Compare the leading men’s skin care products and discover the perfect solutions to fit your budget and leave your skin feeling healthy and looking great.
The Rise of Skin Care for Men
A decade ago, skin care for men wasn’t exactly a popular Google search. Popular culture promoted the idea that a daily skin care routine was for women and serial killers (cue the American Psycho reference).
For a man, using a random bar of soap in the shower was supposed to be enough.
Thankfully times have changed, and men are getting more comfortable with at least a minimal skin care routine to fight dry skin and reduce signs of aging.
Statistics suggest a growing market for men’s skin care products and increasing comfort among guys about trying on a personal grooming routine:
- According to research, “younger men are much more open to engaging in caring for their skin and buying skin care products.” The same researchers found that “men do not discuss their skincare practices with other people.” Skincare for men, the authors suggest, is “a private, invisible form of consumption.”
- One report found that the global market for men’s skin care was valued at $11.6 billion in 2019, and predicted a compound annual growth rate of 6.2 percent between 2020 and 2027.
- Global Industry Analysts forecast that the global men’s skin care products market is estimated to grow from $12 billion in 2020 to $16.3 billion by 2026.
- In the United States, the market for men’s skin care products is estimated to be $3.4 billion in 2021. China’s market for men’s skin care products is predicted to reach $3.3 billion by 2026.
- Another report looked at men’s personal care products more generally, including skin and hair care, and found a global market value of $30.8 billion in 2021 and a growth rate of 9.1 percent annually until 2030.
An increasing number of brands have stepped up to serve the men’s grooming and skin care market. At the same time, there is growing pressure to remove toxic chemicals from skin care and engage in ethical practices when developing products, including through cruelty-free testing.
This article compares some of the best options from the growing variety of unisex and men’s skin-care products.
Best Everyday Skincare Brands for Men
The men’s skincare brands below won’t break the bank, and can help form the basis of a basic skincare routine for men.
Best for: An easy one-stop-shop for a comprehensive skincare regime, and for guys who like eucalyptus.
Founder Ben Smith launched Disco in 2019 after his own struggle with maintaining healthy skin. Whether you want to quickly manage razor burn or excessive oiliness, Disco offers vegan and cruelty-free formulations with high-quality ingredients that aren’t as expensive as luxury skincare options.
Disco is an easy way to build an effective skincare regimen for men that can be as quick or comprehensive as you wish. (Full disclosure: I received free samples from Disco to try at home, though have since purchased additional Disco products with my own money.)
I’ve found that Disco makes it surprisingly easy to introduce skin care into the rhythm of my day. The company offers a range of products from which you can tailor a skin care regime that can be as simple as using their unique charcoal face cleanser stick followed by Disco’s Hydrating Face Moisturizer, which uses anti-inflammatory macadamia oil and is light and refreshing.
Over time, you can go deeper, leveraging additional Disco products like the Repairing Eye Stick, which contains caffeine and tackles puffiness, wrinkles, and dark circles.
Nearly all of Disco’s skin care products feature eucalyptus prominently, which gives the lineup a refreshing and distinct appeal.
A couple of caveats: If you don’t like the smell or feel of eucalyptus, you should definitely look elsewhere. Also, like some other brands on this list, Disco utilizes activated charcoal in its face cleanser and delivers it via a stick that resembles deodorant. It’s a unique experience, though not unpleasant.
Ready to try Disco? I suggest Disco’s Starter Set, featuring their cleanser stick, exfoliating face scrub, and moisturizer, which provides an excellent introduction to what the brand has to offer.
Best for: Lightweight, affordable skincare for sensitive skin
Paula’s Choice is one of my go-to skincare brands for men.
Founded by Paula Begoun in 1995, the cruelty-free genderless brand offers moderately priced products ranging between $15 and $35. It also shares an extensive ingredient dictionary that helps you research what to use on your skin.
Free of various irritating fragrances, the men’s skin-care products from Paula’s Choice include Soothe & Smooth, an aftershave with anti-aging ingredients, and Nighttime Repair, a moisturizer full of antioxidants.
