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22 Best Foundations for Mature Skin, Tested by Beauty Experts

These formulas vanish pores and wrinkles like magic.

foundation for mature skin
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We updated this article in May 2022 to add more information about each featured product, based on extensive testing done by the Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab, additional expert commentary, and five new GH Beauty Lab top-tested products.


Your skin changes as you get older, and so should your foundation. While you may have battled acne or oily skin in your 20s, you're more likely to be dealing with dark spots, wrinkles and fine lines in your 40s, 50s, 60s and over. Overall, "your goal should be radiant, glowing skin," says Erica Whelan, a makeup artist in New York City and Los Angeles. Seek out foundation formulas that are "not drying and light, fresh and sheer, with youth-enhancing ingredients when possible," suggests Birgitte Philippides, a makeup artist in New York City.

The Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab is constantly testing the latest foundation formulas, including foundations for oily skin, foundations for dry skin, drugstore foundations and of course, bases for mature skin. They range in formula from liquid, powder, stick, mineral and cream and are evaluated by Lab experts and professional makeup artists on factors like formula quality, application, finish and look and feel on skin. GH Beauty Lab scientists then tally hundred of data points to find the best foundations for mature skin on the market.

Our top picks:


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Best Overall Foundation for Mature Skin
Bye Bye Foundation Full Coverage Moisturizer SPF 50+
IT Cosmetics
IT Cosmetics

  • Contains anti-aging ingredients
  • Feels moisturizing
  • Smooth coverage

  • Pricey

Infused with 10 botanical oils and plumping hyaluronic acid, the GH Beauty Lab test-winning IT Cosmetics tinted cream goes on like a moisturizer, leaving skin soft and glowy. It’s also packed with SPF 50 to protect your face from the sun — the best anti-aging defense of all! It beat 29 other foundations the Beauty Lab’s test and earned the only perfect score for smooth-looking coverage. Makeup artist evaulators found it was one of the best formulas for mature skin.

Best Value Foundation for Mature Skin
Age Perfect Radiant Serum Foundation SPF 50
L'Oreal Paris
L’Oréal Paris
Now 26% off

  • Lightweight radiant finish
  • Won't settle into wrinkles
  • Effectively moisturizes
  • Affordably-priced

Created especially for mature skin, this Good Housekeeping Seal star serum foundation from L’Oréal Paris effectively perfects, hydrates and protects skin with a high level SPF. In studies, 83% of women said the lightweight, radiant finish formula doesn't settle into lines or wrinkles and it improved skin hydration eight hours after application thanks to moisturizers like hyaluronic acid.

Best Drugstore Foundation for Mature Skin
4-in-1 Tinted Balm Foundation
L'Oréal Paris
L'Oréal Paris
Now 31% off

  • Anti-aging ingredients
  • Won't settle into lines
  • Lightweight feel

More than makeup, this buttery L’Oréal Paris tinted balm foundation is boosted with anti-agers like peptides. The light-to-medium-coverage solid formula instantly makes skin look smoother, Beauty Lab data analysis showed.

Best Tinted Moisturizer Foundation for Mature Skin
Skin Feels Good Skin Nourishing Foundation
Lancôme
Lancôme

  • Softens skin
  • Good coverage
  • Gives a glow

  • Pricey

This Lancôme tinted moisturizer with hyaluronic acid feels like a silky, rich cream on skin, not makeup and is one of GH's beauty director's go-to picks. “It provides the perfect amount of coverage, hiding spots and discoloration without settling into lines or caking, and gives skin a natural-looking youthful glow,” she explains.

Best Summer Foundation for Mature Skin
Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick
Hourglass Cosmetics
Hourglass Cosmetics

  • Sweat-proof
  • Portable, no-spill formula
  • Long-lasting

This waterproof foundation will endure your sweatiest days while offering natural-looking full coverage. “Makeup still looked flawless after having it on all day (98° weather),” says one reviewer. Application is also easy and mess-free, making it great on-the-go.

