The 4 Best Anti-Aging Face Washes (& Cleansers)

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The 4 Best Anti-Aging Face Washes (& Cleansers)
In a hurry? Here are our top picks:

BEST FOR CLEAN SKINCARE

ZELEN Life Cleanser

When we think of anti-aging, the majority of us think of an expensive cream, or serum with nearly magical properties.

If you regularly follow our articles, however, you will know that aging and indeed skin aging is a multifaceted process. If you want the most effective anti-aging routine it’s best to tackle the issue from multiple angles.

To help guide our readers we have put together our top picks of the best anti-aging face washes and anti-aging cleansers.

Bear in mind that this is not meant to be a one-stop-shop for reversing signs of aging. The best approach takes into account all the steps in your skin care regimen and also how you live your life day-to-day.

Be sure to check out the many skin care guides in our blog–giving any products you purchase a solid foundation to build upon.

Quick summary

Before you buy: 5 things to consider when purchasing an anti-aging face wash

1. Removing build-up: Why not water?

The first vital step in protecting against damaging free radicals is to clear your skin of the day’s build-up of pollution and other contaminants.

Your skin is designed to be a barrier to the outside world so many free radicals simply sit on the surface of the skin when they first come into contact with it. It is only over time that these damaging chemicals then begin to seep further into your body.

Using a good quality face wash or cleanser will help mop up these surface free radicals along with dirt, grime, and dead skin cells.

2. Apply powerful antioxidants

Despite our best efforts, however, free radicals will literally get under our skin. At this point, no amount of scrubbing and washing will remove them.

What’s needed is a strong antioxidant which, will block harmful free radicals from damaging our DNA and skin. Vitamin C is a great example that has been proven time and time again to be effective in providing the powerful antioxidant protection we are looking for.

Not only will it defend against the negative effects of pollution, antioxidants like Vitamin C also mop up free radicals generated from other skin aging factors like UV radiation.[6]

This is why we suggest thinking of anti-aging through your daily routine. No single cream or serum can do all the work–by layering up your protection and defenses you give your skin the best chance of survival and protection.

3. Give yourself 24-hour protection

Many anti-aging routines pile on sun protection, moisturizing, and more in the morning with the evening reserved for soothing balms or serums.

While there is nothing wrong with this approach it means that you are missing out on giving your skin around-the-clock protection.

Yes, sun and pollution damage mainly occurs during the day, along with other sources of free radicals like diet and stress. But the generation and release of these damaging chemicals continue even as you sleep.[7]

It stands to reason that your evening routine should also contain antioxidants to carry on the anti-aging process. Our body goes into repair mode any time we are relaxed or asleep, by using antioxidants at night we support our natural repair mechanisms and can promote the production of even more antioxidants within ourselves.

4. Pick your antioxidants wisely

While any antioxidant is better than none, some sources are better utilized for specific purposes.

Our example of Vitamin C is a great place to start – backed by a ton of research it is known to be a strong antioxidant that combats the top causes of premature skin aging. There is also some evidence that Vitamin C can restore collagen production, giving your skin structure that boost of support to keep it looking youthful.

Vitamin C, along with Vitamins A and E also have anti-carcinogenic properties, which, while not ‘anti-aging’ is certainly something to think about in the context of our modern, polluted world. Note that Vitamin C is sometimes called ascorbic acid in the ingredients list.[8]

Speaking of Vitamin E, this antioxidant is essential for normal bodily function. When looking to repair skin blemishes, minor scars, and fine lines, this powerful vitamin is found in many specialist scar-reducing formulations.

Other antioxidant ingredients to look out for:

  • Niacinamide (Vitamin B3 / Nicotinamide)
  • Polyphenols (found in red wine and chocolate)
  • Flavonoids (found in green and black tea)
  • Resveratrol (found again in red wine, tea, berries, and peanuts)

5. It’s not just about antioxidants

This is where the quality of the face wash comes into play. While antioxidants are a key component there is a myriad of other factors to take into account.

