Best foundation for mature skin over 50 UK for dry skin, oily skin and drugstore options

Best foundation for mature skin over 50 UK: 100+ foundations tried-and-tested

29th January 2024 | Author: Victoria Woollaston-Webber

We’ve spent months testing almost a hundred foundations to find the best foundation for mature skin over 50 – whether your skin is dry or oily, or you want a drugstore or luxury buy

Unless you started early, our 50s is usually when our skin and hair go through their most fundamental shift, brought on by the hormonal changes of peri- and menopause.

This can cause a whole host of problems, especially when it comes to makeup because the foundations and base products you’ve been using for years – and maybe even decades – can just stop working.

Whether it’s because of an increase in fine lines and wrinkles, drier skin, menopausal acne, or myriad other changes.

You may even experience changes in skin tone meaning that your long-term foundation match looks too yellow, or too dark.

If this has happened to you and you’re wondering where to start in finding a new, alternative foundation then let us help.

We’ve been running a series on TikTok in which we’re testing as many foundations in the UK as we can.

As part of this series, we’ve tested more than 100 products and these are what we consider to be the best foundation for mature skin over 50.

You don’t have to be over 50 to use these foundations but if your skin is younger than 50, some of the foundations in this list may be too sheer or lightweight for you (depending on your skin type). We have more recommendations on our general best foundations for mature skin guide.

We explain more about how we’re testing the foundations here (which includes buying a lot of oranges, and strawberries)

FURTHER READING: How we test foundationsHow to find your perfect foundation match | MUA explains how to get flawless makeupHow to use concealer on mature skinHow old does your skin REALLY look? 

How to choose a foundation for mature skin over 50

As we age, our skin goes through a series of changes – you can read more about these in our guide to how your skin changes in each decade of your life – and what to do about it.

After 50, you might notice it’s drier, less plump, and has more lines and wrinkles. This is because from our mid-20s (yes, 25-year-old skin is technically known as mature) produces less oil, collagen, and elastin. It also renews itself more slowly. Not to mention that the older you are, the more exposure you’ve had to sun damage.

When choosing a foundation for mature skin generally, but especially over 50, you need to look for the following:

  • Hydration is key: Look for foundations with hydrating ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, squalane, or glycerin. These all help add moisture and prevent the foundation looking cakey or dry.
  • Lighter coverage is better: Heavy foundations can settle into lines and wrinkles, making them look more noticeable. Opt for medium or light coverage foundations that you can build up if needed.
  • Choose the right finish: Some people prefer a dewy finish to add radiance and plumpness to mature skin, while others prefer a satin finish to control shine. It’s up to your personal preference and skin type but going too matte can leave the skin looking flat and dull.
  • Don’t forget SPF: Sun protection is essential for all ages, but especially for mature skin. Choosing a foundation with SPF 30 or higher, where possible, can add a little extra protection to your sunscreen and shield your skin from harmful UV rays.
  • Be kind to your skin: Avoid harsh chemicals, fragrances, and alcohols that can irritate sensitive mature skin. Look for foundations with gentle, emollient-rich formulas.
  • Find your perfect match: Pay attention to your skin’s undertones – cool, warm, or neutral – to find a foundation that blends well and doesn’t look ashy or orange.
  • Apply with care: Foundation always looks best when applied to hydrated skin but as we get older, using a primer to smooth out lines can help increase its chances of not only looking great but staying in place and not settling into your skin’s natural creases.
  • Switch to a damp beauty blender: This is optional but if your skin has become drier than it used to be, switching to a damp beauty blender to apply your foundation can help create even coverage and

What is the best foundation for mature skin over 50?

If you don’t want to read our full guide to the best foundations for mature skin, we’ve put our favourite below, based on tests of more than 100 foundations from a range of brands.

Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk foundation reviewmamabella

***Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk  ***

The Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk foundation is one of the best foundations for older skin that we’ve ever tried.

