The Best Foundations for Aging Skin, According to Experts and Reviews
Finding the perfect foundation for mature skin that won’t exaggerate fine lines and wrinkles or fail to conceal age spots, can be a truly tall order. As you get older, the foundation you used in your 20s or 30s just might not hack it, since skin requires more care and different ingredients as it loses its plumpness, produces less collagen, begins to crease, takes longer to heal, and starts to show the effects of sun damage from years of exposure.
“As we age, the skin loses its levels of collagen and elastin, thus the epidermis thins and sunspots develop,” says Macrene Alexiades, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist who founded the skin-care line Macrene Actives. “The end result is that the texture of the skin deteriorates with roughness, irregular skin surface, and large pores.” (Related: The Best Collagen Creams, According to Customer Reviews)
These issues can cause foundation to go on less smoothly, or to pool in rough patches and fine lines, notes Dr. Alexiades. To avoid this, she advises to look for formulas that are free of mica, talc, and phthalate. “The first two are problematic because I discovered in my practice that they plug pores causing breakouts,” points out Dr. Alexiades. (On that note, she advises against using powder foundation, since it can also block pores, causing a backup of sebum, resulting in breakouts.) Not to mention, underage children mine mica, talc is associated with ovarian cancer, and phthalates are hormone disruptors also linked to cancer, she adds.
If you’re noticing your skin has become dry or rough as you’ve gotten older, you’re not alone. Mature skin can be dryer due to fewer natural oils, sun damage, and decreased cell renewal. Look for ingredients that benefit and address these issues for mature, aging skin, including glycerin and hyaluronic acid, which work to hydrate, plump, and fill in wrinkles, and vitamin C and vitamin E, which brighten and minimize hyperpigmentation, stimulate cell production (aka collagen), and protect against free radical damage. (Related: Everything You Need to Know About Vitamin C Skin Care)
Ahead, shop the best foundations for aging skin, according to experts and customer reviews.
Maybelline New York Age Rewind
Made with goji berries, caffeine, and glycerin, this foundation seems to rewind the years to make you appear younger. It firms, smooths, hydrates, and evens skin tone, and also contains SPF 18 to defend against UV rays. But, because of the lightweight consistency, you can still layer sunscreen under or on top for extra protection.
One reviewer wrote: “This is my go-to makeup, [I] have used it for a long time. People think I am so much younger than my age because it really protects your skin and covers all the little flaws without it looking like I have any makeup on at all.”
Il Makiage Woke Up Like This Flawless Base Foundation
This lightweight, yet buildable formula boasts optically corrective powders to blur fine lines, hyaluronic acid to hydrate and plump skin, and vitamin E to combat aging and protect from free radical damage. Not to mention, it comes in a matte finish, which is perfect for anyone with oily skin. It’s available in 50 shades, so you’re bound to find one to match your skin tone. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or need extra guidance, just take the brand’s shade match test to find the best foundation color for your skin.
“After [having] the baby, I started falling apart with bags under my eyes and discoloration in my skin tone. Desperate for some help, I ordered this makeup on a whim. It’s perfect. It’s lightweight and I can easily build a little extra coverage without looking like I’m wearing makeup!” raved a customer.
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Tint
With nearly 4,000 five-star ratings, this foundation is ideal for anyone with dry or mature skin. It’s packed with hyaluronic acid to boost hydration, plump skin, and fill in wrinkles. The water-gel formula ensures your skin appears fresh and dewy for 24 hours, is made free of oil (read: won’t irritate your skin), and is non-comedogenic (so it won’t clog your pores or break you out). Reviewers also love how it doesn’t build up in fine lines and still looks great hours later. (Related: The 11 Best Anti-Aging Serums, According to Dermatologists)
“I’m 39 and don’t wear a ton of makeup. I have some fine lines and wrinkles and my skin can be dry. This foundation goes on so smooth. It doesn’t settle into fine lines. Leaves my skin dewy and smooth. I really like it. Highly recommend,” said a fan.
Macrene Actives High Performance Tinted Moisturizer
If you want something with lighter coverage, Dr. Alexiades recommends her own formula, Macrene Actives High Performance Tinted Moisturizer. While it might be a splurge, it’s an anti-aging powerhouse full of peptides and hydrating hyaluronic acid to firm skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. As an added bonus, it has light-reflecting pigments that help it to adapt to a range of skin tones. Even thought it’s a tinted moisturizer, it still has buildable coverage to conceal blemishes and redness, and even uses amino acids to lighten dark spots. (Related: The Best Tinted Moisturizers for Natural-Looking Coverage)
I have found the one item I can’t live without,” shared a shopper. “This is amazing — such nice coverage (on the lighter side of medium) that easily builds to hide blemishes. Does not clog my pores, and better yet, [it] lets my skin breathe. Adjusts to my skin tone within a minute of applying [it] with my fingers. The price made me hesitate, but the results are SOO worth it.”
