Step away from the soap, boys. That squeaky clean feeling may be satisfying, but it’s created by taking natural moisture from your skin, which leads to slack, papery skin and dead cell buildup that clogs pores and highlights fine lines. Instead, we’ve been testing cleansers that get down deep to flush out grease and grime, and are good for your skin.

Anthony Glycolic Facial Cleanser: £26, SpaceNK

You can rely on US-based brand Anthony for minimal fuss and effective products, with bottles all helpfully labelled with an explanation of what’s in them and what they do. Its Glycolic Facial Cleanser is a lotion with 4.9 per cent glycolic acid to gently exfoliate as it cleans and to lift stubble pre-shave, plus chamomile and aloe vera to soothe and vitamins A, C and E.

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Elemis Superfood Facial Wash: £25, Elemis

Everything about this product is spot on, from its clean, fresh scent to its gel-to-rich lather formula and its oh so healthy ingredients list: avocado, broccoli and pumpkin seed oils, plus wheatgrass, kale and nettle. Our tester found it left his skin brightened, softened and generally enlivened in the morning after too little sleep.

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Haeckels Marine Facial Cleanser: £25, Haeckels

Margate-based Haeckels’ products harness the power of seaweed and its amino acids, vitamins and anti-inflammatory properties. Oh, and they have gorgeous old school apothecary-style brown glass bottles that look great lined up in the bathroom. Its cleanser contains sea buckthorn, which provides nutrients to help your skin heal from damage and replenish, and leaves skin clean but still plump and moisturised. With repeated use our tester saw a reduction in redness.

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Baxter of California Vitamin Cleansing Bar: £17, Mankind

For something a little different, Baxter of California’s Vitamin Cleansing Bars offer the traditional soap method but with far better ingredients. Glycerin, seaweed and vitamins A and E nourish skin for a really gentle clean, suitable even for dry skins. We love the refreshing zesty scent of the Italian lime version, but it’s also available in bergamot and pear.

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ClarinsMen Active Face Wash: £20, Clarins

Foaming cleansers are hit and miss as they often strip moisture, especially from more irritable skin types, but this is somehow gentle enough to be good for all skin types. It contains grindelia, which can be used as a dressing for rashes and insect bites and is calming and soothing on razor burn, and leaves skin soft and fresh.

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Clinique For Men Charcoal Face Wash: £18.50, Clinique

Clinique’s For Men range is just what you want it to be: minimalist, effective and affordable. Charcoal is a great purifying ingredient (you’ll often find it in clarifying masks) for drawing out dirt and excess oil from pores, and included here it gives you fresh, comfortable skin.

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Dr Jackson’s Face Wash: £25, Dr Jackson’s


Founded by a scientist, Dr Jackson’s combines science-led products with natural ingredients – all packaged in minimalist, lab-inspired bottles and jars. It contains marula, mandarin and lemon oils to moisturise while dissolving dirt, plus fatty acid-packed baobab, and pomegranate to provide light, natural exfoliation, rounded off with calming chamomile. A real powerhouse combination, skin is left softened, plumped and clean.

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L:A Bruket 098 Cleansing Cream Chamomile/Bergamot: £23, Trouva

This natural, unisex, vegan, Swedish brand is right on trend with its brown glass bottles, and its cleansing cream hits the spot too. Really gentle on skin prone to dry patches and irritation, it contains moisturising cocoa butter and olive oil, chamomile and oat extracts to soothe, and antiseptic bergamot. Particularly good on sunburn or skin that has been exposed to the elements.

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Malin + Goetz Grapefruit Face Cleanser: £29, Malin + Goetz

The Grapefruit Face Cleanser was the first product that New York-based Malin + Goetz produced and it is a bestseller for a reason. Grapefruit has natural antibacterial properties, making it ideal in a cleanser, especially for spot-prone skin. It is further enriched with amino acids (the protein building blocks of your skin) that help your skin regenerate and restore its natural balance, plus glycerin and sodium PCA to hydrate. An effective cleanse without that tight post-shower feeling.

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The Verdict: Men’s cleansers

Anthony’s Glycolic Facial Cleanser does everything you need it to with minimal fuss and maximum effect. Five stars from us.

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.