The 13 Best Foundations for Mature Skin, Ranked by a Beauty Editor

The idea that your beauty routine should change with your age is nothing new – the wording "formulated for mature skin" is often used alongside skincare and make-up products. But this somewhat vague designation begs the question: What exactly is "mature" skin, and at what age is your skin considered mature?

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(Image credit: @POLLIANI)

"Because it can refer to either a certain age or condition of the skin, it’s a bit of an ambiguous term,” explains Sarah Chapman, cosmetic scientist, skincare expert and founder of Skinesis. "If we’re looking for classic signs of a ‘mature’ complexion, it would be skin that’s showing visible signs of ageing – loss of volume and firmness, fine lines, wrinkles and signs of sun damage such as uneven pigmentation and collagen loss.” It’s also important to note that a variety of factors play a role in skin maturity, including genetics, ethnicity, overall health, and lifestyle choices like hydration, smoking, drinking, and sun exposure.

What Happens To Skin When We Age?

As we get older, our complexion decreases its production of sebum, oil and ceramides, which are essential to help strengthen the Lipid Barrier and retain moisture, keeping skin plump and firm. "Cell turnover also slows down – from about every 14 days as infants, to about 30 days in our 30s, to 60+ days as we reach our 60s,” says Chapman. 

"In fact, research suggests that by our early twenties, collagen production starts diminishing by 1% each year. Our collagen and elastin fibres become thicker and less taut, leading to slackening, a change in face shape, and a reduction in the youthful plumpness of the skin.” However it isn’t one size fits all, and someone in their 20’s may show more signs of ageing than someone in their 40s, so it’s all about being in tune with your skin.

What To Look for In a Foundation for Mature Skin

According to Chapman, you should look for make-up with good skincare ingredients. "Our skin can become more dull and dehydrated as we age, so hydrators such as hyaluronic acid can help plump out fine lines and help keep your skin looking dewy and radiant throughout the day.” Chapman says it’s worth noting that although a foundation offering extra UV protection is always beneficial, never skip your dedicated SPF.

As for things to avoid? "I personally recommend avoiding retinol in a foundation and focus instead on delivering high-quality de-ageing actives through your skincare. Vitamin A can make your skin more sensitive to UV rays, so if you do go for a foundation containing retinol, it’s even more important to wear a high-protection SPF underneath.”

How to Apply Foundation On Mature Skin

Working with the likes of Golda Rosheuvel, Sophie Okonedo and Priyanka Chopra, celebrity make-up artist Kenneth Soh has a few tricks up his sleeve when working with mature skin.

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(Image credit: @KENNETHSOHMAKEUP)

"See where you need foundation, be it to warm and even out skin tone or to provide a little coverage, then working with the principal that less is more, use only what you need, starting from centre of the face, working outwards,” explains Soh. "Keep as little product as possible on areas where there are lines or creases. I often run a clean cotton bud over the areas with lines to help prevent any creasing or build up of foundation.”

With all this in mind, it’s time to sit back and enjoy the best foundations for mature skin, with every skin type and finish in mind.

The Best Foundations for Mature Skin:

1. Best All-Rounder: Armani Luminous Silk Foundation

2. Best Glow Giver: Charlotte Tilbury Beautiful Skin Foundation

3. Best Gel Foundation: Chantecaille Future Skin Foundation

4. Best for Dry Skin: Tom Ford Shade & Illuminate SPF 50

5. Best Budget Foundation: L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect BB Cream SPF 50

6. Best Stick Foundation: Westman Atelier Vital Skin Foundation Stick

7. Best for Oily Skin: Clinique Even Better Clinical Serum Foundation

8. Best Skincare/Makeup Hybrid: Sisley Sisleÿa Le Teint Anti-Ageing Foundation

9. Best Radiance Booster: NARS Light Reflecting Advanced Foundation

10. Best for Light-Medium Coverage:Jones Road What The Foundation

11. Best for Medium-Full Coverage: Shiseido Synchro Skin Radiant Lifting SPF30 Foundation

12. Best Serum Foundation: ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 30

13. Best Matte Foundation: Milk Makeup Blur Liquid Matte Foundation

This story was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.

Mollie Burdell is a freelance beauty editor, presenter and host. She trained as a makeup artist at the prestigious Delamar Academy, covering everything from prosthetics and theatre to TV and film, and then went on to graduate from university with a First Class Honours degree in journalism.

After completing internships at Grazia, Look, Cosmopolitan and Stylist, she landed her first writer role at Superdrug's Dare magazine. Mollie then joined the Harrods content team as a beauty writer before being promoted to the deputy beauty editor. There, she developed the content strategy, tone of voice and creative identity for H Beauty—Harrods's standalone regional beauty stores. When she wasn't interviewing the likes of Gigi Hadid, Miranda Kerr and Regé-Jean Page, you'd find her on a live broadcast, hosting an event, shooting video content, reviewing the lastest beauty launch on social or crafting a magazine feature. She has also hosted and contributed to the LuxeGirl by SheerLuxe YouTube series.

When Mollie isn't writing about beauty, you'll find her talking about it on a TikTok shop, dancing to pretty much anything with a beat, reading a crime thriller or performing a solo rendition of "One Day More" from Les Mis.