface tension of water so it can clean away all that’s left of the day, then sugarcane acts as a gentle exfoliant to loosen dead skin flakes and smooth out the surface of your skin. This allows the other ingredients to penetrate, like green tea for antioxidant power, aloe for important nutrients and a dose of calm, and shea butter glycerides for cleansing and hydration.
Scent: Choose from two natural scents: Classic or Coconut Apricot. The classic version is almost like a masculine, fresh barbershop scent, while the coconut apricot is sweeter.
What We Love Most: The fact that this product is made with such a clean formula! And how the combination of ingredients feels luxurious and seriously improves skin texture, tone, and feel.
About the Brand: Blu Atlas is out here changing the men’s skincare game. They create premium products for modern men, using naturally derived formulas to transform men’s skin. Because their formulas are clean and safe for all skin types, their products appeal to all.
2. Oars + Alps Moisturizing + Cleaning Bar Soap
As far as bar soaps go, this one is pretty much unbeatable. It’s made with organic ingredients and built to hydrate, providing even the driest of skin with some relief while it cleans dirt and buildup. This product is safe on all skin types, plus it’s TSA-friendly, meaning you’ll take this bar with you wherever you go.
Glycerin and shea butter are the hero moisturizers of this formula, while coconut acid gets to work on the cleaning front. Jojoba oil helps form a protective layer over the skin to keep moisture in, and juniper berries act as a natural exfoliant to instantly refresh your skin. There’s kaolin clay in here to draw out impurities, but for us, the highlight of this formula is alpine caribou moss, which helps skin elasticity while easing inflammation and fighting free radical damage.
Scent: Light, clean, and refreshing—just how you want to smell after stepping out of the shower.
What We Love Most: This product has the potential to redeem bar soap’s name by being super hydrating. We also love how it addresses skin inflammation and contains antioxidants.
About the Brand: Oars and Alps is all about simple formulas that use clean ingredients to encourage healthy skin. It was founded by two women who created the products with their outdoorsy husbands in mind!
3. Jāsön Purifying Tea Tree Body Wash
This purifying body wash is free from all the skincare villains: phthalates, sulfates, parabens, and petrolatum. Instead, it brings you purifying skincare for a truly gratifying clean that you’ll look forward to day after day. That’s because the formula is powered by tea tree, a botanical ingredient with numerous benefits that include antibacterial, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties, plus oil-regulating, body odor-fighting, and calming abilities.
In addition to tea tree, this best natural soap for men includes aloe vera to calm and condition, panthenol to promote softness, tocopheryl acetate for antioxidants, and emollient rapeseed and glycerin. It will work great on all skin types, working to prevent acne but also hydrate and calm.
Scent: Fresh and herbal. Keep in mind that this product does contain artificial fragrance, which may irritate sensitive or eczema-prone skin.
What We Love Most: Tea tree for days! This ingredient brings so many benefits that we wholeheartedly recommend it, especially for those with oily skin.
About the Brand: Jāsön creates products inspired by nature, which feature some of the best plants out there. The brand also focuses on sustainability, using 100% recycled bottles, biodegradable formulas, and no animal testing.
4. SheaMoisture African Black Soap Cleanser
SheaMoisture offers a whole host of wonderful bar soaps, but this is by far our favorite, made to renew dry and stressed-out skin. It’s the perfect product if your skin has been feeling out of whack recently, as it calms, balances, and gets you back to a baseline of comfort. Reviews for this product are off the charts, as those with dry or eczema-prone skin are chiming in to call this bar soap a “lifesaver.”
As with all SheaMoisture products, this one contains fair trade shea butter, the holy grail of skincare ingredients. This butter earns its name because of how hard it works to soften and smooth skin, settling inflammation, fading redness, moisturizing deeply, and even preventing acne. Palm kernel acid is in here for a gentle cleanse and extra hydration, and vitamin C makes an appearance to brighten your skin tone and provide anti-aging benefits with its antioxidant powers. Yogurt powder soothes and refreshes skin while increasing its elasticity, and manuka honey targets inflammation and bacteria while helping skin heal.
Scent: This soap is very lightly scented, and smells natural and earthy.
What We Love Most: The combination of manuka honey and yogurt is hard to find but provides so many skin-soothing benefits that can help even the most aggravated skin.
About the Brand: SheaMoisture uses age-old recipes that originate with a healer, continuing a tradition of skin care that dates back generations. The brand supports communities in Africa by sourcing their shea butter there and believes in giving back to the community.
5. Bathing Culture Mind and Body Wash
This best natural soap for men won’t literally wash your mind, but it will give you such a pure experience that you may just step out of the shower with a lighter mental load. That’s because it’s a certified organic blend of ingredients that won’t dry out skin, plus you only need a little bit of this body wash to get every inch of your body squeaky clean. So go ahead and get outside and get dirty!
Get ready for the benefits of aloe vera, coconut oil, and olive fruit oil, which calm skin and provide lasting moisture. Sunflower seed oil provides antioxidants and is rich in vitamin E, one of the most important nutrients for your skin. Shea butter makes it in here, too, moisturizing and calming the skin. Then rosemary extract prevents bacteria from sinking into pores, staving off your bacne for another day.
Scent: Choose from two essential oil blends: Meadow Vision (a natural, inspiring blend of clary sage, lavender, pink pepper, mint, and orange) or Cathedral Grove (typical California, with coniferous needles, redwood sorrel, juniper, and rhododendron).
What We Love Most: That this wash is natural and super hydrating, plus the formula is biodegradable, carbon neutral, cruelty-free, and vegan, making it an ethical choice.
About the Brand: Bathing Culture is all about “the art of bathing,” something we all take for granted. The brand was created by people who love to go and get dirty outdoors for those who want a soap that will make them feel clean but won’t strip their skin or rely on chemicals.
