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As you get older, your skin changes. Menopause, hormonal changes, and reduced natural oil production can dry out your skin, which can lead to the appearance of those laugh lines and wrinkles. While aging is a privilege (think: wisdom, experience, and introspection), the products you've been using since college may no longer be the most effective option. It’s time to invest in a foundation formulated for your specific skin. But with so many options out there, how do you know which one is the best?
Luckily, the market is chock-full of foundations for mature skin, from full-coverage foundation to foundation for dry skin. Every bottle offers a unique blend of benefits for your skin concern, whether it’s wrinkles, dullness, enlarged pores, or age spots. What’s more, many are infused with the very same age-defying ingredients that are commonly found in your anti-aging serums and moisturizers—such as hyaluronic acid and vitamin C—to improve texture and tone while providing the coverage you’re after for a glowing, youthful-looking complexion. Keep in mind that you can’t use a foundation to fill in fine lines or prominent pores, but you can use it to even out tonality and make skin look fresh and hydrated, explains makeup artist Jenny Patinkin. Top tip: No matter which foundation you pick, think about “bouncing” it along the surface of your complexion with a sponge or brush as you apply it, rather than pulling or tugging, which can further damage the collagen and elastin in your skin, she adds.
Here are the best foundations for mature skin for every budget, so rest assured there’s a perfect match for you.
Best Overall: Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick
This award-winning stick foundation—which has earned over 40,000 loves on Sephora—is formulated with something called “Smart Technology” for targeted moisturizing or oil control, depending on what your mature skin needs. Available in 30 shades, the formula is creamy yet lightweight, delivers medium to full coverage, and looks and feels like a second skin. Plus, it comes in an easy-to-use stick applicator. Perfect for quick touch-ups on the go.
Best Drugstore: L'Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Glow Foundation
Long-wear foundations tend to have a bad rep: Oftentimes they are drying and uncomfortable and may accentuate laugh lines and wrinkles, making you look older than you are—which defeats the whole purpose, right? Enter L’Oreal Paris Infallible Pro-Glow Foundation.
Lightweight and creamy, this medium-coverage foundation absorbs oil and keeps shine at bay all day while adding a nice glow in all the right places. With 12 shades to choose from, this long-lasting foundation has an impressive 24-hour claim, so your makeup will look just as good at dinner and cocktails as it did when you first applied it in the morning. And at a drugstore price point, this foundation won't leave your wallet barren.
Best Full Coverage: IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream with SPF 50+
If you’re looking for serious coverage, this award-winning, full-coverage foundation is the one for you. Available in seven shades, this highly pigmented cream foundation with broad-spectrum SPF 50+ covers like a heavy-duty concealer without looking like a cakey, dried-out mask. (It’s a favorite of Patinkin’s who calls out the satiny finish that, “looks very fresh and natural.”) The multi-tasking formula is dense and creamy and spreads easily to smooth over crow’s feet and wrinkles while hiding everything else in sight: hyperpigmentation, acne scars, enlarged pores, and more.
Great for all skin types, this cream foundation formula is infused with an anti-aging serum to treat your skin. Just scan the ingredient list and you’ll find a who’s who of anti-aging superstars—hydrolyzed collagen, peptides, hyaluronic acid, antioxidants, and vitamins A, B, C, and E. A little goes a long way, so start with a small amount and build up to your desired coverage. Patinkin suggests applying a small amount with a brush or your fingers, then using a damp sponge to blend and blot away any excess product.
Best Buildable: Pat McGrath Skin Fetish Sublime Foundation
This lightweight buildable foundation can go from sheer to medium coverage and provides a natural finish without settling into fine lines. The creamy formula enhances skin's texture and blurs wrinkles, pores, and imperfections, making it ideal for mature skin. We also love that it's free of parabens, so you can feel good about wearing it daily.
Best Sheer Coverage: Make Up For Ever Water Blend Face & Body Foundation
Sheer foundations can be so lightweight that they don’t do much of anything, but Make Up For Ever Water Blend Face & Body Foundation really delivers. A pea-size drop of this hydrating, lightweight foundation—which comes in 20 shades—is enough to buff away imperfections and even out skin tone while letting the natural radiance of your skin peek through. And Patinkin notes that it not only feels hydrating but makes skin look well-hydrated as well.
It’s actually so lightweight that it can also be used on the body. It can cover leg veins and bruises as well as pimples and dark circles without rubbing off on clothes. This oil-free, non-comedogenic formula is made up of 80% water and has a unique easy-to-blend water-gel texture for a streak-free, natural-looking finish. This light as can be formula means you can slap it on quickly without a mirror.
