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From Jergens to Aesop, these moisturizing hand soaps won’t strip your skin’s natural moisture barrier. 

By Braelyn Wood
Updated February 18, 2021
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
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Whether it’s in the bathroom or the kitchen, we all wash our hands every single day—and hopefully multiple times. But despite hand washing’s prevalence in our day-to-day lives, most of us don’t give it a lot of thought unless we’re dealing with dry skin from cold weather or more consistent scrub-downs to avoid sicknesses like the flu or coronavirus (COVID-19)

Sound familiar? Then in addition to investing in a good hand cream, it’s time to upgrade to one of the best moisturizing hand soaps. These gentle soaps prioritize moisturizing ingredients like shea butter and oils in their formulas to ensure you’re not stripping the skin’s natural moisture barrier when scrubbing away dirt and germs. 

If you think a gentler formula less effectively gets rid of bacteria and viruses, think again. A soap doesn’t kill microbes, but rather lifts it from the skin and washes it away. As a result, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says “there is no added health benefits to using soaps containing antibacterial ingredients.” In fact, the FDA even issued a warning in September 2016 that antibacterial soaps could no longer be advertised as a safer choice by businesses.

Basically, you can choose the best soap for your skin as long as you’re following the CDC’s guidelines on how to wash your hands—and for many people, that’s a product that offers serious hydration to combat subpar winds and zealous hand sanitizer applications

To ensure you’re getting the most out of your hand soap, we’ve found the best moisturizing hand soaps to give your skin the extra TLC it deserves. From the best anti-aging formula to an all-natural find, these soaps are about to make your handwashing experiences far more enjoyable. 

1. Best Anti-Aging: ThreeMain Liquid Dish Soap

ThreeMain Liquid Dish Soap in Reusable Aluminum Bottle
Credit: Amazon

Your hands are one of the first body parts to show signs of aging, yet they rarely get extra attention they deserve. This hydrating pick, which doubles as a dish soap, will change that thanks to a key anti-aging ingredient: hyaluronic acid. The natural humectant attracts water to the skin (so your hands stay hydrated) and boasts anti-aging benefits like increased elasticity and wrinkle reduction. Reviewers also love that the soap comes in a reusable aluminum container.

2. Best Gentle: Everyone Hand Soap

Hand Soap
Credit: Amazon

When one family had a virus overtake their home, this hand soaps prevented their skin from drying out even as they washed up more than 15 times a day—and if you look at the ingredients, it makes sense. The gentle formula ditches sulfates, fragrance, synthetic dyes, and phthalates in favor of natural ingredients like essential oils and botanical extracts. The final product is a hand soap that not only smells good, but leaves your skin’s moisture barrier in tact. 

To buy: Everyone Hand Soap, 3 for $15; amazon.com

3. Best Budget: Softsoap Liquid Hand Soap

Softsoap Liquid Hand Soap, Milk and Honey
Credit: Amazon

This affordable find is proof you don’t have to spend a fortune to keep your skin feeling soft and smooth after regular washings. The creamy formula is infused with milk protein and sweet honey to ensure your skin never dries out. Reviewers with eczema and sensitive skin also found the moisturizing soap didn’t cause skin flare-ups or irritation. Plus, the price just can’t be beat at $1 per bottle. 

4. Best Natural: Live Clean Argan Oil Hand Soap

Live Clean Argan Oil Replenishing Liquid Hand Soap
Credit: Amazon

Between a vegan formula and 98% natural ingredients, you’ll feel good about lathering up with this clean find. It packs a collection of oils—including argan, grapeseed, and olive—for a wide range of essential fatty acids and antioxidants that work together to protect the skin’s natural moisture barrier. Naturally, reviewers are raving it’s “the perfect hand soap” and say it manages to leave your hands extremely clean without feeling like a desert. 

