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Which bar soaps for men are best?

The soap you choose to use on your body can have a major impact on your skin’s overall health and appearance. While it may seem like liquid body wash is the most popular choice, men’s bar soap has seemingly undergone a resurgence, with a plethora of new and effective options available. 

Whether you’re looking for a natural option, exfoliating bar soap or one with a pleasant scent, there are options for all preferences and skin types. The Marlowe No. 102 Men’s Body Scrub Soap is a customer favorite because of its woodsy scent and exfoliating blend. 

What to know before you buy bar soap for men

Bar soap vs. body wash

There has been a consistent debate whether bar soap or body wash is the best choice. Not only is bar soap usually a better value, as you’re likely to get more usage out of a single bar than a bottle of body wash, but it is also better for the environment, requiring significantly less plastic packaging. 

Bar soap is also likely to contain more natural ingredients and fewer preservatives. Still, some people prefer the convenience of body wash and the fact that it has traditionally been softer on sensitive skin. 


Some soaps will contain less than ideal ingredients, including phthalates, sodium lauryl sulfates, parabens and other preservatives. Today, you can find plenty of men’s bar soaps that are free from these additives and instead use naturally derived ingredients. 

In the past, bar soap was often made using animal fat as a main ingredient. However, there are more vegan options readily available today. 

Skin sensitivity 

Men’s bar soaps that feature strong synthetic fragrances can sometimes cause those with sensitive skin to develop a reaction, so you may want to consider unscented or naturally scented soaps. 

Those with dry skin can benefit from a bar soap with moisturizing properties, as sometimes they can leave sensitive skin feeling overly tight or dry. 

What to look for in a quality bar soap


The scent of men’s bar soap depends mostly on preference, and some may opt to choose a bar soap that is entirely scent-free. In general, many men’s bar soaps will sport an outdoorsy scent, such as pine, cedar, citrus, sage, lavender and similar fragrances. These are often created by using essential oils or extracts. 

Other options with fewer natural ingredients will have stronger scents resembling colognes or body sprays. You’ll want to choose a scent that both appeals to you and works well with your skin type. 


Men’s bar soap can range in size slightly, but most will be relatively similar. However, smaller travel-sized bars are available. You can usually find bar soap sold in multipacks, sometimes featuring a variety of scents so you can find the perfect match. 

Exfoliating properties 

Some bar soaps not only clean but simultaneously exfoliate your skin. Exfoliating can produce clearer and more evenly toned skin, as well as promote deeper moisturization and increased blood flow. 

In order to create an exfoliating texture, these bar soaps will include some form of rough or grainy ingredient. Common natural exfoliators include oatmeal, coffee, sand, salt, brown sugar, baking soda and more. 


If you’re looking for more than just a bar of soap to use on your body, choose a product that is also approved for use on your hair or face. 

How much you can expect to spend on bar soap for men

Certain men’s bar soaps can be purchased for as little as $2 a bar, while more expensive luxury options can cost upward of $20. For most multipacks or exfoliating soap options, look to spend somewhere in the $10-$20 range. 

Bar soap FAQ

Can I use bar soap on my face?

A. This ultimately comes down to the specific product. Some bar soaps are designed to be used on your face without drying it out, while others are geared more towards your body. If it doesn’t specifically state that it is approved for facial use, you may want to invest in a separate face wash. 

When is the best time to use an exfoliating bar soap?

A. If using an exfoliating bar on your face, the morning is often a good time to exfoliate, as it will remove any dead skin cells. Exfoliating before shaving can also help unclog pores and produce a closer shave. 

What’s the best bar soap for men to buy?

Top bar soap for men 

MARLOWE. No. 102 Men's Body Scrub Soap

MARLOWE. No. 102 Men’s Body Scrub Soap

What you need to know: A body scrub perfect for those wanting smooth skin from a naturally derived soap. 

What you’ll love: Made using beneficial plant-based ingredients, this bar soap is free from harsh chemicals that could cause adverse skin reactions. While marketed to men, this cruelty-free soap is a great choice for anyone, as its scent is universally appealing. 

What you should consider: Though designed for most skin types, those with damaged skin may find it too rough. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon 

Top bar soap for men for the money

Dr. Bronner's Pure-Castile Bar Soap

Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Bar Soap

What you need to know: A favorite for decades, due to its natural ingredients and variety of scents. 

What you’ll love: This value pack features six individual scents to try out. These smooth bars are gentle on sensitive skin and can even be used on your hair and face. The vegan ingredients are biodegradable and the packaging is constructed from recycled paper.

What you should consider: If you’re looking for a strong scent, this may not be the best option.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Dr. Squatch Pine Tar Soap

Dr. Squatch Pine Tar Soap

What you need to know: A soap bar designed for heavy exfoliating, creating clean and smooth skin. 

What you’ll love: Another all natural option, the Dr. Squatch bar soap contains oatmeal, sand, sea salt, activated charcoal and other cleansing and exfoliating ingredients. The specific formula is great for providing a deep clean or achieving a close shave. 

What you should consider: Some users have claimed that it doesn’t last as long as other bar soaps. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Matthew Young writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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