When we think of anti-aging, people think of fine lines and skin that isn’t quite as firm as it used to be, rather than ‘internal aging’ on the molecular level. A good anti-aging cleanser will address these other issues rather than targeting one issue.

Cheap face washes can be harsh on the skin, trying to clean the skin effectively but stripping it of natural oils and unbalancing skin pH and hydration. Anti-aging cleansers will want to do the exact opposite–retaining moisture to give the skin and fresh appearance and smoothing out fine lines and wrinkles.

Finally, keep an eye out for cleansers that are calming to the skin. Our skin is exposed to the elements every day, from the cold to our clothes, and this over time leads to low-level irritation and damage.

As we know this in time this increased level of irritation means there is unseen inflammation damaging skin cells and tissue, prematurely aging the skin. Cleansers should be gentle to avoid adding to the problem, with the best anti-aging face washes actively supporting the skin’s repair and recovery.

The 4 best anti-aging face washes and cleansers

ZELEN Life Cleanser (Best for clean skincare)

ZELEN Life Cleanser


Analysis:

MoisturizingMoisturizing
Drying Drying
Moisturizing Moisturizing
Balanced

FormulaFormula
Artifical Artifical
Natural Natural
Balanced

SensitivitySensitivity
Non-Sensitive Non-Sensitive
Sensitive Sensitive
Balanced

ThicknessThickness
Lightweight Lightweight
Thick Thick
Balanced

GreasinessGreasiness
Non-Greasy Non-Greasy
Greasy Greasy
Balanced

ScentScent
Unscented Unscented
Strong Strong
Balanced

PackagingPackaging
Basic Basic
Premium Premium
Balanced

PricePrice
Low Low
High High
Balanced

Paraben-free
Paraben-free
Hypoallergenic
Hypoallergenic
Non-Comedogenic
Non-Comedogenic
Cruelty-free
Cruelty-free
Vegan
Vegan
SPF
SPF

Unique features:

  • Contains the powerful antioxidant Vitamin C
  • Moisturizes to smooth fine lines
  • Fights infection to keep inflammation to a minimum
  • Multiple calming agents

The best face wash/cleanser for:

Those looking for a powerful yet gentle anti-aging cleanser that can be used twice a day, even with sensitive or acne-prone skin.

Notable ingredients:

Jojoba, aloe vera, sunflower

Overview:

The ZELEN Life Cleanser contains all the essential components of an excellent anti-aging cleanser. Its main ingredients are jojoba, aloe vera, and sunflower, which are very effective.

Why? Let’s dive deeper into the ingredients!

Jojoba oil is known to bolster skin repair and fight wrinkles. It contains the important antioxidant Vitamin C which helps to improve skin color, elasticity, and radiance. Thus, smoothing out the skin and reducing the appearance of aging.[9] The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory action in aloe vera has long been used to soothe the skin and promote a more healthy and youthful appearance. It is proven to accelerate wound healing, protect from the damaging effects of UV radiation and moisturize the skin. It also stimulates collagen production, helping the skin to remain elastic.[10]

Sunflower brings benefits through the day and night by locking in moisture, keeping fine lines at bay, and calming the skin with its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. For those with sensitive or oily skin, it unclogs pores without removing natural oils needed to keep the skin soothed and hydrated. It reduces skin sensitivity – impressive for a single natural ingredient and for preventing acne breakouts.

Overall, the above ingredients create a light yet effective cream. It comes with a powerful yet gentle action that removes pollution, excess oil, and other impurities from deep in the pores. Due to the fact it is free from harmful chemicals such as parabens, sulfates, silicons, or synthetic colors, it is suitable for all skin types. However, always make sure to check all the ingredients if you have any known allergies to one.

What about the scent and its bottle design?

The scent is very subtle, and it comes purely from its botanical ingredients. It has a very pleasant citrusy/floral aroma. No artificial fragrance is included.

As for the bottle design, it really strikes me as premium. It is made from 100% recyclable plastic and features an airless pump preventing the cream from contamination. The pump also ensures the correct amount of cream is dispensed. Just a dime-size amount is enough to get an effective cleanse.

