Best cruelty-free hand soap

Beauty & Personal Care

While many brands advertise their products as plant-based, that does not necessarily mean they are cruelty-free. Seek products with third-party certifications verifying that the product has met strict ethical standards.

Which cruelty-free hand soap is best?

Since frequent hand washing has become such a widely discussed issue over the past year and a half, it’s no wonder that more consumers are looking for ways to shop ethically and support cruelty-free soap companies. 

However, since there’s no legal definition for the term according to the FDA, it’s up to consumers to research cruelty-free brands and identify whether the company does animal testing or not. This can be a daunting task since not every brand is transparent about how or why they apply the term to their products. 

What is cruelty-free hand soap?

The term cruelty-free typically designates products that have not been tested on animals. In 2013, all animal testing for cosmetics and cosmetic ingredients was banned in the European Union, with many outside nations following suit shortly after. Other countries, like the United States and Canada, still allow cosmetic brands to conduct animal testing if they choose to do so. Companies that identify as cruelty-free will often indicate this on the packaging of their products. 

Vegan vs. plant-based vs. cruelty-free

While a cruelty-free label means that a product was not tested on animals, the product might still contain animal-derived ingredients. Vegan products often designate when they include no animal byproducts whatsoever (including honey and beeswax). Vegan products have no legal definition set by the FDA. Still, some organizations certify when a product is both cruelty-free and contains no animal byproducts.

Plant-based is a term commonly used for soaps and cosmetics that have plant-derived ingredients. This designation could be for a product with as little as one plant-derived element or apply to a product entirely made from plants depending on the brand. 

Are cruelty-free hand soaps more expensive?

Cruelty-free hand soaps typically cost about the same as other high-quality hand soaps. The ingredients in soap can sometimes increase the price, however, so because most cruelty-free hand soaps often contain natural, organic ingredients, they might be more expensive than what you’re accustomed to seeing. Individual bars or bottles of liquid cruelty-free hand soap typically cost $4-$8, while multi packs can cost $10-$30. 

Top picks for cruelty-free hand soaps

Top pick for liquid cruelty-free hand soap

Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Hemp & Lavender Liquid Soap

Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Hemp & Lavender Liquid Soap 

Fully biodegradable, this vegan Dr. Bronner’s soap contains no synthetic preservatives or thickeners. The soap is highly concentrated, making it suitable for multiple tasks when diluted. It also comes packaged in 100% post-consumer recycled plastic bottles. 

Sold by Amazon

Top pick for bar cruelty-free hand soap

Tom’s of Maine Natural Beauty Bar Soap 

Tom’s of Maine Natural Beauty Bar Soap 

Containing no harsh parabens or artificial fragrances, Tom’s Beauty Bar is fragrance-free and contains soothing aloe vera. 

Sold by Amazon

Best cruelty-free hand soaps for sensitive skin

Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Liquid Hand Soap 

Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Liquid Hand Soap 

This cruelty-free hand soap from Mrs. Meyer’s uses plant-derived ingredients and essential oils like bergamot and cedarwood. It’s also paraben-free and made without phthalates or artificial colors. 

Sold by Amazon

Presto! Biobased Hand Soap 

Presto! Biobased Hand Soap 

Free of fragrances, dyes and harsh chemicals like triclosan and phthalates, this gentle soap has a mild, fresh scent and comes in 100% post-consumer recycled plastic bottles. 

Sold by Amazon

Best cruelty-free hand soap for dry skin

Live Clean Argan Oil Liquid Hand Soap

Live Clean Argan Oil Liquid Hand Soap

This nourishing vegan hand soap contains Moroccon Argan oil, grapeseed oil and olive oil to moisturize hands. Free of parabens and sulfates, you can wash your hands frequently throughout the day without experiencing dryness. 

Sold by Amazon

Best cruelty-free hand soap for oily skin

Seventh Generation Free & Clean Unscented Hand Soap 

Seventh Generation Free & Clean Unscented Hand Soap 

Free of harsh chemicals and fragrances, this soap is gentle on the hands without leaving an oily residue. The soap’s packaging also uses 90% post-consumer recycled plastics.

Sold by Amazon

Best vegan cruelty-free hand soaps 

Saavy Naturals Yuzu and Meyer Lemon Hand Wash 

Saavy Naturals Yuzu and Meyer Lemon Hand Wash 

All personal care products sold by Saavy are 100% vegan, soy-free and cruelty-free. This soap has a pleasant, fruity scent and is free of harsh chemicals that dry out your skin. 

Sold by Amazon

Ginger Lily Farms Botanicals All-Purpose Hand Soap

Ginger Lily Farms Botanicals All-Purpose Hand Soap 

This vitamin-enriched non-toxic hand soap is 100% vegan and certified by PETA. The hand soap is available in apple and pear scents and uses natural extracts like aloe vera and flaxseed to leave your skin feeling smooth. 

Sold by Amazon

Best environmentally friendly cruelty-free hand soaps

Blueland Garden Hand Soap Starter Set

Blueland Garden Hand Soap Starter Set 

Known for its minimal waste policy, Blueland’s hand soap is vegan, cruelty-free and comes in pleasant scents like Bergamot Rose, Lily Mint and Satsuma Mandarin. This Blueland starter set comes with a reusable glass bottle and three refill tablets. Simply fill the bottle with water, drop in a tablet and you’ll have foaming hand soap in minutes. 

Sold by Blueland

Method Foaming Hand Soap 

Method Foaming Hand Soap 

Method provides a high-quality, biodegradable hand soap that leaves hands feeling soft and clean. Each bottle of hand soap is 100% recycled plastic (except for the pump) and comes with six refill pouches of soap, reducing plastic waste. 

Sold by Amazon

 

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Patrick Farmer writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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