Not long ago, everyone used a simple bar soap for their everyday needs. The first appearance of liquid soap came about in the mid-1800s and liquid hand soap followed along in the 1970s. Since then, the market for hand soaps has been flooded with dozens of different brands and formulas suited to varying needs and preferences.
Because of this, choosing a hand soap can be a daunting task. Perhaps you’ve been using the hand soap your mom has always used, and although you’re not particularly happy with it, you have little idea where to start with switching.
Unlike the rest of our bodies, our hands typically go through the most washing throughout the day. The average American adult washes their hands an average of 8.6 times per day. It is important to choose a hand soap that is not harsh on the skin or overly dries it out, yet is still effective in washing off the bacteria our hands come into contact with.
Now, almost 50 years after the invention of the first liquid hand soap, we have learned there is much to know about soap and its impact on our bodies. As consumers, we have to consider lather experience, fragrance, how it feels after the wash, effectiveness, cost, ingredients, packaging, environmental impact, sensitivities and allergies, etc.
Also, many people have allergic reactions to certain ingredients like artificial fragrances, dyes, and other synthetic chemicals. In this article we will consider a collection of ten amazing hand soaps and the benefits of using them.
Top 10 Liquid Hand Soaps
Seventh Generation Free & Clean Hand Soap is hypoallergenic and perhaps one of the more affordable “natural” soaps. It is gentle on your hands and designed to clean your hands without drying out your skin since it has no harmful chemicals. The unscented option has no added fragrances, dyes, triclosan, chlorine or phthalates and is USDA Certified Biobased.
It comes in a sleek, sophisticated bottle that makes you feel clean just by looking at it. The gentle plant-based formula in Seventh Generation Natural Hand Wash is made with renewable cleaning ingredients that leave hands clean, soft and refreshed. It is trusted by people living with skin conditions such as eczema and other allergies since it is made with sodium coco-sulfate (a cleaning agent derived from a blend of fatty acids from coconut oil) instead of sodium lauryl sulfate which is known for irritating and drying out the skin, worsening sensitive skin conditions.
Seventh Generation Hand Soap also comes in a variety of fragrances such as Lavender Flower & Mint, Black Currant & Rosewater Scent, and Hibiscus & Cardamom.
Whole Foods shoppers are well familiar with Everyone personal care products. Since 1993, the California-based company was the first body care company to certify that their products are free from genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Everyone Hand Soaps are made to cleanse and moisturize your hands with a formula centered around plant extracts and pure essential oils.
They are free from harsh chemicals and synthetic fragrances and naturally enriched with 100% pure essential oils such as Organic Aloe Vera, Chamomile, White Tea, Calendula, and Vitamin E for skin healing. Essential oils are also beloved for their aromatherapy properties contrary to artificial scents that can be irritating.
There are six incredible scents available: Lavender + Coconut, Apricot + Vanilla, Meyer Lemon, Spearmint + Lemongrass, Ylang Ylang + Cedarwood, and Lime + Strawberry.
The Lavender + Coconut is a customer favorite because of its soothing hand washing experience and the well-known skin healing properties of lavender essential oil. Everyone Hand Soaps are also paraben-free, cruelty-free, gluten-free, GMO-free, synthetic color & dye free, and synthetic fragrance-free.
Mrs. Meyer’s liquid hand soap is a favorite when it comes to natural soaps. It is easily one of the most affordable plant-based options, especially in bulk. Mrs. Meyer’s Hand soap is made with essential oils, aloe vera, olive oil, and other thoughtfully chosen ingredients with no parabens, phthalates, or artificial colors.
Because of its dedication to high-quality ingredients, it is a great choice for sensitive skin and its non-drying properties that is made to clean and soften busy hands. However, Mrs. Meyer’s may not be the best choice for people severe skin conditions because of its inclusion of artificial fragrance and sodium benzoate.
Mrs. Meyers comes in a variety of garden-inspired scents such as its prized lavender or fresh geranium derived from essential oils that provide vitamins and nutrients for your skin.
The EO Botanical Hand Soap is made to give your hands a ritualistic experience of relaxation and revitalization. It is formulated with pure essential oils, hydrating botanical extracts, and gentle cleansers so that your sink becomes a basin of aromatherapy and luxurious suds.
Except for simple Lavender, each soap scent is made to be a unique blend of essential oils to create a specific mood and experience. Peppermint & Tea Tree is a clarifying and inspiring scent, created to lift your mood and get your creativity flowing. Lemon & Eucalyptus is a revitalizing and bright scent, created as a little pick-me-up whenever you need it. Lavender, their signature scent, relaxes you every time you catch a whiff of this skin-healing floral plant.
