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While hand sanitizer might be the easiest way to wash your hands on the go, you can’t beat the classic soap and warm water combo when it comes to getting a thorough clean.
“The humble act of washing with soap and water, followed by drying with a clean towel is the gold standard … handwashing with soap employs mechanical action that loosens bacteria and viruses from the skin, rinsing them into the drain,” Elizabeth Scott, an expert in hygiene and professor at Simmons University recently told Business Insider.
Now more than ever, the importance of washing our hands frequently should be a crucial part of our everyday lives. Germs can be transferred from the objects we touch and the food we eat, ultimately causing illnesses and spreading infections. In some cases, the germs can multiply if we don’t keep our hands clean.
However, with so many leading soap brands on the market and newcomers dominating the space, it’s hard to know which ones really get the job done. From natural options that are sans-free of parabens to luxe brands that also make for great decor, think of this as your ultimate guide to hand soap. Below, we’ve rounded up our favorite ones you should consider keeping sink-side all season long.
Shop: Puracy Natural Foaming Hand Soap, $5.09
This eco-friendly formula is made from plants, minerals and water. Perhaps one of the most impressive benefits of Puracy is that its biodegradable soap cleans more than 600 hands per bottle. According to the experts at Don’t Waste Your Money, “they were impressed with the cleaning power of this hand soap and liked the thick consistency as well as the foaminess of the soap. It’s hypoallergenic too, so testers said they weren’t worried about getting a rash or irritation from the soap. They actually found that it worked well with all types of skin.”
Shop: Eczema Honey Gentle Foaming Hand Soap, $8.95
Perfect for sensitive skin, this hand soap by Eczema Honey is formulated with essential oils including, Vitamin E, coconut Oil, Palm Oil, Hemp Oil, and Olive Oil mixed with aloe vera. One reviewer share that the soap is “very gentle soap that doesn’t make my hands itchy or dry.”
Shop: Method Foaming Sea Mineral Hand Soap at Target, $2.99
All of Method’s products are completely clean from those hard-to-pronounce, harmful ingredients. The best part? The plastic bottle is 100 percent recyclable. If you prefer a foaming soap for that extra squeaky clean lather, this top-rated one is for you.
Shop: Burt’s Bees Soothing Aloe & Cotton Bar Soap, $3.99
Burt’s Bee’s aloe bar soap works to gently cleanse your face and body, leaving skin clean and refreshed. It’s ingredients are totally Sulfate-free, paraben-free and phthalate-free.
Shop: TOCCA Beauty Bora Bora Hand Wash, $20
“Tocca’s hand soaps have a gentle formula that will keep your hands feeling soft and smelling good, while washing away germs. They’re also free from parabens and phthalates,” Tocca’s VP of Marketing, Patty Amarose, told In The Know.
Shop: Aēsop Resurrection Aromatique Hand Wash, $39
With nearly 400 reviews on Nordstrom, Aēsop’s bestselling hand wash is formulated with botanical and scientifically validated man-made ingredients. “This is a best hand wash I have ever bought. It smells gorgeous it moisturizes and cleans hands to perfection,” one shopper wrote.
Shop: Nest ‘Bamboo’ Liquid Soap, $22
This fresh and full-bodied soap is made from plant extracts and antioxidants.
This luxe hand wash features scented notes of sea salt, ambrette seeds and sage. Not only is it deliciously scented, but it also leaves a clean and refreshing finish.
Shop: Dove Coconut & Almond Foaming Hand Wash Soap at Target, $2.99
If you’re on the hunt for a budget-friendly hand soap, Dove will always stand the test of time. The ultra-gentle formula works to effectively wash away bacteria while nourishing your skin. Plus, this Coconut and Almond milk one is free of sulfates — a win-win.
Shop: Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Liquid Hand Soap at Amazon, $18.99 (Pack of 3)
Mrs. Myer’s cleaning products have quickly dominated the household market. Made from plant-derived ingredients. “Testing recipes all day long requires a lot of hand washing, so we are hand soap experts as well as recipe testing and developing experts,” Stacy Fraser, the test kitchen manager at EatingWell magazine, told The Washington Post about the brand. “To keep our hands from becoming overly dry and irritated, we like to use mild, natural soaps with botanically derived light fragrances.”
Shop: Dial Deep Clensing Liquid Hand Soap at Amazon, $29.99 (Pack of 8)
A classic in homes all over the world, Dial soap is perhaps one of the most recognizable hand soap brands –– and for good reason! We like this particular one because it includes micro-beads that work for a more intense deep-cleaning, while remaining gentle.
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