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From Fancy to Functional, These Are the Best Hand Soaps to Encourage Regular Handwashing

It’s probably safe to say that you had never washed your hands as much as you did during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. And while the extra time and effort may have been inconvenient, the extra washing was actually a good thing given that hand washing is, and remains, one of the key ways to prevent the spread of bacteria and viruses.

For this reason, and even though day-to-day life is returning to normal(ish), it’s still a good idea to keep washing your hands. So for the sake of your health and hands, keep one of the best hand soaps close by.

We’re sure you know the drill by now, but just in case, the CDC recommends washing your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds (hum the “Happy Birthday” song to make sure you get the timing right) under clean, running water. Make sure you lather up between your fingers, under your nails, around your thumbs, and the backs of your hands, too. Yes, hand sanitizer works in a pinch, but a good old-fashioned wash with soap and water wins whenever you have the option.

If you’re still to be convinced and think a quick hover under the faucet is good enough, here are some of the key benefits and reasons to stick with washing your hands using soap:

  • Prevents the spread of infections and illnesses
  • Removes germs and bacteria
  • Reduces the likelihood of getting sick with diarrhea
  • Reduces the possibility of catching a cold
  • More effective than using hand sanitizer
  • Leaves your hands smelling fresh
  • Sets a good example for younger children
  • Washes away dirt and unwanted marks

Is There a Difference Between Hand Soap and Hand Wash?

You may have heard the terms hand soap and hand wash used interchangeably, and that’s because they are pretty much the same thing. If there is a difference, it’s essentially a difference between branding and perception.

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The products we use every day in our bathroom and kitchen are usually marketed as hand soap. You probably have an affordable hand soap from Dial or Method on your counter right now.

On the other hand, some designers also produce luxury soaps using more expensive ingredients. These products are usually called hand wash (or hand and body wash). Because they contain premium ingredients such as orange blossom, jasmine, coconut oil, rosemary and essential oils, they tend to be more expensive. For sensitive or overly dry skin — or if you want to stock your guest bathroom with fancy hand washes — these luxury products can be a great choice.

The Best Hand Soap & Wash for Your Skin

All this extra handwashing may be taking a toll on your mitts, leaving you with dry, itchy skin. That’s where using one of the best hand soaps comes in. To stay safe without drying out your skin every time you wash your hands, look for a hand soap that includes hydrating ingredients such as glycerin or shea butter and a humectant that keeps water in the skin.

It’s also worth siding with hand washes that contain natural ingredients such as aloe vera, vitamin E, and olive oil. Furthermore, when treating your senses, any hand soap rich with essential oils is sure to please.

Why Is It Important to Wash Our Hands?

It’s more important than ever to get into the habit of regularly washing your hands. Before, during, and after cooking is a must as well as before and after you’ve eaten. Washing your hands after going to the toilet is obvious, but you would be surprised at the number of people who still don’t. (We should all probably be a little concerned by the number of people who answered “sometimes/rarely/never” to handwashing questions in this Puronics survey.)

There are also less apparent occasions, such as after handling money or petting animals. It is actually possible to reduce the chances of contracting illness for you and others by washing your hands properly after coming into contact with any potentially harmful bacteria and germs. Remember, although you can rarely see these potential infections, they are literally everywhere.


Whether you’re looking for a new everyday soap that won’t dry out your skin, or a luxe hand wash for guest bathrooms, there are a ton of great options for sale online. Shop the best hand soaps at every price point below to keep your paws happy and healthy, even during an ongoing pandemic.


1. Le Labo Hand Soap


This California-crafted hand soap boasts a beautiful Mount Koya-inspired hinoki scent. One Le Labo Hand Soap pump can transport you to the very hinoki tree-filled forests surrounding the mountain from which the inspiration comes. The plant-based formula gives this soap a high-quality, thick texture, and the bottle includes a handy pump for easy distribution. Ingredients include sea buckthorn, rosemary leaf, and sugar cane to give you a cleansing, soothing soap that’s full of antioxidants.