5. Best Gel: Puracy Natural Moisturizing Hand Soap Gel

Hand Soap
Credit: Amazon

More than 2,800 reviewers are obsessed with this plant-powered soap—and it’s not hard to see why. It ditches harsh chemicals in favor of additives like vitamin E and aloe vera to lock in moisture rather than strip it from the skin. Despite keeping ingredients clean, the creamy gel still lathers into a foam for full sudsy satisfaction. Really, the relaxing lavender and vanilla scent just feels like a bonus. 

6.  Best Prebiotic: Tom's of Maine Prebiotic Moisturizing Hand Wash

Hand Soap
Credit: Amazon

Like the gut, skin is a breeding ground for both good and bad bacteria. Keep the former while washing away the later with Tom’s new prebiotic hand soap. The all-natural formula has a microbiome-friendly pH that supports the growth of good bacteria to help your skin maintain its natural balance. Plus, it’s made with parabens or sulfates to ensure washing never strips away your skin’s natural moisture. And with 1,200 perfect ratings, the hardest part won’t be deciding whether to try the revolutionary formula, but rather picking between the five all-natural scents.

7. Best Bulk: Cleancult Biodegradable Liquid Hand Soap Refill

Hand Soap
Credit: Amazon

Staying stocked up on hand soap is easy with this sustainable bulk option. The biodegradable cartons hold 16 ounces of cleancult’s signature soap—enough to fill a standard eight-ounce dispenser twice—and contains just seven ingredients. You’ll not only have the softest hands ever thanks to the boost of aloe vera, but you’ll feel good about your environmental impact, too. (P.S. Buying in bulk saves shipping resources.)

8. Best Bar: Pré de Provence Soap Bar

Pre' De Provence Artisanal French Soap Bar
Credit: Amazon

If you’re trying to reduce your waste, this shea butter-enriched bar should be at the top of your wish list. The artisanal soap is free of drying ingredients like sodium lauryl sulfate and ethyl alcohols, so its creamy lather actually moisturizes and softens skin instead of stripping it. Available in 29 unique scents, it’s one of Amazon’s top picks with more than 1,300 perfect 5-star ratings.

Available at amazon.com, $5

9. Best for Dry Skin: Jergens Moisturizing Hand Wash

Jergens Moisturizing Hand Wash Cherry Almond
Credit: Amazon

This heavy-duty hand wash is the closest thing you’ll find to regular hand cream in soap form. Its rich formula is enriched with Jergens lotion and hydrating powerhouses like mineral oil and glycerin, so your hands feel silky smooth but aren’t covered in greasy residue. Add in a super creamy consistency and delightful cherry almond scent, and it’s obvious why so many reviewers called this affordable pick their go-to—one 5-star reviewer from Australia stocks up every time she’s in the States.

10. Best Foaming: Alaffia EveryDay Shea Foaming Hand Soap

Hand Soap
Credit: Amazon

Most people associate a good lather with stripping away dirt and grime, as well as your skin’s natural oils. Luckily, this handcrafted hand soap manages to do the former without the latter. Safe for sensitive skin, it’s packed with nourishing additions like shea butter, coconut oil, and neem leaf that lock in moisture to keep your hands feeling soft and soothed. The fair trade soap is available in lavender, vanilla mint, or unscented options.

11. Best Scent: Aēsop Resurrection Aromatique Hand Wash

Aesop Resurrection Aromatique Hand Wash
Credit: Nordstrom

This luxurious pick might be the most expensive hand wash you ever splurge on, but reviewers say it’s well worth it. Not only does the almost 17-ounce bottle last eons, but it’s packed with hydrating oils that ensure your skin is thoroughly cleansed but never dehydrated. Plus, it’s got an unbelievably intoxicating scent (a mix of rosemary leaf, cedar, and mandarin) that reviewers claim smells like a spa and lingers for hours.     

12. Best Exfoliating: Ouai Hand Wash

Hand Soap
Credit: Sephora

Get the softest hands ever with this hydrating soap from popular hair care brand Ouai. It gently removes dead skin cells with biodegradable jojoba esters before replenishing the moisture barrier with a combination of avocado, rose, and jojoba oils. It’s definitely a splurge at $32 per a bottle, but even skeptical reviewers say the nourishing formula is well worth the price tag.

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