How To Choose the Best Men’s Facial Cleanser for Your Skin?

Contrary to what advertising may have you believe, you can’t wash your body, hair, and face with the same product. Every part of your body has different needs, and multifunctional cleansers or soaps cannot possibly adequately address those needs. 

The right cleanser will be formulated with your skin in mind. The delicate nature of the skin on your face requires special considerations. Before you grab a bar of soap and declare it sufficient, here’s what you need to know about cleansers.

How Often Should You Wash Your Face?

You should wash your face as often as you brush your teeth. Twice a day is a good policy, especially if you don’t shower every day. Your morning wash removes the oil and sweat that built up on your face while you slept. 

Your nighttime wash removes oil, dirt, and debris that accumulated on your face during the day. Both washes are essential for the health of your skin. 

Soap Does More Harm Than Good

There’s a huge difference between soap and cleanser, and it’s a difference that many people don’t realize. Soap is a harsh detergent designed to strip all the oil and dirt away from a surface. 

It is something you would use to remove paint or dye from your skin. 

When you’re cleansing your face, the goal is to take the excess oil and dirt off. It isn’t to completely strip your skin. Some of the oils and fatty compounds sitting on the surface of your skin need to be there. 

When you take them away, your skin may negatively react. Dry skin gets drier, oily skin overproduces oil to compensate, and sensitive skin becomes irritated. The wrong cleanser will make your skin worse. 

Great cleansers are designed to clean your face without stripping it and disturbing its microbiome. 

What Is a Microbiome?

Your skin has a unique microbiome and a lipid barrier. Your microbiome is composed of countless microorganisms that live on the surface of your skin. 

It may be off-putting to consider, but your face is covered in millions of microscopic bug-like organisms that are performing essential functions. Your body wants most of them there, and the good ones are designed to combat the bad ones. 

Your lipid barrier is a thin layer of fats your skin secretes to protect itself. It keeps your skin from drying out while providing a thin barrier between your skin and the environment.

While this barrier isn’t enough to prevent damage from UV light exposure or free radicals, it’s an integral part of keeping your skin safe and healthy.

Many cleansers, especially those that are soapier, wash away your microbiome and your lipid barrier. This creates more work for your skin. In fact, it might be better to skip a cleanse than it would be to use a harsh soap on your face. 

Ingredients To Avoid

Many ingredients commonly used in cleansers can cause irritation, disrupt the lipid barrier, or destroy the microbiome. But before you wash your face, be sure to check the ingredients list. 


Sulfates are surfactant ingredients used to make cleansers, soaps, shampoos, and similar products lather. They help to remove all oils from the surface they come into contact with. This makes them one of the most harmful ingredients for your microbiome. 

Sulfates are recognized as safe to use, and people like the lathering action. That’s why they make their way into almost every formulation. While it’s technically true that sulfates are safe, save the occasional allergic or irritated reaction, it’s important to note that “safe” does not equate to “beneficial.” It’s technically safe to eat an entire bag of gummy worms for lunch, but you aren’t doing yourself any favors. 

Sulfates aren’t necessary to help you get a good clean, even if you appreciate a thoroughly clean feeling. Gently washing with a plant-based cleanser and warm water is all your skin needs for a thorough cleanse. 

Artificial Fragrances and Colors

The color of your cleanser has absolutely no impact on its ability to cleanse your face. Neither does its fragrance. While colors and fragrances might make the cleansing experience feel special, they don’t do anything for your skin. Many of these artificial ingredients can cause contact dermatitis or irritate sensitive skin. 

Mineral Oil

Oil-based cleansers and cleansing balms have become a popular alternative to traditional cleansers. While many of these cleansers are on the right track, some include ingredients like mineral oil.

Mineral oil is a thick, heavy oil that leaves behind a residue that can potentially clog pores. 

Mineral oil can lead to a pervasive oily texture and cause breakouts for some people, although people without hypersensitive skin may not experience any issues. 

Lightweight oils can remove debris and residue from the skin without leaving behind an oil slick. 

Synthetic Preservatives

Preservatives are often incorporated into skincare products to help them stay fresh once they’ve been opened. Natural preservatives can help slow the decay of ingredients, but many skincare companies cut corners by using synthetic preservatives.

Many synthetic preservatives are compounds designed to release formaldehyde slowly over time. Once this formaldehyde leeches into your cleanser, you’re also applying it to your face. 

Giving Your Face What It Needs

Your face needs a cleanser that will remove dirt and debris while fortifying its microbiome and encouraging its natural processes. Caldera + Lab formulated our plant-based cleanser with your skin’s needs in mind. 

Our probiotic ferment filtrate helps to promote your skin’s natural balance and fortify its microbiome. It works in conjunction with over 60 trace minerals in our responsibly sourced glacial water, which feeds your skin what it needs to promote its own health. 

Plant-derived squalane helps to condition and nourish the skin without leaving behind a slick, oily texture. After you cleanse with squalane, your skin will dry down to a natural matte finish. It won’t be too dry, and you won’t feel so slick that you’ll be tempted to cleanse again. 

Naturally, active antibacterial botanicals help manage bacteria on the skin, while ingredients like chamomile and calendula help soothe the skin’s surface. 

Cleanser is Only the First Step

The Clean Slate is the perfect first step in your skincare routine, but cleanser is only ⅓ of the battle. Using a highly concentrated botanical serum like The Good and topping it off with a rich and deeply hydrating moisturizer like The Base Layer completes the full picture. 

Caldera + Lab’s eco-friendly, non-GMO, chemical-free skincare line is vegan and cruelty-free. Our ingredients have been clinically proven to improve skin health and appearance within 60 days of regular use. 

Before you use a bar of soap and plain lotion on your face, we invite you to reconsider. You’re missing out on the protective power of antioxidants and the beneficial properties of active botanicals that can improve the way your skin looks and feels. 



Stratum Corneum Lipids: Their Role for the Skin Barrier Function in Healthy Subjects and Atopic Dermatitis Patients | Karger 

The human skin microbiome | Nature Reviews Microbiology

The Dirty Dozen: Sodium Laureth Sulfate | David Suzuki Foundation

Contact dermatitis - Symptoms and causes | Mayo Clinic