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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best foundations for aging skin

Last Updated July 2020

The goal of foundation is to make your skin look better, not completely cover it up with a mask-like finish. But as you get older and your skin changes, it can be tough to find a good foundation. That’s why you need to use a foundation specifically designed for aging skin.

As they age, most people notice that their skin becomes drier, so the foundation you used to love can start to look cakey and cling to dry patches. Aging skin is also more likely to have fine lines and wrinkles. Foundation for aging skin addresses these issues by helping to hydrate the skin. It also has a lightweight texture that doesn’t settle in fine lines and wrinkles. Many formulas reflect the light, too, to give skin a healthy glow and conceal the look of fine lines and wrinkles.

Our buying guide has all the tips you need to find the best foundation for aging skin for your makeup bag. If you’re still unsure, check out our specific foundation recommendations for entirely fuss-free shopping.

You don’t necessarily need to apply foundation all over your face. Using a small amount only where you need it to even out your skin tone can give you a much more natural, youthful look.

Key considerations

Formula

Foundation is available in several different formulas designed to address specific skin concerns. If you have aging skin, you should choose a formula that’s moisturizing or hydrating. Because mature skin is usually drier, a foundation with ingredients that add moisture keeps the makeup from looking cakey and clinging to flaky, dry patches. The added moisture can help keep the foundation from settling into fine lines and wrinkles, too.

If you have aging skin, be careful to avoid foundation formulas that absorb oil or have a matte finish. These will look dry and flat on your skin and accentuate any flaky patches, fine lines, or wrinkles.

Finish

Choosing a foundation with the right finish can mean the difference between skin that has a healthy, flawless look and skin with a dry, dull look.

Matte: Avoid any foundation with a matte finish. It has no shine and dries completely flat, which can emphasize fine lines and wrinkles.

Dewy: Instead, pick a foundation with a dewy, radiant, or luminous finish. It has a slight glow to it, which gives the skin a fresh, youthful look. A dewy finish also reflects the light, so it can disguise the look of fine lines and wrinkles.

Satin: If you have mature skin but still get a little oily in the T-zone during the day, you may prefer a foundation with a satin finish, which is neither as glowing as a dewy finish foundation nor as flat as a matte finish foundation. It has a finish that most resembles natural skin, so you don’t have to worry about it looking too shiny if your skin gets oily.

Coverage

When it comes to foundation for aging skin, the old adage “less is more” definitely applies. If you opt for a full-coverage foundation, it can sink into lines and wrinkles and make them look more obvious.

Instead, opt for a foundation with light to medium coverage that’s lightweight on the skin. It won’t be as likely to emphasize texture issues, but it can still cover up most dark spots, blemishes, and other imperfections.

EXPERT TIP

Skin tends to get paler as it ages, so some makeup artists recommend choosing a foundation shade with yellow undertones to add warmth to the skin and help you look younger.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Ingredients

Foundations for aging skin usually contain ingredients that either hydrate the skin or have anti-aging benefits. Some ingredients to look for in the foundations you consider include the following:

Hyaluronic acid: This can help draw water and hold it in the skin to help give your skin a plumper, more hydrated appearance.

Argan oil: This oil contains omega fatty acids, linoleic acid, and vitamin E to help moisturize the skin. It can soften flaky, dry patches, and it forms a protective barrier over the skin, too.

Hydrolyzed collagen: This can help reduce sagging and plump up the skin.

Peptides: These can help stimulate collagen and elastin production to firm the skin.

Shades

With any foundation, finding the right shade for your skin is essential for a natural look. As you age, your skin can lose some of its color, so you may not need the same shade that you did when you were younger. Match your foundation to your jawline and neck to make sure that it’s the right shade.

Keep in mind that opting for a foundation with a larger shade range makes it more likely that you’ll find a perfect match. Some foundations are only available in a few shades, while others offer as many as 40.

SPF

The sun’s UV rays not only cause skin cancer, but they also contribute to the formation of fine lines, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation. Choosing a foundation with SPF can offer some protection from the sun to keep your skin looking younger longer. For the best results, opt for a foundation with at least SPF15.