However, like all products, the ZELEN Life Cleanser has its drawbacks. While this face wash is rich in anti-aging properties, you will not find it very effective in removing heavy makeup. If you are a heavy makeup user, Juice Beauty Stem Cellular 2-in-1 Cleanser will do a better job. It is also formulated with natural ingredients, such as lemon juice, apple juice, grape juice, and aloe vera, and creates a light lather on application, making it easier to remove makeup residue.

The good:

  • Multiple sources of antioxidants
  • Combats skin sensitivity
  • Doesn’t dry the skin
  • Balances oil (sebum) on the skin to control acne

Things to think about:

  • Those with skin conditions causing significant dead skin build up may want an acid exfoliator instead
  • Not very effective for heavy makeup removal

Bottom line:

A fully natural cleanser that cleans and supports skin, providing a Vitamin C boost to combat the aging effects of free radicals we all experience. It’s gentle yet effective, allowing a wide range of skin types to benefit from it.

  • Performance
  • Ingredients
  • Value for money
4.5 Overall Score

Peter Thomas Roth Anti-Aging Face Wash Cleansing Gel (Best for acne)

Peter Thomas Roth Anti-Aging Face Wash (Cleansing Gel)


Analysis:

MoisturizingMoisturizing
Drying Drying
Moisturizing Moisturizing
Balanced

FormulaFormula
Artifical Artifical
Natural Natural
Balanced

SensitivitySensitivity
Non-Sensitive Non-Sensitive
Sensitive Sensitive
Balanced

ThicknessThickness
Lightweight Lightweight
Thick Thick
Balanced

GreasinessGreasiness
Non-Greasy Non-Greasy
Greasy Greasy
Balanced

ScentScent
Unscented Unscented
Strong Strong
Balanced

PackagingPackaging
Basic Basic
Premium Premium
Balanced

PricePrice
Low Low
High High
Balanced

Paraben-free
Paraben-free
Hypoallergenic
Hypoallergenic
Non-Comedogenic
Non-Comedogenic
Cruelty-free
Cruelty-free
Vegan
Vegan
SPF
SPF

Unique features:

  • Dual acid exfoliation
  • Supports collagen production
  • Botanical extracts to brighten skin

The best face wash/cleanser for:

Anyone who needs regular acid exfoliation to help with their anti-aging routine and acne condition.

Notable ingredients:

Glycolic acid (AHA), salicylic acid (BHA), citric acid extracts

Overview:

This anti-aging wash is actually a cleansing gel that contains 2 exfoliating acids to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The powerful acid exfoliation means it isn’t suited to sensitive skin. But if you oily or combination skin, then you should find this cleanser leaves you with a bright and fresh appearance.

The two exfoliators are glycolic and salicylic acid.

Glycolic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), and it has numerous benefits to the skin. Firstly, it provides a lot of anti-aging properties. It is effectively reducing wrinkles by stimulating the production of collagen and elastin in the skin. Additionally, it is a great ingredient to combat skin conditions such as acne. This is because it exfoliates the skin, removing dead skin cells or dirt that clogs the pores. It does this while maintaining the skin’s natural pH balance. When applied in correct amounts, it balances excess oil and helps to reduce the possibility of acne breakouts. Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid (BHA) that is also proven to reduce acne. It reduces irritations and inflammations due to its healing properties.

The rest of this cleansing gel is made up of botanical citrus extracts such as peach, lemon, lime, grapefruit, etc. As they are rich in vitamin C, they help to brighten up the skin’s appearance while promoting a youthful look.

The gel is light in texture and doesn’t leave a greasy residue after application. Even though Peter Thomas Roth suggests using this ‘as often as needed’, I would suggest starting with it once daily. This is because glycolic and salicylic acids are not easily tolerated by everyone. If you have a dry or a very sensitive skin type, there is always a possibility of itching or sensitizing. This is due to the fact that these acids can be very dehydrating if overused.

Whatsmore, while this product does not have an overpowering citrus scent from its botanical extracts, it does contains fragrance/parfum. This can also increase the chances of an adverse reaction. So, make sure to perform a topical test before using it regularly on your skin.

