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Unique Specialty Soap, Especially for Men
My first experience with specialty bar soap was literally an eye-opener—a citric wave of orange peel and cedar that had me looking at the bar of soap in my hand like a dog looks at a new squeaky toy. What is this? Is soap allowed to smell like this?
Since then I have come to appreciate the world of specialty soap for men, small world though it may be. There are a (literal) handful of specialty soaps out there that are designed for men like me—a little older, a little disgusted by the smell of Axe—and this quick guide will discuss the most interesting ones. Cedar oil, Dead Sea mud, and even pine tar have a role in these unique men's bar soaps, and pioneering brands like Viking and Dr. Squatch also get their due. So let's unpack a crate of high-end bar soap for men, and talk about what to expect when you lather up.
1. Dr. Squatch Men's Cedar Citrus Soap
This bar is my top choice for men's specialty bar soap. The top notes of this soap are citrus and cedar, with a base note of rosemary. The effect is sharp but pleasant—a serious departure from your usual perfumed soap. I actually feel like Dr. Squatch understands men like me.
This perfectly balanced, just-intense-enough specialty soap has me looking forward to my morning shower. A good men's bar soap should remind you that it's there throughout the day but never intrude on your peace of mind. Dr. Squatch has this figured out.
- It's a refreshing and energizing blend of rustic cedar and zesty orange oils.
- It's naturally made using the cold process method.
- It's a full-body soap for the shower.
- Support small businesses: all of their soap is handmade in the USA.
- It's made in small batches.
- It's perfect for exfoliating, shaving, and manly activities such as bathing in the woods.
Another cool thing about Dr. Squatch is their refusal to use cheap glycerin like bigger companies. Overall, this is just a great bar of soap to pick up first thing in the morning.
2. Brickell Men's Purifying Charcoal Soap Bar for Men
Charcoal soap is a relatively new thing, but like charcoal toothpaste, it's quickly becoming a stand-by in a man's shower routine.
Brickell's charcoal bar soap is one of the better and more popular brands on the shelves. While it may look like a black chunk of coal, Brickell's bar soap is actually a gently, frothing soap that smells of mint and tea tree oils. While I still prefer Dr. Squatch's cedar and citrus bar (above), Brickell's charcoal is a close second. I love the way it goes from a black chink to a sweet-smelling froth in the shower, and I can carry that good aroma with me throughout the day.
- Frothy lather deeply cleanses without drying out the skin.
- Mint and tea tree oils.
- Natural and organic.
- Uses activated charcoal to cleanse and purify skin.
- Organic coconut and olive oil.
- Peppermint and tea tree oil.
- 100% natural, 85% organic.
Read More From Bellatory
This company was founded in 2014 by two men who wanted to create men's skin products that used natural ingredients and would be affordable for regular men to use every day. They began their business in one partner's garage, and they now sell their products in over 20 countries.
3. Viking Revolution Activated Charcoal Soap for Men w/Dead Sea Mud
I wouldn't normally rush to clean my face with mud, especially from the Dead Sea, but this activated charcoal bar soap gets stellar reviews and is much more than the sum of its parts, which are, you know, dredged up from the bottom of an inland sea known for its kill count. Like all of many new charcoal bar soaps out there, it's jet-black and looks something like a chunk of coal—but magically produced a clean, fragrant froth. Not mud. Were you expecting mud?
If you're a fan of sharp, clean combinations like this bar's eucalyptus and peppermint profile, then this "new-wave" men's bar soap may light up your receptors. At the very least, it will give your house guests a moment's pause.
- Suitable for facial skincare as well as cleansing your whole body.
- Clears pores without tightening and drying facial skin.
- Essence of eucalyptus and peppermint.
- Activated charcoal creates a great lather.
- Natural, organic, and clean.
- 100% satisfaction guarantee.
