Mature Skin Matters: Powder or Liquid Foundation?

Published Categorized as Makeup Tips

While everyone ages differently and everyone’s skin is unique, there are a few characteristics of mature skin that really matter when choosing makeup. As such, today we’ll be battling out which is better: powder vs liquid foundation for aging skin?

Hi beautiful! Just to let you know, we earn a modest commission off of purchases made through Amazon affiliate links on this page. Don't worry, it's of no extra cost to you. We love the products we recommend in this post, and we hope you do, too!

Table of Contents

Here are the most common issues facing mature skin

What are some of the changes your skin goes through when you age? - Powder vs Liquid Foundation for Aging Skin

Thinner, more delicate skin

As we age, our bodies naturally reduce production of collagen and are slower to repair the tissues that thicken and strengthen skin.

This can make the skin thinner and more delicate, and also make it look looser and less firm.

Drier skin

Slower cell repair and renewal, as well as reduced oil production and cumulative sun and skin damage, can also make mature skin look drier and rougher.

“I am a combo skin but tend to oily, although drying up at my age,” 82-year old Gayle says.

Amy shares, “As you get older your face is more dry so its important to find the right foundations that won’t crease, or create cracks etc.”

Changes in color and tone

Over time, the number of skin cells that contain pigment reduces, but the remaining pigment-containing cells get larger in size.

This can make the skin both paler and more uneven in color.

Hyperpigmentation, broken capillaries, and age spots

Speaking of uneven color, those large pigment-containing skin cells are known as age spots.

Cumulative sun damage, along with other factors like genetics, smoking, and nutrition, can cause red or brown spots on the skin.


While we wish that acne was a problem we could leave in our teenage years, it often remains a factor.

According to the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, many women continue to struggle with acne well into maturity. It actually affects over 26% of women in their 40s.

Altogether, mature skin can present quite a challenge—the skin is dry and delicate, prone to damage when treated harshly, and yet it also has spots, unevenness, and fine lines that we want to minimize.

Benefits of Liquid Foundation

Now that we’re through checking out what problems can arise with age, let’s take a look at makeup qualities.

Liquid foundations have a number of skin-boosting benefits, even for mature skin.

What type of foundation is best for wrinkles? Usually, it is liquid, because it doesn’t settle into creases and smooths out texture more than powder foundation would.

Some of the reasons that liquid foundations are great for mature skin are:

Great, blendable color coverage

Liquid foundations often have smooth, blendable formulas that do a great job of evening out pale or sallow skin with age or acne spots.

Smooths over the surface

Liquid foundations tend to flow over surface imperfections, and don’t accentuate enlarged pores, fine lines, or rough spots.

Provides hydration and moisture

Liquid foundations often include ingredients that help to hydrate skin, improving the look of aging skin.

However, liquid foundations aren’t perfect.

In warm or hot conditions, liquid foundations are prone to movement, allowing them to flow into lines and creases, or melt off the face altogether.

If you are dealing with acne, liquid foundations are more likely to clog pores.

And liquid foundations aren’t the best choice for oily or combination skin.

Covergirl & Olay Simply Ageless 3-in-1 Liquid Foundation, Creamy Natural

Covergirl + Olay Liquid Foundation for Mature Skin

Buy on Amazon

Benefits of Powder Foundation

Powder foundations are extremely popular, particularly for those who want fast, natural-looking coverage.

For years, experts have advised against using powder foundations on mature skin, because it tends to settle into lines and wrinkles, accentuating surface imperfections.

Amy shares, “I also rarely use powder. All that does is cake it on.”

(Learn what the best makeup foundation for wrinkles are.)

However, many of today’s powder foundations have advanced surface-treated pigments that give great coverage and let powder foundations feel as silky and dewy as liquids.

Amy also shares her tip for applying powder foundation, “Oil, I truly believe, is the saving grace and its not marketed widely enough.”

Powder foundations also have some other great benefits.

Gentler on skin

Powder foundations usually have more natural minerals and fewer preservatives, so they are gentle on delicate skin.

Longer lasting

Powder foundation has more staying power in heat and humidity, and stays in place for longer.

Better for acne, and for oily/combination skin

Powder makeup have a reduced likelihood of clogging pores.

Because of their powder form, they also do a better job of managing oil.

L'Oreal Paris Age Perfect Creamy Powder Foundation Compact, 305 Cream Beige, 0.31 Ounce

L’Oreal Paris Creamy Powder Foundation for Mature Skin

Buy on Amazon

RELATED: Cream to powder foundation

Which is Better for Mature Skin: Liquid or Powder Foundation? What is the best foundation for mature wrinkled skin?

What's the verdict? - Powder vs Liquid Foundation for Aging Skin

We’ve covered the battle between powder or liquid foundation before, but today we’re focusing specifically on their effects on mature skin.

Generally speaking, experts recommend liquid foundation over powder for mature skin.

But the truth is that there are some excellent powder foundations for mature skin, and some liquid foundations that don’t work so well.

In other words, instead of looking for a powder or a liquid foundation, look for these characteristics instead:

Choose protective, nurturing ingredients

Aging skin needs sun protection and hydration.

Look for foundation with SPF, or that can be layered with a sunscreen.

You should also look for naturally hydrating ingredients, like aloe.

Look for age-fighting ingredients

Foundation can do more than cover flaws and unevenness.

Foundations can contain antioxidants, vitamins, and other age-fighting ingredients that help to repair and renew skin while providing coverage.

Less is more

Full coverage makeup, particularly with a matte finish, can make the skin look flat, dry, and older than it is.

Strong highlights can accentuate fine lines and surface imperfections.

It’s best to look for a light, dewy coverage that isn’t completely matte and isn’t overly shiny.

Powder sparingly

While some powder foundations are great for more mature skin, many setting powders give a flat, unnatural finish that accentuates wrinkles and creases.

Use setting powders with a very light hand, or choose a setting spray instead as an alternative.

Makeup Tips for Mature Skin

For decades, the only beauty products designed for mature skin were a bewildering array of anti-wrinkle creams. Today, more and more professional and amateur makeup artists are paying attention to the special needs of mature skin, designing a full range of products and techniques that take into account the unique characteristics of skin as it ages. Mature skin tends to require specialized application techniques, using gentle beauty blenders and soft brushes that don’t tug or pull at delicate skin.

YouTuber HotandFlashy has some fantastic makeup reviews and tutorials for mature skin, and this beginner makeup tutorial helps mature skin look more youthful and natural:

Powder vs Liquid Foundation for Aging Skin: Final Verdict

For most mature skin, liquid foundation is the better choice for hydration and smoothing.

However, if you are dealing with mature skin that is oily or acne-prone, there are powder foundations that are specially formulated to be protective and hydrating. You can check out our reviews of the best foundations for mature skin.

To create the appearance of healthy, luminous skin, avoid using too much makeup in with a flat, matte, one-dimensional application. Instead opt for a lighter, more delicate touch.

You should also remember that a good primer for mature skin helps!

And use highlighting and setting powders with caution, to avoid creasing.

Read more on the blog:

Was this post on powder vs liquid foundation for aging skin helpful? Let us know in the comments below!

By Ellis James

We design luxuriously glamorous bags, organizers and life essentials for you. At Ellis James Designs, it’s all about YOU. Your bag, Your way. Our exclusive designs are timeless, indulgent and most importantly inspired by you. What will be your first Ellis James Design?


Comments are closed.