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Image courtesy of Saks Fifth Avenue


2. MALIN+GOETZ Rum Hand Wash


Leave your guests’ hands hydrated, purified and beautifully scented with this MALIN+GOETZ Rum Hand Wash. This soap combines amino acid technology with a spicy rum fragrance to deliver a naturally foaming gel that releases aromatic appeal as you clean. It’s also free from parabens, phthalates, and silicone, and you can add it to your bath for a delightfully scented and foaming bath time experience.

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Image courtesy of Amazon


3. Method Sea Minerals Hand Soap


If you’re looking for a simple, no-frills option, this Method Sea Minerals Hand Soap is the best hand soap for everyday use at home. Method’s formula goes on smoothly, lathers well and rinses off easily. The light fragrance isn’t overpowering but instead is just enough to leave your skin clean and refreshed. Method also sells refills if you run out or want to use your own pump bottle.

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Image courtesy of Amazon

4. Dial Liquid Hand Soap in Spring Water


This OG classic still gets the job done! The fact that the antibacterial hand soap kills 99% of germs will ease your COVID-19 fears. Its Spring Water scent is delightfully fresh and clean. Green bonus: Dial makes refills, so you can reuse your original bottle time and again to cut down on plastic.

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5. Tom’s of Maine Prebiotic Moisturizing Liquid Hand Soap


All that hand washing we’ve been doing can disrupt the skin’s microbiome, natural balance and barrier, which is where this prebiotic formula comes in. The all-natural soap boosts the growth of good bacteria and the skin’s ability to naturally retain moisture. The peppermint scent will add some pep to your step. True to Tom’s of Maine ethos, it’s free of parabens, artificial fragrances, preservatives, and foaming agents, and it’s never tested on animals.

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Image courtesy of Amazon


6. Baylis & Harding Hand Wash Soap Lemon Grass and Ginger


UK brand Baylis & Harding is finally bringing its vegan, plant-based formulas stateside, including its Lemon Grass and Ginger Hand Soap. The wash is as good for your hands as it is for the planet, with its top-notch organic extracts and essential oils that make up a 98% naturally derived formula that’s vegan, 95% biodegradable, and has a 100% post-consumer recycled bottle and packaging. Its addicting fragrance is courtesy of a blend of more than 10 essential oils.

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Image courtesy of Target


7. Dove Beauty Cream Caring Hand Wash


Dove has spent decades building a reputation as a brand that carefully nurtures your skin without breaking the bank, and their Caring Hand Wash is a great example of this. Super gentle on your skin, it’s designed for regular use without harming your hands. The formula contains a 1/4 moisturizing cream to hydrate hands every time you suds up, leaving them soft and smooth, making this one of the best hand soaps for anyone on a tighter budget.

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8. C.O. Bigelow Lemon Hand Wash No. 1142


This Bigelow Chemists hand soap is more affordable than our other picks for the best hand wash, but you wouldn’t know that after using it. This luxe product boasts skin-friendly lemon extracts and contains plenty of natural hydrators to nourish and moisturize skin. The lemon extract packs a ton of Vitamin C into this formula as well. It works up into a rich lather for a satisfying hand washing experience. The brand’s best-selling hand soap is made right in the United States.

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9. MyKirei by KAO Yuzu Flower Foam Hand Wash


Going back to all that hand soap we’ve been using, that also means emptying plenty of plastic bottles. When it comes to the best eco hand soap, nothing beats MyKirei by KAO Yuzu Flower Foam Hand Wash. Just launched this spring, the brand is all about its groundbreaking sustainable packaging. The innovative air bottle is refillable, uses just half the usual amount of plastic, and is 100% recyclable. Each refill has enough soap to wash your hands up to 250 times. The formula is just as impressive, tapping into the traditional Japanese ingredient yuzu, which is packed with Vitamin C to brighten and hydrate, as well as rice water with vitamins to soften and smooth skin. The airy, clean citrus scent of yuzu fruit delivers an energy boost, plus the formula is pH balanced.

