The Best Foundations For Mature Skin
As we gracefully age, our skincare and makeup routines should evolve to meet the changing needs of our skin. One essential aspect is choosing the best foundation for our mature skin. In this blog post, together, we will explore the unique characteristics of mature skin and delve into the key features to look for in foundations. Additionally, I will provide a curated list of top recommendations that I have actually tried on my mature skin and share application tips for a flawless finish.
I wanted this to be a comprehensive guide providing you with all that I’ve learned over the past several years. Over the past several years I’ve spent learning to understand the changes in my skin, and trying products until I found the ones that worked the best for me. As I went through the process, I learned that there is so much more to choosing the right foundation than just watching a few YouTube videos or reading magazine articles and blog posts, often written by young women.
Understanding Mature Skin
Mature skin undergoes various changes, including the development of fine lines, wrinkles, and a reduction in elasticity. Understanding these characteristics is crucial for selecting foundations that cater to the specific needs of aging skin. Many of us experience dry skin, dry patches, dark spots, uneven texture or develop sensitive skin as we age.
Our skin texture also changes, making finding the right foundation challenging, especially if we have become used to certain products and find they no longer work. Finally, our skin tone also changes which sometimes means we need to try a few different shades to find the perfect match.
When my skin first started changing, I was relieved, as it had been terribly oily. But soon I discovered that finding the right formulas, shades, and textures was daunting. It helped to find women on YouTube who had similar a skin type and coloring, but all too often, however, the recommendations fell short. There were several factors, including the age of the person providing the advice. I found that very young women, like my daughter’s age, were the writers of the articles I had been reading and that advertisers were behind their recommendations.
Key Features to Look for in Foundation
1. Hydration and Moisture
Mature skin tends to be drier, making hydration a top priority. Look for foundations with moisturizing properties to keep the skin hydrated throughout the day and reduce the look of fine lines. Ingredients like hyaluronic acid and glycerin can work wonders for maintaining skin moisture. While a small amount of alcohol can work, avoid products with higher alcohol content.
2. Coverage and Texture
Optimal coverage is essential for addressing imperfections, while at the same time avoiding a heavy or cakey finish. Lightweight and natural textures are ideal for mature skin, ensuring a smooth and comfortable application.
Knowing whether you are looking for light coverage or a full coverage foundation is an important first step for mature skin types. It can be hard to get used to a new texture, especially if you are moving from full coverage to a more modern lightweight product. I found I achieved a more skin-like finish when I moved from a full-coverage product to a lighter-weight one.
Another detail, often overlooked, is our weather–do you live in hot, humid conditions, or dry? This can affect how your makeup works and in turn the type of coverage and wear you might look for. For example, in a dry climate, you might prefer a tinted moisturizer or BB Cream if you don’t have dark spots and aren’t looking for a full-coverage foundation.
However, in humid conditions, that same product could simply melt away in a very short time. Thus, a lightweight formula with light to medium coverage might be your best bet. While I have used powder foundation in Florida, I find that it requires frequent touch-ups, and have moved to a liquid foundation that provides longer wear.
3. Anti-Aging Ingredients
Choose foundations that go beyond mere coverage by incorporating anti-aging ingredients. Look for products enriched with antioxidants, peptides, and other skincare benefits to nourish and rejuvenate mature skin. A few additional ingredients that help are vitamin C, and vitamin E, among the active ingredients as they help improve the brightness and health of your skin. IT! Cosmetics CC+ Cream listed below is a great example of a product that combines skincare with a foundation, which has made the product a fan favorite.
4. Sun Protection
Sun protection is non-negotiable, especially for mature skin. Seek foundations with SPF to shield your skin from harmful UV rays, preventing further damage and promoting long-term skin health. You may choose a foundation with sunscreen, though if you are in sunny conditions you will need to reapply every few hours. Here is a YouTube video I put together on dealing with sunscreen and the problem of reapplication. If you are not using a foundation with sunscreen, you will need to experiment with your foundation and sunscreen to get the right blend–not all foundations and sunscreens play well together. Here’s a post on how to chose the best sunscreens. Tatcha was a huge favorite!
Top Foundation Recommendations
As a 64-year-old woman, nothing is more irritating than reading blog posts written by young women who haven’t tried the products they are recommending–and they certainly have not experienced the skin changes that we older women have.