4. Crate 61 6-Pack Box Set
If you're going to get adventurous with your bar soap, then you might want to invest in one of the very good multi-packs out there. Maximize your bar-soap dollar by sampling a range of fragrance combinations without going all-in on a ten-dollar bar of soap. I got lucky right off the bat with Dr. Squatch, but you never know. It's very possible to invest good money in a bar of quality specialty soap, get it home, get it in the shower get it wet, and discover that it smells like a dryer sheet.
A variety box like this one from Crate 61 is a good way to start figuring out what works for you. I got lucky right off the bat when I realized that sharper, more acidic fragrances were what I needed to almost literally lift me up in the morning. My wife's sweet-smelling botanical products are all well and good, but for me, they're no competition for cedar and bitter orange.
Crate 61's 6-pack features a range of bar soaps for men and women and will give you an opportunity to see what's new. I can't personally vouch for all of these combinations, but there's a good chance you'll find the bar that speaks to you.
- 100% natural; vegan.
- Cold process.
- Essential oils; no artificial fragrances.
- No synthetic chemicals.
- Made by hand in small batches.
- Includes Activated Charcoal, Oatmeal Shea, Eucamint, Alpine Spice, Tango Mango, and Patchouli Lime.
- Perfect gift at a great value.
5. Marlowe No. 102 Men's Body Scrub
I like the look of this men's bar soap by Marlowe—simple, to-the-point, and very masculine. It's an exfoliating bar, which means it's intended more as a face wash than as a shower bar, but it would work for either. If you're a man who could use a good face scrub to get the day's grit out of your pores, then Marlowe's no.102 has got you. If you're a fan of green tea extract, then even better–it's going to be somewhat less astringent than some of the other oil-based bars in this article, which for some of us is perfectly fine.
- Exfoliating body soap for men deep-cleans skin scrubbing away dryness for smooth, clean skin.
- Crafted with a unique natural formulation of passionflower fruit, green tea, and willow bark.
- Extracts designed to nourish, smooth, and revitalize skin.
- Paraben and phthalate-free.
- Cruelty-free (not tested on animals).
- Made in the USA.
- For every Marlowe. item purchased, soap is distributed to people at risk for hygiene-related illnesses in partnership with Clean the World.
6. The Yellow Bird Dead Sea Mud Soap Bar
Like Viking's charcoal bar soap (above), Yellow Bird's Dead Sea men's bar soap is part of a new wave of counter-intuitive products that include elements generally associated with getting dirty rather than clean. Even the name of this product —"The Yellow Bird Dead Sea Mud Soap Bar"—sounds something like a prank. But these are serious, high-end men's care products that give us something we may have not even known we needed: masculine, high-quality soaps and shower products that don't smell like a department store perfume counter.
- Skin cleansing power of dead sea mud.
- "Detoxifying" charcoal.
- Exfoliating pumice bar.
- Made with organic ingredients—great for acne, psoriasis, and eczema.
- No perfumes or synthetic fragrances.
- Antimicrobial essential oils.
- Handmade in the USA.
- No sulfates, parabens, or synthetic dyes.
7. 360 Feel Men's Handmade Natural Soap Bar
So I know this is Amazon's house brand, and I know that house brands usually mean "knock off," but I have included 360's men's soap here because it's such a good value and may be a good entry-point for those of us who can't see spending $10 on a bar of soap they may not even like.
If you're thinking about investing in high-end men's bar soap as a gift for someone, then steer clear of this bar. It won't light up many smiles once they realize it's the Amazon brand. On the other hand, if you just want to see what's new and possible in the world of hyper-modern men's bath products, then go for it. Any product that includes pine-tar soap can't be all bad.
- Masculine fragrances: Bay Rum, Pine Tar, Patchouli, Citrus Soaps.
- Organic ingredients.
- Handmade in USA.
- Amazon Best Sellers.
- Essential-oil-based traditional lye soap. No Sodium Laureth Sulfate, palm oil, Phthalate, or paraben.
- Vegan - Gluten-Free - Cruelty-Free.
- Good for acne treatment.
- Cold Processed, low-temperature formulation.
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