If you are looking for another anti-aging cleanser that can equally assist acne but is suitable for sensitive and dry skin types, then consider the ZELEN Life Cleanser. It is formulated with organic botanical ingredients such as jojoba, aloe vera, sunflower, which are known for their effect against breakouts, and it doesn’t include any synthetic fragrance.

The good:

  • Combining two exfoliators is an effective way to ensure a consistently fresh and youthful appearance
  • Loaded with natural fruit and botanical extracts
  • Improves skin texture and appearance

Things to think about:

  • Not for sensitive skin
  • Works well for acne but fragrance may sting broken skin
  • Dual acids increase sensitivity to sun exposure

Bottom line:

The Peter Thomas Roth Anti-Aging face wash is an effective tool for those with more stubborn skin complaints. We recommend looking at this wash as a short-term treatment over a few weeks rather than a long-term, daily face wash.

Note:

While it is labeled anti-aging, overuse of this product could lead to drying and underlying inflammation. Use it to refresh tired and stubborn dead skin build-up and stop when your skin looks better and is smooth to the touch. Then continue with a good antioxidant cleanser to repair the skin from within.

  • Performance
  • Ingredients
  • Value for money
4.0 Overall Score

Juice Beauty Stem Cellular 2-in-1 Cleanser (Best for makeup removal)

Juice Beauty Stem Cellular 2-in-1 Cleanser


Analysis:

MoisturizingMoisturizing
Drying Drying
Moisturizing Moisturizing
Balanced

FormulaFormula
Artifical Artifical
Natural Natural
Balanced

SensitivitySensitivity
Non-Sensitive Non-Sensitive
Sensitive Sensitive
Balanced

ThicknessThickness
Lightweight Lightweight
Thick Thick
Balanced

GreasinessGreasiness
Non-Greasy Non-Greasy
Greasy Greasy
Balanced

ScentScent
Unscented Unscented
Strong Strong
Balanced

PackagingPackaging
Basic Basic
Premium Premium
Balanced

PricePrice
Low Low
High High
Balanced

Paraben-free
Paraben-free
Hypoallergenic
Hypoallergenic
Non-Comedogenic
Non-Comedogenic
Cruelty-free
Cruelty-free
Vegan
Vegan
SPF
SPF

Unique features:

  • Contains Malic acid for extra skin support
  • Organic formula
  • Retains skin moisture

The best face wash/cleanser for:

Those who wear heavy makeup and want an exfoliating cleanser that helps reduce wrinkles and fine lines.

Notable ingredients:

Lemon juice, apple juice, grape juice, aloe vera

Overview:

Juice Beauty Stem Cellular 2-in-1 Cleanser offers great anti-aging capabilities while effectively cleansing impurities and removing makeup. This is due to its main ingredients: lemon juice, apple juice, grape juice, and aloe vera.

Lemon juice is rich in vitamin C. As said previously, vitamin C protects the skin from premature aging, reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, as well as inflammations. Lemon juice has high levels of pH, making it very effective in reducing excess oil, debris, and dirt from the skin. This adds to its ability to remove makeup.

Apple juice’s malic acid is considered an alpha hydroxy acid. This means that it exfoliates dead skin cells from the skin, unclogging pores and promoting a brighter complexion. It is rich in vitamins and antioxidants, having as a result revitalizing the skin promoting collagen production.

Grape juice is another great ingredient as it contains resveratrol. Resveratrol promotes wound healing due to its antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. Additionally, it is an effective molecule that protects from free radicals and reduces the effects of aging due to its antioxidant properties.[11]

Aloe vera assists the skin to stay hydrated by creating a barrier on its surface, forbidding moisture from getting away. This softens the skin, promoting its elasticity and youthfulness. The hydration is also enhanced by the inclusion of glycerin and algae, leaving it supple and smooth.

