Dermatologists reveal facial cleansers that have both acne-fighting and wrinkle-reducing powers.
Once you hit your 30s, there's a good chance you'll still occasionally battle the same breakouts you've had since your teen years at the same time you're trying to stave off the fine lines that come with age. But you don't have to choose between a facial cleanser that only fights dull, aging skin or clears up zits. Plenty of products fight both—you just need to know what to look for.
The trick is to identify a cleanser that offers a deep clean without over-drying the skin, which naturally produces less oil with age, says Jessica Wu, MD, a dermatologist in Los Angeles. "Adult or hormonal acne is different than teen acne—people are often dry on the top layer of skin, and broken out underneath that layer,” Dr. Wu says. “So Proactiv or Clean & Clear won't work as well once you hit your 30s.”
The gentle cleansers below are designed to fight pimples while also keeping your skin looking young by retaining moisture and providing anti-aging benefits. By washing twice daily with these options, your skin will stay clear, soft, and youthful.
Rodan and Fields Unblemish Acne Treatment Sulfur Wash
“Sulfur is one of my favorite ingredients because it’s less drying than retinoids and benzoyl peroxide,” says Dr. Wu. “And sulfur is a great treatment for rosacea, which many people with hormonal breakouts also have. It helps with redness from rosacea and acne.”
CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser
The hyaluronic acid found in this cleanser cleans the skin without over-drying, says Debra Jaliman, MD, a New York City dermatologist. Ceramides help hydrate and repair the skin’s natural moisture barrier, she says. Plus, this cleanser is fragrance-free, which is ideal for sensitive skin.
Dermadoctor Ain’t Misbehavin’ Medicated AHA/BHA Acne Cleanser
This cleanser has glycolic acid (AHA) and salicylic acid (BHA). These help to unclog oil glands and exfoliate the skin to remove sun damage and discoloration, providing anti-aging and anti-acne benefits, says Dr. Wu. It is more on the drying side, she says, so this option would be good for people with oily skin.
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Clarifying Solution
With AHAs, salicylic acid, and glycolic acid, this cleanser deep-cleans pores while exfoliating away dead skin cells to reveal smoother, younger-looking skin.
Burt’s Bees Natural Acne Solutions Purifying Gel Cleanser
For sensitive skin, DR. Wu suggests this cleanser, which has naturally occurring salicylic acid from willow bark. Evening primrose and beetroot extracts help soothe irritated skin.
Sea Radiance Gentle Cleanser
This creamy cleanser (developed by Dr. Jaliman) is meant to remove dirt from skin without stripping moisture. It contains hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and aloe vera to help soothe and moisturize skin. Arnica fights inflammation caused by acne and rosacea.