EXPERT TIP

After you apply your foundation, roll a clean makeup sponge gently over your face to remove any excess makeup that might sink into fine lines and wrinkles.


Staff  | BestReviews

Accessories

Face moisturizer: ELEMIS Pro-Collagen Marine Cream
Preparing your skin is vital for a flawless foundation application, and mature skin always needs a good moisturizer. We love this cream from ELEMIS because it helps plump the skin and boosts skin elasticity, too.

Primer for mature skin: OLE HENRIKSEN Banana Bright Face Primer
A foundation primer gives you a smooth canvas for applying foundation, and a formula designed specifically for mature skin has plenty of anti-aging benefits. This primer contains vitamin C to provide antioxidant benefits and yellow pigments to help brighten the skin.

Makeup sponges: Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponges
When you have mature skin that’s on the dry side, you can usually apply foundation more smoothly with a sponge than with fingers. These four sponges from Real Techniques are perfect for applying liquid foundation. They have a contoured design with a pointed edge for precise application.

Foundation for aging skin prices

Foundation for aging skin varies in price based on the quality of the ingredients, coverage, and other features. Most foundations cost between $8 and $120.

Inexpensive: The most affordable foundations are drugstore formulas. They typically contain lower-quality ingredients and may not be that moisturizing. They generally cost between $8 and $18.

Mid-range: These foundations for aging skin contain higher-quality ingredients. They’re usually extremely moisturizing, contain SPF15 or higher, and typically cost between $18 and $45.

Expensive: The most expensive foundations for aging skin are made by luxury cosmetics brands and contain the highest-quality ingredients, which usually have anti-aging benefits. They are extremely moisturizing, too, and contain SPF15 or higher. These typically cost between $48 and $120.

EXPERT TIP

Foundation with buildable coverage works well for aging skin because it allows you to keep the coverage light and only add more if you need it.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • Always apply a moisturizer before your foundation. Aging skin is usually dry, and it can use an extra dose of moisture to make sure that the foundation goes on as smoothly and evenly as possible.
  • Add oil to the foundation. For added moisture, mix a drop or two of facial oil in with your foundation before you apply it. The oil can give the makeup more slip, so it glides over fine lines and wrinkles while adding more moisture, too.
  • Try a primer. Using a primer that blurs fine lines, wrinkles, and other texture issues before applying foundation can help give your skin a smoother finish.
  • Use a sponge. A makeup sponge is usually the best tool for applying foundation to aging skin because you can use it to press the makeup into the skin. That prevents the foundation from settling into fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Try a spray instead of powder. Aging skin doesn’t usually do well with powder, so you may not want to use it to set your foundation. Instead, consider using a dewy setting spray after you apply the foundation.
You can pair your foundation with a highlighter, but avoid anything that’s too frosty, shimmery, or glittery because it can emphasize texture issues. That’s why liquid highlighters are usually a better option for mature skin.

FAQ

Q. What skincare prep do I need to do to make my foundation look better?
A.
It’s important to exfoliate regularly to remove dead skin cells that can give your skin a rough texture and dull appearance. You can use a chemical exfoliator like an AHA gel or a gentle scrub to manually exfoliate your face. It’s also essential to keep your skin properly hydrated, so apply a moisturizer and/or facial oil both morning and night to ensure that your skin is smooth and moisturized when you apply the foundation.
 

Q. Can I use powder foundation if I have mature skin?
A.
Powder products usually aren’t the best option for mature skin because they can emphasize dry patches, fine lines, and wrinkles. Powder foundation usually has a matte finish, too, which can make aging skin look flat and dull. The exceptions are some mineral powder foundations, which have light-reflecting properties that can give mature skin a healthy glow. You have to prep your skin really well with moisturizer and a hydrating primer before using a powder foundation.
 

Q. Can I apply my foundation with my fingers?
A.
Using your fingers to apply your foundation can leave you with a splotchy, uneven finish that only accentuates fine lines and wrinkles. A makeup sponge is usually a much better bet, but if you prefer brushes, opt for one with soft, synthetic bristles.

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    Jennifer
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