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Avoid Washing Your Hands Raw with These 8 Moisturizing Soaps

A man's hands lathered and holding a bar of soap under running water in a sink.
Alexander Raths/Shutterstock

Washing your hands is key to preventing many illnesses. However, it can leave your hands raw and open to other complications, like dermatitis. These moisturizing soaps will keep your hands both safe and soft!

This winter has been brutal when it comes to contagious illnesses. The flu is still running rampant, with the CDC reporting anywhere from 16,000 to 41,000 deaths from the virus. There’s also the common cold, stomach bugs that always linger during the colder months, and, of course, coronavirus, which is spreading rapidly worldwide.

No one can blame you for being extra cautious to avoid getting sick. You can take all the supplements you want, but the best way to prevent catching anything is to wash your hands. And not just after you use the bathroom, but all day. It’s especially a good idea to do it when you get home from the store, or after commuting or interacting with a lot of people.

The downside of more handwashing, though, is it tends to dry out your skin. This is especially true in the winter because the cold air dries out your skin, as well.

Fortunately, there are some extra moisturizing hand soaps out there that will keep your skin clean and soft.

How to Prevent Dry Skin

A moisturizing hand soap won’t totally rid you of dry skin. It might make your hands feel softer or less tight than other soaps, but it’s not a cure.

Here are some other ways you can prevent drying out your hands:

  • Use soaps and lotions with hydrating ingredients: Things like shea or cocoa butter, wax, and petroleum are good for this.
  • Be wary of antibacterial soaps: Yes, it gets rid of germs and bacteria on your hands. Unfortunately, it’s also harsher on your skin and can leave your hands feeling dry. Whenever you can, wash thoroughly with a soap that isn’t antibacterial.
  • Follow soap with hand sanitizer: Washing your hands thoroughly with a moisturizing soap, and then following it with hand sanitizer is better than using antibacterial soap. Many people find that hand sanitizers aren’t quite as drying as certain soaps.
  • Use hand lotion throughout the day: If you hate dry, cracked hands, lotion should be your best friend. Choose one full of hydrating ingredients and buy a small travel size to carry with you on the go. Always apply lotion right after you wash your hands—damp skin allows the lotion to soak in more effectively.
  • Don’t wash your hands in hot water: It might feel nice (especially if it’s cold outside), but hot water is more drying than cold.
  • Treat your hands overnight: If your hands are super-dry, slather them in a heavy-duty, thick lotion or even some Vaseline. Put on a pair of soft gloves or socks to seal in all that moisture while you sleep.

With those tips, well, in hand, let’s look at our favorite moisturizing soaps.

Aesop Resurrection Aromatique Hand Wash

The Aesop Resurrection Aromatique Hand Wash is definitely pricey ($40+ at this writing), but it’s also a cult favorite for a reason. Also, the nearly 17-ounce bottle should last you a few weeks, if not months.

Made of orange, rosemary, and lavender oils, this hand wash is incredibly hydrating. It will leave your hands feeling super-soft and smooth for hours. It’s also a gentle formula that doesn’t leave skin feeling stripped at all.

Fans of this one are obsessed with the scent. The notes of mandarin, cedar, and rosemary give it a woodsy, citrus smell that’s both unique and lovely without being overwhelming. The bottle is also quite aesthetically pleasing sitting on your bathroom countertop.

Aesop Resurrection Aromatique Hand Wash

Aesop Resurrection Aromatique Hand Wash | 16.9 oz | Paraben, Cruelty-free & Vegan

This hand wash smells wonderful, leaves your hands nice and soft, and should last you for quite a while.

Jergens Extra Moisturizing Hand Wash

If you read the above and thought, “There’s absolutely no way I’m spending over $40 on hand wash,” you don’t have to! There are plenty of more affordable options. One of these is Jergens Extra Moisturizing Hand Wash, which lives up to its name and only costs around $5.

The nice thing about this hand wash is it’s moisturizing, but also genuinely cleans your hands. It gets rid of grime, dirt, and germs, but also includes Jergens moisturizer, so it won’t dry out your hands. It also doesn’t leave that oily residue moisturizers often do. It just feels nice!

The cherry almond scent is also pleasantly sweet.

Jergens Extra Moisturizing Hand Wash

Jergens Moisturizing Hand Wash, Cherry Almond, 7.5 Fl Oz

Gets rid of grime and germs with a super-hydrating moisturizer, to boot!

