OK, gentlemen. Put on those lab coats and safety glasses. It’s time to geek out over moisturization.
Have you noticed that, especially as we head into a colder, drier time of year, even right after you step out of the shower, your skin feels dry and scratchy? That’s because most soaps and body washes are “amphiphilic.” (Say it with me, now.) Amphiphilic means “both loving,” and, before you hustle the kids out of the room, it’s applied to chemical compounds that are both water-loving and fat-loving; i.e., most soaps and detergents.
What does it all mean? Every time you shower, the products you’re using are stripping your skin, not only of all the dirt and oils you don’t want but also all of the good oils that your body produces to help protect us from the environment. (By the way, if your product produces loads of lather, while that can be fun, it may also mean it contains sulfates, which saps skin even further.)
Because of all that, it’s even more important to make sure that your body wash or bar soap is packed with moisturizing ingredients. You will still want to follow up with a good all-over moisturizer, and a separate face moisturizer, but this will certainly be a good place to start (and may just do the trick if you’ve overslept).
The Best Hydrating Body Washes for Men
CeraVe gets top billing in this round-up because it does what it says it will and does it well. Using hydrating ceramides, while remaining soap and sulfate free, CeraVe offers extreme moisturizing properties and still has a bit of gentle foaming action for all you lather lovers out there.
Neroli is the new black for fragrance these days. The citrus fragrance — a real eye-opener — is produced from the blossom of the bitter orange tree and has connotations of lazy afternoons in Capri. British brand Czech & Speake’s body wash blends in some musky florals and natural coconut to keep your skin moist.
This cleansing oil uses grapeseed and castor oils to create a light foam that is rich in fatty acids and antioxidants. It gently cleans skin, leaving it smooth and velvety to the touch. It’s lightly scented with vanilla and almond for a clean fragrance that won’t overwhelm you or your bathroom.
Formulated to treat serious skin conditions like eczema or atopic dermatitis, this oil cleanser soothes even the driest, most sensitive types with therapeutic thermal spring water and restorative fatty acids and ceramides. It’s so gentle the whole family can use it, getting a spa treatment in every shower.
Talk about good fats versus bad! The superfatting agents in Atoderm Crème de douche are made to be perfectly compatible with the human skin, helping us to biologically rebuild our own protective moisture-barrier. Its purifying agents also limit the proliferation of micro-organisms that aggravate skin dryness.
The Best Hydrating Bar Soaps for Men
If you’re partial to bar soap, but not a fan of its usual dehydrating effects, Baxter of California offers this incredibly nourishing option, packed with aloe, a marine complex, and sunflower seed oil. That orange stripe down the middle isn’t just pretty, it’s also packed with hydrating glycerin. We like the citrus and herbal musk scent, but it’s also available in lime/pomegranate.
Oars + Alps was founded by two women with outdoorsy husbands who wanted to create a skincare collection that was man-friendly, simple, natural, non-toxic, and TSA-approved at a price point that doesn’t hurt the wallet. This moisturizing bar includes shea butter and “Alpine Caribou Moss.” Crushed juniper berries provide a light exfoliant, while clay sourced from the Amazon Rainforest helps remove skin impurities and detoxifies. Larch tree extract creates a barrier to help skin lock in moisture.
Workwear giant (and awesome animated underwear commercial maker) Duluth Trading has premiered a new apothecary line, and one of our favorite hard-working additions is the Shea Butter Soap. It’s made for guys who work outside all day, providing all the moisturizing and conditioning they can shovel into one bar, including Shea Butter, Coconut Oil, Macadamia Nut Oil, and much more.
Not in need of any extra hydration while washing? Check out the best overall body washes for men to get clean quick.
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