When people say “mature skin,” they are usually referring to the skin of people over 50, sometimes over 40. The truth is: once we hit 30, our skin begins to undergo quite a few changes, starting with producing less collagen. This results in our skin slowly but surely developing those telltale signs of aging, such as wrinkles, rough texture and sagging. Your 30s might also be the age you start to see more fine horizontal lines on your forehead or notice crow’s feet forming around your eyes when you smile. Still, skin in your 30s is not yet “mature” since the signs don’t manifest as prominently until you hit your 40s and beyond. Which is why at this age, you’re more likely to start showing interest in anti-aging serums and creams. But why stop there?
If aging is a concern, you might want to consider reevaluating your foundation as well. After all, you might be using foundation on a daily basis, and if you can have one specifically formulated for mature skin it could enhance your anti-aging routine. It makes sense — especially since a lot of the foundations formulated for mature, aging skin contain special ingredients like hyaluronic acid or vitamin C that you would find in anti-aging serums promising to return that youthful luster to your face.
Using a good foundation regularly can not only help you cover up and conceal imperfections, but actively help fight off signs of aging as well. It’s a win-win. Bad foundation, on the other hand, can dry you out and accentuate fine lines and wrinkles. Before we list our choices for the best foundations for mature skin and the best makeup for older women, however, let’s talk more about mature skin and how to take care of it.
What Causes Mature, Aging Skin?
As we age, a number of factors affect our skin. This includes genetics first and foremost, but lifestyle has a huge impact on our looks as well. If you are a smoker or drinker, or love to tan under the sun or at salons, you are definitely putting your skin at risk. Not only can tanning regularly cause cancer, it also happens to degrade the natural collagen and elastin in your skin in addition to drying it out. Alcohol and smoking also have a negative impact on your complexion, making it look rough and sallow, aging you faster than if you didn’t partake.
Collagen & Elastin
Collagen and elastin are extremely important because they are the structural fibers in our skin that keep it firm. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the entire body, and can also be found in the joints. In skin, it is essential for maintaining structure and preventing sagging. As collagen degrades, it will cause skin to develop fine lines and wrinkles. Elastin, like collagen, is also a protein. It gives skin its bounce and pliancy – basically what allows skin to bounce back after it’s been pulled, for example. You can imagine why it affects skin so dramatically when these proteins are compromised – they are crucial in keeping our skin looking youthful.
Hyaluronic acid (a popular ingredient in many skincare products) also plays a role in skin aging. Hyaluronic acid is a glycosaminoglycan (GAG) that has the remarkable ability to retain moisture in the skin, up to 1,000 times its own weight. It is a naturally occurring substance in the skin and joints, and also what gives eyeballs their shape. In recent years, more and more skincare brands have been adding hyaluronic acid to their moisturizers and serums, in order to provide a plumping and hydrating effect that can help skin look younger and more radiant. But, like collagen and elastin, hyaluronic acid also degrades as we age. By diminishing from our skin, it causes skin to become drier and less plump. Babies, for example, have a lot of hyaluronic acid in their skin, which you can see just by looking at their adorable, super-plump, dimpled cheeks. If we could all have as much hyaluronic acid as babies, we’d look incredibly young forever. Unfortunately, we have to deal with our faces losing hydration and fat the older we get. Yes, the natural fat that pads our skin also diminishes as we age. Sometimes this loss of fat results in an overall “sunken” look that can make one look droopy and sometimes even gaunt.
Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Aging
Skin researchers will often separate aging into two categories: intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic aging refers to innate aging that affects skin the way it affects the rest of the body. Extrinsic aging refers to all the outside factors, like free radical damage and sun damage, that propels aging along, making us all look older a lot faster than we would if those things weren’t an issue.
The UVA rays produced by the sun degrade collagen and elastin and also dehydrate skin, accelerating the aging process. Even if you’re not the type to tan regularly, even a short daily walk that only lasts 15 minutes but nonetheless exposes you to sunlight can have a negative effect. Free radical damage is, consequently, also caused by the sun and environmental factors. Free radicals are unstable atoms that need to be neutralized by antioxidants. If they are not neutralized, they can lead to all types of cell damage. By damaging skin cells, they can cause early onset aging, resulting in wrinkles and fine lines. Sun protection is one of the best ways to prevent extrinsic aging, and it IS preventable. You just have to be very diligent about always applying sunblock, staying in the shade and generally avoiding the sun during peak hours.
Best Ingredients for Mature Skin
If you’re curious about what type of ingredients you should look out for or ask about while shopping for the right foundation for mature skin or makeup for older women (or any other type of skincare/beauty product), look no further! We’re about to break down the especially potent ingredients that should be included in skincare products to give you the results you want.
- Hyaluronic Acid – By now you have a good idea of the importance of hyaluronic acid. It also happens to be found in a lot of skincare products, so you don’t have to look far and wide to find it. Because it can hold 1,000 times its weight in water, it makes for a great hydrator and plumper, making skin look and feel perfectly moisturized. Hyaluronic acid or sodium hyaluronate (the salt of hyaluronic acid) should definitely be an ingredient to look out for in your beauty creams and lotions if you want to look your best.