EO Essential Oils Hand Soap

A pump bottle of EO Essential Oils Hand Soap.

If you want to blend some aromatherapy with your handwashing, check out EO Essential Oils Hand Soap. Made without sulfates, it probably won’t suds up as much as some soaps do, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t working.

It contains a blend of nutrient-rich botanical extracts, like aloe vera and calendula. The mild cleansers leave your hands clean without making them dry. Fans of this one love how gentle and hydrating it is.

It’s also super calming, thanks to chamomile and the lavender scent. One whiff while you’re washing your hands might be all it takes to make you feel more relaxed!

Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Hand Soap

Another popular choice is Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Hand Soap. It’s made with moisturizing ingredients and comes in a variety of fun, wonderful scents, including lots of limited edition seasonal options. It’s also a more natural option and doesn’t include things like parabens, phthalates, or artificial colors.

The blend of olive oil, aloe vera, and essential oils is super-hydrating. Still, there’s absolutely no oily residue left behind.

I keep this in my kitchen and wash my hands with it constantly. I love that it never leaves them feeling stripped or dry.

Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Hand Soap

Mrs. Meyer's Hand Soap, Made with Essential Oils, Biodegradable Formula, Rosemary, 12.5 fl. oz - Pack of 3

This more natural option smells great and is made with a blend of hydrating oils.

L’Occitane Ultra-Rich Hand and Body Wash

The star ingredient in L’Occitane Ultra-Rich Hand and Body Wash is—surprise, surprise—shea butter! This incredibly moisturizing ingredient soothes your hands and leaves them feeling softer and less dry than many other hand washes.

This hand wash cleanses but doesn’t strip your skin. It also has a very light fragrance that doesn’t overpower and layers nicely with hand-lotion scents. It’s a silky foaming cream, so it feels light and airy, but definitely gets the job done.

L'Occitane Ultra-Rich Hand and Body Wash

L'Occitane Ultra-Rich Hand & Body Wash Enriched with 5% Shea Milk, 10.1 Fl Oz

This hand wash has shea butter, which leaves your hands feeling extra-hydrated.

Everyone Hand Soap

No matter which scent you choose, Everyone Hand Soap leaves your hands feeling soft instead of cracked. It’s made of a blend of plant extracts and pure essential oils, like aloe vera, chamomile, white tea, calendula, and vitamin E. Soothing and hydrating, it cleanses and moisturizes simultaneously.

Everyone Hand Soap is also paraben-, cruelty-, dye-, fragrance-, and GMO-free. So, if you want something more natural or ideal for sensitive skin, you’ve found it.

Everyone Hand Soap

Everyone Hand Soap, Spearmint plus Lemongrass, 12.75 oz

The blend of essential oils leaves your hands soft.

Softsoap Soothing Aloe Vera Moisturizing Hand Soap

A pump bottle of Softsoap Soothing Aloe Vera Moisturizing Hand Soap.

Softsoap Soothing Aloe Vera is a classic. It’s also very inexpensive, super-accessible, and highly moisturizing. The big ingredient here is, of course, the aloe vera, which hydrates and soothes, so it’s ideal for sensitive skin.

This soap lathers up rich and creamy. It feels nice and also has a light scent. Best of all, it cleans away dirt and bacteria, so it does more than just leave your hands feeling great. Basically, it has it all!

Softsoap Soothing Aloe Vera Moisturizing Hand Soap

Softsoap Moisturizing Liquid Hand Soap Pump - Soothing Aloe Vera - 7.5 fl oz

Inexpensive, easy to find, and highly moisturizing.

Puracy Natural Liquid Hand Soap

One of the most popular hand soaps on Amazon, Puracy Natural Liquid is both moisturizing and cleansing. Its thick consistency turns into a soft foam that lathers nicely while you wash.

Made with vitamin E, sea salt, and aloe vera, it’s very hydrating. It leaves your hands so soft, you’ll wonder if you even washed them.

The lavender and vanilla essential oils offer a lovely scent and extra hydration. It’s also all-natural! Puracy doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals. It’s also non-toxic, hypoallergenic, vegan, and made of all biodegradable ingredients, so you can feel good about using it.

Jessica Booth Jessica Booth
Jessica Booth is a freelance writer for LifeSavvy. She has been working in the editorial world as a freelance writer for over two years and previously worked as an editor for over eight years.  Jessica writes about travel, beauty, wellness, health, food, home decor, and parenting, and has reviewed and tested out products for all of those verticals over the course of her career. Read Full Bio »
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