Best Luxury: Dior Diorskin Nude Air Serum Foundation
Sure, it might mean curbing your daily coffee habit for a bit, but trust us, Diorskin Nude Air Serum Foundation is worth the splurge. Available in eight shades, this serum foundation blurs imperfections and leaves your skin with an airbrushed finish as no other foundation can.
This high-end foundation features an exclusive built-in anti-aging serum called Oxygen Activ technology, a blend of hyper-oxygenated oil, cranberry oil, vitamins, and minerals that blur away imperfections. It’s also formulated with soft-focus agents and glazed pigments to instantly produce an even-looking complexion for that amazing airbrushed effect. Plus, the application is luxurious too. The formula is so thin and fluid you have to dispense it with a glass dropper. It feels so weightless on your skin that you’ll forget it’s even there.
Best for Oily Skin: Maybelline New York Fit Me Matte + Poreless Foundation
We can see why this mattifying foundation is an ideal pick for oily, mature skin—and Amazon’s Choice. The ultra-lightweight liquid foundation is designed to match the texture of normal to oily skin and features exclusive micro-powders to help control unwanted shine and blur the look of pores. It goes on like velvet and dries to a soft, powdery finish. It will stay that way all day, too, so there’s no need to degrease your T-zone at 3 pm with extra powder or oil-blotting sheets.
The formula is oil-free and non-comedogenic, so if you’re prone to the occasional breakout, you can confidently put this on without worrying about clogging your pores. What’s more, it has one of the widest shade ranges we’ve ever seen. With 40 shades to choose from, there’s truly something for everyone.
Best Powder: L'Oréal Paris True Match Powder
With most face powders being known to settle into fine lines and creases, it can be quite a struggle to find a formula that’s a match for a mature skin type. Not only that, but powders have a reputation for being dry, which can exacerbate texture on the skin. Thankfully, this silky powder compact from L’Oreal will change your mind.
The silky-smooth micro-fine formula doesn’t sink into fine lines or wrinkles on the face. It literally smooths over the skin leaving a natural, yet flawless finish. The powder is infused with pearl pigments to add a soft luminous quality to your skin so it never looks dry or chalky.
Other notable qualities? It’s also oil-free and non-comedogenic. For full coverage, use a dense powder brush to buff the product into the skin. If you prefer lighter coverage or want to set concealer, apply using a face sponge or a fluffy face brush. It also comes in 34 different shades so there’s something for every skin tone and undertone. The sponge and mirror in the compact make it the perfect powder to stash in your bag for on-the-move touch-ups.
Best for Combination Skin: wet n wild Photo Focus Foundation MATTE
When it comes to finding a foundation for combo skin, you’re tasked with keeping dry patches hydrated all while making sure your complexion doesn’t turn into an oil slick come noon. It’s even harder once you throw mature skin into the mix. That’s where this budget-friendly buy from Wet n’ Wild comes in.
This liquid foundation boasts a skin-perfecting formula that’s both matte and light-diffusing. Basically, it keeps your skin matte without looking flaky or clinging to dry patches. If you’re planning to take photos, this is definitely your go-to since the formula was tested under seven different lighting conditions ensuring your skin looks camera-ready in any situation.
However, the soft-focus formula looks just as gorgeous in real life, too. It has a unique spatula-style applicator, which eliminates the need to use your fingers when transferring the foundation from the bottle to your face. It also allows for just the right amount of product—there won’t be any wasted foundation. To keep the finish a bit more natural, we recommend applying it with a damp beauty sponge or buff it into your skin using a flat top foundation brush for a more full coverage look.
Best for Dark Skin: Hue Noir True Hues Flawless Finish Foundation
This crease-resistant matte foundation is great for women of color of all ages, catering to the diverse undertones of deep complexions. The long-wear formula is hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic, making it safe for sensitive skin, and the matte finish keeps oil under control.
Best for Dry Skin: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Tint
Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring polysaccharide found in the human body. It acts as a cushioning and lubrication agent for our joints, nerves, hair, skin, and eyes. When used in skincare, it acts as a moisture binder, which means that it will attach itself to the water in the cells (while also attracting and holding water from the air) giving them a plumping effect.
Consider this creamy foundation to be a big gulp of water for thirsty, mature skin. The oil-free formula features an intensely hydrating ingredient called hyaluronic acid, which is often used in anti-aging serums and creams to drench skin with moisture. It sinks in like a moisturizer—plumping fine lines and wrinkles instantly—and evens out skin tone for a healthy glow. It’s available in 10 shades and the cap comes with an oversized doe-foot applicator to make application incredibly quick and easy.