I am particularly fond of Paula’s Choice Clear lineup, developed for acne-prone skin (like mine). I love the feel of their normalizing cleanser and ultralight moisturizer with SPF, which doesn’t clog my pores or feel greasy. These unscented products have a neutral, vaguely medicinal odor.
One really nice thing about Paula’s Choice is that all of their products (even the trial sizes) ship free via their website.
Lumin is another guy-focused skincare startup that quickly reached worldwide popularity after it was launched in 2018 by Darwish Gani and Richard Hong. The California-based brand, which doesn’t test its products on animals, gets consistently high reviews for its efficacy in improving men’s skin.
For $36, you can buy two of Lumin’s fundamental products. One of them is a charcoal cleanser that helps clean your pores and counteract oiliness. The other is a moisturizing balm that doesn’t leave a greasy residue.
Tiege Hanley promises “uncomplicated skin care for men.” The company sells skincare routines that range from essential to advanced to super-advanced (“anti-aging”) as well as acne treatments.
While Tiege Hanley suggests you subscribe to its comprehensive men’s skincare systems, you can also shop for individual products via their website. Tiege Hanley’s skincare for men lineup is also available via Amazon.
The company boasts an extremely high Net Promoter Score of 90, which suggests excellent customer experiences and service.
Even though Blu Atlas was just launched in January 2022, this cruelty-free and vegan brand has already garnered immense popularity and great reviews from the likes of Men’s Journal, Maxim, Rolling Stone, LA Weekly, and The Daily Front Row. Their unique formulations use all-natural ingredients, and most of the products don’t cost more than $30.
The award-winning Jaxon Lane uses Korean beauty formulas for its products, which include the Bro Mask, a dermatologist-recommended sheet mask endorsed by Nick Jonas and other celebrities. Another notable product is Relax and Repair, an anti-aging moisturizer priced at under $40. Founded in 2018 by Alex Penfold and Jen Yu, a married couple, the California-based brand is committed to never testing products on animals.
Personalization is one of the defining qualities of Geologie, which invites you to fill out an online quiz about your skin-care needs and gives you customized products in response. Some sets of products, such as the ones for oil control, can cost $100, while others are less than $20, like the exfoliating cleansers made with bergamot and cedar.
Founded by Nick Allen and Dave Skaff in 2018, Geologie relies on straightforward, scientifically proven formulas for skin care. The products aren’t tested on animals, and they also don’t contain parabens and sulphates.
Two brothers founded Grown Alchemist in 2008, and the Australian brand has won favor for being organic, free of toxic synthetic substances, and guided by scientific developments in health and nutrition.
Having gone viral on TikTok and been endorsed by Kim Kardashian, The Ordinary is especially appealing to among Gen Z, and is an excellent example of a genderless skincare product that can be used by men and women alike.
The Toronto-based brand, which was founded by Brandon Truaxe, offers many products for $20 or less, such as the vegan and gluten-free Squalane Cleanser and a toning solution with Tasmanian pepperberry.
The Ordinary, which doesn’t test its products on animals, is one of the most affordable on this list.
The Inkey List
The cruelty-free brand encourages you to build your own recipes for skin care, and most of its products cost less than $20. Like The Ordinary, The Inkey List is a genderless skincare brand that men can feel comfortable using.
The high quality of its products and the cobalt blue of its packaging make Jack Black stand out.
This cruelty-free brand, which isn’t affiliated with the American actor of the same name, was founded in 2000 to address the dearth of skin-care products specifically for men.
Although many of the products are pricey, some are available for under $30, such as the Deep Dive Glycolic Facial Cleanser, which fights clogged pores, and the brand’s beard oil, which helps keep your skin smooth and free from itchiness under your beard.
Duke Cannon Supply Company
The brand is committed to never testing its formulas on animals, and its skin-care products generally cost less than $20. Examples include the highly popular Quick Buff Siberian Mint Face Scrub, which is an excellent exfoliator, and the organic Cannon Balm Tactical Lip Protectant, which has been tested by military personnel and comes in a large tube, not a dainty one.
