To help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to protect yourself, keeping hand soaps handy is at the top of the priority list. This means sudsing up after you get home, when you receive a package or touch the elevator buttons—and for a full 20 seconds each time to boot (the time it takes to sing happy birthday twice). Any less, and the soap does not have enough time to stick to—and thus lift off—all those disease-causing germs. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends lathering up between your fingers, under your nails and up to your elbows for best results. So when washing your hands can actually save your life, any soap that cleanses is a great soap.
Still, the process can feel like a chore when you have to do it multiple times, so a formula that feels like a chic skincare pick can be a great mood-booster. Scroll through to find hand washes that’ll moisturise, soften, scent and keep your digits safe through the pandemic—and way after.
L’Occitane Lavender Cleansing Hand Wash
The creamy, gentle lather is the non-drying kind, so it won’t disturb the skin’s natural pH balance as it nixes surface germs and grime. Your hands will be soft and comfortable-feeling after, and the relaxing lavender aroma stays put until your next wash.
Cowshed Refresh Hand Wash
If you’ve loved this scent in hotel and restaurant bathrooms, you’ll love it more when you have to use it multiple times a day. It is infused with grapefruit, bitter orange and lavender essential oils that help cut through grime, and leave the hands lightly scented after. The hero ingredient is Vitamin E, which leaves dry hands feeling ultra-moisturised.
Jo Malone London Lime Basil & Mandarin Hand Soap
On exposure to water, this crystal-clear gel transforms into a rich lather that smells like peppery basil and refreshing lime and mandarin. It is as effective at soothing the mind as it is as clearing away dirt, so washing up can serve as self-care too.
Aesop Reverence Aromatique hand wash
This soap pulls double duty as a moisturiser and an exfoliator, thanks to the citrusy essentials oils that promise the former, and ultra-fine pumice pieces that aid in gently sloughing off any dead skin cells or flakes.
Molton Brown Rhubarb & Rose Fine Liquid Hand Wash
This deliciously-scented hand wash opens up with tart rhubarb and lemongrass, and ends with base notes of rose and vanilla, all of which amounts to a sweet-smelling hand wash experience. Fun fact: these bottles are the ones stocked at the bathrooms in Buckingham Palace since the ’70s. If it’s good for the Queen, it’s good for us.
Byredo Rose Hand Wash
This velvety cleanser feels more like a hand cream than a hand wash, so all areas of dry or damaged skin feel reinvigorated on first use. The aroma is the real winner here—you’ll find raspberry, rose petals and wild musk that’ll transport you far away from the four walls of your bathroom for the 30 seconds you’re in there.
Forest Essentials Deeply Nourishing Hand Wash Mandarin & Neem
Constant hand washing can can disrupt the skin’s pH level and cause extreme dryness, which can even lead to eczema and other inflammatory conditions if left unchecked. To remedy, this formula is infused with emollient honey (which is said to have antimicrobial properties too), mandarin, which is an antioxidant, antibacterial and purifying neem, as well as reetha, which mildly lathers while it balances excess oil.
Dior Ispahan Rose Liquid Hand Soap
The sillage (or the duration for which you can smell a scent after use) of this hand soap proves that it can truly be an addition to your fragrance routine. The perfume you’re left with post wash is of fresh rose that smells floral and woodsy, and not cloying in the least. Plus, the ultra-chic packaging will make going back to the sink for the seventh time in the day that much more bearable.