Picking out the right foundation often calls for a self-assessment of your skin’s needs and behaviors—and those tend to change as we age. So if your previously always-reliable foundation isn’t quite doing the job anymore, it may be time to change up your routine with a new formula.
The best foundations for mature skin often come with built-in skincare benefits, like hyaluronic acid to retain moisture and plump up creases or peptides to boost collagen production. Consider it a multitasking move that improves your complexion over time, so you need less concealing in the long run, which is always a good thing. “Radiant, vibrant, healthy glowing skin at every age should be everyone’s goal,” says celebrity makeup artist Jo Baker. Ahead, find nine of the best foundations for aging skin, including a drugstore classic, a spot-correcting wonder and a versatile stick—plus Baker’s tips on how to apply any formula for a radiant finish.
Best Foundation Overall
A Sweat-Proof Foundation That Gives An Airbrushed Effect
Best Serum Foundation
A Lightweight, Skin-Boosting Formula
Best Long-Lasting Foundation
A Top Pick For Effortlessly Gorgeous Skin
Best Stick Foundation
A Buildable Formula That’s Great For Touchups On The Go
Best Drugstore Foundation
A Cult-Favorite Budget Pick
Best Matte Foundation
A Full-Coverage Finish That Feels Good All Day
Best Clean Beauty Foundation
Nourishing Coverage That Gives A Natural Glow
Best Moisturizing Foundation
A Luxurious Formula That Keeps Skin Hydrated And Healthy
Best Foundation For Dark Spots
A Full-Coverage Foundation That Improves Skin Texture Over Time
What To Consider In Foundation For Mature Skin
Skin type is important to consider when choosing the best foundation for aging skin. For example, Scibelli says those with dry skin may need a formula with hydrating properties in a liquid or cream form, while oily skin types could opt out of the added moisture and choose a lighter or powder consistency.
Foundation finish is typically a personal preference, but Scibelli does note that he typically does not use formulas that are shimmery or pearlized on mature skin. “It can settle into unwanted areas and actually accentuate fine lines and wrinkles,” he says.
Built-in sunscreen is important to protect against sun damage, of course, but also to prevent further breakdown of collagen in the skin as well as future sun spots. It’s still important to apply an additional sunscreen (before using foundation) to ensure you’re getting the full broad-spectrum protection.
A Makeup Artist’s Advice On Applying Foundation
Baker has spent decades contouring and highlighting some of Hollywood’s most famous faces, including Salma Hayek and Natalie Portman. Here, she shares her best glow-enhancing tips.
What Kind Of Makeup Should An Older Woman Wear?
Less is more, says Baker. “Skin is the most important feature. After 50, I think it’s just stunning to see a bright and hydrated complexion with a dab of cream blush on the cheeks,” she says.
How Do You Keep Foundation From Settling Into Wrinkles?
First, prime your skin properly. “Choosing the right skincare is key. I have been using serums under makeup for normal to combination skin and skipping moisturizer, as it seems to be the perfect balance. But drier skin types, especially during colder months, can benefit hugely from the layering of skincare,” says Baker.
Then, give your serums and moisturizers a few minutes to sink in. “You’ll be pleasantly surprised that your makeup will last longer,” finds Baker, who also recommends applying a primer to even out the surface and fill in any creases. “Sisley’s Double Tenseur gel primer is an absolute go-to in my kit, as it creates an invisible mesh layer all over your face,” she says. This step helps “any base last longer and stay put with a flexibility and firmness you can’t get with a regular moisturizer.”
What Kind Of Foundation Is Best For Aging Skin?
Creams, serums, sticks—many types of foundation work for mature skin. The most important thing is that it blends in well so that it’s undetectable. Baker is partial to lightweight, oil-free foundations, which provide a modern no-makeup makeup finish. “You see your skin—but better. You want to enhance your complexion without masking your unique features,” she says. “This is ideal for more mature skin types that are looking for a radiant, smoothed complexion without the old-school weighty coverage.”
It also helps to apply with a light hand. “Oftentimes, heavier foundations can just make people look older than they are,” says Baker. Instead, “keep it light; keep it dewy.”