- Vitamin C – Vitamin C is a great ingredient with several benefits. For one thing, it can lighten dark spots and brighten a complexion. It also helps synthesize collagen, meaning it stimulates collagen production in your skin. This is essential because we’ve already established that collagen is an important building block in skin that keeps it firm and young.
- Vitamin E – Vitamin E is also present in a lot of skincare products. It is mainly used as an antioxidant to fight free radical damage and protect skin from future problems. It can prevent skin from developing more wrinkles and fine lines as the years go by.
- Retinol – Retinol is a vitamin A derivative that has been used to target signs of aging and acne. It works by helping to slough away dead skin cells to allow new skin cells to emerge. This helps reduce the appearance of lines and diminish acne lesions. Some foundations for mature skin include this ingredient because of this remarkable ability.
Best Foundations for Mature Skin, Aging Skin
Colorescience Sunforgettable Tint Du Soleil
This cleverly named foundation features peptides, a vitamin complex and ceramides to keep mature skin nourished and well hydrated. Ceramides are waxy lipids that help restore moisture and help improve skin tone and texture.
Dermablend Cover Crème
The high-performance pigments in this foundation can cover up pretty much anything, including scars, hyperpigmentation, vitiligo, lupus and birthmarks. It is never cakey or overwhelming, despite its ability to cover most anything.
Chantecaille Future Skin
An oil-free gel foundation, this one from Chantecaille is ultra lightweight and won’t feel heavy on the face. A variety of botanical extracts, including aloe, allow this foundation to hydrate your skin and keep it soft.
Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation
Charlotte Tilbury’s Magic Foundation is rich in antioxidants to help treat and prevent the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. It also features vitamin C and hyaluronic acid to brighten and hydrate, respectively. It is among the best foundations for wrinkles.
Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Aging Perfector
Key ingredients in this foundation include retinol and retinyl palmitate, which help stimulate collagen production. It features sheer coverage and is very lightweight. This is one of the best foundations for mature skin over 60.
L’Oreal Visible Lift Foundation
This foundation also features retinyl palmitate to help stimulate collagen and sodium hyaluronate to plump up and hydrate. It further includes SPF to protect skin from sun damage during the day.
Dior Nude Air Serum
Dior describes this as an ultra-fluid, lightweight foundation. It features anti-aging ingredients like hyaluronic acid and plant oils (rosemary leaf extract and cranberry oil) to nourish, protect and hydrate mature skin.
Lancome Renergie Lift Makeup
Pure vitamin E is a key ingredient in Renergie Lift, working as a powerful antioxidant to help combat free radicals. Reflective micro-pearls also work to create a radiant look. Meanwhile, Flexible Micro-Bubbles create “pockets of air” for skin that prevents the foundation from settling into lines and wrinkles. This ability makes it a top choice for mature skin.
Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Foundation
Available in over 55 shades, this is a 24-hour liquid foundation with a matte finish. It’s also oil-free and oil-controlling to prevent skin from looking too shiny. Furthermore, you don’t have to worry about it
Giorgio Armani Luminous Skin Foundation
This award-winning and much-loved foundation features Micro-Fil Technology that pairs high-impact pigments with incredibly lightweight texture, ensuring that the result is a silky, luminous, weightless look and feel. This foundation continues to be on the top of lists for best makeup for older women.
BareMinerals Original Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15
A loose powder foundation, this one is ideal for normal, dry and combination mature skin. It blends flawlessly, going from powder to a silky cream upon application. This is among the best makeup for older women, though it can be used on people of all ages.
It Cosmetics Bye Bye Foundation Full Coverage Moisturizer with SPF 50+
This is a moisturizer first and a foundation second. Thus, it will nourish and hydrate deeply, plumping up lines and wrinkles to make them less noticeable, and conquering dryness. It also helps cover up redness like rosacea, large pores, breakouts and dark spots. The best part is that it offers coverage without creasing or cracking.
Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 20
Here’s another moisturizer that doubles as foundation, offering excellent coverage while targeting dryness and fine lines and wrinkles. It features macadamia and kukui seed oils to provide hydration and give skin a dewy finish.
Clinique Even Better Makeup Broad Spectrum SPF 15
Clinique’s Even Better foundation features vitamin C and vitamin E as important ingredients that will brighten skin and help protect from free radicals. This foundation also provides hydration and offers moderate coverage. It’s ideal for oily, normal, dry and combination skin.
Maybelline New York Fit Me Matte Plus Poreless Foundation
Great for oily skin, this foundation helps blur pores and make fine lines and wrinkles less noticeable. It also absorbs oil to give you a truly matte look that’s never shiny. Ingredients include vitamin E and glycerin, which is a humectant that draws in moisture to hydrate skin.
Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick
Whether your skin needs moisture or oil control, this foundation stick from Bobbi Brown will take care of it. An extremely well-reviewed and beloved foundation, it uses olive extract and shea butter to hydrate dry skin and keep it feeling soft. It won’t sink into wrinkles to accentuate them either, and glides on easily.
References: Dermato Endocrinology, “Hyaluronic Acid: A Key Molecule in Skin Aging”; Indian Dermatology Online Journal, “Vitamin C in Dermatology”