I’m Sensitive to Smells, so I Always Reach for This Unscented Hand Soap

published Nov 19, 2023
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Young man washing hands
Credit: Solskin / Getty Images

Cold and flu (and COVID-19) season is upon us, and so is the more pleasant fall tradition of having people over for meals and holiday celebrations. As a result, dishwashing and handwashing is up in my home. As our wet, rainy falls turn into dry, cold winters, I usually have a similar situation on my hands: cracked, dry skin — especially on my over-washed hands. This year, I have a new soap by my kitchen sink that keeps my hands soft and healthy: ECOS Hypoallergenic Hand Soap Free & Clear.

Not all “free and clear” products live up to their name, but this hypoallergenic soap does. It smells like nothing, which, for me, is a huge selling point. I have a sensory sensitivity to flowery or chemically scented cleaners, so I use free and clear hand soap in the kitchen. It has a good texture, not greasy or drying, which I’ve found is a hard balance to strike with hand soaps, and I’ve tried a lot due to my and my family members’ sensory needs. It’s the most neutral soap I’ve ever experienced. 

I only need to use one pump to get enough soap on my hands to clean them thoroughly and the pleasant but subtle suds aren’t too bubbly. Don’t be fooled by the light bubbles, though — the soap does work well. If my hands smell from cooking or prepping, this ECOS hand soap neutralizes and eliminates the offending odor. 

Credit: Laura Wheatman Hill

If it didn’t work so well to clean grease and dirt from cooking and dishwashing off my hands, I might suspect this soap was made of nothing, as it has the consistency of water once immersed. However, plant-derived cleansers and other ingredients like vitamin E do exist and do their jobs well. My kids get eczema in the winter, especially from handwashing with drying soaps, and they can be very uncomfortable while they’re having a flare. This ECOS hand soap keeps their skin soft and healthy.

ECOS is a woman-owned company committed to environmentalism — something I appreciate as a consumer. They do not test their products on animals, the soap itself is vegan, and the Environmental Protection Agency certified it as containing safer ingredients for human health and the environment. It’s nice to know that a product that works for me as an individual also doesn’t harm the Earth.