Almay Smart Shade Anti-Aging Skintone Matching Makeup
Matching your foundation to your skin tone just got a lot easier, thanks to Almay Smart Shade. The lightweight formula — which is available in six shades — starts out white and then instantly transforms into your perfect shade as you rub it in with your fingers. How exactly does it work? The brand’s Tonemimic technology uses tiny spheres that break open and release pigment as you blend them over your skin. It’s also ideal for aging skin, since it contains broad-spectrum SPF 20 to protect from UVA and UVB rays.
One reviewer wrote: “I have been using this makeup for eight months. The color matches your skin, it is moist, and I look 10 years younger when I apply it. It lasts all day. I love it.”
Pat Mcgrath Sublime Perfection Foundation
Offering buildable coverage to hide blemishes and minimize the appearance of fine lines, this foundation leaves you with seriously younger-looking skin. The formula features a signature complex designed to help fight the formation of wrinkles by preserving the hydrolipidic film barrier of the skin; on top of that, the complex boosts hydration by activating the natural production of hyaluronic acid and ceramides. As an added bonus, it contains diamond core powder, which works to smooth imperfections, blur fine lines, and reflect light for a more radiant complexion.
“I have redness, acne scars, and age lines. I’ve been wearing tinted moisturizer because foundation has accentuated my wrinkles. Decided to try this foundation. [It] feels light, covers my scars, and covers my uneven skin color. I love this foundation,” shared a customer.
COVERGIRL+OLAY Simply Ageless 3-in-1 Liquid Foundation
This anti-aging foundation is chock full of hyaluronic acid and vitamin C to hydrate, plump, firm, brighten (especially under your eyes), and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Bonus: The affordable product has earned more than 13,000 five-star ratings from Amazon shoppers, and is available in 16 shades, so you’re bound to find your perfect match. (Related: What a Proactive Anti-Aging Skin-Care Routine Looks Like)
“Best reasonably priced foundation I’ve tried. At 60, I never expected to look like the models for this product, but it does minimize the fine lines and minor wrinkles. Goes on smoothly and looks very natural. Does a good job of covering age spots and freckles without looking heavy. Best aspect for me is that it is fragrance-free. I am super-sensitive and this product does not bother me at all,” reported a shopper.
Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk
You’ve probably heard of this foundation due to its cult-following, but in this case, the hype really is warranted. It offers medium buildable coverage and a nice sheen that will leave your skin looking glowy and healthy. It actually features a patented process that allows pigments to lay flat on the skin’s surface like second-skin, and is available in up to 40 shades to match your unique skin tone. It’s good for mature skin since the lightweight formula will never look thick or heavy — meaning it won’t exaggerate any lines or age spots. (Related: Tranexamic Acid Is the Beauty World’s Best-Kept Secret for Fading Dark Spots)
“This is the holy grail of full-coverage liquid foundation,” said a fan. “Literally the ONLY one I’ve ever tried in my life that looks good both indoors and in the sunshine. It melts in with skin so perfectly and isn’t oily or drying.”
Revlon Age Defying 3X Makeup Foundation
On a budget? This anti-aging foundation has a Tri-Shield technology that moisturizes, firms, lifts, and conceals blemishes once applied. The medium, buildable formula features SPF 20 to protect skin from the sun, and it’s available in 12 shades, so you can find your most natural skin tone match.
One reviewer wrote: “Best make up for aging skin. I have tried all the expensive brands and this one is so much better than all of them. It does not go into my wrinkles and it is not thick and cakey.”
This foundation comes highly recommended by Jane MacKinnon, a licensed esthetician at the Shafer Clinic in New York City. “It’s great because it’s so lightweight and breathable that it doesn’t settle into wrinkles or lines,” says MacKinnon. A ceravitae complex (read: a super-charged oxygen peptide), exclusive to Oxygenetix, allows your skin to absorb more oxygen and breathe, stimulating skin cell production and helping to heal — meaning, it’s especially good for mature skin and for post-procedure or surgery. It also contains antibacterial and soothing aloe to protect your skin and remove dead skin cells, and SPF 25 to defend against UVA and UVB rays. It goes on sheer, but the tightening formula is buildable, as well as non-comedogenic and non-irritating, making it a good option for even those with the most sensitive skin types, including anyone with acne, rosacea, psoriasis, or eczema.
“Wow. My esthetician recommended this for my sensitive skin! I usually hate foundation so I was hesitant. Within two days my skin is healing and tighter. The foundation is SUPER light but covers so flawlessly, in a very natural way. I do not feel like I’m wearing makeup!! A little goes a long way. This is a game changer! I used the shade tool and it matched me perfectly! Will be using this for awhile!!! Holy grail!!” raved a fan.