Do Anti-Aging Cleansers Work?

Although there are lots of expensive, fancy cleansers on the market that include antiaging ingredients said to help your skin look better and younger, I always chose simple, basic and cheap cleansers without them. Why? Because, when used in a cleanser, they get washed off and end up down the drain and so, how effective can they be?

Retinoids, Vitamins C & E and other antioxidants need to stay on the skin to work, and so they’re useless in a cleanser. So, save your money and opt for a cheaper option instead. Some of the ingredients that could provide some benefits in a cleanser are Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acids (such as Glycolic Acid and Salicylic Acid). These ingredients have exfoliating properties and, if you massage the cleanser on your skin for a few minutes, they will remove some of the dead skin cells left on the skin’s surface and enhance the penetration of whatever product you’re gonna apply next.

However, and this is especially true for people with oily or acne prone skin who use Salicylic Acid to prevent and treat breakouts, you would still get much better results if you use a leave-in product with these ingredients. The longer they stay on the skin, the better they will perform. So, that’s my advice for you. Instead than spending lots of money on a fancy cleanser that only provides limited benefits at best, or doesn’t work at all, opt for a simple cleanser that cleanses your skin without irritating it and invest money in a good anti-aging serum or moisturizer. Your skin (and your wallet) will thank you!

Do you use anti-aging cleansers?

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  1. Alejandra says

    Im a cosmetic products junky but use colorant and fragance free shampoo (if possible) for my face, hair and body and I havent had any irritation or bad reaction and my skin is sensitive. I really dont see a difference among the main ingredients of most of shampoos, face and body washes, if you check ingredients lists many are very similar (except for the marketing-purposes ingredients like those you mention here).

    I think when comes to choose personal care products its all about being informed about ingredients and their functions regarding the brand or their publicity.

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Alejandra, you’re right, those products have very similar ingredient lists and that’s because their purpose is to remove dirt and so all need to use the same surfactants. Everything else is just a marketing gimmick.

      And that’s so true too. If you know what ingredients do, you’ll be able to chose the best products for your skin and avoid those that claim to contain beneficial ingredients that in reality just don’t work.

  2. says

    Ah, I’ve definitely wondered about this! I tend to stick to pretty basic, gentle cleansers as well. Have you heard about those cleansers with SPF in them? I always was skeptical of those, and of anti-ageing cleansers too, so it was nice to read this post.
    Makeup Morsels´s last blog post ..NOTD: ColoritoMy Profile

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Makeup Morsels, I’m glad this post helped you. A good cleanser just needs to remove dirt without irritating skin. Other ingredients work much better in a serum or moisturizer. I’ve heard of cleansers with SPF that use a special technology that leaves some of the sunscreen ingredients on the skin even if you wash them off but even if that’s true, I doubt you’ll be able to apply enough of them to provide decent protection. It’s much better to use a basic cleanser and a good sunscreen and moisturizer.

  3. says

    Yep – I totally agree with you! Cleansers wash off, so what’s the point of splurging? Then again, I did one of those facial test things (where they scan your face and tell you what’s wrong) and they said I had so much acne bacteria, and the culprit? The cleanser. I was like…what?
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    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Dom, I never heard of a cleanser that did that. Maybe it wasn’t a very effective one or just too harsh for you and your skin reacted badly to it? In any case, I agree. No need to splurge on something that gets washed off.

  4. Janessa says

    I have a white tea cleanser that came in a boxed set and I thought, “What a waste of good ingredients!” Especially jar packaging. I finished my vitamin-C-in-a-jar-that-was-only-potent-for-a-few-weeks (the jar was clear and had an opaque sticker on it. Albeit the bad packaging, I tried to prolong its life by storing it in a dark place.

    I love your blog, I’ve learned so much!

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Janessa, that’s a waste of good ingredients indeed. What a shame! I don’t understand why brands create good formula only to let them go bad like that….

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