We touch everything with our hands! Keeping them clean at all times is necessary for keeping ourselves and the people around us healthy. However, some people with sensitive skin can react badly to hand soaps with fragrance. Others just don't want our hands to smell. Fortunately, there are lots of fragrance-free hand soap options available on the market.
It can get overwhelming picking the right fragrance-free hand soap, but we've got you covered! We've put together the 10 best fragrance-free hand soaps. Our top pick is Free and Clear's Fragrance-Free Liquid Cleanser. It's a multipurpose hand soap that you can use for the face, body, and hands. Check out what other hand soaps made it to our 10 best. While you're at it, you can also go through our buying guide, reviewed by a board certified dermatologist, to help you decide which one to go for.
Kiss My Face
Nature by Canus
Free & Clear
Ginger Lily Farms Botanicals
Fragrance-Free Hand Soap
Fragrance Free Bio-Based Hand Soap
Fragrance-Free Bar Soap
Hand Soap Refill
Extra Gentle Hand Soap
Original Coco Castile Bar Soap
Green Certified Foam Hand Cleaner
Free and Clean
Formulated With Olive Oil, Aloe and Vitamin E to Keep Hands Moisturized
Bio-Based, Environmentally Friendly Hand Soap
Low-Waste Bar Hand Soap Enriched With Vitamins and Nutrients
Multi-Purpose and Fragrance-Free Hand Soap
PETA-Certified, Fragrance-Free Soap in Bulk
Safe and Green Hand Soap That Will Effectively Cleanse Your Hands
Fragrance-Free Hand Soap With Oatmeal for Sensitive Skin
Bar Soap Formulated With Simple Ingredients
Foam Hand Soap That Will Gently Cleanse Your Hands
Hand Soap With a Plant-Based Formula
|Amount||9 oz.||12 oz.||5 oz.||8 oz.||128 oz.||12 oz.||16 oz.||4 oz.||7.5 oz.||12 oz.|
|Main ingredients||Olive oil, aloe, vitamin E||Glycerin, citric acid, aloe||Goat milk, palm oil, glycerin||Glycerin||Glycerin, aloe||Aloe, glycerin, vitamin E||Glycerin, oats||Coconut oil||Sodium laureth sulfate, cocamidopropyl betaine||Glycerin, aloe|
|Highlights||Vegan, paraben-free, gluten-free||Certified bio-based product||Paraben-free||Gluten-free, paraben-free, sulfate-free||Vegan, cruelty-free, paraben-free, sulfate-free||Sulfate-free, paraben-free, cruelty-free, hypoallergenic||ECOLOGO-certified, EWG-certified, vegan, paraben-free, sulfate-free||Paraben-free, gluten-free, cruelty-free||Certified bio-based product||Certified bio based, hypoallergenic|
Here's our look at our 10 best fragrance-free hand soaps. We made our choices based on the points listed in the buying guide below, as well as reviewer comments when available.
*Please note that these products were chosen after extensive research by mybest writers. The choices are not necessarily affiliated with or recommended by Dr. Lauren Levy unless explicitly stated so.
|Main ingredients||Olive oil, aloe, vitamin E|
|Highlights||Vegan, paraben-free, gluten-free|
|Main ingredients||Glycerin, citric acid, aloe|
|Highlights||Certified bio-based product|
|Main ingredients||Goat milk, palm oil, glycerin|
|Highlights||Gluten-free, paraben-free, sulfate-free|
|Main ingredients||Glycerin, aloe|
|Highlights||Vegan, cruelty-free, paraben-free, sulfate-free|
|Main ingredients||Aloe, glycerin, vitamin E|
|Highlights||Sulfate-free, paraben-free, cruelty-free, hypoallergenic|
|Main ingredients||Glycerin, oats|
|Highlights||ECOLOGO-certified, EWG-certified, vegan, paraben-free, sulfate-free|
|Main ingredients||Coconut oil|
|Highlights||Paraben-free, gluten-free, cruelty-free|
|Main ingredients||Sodium laureth sulfate, cocamidopropyl betaine|
|Highlights||Certified bio-based product|
|Main ingredients||Glycerin, aloe|
|Highlights||Certified bio based, hypoallergenic|
|Main ingredients||Glycerin, sodium lauroamphoacetate, sodium lauroyl sarcosinate|
|Highlights||Free of dyes, fragrances, sulfates, lanolin, parabens, and more|
Vanicream products are my go-to recommendation for those with sensitive skin, eczema, or contact dermatitis. This soap is effective at cleaning but won’t cause further damage to the skin.