Especially for mature skin over 50.

It stands out due to its ability to provide a radiant, yet silky finish and even, medium coverage.

The only downside is that it doesn’t come cheap, but a little goes a long way so at least it’s good value.

Best foundation for mature skin over 50 UK

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Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk: Best foundation for mature skin over 50

£44.50 | Buy now

View the full TikTok video here

Best foundation for mature skin over 50 Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk foundation reviewmamabella | mamabella

Why we love it:  The Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk foundation is one of the best foundations for older skin that we’ve ever tried. Especially for mature skin over 50.

It stands out due to its ability to provide a radiant, yet silky finish and even medium coverage.

Most luminous or radiant foundations tend to give a sheer and shiny appearance, which doesn’t suit oily skin types or older, more mature skin.

While foundations that smooth and mattify the skin usually result in a flat complexion that can be drying for skin over 50, due to its tendency to err on the dry side.

Somehow, the Luminous Silk foundation manages to achieve both, giving a natural-looking and healthy finish while also making the skin look youthful.

This is coupled with the foundation’s lightweight formula which means it won’t settle into wrinkles or fine lines.

The subtle luminosity brightens the eye area while lifting other shadows across the face, creating a more youthful and refreshed appearance.

If you prefer or need fuller coverage, this foundation can be layered to give coverage where it’s needed most.

The only downside is that it doesn’t come cheap, but a little goes a long way so at least it’s good value.

Luminous Silk foundation before and aftermamabella | mamabella

The Luminous Silk foundation gives medium coverage and a natural finish

What’s more, you can buy a travel-sized version for £27 if you want to give this foundation a go without buying a full-sized, £45 bottle.

You can read our full Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk foundation review here.


L’Oreal True Match: Best drugstore foundation for mature skin over 50

£9.99 | BUY NOW

View the full TikTok video here

best cheap foundation for mature skin Loreal True Matchmamabella | mamabella

Why we love it: The majority of foundations designed for mature skin over 50 are expensive. We’re not sure if this is because they require a host of extra skincare ingredients to work effectively, or because they believe older people have more money to spend on such products.

Either way, this can be galling if you’ve always been a fan of cheap, high-street foundations and don’t want to spend a fortune now your skin has changed.

Thankfully there is a growing number of affordable foundations that have all the benefits of expensive versions, without the high price tag and our favourite is the L’Oreal True Match.

This is because it ticks a lot of boxes in the hunt for the best foundation for older skin.

Not only is it affordable, but it offers buildable sheer to medium coverage with a natural-looking, true-to-skin coverage. All with the added benefit of SPF.

It also comes in 48 shades making it more inclusive than other foundations we’ve tested. Even those that cost four times as much.

The formula contains hyaluronic acid and L’Oreal promises that the formula will hydrate the skin for up to 24 hours while also improving skin quality within two weeks.

While we can’t vouch for the 24-hour claims, we do like how this foundation makeup feels on the skin and it blends really easily. This is a particular benefit for mature skin over 50 due to its lack of elasticity. Pulling at it too much with a brush or similar can make lines and wrinkles look worse.

The formula was recently upgraded and L’Oreal’s Skin-Matching Technology now contains six different pigments to better match the nuances of skin tone for a better match.

FURTHER READING: Best high-street foundation UK


MAC Studio Fix Fluid: Best luxury foundation for mature skin over 50

£34 | Buy now

Watch the full TikTok video here

MAC Studio Fix foundation for mature skinmamabella | mamabella

Why we love it: In our hunt for the best foundation for mature skin over 50, MAC has consistently performed well and the best of the bunch is the Studio Fix Fluid.

For an albeit pricey £34, you get a choice of 67 shades – the highest of any foundation we’ve tested – as well as SPF 15.

It offers medium-to-full coverage and a satin finish. It minimises the appearance of shine, pores, and blemishes and feels lightweight on the skin.

