The 10 Best Moisturizing Hand Soaps to Hydrate Dry, Cracked Skin

 We like Pipette’s Hand Wash because it’s a gentle formula that smells great and helps retain moisture.

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Best Moisturizing Hand Soaps
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Without a moisturizing hand soap, washing your hands can leave your skin feeling uncomfortably dry. That's why it's important to choose a hand soap that contains hydrating ingredients that nourish your skin.

To determine which hand soaps are the most moisturizing, we looked at dozens of formulas and narrowed down the options based on type, ingredients, scent, and more. We also spoke with Angela Lamb, MD, director of the Westside Mount Sinai Dermatology Faculty Practice, for expert tips on how to keep your hands feeling soft and supple.

For starters, she emphasizes the importance of using mild soaps and keeping the water lukewarm—as opposed to scalding hot—when you're washing your hands. "You want to avoid products with fragrances or dyes," says Dr. Lamb. "Additionally, make sure to avoid ingredients like alcohol, parabens, formaldehyde, or butylated hydroxyanisole and butylated hydroxytoluene."

Our top pick, the Pipette Hand Wash, moisturizes dry, cracked hands thanks to ingredients like squalane, aloe, and plant-derived glycerin.

Here are the best moisturizing hand soaps.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall Moisturizing Hand Soap: Pipette Hand Wash

Best Moisturizing Hand Soaps
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Who it's for: People who want a moisturizing hand soap that smells great and is gentle on the skin.

Who it isn't for: People who are looking for an unscented option.

You might think that Pipette's offerings consist only of baby products, but the brand actually makes gentle skincare products for adults and people of all ages. This hand soap is non-toxic and hypoallergenic, and its formula contains squalane (derived from natural sugar cane), which helps the skin retain moisture and protects it from environmental pollutants. It's an incredible ingredient for the skin, especially since your body produces less of it as you age.

This moisturizing hand soap also contains soothing aloe and plant-derived glycerin, which holds in the moisture provided by water and the hand soap's formula itself. We also like that it smells amazing thanks to notes of bergamot and lemon, both of which are naturally derived and non-irritating. Since the formula is free of sulfates and contains completely natural ingredients, this is also a great option for those with sensitive skin.

Product Details:

  • Key Ingredients: Squalane, aloe, and plant-derived glycerin
  • Size: 9.4 ounces
  • Scent: Bergamot and lemon

Best Budget Moisturizing Hand Soap: Softsoap Moisturizing Liquid Hand Soap in Milk and Golden Honey

Best Moisturizing Hand Soaps
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Also available at Walmart and Target.

Who it's for: People looking to stock up on moisturizing hand soap without spending a ton.

Who it isn't for: Households with anyone who is allergic to milk.

The most budget-friendly option we've seen is the Softsoap Moisturizing Liquid Hand Soap in Milk and Golden Honey. Its formula relies on honey, a powerhouse ingredient for quite a few reasons. For starters, it has natural antibacterial properties. It's also a humectant, which means it helps the skin retain moisture.

In addition to honey, this hand soap also uses milk proteins for additional moisture, which can help improve the appearance of dark spots due to the lactic acid it contains. The soap's texture is super creamy and easy to work into a lush lather. It leaves behind a faint scent of honey that isn't powerful or overwhelming. Even though it comes as a set of six, this hand soap comes out to less than $2 per bottle—making it the most affordable option on our list.

Product Details:

  • Key Ingredients: Milk proteins and honey
  • Size: 7.5 ounces per bottle
  • Scent: Honey

Best Splurge Moisturizing Hand Soap: Aesop Reverence Aromatique Hand Wash

Best Moisturizing Hand Soaps
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Also available at Aesop and Nordstrom.

Who it's for: People are looking for an amazing scent and exfoliating properties in a hand soap.

Who it isn't for: People who go through hand soap quickly and need a more affordable option.

