Do anti-aging cleansers work?

Wouldn’t it be great if you get rid of wrinkles while washing your face?

Anti-aging cleansers promise just that. But I don’t buy that. Here’s why:

Do Anti-Aging Cleansers With Antioxidants Work?

I’m all for using antioxidants in your skincare routine. Green tea, vitamin C & co are anti-aging superstars that fight wrinkles on three fronts: they destroy free radicals, boost collagen production and reduce inflammation.

But put in a cleanser and they come useless. It’s not their fault. They just end up down the drain when you rinse the cleanser off. How can they benefit skin if they aren’t anywhere near it anymore?

The only exception? Vitamin C. It can penetrate skin even when used in a cleanser, but ONLY with a delivery system based on PEG-12 Dimethicone. You guessed it, most products don’t use that.

Verdict: anti-aging cleansers with antioxidants don’t work – unless they use Vitamin C.

Related: How Antioxidants Help You Fight Premature Wrinkles

Do Exfoliating Anti-Aging Cleansers Work?

Not all anti-aging cleansers use antioxidants. Some prefer to take an exfoliating approach.

Exfoliation happens when you remove dead skin cells off the surface of the skin. Acids like glycolic and salicylic are great candidates for the job. They dissolve the glue that holds skin cells together, so they can slough off.

Plus, each of them has a extra superpower: glycolic acid boosts collagen while salicylic acid keeps the pores clean and breakouts at bay.

But they do have something in common with antioxidants: these exfoliating acids work much better and faster when they are left on the skin for hours, not rinsed down the drain after a few minutes.

Sure, if you massage that cleanser on your skin for a minute or two, you’ll get a little bit of exfoliation. But why would you settle for less?

Verdict: Exfoliating anti-aging cleansers sort of workish, but not as well as leave-on cleansers. Don’t compromise.

Related: How To Pick The Right Exfoliator For Your Skin Type

Wondering what type of cleanser you should use? Check out this list with all my fave cleansers for every skin type and needs.

The Bottom Line

Don’t waste your money on fancy anti-aging cleansers that don’t work. They won’t get rid of your wrinkles or prevent them.

Do you use anti-aging cleansers? Share your experience in the comments below.