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Xtina doesn't speak for all girls when she said she wanted to get "dirty" in her 2002 pop hit. You already know that dirt can get down into your pores and lead to all kinds of nasty blemishes on your face. What you may not have known is that the right face wash and cleansing routine plays a big role in minimizing and fighting the causes and visible signs of aging.
Splash on some warm water. Reserve hot water for your tea, not your face. Hot water dehydrates your skin, and dehydration can directly cause aging and also makes existing signs of aging, like fine lines, look deeper.
Smooth on a gentle cleanser, and kick scents, soaps, harsh detergents or alcohol to the curb. While such ingredients may smell beautiful or make your skin feel tingly and cool, they actually dehydrate and damage your skin cells while irritating your skin. Chronic irritation breaks down your skin's collagen, which is responsible for keeping your face looking plump and wrinkle-free.
Rinse your face, then pat it dry with a soft, clean towel. Rubbing can aggravate and irritate your skin cells, and can also subtly stretch your skin over the years, which may lead to sagging.
Dab on your favorite anti-aging cream or serum as soon as you're done washing your face. This creates a moisture barrier, quickly sealing moisture into your face. Such deep hydration helps minimize the appearance of lines and wrinkles for an instantly younger complexion.
Scrub a dub dub. Twice a week, alternate your face wash with an exfoliating face wash. Exfoliating stimulates new collagen production, gets rid of damaged skin cells on the surface, brightens your skin and helps create an overall younger look. Try an exfoliator crafted with smooth, plastic beads, suggests AgingSkinNet, a resource of the American Academy of Dermatology. Alternatively, use a face cleanser made with chemical exfoliants like alpha hydroxy acid -- it works best at concentrations of 4 to 10 percent -- or beta hydroxy acid at a concentration of 2 percent, says Paula Begoun in her book, "Don't Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me."
Regular washing gets rid of dead skin cells, dirt, oil and other debris that may reduce the efficacy of whatever anti-aging skin product you use every day. It also helps ensure a clean, smooth palette for your fave cosmetics.
Don't waste your money on skin cleansers marketed as anti-aging treatments, even if they do contain effective anti-aging substances like retinol. Skin cleansers are hardly on your skin long enough for such ingredients to be absorbed, says Begoun, making them not worth the often higher cost. Save that extra money for an anti-aging moisturizer, or a bottle of wine with your girls.