If price isn't a major factor in your decision, the Aesop Reverence Aromatique Hand Wash is worth checking out. One standout aspect of this high-end hand soap is that it contains super-finely milled pumice for gentle exfoliation. Don't worry: These tiny pumice stones won't leave your hands exfoliated to the point of dryness, but will instead slough away dead skin so that oils and nourishing ingredients can deeply penetrate the skin. This soap is also packed with orange, grapefruit, and bergamot oils that leave your skin feeling soft and moisturized.

While this is obviously an expensive product, another great aspect is that it smells like a luxurious perfume. Its decadent fragrance has top notes of citrus, cedar, and rosemary, which create a scent that is fresh, woody, and herbaceous. It works into a luscious lather and leaves behind a lovely scent that makes washing your hands feel like an experience at a spa. Even if you don't want to spend this much on a regular hand soap to use around the house, consider busting it out for special occasions or giving it as a housewarming or hostess gift.

Product Details:

  • Key Ingredients: Pumice and orange, grapefruit, and bergamot oils
  • Size: 16.9 ounces
  • Scent: Woody

RELATED: This Retinol Hand Cream Is Leaving Shoppers of All Ages With 'Younger-Looking Hands'

Best Foaming Moisturizing Hand Soap: Dove Foaming Aloe and Eucalyptus Hand Wash

Best Moisturizing Hand Soaps
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Also available at Walmart.

Who it's for: People who want a bottle of moisturizing soap that will last a while.

Who it isn't for: People who want a hand soap with exfoliating properties.

Foaming hand washes are great if you're looking for something that will feel substantial in your hands and go a long way. This particular formula from Dove contains its proprietary 5X Moisturizer Blend, which is a mix of five different types of skin nutrients and moisturizers. While the brand doesn't share exactly what that blend consists of, the ingredients list notes that the formula contains glycerin and cocamidopropyl betaine. Glycerin works to hold in moisture, while cocamidopropyl betaine helps create a rich lather that pulls impurities away from the skin.

In addition to this refreshing aloe and eucalyptus scent (which is reminiscent of a spa), Dove's foaming hand soap also comes in a few other options, including Coconut and Almond Milk, Lavender and Yogurt, and Warm Vanilla and Sugar Cane.

Product Details:

  • Key Ingredients: Glycerin and aloe
  • Size: 10.1 ounces
  • Scent: Aloe and eucalyptus

Best Liquid Moisturizing Hand Soap: L'Occitane Shea Hands and Body Ultra-Rich Wash

Best Moisturizing Hand Soaps
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Also available at L'Occitane.

Who it's for: People with severely dry hands who want a super moisturizing liquid hand soap.

Who it isn't for: People who want multiple scents to choose from.

The L'Occitane Shea Hands and Body Ultra-Rich Wash is a super moisturizing soap that's ideal for people with extremely dry hands. It contains five percent shea butter, a powerful emollient that works to soothe irritation and swelling while leaving the skin feeling moisturized. The made-in-France hand soap can also be used as a body wash, so you can moisturize all over.

Even though this is a liquid formula, it lathers well and turns into a creamy foam. This is great for gently stripping away germs so that your hands are left feeling truly clean but not dry. It leaves behind a slight shea butter scent that's refreshing, but not too overwhelming for those who are sensitive to stronger scents.

Product Details:

  • Key Ingredients: Shea butter
  • Size: 10.1 ounces
  • Scent: Shea

Best Natural Moisturizing Hand Soap: Everyone Lavender and Coconut Hand Soap

Best Moisturizing Hand Soaps
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Also available at Target.

Who it's for: People looking for a hand soap that's moisturizing and free of common irritants.

Who it isn't for: People who want to avoid strong scents, even if they're naturally derived.

Looking for a natural hand soap that's still moisturizing? We like Everyone's Lavender and Coconut Hand Soap, which is packed with natural, plant-based ingredients and free of common irritants such as dyes, synthetic fragrances, parabens, phthalates, and gluten. Instead, this hand soap calls on ingredients like aloe vera, calendula, chamomile, and white tea—all of which help to add moisture back into dry skin. It's also EWG Verified, which means it meets strict standards for health and safety.