Overall, this is a lightweight cleanser that doesn’t leave a greasy feeling after application. It creates a light lather that cleans any leftovers on the skin leaving it clean and refreshed. While this didn’t happen when I tested the product, some users mention that they had a problem with the pump not working.

Even though this is a very effective cleanser in terms of anti-aging, don’t expect it to transform your skin back to the age of 20. Have realistic expectations. It can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles but be patient and allow at least one month of usage.

Despite being very hydrating it can be a little irritating to sensitive skin types. The large number of ingredients it includes increases the chances of allergic reactions. If you have sensitive skin, make sure to topically test it with a small amount before using it.

The good:

  • Full of antioxidants and vitamins
  • Malic acid acts as an exfoliator and collagen booster
  • Multiple extracts to help keep moisture in the skin

Things to think about:

  • Some users find the malic acid does not work with sensitive or allergenic skin

Bottom line:

The Juice Beauty 2 in 1 cleanser is a great addition to anti-aging routines. By combining an acid and multiple antioxidants this cleanser can be used long term on a daily basis to combat outbreaks, clogged pores, and hyperpigmentation that results from inflammation and irritation.

  • Performance
  • Ingredients
  • Value for money
4.5 Overall Score

SkinMedica AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser (Best exfoliation)


Analysis:

MoisturizingMoisturizing
Drying Drying
Moisturizing Moisturizing
Balanced

FormulaFormula
Artifical Artifical
Natural Natural
Balanced

SensitivitySensitivity
Non-Sensitive Non-Sensitive
Sensitive Sensitive
Balanced

ThicknessThickness
Lightweight Lightweight
Thick Thick
Balanced

GreasinessGreasiness
Non-Greasy Non-Greasy
Greasy Greasy
Balanced

ScentScent
Unscented Unscented
Strong Strong
Balanced

PackagingPackaging
Basic Basic
Premium Premium
Balanced

PricePrice
Low Low
High High
Balanced

Paraben-free
Paraben-free
Hypoallergenic
Hypoallergenic
Non-Comedogenic
Non-Comedogenic
Cruelty-free
Cruelty-free
Vegan
Vegan
SPF
SPF

Unique features:

  • 4 acids for strong exfoliating action
  • Jojoba to calm and protect
  • Tightens pores

The best face wash/cleanser for:

Those with more resilient skin who are looking for the strongest exfoliator that won’t overly dry the skin.

Notable ingredients:

Jojoba, lactic acid, glycolic acid, malic acid, citric acid, salicylic acid

Overview:

SkinMedica AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser is a cleanser for people who would like to cleanse and exfoliate at the same time. This can achieve skin that is brighter and improved texture. It is formulated with AHA and BHA (salicylic acid) to achieve results. Also, another notable ingredient in its formula is jojoba extract.

Let’s dive a little bit deeper into the ingredients.

Lactic acid, glycolic acid, malic acid, and citric acid are all AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) that are derived from natural ingredients such as sugar cane, bilberries, oranges, lemons, and sugar maple. These acids are very well-known in skincare and are used for gentle exfoliation, to combat acne, or reduce the effects of aging.

Glycolic acid is one of the most common (if not the most common) AHA. It has a very small molecule structure and thus has the ability to penetrate deeper into the skin, providing stronger exfoliation and regeneration of collagen. However, due to its penetration qualities, it is the most likely to cause irritations.

Lactic acid is a bit larger in molecule structure than glycolic acid. It is very hydrating, which makes it very effective in reducing flakiness and roughness. Due to this, it softens and smoothens out the skin making it appear younger. Citric and malic acids have the largest molecule structures. They work mainly on the skin’s surface to gently exfoliate and remove dead skin cells for a better complexion. They are often used to increase the effectiveness of glycolic and lactic acids.

As for salicylic acid, it is considered a beta hydroxy acid (BHA). This kind of acid, not only exfoliates away dead skin cells (which often block pores) but also heals skin conditions such as acne. It is rich in anti-inflammatory properties and reduces excess oil from the skin. This helps against one of the main culprits of acne breakouts. But keep in mind that if salicylic acid is misused, it can remove too much oil from your skin. This can leave the skin feeling itchy, dry, or burned.

