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 –  People are looking younger and younger these days thanks to advances in skin care. Younger looking skin starts with an anti-aging or anti-wrinkle skin cleanser. What ingredients should you look for in a cleanser for more mature skin? First, choose one that's gentle enough not to harm your skin's natural moisture barrier. Soap-free and alcohol-free cleansers are usually the best choice.
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With age, skin cells are sloughed off more slowly. This build-up of skin cells can cause your skin to look older. Is there a solution? Cleansers that contain alpha hydroxy acids help to remove dead skin cells and increase skin cell turnover without drying out your skin. These cleansers help to give your skin a more radiant and youthful look. Alpha hydroxy acids gently exfoliate skin without the irritation that exfoliating pads can cause.

Another ingredient to look for in cleansers is antioxidant vitamins like vitamins A, C and E. These vitamins help to protect against oxidative damage from free radicals, rogue molecules that harm cells. Why is this important? Your skin is exposed to pollutants from the environment constantly that increase free radical formation.

Another antioxidant that's showing up more and more in anti-aging and anti-wrinkle cleansers is coenzyme Q10. Some studies show topical coenzyme Q10, an antioxidant important for cell function, has anti-aging benefits, softening the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It seems to offer protection against photoaging, skin damage due to exposure to sunlight. Free radicals seem to play a role in skin aging and coenzyme Q10 helps to counteract free radical damage.

Some newer antioxidant ingredients you can find in cleansing products include pycnogenol and astaxanthin. Pycnogenol comes from the French maritime pine tree. It's rich in bioflavonoids, antioxidant compounds also found in fruits and vegetables. One study showed that participants that supplemented with pycnogenol experienced skin benefits like increased skin elasticity and improved hydration. There's also some evidence that pycnogenol helps to maintain healthy collagen, the protein component of skin that gives it firmness and resistance to wrinkling and sagging.

Another ingredient of interest for its anti-aging benefits is niacin, a B-vitamin your body needs for health. Research shows niacin increases the thickness of the outer layer of the skin called the epidermis and helps to reduce moisture loss. In addition niacin appears to decrease skin pigmentation due to sun damage and offers some protection against skin aging due to sun exposure. The result is an improvement in skin texture and tone.

Skin becomes dryer with age. This is partially due to hormonal changes that impact the function of oil glands. In addition, some medications as well as a lack of humidity in the air can worsen this problem. That's why it's important to use a non-drying cleanser. Certain ingredients in anti-aging and anti-wrinkle cleansers like glycerin and aloe vera are soothing and help your skin hold onto water.

Most people are careful to use a non-drying cleanser on their face - but use soap on their body. Soap is usually too drying, especially for people with dry and more mature skin. Just as you're careful about what you put on your face, choose the cleanser you use on your body just as carefully - and always use a moisturizer after each bath or shower to keep your skin soft and supple.

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