It’s obvious that the “beauty” industry has been heavily targeted toward women, but at the end of the day: skin is skin! Men deserve to take good care of their skin too, so below are the brands that make the best natural skincare for men, from cleansers to masks to aftershave and more.
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Do men really need a skincare routine?
Men don’t necessarily have to have a skincare routine, but you still need to keep your face clean, deal with acne and aging, and prevent redness and irritation that might come from shaving.
What is a good basic skincare routine for men?
Taking care of your skin doesn’t have to be complicated. One’s routine might differ depending on things like activity level; whether you have dry, oily, or sensitive skin; whether you struggle with acne; and whether you have facial hair. But in general, good practice involves two basic steps:
- Cleanse and/or exfoliate: Use a gentle, non-toxic facial cleanser for sensitive skin or a face soap with gentle exfoliation to help with acne or extra dirt.
- Moisturize and/or protect: After cleansing, use a natural face lotion to keep your face hydrated and prevent signs of aging. (Keep reading for our recommendations.)
Why Should I Use Natural or Non-Toxic Skincare Products?
What Are the Harmful Ingredients in Skincare Products?
Parabens: Often found in many cleansers, soaps, and moisturizers, parabens are preservatives that are also endocrine disruptors, which means they can interfere with essential hormonal functions in the body and potentially cause chronic conditions over time.
Sulfates: A petrochemical byproduct, sulfates can cause skin irritation and allergic reactions and are commonly found in things like body wash.
Phthalates: Used to make fragrances stick to skin, many scented cleaners and moisturizers contain phthalates, which can also be endocrine disruptors.
Synthetic Fragrance: Under federal law to protect “trade secrets,” companies are not required to disclose what is actually in their fragrance—it could potentially contain a whole host of toxic chemicals that can cause allergic reactions and more.
Benzalkonium Chloride: Used as a preservative, this ingredient has been associated with skin, eye, and respiratory irritation and is often used in moisturizers.
Butylatedhydroxy Anisole and Butylated Hydroxytoluene: These are synthetic antioxidants that are likely carcinogenic and may cause liver damage.
Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA): A binding agent, EDTA may cause organ damage and is found in many moisturizers and lotions.
Polyethylene glycol: Also found in creams, this ingredient and other PEG compounds may be carcinogenic, depending on how they are processed.
Oxybenzone: This ingredient is found in sunscreen as well as moisturizers that have sunscreen in it. It’s been linked to things like skin sensitization, allergic reactions, and hormone disruption.
Formaldehyde: Yep. This known carcinogen is found in many body washes and shampoos.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS and SLES): Also found in various kinds of soaps, SLS and SLES are petroleum byproducts that can potentially cause irritation and allergic reactions.
What Makes Natural Face Products Different?
So, what are non-toxic products, and why are they any different? In short: natural, organic, and non-toxic skincare products don’t contain questionable ingredients (like the ones above) that are either known or suspected to be linked to acute or chronic health concerns.
One thing to keep in mind when shopping for natural skincare and grooming products for men is to beware of greenwashing. Greenwashing is when something is targeted as “non-toxic,” “eco-friendly,” or “healthy,” but its really not. You can be confident that the brands and products below have been investigated for greenwashing and vetted for safety.
10 Natural Grooming and Skincare Lines for Men That Make Non-Toxic Products
Starting with natural bar soap, Dr. Squatch carries 11 manly scents that “produce an intoxicatingly thick, foamy lather.” But they don’t stop there—they also have a line of hair care, deodorant, beard oil, cologne, and more. They make it super easy to make sure you have everything you need with their quiz (to match your scent preferences and lifestyle), starter bundles, and soap subscriptions. When it comes to natural skincare for men, the team at Dr. Squatch knows what they’re doing.
Weleda has been around for 100 years now! Building ethical partnerships with biodynamic farms around the world, the Weleda team has very strict standards when it comes to sourcing the best minerals, essential oils, and flower, fruit, and root extracts. They carry a wide range of products for your face and body, whether you’re looking for something for dry skin, sensitive, aging skin, or something else. They have cleaners, shave cream, aftershave, and a variety of different moisturizers (including their ultra-popular “Skin Food”).
Everyone bears that brand name for a reason — their products are truly meant for everyone! Men, women, kids, and everyone in between can feel good about using these body care products. They’re affordable, EWG-verified, and now they come in recycled plastic bottles too. If you’re looking for natural skincare for men that’s super simple, Everyone is a great choice.