6. Ursa Major Morning Mojo Bar Soap
Ursa Major’s Morning Mojo Bar Soap is truly the best way to get a jumpstart on the day. It provides a refreshing experience, buffing, toning, and hydrating skin. The energizing formula doesn’t contain any petrochemicals, SLS, SLES, parabens, PEGs, glycols, silicones, or artificial dyes and fragrances, giving you a natural pick-me-up.
The key ingredients include volcanic rock, which makes the bar less slippery for an easier shower experience while also exfoliating once it reaches your skin. Peppermint soothes itchiness and inflammation while providing a cooling sensation, honey keeps skin moisturized, and sea fennel tones while conditioning the skin. Coconut makes for a mild cleanser, shea butter hydrates with its high fatty acid content, eucalyptus provides a refreshing scent boost and emollient properties, and willow bark both tones and seals in moisture.
Scent: A cooling, invigorating blend of peppermint, eucalyptus, and more that provides a bit of aromatherapy in the shower.
What We Love Most: It’s hard to say, as we love the exfoliating and toning properties but also the way this bar hydrates. Perhaps what we love the most is the overall experience, which is so refreshing it’s like a natural alarm clock.
About the Brand: Ursa Major is all about the concept of less is more, meaning simple, natural formulas that work without all the fuss or extras. The brand’s products are great for all genders and skin types.
7. Plant Apothecary Calm Down Aromatic Body Wash
Here we have another aromatherapy experience that makes the list of best natural soaps for men. This body wash will bring out your inner zen, making it a great way to start or end your day. While relaxing you, this wash also quiets skin irritation, leaving the skin thoroughly moisturized, soothed, and supple as can be. You won’t find any harsh additives in here, like parabens, sulfates, or phthalates, so you have a green light to use this on sensitive skin.
Coconut extract is the star of this formula, hydrating skin while improving its elasticity to fight back against premature signs of aging. Jojoba nourishes and moisturizes while soothing inflamed skin, panthenol helps out the moisture barrier while encouraging healing, and vitamins C and E work together to fight oxidative stress and keep your skin bright and youthful for as long as possible. Apple fruit extract is rich in vitamins and minerals important for skin health, calendula and lavender keep the peace, and spearmint oil provides a little boost of energy.
Scent: Natural and herbal, a sum of its parts. The combination of lavender, peppermint, and other botanicals makes for shower tranquility that you can then bring with you into your day.
What We Love Most: Calm is underrated—at least that’s what we think after using this body wash. It helps both the skin and mind settle down, making you feel comfortable in your skin.
About the Brand: Plant Apothecary aims to work in harmony with plants to bring you the best formulas for your skin. In doing so, they create natural formulas that encourage skin health and also partner with organizations that protect the planet to make a positive impact.
8. Beekman Goat Milk Soap
If you’re on a hunt for the best natural soaps for men, look no further than goat milk soap, several excellent versions of which Beekman happens to make. While there are formulas with different scents, additives, and benefits, our favorite is this honey and oats scrub, which softens skin, calms redness, irritation, and inflammation, and gives you a satisfying clean you’ll love.
Naturally derived cleansers make this product effective as a soap, scrubbing off all the remnants of a long day. Oat kernel flour serves a number of purposes, desensitizing skin (even for those men with eczema!), soaking up excess oil to help you avoid breakouts, zinc to reduce inflammation, antioxidants to reverse aging, and properties that help it back up your moisture barrier for more skin comfort. Goat milk also repairs the moisture barrier with its many fatty acids and also contains probiotics that balance the skin microbiome, plus vitamin A for mild exfoliation. Kukui nut oil strengthens while it hydrates, and cocoa seed butter aids in moisture retention.
Scent: You get apricot, bergamot, and lemon right off the bat, then a little bit of honey tea and almond, which eventually leads to peach, eucalyptus, bergamot, and nutmeg. Absolutely scrumptious.
What We Love Most: The scent might just be a highlight of this product, in addition to how calming it is.
About the Brand: Beekman 1802 is one of the brands that figured out the incredible benefits of goat milk and has been convincing people of its power ever since. The brand’s products are kind both to skin and animals, and go easy on the planet, too.
9. Tom’s Cream of Coconut Natural Beauty Bar
This is a tropical vacation in solid bar soap form. Tom’s Creamy Coconut is a gentle cleanser that won’t strip the skin, plus it contains plenty of moisturizers to keep skin soft and happy all day long. The natural surfactants are derived from palm and coconut, then coconut oil and glycerin draw moisture through the skin and lock it in from the surface.
Scent: Sweet coconut freshness. The fragrance is natural, so won’t irritate your skin.
What We Love Most: This is probably the simplest formula on our list and contains all you need to get clean and hydrated without anything else getting in the way.
About the Brand: Tom’s has been making simple, healthy formulas for a while now, and works alongside organizations that help the planet. They are a Certified B Corporation and donate 10% of profits to climate change and environmental nonprofits. A good brand that does good!
10. Disco Invigorating Body Wash
This natural body wash was created for men’s skin, meaning it is sure to meet all your cleansing and soothing needs. Worried about your manly stink after the gym? Disco heads off body odor with natural ingredients, helping you feel fresh and confident all day long. There’s aloe in here to soothe inflamed skin, horsetail for its antioxidants, chamomile to calm and protect, and eucalyptus to get rid of B.O.
Scent: Heavy on the eucalyptus, turning your shower into a full-service spa.
What We Love Most: This body wash won’t make your skin feel tight or itchy like so many products out there, plus it fights your body odor naturally. About the Brand: Disco is a clean skincare brand working to meet men’s needs. All of the brand’s products are safe for all skin types, with optimal pH levels that won’t screw with your skin’s delicate balance.
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