I have tried these foundations personally, and while I am not a celebrity makeup artist, I can certainly share my experience. For reference I live in Florida–the climate is humid most of the year. I have traditionally had very oily skin, but now I have combination skin.
In the winter I sometimes experience dryness. I have dark circles and large pores, and I like light-to-medium coverage. I have tried several foundation formulas, including powder–I used to love powder foundation for its easy application but found that it required frequent touch-ups in the Florida heat. As my skin matured, I found that powder foundation left my skin looking dry and cakey.
I have never been a fan of skin tint, as I like a little bit of coverage and I want something that can help blur my pores. However, they are a great option for those of you who have dry skin with smooth texture, and who just want a little extra glow to your skin.
After trying CC+ and Estee Lauder–both full-coverage products, I longed for something a little lighter and more skin-like, which led me to Dior and Armani. I also use Tom Ford’s foundation stick, but am not including it here due to its price. You can get a great foundation for a lower price point.
To help you navigate the world of foundations for mature skin, I’ve compiled a list of top-notch products, ranging from drugstore finds to high-end favorites:
1. L’Oreal Age Perfect Foundation (Drugstore Option)
While I don’t shop for drugstore cosmetics often, I purchased L’Oreal Age Perfect Foundation for a recent YouTube video. Through my research and trial, I found it to be the best drugstore foundation. I found that it oxidized a little–which is often a concern for those who tend toward oily skin, especially in humid climates. However, I feel it is a very good option.
– Features: Formulated specifically for mature skin, this foundation provides excellent coverage while addressing common aging concerns.
– Benefits: Hydrating formula, seamless coverage, and affordable price point.
– User Reviews: Users praise its lightweight feel, natural finish, and long-lasting hydration.
2. ILIA True Skin Serum Foundation (Clean Beauty Choice)
This was one of our top picks for clean beauty when Sharing A Journey beauty editor Brooke Bandoni did a deep dive into clean beauty in 2022. It is a great option for those who light light coverage, and lightweight formulas. Here is a round-up of our whole series on clean makeup
– Features: A clean beauty option that combines skincare benefits with foundation, enriched with nourishing ingredients.
– Benefits: Lightweight texture, buildable coverage, and a commitment to clean and ethical beauty.
– User Reviews: Celebrated for its natural look, skin-friendly ingredients, and radiant finish.
3. Merit Beauty Minimalist Perfecting Complexion Stick (Clean Beauty).
This is a good choice for those who like stick foundations. I love them for travel and for days when I want a quick application. I love this clean product for days when I want to look presentable quickly and for travel. Stick foundations are also great for touch-ups as they can be tossed into your handbag without worry of spilling.
– Features: A clean and minimalist approach to the foundation, offering buildable coverage in a convenient stick form.
– Benefits: Easy application, natural finish, and crafted with clean beauty principles.
– User Reviews: Users appreciate its simplicity, travel-friendly design, and versatility.
This luminous foundation is gorgeous! The slight luminosity gives skin a natural and youthful glow similar to the Armani foundation listed below.
– Features: Known for its luminous finish, this foundation provides a radiant glow while addressing aging concerns.
– Benefits: Long-wearing, hydrating, and offers buildable coverage.
– User Reviews: Praised for its ability to provide a youthful radiance and even skin tone.
I always have CC+ on hand for days I know we are going to be outside due to its built-in sunscreen. It provides medium to full coverage reduces the appearance of fine lines, and protects skin from sun damage. It is in my bag for our upcoming trip to Universal Studios. I top up my sunscreen every few hours with powder–here is a post about the best sunscreens for mature skin if you’d like to see what I tried and what worked.
– Features: More than just a foundation, this CC+ cream combines color correction, skincare, and SPF for comprehensive coverage.
– Benefits: Full coverage, anti-aging properties, and sun protection.
– User Reviews: Loved for its all-in-one benefits, including hydration, coverage, and SPF.
I wore Double Wear and It CC+ cream for years and still go back for special occasions when I want more coverage and a touch-up-free day. This product wears like iron! If you ever wondered how Southern gals look flawless even in 100 percent humidity, this is the secret.
It offers full coverage and comes in a wide range of shades. It can be challenging to apply–if you aren’t careful, it can look heavy and mask-like. I have found it works best when applied with a damp beauty blender to help sheer out the coverage, especially at the forehead and jawline. It is great for all skin but super great for oily skin types–it was a godsend when my skin was super oily.