For more on the brand, check out Modern Fellows’ interview with Duke Cannon Supply Company Co-Founder Sam Swartz.
Launched by Pharrell Williams in 2020, Humanrace presents itself as an inclusive brand that offers unisex skin care for any person of any race. The products are vegan and have received a cruelty-free certification from Leaping Bunny.
The brand makes life simpler by laying out a three-step process for a facial with only three products: the Rice Powder Cleanser, the Lotus Enzyme Exfoliator, and the Humidifying Face Cream. The price for each falls between $30 and $50, and you can get discounts through a subscription service.
Cremo, which was founded in 2005 by Mike Boone and Kyle Schroeder, focuses mostly on men’s grooming issues, such as how to banish beard itch. Shopping from the cruelty-free brand is like stepping into a barbershop.
Cremo’s affordable skincare line includes a moisturizing face scrub for $9 and a collection of beard oils, each under $20. Cremo’s light shave cream and hair styling cream are part of my daily routine.
Kiehl’s got its start in the 1850s as an apothecary in New York City and was bought by L’Oreal a little over 20 years ago. Their men’s products, which generally range from roughly $20 to $110, include a paraben-free body lotion with cocoa and shea butter and a hydrating facial cream with squalane, an ingredient that has anti-inflammatory properties. The brand has made efforts to become more sustainable, including significantly reducing water usage.
I adore Kiehl’s Amino Acid Shampoo.
In spite of what its name might suggest, Bulldog is certified vegan, and it doesn’t test products on animals. Founded in 2005, the London-based brand aims to deliver environmentally friendly and affordable skin care to men.
For $10, you can get the well-rated Original Moisturizer, which uses camelina oil, aloe vera, and green tea. Another popular item is the Oil Control Face Wash, which is available for only $7 and includes witch hazel and juniper among its natural ingredients.
Hims is part of a digital health brand that launched in 2017 and went public in a 2021 merger. You can consult with a licensed medical professional about skin issues and get prescribed a medication. You can also buy skin-care products that don’t require a prescription.
Boy de Chanel
Through Boy de Chanel, the legendary French fashion house, which was founded over a century ago, aims to give men beautiful skin. Priced between $40 and $80, the easy-to-use skin-care products include a moisturizer that helps protect and soften the skin and an alcohol-free toning lotion that makes imperfections less noticeable.
Owned by Estée Lauder, Clinique was created in the late 1960s and became hugely influential with its three-step approach of cleansing, exfoliating, and moisturizing. Several years after its founding, it launched a skin-care line specifically for men, putting it ahead of other brands in catering to men’s needs. The products are also relatively affordable.
David Yi’s Good Light started as a blog in 2016 and expanded into a unisex skin-care brand that aims to be inclusive and clean. The award-winning brand has earned a cruelty-free certification from Leaping Bunny, and the products are vegan and free from a variety of questionable substances, such as phthalates and parabens.
One of the most popular items is the Cosmic Dew Water Cleanser, which is only $18. Another that’s worth checking out is the We Come in Peace Microbiome Serum, which has a probiotic formula that strengthens the skin.
Founded by Patrick Hong, Hommeface makes skin care convenient by offering vegan, cruelty-free, and alcohol-free products that can be used quickly and that come in travel-friendly packaging. These items include a mask that increases collagen levels and an anti-inflammatory face wash that costs less than $20. The company is committed to avoiding parabens, talc, and other potentially unsafe ingredients.
Video consultations are among the services offered by Aesop, a vegan and cruelty-free brand that originated in the 1980s in an Australian hair salon and now has more than 230 stores around the world. You can hydrate your skin and protect it from pollution with the Parsley Seed Antioxidant Intense Serum, which costs $90. Another popular formulation from this high-end brand is the Damascan Rose Facial Treatment, which is especially helpful for very dry skin.
Peter Thomas Roth
In 1993, Peter Thomas Roth launched his clinical brand of skin care, with products that include the detoxifying Cucumber Gel Mask and the Anti-Aging Cleansing Gel, which brightens the skin with an extract of white oak bark. Roth, whose family once owned spa resorts in Hungary, started his company in response to his own struggle with acne, and you can find an array of acne treatments ranging from roughly $30 to $70.