Best Mineral Foundation for Mature Skin
Original Foundation
bareMinerals
bareMinerals

  • Buildable natural coverage
  • Lightweight
  • Won't clog pores

  • Loose powder can be messy

With only five ingredients, this mineral foundation was formulated to let pores breathe, which one GH beauty writer says "feels virtually weightless on skin." Powder foundations can get cakey when you build them up, but our writer says, "this one blends naturally with your skin whether you are going for sheer or full coverage. It also lasts all day and won’t settle into fine lines and wrinkles." One reviewer commented, "It makes my skin look youthful, and I am 70 years old."

Best Brightening Foundation for Mature Skin
Beautiful Skin Foundation
Charlotte Tilbury
Charlotte Tilbury

  • Cruelty-free
  • Lightweight
  • Hydrating ingredients

Makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury’s base delivers medium satin-finish coverage in a lightweight cream that feels more like skincare than makeup. The formulation, a GH Beauty Award winner, is not heavy on skin and gives a lasting glow, GH Beauty Lab pros found.

Best Foundation for Mature Skin with Large Pores
Power Fabric Compact Cream Foundation Balm
Armani
Giorgio Armani

  • Full coverage to hide pores
  • Includes sponge and mirror

  • Pricey

Giorgio Armani's luxurious foundation balm glides over skin to give full satiny coverage that blurs pores, redness, spots and uneven texture. "This formula really hides everything yet feels silky on skin," GH's beauty director says. Plus, the compact comes with an applicator sponge and a mirror for touch-ups on the go.

Best Lightweight Foundation for Mature Skin
Nu Bare Look Tint Foundation
Yves Saint Laurent
Yves Saint Laurent

  • Long-lasting
  • Hydrating
  • Gentle on sensitive skin

A base that gives a true no-makeup look, lightweight YSL Beauty provides dewy light to medium coverage that stays put, a rare feat for a tinted moisturizer. In GH Beauty Lab evaluations, the GH Beauty Award-winning formula spread well, subtly covered imperfections and evened skin tone. The coverage lasted all day, even on a tester with oily skin, and didn’t irritate another user with very sensitive skin. “I like how sheer it is — it gives a glowy, barely-there look yet evens skin tone.”

Best Full Coverage Foundation for Mature Skin
Outlast Stay Fabulous 3-In-1 Foundation
CoverGirl
CoverGirl

  • Long-lasting
  • Lightweight
  • Good value

This is great if you want a flawless face, without a ton of extra steps. CoverGirl’s silky base, backed by the GH Seal, is a triple-duty primer-concealer-foundation hybrid. With just one application you’ll get the coverage of a concealer and, true to its name, it’ll last all day. That’s why it won a GH Beauty Award! Evaluations showed that the blendable formula stayed in place while still feeling light on skin and not looking heavy or cakey.

Best Foundation for Mature Wrinkled Skin
TimeWise Luminous 3D Foundation
Mary Kay
Mary Kay

  • Contains anti-aging ingredients
  • Smooths lines
  • Makes skin look luminous

A GH Beauty Award winner and Good Housekeeping Seal star, Mary Kay’s creamy medium- to full-coverage foundation delivers hydrating and anti-aging effects via ingredients like softening vitamin E, radiance-enhancing niacinamide and smoothing peptides. In a study, over 90% of testers found that it smoothed the look of lines after one week of use and gave skin a luminous finish instantly, per Lab analysis.

Best Lightweight Foundation for Mature Skin
Future Skin Gel Foundation
Chantecaille
Chantecaille

  • Buildable natural finish
  • Won't settle into lines

  • Pricey

GH Beauty Lab senior chemist Sabina Wizemann likes Chantecaille's unique gel-like formula because it won’t settle into fine lines and wrinkles and leaves a fresh, natural-looking finish. The foundation is sheer, but evens out skin tone and is easily buildable if you prefer a more full-coverage look or need to cover a blemish or age spot. While it feels like a creamy skincare product, it’s not tacky or too shiny.

Best Glow-Boosting Foundation for Mature Skin
Lift & Luminate Triple Action Serum Foundation
No7
No7

  • Made with skincare ingredients
  • Boosts radiance
  • Blends smoothly

More than just makeup, this GH Beauty Award- and test-winning No7 foundation is infused with skincare ingredients like wrinkle-smoothing peptides and vitamins C and E to firm and brighten skin. It impressed in our Lab’s recent test thanks to a believable radiant finish and the fact that it went on and blended smoothly. Makeup artist evaluator Philippides called it “very impressive” and “flawless.” The medium-coverage pick is also a GH Seal star!

