If you've ever washed your hands at a fancy hotel or restaurant, then you know how a great hand soap can turn a mundane task into a pleasurable experience. The best ones are not only pretty to look at, but also smell amazing and leave your hands oh-so-soft.
And why shouldn't it be the same way at home? After all, we're meant to be washing our hands at least five times per day, for a minimum of 20 seconds per session. Factor in COVID-19, and it should be happening even more often right now.
That's why I've put together this guide, with budget, mid-priced and luxury buys.
Scroll on for the best hand soaps that you'll actually enjoy using—and displaying!
The Best Hand Soaps
Bastide Provence Liquid Hand Wash
Bastide Provence Liquid Hand Wash (my current favourite!) is sulfate-free, 95.6 percent natural, and made using traditional French soap-making techniques. It comes in a dark glass bottle, and there are three scents to choose from: Figue d'Ete (fig), Ambre Soir (amber) and Miel de Lavande (lavender honey).
REN Hand Wash
REN Hand Wash is made with clean and gentle ingredients, just like the brand's body wash (which I also swear by!). Choose from Atlantic Kelp and Magnesium for energizing aromatherapy or Citrus Limonium for a lemony scent. Both are sulfate-free and housed in recyclable plastic.
Aesop Hand Wash
Aesop Hand Wash needs no introduction—its amber glass bottles with minimalistic labels have become a status symbol the world over. Resurrection Aromatique is a citrusy gel formula, while Reverence Aromatique is smokier, and exfoliates using pumice.
Kalastyle Swedish Dream Hand Soap
Kalastyle Swedish Dream Hand Soap brings a beachy scent and aesthetic to your bathroom year-round. There's Sea Salt (with an anchor) and Seaweed (with a seahorse); both are sulfate-free, with no harsh chemicals, and very affordably priced.
Grown Alchemist Hand Wash
Grown Alchemist Hand Wash is a plant-based, sulfate-free liquid in a gender-neutral brown glass bottle. It comes in two scents: Sweet Orange, Cedarwood & Sage is fruity and earthy, and Sandalwood, Ylang Ylang, Natrium-PCA is fruity and spicy.
C.O. Bigelow Hand Wash
C.O. Bigelow Hand Wash gives you a moisturizing cleanse and traditional apothecary-inspired packaging. (Established in 1838, the brand is the oldest pharmacy in America!) There are four scents in this collection: Aqua Mellis (aquatic and fruity), Musk, Bergamot and West Village Rose.
Compagnie de Provence Liquid Marseille Soap
Compagnie de Provence Liquid Marseille Soap is a modern version of the traditional French Marseille soap, and made with a minimum 95 percent natural ingredients. There are more than a dozen scents, including Pink Grapefruit and Mediterranean Sea, all in glass bottles with graphic lettering.
NUORI Enriched Hand Wash
NUORI Enriched Hand Wash hydrates while it cleanses, using 100 percent natural ingredients. Just like the rest of the line, it's crafted in small batches every 10 to 12 weeks to ensure maximum freshness and potency.
Sachajuan Shiny Citrus Hand Wash
Sachajuan Shiny Citrus Hand Wash adds a little Scandinavian flair to your countertop. Best known for haircare, the brand uses the same know-how here to create a hydrating, non-stripping wash. It's scented with citrus and jasmine.
Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Hand Soap
Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Hand Soap gives you a hardworking hand wash and cute retro packaging at an affordable price. Lemon Verbena and Lavender are among the many scents, all of which are derived from essential oils, not synthetics.
Malin+Goetz Hand + Body Wash
Malin+Goetz Hand + Body Wash is a foaming gel formula laced with hydrating glycerin and amino acids. The scents are distinctive—including Eucalyptus, Cannabis and Rum—and the plastic bottle is recyclable.
Dr. Bronner’s 4-in-1 Organic Sugar Soap
Dr. Bronner's 4-in-1 Organic Sugar Soap is a more skin-friendly version of the brand's popular Castile soap. You get the same creamy lather, plus coconut, olive and hemp oils to moisturize, and no sulfates. Choose from Lavender, Peppermint, Lemongrass Lime and Tea Tree and Baby Unscented.