There are so many fragrance-free hand soaps available. How do you go about choosing one? Here are the things you should keep in mind.
Do you ever wonder if there is a difference between fragrance-free and unscented products? As a consumer, it is essential to understand the difference between these two words.
When a product is advertised as unscented, this means that the product does not have a noticeable smell. However, it does not mean that the product does not contain any fragrance chemicals. The product can have chemicals that counteract other components' smells.
On the other hand, fragrance-free products do not use any fragrance components or ones that mask the scent in the product. But it is possible for a product marketed as fragrance-free to have a scent. If the hand soap is formulated with an ingredient with a natural smell, then it can still be fragrance-free.
Washing our hands is important, but it is just as important to know what ingredients are in these fragrance-free hand soaps!
Our hands get in contact with so many things throughout the day that contain bacteria that might spread everywhere else and get us sick. Many hand soaps are marketed as antibacterial and contain chemicals like benzalkonium chloride, benzathine chloride, and chloroxylenol. These ingredients are effective but can be harsh on the skin.
However, according to the FDA, there is no proof that these work better than ordinary hand soaps. They confirmed that regular hand soaps remove bacteria just as well! Regular hand soap is just as efficient because these soaps are formulated with surfactants. Surfactants help in removing bacteria, germs, and dirt from the hands.
Many people notice that the soaps labeled as antibacterial really damage the hands. These are because the agents that are used to make the soap antibacterial damage the skin barrier and dehydrate the skin.
Just lathering up your hands with regular soap and water is actually an effective way to kill many bacteria, viruses, and fungi. The lather from the soap is created by surfactants, which also have an antibacterial effect.
As mentioned above, hand soaps with antibacterial ingredients can be a bit too harsh on the skin. Fortunately, there are hand soaps available that are made with natural cleansing ingredients. These hand soaps are both gentle and effective.
The words "organic" and "natural" on products can sometimes be misleading. Make sure to double-check the ingredients! Some natural antibacterial ingredients you might want to look out for are essential oils such as thyme and oregano, which are known for their antimicrobial properties.
Natural hand soaps are commonly formulated with ingredients such as oils, nut butters, water, and lye (sodium hydroxide, or potassium hydroxide.) Natural hand soaps are good for keeping the hands clean and the skin nourished at the same time.
Tea tree is an all-natural antibacterial and antifungal ingredient. I highly recommend avoiding tea tree oil or other essential oils if you have eczema, though, since they can exacerbate this condition. Additionally, essential oils are a very common cause of contact dermatitis, and using them in soap can make you prone to contact dermatitis of the hands, which can be difficult to treat.
When looking for the best fragrance-free hand soap for you, you should also look out for harmful ingredients. Regularly washing the hands is essential, but it is also necessary to keep your hands healthy and nourished. Here are some elements that you should avoid when deciding on which hand soap to go for.
Some hand soaps might have harmful surfactants such as SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES). These surfactants can strip the skin of its natural oils and have other possibly adverse health effects.
Preservatives such as parabens are other ingredients you may want to avoid, with names like methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, and butylparaben. Also watch out for antimicrobial ingredients that might cause health concerns, like triclosan (which has been banned from most but not all soap products). Triclosan can weaken the immune system and disrupt hormone levels.
Handwashing can dry out the hands leaving them tight and itchy. Fortunately, there are hand soaps on the market that can help with this problem.
Look for moisturizing ingredients like glycerin, aloe vera, shea or cocoa butter, vegetable oils, milk, coconut oil, and vitamin E. These natural choices will give your hands a little bit more loving and effectively clean your hands while keeping them moisturized.
Ceramides are found in your skin barrier and help keep your skin hydrated. Look for washes with added ceramides if you wash your hands frequently. Over-washing can thin out and damage the skin barrier, which leads to dry and eczema-prone skin. Ceramides in your products can help repair the skin barrier even in those who wash often.