Waterproof pimple patches are one of the brand’s newest products, and another one worth checking out is the paraben-free and alcohol-free Energizing Eye Tool, which helps reduce puffiness and fine lines around the eyes.
A number of highly rated products cost less than $30, and the company has a commitment to cruelty-free testing. For more, check out my interview with Stryx Co-Founder Jon Shanahan.
War Paint for Men
Founded by Danny Gray in 2018, War Paint for Men seeks to remove the stigma of men wearing makeup. Most of its products are under $30, such as a long-lasting tinted moisturizer that hydrates your skin and a gently cleansing remover that comes with bamboo pads. All products from this British brand are vegan, and there’s no animal testing.
The brand has one product, a three-in-one face lotion with sunscreen, a medical-grade moisturizer, and an aftershave full of antioxidants. The highly rated lotion, which costs $60, was developed without animal testing, and it’s also free from parabens and phthalates. It can be used on all skin types and doesn’t contribute to pore clogging.
For less than $40, you can enjoy the popular Multi-Action Face Wash, which cleanses and exfoliates your skin, or the All-in-One Face Treatment, a powerful moisturizer. If you aren’t sure what to buy, the brand’s diagnostic tool can give you recommendations.
Drawing on an expertise in botanical science, Boscia offers vegan, cruelty-free products that don’t have chemical preservatives and artificial fragrances and colors. The brand, which has its roots in Japan, relies on the beneficial properties of many plants, including a signature blend of jojoba leaf and willow herb.
The dermatologist-recommended CeraVe, which was founded in 2005, has become wildly popular for being both highly effective and affordable. The brand uses a special formula that includes three kinds of ceramides, which are lipids that help form the skin’s barrier and contribute to its protection against acne, eczema, and other unpleasant conditions.
For under $20, you can buy items that target specific issues, such as the anti-acne Resurfacing Retinol Serum. You can also opt for general skin-care items, like the Foaming Facial Cleanser. No product is tested on animals.
Shiseido, which is an influential Japanese cosmetics brand, got its start as a pharmacy 150 years ago. The men’s products are mostly priced between roughly $25 and $80, and the highlights include the skin-strengthening Ultimune Power Infusing Serum and the Total Revitalizer Cream, which has anti-aging properties. The brand has declared its commitment to sustainably procuring ingredients and shrinking its environmental footprint.
The packaging for Stryke Club products is boldly masculine, so you’d probably never guess that the brand was founded by four moms. This cruelty-free brand makes it easier for men and teenage boys to fight acne and maintain healthier skin.
For less than $15, you can buy the hypoallergenic Face First Wash, which prevents breakouts, and the Calm Down Moisturizer, which is helpful for acne-prone skin. All the products are free from sulfates, phthalates, and parabens.
Bevel specializes in skin care and shaving products specifically for Black men. Their Skin Essentials pack includes Face Wash to clean and de-clog pores, an Exfoliating Toner to reduce in-grown hair and dark spots, and a Moisturizing Face Gel to hydrate skin and improve complexion.
The Best Ultra-Luxury Skincare Brands for Men
These days, there are a number of high-end, ultra-luxurious options for men to choose from to build a skin care routine.
Available at multiple retailers including Mr. Porter, the innovative products are part of the Tom Ford Research collection and contain caffeine, white porcelain cacao, and gyokuro, which is a variety of green tea.
Since its founding in the 1970s, Sisley Paris has been one of the top luxury cosmetics and skin-care brands in the world. The Parisian brand has also invested some of its profits in shrinking its carbon footprint and pushing its work sites to meet rigorous standards for environmental friendliness.
Several of its men’s products cost more than $200. Two popular ones are the restorative Ecological Compound, which contains ginseng and rosemary, and the Sisleyum for Men, a potent anti-aging product that soothes and rejuvenates the skin.
Dr. Barbara Sturm
A jar of Dr. Sturm’s made-in-Germany clarifying face cream costs around $200.
Proven’s personalized formulations include a cleanser, a day moisturizer, and a night cream; you can buy them separately or as part of a subscription bundle for under $200.