Lastly, the jojoba extract is used to minimize the above drying effects as it assists in controlling sebum production, offers moisturization, and speeds up wound healing due to its potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Despite the multiple acids, SkinMedica has managed to formulate a product that still retains moisture and leaves the skin feeling fresh (not tight). The cleanser feels light on the skin and doesn’t leave a greasy residue after application. However, due to the high inclusion of acids, you do need to be careful not to irritate your skin.

As said previously, if you are looking for a cleanser that is suitable for sensitive skin types, then consider ZELEN Life. While it doesn’t include this amount of acids to achieve strong exfoliation, it does contain natural ingredients such as jojoba, aloe vera, sunflower which provide a similar action without being aggressive on the skin.

Summing up, the price of this cleanser will not appeal to everyone. If you are looking for a cleanser with a lower price tag that also contains both AHAs and BHA, consider Peter Thomas Roth Anti-Aging Face Wash Cleansing Gel. It contains glycolic and salicylic acid, as well as citric acid. Thus, a similar overall action to this cleanser.

The good:

  • A rare example of multiple acids working in tandem
  • Formulated to still be soothing to the skin
  • Improves skin texture quickly

Things to think about:

  • Makes skin sun-sensitive
  • Can produce a reaction in susceptible skin types
  • Can dry the skin

Bottom line:

The SkinMedica exfoliating cleanser is a good example of a balanced anti-aging cleanser and a sign of how far we have come. In recent years this formulation would have stripped away all-natural oils and hydration, but SkinMedica with clever use of Jojoba and other hydrating ingredients manages to keep the skin supple and soft.

Just don’t forget to moisturize and use sun protection when utilizing this cleanser.

  • Performance
  • Ingredients
  • Value for money
4.5 Overall Score

How we chose these products

Finding the best anti-aging cleansers and face washes meant finding products that didn’t underdeliver, but also avoiding those that over-delivered too.

Anti-aging is all about taking gentle steps in the right direction – we looked at products that calmed, rejuvenated, and essentially distressed skin both inside and out, using natural ingredients of course. Only happy, soothed skin can begin to restore its youthful appearance.

Presented here are both exfoliating and antioxidant cleansers in different combinations, we’ve only included ones that place hydration and anti-aging as their top priority. Finding which is the right balance for you may take some experimentation.

A good rule of thumb is to remember that the acid exfoliators’ main function is the improvement of appearance first, with added benefits like collagen support coming in second. A good antioxidant on the other hand is much more useful in both the short and long term by protecting and reversing free radical damage and premature aging.

So, why use an anti-aging face wash or cleanser?

why use an anti-aging face wash or cleanser

This isn’t a case of throwing every anti-aging product you can find at your face and hoping you get the effect you want.

As mentioned in other articles, there are many internal and external stressors like skin dehydration and UV damage from the sun that must be protected against.[1]

To give your skin the best chance of recovery, repair, and defense against aging we need to look at other factors that aren’t addressed when looking at anti-aging creams and serums.

Environmental pollution, universally common around the world from car fumes and heavy industry, is the number two cause of skin aging, just behind the ever-present photoaging (sun damage).[2]

The particles in the air, that makeup pollution sticking to our skin over the course of the day, slowly seeping down through the skin layers, releasing damaging free radicals as they go.

But what is so damaging about free radicals?

Although an odd-sounding term, free radical is an umbrella term for molecules or chemicals that are missing an electron (negative charge). Like water running down a hill, free radicals will automatically bind to anything they can find that will give them the negative charge that is missing.[3]

A great everyday example of this is leaving out a cut apple or banana peel. Free radicals prompt oxidation, ie. dragging in oxygen from the surrounding environment. As we know, it doesn’t take very long for the apple or banana peel to brown and look inedible and unsightly.[4]

Fortunately, our skin is a living part of us and can combat free radicals from within. But our bodies can only do so much, and repeated exposure to free radicals eventually causes oxidative stress, both on the surface of the skin and deeper within.

