By Kristin Limoges

Published on October 13, 2018

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Courtesy of Bastide

Did you know that you touch your face around 200 times a day? Maybe even more. Now think back to what your hands touched today—Subway poles, stairway handrails, ATM screens, cash money, maybe even elevator buttons. You just might have imbued your face—and then your body—with germs and potentially the flu virus.

One of the best defenses against the flu is good old fashion hand washing. Yep, taking it back to the basics here, folks. The CDC says hand washing is one of the six simple things you can do to prevent the flu. For the record, an effective hand washing session should take 30 seconds; which sounds like a long time, but it includes washing for 20 seconds, and then rinsing for an additional 10.

A gorgeous hand soap might soften the (super minor) time suck, making it a bit more of a luxurious process. To help elevate the most basic of activities, we’ve compiled a selection of our favorite liquid soaps worthy of your bathroom vanity—especially handy come this fall flu season. (Coincidentally, October 15 is National Handwashing Day, so pour out some liquid soap in celebration.)

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Courtesy of Bastide

Bastide Figue d’Ete Artisanal Liquid Hand Soap, $35

Not all hand soaps are created equal, as proven by this fig-scented, Provence olive oil-based soap from Bastide. This is so special that it is handmade in the traditional, French saponification practice—we forget soap making was once an art form!—and the glass bottle is also made by a French glassblowing expert. Plus, Bastide happens to have a very strict ingredient list, restricting parabens, sulfates, mineral oil, and many, many other potential irritants.

 

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Courtesy of Aesop

Aesop Resurrection Aromatique Hand Wash, $39

For the aesthetic-driven human in your life (this may be you), there is no chicer option than this iconic Aesop soap. It’s exceptionally popular for a reason—the woodsy, citrus scent is created by a natural blend of orange, rosemary, and lavender, and it’s hypnotically wonderful. The blend is so powerful it’ll really last on hands long after you’re done washing.

 

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Courtesy of Byredo

Byredo Vetyver Hand Soap, $65

Honestly, if it’s Byredo, it’s already a magical blend of scents. This potent Vetyver scent is no exception. The bottle may be a bit more of an investment, price-wise, but the soap is very viscous, meaning a little will go a very long way. I’ve had this bottle last me a year+, with about 3-4 washes a day.

 

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Courtesy of Seed Phytonutrients

Seed Phytonutrients Exfoliating Hand Wash, $20

If you want your hand soap to work harder, this is your bottle. In addition to cleansing, it also exfoliates with apricot seeds; plus, it’s a low-foam soap (and sulphate-free!) so you can wash throughout the day without drying out your hands. Best of all, every ingredient comes from independent American organic farmers, with the mission of preventing over-commercialization. As for the rather unique packaging, it’s recycled and recyclable, and the first of its kind, using revolutionary shower-friendly paper bottles (made of 100 percent post-consumer recycled paper with a post-consumer recycled plastic liner). All that recycling results in 60 percent less plastic than a traditional bottle.

 

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Courtesy of Goop

Los Poblanos Liquid Soap, $18

Leave it to Los Poblanos to create the most fragrant lavender soap we’ve ever smelt. It makes sense though—after all, the New Mexico farm/bed and breakfast is on 25 acres of organic lavender fields, which is where the lavender essential oil in this soap comes from. The packaging makes it a beautiful, thoughtful gift for your favorite friends, too.

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Courtesy of Grown Alchemist

Grown Alchemist Hand Wash, $29

The Aussie brand is a celebration of several unique Australian ingredients, and this soap is one of their finest imports, with a blend of fennel seed, cold-pressed sweet orange oil, and sweet almond oil. It’s deliciously potent with a bright citrus and herbaceous blend.

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Courtesy of Soapply

Soapply Liquid Soap, $25+

As the label rightfully reads, this one is more than just a soap. Soapply is a subscription hand soap that uses 100 percent natural (and organic, whenever possible) ingredients. Most importantly, each purchase funds up to $10 worth of water sanitation and hygiene initiatives in Tigray, Ethiopia. Amazing soap that has a greater purpose is certainly a worthy purchase.

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Courtesy of Claus Porto

Claus Porto Chypre Liquid Soap, $30

For more than 100 years, Claus Porto have remained true to their authenticity and brand, including their old-world production methods, blends, and packaging. This tangerine, grapefruit, orange, and cedarwood blend is still handmade in Porto, using mechanical, clean methods. And that bold packaging? It’s modeled after the house’s vintage graphic designs. Sometimes the old way really is the best way.

 

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Courtesy of Method

Method Creative Growth Art Collection Jasmine Lily Gel Hand Wash, $3.31

You can’t deny that a price tag under $4 is reason enough to add something to your cart. But this special edition Method hand wash has some pretty extraordinary additional benefits, too. Like the packaging, for example, which is a hypnotic pointillist painting created by a local California artist from the non-profit art center Creative Growth, which helps celebrate and support adults with disabilities. Gorgeous, right? We plan on keeping this bottle for years to come, and refilling it as needed. The  scent, which is a fragrant, bold bouquet blend of jasmine and lilies, is just another perk. 

See more chic everyday essentials:
Home Cleaning Products That Smell as Amazing as They Look
Target Is About to Get a Whole Lot Cheaper
Easy Swaps to Elevate Your Household Basics