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The 12 Best Anti-Aging Cleansers and Face Washes to Shop Now – Martha Stewart

One of the best ways to put a fresh face forward at any age is to use a cleanser daily. If you've started to notice 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," says 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," says Dr. Fongod. 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," says Dr. Fongod. No matter which product you opt for, be sure to clean your hands first before starting the cleansing ritual. Then, wash your face in a circular motion for 45 to 60 seconds—exceeding this time can cause your skin to dry out.
Related: The Best Oils to Use for Glowing Skin at Every Age, According to Dermatologists
Prefer a gel to a balm or cream cleanser? This glycolic and salicylic acid-packed option is for you. The gel formula works to unclog pores, brighten skin, and improve tone with each wash.
Get your glow on with this exfoliating BHA cleanser. It features apricot microspheres and willow bark extract, which gently buff and polish to reveal smooth, radiant skin.
If your skin can’t handle retinol, bakuchiol—a plant-based alternative—may be the gentle anti-aging ingredient your skin craves. Like retinol, bakuchiol promotes collagen and elastin production, leading to smoother, firmer skin over time.
Gentle lactic acid is to thank for this cleanser’s stellar results. The AHA-infused exfoliating product works to rid skin of any build-up, while smoothing the surface in the process.
This classic cleanser always makes bestseller lists—and that’s because it works. Formulated with anogeissus, jasmine flowers, and oat protein, it removes impurities, leaving skin looking revitalized with diminished fine lines.
A true multitasker, this anti-aging cleanser gently exfoliates thanks to white willow bark and sugarcane extract—two hero ingredients. Perfect for acne-prone skin, this gel formulation also deep cleans pores without drying you out.
Baby your skin daily with this cleanser, famed for its soothing, moisture-inducing benefits. “It’s perfect for mature skin that is dry,” says Dr. Fongod. “It contains glycerin which will help hydrate and ceramides, which form a protective barrier against loss of moisture.”
People with oily, mature skin will appreciate this sudsy wash that gently removes dirt and grime. It’s enriched with bromelain, a pineapple-derived enzyme that offers baby-soft, exfoliated results.
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.
This drugstore favorite is gentle, non-comedogenic, and oil-free. But what really makes it a top seller is the creamy formulation enriched with ceramides and hyaluronic acid. Both help to hydrate and seal in moisture.
Vitamins C and E team up in this gel-like cleanser to brighten your complexion while keeping free radical rays at bay. It’s the perfect soothing balm for environmentally stressed skin that may have seen a little too much sun.
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.

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