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There’s plenty to think about when you’re picking the perfect luxury hand wash.  From the scent of the hand wash to the ingredients used, to your specific skin type, it can be hard to pick the perfect hand wash when there are so many to choose from, all offering different things. We’ve created this guide to help you find the perfect luxury hand wash for you and your skin type, so you can be thankful every time you wash and care for your hands.

What to consider when choosing a hand wash for your skin

Your skin type

You’ll need to think about your skin type when your choose your hand wash. The hand wash you choose should work to nourish and protect your skin, and depending on your skin type, some ingredients may be more suitable than others. You can ensure this by finding the most suitable hand soap that’s kind to your skin, with no harsh reactions.

The Fragrance

What scent will you go for? Do you want to complement your bathroom with matching, calming scents of lavender or vanilla? Are you are a fan of fruity scents that bring your hand care routine to life? Or is natural zestiness you’re absolute favourite? There are a great number of delicious fragrances to choose from, so consider the vibes you’re aiming for with your bathroom to make sure you choose the right one for you

The Ingredients

There are many different types of hand wash out there and depending on the type of hand wash you’re looking for, you’ll find some are more skin-friendly than others. Luxury hand wash is developed by experts to help deliver a hand-washing experience that not only smells good but does good. Hand wash should not only be anti-bacterial, but kind to the skin. You may find some brands have different, potentially harsh, ingredients that won’t do your skin any favours as these can irritate your skin and leave it feeling dry. Some brands have been developed to give that extra care and nourishment to your skin, to leave it in a great condition after every wash. 

Remember to build handwashing into your skincare routine. You can read more about how to create a perfect skincare routine in our guide: How to care for hands: The Ultimate Guide.

The Consistency

Some hand washes offer a soft lather, others may be very foamy, and some can also be cream-based. Your skin type and fragrance preferences will help determine what ingredients you want to look out for or avoid, and these will impact the consistency.

What hand wash ingredients are beneficial?

For all skin types, it is recommended that you use a gentle hand wash, free of harsh detergents that can strip the skin of moisture and leave it dried out and irritated. You should look for formulations that contain humectants, emollients and occlusives to further moisturise the skin and support the skin barrier.

What are the main skin types?


Oily skin can be characterised by a porous, humid, bright appearance, caused by excessive fat production by sebaceous glands. Oily skin is usually thick and shiny, and can not only be caused by genetics, but also a hormonal imbalance, or stress-related reasons. Oily skin is more prone to blackheads, whiteheads and acne.


Dry skin can be caused by weather, low air humidity, or frequent contact with hot water. Your skin type is of course also affected by genes. Dry, fragile skin is often tight, with a feeling of roughness and itchiness. Dry, cracked skin can also be characterised by redness and small cracks. Generally, the best way to care for dry skin is to moisturise regularly to help lock in moisture, particularly after you have washed your hands, as contact with hot water can dry out the skin.


Those with a normal skin type have less to think about, as your skin is well-balanced and naturally less oily or dry. Normal skin will be smooth and soft, with no blemishes, fine pores and will have good circulation. Even those lucky enough to have normal skin will need to think about hand care, to ensure their skin stays smooth and soft for years to come.


Combination skin presents characteristics of both dry and oily skin, more oil in the T zone, distribution of sweat glands is not homogeneous. The oily parts of the skin are caused by an overproduction of sebum. If you have combination skin, you should try and look out for products that suit this skin type to avoid further breakouts or damage.


Those with sensitive skin will need to take extra care when choosing skin products, as the skin sensitivity can cause reactions such as itchiness or rashes. Skin sensitive products will be paraben and SLS free, as these are two ingredients that can cause reactions, so look out for handwash that is free from these ingredients.

All of The Somerset Toiletry Company hand care products are SLS free; you can explore our hand wash range here

How does hand wash work?

Hand wash products work is by reacting to water to create a soapy lather. This soapy lather has components and molecules which bond with both water, oils and fats. Hydrocarbon attracts the dirt and grease, working to remove it, and the lather helps to lift all the oil, dirt and germs from your skin. The water washes these away.


What to look for in a hand wash


Of course, the first thing that all hand washes should be! Soap has antibacterial qualities to kill any harmful germs and bacteria present on the hands so that you can be bacteria-free after every wash. 


Anti-bacterial hand washes do not have to be harsh to the skin. In fact, you can find hand washes that not only clean your hands but also work to lock in moisture after every wash. This leaves your hands feeling nourished, protected and less likely to dry out or be left feeling itchy. 


Wherever possible, look to buy sustainable hand wash. We are living in a world we must protect, and there are plenty of luxury sustainable hand washes on the market that are kind to your skin and kind to the environment.

With recyclable packaging and a forward-thinking approach to how we create our UK-made products, you can read more about our sustainability pledge here.


All beauty products should be cruelty-free. Animal testing is unnecessary and desperately cruel, and for years there have been cruelty-free alternative ways to test products. All of Somerset Toiletry Company’s hand wash products and other products are cruelty-free and made right here in the UK.

Read our Guide to cruelty-free toiletries here. 


If you are a practising vegan, you may worry about whether you’ll be able to find vegan-friendly hand wash– never fear! We have created a vegan hand wash collection, so you can keep clean, nourished and fresh without going anywhere near animal by-products. 

Our top vegan-friendly hand wash picks

Read our guide to vegan toiletries here.

Gentle Feel

Always aim to wash your hands with a gentle hand wash that’s kind to your skin but removes germs and dirt. Luxury hand wash is developed to nourish and protect your skin and keep your hands soft and smooth. If you’re looking to exfoliate your skin and hands, then exfoliants are better for this as opposed to hand wash.  

Beautiful Scents

Orange and lemon 

Zesty and fresh, citrus fruits are often used to great effect in nourishing hand wash. With a pop of bright colour and delicious scent to wake you up, citrus-based hand washes are a great way to add a tropical touch to your day. Citrus contains Vitamin C, so not only is it refreshing and fragrant but has natural attributes that repair and rejuvenate the skin, helping it maintain its elasticity and collagen production.  

Our favourite citrus luxury hand soaps to try:


Lavender has been used in beauty products for centuries for its calming, delicious scent. Known for its fragrance and colour, the name ‘lavender’ is derived from the Latin word ‘lavare’, or ‘to wash’. It has been used as part of their beauty and skin regime for centuries, with the earliest recorded use dating back to Ancient Egypt. Its natural qualities work to even out the skin tone; it is abundant in antiseptic components, soothes irritable skin, and has an enticing, relaxing scent that is often used as a sleep aid. Lavender oil has been successfully used to help with acne, sunburn and eczema, and is a very popular choice for ingredients in nourishing hand washes.

Our favourite lavender luxury hand soaps to try:


Floral scents have been used since the dawn of time for their delicious scents and long-lasting aroma. You can easily bring a touch of nature into your home with a floral hand wash, from roses to lily of the valley. Known to reduce stress, some floral fragrances offer therapeutic qualities, meaning you can relax and unwind in your bathroom with every hand wash.  

Our favourite floral luxury hand soaps to try:

The Somerset Toiletry Company was founded in 1999 and has been developing beautiful body care and gifts ever since. Please read our about us page to find out more, or explore all our scented toiletries, home fragrances and more on our website.

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