The 5 best beard soaps
Chances are, the hair on your face feels a little bit different from the hair on your head. Just as you wouldn’t necessarily use face wash to lather, rinse, and repeat those locks on top of your head, your beard might benefit from a dedicated product, too. The best beard soaps are sulfate-free and contain moisturizing ingredients to cleanse and condition, and even minimize beard dandruff (aka beard-ruff). You can find cleansers in liquid form like conventional shampoos, or bars that offer the same benefits but in a compact and easy-to-pack brick.
In addition to avoiding sulfates, which strip beards (and skin) of their natural oils, it's best to skip conventional shampoos as well since your face is more sensitive than your scalp. Naturally sulfate-free castile soap is an effective alternative, and there are even DIY recipes that combine castile soap and jojoba oil for an antibacterial cleanser that moisturizes. (Note: jojoba oil makes a great, budget-friendly beard oil too).
Some sulfate-free beard cleansers even contain hair-growth-promoting essential oils like peppermint oil and rosemary oil. Natural cleansers that contain coconut oil are the holy grail because they'll lather nicely which isn't always the case when you're using products free of harsh ingredients. If your beard is causing breakouts, a product containing naturally antibacterial hops may even help treat acne.
Ahead, you'll find options for every kind of beard. Just remember it's important not to lather up too often to avoid drying out your ‘stache.
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1. The one for beard growth
For your best beard growth, it’s essential to cleanse and condition — a moisturized beard is less prone to breakage. This set of beard shampoo and conditioner is packed with powerhouse ingredients that promote healthy skin and hair, including biotin, oat amino protein, peptides, and peppermint and rosemary essential oils. Both are unscented and sulfate-free so even people with sensitive skin may find them effective.
"Very pleased with the results of this product after three (3) shampooings and three applications of conditioner," a reviewer reported. "There was a noticeable improvement with my beard. It was softer, fuller, and held its shape much longer."
2. The one for acne-prone skin
This classic unscented beard soap is formulated with with Tasmanian hops; it cleanses and conditions beards with olive and coconut oils, leatherwood honey, and seaweed extract and it's free of sulfates and parabens. One single bar is comparable to two 27-ounce shampoo bottles, and you can even use it on your hair and body.
More than 4,000 Amazon reviewers have weighed in on this cult-favorite cleanser, with one fan reporting: "It cleanses my beard and the skin under it well and turns my rough, unruly beard into a soft and fluffy trophy beard. I used to get acne under my beard because other shampoos had difficulty cleansing the skin way deep down under my mane, but with this shampoo I've had clear skin."
3. The one for exfoliating
According to both Men’s Health and Healthline, exfoliation and moisturizing are key for treating beard-ruff. The sulfate-free Honest Amish beard soap is natural, organic, and handmade — and this extra-scrubby version incorporates black walnut shells, cherry bark, and bentonite clay to exfoliate, plus soothing essential oils like cedarwood, clove, anise, and lavender. "If you enjoy a good exfoliating scrub, this is definitely the product for you," wrote one reviewer. "It feels similar to a coarse sugar scrub, but because the grit is within the soap it is much easier and less messy to use."
This beard soap works especially well when followed up with the brand's top-rated beard balm: it has 124,000 reviews, and many shoppers said it helped nix beard dandruff.
4. The one for purists (& DIY-ers)
Liquid castile soap diluted down delivers a deep clean that doesn’t rely on harsh sulfates. Dr. Bronner's castile soap formulated with organic peppermint oil is the brand's top-selling soap, partly due to its therapeutic tingle. Made with over 90% organic ingredients (70% of which are certified fair trade) and packaged in bottles made from 100% recycled plastic, the effective-yet-gentle formula can also be used on everything from your dog your dirty laundry — you might be surprised how many times you find yourself reaching for it.
"I wish I had discovered this years ago. Best soap I've ever used," one fan wrote. "My face doesn't feel oily any more and my hair has enough natural oil in it now to style it without product after a shower."
Ready to commit to the Bronner way of life? It also comes in a half gallon jug, as well as five other options.
5. The affordable multitasker
This conditioning beard shampoo moisturizes as it lathers for a gentle clean that leaves your beard feeling softer. Its vegan, cruelty-free, sulfate-free formula is deeply nourishing and loaded with aloe, glycerin, and green tea to soothe without feeling heavy. "I didn't know how a 'beard' shampoo would be any different than a regular shampoo," one reviewer wrote. "There is a difference. My beard is now softer and easier to maintain. When I'm done with this bottle, I'll check into a subscription."
Also essential: the nourishing oil
This vegan, certified-organic jojoba oil is a great all-purpose beard oil that absorbs quickly without feeling greasy and still provides a good dose of emollients. Plus, it's seriously versatile: you can use it on your beard, hair, face, and body. It’s 100% pure and expeller pressed, so you know you’re getting a quality product. "I use this daily as a moisturizer, mainly for my face and beard," one shopper shared. "The scent isn’t overpowering and it doesn’t leave me feeling super oily."