The Best Cleansers for Aging Skin
A dermatologist shares her tips for selecting the optimal one for your complexion.
One of the best ways to put a fresh face forward, at any age, is to use a cleanser daily. For those of us who have started to see the telltale signs of aging (think dullness, dryness, and dark spots), a face wash with revitalizing superhero ingredients is a must. Think of it as your first line of defense in keeping skin stressors at bay. "As women age, skin becomes thinner with less collagen, decreased elasticity, increased wrinkling, and increased dryness," explains Degha Fongod M.D., a Virginia-based aesthetic physician and founder of Delight Medical & Aesthetics. "This is why it's important to use cleansers that hydrate, lightly exfoliate, and brighten the skin."
For maximum hydration, look to products that contain hyaluronic acid and glycerin. "These ingredients are humectants that draw much needed water to the skin," continues Dr. Fongod, who says that you should also choose formulas with ceramides—lipids that seal in moisture and help keep the skin's barrier intact and healthy. The best fine-line fighters, however, are washes that feature glycolic, lactic, and salicylic acid. These exfoliators remove the buildup of skin cells that can clog your pores, while simultaneously smoothing the surface.
On the do-not-use list? "Avoid face washes that have alcohol, which is very drying, and those with fragrance, which can irritate skin, causing aging," recommends Dr. Fongod. No matter what product you opt for, be sure to clean your hands first before starting the cleansing ritual. Then, wash your face in circular motion for 45 to 60 seconds—exceeding this time can cause your skin dry out. Ahead, a few of our favorite anti-aging cleansers to ensure your face is happy and healthy from the very start of your routine.
Baby your skin daily with this cleaner, famed for its soothing, moisture-inducing benefits. "It's perfect for mature skin that is dry," says Dr. Degha Fongod, of Delight Medical & Aesthetics. "It contains glycerin which will help hydrate and ceramides which form a protective barrier against loss of moisture."
Shop Now: La Roche Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Cleanser, $22.31, target.com.
Dermatologists love this face wash for its hydrating goodness. The potent combination of glycolic acid and sorbitol (a natural humectant derived from berries) results in squeaky clean, soft skin that's prepped for post-cleanse products.
Shop Now: Jan Marini Bioglycolic Face Cleanser, $42, dermstore.com.
Vitamins C and E team up in this gel-like cleanser to brighten your complexion while keeping free radical rays at bay. It the perfect soothing balm for environmentally stressed skin that may have seen a little too much sun.
Shop Now: Murad Environmental Shield Essential-C Cleanser, $32, walmart.com.
Cleansers with oil formulations are really effective for removing stubborn waterproof makeup along with impurities. This one dissolves right down to the pores and rinses away with no greasy residue. It leaves maturing skin butter soft, to boot.
Shop Now: Shiseido Essentials Perfect Cleansing Oil, $35, macys.com.