Best for Large Pores: Maybelline New York Instant Age Rewind Treatment Makeup
Collagen refers to a family of proteins that are the primary structural component of connective tissues, such as skin, ligaments, and cartilage. Topical collagen creams are said to improve fine lines and wrinkles by replacing the lost collagen, though its main benefit is moisturizing the skin.
Choosing the right foundation if you struggle with larger pores is a bit tough. You probably want a formula that smooths your skin’s texture rather than highlights it. Luckily, we discovered this drugstore favorite from Maybelline.
It instantly smooths over the skin (rather than sinking in) blurring pores, filling in fine lines, and it doesn’t settle into creases. The anti-aging formula contains antioxidant-rich goji berries and collagen, which tighten pores and improve your skin’s elasticity. Plus, there’s SPF 18 in the formula to provide sun protection.
The unique micro-corrector sponge applicator allows you to evenly apply the foundation without it streaking or smudging. The sponge is made from an anti-microbial material, which means it doesn’t harbor bacteria. When applying the foundation use a dabbing motion to ensure it seamlessly melts into the skin, then to clean the applicator, wipe off the excess foundation and you’re good to go.
Best Serum Foundation: Estée Lauder Perfectionist Youth-Infusing Serum Makeup SPF 25
This lightweight foundation is infused with an anti-aging serum, so you get all the skincare benefits while also getting a radiant finish.
Best Medium Coverage: Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation
Vitamin C is an essential nutrient required for the growth and repair of tissues in all parts of the body, including the skin, but we cannot produce it on our own. For the skin, it helps to boost collagen, lighten discoloration, and fight free radicals.
This medium-coverage foundation is made with a collagen-boosting formula and a mushroom extract that not only firms up the skin but also moisturizes and reduces the appearance of pores. The vitamin C and hyaluronic spheres in it also reduce the appearance of fine lines. The foundation itself goes on smoothly and gives you light and long-lasting coverage.
Best for Fine Lines: IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Lines Foundation
You'll find anti-aging peptides, hyaluronic acid, argan oil, and different vitamins to get all the benefits you want from a good skincare product. You will also get sheer to medium coverage that blends well into the skin and is very lightweight.
Best Long-Wear Formula: Lancôme Régenerie Lift Makeup Foundation SPF 27
Made with a skin-lifting technology and vitamin E, this foundation will make your skin look radiant and feel firmer. You also get up to 12-hour coverage, which is great if you need something to take you from day to night.
Best Liquid Foundation: Dermablend Flawless Creator Lightweight Foundation
Made with only 10 ingredients, this liquid foundation glides on like a dream without settling into lines. Our favorite part is the full coverage it offers while still being non-comedogenic (it won't clog your pores), lightweight, and paraben-, oil-, and water-free.
Best With SPF: Elizabeth Arden PREVAGE Anti-Aging Foundation Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 30
There are so many things to love about this anti-aging foundation. For starters, it provides medium coverage over problem spots while still looking natural. Second, it's lightweight and boasts a barely-there finish. Third, it wears all day without melting off, so you don't have to worry about frequent touch-ups. And lastly, it protects against sun damage with SPF 30.
Best Stick: Mented Cosmetics Skin by Mented
One might be a little hesitant to purchase a stick foundation for mature skin, but this unique formula is so hydrating that it glides over the skin and doesn't tug as it's applied. Ideal for darker skin tones, this stick provides lightweight buildable coverage with a satin finish. You'll find it convenient that they have a quiz to find your perfect shade, so no orange tones here!
As you get older, it’s worth considering changing up your foundation. Happily, there are plenty of great choices out there. The Bobbi Brown Cosmetics Skin Foundation Stick is one of our favorites and is especially great to use on-the-go. The It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream With SPF 50+ delivers some serious coverage and also has the added benefit of containing plenty of anti-aging and good-for-your-skin ingredients. (We also love the brand’s Bye Bye Lines Foundation if you have, well, lots of lines.) And if you’re a drugstore foundation shopper, don’t miss the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Glow Foundation or the Maybelline New York Fit Me Matte & Poreless Foundation, the latter of which is great for those with oily skin.
What To Look For In a Foundation for Mature Skin
A thinner texture
A radiant or satin finish
Luminous or radiant finishes can sometimes be a bit too glowy for more mature skin, whereas matte one can tend to look flat and dry, says Patinkin. The middle-ground, a radiant finish, is most flattering on aging skin, she says.