– Features: A long-time favorite for its lasting power, this foundation offers full coverage with a matte finish.
– Benefits: Transfer-resistant, stays in place throughout the day, and suitable for mature skin.
– User Reviews: Applauded for its longevity and ability to withstand various conditions.
7. Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation (Luxury Pick).
This is another favorite makeup for me. I will be ordering my third bottle–that’s how much I love it. This foundation just does “something” to my skin. It is a lightweight foundation but has a satin finish that gives the skin a natural glow without being shiny, perfect for mature complexions. Like Double Wear, it comes in many shades. I found it easy to get a match.
– Features: A luxurious foundation known for its silky texture and luminous finish.
– Benefits: Lightweight feel, buildable coverage, and a radiant complexion.
– User Reviews: Celebrated as a red-carpet favorite, providing a flawless and natural look.
8. Dior Backstage Face & Body Foundation (Luxury Pick).
This is one of my favorite foundations–I wear it most days. It provides buildable light to medium coverage and is very lightweight. It offers a soft matte finish–which is perfect here in Florida. I like to start a bit matte as I know that as the day goes on, I will develop a glow. I have been wearing this foundation since it came out and still love it. One of the things I love about the Dior line is its range of colors. Once you are color-typed, you can purchase the exact shade in all of their offerings including the concealer. It makes switching between products easy and having a concealer that goes perfectly with the foundation.
– Features: A versatile foundation suitable for the face and body, offering a natural, second-skin finish.
– Benefits: Waterproof, buildable coverage, and a wide shade range.
– User Reviews: Admired for its versatility and ability to create a seamless, camera-ready look.
Types of Products to Avoid
So, after trying a crazy number of foundations at a variety of price points, through the years, I have had a considerable number of product failures. There was the Chanel foundation I paid an arm and a leg for that literally dripped off my face in the humidity, there were countless products that barely lasted the application process and those that made me look like I was wearing a cakey mask.
1. Powder Foundations:
I wore powder foundation for years. It was great when I had a corporate job and was inside most of the day, however, when I spent more time out in the humidity, the powder foundation failed. Touch-up was easy, but I didn’t want to carry makeup everywhere, especially after trying products I could put on and forget about. As my skin became more dry, I found powder foundations became cakey, and clung to dry patches. Not a great look.
– Why: Powder foundations can accentuate dryness and settle into fine lines, making them less suitable for mature skin.
– Alternative: Opt for liquid or cream foundations that provide a more hydrating and dewy finish.
2. Matte Foundations:
Because of my oily skin, I always wanted more of that flawless matte look, and for a moment in time, the matte foundation worked like a charm. However, as I age, I notice that matte foundation seems to sit on top of my skin. Texture such as large pores and wrinkles are much more apparent. Now I go for a more natural skin-like look and I am much happier.
– Why: Matte foundations can be too drying for mature skin, emphasizing wrinkles and potentially making the skin look flat.
– Alternative:Choose foundations with a satin or luminous finish for a more youthful and radiant appearance.
3. Heavy or Thick Formulas:
This falls into the same category as matte foundations, and why, while I like DoubleWear, I don’t use it every day. Thicker foundations require a little extra work to help them look natural and less mask-like. In addition, if the foundation is too thick, it can cause skin problems.
– Why: Thick formulas can feel heavy on the skin, settling into fine lines and emphasizing texture.
– Alternative: Look for lightweight, buildable formulas that provide coverage without feeling overly thick or cakey.
4. Alcohol-Based Foundations:
– Why: Foundations containing high levels of alcohol can be drying and may strip the skin of essential moisture. Mind you, you may find alcohol as an ingredient in many foundations. If it is a small amount, it might not have any effect on your skin at all, however, if it is higher in the ingredient deck, I’d steer away.
– Alternative: Choose foundations with hydrating ingredients and avoid those with alcohol listed high in the ingredient list.
I am not bothered, at least I don’t think I am, by a little fragrance. However, more studies are showing that fragrances in our skincare products can cause a plethora of health and skin problems.
– Why: Fragrances can be irritating, especially for sensitive or mature skin, and may contribute to dryness.
– Alternative: Opt for fragrance-free foundations to minimize the risk of irritation.
