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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 all opinions about the products are our own. 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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How we decided

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

51 Models Considered
20 Hours Researched
2 Experts Interviewed
122 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

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

Buying guide for best primers for mature skin

Foundation can do it all: cover blemishes, conceal dark spots, even out skin tone. But for people with mature skin, applying foundation without it looking cakey or settling into fine lines and wrinkles can seem impossible. For this reason, consider using a primer for mature skin before you apply foundation.

Primer for mature skin is formulated to create a base for your foundation and other makeup. Like any primer, it can help extend the wear of your foundation and prevent it from fading. Formulas designed for mature skin contain ingredients that add moisture to the skin to prevent foundation from clinging to dry patches. Some also contain ingredients that fill in or blur the look of fine lines and wrinkles.

Choosing a primer for mature skin can be tricky because there are so many on the market. Our buying guide contains the facts you need to find the best primer for the skin you’re in. Check out our favorites for the easiest shopping possible.

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Don’t like the feel of too many layers of makeup on your skin? Try mixing your primer with your foundation for a lighter feel and a shorter makeup routine.

Key considerations

Ingredients

A foundation primer creates a smooth canvas for foundation application. For mature skin, that usually means filling in fine lines and wrinkles and moisturizing the skin. Some formulas also contain anti-aging ingredients that benefit the complexion over the long term.

Here is a list of common ingredients found in primers for mature skin.

Silicone: Silicone helps with spreadability and fills in pores, fine lines, and wrinkles. It also creates a protective barrier that locks moisture in place. 

Hyaluronic acid: Hyaluronic acid helps the skin retain moisture and plumps it to soften the look of fine lines and wrinkles. 

Vitamin C: This vitamin helps hydrate, brighten, and smooth the skin. 

Vitamin E: This vitamin helps fight free radical damage and the visible signs of aging associated with it. 

Niacin: A form of vitamin B3, niacin bolsters the skin barrier to lock in moisture and smooth fine lines and wrinkles. 

Collagen: Collagen helps moisturize the skin and can prevent sagging. 

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

Finish

Because skin loses moisture with age, mature skin tends to be dry. Foundation primer for aging skin usually contains hydrating ingredients to combat dryness. In addition to looking dehydrated, mature skin can start to look dull, which is why the finish of your foundation primer is so important.

For mature skin, choose a primer with a radiant or dewy finish. The resultant glow makes skin appear fresher and more youthful. If dryness isn’t a problem for you, consider a formula with a natural or satin finish. This type of primer provides a slight sheen that looks more like natural skin.

If you have mature skin, avoid heavy, thick foundation. It often settles into fine lines and wrinkles, even if you’ve applied primer beforehand.

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Features

Packaging

Most primers for mature skin come in a plastic squeeze tube. This type of packaging is easy to use because you simply squeeze out the right amount. There should be no issues with getting all of the product out of the tube. 

A few primer products are housed in pump bottles. A pump bottle dispenses the product well, but it can be difficult to control how much product you get each time. It’s not always possible to get all of the product out of the packaging, either. 

Some primers for mature skin with a thin, serum-like consistency come in a bottle with a medicine dropper. These products are easy to use but can spill if knocked over when the lid is off. Thick, creamy primers may come in a jar or pot, requiring you to dip your finger or a makeup spatula inside to remove the product. 

SPF

Sun damage is a primary cause of fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots, and other visible signs of aging. That’s why sunscreen is such a crucial step in any skincare routine. Some primers for mature skin contain SPF to offer protection against damaging UV rays. Look for a formula that contains broad-spectrum protection with at least SPF15.

Fragrance

Many beauty products contain fragrance. If you have sensitive skin, a synthetic fragrance could easily cause irritation, redness, itching, and burning. Opt for a fragrance-free primer for mature skin to avoid a reaction.

Paraben-free

Parabens are widely used in makeup and skincare products as chemical preservatives to prolong shelf life. However, some research indicates that parabens can disrupt hormone function, possibly leading to breast cancer and other reproductive health issues. If you’re concerned about using clean makeup formulas, opt for a primer that’s clearly labeled as paraben-free.

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DID YOU KNOW?
Get a little extra wear time from your primer and foundation by sealing it with a setting spray. Look for a formula with a dewy or radiant finish to lend a healthy, youthful glow to mature skin.
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Accessories

Foundation for aging skin: IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream
A primer for mature skin can create an excellent base for your makeup, but you should also use a foundation for aging skin for best results. We love this formula from IT Cosmetics because it contains anti-aging ingredients like peptides and collagen and offers SPF50 for plenty of sun protection.

Makeup sponge: Aesthetica Cosmetics Beauty Blender Sponge
You can apply a primer for mature skin with clean fingers, but some people prefer using a makeup sponge to really press the product into the skin. This sponge from Aesthetica is latex-free and large enough to apply primer or makeup quickly over the entire face. 

Primers for mature skin prices

Primers for mature skin vary in price based on the quality of the ingredients, the packaging, and the container size. Most primers range from $10 to $55

Inexpensive: The most affordable primers for mature skin are usually drugstore brands. They’re typically hydrating formulas that contain two or fewer anti-aging ingredients. These primers generally cost $10 to $22.

Mid-range: Mid-range primers for mature skin are hydrating formulas that also contain anti-aging ingredients. Many contain three or more ingredients meant to help minimize the signs of aging, and most include SPF. They typically cost between $22 and $38.

Expensive: The priciest primers for mature skin come from luxury beauty brands. They contain hydrating ingredients but also feature high-quality anti-aging ingredients. They usually cost between $38 and $55.

Line-filling or blurring foundation primers don’t necessarily have to be worn with foundation. Try wearing primer on its own to smooth out your skin texture.

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Tips

  • Apply moisturizer or facial oil to mature skin before foundation. This holds true even if your foundation primer is a hydrating formula. With properly hydrated skin, your foundation will go on as smoothly and flawlessly as possible. 
  • Foundation primer that blurs fine lines and wrinkles doesn’t necessarily need to be applied to the entire face. Focus it on areas with texture that you want to soften.
  • Allow your foundation primer to set for at least a minute before applying foundation. This gives the primer time to soak into the skin, so you don’t have to worry about it pilling up when blending your foundation.
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Silicone-based primer can also be used on top of foundation. Dab a small amount over fine lines and wrinkles that you want to blur or smooth out.

FAQ

Q. Do I really need to use a foundation primer?

A. No step in your makeup routine is truly necessary. You should use products that make you look and feel your best. For mature skin, a primer can be a crucial step. Not only can it help hydrate the skin to allow your foundation to apply more smoothly, it can also blur fine lines and wrinkles to help you look younger. If you find that your foundation starts to fade halfway through the day, you’ll also find that a primer can help it wear longer. 

Q. What’s the best way to apply primer to mature skin? 

A. Most makeup artists recommend blending primer into the skin with clean fingers, just as you would a moisturizer or facial oil. If you prefer to use a tool, opt for a damp makeup sponge over a makeup brush. A brush will only drag the primer over the skin without really blending it in.

Q. How much primer do I need for my entire face? 

A. Less is more when it comes to foundation primer because a layer that’s too thick can interfere with your foundation application. Stick to a dime-size or nickel-size amount of primer, and spread it out in a thin layer over the skin.

 

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