The idea that your skincare routine should change with your age is nothing new—the label "formulated for mature skin" speaks to that fact. But this somewhat vague designation begs the question: What exactly is "mature" skin, and at what age is your skin considered mature?
"It’s hard to say a definitive number," said Morgan Rabach, MD, board-certified dermatologist and co-founder of New York City–based LM Medical. "The age of someone's skin doesn't necessarily sync up with the age of the person." She adds 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.
According to Rabach, "mature" skin is more about certain characteristics, like fine lines, wrinkles, and a loss of elasticity, than a specific age. "Sometimes I can see the start of [aging] by the early 20s, and sometimes I see 45-year-olds and I'm surprised by their birthday. I would say that by your 40s, most people have some [signs of aging]."
How to Tell if You Have "Mature" Skin
Rather than looking to your age as the defining factor, Rabach defines mature skin as the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, loose skin, wrinkling in the neck and eyelids, and a loss of volume in the soft tissue of the face, leading to jowling and nasolabial folds (also known as laugh lines).
"There is also a general thinning of the skin as we age," she adds. "The skin becomes more fragile, translucent, and shows more blood vessels. Skin also becomes drier because there is less oil production." Sun spots can also contribute to the look of mature skin, no matter what your age.
What to Look For in a Foundation For Mature Skin
If you're considering a foundation specifically formulated for mature skin, Rabach has some tips. "Sunscreen is a must every single day, even in the winter," she instructs. "A foundation with a sunscreen would be a benefit."
If Rabach had to pick one anti-aging ingredient for mature skin, it would be retinol. "Retinols really address every issue in aging skin—they remove dead layers of skin, increase collagen and elastin (which thickens the skin), and reduce pore size and pigmentation."
Moisture is also incredibly important when it comes to selecting the right foundation. Rabach specifically recommends something with hyaluronic acid for a potent dose of hydration throughout the day. Heed Dr. Rabach's advice and shop the best foundations for mature skin below.
$15 or Less
Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Aging Perfector ($9)
This $9 drugstore gem is formulated with SPF 20 and retinol.
L'Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Glow Foundation ($7)
L'Oréal's infallible formula offers 24-hour coverage that won't dry out.
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Tint ($10)
Moisturizing hyaluronic acid is the star ingredient in this budget foundation.
Algenist Reveal Color Correcting Anti-Aging Serum Foundation ($11)
This serum-based foundation is infused with the brand's AlgaCorrecting Complex, alguronic acid, and microalgae oil.
Revlon Age Defying Firming and Lifting Makeup ($12)
Revlon's age-defying SPF 15 foundation is a top-rated pick on Amazon.
L'Oreal Paris Visible Lift Serum Absolute Foundation ($4)
Infused with pro retinol A, vitamin C, and SPF 17, this wallet-friendly formula delivers a powerful anti-aging punch.
Maybelline New York Instant Age Rewind Eraser Treatment Makeup ($10)
This anti-aging foundation is enriched with skin protecting antioxidants and SPF 18.
$15 to $50
Benefit Cosmetics Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow! Liquid Foundation ($25)
Benefit's Oxygen Wow formula is enriched with firming vitamin C and SPF 25.
Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation ($44)
This anti-aging powerhouse is infused with skin-firming concentrated mushroom extracts, moisturizing hyaluronic acid, and smoothing vitamin C.
With vitamin C derivative, mineral-rich sea water, and Kopara, this lightweight tinted moisturizer is perfect for everyday wear.
Lancôme Rénergie Lift Makeup Foundation SPF 20 ($48)
Formulated with pure vitamin E nano-capsules plus stimulating caffeine, ivy, and corn extracts, Lancôme's Rénergie foundation is an anti-aging powerhouse.
It Cosmetics Bye Bye Lines Foundation ($38)
This full-coverage formula is enriched with caviar extract, hydrolyzed collagen, hyaluronic acid, argan oil and babassu oil, plus vitamins A, C, E, B1, B2, B3, B5, B7, B9, and CoQ10.
Tarte Shape Tape Hydrating Foundation ($25)
Brimming with collagen and hyaluronic acid, this midrange formula smoothes pores and plumps fine lines.
Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Ultra-Longwear Foundation ($48)
This long-lasting formula offers 15 hours' worth of weightless coverage that won't cake or dry out.
Smashbox Studio Skin 15 Hour Hydrating Foundation ($36)
When it comes to mature skin, you can't go wrong with vitamin E and hyaluronic acid.
$50 and Up
Dior Diorskin Nude Air Serum Foundation ($52)
This lightweight foundation features the brand's Oxygen Activ technology—a blend of hyper-oxygenated oil, cranberry oil, vitamins, and minerals.
La Mer Soft Fluid Long Wear Foundation SPF 20 ($120)
La Mer's moisturizing formula offers incredibly lightweight coverage to emphasize the skin's natural beauty.
Perricone MD No Makeup Foundation Serum ($60)
Firming neuropeptides, nourishing daisy flower extract, and brightening bisabolo enrich this potent anti-aging foundation.
Sisley Paris Sisleÿa Le Teint Anti-Aging Foundation ($170)
This luxurious foundation is formulated with Sisley Paris's anti-aging Persian acacia extract.
Hourglass Illusion® Hyaluronic Skin Tint ($56)
With SPF 15 and hyaluronic acid, this tinted moisturizer is perfectly formulated for mature skin.
Estee Lauder Perfectionist Youth-Infusing Makeup Broad Spectrum SPF 25 ($52)
This medium to full-coverage foundation is infused with the brand's anti-aging Perfectionist serum.
Armani Beauty Luminous Silk Foundation ($64)
Infused with the brand's patented Micro–Fill technology, this award-winning foundation offers buildable coverage plus anti-aging benefits.
This article originally appeared on Who What Wear
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