It does create a small amount of dewiness but as we get older and our skin becomes more sallow and flat, this is a good thing.

Elsewhere, it fills in fine lines and wrinkles, covers red and dark spots, and helps get rid of dark circles.

MAC claims the coverage and finish of the Studio Fix Fluid will last 24 hours but our oily nose did peek through by mid-afternoon. It’s not as bad as others we’ve tested, though, and a small amount of powder sorts it right out for the rest of the day.

This foundation has a noticeable, perfumed smell which isn’t unpleasant but it could irritate sensitive skin.

Another complaint (and granted it’s a minor one) is that the bottle doesn’t come with a pump.

You either have to shake the formula out – which is difficult and causes us to regularly waste foundation by pouring too much – or you can buy the pump separately.

This adds an extra fiver on to an already high price.

MAC Studio Fixmamabella

More recently, MAC released a new foundation called the MAC Studio Radiance Serum-powered Foundation.

It contains 33 skincare ingredients, including hyaluronic acid, glycerin, olive oil and cucumber extract, alongside pigments that offer medium-full, buildable coverage.

With 56 shades, the new MAC Serum Foundation also has fewer shades than the MAC Studio Fix foundation, meaning you won’t necessarily be able to get the same shade with the Studio Radiance version.

We haven’t had the chance to test the Studio Radiance foundation yet, to see if it’s a better foundation for mature skin over 50 compared to the original Studio Fix Fluid. However, as soon as we do, we’ll update this page.

You can read more in our full MAC Studio Fix Fluid foundation review 


Charlotte Tilbury Beautiful Skin: Best hydrating foundation for mature skin over 50

£36 | Buy now 

View the full TikTok video here

Charlotte Tilbury Beautiful skin best luxury foundation for mature skinmamabella | mamabella

Why we love it: Charlotte Tilbury’s Beautiful Skin foundation is a rare breed in the makeup world because its formual is water-based – as opposed to silicone- or oil-based.

What’s more, the water comes from apples – a part of the Pyrus Malus fruit family – which are loaded with proteins, vitamins and sugars which that combine to make this foundation hydrating and nourishing and thus one of the best foundations for mature skin over 50

Even though silicone-based foundations are usually the best for smoothing out your skin and pores, the sugars in the Pyrus Malus extract include fructose, glucose, and sucrose. Each is great for moisturising and smoothing the skin, while the acids (malic and gallic acid) are a mild exfoliant that helps brighten the skin and buff away dead skin cells.

This helps the foundation sit on your skin, not cling to dead skin that can look flaky.

There have been some complaints about this foundation causing texture yet we’ve never had this problem when we’ve used either the water-based primer, or skipped the primer stage and made sure our skin was hydrated with serums and moisturisers instead.

Due to the addition of skincare benefits in this foundation, you can also get away with not using primer at all.

As one of a growing number of skincare-based foundations, the Beautiful Skin foundation promises to help reduce the appearance of pigmentation and dark spots when used regularly.

This is ideal for older skin because it gives lightweight medium coverage of such imperfections in the short term while helping to reduce them in the long term, and it’s particularly great for dry skin.

That said, this foundation does tend to slide off during the day on oily/combination skin. It also oxidises a little more than we’d expected, meaning it dries down darker than it goes on.

As a result, we recommend going for a slightly lighter shade than you think you need.

Best Charlotte Tilbury Beautiful Skin foundationmamabella | mamabella

We recently put the best Charlotte Tilbury foundations to the test and the Beautiful Skin foundation scored very highly.

Read our full Charlotte Tilbury Beautiful Skin foundation review here 


Best foundation for fine lines and wrinkles: Glossier Stretch Fluid Foundation

£34 | BUY NOW

Glossier Stretch Fluid FoundationGlossier

Why we love it:  If your main concern when looking for a foundation for over 50 skin is your fine lines and wrinkles, we highly recommend the Glossier Stretch Fluid Foundation.

