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We all know the drill by now: wet, lather, scrub for 20 seconds—or long enough to sing the Happy Birthday song—then rinse, and dry, according to the CDC. A diligent hand-washing routine can help keep coronavirus at bay, but it can also leave you with raw, cracked skin. Try pouring hand sanitizer onto that!
Handwashing is here to stay, though, and you’ve got places to go and people to see (from six feet away). The only solution to maintaining soft, supple skin is to choose hand soaps that are gentle, hydrating, and moisturizing.
We’ve rounded up 18 of the most coveted hand washes and soaps with seriously soothing ingredients like aloe, cucumber, and lavender—and a few buzzed-about newcomers like goat milk, hemp, and Japanese yuze. Prepare your paws for the everyday pampering they deserve.
Goat milk has long been beloved as a super-soothing skin care ingredient that balances your skin’s pH and microbiome. Beekman 1802’s entire American-made product line uses this trendy, all-natural ingredient, and one the brand’s bestsellers is nourishing Goat Milk Hand Wash. Get it bundled with the brand’s Goat Milk Lotion in a handy metal caddy.
This vegan hand wash filled with plant-derived, cruelty-free ingredients has a near-perfect rating. Detoxifying tea tree oil and vetiver, both essential oils, and moisture-replenishing coconut oil cleanse gently and restore moisture without using toxic chemicals to strip your skin of its healthy oils and good bacteria.
Shop it: Love Beauty & Planet Daily Detox Hand Wash Soap Tea Tree Oil & Vetiver, $4, target.com
This liquid hand wash is strong enough to tackle dirt and bacteria but gentle enough to leave you with hands that feel like you just left the nail salon. The secret is very spa-like indeed: cooling cucumber extract.
Shop it: Shikai Liquid Hand Soap - Very Clean Cucumber, $7, walmart.com
Prebiotics aren’t just for gut health. Washing your hands with them keeps your skin balanced, too, promoting the growth of good bacteria and keeping your epidermis supple. This hand wash by all-natural icon Tom’s of Maine contains soothing, fragrant lavender for good measure.
Shop it: Tom's of Maine Prebiotic Moisturizing Natural Liquid Hand Soap, Gentle Lavender, $7, cvs.com
Lemon, chamomile, vitamin E, and glycerin team up to cleanse gently and thoroughly, banishing bacteria while calming inflammation and keeping your skin soft. This hand wash contains zero harsh, synthetic chemicals to mess with your skin’s moisture barrier.
Shop it: Avalon Organics Refreshing Lemon Glycerin Hand Soap, $14.18, walmart.com
This powerhouse liquid soap uses two modern skin care ingredients to cleanse your hands—and your body, too. Hemp seed oil gently cleanses while 100 percent Pure Argan Oil nourishes your skin and keeps it from splitting and cracking.
Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum-infused hand wash that doubles as a body wash! This all-natural cleanser is totally above board, using amino acids and glycerin to wash and hydrate while omitting anything toxic to skin or harmful to animals or the environment.
Shop it: Malin + Geotz Rum Hand + Body Wash, $30, sephora.com
This chemical-free formulation is pretty unique; it uses anti-oxidants to battle wrinkle- and cancer-causing free radicals—something we’re used to seeing in products for the face but not the hands. It also uses vitamin E to help your skin retain its natural moisture.
Organic olive may taste delicious in your salad, but have you ever thought about washing your hands with it? The emollient contains skin foods like vitamin E and A, and it’s rich in fatty acids, so it keeps your skin intact after multiple washes per day. Plus it boasts powerful natural cleansers like bergamot and pomegranate.
This isn’t your typical over-drying foaming hand soap—in fact, it’s five times more moisturizers than most. Still it cleanses effectively (yet gently) and kills bacteria without relying on skin-drying chemicals like alcohol, dye, and sulfates. Plus, it smells like soothing lavender.
Shop it: Dove Lavender & Yogurt Foaming Liquid Hand Wash Soap, $3.69, target.com
Grapefruit, aloe, and vitamin E are the cleansing and moisturizing trifecta that make this hand soap a bestseller on Ulta with almost 500 loves from customers. Its sweet, citrus-y smell earns it bonus points, plus it’s cruelty-free.
You’ll get a serious lather out this hand wash—perfect for washing away the virus—plus a lot of gentle cleansing and moisturizing thanks to ginger, lemon, lime, and bergamot, all natural astringents that retain your skin’s hydration.
They’re not common ingredients in the U.S., but Japanese yuzu and rice water are gentle, vitamin-rich ingredients proven ultra-effective at cleansing without stripping your skin of its moisture barrier. It’s best when worked into a rich lather.
Shop it: MyKirei By Kao Hand Soap with Yuzu & Rice Water, $17, amazon.com
This one has all the characteristics of a healthy hand soap—it’s 98 percent plant-based, free of toxic chemicals, never tested on animals—plus it benefits from the cleansing, moisturizing powers of apricot oil and coconut milk.
Shop it: Live Clean Coconut Milk Moisturizing Liquid Hand Soap, $4.20 (was $7), amazon.com
You’ll get a kick out of this hydrating hand wash—a peppermint kick. The invigorating ingredient not only smells fresh but it also scrubs away microbes, fungi, and other nasties that build up on your skin. Aloe vera helps keep hands hydrated.
Shop it: Artnaturals Liquid Hand Soap, $10, walmart.com
Why buy just one bottle of hand wash when you can have three equally amazing ones? This best-selling trio uses lavender, verbena, and shea butter to leave hands sanitized, moisturized, and healthy.
Moisture is what this hand soap is all about—and it uses good old-fashioned honey to get the job done. Right now you can save more than $5 on a two-pack, then enjoy clean, hydrated hands that barely require lotion.
Refreshing rosewater and grapefruit extract join forces with the power of vitamin E and pro-vitamin B5 to deliver the clean, hydrating hand soap of your dreams. There are no parabens, sulfates, or phthalates—just sweet-smelling, all natural ingredients that work.
Shop it: Jason Invigorating Rosewater Hand Soap, $8.50, amazon.com
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