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5 Best Pre Shave Face Wash For Men In 2023

Get ready for a significantly better shaving experience when you use the best pre shave face wash for men. An even and clean look, fewer nics and cuts, no razor burn – once you try a face wash made to shave, it’ll take your facial hair game to a whole new level.

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Jack Black Face Buff (Our Top Pick)

Jack Black skin care always wins the Men’s Choice awards. If you’re looking for a no-brainer product with thousands of happy customers, their Face Buff is an obvious choice.

This scrub doubles as a face wash, so it has all the cleaning power of any regular old soap, with the texture and efficiency of an exfoliant. It’s perfect for the guy whose face and beard tend to build up more grime than the average guy throughout the day. Just be wary if you have sensitive skin – Jack Black’s Face Buff is better for oily and rough skin.

Jack Black is the best selling men’s skincare brand as of 2020, according to the NPD Group. They’ve had skin in the game for over 20 years, so if your biggest concern is brand reliability, Jack Black can’t be beat.


• Tough on oil, dead skin, debris, and bacteria. 

• Ultimate skin-softener for a clean shave.

• Best-selling men’s skincare brand with thousands of happy buyers.


• Not all-natural, and not an “exclusive” or “luxury” product.

Brickell Men’s Charcoal Face Wash 

Charcoal is the ultimate cleanser, and Brickell Men’s knows what they’re doing when it comes to charcoal. Their face wash is specifically formulated for dry, easily infected skin, so if your razor tends to catch on those flakes and patches of dehydration, start using Brickell Men’s before you shave.

It’s a thin face wash, so don’t expect a rich lather and creamy texture. But do expect softer skin, fewer breakouts, and an easy shaving experience.

I recommend Brickell Men’s especially to the guys who enjoy the sharp, put-together, minty and fresh scents of classic men’s products. They’ve built their brand on those CEO, three-piece tux vibes that lots of guys who work office jobs enjoy. 


• Best pre-shave face wash for dry, flaky skin.

• Manly minty scent that doesn’t linger, but smells great while you’re using it.

• Luxury men’s skin care brand that caters to guys who want to invest in their skin.


• The thin texture isn’t that fun or soft, but it’s effective.

Every Man Jack Face Scrub 

If you’re the kind of guy who dreads shaving because it inevitably leaves you with a breakout, Every Man Jack is in your corner. Their face scrub is designed for sensitive skin. It’s light and gentle as far as scrubs goes, but heavier than what you would get from a face wash.

The best part about this face scrub might be the lather. It’s rich and soft, which is rare in a face wash made for sensitive skin. Better yet, the ingredients are naturally derived and double as moisturizers to soften your skin.

Every Man Jack has been around since 2007 (a long time compared to lots of men’s skincare brands), and they’re more than just a skin care company. Because owner Rich Viola is a triathlon enthusiast, they sponsor men’s triathlons and “Tough Mudder” events, proving that their products work through dirt, sweat, and grime.


• Made for sensitive skin.

• Great for guys who need help getting rid of razor burn.

• Rich lather that feels surprisingly soft against your skin.


• Despite the bottle label, I wouldn’t call it a face scrub. Too gentle.

Bevel Face Wash

Bevel is a skin and hair care brand made by and for black men. Founder Trevor Walker had a hard time finding products that were made for use on black skin, so he rolled up his sleeves and created his own line of cosmetics.

That’s not to say his face wash only works for guys with black skin – I recommend it to anyone with a thicker beard and sensitive skin (a harsh combo when you’re trying to get a clean, non-irritating shave). 

Ingredients like tea tree oil and vitamin B3 make it hydrating and repairing. Not only will it help with future razor burn, but if you’re already suffering from past skin damage, Bevel’s face wash can restore healthier skin cells.


• Not only works as a pre-shave, but also repairs skin damage.

• Made by and for men with black skin. Works well for cleaning facial hair.

• Good for sensitive and dry skin.


• Won’t help with heavier grime; use a scrub if you have oily skin or tend to get dusty throughout the day.

Lather & Wood Face Wash

Some guys just really want one thing out of any product that they use: luxury. That’s what Lather & Wood’s face wash offers as a pre shave. 

It’s a thick scrub with exfoliating beads and no scent, so it won’t interfere with any of your other scented products. Though I wouldn’t usually call a 3-in-1 product a “luxury” item, Lather & Wood is an exception. Their face wash goes above and beyond, simultaneously qualifying as a cleanser, moisturizer, and exfoliant.

Some guys like their scrubs to double as muscle soaks rather than pre shaves. Lather & Wood does all of the above. Their face wash allows you to wind down at the end of the day with a relaxing textured product, or wake up in the morning and prep for a clean weekday shave.


• Triple threat: works as a cleanser, face wash, and face scrub.

• Grainy exfoliating beads work well against textured skin, helping you achieve a smoother shave.

• Great value for a luxury item.


• Not good for especially sensitive skin, but good for combination skin (dry and oily).

Should I Use A Face Wash Before Shaving?

Face washes lift bacteria from your skin, dissolve the natural oil on your face, and wash away dead skin. There’s no better way to create a uniform surface for your razor blade to glide across nicely.

Using a face wash (and a face scrub, if you’re feeling extra) is always a good idea before you start shaving.

But more important than using a face wash before you shave, don’t forget to use one of the best men’s moisturizers after you shave. A good lotion or oil will swoop in to soothe your skin if you experience any irritation. It’s a key skin care product if you want a soft, kissable jaw line.

What Should I Wash My Face With Before I Shave?

Whichever face wash you choose, there’s one way you can guarantee a good shave: wash with warm water.

Warm water softens your skin and hair and opens up your pores. That allows your face wash to flush out bacteria and dead skin while dissolving sebum (that oil on your face). It’s the perfect combination for minimizing nics and razor burn.

And here’s a secret: you don’t need to use the face washes on this list to get a good pre-shave. In general, any of the best face washes for men paired with some warm water will do great work for your skin and beard.

Add an exfoliant to that equation, use a moisturizer once you’re done, and you’ve got the best skin care and shaving routine that a guy could ask for.

Which Comes First, Shave Or Exfoliate?

In general, if you’re combining your skin care routine with your shaving routine, the expert-recommended order: face wash, face scrub, shave (with a cream or oil), toners, serums, face creams, moisturizer.

Don’t worry if you don’t use every product on that list. The takeaway is that you should exfoliate before you shave.

Using a face scrub (exfoliant) as a pre-shave has similar benefits to using a face wash. It softens and smoothes the skin, helping your blade glide nicely and preventing irritation or cuts. The difference between a face wash and a face scrub is that scrubs are more textured than face washes, so they do a better job of lifting heavier grime from your skin.

For my sensitive skin guys, to top it all off, I recommend replacing burning aftershaves with a gentile men’s toner. They moisturize the skin, calming razor burn. And many of them smell just as good as aftershave.

Frank Edwards is a men's grooming & style expert who is "internet famous" for being able to simplify complicated grooming routines into easy, yet effective rituals any man can do. As a professional analyst, he has spent years researching the biggest brands, products, experts, best practices, and breaking news in the space. He takes this analysis, tests it out on himself, and then documents everything in his writing. As a result, his experience-based articles are considered by some to be the gold standard in men's grooming and men's style.