Its formula is made with 89% skincare ingredients, this includes:

– Squalane and glycerin to hydrate

– Wild rose berry and plankton extract work to balance shine

– Amino acid-coated pigments that are designed to fuse with the skin

All of this means the Stretch Fluid Foundation gives flexible coverage that moves with you, not against you. Giving your a flawless base for up to 12 hours.

We particularly like its gel-cream formula because it feels more like a smoothing primer and it’s lightweight enough to not weigh down the skin.

In tests, 98% of users agreed that the Stretch foundation adapts to their skin and offers a personalised finish that enhances your complexion without masking it.

FURTHER READING: How to prevent wrinkles, according to the experts


NARS Light Reflecting Foundation: Best foundation for dry mature skin over 50

 £39 | BUY NOW

View the full TikTok video here

Which NARS foundation for mature skin is best: Light Reflecting foundationmamabella | mamabella

Why we love it: Both Glossier’s Stretch Fluid Foundation and Charlotte Tilbury’s Beautiful Skin foundation would work well for dry, mature skin over 50 but the best we’ve tried in terms of coverage, finish and staying power is the NARS Light Reflecting foundation.

It’s a great NARS foundation for older skin because it doesn’t feel too heavy or cakey and it doesn’t settle into fine lines or wrinkles as much as other more drying, or matte foundations.

This performance largely comes from the fact the NARS Light Reflecting foundation contains 70% skincare ingredients that help to protect the skin and repair the skin’s barrier.

This includes glycerin, to hydrate the skin; Mondo grass extract that helps moisturise and nourish; seaweed extract to protect the skin from environmental dangers like pollution and blue light; seawater; Vitamin E and Vitamin C.

This also makes it great for anyone with sensitive skin, or skin prone to redness.

Elsewhere its “Photochromic Technology” adjusts your complexion tone in response to the light you’re in, so your skin never appears washed out which can be a problem for skin over 50.

Another thing going in NARS’ favour is the fact it offers 36 shades. It’s not the highest shade-range foundation for mature skin, but it’s a decent number that covers a wide range of skin tones.

Sadly it doesn’t come cheap but it is worth the investment if you can afford it.

Read our full NARS Light Reflecting Foundation review here

FURTHER READING: Best foundation for dry skin, tried and tested by our editors


Il Makiage Woke Up Like This: Best mature skin foundation for shade-matching 

£39 | Buy now

View the full TikTok video here

Il Makiage Woke Up Like This foundationIl Makiage

Why we love it: Il Makiage’s Woke Up Like This foundation smooths and evens the skin, minimises the appearance of shadows and pores and contains powders that help to blur fine lines, and redness. All while giving a streak-free finish.

It contains hyaluronic acid, to hydrate the skin, as well as Vitamin E. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps to protect the skin from environmental stressors like pollution.

As you can read in our Il Makiage foundation review, the Woke Up Like This foundation doesn’t settle in fine lines or wrinkles. As the day wore on it was clear our makeup wasn’t creasing anywhere near as much as it normally does. Especially around our eyes and mouth.

What’s more, the more we used the Il Makiage foundation, the plumper our skin looked and the softer it felt, even when we weren’t wearing it.

Our favourite thing about Il Makiage’s Woke Up Like This foundation, however, is its Powermatch technology and the fact you can return the foundation for free within 60 days if the shade isn’t quite right. Even if it’s opened, and even if it’s empty.

You can choose from 50 shades and this range has been designed to suit all skin tones.

This includes shades across light, medium, tan, and deep tones as well as the choice of four undertones: neutral, pink, yellow, and olive.

We should note that this foundation does contain alcohol. This is what enables it to stay put for hours but it can be drying. The hyaluronic acid in the formula helps balance this somewhat but you will need to hydrate the skin before application to get the best finish.

Read our full Il Makiage foundation review here


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