Best Powder Foundaton for Mature Skin
Age Perfect Creamy Powder Foundation
L'Oréal Paris
L'Oréal Paris

  • Contains anti-aging ingredients
  • Smooths skin
  • Good value

No more parching powder foundation: This silky GH Seal star L’Oréal Paris formula (with a mirror and a sponge!) is infused with anti-aging skincare ingredients like ceramides. In a study, 85% of testers said it made skin look smooth, GH Beauty Lab data evaluation found.

Best Foundation for Mature Skin and Dark Spots
Total Effects Tone Correcting CC Cream
Olay
Olay

  • Reduces dark spots
  • Effectively hydrates skin

The best hydrator of the GH Beauty Lab's CC cream test, this GH Seal-holding sheer tinted Olay formula improved skin over time, too, including dark spots.. According to Lab measurements, it moisturized better than any other CC cream tested, increasing hydration levels by 36% over six hours, and minimized the appearance of brown spots and pores over four weeks.

Best Cream Foundation for Mature Skin
Simply Ageless Foundation
CoverGirl
CoverGirl + Olay

  • Made with moisturizer
  • Lightweight and blendable
  • Affordably-priced

With Olay moisturizer swirled right in, this CoverGirl cream compact foundation is the ultimate product for a one-step face. While some cream formulas can feel heavy and cakey, this GH Seal star and Beauty Award winner is lightweight while still offering great coverage. It’s even pigmented enough to double as a concealer. GH Beauty Lab pros like that it feels velvety and blends flawlessly, and the packaging makes it great for keeping in your bag for on-the-go touch-ups.

Best Sheer Foundation for Mature Skin
Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30
Nars
Nars

  • Sheer, lightweight finish
  • Softens skin
  • Applies easily

  • Pricey

Another of Wizemann's favorites, this Nars tinted moisturizer is ideal for getting a no-makeup, natural look. It’s her go-to product when traveling: "The perfect multi-tasker, it protects with SPF 30, hydrates and keeps my skin tone looking even and glowy," Wizemann says. The cream is easy to apply with your fingers to perfect skin without adding extra heaviness, plus you can easily build up the coverage.

Best Stick Foundation for Mature Skin
Stick Foundation
Iman Cosmetics
Iman Cosmetics

  • Portable, no-spill formula
  • Targets smaller areas of the face

If you prefer foundations in handy stick form, grab this satin finish full coverage formula from Iman. It's perfect for on the go and blending into hard-to-reach areas like around the eyes and nose that can be prone to dark circles and redness with age.

Best Luxury Foundation for Mature Skin
Les Beiges Healthy Glow Foundation Hydration & Longwear
Chanel
Chanel

  • Boosts radiance
  • Good coverage

  • Pricey

Chanel's high-end foundation lives up to its legacy: The base imparts skin with an "expensive-looking" glow, restoring lost radiance. "This is one of the best true foundations I've ever tried: It really covers and evens out skin, yet somehow looks natural and luminous," GH's beauty director raves. "It makes skin look perfect, even when it's not."

Best Shade Range Foundation for Mature Skin
Say What?! Foundation
Uoma Beauty
Uoma Beauty

  • Extensive custom shade range
  • Matte finish

  • Pricey
  • May be drying

Tailored to the deepest of skin tones, Uoma Beauty's soft matte foundation in an impressive 50 shades comes in customized formulations for different skin color groups, including rich tan, brown and dark brown. "The most perfectly matching foundation I may have ever had," an Ulta reviewer marveled.

Best Anti-Aging Foundation for Mature Skin
Healthy Skin Anti-Aging Perfector SPF 20
Neutrogena
Neutrogena

  • Contains smoothing retinol
  • Softening sheer tint
  • Good value

A skincare and makeup hybrid, Neutrogena's sheer tint is blended with the star anti-aging ingredient retinol, which smooths skin over time. The formula has over 5,000 five-star reviews on Amazon: True to its name, one reviewer said "my skin looked healthier than the day before."