Fragrance-free hand soaps come in various kinds. Know what will work best for you and your preferences!
Bar soaps are cost-effective because it is hard to use too much of it; a little goes a long way. Not only that, but the lather residue can dry back onto the soap. This means that there is less soap wasted. Plus, bar soaps are environmentally friendly because they use less plastic for packaging.
However, it’s essential to keep in mind that going for bar hand soaps can also have disadvantages. One of them is that when bar soaps sit on a wet surface, they can collect more germs and bacteria. Bar soaps tend to get mushy when exposed to water. For these reasons, make sure to store bar soap on a dish that will allow air circulation.
I do not recommend using bar soap for hand washes. There are too many bacteria on the hands that get transferred to the bar, which can often sit for months before being completely used or thrown out. Bar soaps may be less drying than liquid or foaming soaps, but I do not find them as effective. My recommendation is to avoid bar soaps as hand washes in public places.
Liquid hand soaps can easily be stored and put on top of sinks in the kitchen, the laundry room, and the bathroom. They are very convenient. They also tend to have a lower pH, which is better for gently cleansing the hands. These are even more suited for people with more sensitive skin.
However, unlike bar soaps, they are less friendly to the environment because they usually come in plastic packaging. It is also easier to waste a lot of product by pumping out more than you need.
Studies suggest that foam soaps might not be as effective and efficient as liquid hand soaps. This is because the soap comes out of the pump as thin foam, whereas with liquid hand soaps, it comes out dense, rich and creamy. This allows for liquid hand soap to cover more area with enough lather.
On the bright side, industry studies show that washing with foam hand soaps uses about 16 to 45 percent less water compared to liquid hand soaps. This is because foam hand soaps have sufficient lather even without adding water to create a lather before rinsing.
Another advantage of using foam hand soaps is that one can get more washes per bottle, reducing waste and adverse impacts on the environment. Plus, foam hand soaps can be fun to use! Consider both the pros and cons when choosing which hand soap you should go for.
Foaming washes tend to be very drying. I would stay away from foaming soaps if you have eczema or prone to dry skin or need to wash your hands frequently. Stick to a liquid cleanser, which although still can be drying, causes less of an issue than foaming soaps.
In addition to reviewing and commenting on our buying guide, Dr. Levy also took the time to answer some commonly asked questions about hand soaps.
Dr. Levy advises, "If you have eczema, use a soap that is fragrance free. Many of the traditional antibacterial soaps are very harsh and drying and have lots of preservatives. For severe eczema, I recommend carrying around your gentle cleanser (like Cetaphil, Eucerin, or Vanicream) and using that as your hand soap. Even though these are made for the face or body, they can definitely be used as hand soap.
Dove Deep Cleansing Hand Wash Sensitive Skin is also gentle, free of preservatives, and made specifically as a hand soap. If you do not have gentle products available and must use a harsher hand soap, then just be sure to moisturize and hydrate your hands after washing since use of soap or alcohol-based sanitizers can strip the skin of moisture."
"Since the skin on the hands is thick and tougher, hand soaps tend to be not as gentle as body or facial washes," Dr. Levy says. "I would not recommend using a hand soap as a facial wash; however, you could get away with using a hand soap in the shower in a pinch.
Hand soaps will dry out your skin more and often leave a film if not rinsed off well, so make sure to rinse it off and moisturize after use on the body. I do not recommend using a hand soap as a body wash daily, but it’s definitely fine for occasional use."
"Most hand soap is antibacterial," Dr. Levy explains. "It will be labeled as such. The antibacterial agents are what make many hand soaps harsh on the skin. However, if you choose to not use an antibacterial soap to wash your hands, do not be alarmed. The lather from the soap and bubbles can kill a lot of bacteria, viruses, and fungi."
Some people just have more sensitive skin than others, and that's okay! Fortunately there are lots of fragrance-free products available on the market that cater to sensitive skin. Here are some suggestions for you!
This expert reviewed the contents of the buying guide for accuracy and provided factual corrections when necessary, as well as extra tips and advice. They did not participate in the product selection process, nor are they affiliated with any of our choices unless explicitly stated so.
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