10 amazing foundations for anyone over 40
For every skin type and concern
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As your skin changes, so do your skin needs—it only makes sense that there are certain things to look for in foundations that you probably didn’t have to worry about in your 20s and 30s. Products that you’ve sworn by in the past may no longer be the most effective option for making your skin look even and smooth.
It’s time to invest in a foundation that can address mature skin concerns such as fine lines and wrinkles, hyperpigmentation or dark spots, and even loss of oil production that leads to dryness. The first step is to learn the ingredients that will help you tackle your skin concerns and then research products that contain those ingredients. Luckily, your favorite makeup stores are chock-full of foundations with solutions to common skin woes, from enlarged pores to age spots to dullness. Here are 10 amazing must-try foundations for anyone over the age of 40.
1. For oily skin: Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Liquid Foundation
The Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless is an oil-free, non-comedogenic (meaning it won’t clog pores), and ultra-lightweight liquid foundation that claims to suit normal to oily skin types. It’s an ideal pick for oily mature skin in particular because it’s formulated with “micro-powders” that cause the liquid to dry to a soft, powdery finish that blurs large pores and combats unwanted shine. With over 40 shades to choose from and 50,000 reviews, it’s a must-try for anyone looking for a mattifying foundation.
One Amazon reviewer raves: “This a great foundation, affordable and provides great coverage. Very light to wear and long-lasting. It is also very gentle on the skin and it doesn't irritate my acne. I really recommend this foundation to those who want a cheaper foundation with excellent quality.”
2. For dry skin: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Tint
Neutrogena's Hydro Boost Hydrating Tint claims to not only plump fine lines and wrinkles with hyaluronic acid, an ingredient that draws water to the skin, but also evens out skin tone with light coverage. Available in 10 blendable shades, this oil-free and creamy foundation is just what dry or dehydrated mature skin needs, as it claims to hydrate skin for up to 24 hours and leave it with a healthy glow.
One Amazon reviewer notes: “I'm over 50, have combo skin and also cystic acne on my chin, so it's been almost impossible to find a foundation that doesn't break me out, doesn't dry my skin out, doesn't settle in wrinkles, and also covers my blemishes. After spending loads of money, this product finally achieves all of the above! It's oil-free but still manages to hydrate my skin and goes on—and stays—smooth and natural-looking. You can also layer when you have areas that need more coverage. And at a drug-store price, you just can't beat it. Highly recommend!”
3. For combination skin: Wet n Wild PhotoFocus Liquid Foundation
The Wet n Wild PhotoFocus Liquid Foundation has a “light-diffusing” formula that claims to keep an oily T-zone matte without looking flaky or clinging to dry patches. The brand even claims to have tested it under seven different conditions to ensure light doesn’t bounce off the forehead when outdoors. It’s available in 20 shades and has a little spatula applicator to help you blend the product onto your skin with your fingers, makeup brush, or beauty sponge.
“I have tried so many foundations and BB/CC creams but this one is my go-to now!” one Ulta reviewer writes. “It beats my Charlotte Tilbury and Makeup Forever UHD, too! Full coverage but doesn't look cakey! Sits very well on my oily/combination skin. You cannot beat the price especially when you get it with a BOGO coupon, which Ulta often offers for Wet n Wild!”
4. For sensitive skin: Cover FX Pressed Mineral Foundation
The Cover FX Pressed Mineral Foundation contains kaolin clay to minimize shine, absorb excess oil, and blur the appearance of pores. It’s a mineral-based, oil-free powder that contains phytosphingosine, an ingredient that helps your skin fight off bacteria, to calm redness and help restore the skin barrier. This fragrance-free foundation is available in 40 shades and claims to provide buildable coverage that results in a weightless, matte finish and a second-skin feel.
One Ulta reviewer gushes: “This is my all-time favorite foundation. I have pretty good skin, but it's oily so liquid foundations look weird on me. This one gives nice, full coverage without looking cakey or dry. I always get compliments on how good my skin is because no one can tell I'm wearing it!"
5. For full coverage: It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better Foundation + Skincare
The It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better contains vitamins E and B3 (both antioxidants) to protect the skin against free radicals that age the skin. This dual foundation and skincare product claims to not only smooth over crow's feet and wrinkles but diminish the look of hyperpigmentation, acne scars, and enlarged pores in as little as two weeks. This highly rated, lightweight foundation provides moisture to mature skin and comes in 40 shades.
“I gotta say, this is truly the only foundation I’ve been 100% satisfied with,” one Sephora reviewer raves. “My skin is oily with some dry spots in the winter and textured with redness. This foundation goes on super smooth, lasts all day, and covers all my redness without the need for concealer. It is buildable, yet stays looking natural. So happy I found this one!”