Oxidative stress damages the DNA within our cells, harming the cells, the tissue they make up and accelerating both aging and the signs of aging.

So can we just avoid free radicals altogether?

Unfortunately not.

Free radicals are a natural part of our life – we need oxygen to live and oxygen inevitably means coming into contact with them. So complete avoidance is not possible with many healthy bodily functions producing them all the time

While we have evolved to cope with this fact, there is a tsunami of free radicals that we don’t need to be exposed to and should take steps to reduce where possible.

Some common sources of free radicals include:[5]

  • UV radiation
  • Pollution
  • Pesticides
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol
  • Recreational Drugs
  • Malnutrition (poor diet)

Luckily for us, this is where anti-aging cleansers and washes come into play.

Frequently asked questions

frequently asked questions

Why don’t your product selections include anti-aging ingredient X?

The function of cleansers in anti-aging is to combat external and internal stressors such as free radicals, dehydration, and irritation. While there are plenty of other anti-aging products described on the market, some of these require more time on the skin than a cleanser or wash provides.

Anti-aging cleansers of course form part of your anti-aging routine. They should be combined with other anti-aging products such as creams or masks. For a more detailed guide check out this article.

Can I use a foaming face wash?

We don’t recommend foaming cleansers in general except for a few exceptions on the market. We definitely don’t recommend them if you are looking for anti-aging solutions.

Why?

A lot of foaming cleansers (including more expensive ones) use drying detergents to generate the lather once out of the bottle. These will make your skin tight and overly dry after use which will only worsen any fine lines already present.

Antioxidant vs exfoliating anti-aging cleanser?

These are the two main types of anti-aging cleansers you are likely to come across. As detailed in our response to the first question above, cleansers with other anti-aging ingredients are unlikely to work effectively for the brief time they are in contact with your skin.

Antioxidant cleansers are great because they not only provide instant relief by ridding the skin of build-up but also work overtime to combat free radicals within the skin.

Exfoliating cleansers work differently, mainly by removing not only build-up but stubborn dead skin cells as well. Exfoliating cleansers aren’t physical scrubs, they use acids such as glycolic or salicylic acid.

As they’re washed away with the cleanser these exfoliating acids are still gentle to sensitive skin and work to keep dead skin build-up at bay.

Conclusion

We hope that this article clears up what can be a confusing array of options in the anti-aging skin care world. They form just one part of your anti-aging regimen but are an important step in providing extra layers of protection for your skin.

Remember not to forget the basics of skin care and aging: UV damage from the sun and the aggravating effects of pollution are the two biggest culprits by far. As a minimum, you should have some form of sun protection, followed up by a good quality antioxidant protecting your skin from within.

Be careful too when using acids to clear away blemishes and dead skin, they sensitize you to sun damage and could potentially undo all your hard anti-aging work if they are overused.

If you still have any questions or queries about which products you should be using be sure to leave a comment down below.

For more insight into the best additions to your skin care routine and subscriber-only access to our latest news–sign up to the ZELEN Life Newsletter today!