Best Shade-Inclusive Foundation for Mature Skin
True Match Super-Blendable Foundation Makeup
L'Oréal Paris
L'Oréal Paris

  • Large color selection
  • Bargain price

For under $10, this classic L'Oréal Paris foundation offers stellar medium coverage at an unbeatable value and comes in a wide range of 45 shades from light to deep, with neutral, cool or warm undertones. That means you can find the right one for your skin tone and undertones (key to getting a perfect match). With over 800 5-star reviews, it’s a total crowd-favorite.

How we test foundations for mature skin

In order to find the best foundations for mature skin on the market, Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab scientists recruited professional makeup artist evaluators to test and rate label-masked formulas from drugstore to high-end. The products are judges on attributes including dispensing, texture, application (spreadability, blendability, buildability) and coverage look and feel. Beauty Lab pros quantified 919 data points in the most recent test to zero in on the winners.

numerous bottles of foundations arranged on a counter for testing at the good housekeeping institute beauty lab
What to look for when shopping for the best foundation for mature skin

✔️ Look for lightweight formulas: A hydrating or satin-finish liquid foundation is your best choice, especially as hormone levels dip and your skin gets drier. “Choose a water-based formula that has hydrating ingredients," like moisturizing glycerin or hyaluronic acid, Whelan advises. "Foundations that have sheer coverage and a dewy luminous finish work best with women who are concerned about lines and wrinkles."

✔️ Dewy foundations are better than matte. Thicker, matte finish bases are usually made to provide fuller coverage, which means they're packed with pigment that can eventually get cakey. "These will likely settle into fine lines and wrinkles, causing them to look more pronounced," Whelan says. There are some exceptions (see our experts' cream picks above) and if you’re all about full-coverage, you can also layer in a rich face moisturizer or a hydrating primer.

✔️ Switch up your shade: The rule that says your foundation must exactly match your skin tone doesn't hold up any more. Your complexion tends to grow paler with age, so a matching shade can leave you looking pasty or ashy. Look for warmer base shades with fewer pink undertones to counteract ruddiness and keep the life in your skin by using a slightly warmer tone or a shade deeper than your go-to, suggests Sandy Linter, a celebrity makeup artist in NYC who has worked with stars from Brooke Shields to Diana Ross. If you're wary of going up a full notch, create a custom color by mixing your current shade with the next darkest one.

What’s the best way to apply foundation on mature skin?
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Whether it's a liquid, powder or cream foundation, how you apply it is just as important as which formula you use:

✔️ First, exfoliate: Add this step to your nightly skincare routine two to three times a week. Regularly sloughing off the outer layer of dead skin with a face scrub or chemical exfoliator means makeup will go on more smoothly, so you'll need to use less and look more fresh-faced. Your skin will also absorb more ingredients from your other skincare products, like serums and moisturizers, creating more hydrated skin which is essential for gorgeous makeup.

✔️ Dot it on with a damp makeup sponge: This is a favorite technique of Dana Rae, a makeup artist in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It will leave skin glowing and dewy, plus help you avoid streaky application. Less is more: start with a small amount and add as needed. "With light pressure, dot foundation onto skin using a blotting motion until the desired areas are covered," Rae advises.

✔️ Work your way out: For the most natural look, "Always apply foundation from the inner part of the face and blend out," Whelan recommends. "Typically, you will need the most coverage in the center of your face, like around the nose and the middle of the chin." Be sure to cover areas including under your eyes, on the eyelids and brow bones, along both sides of your jawline and your neck if needed.

Why trust Good Housekeeping?
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Sabina Wizemann, the Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab senior chemist who oversaw the testing behind this article, develops laboratory protocols using specialized lab equipment, conducts product testing across makeup and skincare categories, including foundations, and oversees large consumer studies. She also reviews applications, substantiates claims and evaluates products for the GH Seal and beauty and sustainability award programs.

April Franzino has over a decade of experience working in the Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab, including the past seven years serving as beauty director. In her role, she oversees all beauty editorial content at Good Housekeeping, working closely with the GH Beauty Lab scientists to develop, execute and translate product testing into compelling, factually accurate editorial in categories like makeup, including foundations.

Tatiana Velasco is a freelancer, former GH Beauty Intern and graduate of New York University’s journalism school. Conducting extensive research and collaborating with GH’s Beauty Lab and other experts, she produces in-depth stories about beauty trends and products. Tatiana also enjoys testing skincare and other beauty products to share her candid reviews.

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