To make it even better, this hydrating formula also includes vitamins E and B5. Vitamin E helps ease signs of inflammation, while vitamin B (sometimes listed as panthenol), attracts and locks in moisture—it even fills in the gaps between dead skin cells so that the skin is left feeling much smoother over time. It also has a lovely scent of lavender and coconut, which is fresh and strong enough to detect.

Product Details:

  • Key Ingredients: Aloe vera, calendula, and chamomile
  • Size: 12.75 ounces per bottle
  • Scent: Lavender and coconut

RELATED: ​​The 8 Best Shower Caddies to Organize Your Toiletries

Best Moisturizing Hand Soap Bar: Zents Sun Soap

Best Moisturizing Hand Soaps
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Who it's for: This soap is great for those that love great ingredients that last forever.

Who it isn't for: People who need a mess-free formula that requires little upkeep.

Bar soap might not be the first thing you think of when looking for moisturizing hand soaps, however, the Zents Sun Soap might make you reconsider. This creamy formula is packed with glycerin and various moisturizing ingredients that work wonders on dry hands. Shea butter and coconut oil act as natural emollients that also work to improve the skin's elasticity, while neem oil removes grime without stripping the skin of its natural moisture.

Since all of these ingredients are packaged in a bar soap form, it easily melts into the skin and works into a lather that feels rich and substantial. The bar soap is available in multiple scents, but we're partial to the Sun scent. With notes of vanilla, sandalwood, and amber, it has a comforting woody scent that lingers on the skin long after the suds have been rinsed away. Perhaps one of the best aspects of bar soaps is that they last much longer than traditional liquid or gel formulas, however, they can get messy on countertops without a soap dish.

Product Details:

  • Key Ingredients: Neem oil, shea butter, and coconut oil
  • Size: 5.7 ounces
  • Scent: 10 options available

Best Moisturizing Hand Soap for Sensitive Skin: Attitude Sensitive Skin Natural Hand Soap

Best Moisturizing Hand Soaps
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Who it's for: People looking for a gentle option for sensitive or irritated skin.

Who it isn't for: People who want a thick soap that lathers well.

People with sensitive skin usually have to steer clear of many common ingredients found in skincare products. This extra gentle formula from Attitude checks all the boxes: It's hypoallergenic, vegan, and EWG Verified. Its formula is also free of all ingredients known to irritate the skin, including synthetic fragrances and dyes, and it contains chamomile and oatmeal—both of which are known for their calming capabilities. Chamomile is also rich in flavonoids, which help repair damage and build the skin up so that it is protected from future damage.

While this moisturizing hand soap doesn't have any synthetic fragrances, it does have a faint scent of chamomile since that is a key ingredient. That said, it's very soft and doesn't linger long on the skin once the soap has been washed away. Since many foaming agents are made up of chemical ingredients that can be irritating, it's worth noting that this soap doesn't feel thick or lather very well.

Product Details:

  • Key Ingredients: Chamomile and oatmeal
  • Size: 16 ounces
  • Scent: Chamomile

Best Unscented Moisturizing Hand Soap: O'Keeffe's Working Hands Hand Soap

Best Moisturizing Hand Soaps
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Also available at Walmart.

Who it's for: People who want to avoid scented products.

Who it isn't for: People who prefer products with all-natural ingredients.

Specially designed for people who need to wash their hands frequently, O'Keeffe's Working Hands Hand Soap is an unscented formula with ingredients that are gentle, moisturizing, and non-irritating. To make sure that the soap pulls all dirt, oils, and impurities away from the skin, it contains cocamidopropyl betaine, which is a derivative of coconut oil that also acts as a moisturizer.

The hand soap also includes glycerin, which is a strong humectant that ensures the added moisture stays put. Another hydrating ingredient in this formula is sweet almond oil, which leaves the skin feeling moisturized without any fragrance.

Product Details:

  • Key Ingredients: Cocamidopropyl betaine and glycerin
  • Size: 12 ounces per bottle
  • Scent: Unscented

Best Scented Moisturizing Hand Soap: Soapbox Liquid Hand Soap

Best Moisturizing Hand Soaps
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Also available at Target.

Who it's for: People who want a moisturizing hand soap that comes in multiple scents.