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10. Sapadilla Hand Soap


Enjoy a different scent in each bathroom in your home by choosing this multi-pack of Sapadilla Hand Soaps. Every pack comes with three different hand soap scents, namely Rosemary + Peppermint, Grapefruit + Bergamot, and Sweet Lavender + Lime. These hand soaps are made from high-quality, plant-based ingredients which deeply moisturize and cleanse your skin. Furthermore, the appealing scents are the result of included essential oils, rather than artificial colors or fragrances.

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Image courtesy of Amazon


11. Yes To Grapefruit Basil Liquid Hand Soap


The natural goodness of Yes To never ceases to amaze and this hand soap is no exception. Made with 98 percent natural ingredients, it’s free of all the bad stuff (like petroleum, SLS, artificial colors, and parabens) and will leave your hands smelling and feeling great. The grapefruit and fresh basil scent lingers on hands, leaving your skin refreshed and reinvigorated.

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Image courtesy of Walmart


12. Muse Apothecary Aromatic and Nourishing Hand Soap


Everyone should be washing their hands on a regular basis, without exception. This is why the Muse Apothecary Aromatic and Nourishing Hand Soap is a fantastic gift for all. As far as the best hand soap goes, this creative brand has taken time to create an aesthetically pleasing bottle with an appealingly scented product inside. The aim of this hand soap is to make the chore of handwashing more enjoyable. When upon your favorite shampoo and conditioner, make sure to add a bottle of this popular and well-loved hand soap to your basket.

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Image courtesy of Amazon


13. Safeguard Liquid Hand Soap


When there’s a family full of hands to wash, Safeguard Liquid Hand Soap is a great all-round winner. It focuses purely on the core objective of washing away bacteria and germs using a micellar deep cleansing technique. It has also been dermatologically censored by the Skin Health Alliance so you can feel confident using it on all types and ages of skin. Educate your whole family about this budget-friendly and highly effective hand soap.

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14. Compagnie de Provence Black Tea Liquid Marseille Soap


Produced following an age-old method using a cauldron and high-quality oils, this French-made liquid soap can be used on your hands and body for a cleansing, skin-friendly treatment. Inside the soap, you’ll find a range of naturally-sourced ingredients, including coconut oil, black tea, and blackberry. These elements come together to provide a naturally hydrating soap that releases hints of black tea and blackberry as it’s used. It’s also presented in a modern, lacquered glass-pump vessel to add a touch of class to any bathroom arrangement.

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15. Casswell-Massey Plant-Based Bar Soap


Indulge in the best plant-based soaps by choosing this Casswell-Massey Plant-Based Bar Soap Set. The three-pack of soaps includes the most popular fragrances which are made up of the Number Six Soap, Masculine Jockey Club, and Almond Cold Cream. Each bar delivers a full-bodied fragrance which is loved by both men and women. For a more luxurious feel, these soaps have been triple-milled to remove as much water and air as possible, helping them create a richer lather and longer-lasting fragrance, especially when compared to lower quality alternatives.

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16. J.R. Watkins Foaming Hand Soap


J.R. Watkins Foaming Hand Soap is made from naturally-sourced, plant-based products and is crafted for use at sinks all around the home, from bathrooms to the kitchen. It has been infused with lemon oil to give your hands a refreshing post-wash citrus scent. This appealing scent helps you look forward to washing your hands. For the best results when cleaning, it’s recommended that you lather the soap in your hands first for at least 30 seconds prior to washing the suds away with water.