3. Parabens and Sulfates:
– Why: These preservatives and detergents can be harsh on the skin, potentially causing dryness and irritation.
– Alternative: Seek foundations labeled as paraben-free and sulfate-free for a gentler option.
4. Heavy Silicones:
– Why: While some silicones can be beneficial, heavy silicones may contribute to a heavier feel and settle into fine lines.
– Alternative: Look for foundations with lightweight silicones or formulations designed to avoid a heavy texture.
5. Harsh Chemicals and Colorants:
– Why: Harsh chemicals and colorants can be irritating and may not be ideal for sensitive or mature skin.
– Alternative: Choose foundations with clean and skin-friendly ingredients, minimizing the use of potentially harsh chemicals.
By avoiding these product types and ingredients, you can ensure that your foundation complements and enhances the natural beauty of mature skin without emphasizing fine lines or dryness. Always consider your skin’s specific needs and preferences when selecting a foundation.
These top recommendations cater to various preferences and budgets, ensuring that you can find the perfect foundation to enhance and celebrate your mature skin.
Application Tips for Mature Skin
I thought I’d add some tips I’ve learned over the past couple of years to this post, I know it’s a long post! However, learning how to apply makeup properly can help avoid many of the issues we experience with makeup. I don’t want you to purchase a really nice foundation and then struggle with it!
1. Prep Your Skin:
– Begin with a clean and well-moisturized canvas. I don’t wash my face in the morning. Instead, I blot my face with a warm washcloth and then apply my morning skin care. I give it ample time to soak in before applying my makeup. If you have used heavy creams at night, you may want to wash with a gentle cleanser first then apply your morning skincare.
2. Use a Damp Makeup Sponge:
– Opt for a damp makeup sponge when applying foundation. The dampness helps blend the foundation seamlessly into the skin, preventing a cakey or heavy appearance. I run my makeup sponge under warm water, then wring it out. I then blot it further with a dry towel. This brings it to the perfect dampness.
3. Apply the Proper Amount of Moisturizer:
– Before applying foundation, ensure your skin is adequately moisturized. Use a moisturizer suitable for your skin type, and allow it to fully absorb before moving on to foundation application. Too much or a very heavy moisturizer can cause your makeup not to work properly, so be sure to use a lighter product, and let it soak in for five to ten minutes before applying founcation. Blot off excess with a tissue.
4. Consider Using a Makeup Primer:
– Apply a makeup primer to create a smooth base for your foundation. A primer can help fill in fine lines and create a barrier between your skin and the foundation, promoting a longer-lasting and flawless look. I love this primer for blurring my pores, and this one for long wear.
5. Choose Lightweight and Buildable Formulas:
– When selecting a foundation, opt for lightweight and buildable formulas. This allows you to customize the coverage without compromising the natural look of your skin.
6. Focus on Key Areas:
– Concentrate foundation application on areas that may require more coverage, such as around the nose, under the eyes, and on any uneven skin tone. This targeted approach ensures a natural finish without unnecessary product buildup.
7. Set with a Finishing Powder or a Setting Spray:
– If you prefer a powder finish, use a lightweight, translucent setting powder to set your foundation. Apply sparingly to avoid a heavy or dry appearance. In recent years, I have found setting sprays work wonders. I can set my makeup without a cakey look. I do use powder frequently, this is my favorite powder.
8. Regularly Clean Your Makeup Tools:
– Keep your makeup tools, especially your makeup sponge, clean. Regularly wash and sanitize your tools to prevent the buildup of bacteria and ensure a smooth application.
9. Customize Your Routine:
– Adapt your makeup routine based on your skin’s needs. If your skin is particularly dry, focus on hydrating products, while those with oily skin may prefer mattifying options. Remember, your skin changes seasonally, so you may need to change your foundation and skin care throughout the year. It’s so important to experiment until you get the look you are going for.
By incorporating these application tips into your makeup routine, you can achieve a beautiful and natural-looking finish that enhances the unique beauty of mature skin. Remember, makeup should be a form of self-expression and celebration at every age.
Embracing and celebrating mature skin involves making thoughtful choices in our skincare and makeup routines. By understanding the unique needs of mature skin and selecting foundations with the right features, we can enhance our natural beauty at every age. The key is to prioritize hydration, choose suitable textures, and invest in products that contribute to the overall health and radiance of mature skin. Cheers to aging gracefully and confidently!