Who it isn't for: People who are only looking to purchase a single bottle of soap at a time.

Soapbox's Liquid Hand Soap comes in seven sophisticated scents, making it a great choice for people who want something a bit out of the ordinary. Some of the available fragrances that are especially intriguing include Meyer Lemon and Tea Leaves, Citrus and Peach Rose, and Pomegranate and Plum.

This hand soap is actually good for your skin, too: It's completely vegan and enriched with shea butter and aloe vera so that your hands are left feeling moisturized and soothed. The Coconut Milk and Sandalwood scent in particular contains coconut oil, a natural fatty acid that is a skin-enriching ingredient thanks to its contents of vitamins E and K. It works into a rich, creamy lather that is super satisfying and works to gently pull away dirt and grime so that your hands are left feeling refreshed.

Product Details:

  • Key Ingredients: Shea butter and aloe
  • Size: 12 fluid ounces per bottle
  • Scent: Coconut and sandalwood

RELATED: My Mom Has Been Obsessed With These Scented Hand Soaps for Over 10 Years—and Now I am, Too

Final Verdict

Our best overall pick for moisturizing hand soaps is Pipette's Hand Wash. This hypoallergenic formula is gentle on the skin and extremely hydrating thanks to ingredients like squalane, aloe, and plant-derived glycerin. People who need to stock up on hand soap (like for guest bathrooms) should consider the Softsoap Moisturizing Liquid Hand Soap in Milk and Golden Honey. This budget-friendly pick relies on milk proteins and honey to add moisture to your skin and help retain it.

How to Shop for Moisturizing Hand Soaps

Ingredients

When looking for non-drying hand soaps, it's important to consider what the formula consists of. Make sure you're looking for ingredients like shea butter, oil, and honey—all of which add moisture to the skin. From there, make sure that the hand soap has humectants (which draw in moisture) and emollients (which soften and hydrate skin). Other ingredients to keep an eye out for are hyaluronic acid and aloe.

Type

Hand soaps come in multiple forms, including foam, gel, and cream. There are even moisturizing bar soaps on the market. But it depends on your preferences—some people prefer foaming hand soaps because they last longer, while others prefer the consistency of cream soaps.

Scent

If you're opting for scented hand soap, make sure you look for fragrances that are derived from natural ingredients like fruit and nut oils or floral essences. They're less drying than synthetic fragrance oils and can help nourish your skin. Prefer to avoid scented products altogether? Opt for a fragrance-free hand soap, like O'Keeffe's Working Hands Hand Soap.

Questions You Might Ask

What's the best way to wash your hands?

This became a commonly asked question during the pandemic, and it's still important to make sure that you aren't cutting any corners. Dr. Lamb explains that the best way to wash your hands is by wetting them before applying soap.

"Next, lather the soap making sure to scrub your hands all over including the backs, between your fingers, and under your nails," says Dr. Lamb. "Scrub for at least 20 seconds, then rinse under the running water again and dry."

Are moisturizing hand soaps antibacterial?

It's probably not that important to look for antibacterial hand soaps, especially if your primary concern is adding moisture.

"Studies have not found any added health benefits from using soaps containing antibacterial ingredients when compared with plain soap," Brian Katzowitz, MS, a health communication specialist from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)'s division of foodborne, waterborne, and environmental diseases, previously told us. "Both are equally effective in getting rid of germs."

What are some tips for keeping your hands moisturized?

While you may think of hand washing as a necessary chore that can dry out your skin, it can actually be an opportunity to add and lock in moisture—especially if you're using the right soap.

"To keep your hands moisturized, one great tip is to immediately apply a cream or ointment to the hands after washing," says Dr. Lamb. "These seal in the moisture!"

Take Our Word for It

This article was written by Brittany Loggins, a contributing writer for Real Simple who specializes in lifestyle and beauty content. To come up with this list, she thoroughly researched hand soaps and moisturizing ingredients. From there, she narrowed down the options based on factors like scent, formula, and ingredients. For expert tips, Brittany spoke to Angela Lamb, MD, director of the Westside Mount Sinai Dermatology Faculty Practice.

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