Alder’s cleanser, moisturizer, and masks are meant for all faces (regardless of gender). They use natural ingredients like collagen-boosting sea botanicals, hyaluronic acid (which is naturally found in our bodies), and organic herbs. Their cleansing facial brush is great for shaving too.
Dr. Bronner’s has been a pioneer in the world of ethical and responsible business for a long time now—they were founded back in 1858! You might recognize their line of pure castile soap products with colorful labels and jam-packed with text. They carry everything from all-purpose body soap to shave lotion to magic balm for aches and pains. This is another great choice for natural skincare for men that’s simple and easy.
Beautycounter’s straightforward Counterman collection includes a daily cleanser, oil-free face lotion, shave cream, and body wash. Beautycounter is on a mission to bring safer personal care products to the masses, even advocating for stricter legislation surrounding what kind of ingredients are allowed by law. Plus, Beautycounter’s natural skincare for men has the perfect amount of scent.
Schaf’s all-natural, vegan-friendly products blend the healing powers of plant-based botanicals together with high-performance hydration technology. They’re designed to calm, heal, rejuvenate, replenish, and protect skin from age stressors and pollution. They carry cleaners, scrubs, moisturizers, shave cream, and more.
The team at Ursa Major strives to formulate hard-working products that do more in less time so you can get out the door without any complex, mandated multi-step routines. They have cleaners and moisturizers for a variety of skin concerns, plus body wash, shampoo, and deodorant. Their Essential Face Wipes are great for post-workout or on the go.
Disco is meant to be simple, but powerful. Formulated by Dr. Eva Simmons-O’Brien, a Yale-trained dermatologist and Professor of Dermatology at Johns Hopkins, Disco carries a unique cleanser stick along with other face and body products and deodorant. Shop from their curated sets, and/or sign up for a subscription so you get natural skincare for men delivered to your door right when you need it.
Graydon Skincare relies on clinically-proven superfood ingredients (like broccoli, berries, chia, and avocados!) to provide you with results-driven natural skincare for men. They carry a line of cleansers, serums, body washes, and shampoos.
Top Natural Facial Cleansers For Men
Some of Every Man Jack’s products have some questionable ingredients, but this volcanic clay facial cleanser isn’t one of them! Their Oil Defense line is designed specifically to control men’s oily skin. Volcanic Clay attracts and absorbs excess dirt and oil from deep within pores, so your skin is left hydrated and mattified without a visible shine.
This Cleanser Stick is truly unique—just apply the stick on your face, lather, and rinse. The charcoal has toxin-absorbing properties while the coconut oil hydrates and the phytic acid rejuvenates.
For surfers and sea lovers, OSEA’s pH-balanced formula removes surface impurities, excess oils and gently exfoliates to get rid of dirt and dead skin cells. Plus, the seaweed provides mineral-rich hydration.
Best Moisturizer For Men That is Non-Toxic
For Oily Skin: Beautcounter Counterman Oil-Free Face Lotion
Lightweight, non-greasy, and fragrance-free, this daily moisturizer absorbs quickly and boosts hydration, improves skin resiliency, and protects your skin from everyday environmental stress.
For Dry Skin: Ursa Major Golden Hour Recovery Cream
This facial cream is incredibly nourishing, yet fast-absorbing and lightweight. You can use it as a daily moisturizer or as a night cream when your skin needs some extra love.
For Combo Skin: Weleda Skin Food Light Nourishing Cream
This is a lighter version of Weleda’s cult-favorite classic Skin Food. It’s fast-absorbing, smells great, and is a great moisturizer for all skin types and all seasons.
#1 Exfoliator For Men That Is Natural
You might need some extra scrub to get rid of the muck and mud that can get built up on your skin. Disco’s scrub helps to detoxify your complexion and promote the growth of robust skin by sloughing away dead skin cells.
The Most Effective Natural and Non-Toxic SPF For Men
Beautycounter has a range of safe, non-toxic sunscreens, so you can get it in stick, spray, lotion, or tinted. These are water/sweat resistant, so they’re perfect for working outside, going on hikes, swimming in the ocean, or mowing the lawn. Just make sure you reapply every 1-2 hours!
Can Women Use Products Marketed Towards Men?
Of course. Although some brands may be targeted toward one gender with regard to their scents or branding, natural ingredients don’t discriminate. Skin is skin, so use whatever non-toxic skincare brand you want!
Bottom line: Natural, non-toxic skincare products are better overall for grooming and your general health!
Image Credits: Jordan Nix. All product photos belong to respective brands.