We use our hands for everything – work, play, more… intimate moments – so we need to take care of them, and that begins with a good hand soap. Whether we work construction and need a little extra strength to get that grime off, or program computers and need a soothing soap to relieve our aching digits there is something out there for us.
The problem is – we don’t want a soap shaped like hearts or shells that leaves us smelling like a bouquet of flowers. We need something that takes care of business, smells like a man should, looks like a brick of soap (not a decretive candy), and doesn’t devastate our skin like the 11th plague.
While some of us may use one bar for our hands, body, face and even hair this is not recommended; it is important to have a soap particularly for our hands. There are many ingredients in hand soaps that we would never want to use on our delicate faces (unashamedly delicate, yet still dangerously manly – don’t worry) and visa versa. Also, many body and face specific soaps are not going to get the job done on our big ole bear claws.
We reviewed a lot of hand soaps (like, a lot – who knew there were so many soaps out there? we did, that’s who) and decided giving you a general Top 5 would be a misrepresentation of all the amazing bars available for us. So, we created a different Top 5 list – still five different hand soaps for men – but specialized to fit what you are looking for specifically from your soap. Are you washing blood from your knuckles and dirt from your nails; trying to soften those hard, calloused palms; washing just for the smell of it; looking for a therapeutic rinse for your digits; or a general all-purpose wash? We found something for the everyman and for every man!
Before we begin: you may notice that on our list there is not a single “liquid soap” included in the Top 5 (or the Top 25 for that matter). This is mainly because soap should be in a bar form especially if a man is going to be using it. Real soap is made from fatty salts (think Fight Club here), triglycerides mixed with a salt base – liquid “soaps” are not made from these compounds. Also, most liquid soaps contain harsh alcohols that kill germs and bacteria indiscriminately (remember, some bacteria are good), and sulfates that dry out our skin. But mainly it’s the man thing!
Let the Top 5 List of Best Hand Soap for Men BEGIN!!!
Heavy Duty Hand Soap by Duke Cannon – A Hardcore Clean
Its design is a nod to the soap American GI’s used in the Vietnam War – this is about as manly a soap as you are going to see. Formulated with pumice, this hardcore hand soap is going to get dirt out from under your nails, axle-grease out of your pores and blood stains off your knuckles (who’s blood we never will know). And if you ever find yourself in a hairy situation you can use this 10-ounce “big ass brick of soap” (Duke Cannon’s words, not ours – unfortunately) to clobber knock your enemy into submission. In fact, we love all of the Duke’s brick soaps – be sure to check them out – and they support wounded soldiers and their families, a great cause any time of year.
Nourishing Soap Bar by Woodlot – A Masculine Skin Softener
There are a handful of different scents you can choose from (wildwoods, cinder and Cascadia to name a few) but they are all just as nourishing as the next. Another nice big chunk of manly cleanness, this hand-made bar is oil based with a short and sweet list of ingredients that you won’t choke on trying to pronounce (Olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, sodium hydroxide (lye), shea butter, cocoa seed butter, essential oilsolive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, sodium hydroxide (lye), shea butter, cocoa seed butter, essential oils – that was simple). Any of these Nourishing Soap Bars will have those rough, beaten hands of yours feeling soft and nurtured in no time!
Pine Tar, The Original Soap by The Grandpa Soap Co. – A Soap Not Just for the Smell of It
Holy, lumberjacks! This soap smells like drunken a campfire in pine forests (the good kind of drunken campfire in pine forests, of course). We could try to explain the smell more but you just need to try this bar out for yourself, our words cannot do it justice. Another thing we love about this company is they make a bar soap for “face, body & hair” (we still don’t suggest using soap on hair, but nonetheless…), a shampoo and a conditioner – so if you want to smell like a strait up man from hair to toe you certainly can. Another simple list of ingredients (Sodium Palmate, Sodium Cocoate / Sodium Palm Kernelate, Water (Aqua), Glycerin, Pinus Palustris Wood Tar, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Gluconate), responsibly made by a family owned and operated company – we love this brand. And while the scent is deliciously manly it is not so overpowering that it will clash with your cologne, a perfect balance.
Mentha Exfoliating Bar Soap by C.O. Bigelow – A Minty Refresher
Okay, you got us – this soap is advertised as a BODY soap specifically – but we would actually advise against using this soap on your entire body. The bar contains crushed walnut shell which is a great exfoliator (and all-natural), but can be very abrasive on large areas of skin (such as your entire body) – however, it’s PERFECT for hands!!! So, don’t mind the intended purpose (like you even read the label anyway – directions are for the weak minded) and slough those hands well. Plus, this soap is made with refreshing peppermint oils that relax away all that tension you built up in your hands typing memos and emails for eight hours when all you really wanted to do was put your fist through the computer screen. It does feel pretty phenomenal to lather up with this soap; it’s like a very mild muscle rub (without the octogenarian smell). The peppermint is also supposed to be mentally calming… we recommend combining with scotch for best results in that arena.
Pure-Castile Bar Soap by Dr. Bronner’s – An All-Purpose Soap for the All-Purpose Man
Three cheers for the good doctor!!! With a whole slew of scents to choose from (we like Almond the best), Dr. Bronners All-One Hemp Pure Castile Bar is made with organic oils (including, like, hemp oil bro) and certified Fair Trade. So, you can get those dirty hands clean, smell great, and make a political statement simultaneously – and who said men can’t multi-task. Okay, so this is kind of a hippie soap with all its hemp oils and politicking, but it is (in our humble opinion) the best all-around hand soap out there. It will get dirty hands clean, smells wonderful (like amaretto), won’t strip your precious skin dry and will moisturize brilliantly. Coconut, palm, olive and jojoba oils will sooth and repair damaged digits while the sea salt and citric acid cleans away impurities. Dr. Bronner’s has everything you would want from your bathroom brick.
So, there you have it! The five best hand soaps for men out there right now. If you can’t find what you are looking for in these five gems than you are, inevitably and unfortunately, beyond all help. You might as well take your Ivory bar and crawl into a cave somewhere.