If You're Sick of Cracked Knuckles, I Found 11 Hand Soaps That Rival Your Lotion

Like the near certainty year after year that the groundhog will see its shadow and we’ll have six more weeks of winter, it’s pretty much guaranteed that my hands will be dry and cracked from December to April. I have dry skin in general, so keeping it hydrated is always a challenge, but in the winter, it becomes downright scaly. My hands really take a beating, especially with how much I wash them. 

One thing that can make a major difference for dry hands? Choosing hand soap carefully. Water evaporates easily and quickly on the hands, which can lead to more dryness. "Soaps that have ingredients such as aloe vera, vegetable-based oils, shea butter or cocoa butter, milk protein, coconut oil, vitamin E, and glycerin help trap the water in the skin while you are washing," says Dr. Purvisha Patel, board-certified dermatologist and founder of Visha Skincare.


(Image credit: @betina_goldstein)

Rebecca Marcus, a board-certified dermatologist practicing at North Dallas Dermatology Associates, also suggests trying hand soaps with non-sulfate surfactants like coconut surfactants, as sulfates can be drying. 

Even if you do experience dry, cracked knuckles, you should still take care to wash your hands correctly. "Using lukewarm (not hot!) water, wet hands, and then apply a generous pump of your favorite hand soap," says Marcus. "Using your fingers, scrub thoroughly between fingers, front and back, as well as the palms and the back of the hands. Rinse completely to make sure that all soap residue washes away and will not remain on skin, which both carries away pathogens and reduces the risk of irritation from soap residue." You should aim to wash your hands for around 20 seconds, and if possible, follow up immediately with a hand cream.


(Image credit: @betina_goldstein)

The best hydrating hand soaps for dry hands…


(Image credit: @imarninails)

1. Public Goods Hand Soap

2. Dove Nourishing Coconut and Almond Milk Foaming Hand Wash

3. Pipette Hand Wash

4. Alaffia EveryDay Shea Liquid Hand Soap

5. Aesop Resurrection Aromatique Hand Wash

6. Deborah Lippmann Balancing Act pH-Balanced Manicure-Safe Hand Soap

7. Malin + Goetz Rum Hand & Body Wash With Pump

8. Grown Alchemist Hand Wash

9. Jergens Extra Moisturizing Hand Wash

10. L'Occitane Shea Butter Lavender Extra Gentle Soap

11. Everyone Hand Soap

Hand creams to use after washing your hands to lock in moisture…


(Image credit: @browngirlhands)
Associate Beauty Editor

Katie Berohn is the associate beauty editor at Who What Wear. Previously, she worked as the beauty assistant for Good Housekeeping, Woman's Day, and Prevention magazines, all part of the Hearst Lifestyle Group. She graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder, with a major in journalism and minor in technology, arts, and media, and earned her master's degree at NYU's graduate program for magazine journalism. In addition, Katie has held editorial internships at Denver Life magazine, Yoga Journal, and Cosmopolitan; a digital editorial internship at New York magazine's The Cut; a social good fellowship at Mashable; and a freelance role at HelloGiggles. When she's not obsessing over the latest skincare launch or continuing her journey to smell every perfume on the planet, Katie can be found taking a hot yoga class, trying everything on the menu at New York's newest restaurant, or hanging out at a trendy wine bar with her friends.