The 16 Best Hand Soaps That Won’t Leave Your Skin Cracked and Dry


If you think about how frequently you wash your hands in an average day, you may realize that your soap could use an upgrade. And the best hand soaps should ideally accomplish two things in one handy (pun intended) product: Of course, they should cleanse your hands and remove dirt and germs, but it’s always a bonus if they leave your hands a little happier than they found them, either with pleasant fragrances or moisturizing ingredients. 

If you’re just looking for a hand soap that’ll wash away bacteria, you might think one with “antibacterial” somewhere on its label is the right product for you. However, as SELF has previously reported, antibacterial soaps aren’t any more effective than regular ones. Beyond that, certain ingredients found in antibacterial hand soaps, including triclosan, may actually promote antibiotic resistance. So finding a soap that will sufficiently clean your hands is much easier than you might think—because just about any old soap will get the job done. 

With that in mind, you can base your search on your personal preferences—maybe you want a moisturizing hand soap with hydrating ingredients (say, if your skin tends to get cracked and dry during the colder months). Perhaps you want one from a cruelty-free brand or one that’s scented with essential oils. Whatever you’re looking for, there’s a cleanser out there that will fit your needs like a glove. Here we’ve selected some of the very best hand soaps available right now, from top-sellers at major retailers like Target and Amazon to boutique products that will look great on your bathroom counter. After all, we cannot exist on hand sanitizer alone.

All products featured on SELF are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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