What to Look For in Foundation When You Have Mature Skin

Updated 03/14/19
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Foundation isn't one-size-fits-all for any age. In fact, plenty of people of any age would benefit from a change in shade or formula. And many person might need to switch foundations seasonally as your skin adjusts to changing weather patterns. But for those who experience the hormonal changes associated with menopause, you might find your long-term favorite foundation suddenly isn't matching up to your skin concerns. If you look perfectly fine in the foundation they've worn for years, great! Keep on with it.

 You'll know it's perfect, because it evens out skin tone but still disguises concerns like sun spots and fine lines. But if your foundation cakes into your lines, or leaves you with a mask-like complexion, it's time for an update.

As humans age, our pores tend to get bigger, and our skin drier, so using a lighter, moisturizing foundation is ideal. If you do have dry skin, skip sticks, matte, oil-free, and powder foundations; any of these can sink into fine lines and look heavy on the skin. Instead, opt for mousses (also known as "whipped"), oil-based, or mineral formulas. Ideally, you want a sheer, but buildable, foundation, like Giorgio Armani's Luminous Silk, which is a cult favorite for people of all ages. If you have oily skin, an oil-free tinted moisturizer (like the BareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Moisturizer) will probably look better than anything marketed as a foundation.


When you apply a swipe of the foundation along your jawline, it should disappear. That's how you know a shade is right for you. Seeing as your skin is darker in the warm months and lighter in the cold months, you might someday find a foundation that once blended seamlessly no longer does. Don't fret. Instead, just put it back in your drawer for when your skin tone changes back. However, if you find your skin appears ashy, keep in mind that it's normal for skin to lose some radiance with age. To reclaim a bit of color, add a small amount of liquid bronzer to your foundation, or sweep a bronzing powder on your forehead, cheeks, and nose after you apply.

Getting color matched at Sephora, or going to the store to test out foundations on your skin, is the best thing you can do if you aren't fully sure what your shade should be.

Another secret to keeping your foundation from settling into fine lines or large pores is to apply a foundation primer prior to foundation application. It works just as paint primer does, filling in cracks and holes before the top coat goes on. If you don't want to invest in a primer, then just make sure your skin is properly moisturized. You can apply a moisturizer or moisturizing sunscreen right before your foundation. Keep in mind, foundation will only really rest properly on skin that's primed and well moisturized.


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