EO Hand Soaps are GMO-free, gluten free, cruelty free, synthetic fragrance free, dye-free, paraben free, phthalate free, BPA free, packaged in recycled plastic, and made by a certified B Corp. They are also free from phenoxyethanol and sodium laureth sulfate.
Method Gel Hand Soap has recently been awarded one of the top-rated soaps. It is a naturally derived gel hand wash that is paraben free and biodegradable. It comes in a tear-shaped, 100 percent recycled plastic bottle that promises no tears will be shed, especially when it comes to buying their eco-friendly soap.
Their marketing slogan, “Hands So Clean, You Could Eat With Them” also appeals to those of us who refuse to eat pizza with a fork. It has a delightfully fresh scent that makes your hands feel squeaky clean yet still soft. The only downside to this soap is that it is made with sodium lauryl sulfate, synthetic fragrances and synthetic dyes to achieve many of their signature bright colors.
This soap contains does not contain any harmful toxins but does contain some dyes and fragrances. If you have sensitive skin this soap may irritate your hands. It is packaged in completely recycled plastic. Many of the other hand soaps on this list with similar “green” packaging are much more expensive.
Dr. Bronner’s soap-making tradition incorporates a unique blend of organic coconut, olive, and hemp oils for a “creamy, castile lather.”
This particular 4-in-1 body soap combines highest quality ingredients including organic shikakai powder (which is derived from the Acacia concinna tree and has long been used in traditional Indian hair & body care to keep your skin nourished, hydrated & smooth) with pure essential oils and organic sugar for an elegant aroma. It also has a low pH balance which makes it not only a great option for your hands, but it’s mild on the scalp & hair as well.
This updated plant-based formula is great for foaming dispensers and no longer clogs pumps. Dr. Bronner’s Organic Sugar Soaps are made with plant-based ingredients with no synthetic preservatives or detergents.
The hand soap is also packaged in 100% post-consumer recycled plastic bottles which increases demand for recycled plastic. There are also many great options for bar soaps with Dr. Bronner’s as well.
Puracy is a very popular, award-winning plant-based hand soap with over 5 million users. It contains no sulfates (SLS, SLES, SCS), triclosan, petrochemicals, animal by-products, or other harsh chemicals.
It has a thick, honey-like consistency that is designed to not clog your soap dispenser while naturally moisturizing and softening your skin. It was created by doctors with high quality ingredients such as Vitamin E, Sea Salt, and Aloe Vera to naturally hydrate and balance all skin types.
They are very dedicated to selling their hand soaps in refill pouches that use 90% less plastic, water, and energy than the equivalent 12-ounce pump bottles. Puracy Natural Liquid Gel is certified natural, non-toxic, hypoallergenic, vegan, gluten-free, biodegradable, Certified Cruelty-Free: Never Tested on Animals, Made in the USA.
Also, for every purchase, Puracy makes a donation to local children and families that are less fortunate.
With nearly 180 years under its belt, Kirk’s has been around for a while as one of America’s oldest soap makers. It follows the traditional soap formula (known as castile soap) of an all-vegetable-base and free of animal by-products.
Kirk’s hand soap has been known to be a good option for people living in areas with hard water, and its new formula, the odor neutralizing hand wash, uses a unique, natural vegetable fermentation technology to completely eliminate kitchen prep smells, like fish and garlic. It’s also tough on everyday pungent odors, dirt, and grime.
This soap contains premium coconut oil to create a creamy lather and soothing aloe vera to ensure that your hands are left feeling soft, healthy, and free of bad odors.
With the recent introduction of Amazon’s own brand products, Amazon customers can find simplicity and affordability in making their household an Amazon household.
Made with milk and honey extract, Solimo hand soap is Amazon’s most popular liquid hand soap. It has a creamy, soft texture that can be bought in bulk for a really cheap price. It also has a light, sweet scent that foams and cleans your hands similar to a Softsoap experience, but even more affordable.
This soap also contains ingredients that are concerning to people with allergies and skin sensitivities such as artificial dyes, fragrances, sodium laureth sulfate, and sodium benzoate.
Softsoap liquid hand soap is one of the most affordable options on our list. It is a common brand with a gentle cleansing formula that feels silky to the touch as if you are bathing your hands in buttery-softness. The Aloe Vera option contains a subtle fragrance that isn’t overpowering plus your hands get the soothing experience of the plant extract.
However, a downside to Softsoap is that it contains chemicals that can be irritants to some people, such as artificial dyes, fragrance, sodium laureth sulfate (an irritant), and sodium benzoate (a preservative that may increase risk of inflammation, oxidative stress, and allergies). This soap is also very drying after each use.