Filth is a part of life. People are horrible, dirty, gruesome beasts, and men are especially bad. Most of us would happily while away our lives in our own filth. It is only the necessity of going out into polite society, and the desire to have other people near us that forces us to clean away our peculiarly macho musk. Endeavoring to smell fresh throughout the day, keep our hair and skin free of grit and grime, and prevent diseases from using us as a breeding ground requires a hardy body wash that is strong enough for a man, or whatever sort of baboon hybrid you happen to be.
When it came to choosing body washes, we started with efficacy, seeking only those that could handle man-sized messes and dirt from the toughest of jobs. Since no one wants to take a bath in Agent Orange we also looked at which ones would do the work but not dry out our skin and make us miserable. Finally, we considered the overall value so that you were getting a good clean for a fair price. When the weaker options were washed away, only the 9 best body washes for men remained.
Pro: Fresh, sporty aroma
Con: Hard on facial skin
Ubiquitous: Dove is everywhere, but the appeal of this body wash isn’t just that you can always find it in a pinch; instead it is the micromoisture system they have implemented which helps to revitalize and moisturize your skin without feeling greasy or giving the sensation that it isn’t properly washing away. Recommended by dermatologists, this is gentle on your skin but still gives you a very clean feeling and fresh smell. It helps repair damage and prevent future issues with your skin.
ManCave Cedarwood Shower Gel
Pro: No animal testing
Con: Scent tends to be feminine or plasticy
Anti-Inflammatory: If you have sensitive skin that responds to irritants with rashes and breakouts, the Cedarwood shower gel from ManCave might just cure what ails you. Smooth, soft, and kind to all skin conditions, it’s gentle while still able to get you clean. Using black pepper oil to help keep your tissues from getting up in arms when the seasons change or you end up covered in grime, this is meant to soothe the savage environment. It also helps keep oils on your skin so impurities and adulterants can’t creep in and harm the literal face you show the world.
Every Man Jack Body Wash and Shower Gel
Pro: Excellent softening formula
Con: Bottle requires a pump
Most for the Money: This is a delightful mix of affordable and yet well-crafted. One of the few body washes where a little actually goes a long way, the gentle but masculine aroma is pleasant in a highly understated kind of way. It washes away entirely, leaving no oily residue and almost no lingering aroma. It’s completely simple, though it goes on a little slick, which can make your hands slippery, causing problems in the shower if you’re trying to hold on to anything.
Old Spice Body Wash
Pro: Long lasting hydration
Con: Leaves a noticeable residue on skin
Twofer: Old Spice is really stepping up their game with certain products, and their line of body washes is on the vanguard. This works to both clean deeply and then moisturize for a comprehensive skincare regimen that takes less time and energy, yet leaves your flesh looking younger, cleaner, and more touchable. For an off-the-rack cleanser, this punches way above its weight class and can even give many artisanal products a run for their money.
NIVEA MEN Energy 3-in-1 Shower Gel
Pro: Cool, refreshing feel after use
Con: Contains irritating sulfates
Energizer: Using mint extracts, Nivea’s 3-in-1 formula gives you a nice amped up feeling by opening up your pores. It might be a little gimmicky, and doesn’t really help the cleansing properties, but it really is a welcome jolt on tough mornings. On top of that, the cleaning properties are good, and it won’t overdry your skin, though it doesn’t go out of its way to moisturize either.
Burt’s Bees Natural Skin Care for Men
Con: Thin, watery feel
Organic Option: Burt’s Bees is famous for making some of the most ecologically friendly hygiene products in the world, and their body wash is no exception. Citrus, cypress, and fir lend an earthy, woodsy scent that isn’t overrun with perfumes, and the base is natural vegetable soap that’s kind to your skin and won’t develop as much scum in your shower.
Molton Brown Body Wash
Pro: Scent doesn’t linger
Con: Small bottles
Scent of a Man: Loaded with aromas that range from cocoa and sandalwood to black peppercorn, you’ll catch yourself buying multiple versions just to get all the scintillating scents. It doesn’t lather heavily, which is a benefit for those with dry skin, and yet will scrub away sweat and dirt effectively. The creamy foam rinses away cleanly and won’t linger on your skin, causing dryness and irritation.
Aesop Coriander Seed Body Cleanser
Pro: Washes away thoroughly
Con: Some harsh chemicals (Sodium Laureth Sulfate)
Bare Minimum: Black peppercorns, sea salt, and coriander seeds (along with a few other ingredients) is apparently all it takes to make a stunningly effective body wash that cleanses you thoroughly without adding unnecessary nonsense to your shower routine. From the toughest skin out there to the most delicate, this is capable of handling all the muck you’re going to encounter without being too harsh to use. It’s even good on your face and hands, and won’t dry out or damage your hair.
Jack Black Turbo Wash Energizing Cleanser
Pro: Includes pain-relieving Arnica
Detox: Among the world of natural body washes, Jack Black might rule them all, though it’s going to cost you to play with the best in the business. The energizing cleanser will open up your pores and the jarring juniper scent will give you a kick like a stiff gin cocktail first thing in the morning. Glorious woodsy aromas go along with it and the lather is surprisingly rich for something without synthetic ingredients.