The brand, which was launched in 2017, doesn’t test its products on animals, and it avoids various toxic substances, such as formaldehyde and parabens.
Tata Harper’s products are free from animal testing, artificial fragrances, and various synthetic chemicals, making the brand a leader in clean and environmentally friendly skin care. It’s also a luxury brand, and items generally cost between $100 and $300.
If you’re looking for products that don’t have gluten, soy, and nuts, check out the Superkind collection. These items are especially good for dry or sensitive skin, and they include a fortifying moisturizer and a micro-foaming cleanser.
Among the products recommended for men is the Creme de la Mer, the brand’s most famous item, which is free of parabens, sulfates, and phthalates. It’s available in a two-ounce size for $360 and contains the proprietary Miracle Broth, rejuvenating and repairing the skin.
Another recommendation is the Cleansing Foam, which is especially helpful for delicate skin.
Seed to Skin
Launched by Jeanette Thottrup in 2018, Seed to Skin is a luxury brand that operates out of an estate in Tuscany. If you visit, you’ll find rich farmland, a five-star hotel and spa, and a lab where the toxin-free products are formulated.
One highly recommended product is The Cure for Men, which has an anti-aging and anti-inflammatory formula full of multivitamins and organic botanical ingredients. Another is The Alche’Mist, which costs roughly $140 and delivers a skin-regenerating serum spray.
The company’s patented Trigger Factor Complex technology is in every product, including The Rich Cream, which is an award-winning moisturizer, and The Serum, which costs $375 and works on many aspects of skin health, such as hydration and elasticity.
The brand promotes environmental friendliness by making its formulas vegan and using sustainably sourced ingredients.
The luxury brand, which doesn’t test its products on animals, has innovated with formulas that speed up skin repair and fight aging.
For $350, you can obtain the Facelift Repair Serum, which works well on scarring and on general skin irritation. Another highly rated product, the gentle Exfolactic Cleanser, is available for $70 and has both anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Dr. Dennis Gross
“From research to real life” serves as a motto for Dr. Dennis Gross and his wife, Carrie, who founded their award-winning skin-care brand in 2000. Before buying any of the vegan, cruelty-free products, you can book a free consultation to discuss your needs.
Items range from under $30 to a few hundred dollars. Try the Alpha Beta AHA/BHA Daily Cleansing Gel, which deeply cleans pores and helps balance oily skin. Another recommendation is the brand’s popular face peel, an exfoliator that helps fight signs of aging.
The London-based company, which was founded roughly 30 years ago, uses careful combinations of ingredients to reduce inflammation, enhance circulation, and generate other positive effects on your skin. It has also banned an array of potentially harmful substances, including parabens and aluminum, from its products.
Jan Marini offers a men’s skin-care system, a collection of potent products available for $250, but it has to be purchased at a clinic and not online.
Fortunately, there are other products available through the company’s site, such as the highly rated Clean Zyme, an exfoliating cleanser that’s good for a variety of skin types. The cruelty-free brand, which was founded in 1994, is well-respected for its carefully researched, medical-grade formulas.
Dr. Simon Patel founded Strut with the goal of delivering high-quality telemedicine, including products for men’s skin care. Whether you want to fight acne or tackle signs of aging, Strut provides powerful clinical formulations. The products generally cost at least $50, and they include an anti-aging formula and formulas for rosacea and acne.
The Best Men’s Skincare Retailers
While you can shop direct from each company, I like the opportunity to try multiple brands from e-commerce platforms and online department stores. These are my favorite options for trusted retailers to discover the best men’s skincare and grooming products.
- bluemercury carries a robust selection of genderless and men’s skin care brands like Acqua Di Parma, Augustinus Bader, Christophe Robin, Dermalogica, Dr. Barbara Sturm, EltaMD, Indie Lee, Jack Black, Jo Malone London, La Mer, La Roche-Posay, Living Proof, Lune+Aster, NEST New York, Peter Thomas Roth, Philip Kingsley, PHYTO, SEEN, Sisley-Paris, Supergoop!, Tata Harper, The Nue Co, Tom Ford, VIRTUE, Vitruvi, VVardis and WelleCo.
