Is it possible to play the guitar without getting hard skin on your fingertips?

Moisturize. Unfortunately, callouses come with guitar playing as do shorter fingernails. You want and need calluses to play proper guitar. Practice every day in short increments. If you are using an acoustic guitar with metal strings, insure that they are new and have a nanoweb coating (elixir strings). Moisturize your finger tips twice per day with a cream containing Alpha hydroxyacid.