Oribe Côte d’Azure Revitalizing Hand Wash
Oribe Côte d'Azure Revitalizing Hand Wash elevates your hand-washing ritual with luxe gold packaging and the same citrus and jasmine scent found in the brand's haircare products. It also happens to be one of the most hydrating options, producing a rich lather.
Milk + Honey Hand Soap
Milk + Honey Hand Soap is a non-drying, sulfate-free and "hyperclean" blend of organic Castile soap and glycerin. The newest scent, No. 35, features blood orange peel, ginger and lemongrass oils, while No. 09 has lavender and tea tree.
Soapply for Credo Hand Wash
Soapply for Credo Hand Wash is based on a 300-year-old recipe, updated with the highest-quality organic coconut, olive and jojoba oils. It's fragrance-free, suitable for sensitive skin, and comes in glass packaging. Plus, a $1 donation from every purchase goes toward hygiene initiatives in Ethiopia.
NEST Liquid Soap
NEST Liquid Soap is guaranteed to impress your guests with its modern glass packaging and intriguing array of scents. There are 10 in the line to try, with Bamboo and Grapefruit among the most popular.
Everyone Hand Soap
Everyone Hand Soap is a wallet-friendly option that's also free of sulfates and synthetic fragrance. A coconut-based surfactant, along with vitamins E and B5, ensures that it won't dry out your skin. Go for Meyer Lemon + Mandarin, or one of the other six scents.
Byredo Hand Wash
Byredo Hand Wash is the ultimate hand soap splurge—and will look ridiculously chic at your bathroom sink. Inside the Scandi-inspired packaging is a light yet nourishing formula that leaves your hands delicately scented with Suede, Rose, Vetyver or Tulipmania.
Kiehl’s Liquid Hand Soap
Kiehl's Liquid Hand Soap is a cult favourite that removes dirt and oil with non-drying, coconut-based surfactants. People love it for the classic scents—"Coriander" and "Grapefruit"—and the instantly recognizable, apothecary-style packaging (which is recyclable).
Dr Roebuck’s Straya Soothing Hand + Body Wash
Dr Roebuck's Straya Soothing Hand + Body Wash is a sulfate-free liquid soap that soothes hands with aloe vera and green tea extract while it cleanses. The ingredients are among the cleanest around, and the packaging is completely recyclable.
Tangent GC Organic Soap
Tangent GC Organic Soap comes from a Swedish range of eco-friendly garment care and now skincare products. Each gel cleanser is made in France with natural ingredients (and no petrochemicals or preservatives), and then infused with fragrances such as Oud and Yuzu.
Eau d’Italie Liquid Soap
Eau d'Italie Liquid Soap is Italy's version of a mild, non-drying hand cleanser. Created by the luxurious Hotel Le Sirenuse in Positano, it is available in nine scents, including the original Eau d'Italie, the hotel's signature fragrance.
The Handmade Soap Co. Hand Wash
The Handmade Soap Co. Hand Wash hails from Ireland, where it is handmade from mostly natural ingredients and packaged in recycled plastic. Each bottle is adorned with a girly label and infused with one of three essential oil blends: Grapefruit & May Chang, Lemongrass & Cedarwood or Lavender, Rosemary, Thyme & Mint.
Archipelago Botanicals Hand Wash
Archipelago Botanicals Hand Wash gives you a hydrating, botanical-based liquid soap that won't break the bank. Charcoal Rose, Coconut and Milk are just three of the brand's unique and comforting scents.
Detox Mode Impossible Soap
Detox Mode Impossible Soap is from The Detox Market's new in-house skincare line. Naturally, it's made with all-clean ingredients, and lifts your mood with an aromatherapeutic blend of essential oils.
Shop Editor’s Picks
Do you have a favourite hand soap?
Have you tried any of these?