Dramatic skin changes can occur when a woman enters her 40s, especially related to the loss of elasticity and collagen that typically begins for women in their 30s.
During this time, women in their 40s may see some increased hollowing as a result of volume loss and minor wrinkles from facial expressions. In addition, the texture of a woman’s skin can change, possibly resulting in dryness, broken blood vessels and dulling.
While these changes may be inevitable, something as simple as the right makeup can help improve the appearance of a woman’s skin when she enters her 40s.
This article takes a look at the best makeup brands for women over 40. We’ve interviewed several experts on this topic, in addition to conducting our own research, to provide you with the five top makeup brands for women in this age group.
Four of the brands explored in this article were recommended by a board-certified dermatologist and a nurse practitioner, and the fifth brand was included due to its award-winning status, including “Beauty Product of the Year.”
Let’s begin by discussing how a woman’s skin changes in her 40s, according to our experts. Later on, we’ll present a list of the top makeup brands for women over 40, as well as what to avoid when it comes to making a purchase.
In What Ways Does a Woman’s Skin Change in her 40s?
There are intrinsic and extrinsic factors that change our skin as we are aging, said Nina Copeland, a dermatology nurse practitioner at Johnson Dermatology.
“Intrinsically we lose the fat layer of our skin making our skin thinner and dryer,” Copeland explained. “Collagen and elastin is produced at a slower rate causing slower healing and fine lines and wrinkles to develop.
“Extrinsic factors include UV exposure, medications, and irritants that can cause premature aging and hyper pigmentation,” Copeland added.
“The skin tends to bruise easier, look more dull and thin, sometimes enough to have a crepe-paper like appearance,” Copeland said. “Fine lines and wrinkles develop. Healing from bruises, cuts and scrapes is a slower process. Redness, broken blood vessels and hyper-pigmentation may all develop.”
See Also: Can Creams Really Help Crepey Skin?
Women in their 40s can expect to see some increased hollowing as a result of volume loss, and minor wrinkles from facial expressions, agreed Dr. Christie Prendergast, a plastic surgeon with Finesse Plastic Surgery in Southern California.
“These changes will vary widely based on your genetics and how well you took care of your skin in your younger years,” Dr. Prendergast said.
Many women of this age will start to notice mild to moderate acne, usually related to the hormonal fluctuations of their menstrual cycle, noted Dr. Ted Lain, a board-certified dermatologist who performs research on dermatologic medications as well as skin care.
“The cumulative effects of sun exposure will present as dark spots and fine lines and wrinkles,” said Dr. Lain, who is also an advisor and consultant to skincare brands. “Finally, the skin's plumpness and luminescence they had in their 20s and 30s will no longer be so readily apparent.”
Fortunately, the right makeup can help camouflage these changes, which we discuss in the next section.
Can Makeup Offset the Appearance of Aging Skin for Women Over 40?
Of course, according to Copeland, who says that makeup can be used to help camouflage adult onset acne, rosacea, fine lines, and discolorations.
“I prefer to recommend a type of makeup over a specific brand,” Copeland said. “Due to women tending to have drier skin as we mature, I usually will recommend a BB or CC cream over a powder foundation for this age group.”
BB stands for beauty balm and CC stands for color corrective.
“They are both multi-taskers instead of just a foundation,” Copeland explained. “There are lots of different formulations but most will claim to have skin care, coverage and SPF rolled into one. BB tends to be heavier and CC cream tends to be a lighter formula.”
Makeup can help to temporarily mask some of the skin changes that women over 40 face, Dr. Prendergast said.
“However, it is best to treat the underlying problems by being on a skincare regimen that includes a retinol or Retin-A to stimulate collagen production and improve texture,” Dr. Prendergast advised.
Additionally, sunscreen is very important to use daily to protect your skin from the daily sun damage and prevent aging spots or hyper-pigmentation, she added.
“An expert medical professional – dermatologist or plastic surgeon – can help you choose the right skin regimen for you based on your skin analysis,” Dr. Prendergast recommended.
Makeup can camouflage many of these over-40 changes if only through tint and coverage, Dr. Lain noted.
“However, many brands now include ingredients that make them as much skincare as they are makeup, helping to prevent the progression of the aging changes and possibly reverse them as well,” Dr. Lain said.
Now that we’ve addressed how makeup can help offset the appearance of skin changes for women in their 40s, let’s take a look at the five best makeup brands for women in this age group, according to our experts and our research.