6. For sheer coverage: Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Aging Perfector
The Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Aging Perfector is a tinted moisturizer that claims to turn back the clock on aging mature skin by providing a sheer, natural-looking tint versus full-wear foundation. It’s formulated with retinol to treat fine lines and SPF to protect the skin from daily sun damage. Unless you’re using a thick layer and reapplying the foundation, though, you’ll want an additional source of sunscreen to keep your skin protected all day long.
One Amazon reviewer is a convert: “I don't usually write a review, but I am pleasantly surprised about this product! I used [the] Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer for years until they changed the formulation, and I can't use it now. My skin has little tiny lines, sun damage, and little capillaries showing; it's also less smooth than when I was younger. It's hard to find something that covers and looks like real skin. Regular foundation or concealer looks pasty. This product has sheer but good coverage and hasn't caked or settled, and the color is an excellent match. It isn't too shiny and doesn't have any little sparkles in it. I'll use it from now on."
7. For fine lines and wrinkles: Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick
Bobbi Brown's Skin Foundation Stick has a lightweight, creamy formula that evens skin tone and softens the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The foundation is labeled as water-, sweat-, and humidity-resistant and is formulated with “Smart Technology” that claims to target specific mature skin needs, like moisture and oil control. Available in 30 plus shades, this roll-up stick foundation can be applied straight to the skin and is designed to look and feel like you're not wearing anything.
One Sephora reviewer gushes: “I am 70 years old with some brown spots, large pores, and minor wrinkling. I ordered the N-042, which is a light-medium beige and the color is absolutely perfect. I was totally blown away by the results!!! The previous makeup I was using was cakey and settled in the wrinkles. I apply a little bit of the foundation at a time and I brush it in with the makeup brush. All—and I mean all—of the imperfections on my skin are covered. It just looks so natural that it takes years off my age.”
8. For dark skin: Black Opal True Color Stick Foundation SPF 15
The Black Opal True Color Stick Foundation SPF 15 is formulated for women of color with mature skin and caters to the diverse undertones of deep complexions. It contains “good for your skin” ingredients like vitamins C and E to brighten and moisturize, respectively, and SPF 15 to protect against damaging UVA and UVB rays. The foundation claims to not only cover hyperpigmentation, acne scarring, and under-eye circles but also blur the appearance of pores. It’s available in 16 shades and you can even pick up multiple shades to use as contour and concealer colors because of its easy-to-use stick application and cream formula.
One Ulta reviewer notes helpful blending tips: “Excellent coverage and a nice, natural finish. I've used this product for years! Blends easily and pairs well with other complexion products. I like to use several shades to highlight and contour. Also good amount of product for the price!”
9. For acne-prone skin: BareMinerals Blemish Rescue Salicylic Acid Loose Powder Foundation
The BareMinerals Blemish Rescue Salicylic Acid Loose Powder Foundation contains acne-fighting salicylic acid to address breakouts, a soothing oat protein to ward off irritation, and phytosphingosine to ward off bacteria. With a mineral-based blend of zinc, sulfur, and kaolin clay, this non-comedogenic powder foundation claims to help clear, purify, and unclog pores on mature, acne-prone skin in as little as three weeks.
One Sephora reviewer notes: “I only use liquid foundation. The one time I used powder foundation was Chanel and it’s the only one I liked but this takes the cake! It leaves my skin so flawless and it doesn’t feel cakey. It actually feels very smooth. This is a lightweight, medium coverage, but it looked like I had foundation on. My skin was flawless. And just knowing it is skin-clearing makes it 100% better. I did see a difference in my skin I would definitely recommend. I hope they never stop making this product.”
10. For enlarged pores: Maybelline New York Instant Age Rewind Eraser Treatment
The Maybelline New York Instant Age Rewind Eraser Treatment contains antioxidant-rich goji berries to protect the skin from harmful environmental elements, like free radicals; and collagen, a protein found in the skin, to improve the skin’s elasticity, creating the illusion of tighter pores and smoother-looking skin. The sponge applicator is antibacterial, meaning it doesn’t harbor bacteria, and allows you to evenly distribute the foundation without it streaking, smudging, or settle into creases. To apply, use dabbing motions and blend out with a makeup brush, a sponge, or your fingers to ensure the foundation seamlessly melts into the skin.
One Amazon reviewer notes: “The best makeup base. I have been using it for several years now. I have tried a couple of other products but this is the best quality. Covers skin beautifully, not heavy, blends nicely. No heavy makeup look. I am in my 70s and I often get compliments on my complexion and I am sure that it is because of this product. My choice for cosmetics is definitely Maybelline.”
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.