- Mr. Porter is one of my favorite online department stores for luxury clothing for men and a fantastic place to find everything from designer sunglasses to slippers. Mr. Porter carries a surprisingly robust lineup of skin care brands for men including 111Skin, Aesop, Augustinus Bader, Blind Barber, C.O. Bigelow, Dr. Sebagh, Eisenberg Paris, Elemis, Grown Alchemist, Haeckels, Horace, Malin and Goetz, Natura Bisse, Perricone MD, Saunders and Long, Seed to Skin, Susanne Kaufmann, Tata Harper, The Grey Men’s Skincare, The Light Salon, Tom Ford, Triumph and Disaster and Zitsticka.
- Nordstrom is one of my favorite bricks-and-clicks retailers thanks to its fabulous customer service and fast and free shipping. Nordstrom is also a superb destination for beauty and skincare products for men. The Seattle-based retailer carries a variety of well-known and more obscure men’s grooming brands including Kiehls, Disco, Jack Black, Supergoop, Aesop, Clarins, Osea, Le Labo, Aveda, Jo Malone London, Shiseido, Augustinus Bader, Paula’s Choice, and Vintner’s Daughter.
- Amazon can be an overwhelming place to search for men’s skin care products. Still, Amazon is a great destination for a wide variety of men’s beauty brands including Anthony, Brickell, Cardon, Geologie, Jack Black, Jaxon Lane, Every Man Jack, Mantl, Clinique for Men, Bro Butter, Rugged and Dapper, Barrel and Oak, Oars and Alps, Matte for Men, and Thrive. Amazon also carries drug store brands like Neutrogena for men, Nivea for Men, Cetaphil, Eucerine and Cerave. Also try The Face Shop’s The Gentle for Men.
- Bespoke Post – While Bespoke Post may be best known for offering themed subscription boxes, the company also lets customers shop directly for a curated list of high quality clothing and grooming products. Bespoke Post stocks a unique constellation of men’s beauty and skin care brands including Erin’s Faces, Highline Wellness, Dr. Jackson’s, Kelsen, Krio, Public Goods, Gentleman Farmer, Caswell-Massey, Oar and Alps, Stryx, Lumin, Grown Alchemist, Cardon, Way of Will and Malin and Goetz.
- Mankind is an international e-commerce platform that specializes in men’s grooming and skin care products. The UK-based company offers free shipping to the United States for orders over $100. Mankind counts a ridiculous array of beauty and skincare brands for men in its arsenal including: The Ordinary, The Inky List, Ahava, La Roche-Posay, Algenist, REN Clean Skincare, Lancer Skincare, Antipodes, Avant Skincare, Decleor, Elemis, Sarah Chapman Skinesis, Filorga, Imedeen, Aesop, Neal’s Yard Remedies, Bulldog, Baxter of California, Bioeffect, Iluminage, Daimon Barber, Medik8, Regenerate, Hanz De Fuko, Nip and Fab, Omorovicza, Jack Black, American Crew, ESPA, StriVectin, Sukin, Thalgo, and Institut Esthederm.
- Lookfantastic has a dedicated men’s skin care section featuring a nice selection of products from brands including Anthony, Bulldog Skincare, MenScience, men-u, Recipe for Men and Zirh.
Men’s Skin-Care Products: Which Ones Do You Use?
Is there any product that has worked wonders on your skin? Please share what you’re looking for — or what’s worked best for you — when it comes to men’s skin care.
If there’s an ingredient that you prefer or a fragrance that has a great effect on your mood, I’d like to know.
About JakeJake is passionate about exploring entrepreneurs' global journeys. He founded Modern Fellows in 2012 to get to know the entrepreneurs behind the innovative brands helping men dress sharp in the digital age. Jake has written about entrepreneurship, international business and/or fashion for outlets including Business Week, Forbes, Inc., Details Style Syndicate and Primer Magazine, and has provided analysis on international business for BBC Radio, NBC News, CNN and Time Magazine.
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