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17. Molton Brown Fine Liquid Hand Wash


Word on the street is Britain’s Royal Family is partial to Molton Brown, so this Molton Brown Fine Liquid Hand Wash would certainly add a regal touch to your bathroom setup. Additionally, when a tropical vacation escape isn’t on the cards for the year, simply close your eyes and enjoy the mini escape from this Lime & Patchouli fragrance. Not only is it incredibly refreshing, it also lathers into a foam to cleanse hands and leave them smelling zesty fresh.

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18. Bath & Body Works Hand Soap


Bath & Body Works Hand Soap is one of the most popular hand soap brands of the moment, making this Holiday Traditional set a great go-to gift idea for family or friends. These festive-inspired scents are made with vitamin E, shea extract, aloe vera, and essential oils. Together they create a gentle foaming hand soap. To top it off, each soap boasts its own identifiable scent which is accompanied by a Christmas-themed name, with Vanilla Bean Noel and Snowy Peach Berry being examples.

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19. Seventh Generation Hand Soap


Seventh Generation Hand Soap takes a back to basics approach to being the best hand soap. Its 97 percent bio-based formula is powered by plants alone and is free from any dyes, fragrances, or triclosan. In addition, this hypoallergenic hand soap is well-suited to anyone with allergies or sensitive skin, making it a safer option to have available in bathrooms visiting family and guests may use when visiting.

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20. Antica Farmacista Cask Hand Wash


Supplied in a pump-top vessel that oozes class from the outset, the Antica Farmacista Cask Hand Wash will win your guests over from first sight. While the best hand soaps usually choose botanicals, essential oils, and floral fragrances for their products, this product features more masculine ingredients. Instead of smelling like a bouquet, this hand wash features notes of tobacco, leather, and cognac. Rather than stripping away your skin’s natural oil, this hand wash uses natural ingredients to keep your skin healthy, clean and smelling fresh.

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Image courtesy of Nordstrom


21. Dr. Barbara Sturm Hand Wash


Dr. Barbara Sturm Hand Wash is a premium choice of hand soap which has been carefully designed to deeply cleanse your hands without removing any of your skin’s natural oils or moisture. Its color-free formula contains only plant-based ingredients which have anti-aging and antioxidative properties, protecting your skin’s natural membranes. Additionally, this fragrance-free hand wash includes a herbal plant complex which can help to restore your skin’s natural protective shield after every wash.

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Image courtesy of Dr. Sturm


22. Diptyque Softening Hand Wash


A simple way to impress your guests is to send them home with soft, clean and delightful-smelling hands, and that’s exactly what this Diptyque Hand Wash will do. The French label soap features a whole host of delicious-smelling citrus notes. These include orange flower blossom, bitter orange notes, juniper berry and floral petit grain. With a shea butter base, this luxury hand wash will leave you and your guests’ olfactory sense entertained. In addition to cleaning your skin, these ingredients help return your skin to its natural softness and provide a feeling of being spa-treated. Customers who have enjoyed this hand wash remark how the beautiful scent is perfect for an uplifting moment during a hectic day.

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Image courtesy of Nordstrom


23. Jo Malone London Lime Basil & Mandarin Hand Wash


If you’ve never enjoyed the mix of lime, basil and mandarin before, this Jo Malone Hand Wash is the perfect way to give it a try. The fresh citrus and fruit aromas that come from the formula can’t help but put you and your guests in a happy and relaxed mood. Meanwhile, the soap works to clean your skin and leaves traces of the delicious scent on the skin’s surface for hours after each wash. In addition, this hand wash is presented in a simple yet elegant bottle with a press top for easy distribution.

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Image courtesy of Nordstrom


 24. Diptyque Exfoliating Hand Wash


Seeing a lot of dead skin on your hands? Reach for this hand soap that gently exfoliates with crushed olive stones, leaving hands feeling cleansed and refreshed. As always, the French fragrance company features a delectable scent with green, floral and woody notes. The beautiful bottle is too luxurious for a single use, and luckily refills are sold so it can be a mainstay in your bathroom for a long time to come.

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Courtesy of Saks Fifth Avenue


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