References

  1. Han A, Chien AL, Kang S. Photoaging. Dermatol Clin. 2014 Jul;32(3):291-9, vii. doi: 10.1016/j.det.2014.03.015. PMID: 24891052.
  2. Schikowski T, Hüls A. Air Pollution and Skin Aging. Curr Environ Health Rep. 2020 Mar;7(1):58-64. doi: 10.1007/s40572-020-00262-9. PMID: 31927691.
  3. Masaki H. Role of antioxidants in the skin: anti-aging effects. J Dermatol Sci. 2010 May;58(2):85-90. doi: 10.1016/j.jdermsci.2010.03.003. Epub 2010 Mar 17. PMID: 20399614.
  4. Ferrari CK, Percário S, Silva JC, da Silva Torres EA. An apple plus a Brazil nut a day keeps the doctors away: antioxidant capacity of foods and their health benefits. Curr Pharm Des. 2016;22(2):189-95. doi: 10.2174/1381612822666151117122715. PMID: 26572874.
  5. Pan B, Li H, Lang D, Xing B. Environmentally persistent free radicals: Occurrence, formation mechanisms and implications. Environ Pollut. 2019 May;248:320-331. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2019.02.032. Epub 2019 Feb 11. PMID: 30802746.
  6. Getoff N. Vitamin C: electron emission, free radicals and biological versatility. In Vivo. 2013 Sep-Oct;27(5):565-70. PMID: 23988889.
  7. Vaccaro A, Kaplan Dor Y, Nambara K, Pollina EA, Lin C, Greenberg ME, Rogulja D. Sleep Loss Can Cause Death through Accumulation of Reactive Oxygen Species in the Gut. Cell. 2020 Jun 11;181(6):1307-1328.e15. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2020.04.049. Epub 2020 Jun 4. PMID: 32502393.
  8. Milisav I, Ribarič S, Poljsak B. Antioxidant Vitamins and Ageing. Subcell Biochem. 2018;90:1-23. doi: 10.1007/978-981-13-2835-0_1. PMID: 30779004.
  9. Rattanawiwatpong P, Wanitphakdeedecha R, Bumrungpert A, Maiprasert M. Anti‐aging and brightening effects of a topical treatment containing vitamin C, vitamin E, and raspberry leaf cell culture extract: A split‐face, randomized controlled trial. Journal of cosmetic dermatology. 2020 Mar;19(3):671-6. https://doi.org/10.1111/jocd.13305
  10. Surjushe A, Vasani R, Saple DG. Aloe vera: a short review. Indian journal of dermatology. 2008;53(4):163. doi: 10.4103/0019-5154.44785
  11. Farris P, Yatskayer M, Chen N, Krol Y, Oresajo C. Evaluation of efficacy and tolerance of a nighttime topical antioxidant containing resveratrol, baicalin, and vitamin e for treatment of mild to moderately photodamaged skin. Journal of drugs in dermatology: JDD. 2014 Dec 1;13(12):1467-72. https://jddonline.com/articles/dermatology/S1545961614P1467X
ZELEN Life Cleanser
BEST FOR CLEAN SKINCARE
ZELEN Life Cleanser
  • Loaded with Vitamin C, a powerful "anti-aging" antioxidant
  • Plant-based organic formula, cruelty-free and vegan-friendly
  • Handmade with aloe, jojoba and sunflower, which smoothes fine lines and helps acne
All skin types
All skin types
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Peter Thomas Roth Anti-Aging Face Wash
BEST FOR ACNE
Peter Thomas Roth Anti-Aging Face Wash
  • Assists in brightening skin thanks to its botanical ingredients
  • Contains glycolic and salicylic acids that helps reduces fine lines
  • Improves the skin tone and texture
Acne-prone skin
Acne-prone skin
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Juice Beauty Stem Cellular 2-in-1 Cleanser
BEST FOR MAKEUP REMOVAL
Juice Beauty Stem Cellular 2-in-1 Cleanser
  • Formula rich in vitamins and antioxidants
  • Contains Malic acid which exfoliates the skin and promotes collagen growth
  • Prevent and repairs hyperpigmentation
Mature skin
Mature skin
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SkinMedica AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser
BEST FOR EXFOLIATION
SkinMedica AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser
  • Strong exfoliation formula, packed with 4 exfoliating acids
  • Quickly improves the texture of skin
  • Jojoba assists in the moisturization and protection of the skin
Normal skin
Normal skin
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About The Author

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Board-Certified Doctor and Educator

Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery MBBS (Cardiff University)

London, United Kingdom

Dr. McKeown is a UK based NHS clinician with over 10 years experience in both hospital medicine and surgery. After an initial career in maxillofacial surgery his focus now lies in elderly care and rehabilitation medicine. A board member for Wadham College of Science, Dr. McKeown is passionate about widening access to both education and healthcare around the world and as a result, outside of his clinical work he spends much of his time either teaching or providing medical consultancy to healthcare startups. Commercially, his interests lie in helping research and promote novel, evidence-based medicines originating from natural sources and processes.

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