5 Best Makeup Brands for Women Over 40
First and foremost, Dr. Lain recommends mineral makeup with an SPF.
“Protection is the key to prevention of sun damage,” Dr. Lain advised. “Additionally, search out brands that offer more, including antioxidants.”
Brands to consider, according to Dr. Lain, are Revaléskin® and Eminence Organic Skin Care.
“Essentially, they do more than just act as makeup,” Dr. Lain explained. “Antioxidants serve to protect skin cells at the DNA level from the punishing effects of the sun. They, along with a broad-spectrum SPF, form the foundation for the protective aspect of an effective skincare regimen.”
Revaléskin® offers a mineral makeup with SPF 25 that provides sunscreen protection, foundation coverage, and clinically proven anti-aging benefits, according to the manufacturer’s website.
This 100% natural loose powder formulation contains key ingredients including a broad spectrum anti-oxidant blend, as well as micronized zinc oxide and micronized titanium dioxide, which are broad spectrum, non-chemical sunscreens.
These clinically proven skincare minerals are anti-inflammatory, making them ideal for sensitive skin. In other benefits, the light-diffusing minerals instantly reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles for a smoother, more perfected complexion.
The Revaléskin® mineral skincare comes in five shades, as well as a totally sheer, finishing touch shade to provide the perfect finish.
To find a physician who offers Revaléskin®, visit the Physician Locator.
2. Eminence Organic Skin Care
The Mineral Illuminator created by Eminence Organic Skin Care was named the Winner of Best Bronzer by LNE & Spas in 2013. This oil-controlling, illuminating powder is infused with acai berry, green tea, and other anti-aging ingredients.
Additional key ingredients include rosemary extract, a natural astringent that eliminates free radicals and slows the appearance of aging; Vitamin A, which ensures natural growth and development of cells; Vitamin E, which prevents against damage from free radicals and sunlight to the skin’s appearance; and jojoba seed oil, which contains antimicrobial and oil balancing properties.
Mineral Illuminator comes in two shades to suit most skin tones: Mocha Berry Bronzer (medium to dark) and Chai Berry Glow (light to medium).
To find a spa that offers Eminence Organic Skin Care, visit the Spa Locator.
3. Jane Iredale®
Two makeup brands that Copeland recommends for women over 40 are Jane Iredale® for a more high-end option, and Physicians Formula® for a drug store option.
“These are some of my favorites because they have short ingredient lists and are very plain,” Copeland said. “Less is more with makeup and skin in my opinion.”
Jane Iredale® offers a full line of makeup in a variety of shades, including mineral foundation, concealer, eye shadow, eyeliner, mascara and brow pencils, as well as cheek blush, lip color, and lip liner.
For instance, makeup for the face includes The Amazing Base® Loose Mineral Powder, which conceals redness and diffuses the appearance of fine lines and pores, and is made from micronized minerals and contains SPF 20.
The Smooth Affair® Facial Primer & Brightener prepares the skin so makeup goes on easier and lasts longer. This primer also helps maintain the skin's youthful appearance and minimizes the appearance of pores and fine lines. It contains ingredients including apple fruit extract, sunflower seed oil, honeysuckle flower extract, and aloe barbadensis leaf juice.
The PurePressed® Eye Shadow Triple is crease-resistant and long-lasting and considered gentle and safe for sensitive eyes. This product is vegan and made with ingredients including pomegranate extract and pine bark extract.
The Jane Iredale® makeup line can be purchased directly from the manufacturer. Some of the items in this product line can also be bought at Amazon, Overstock, Dermstore, and Nordstrom.
4. Physicians Formula®
Copeland also recommends Physicians Formula®. This brand never allows fragrance, PABA or any of the 100-plus irritants into any products, according to the manufacturer’s website. The dermatologist approved products are also non-irritating, non-greasy, hypoallergenic, and non-comedogenic.
For the face, Physicians Formula® offers blush, bronzer, concealer, foundation, and primer, as well as loose and pressed powder. For instance, the Le Velvet™ Foundation SPF 15 conceals imperfections and evens skin tone, while protecting against environmental damage.
Physicians Formula® also creates makeup for the eyes, including eyeliner, eye shadow, mascara and brow pencils. Additional products include the Eyebrightener® Multi-Colored Eyelighter, which can brighten dark or dull eyelid areas with subtle hints of pearlescent color.
Products for the lips include the Argan Wear™ Ultra-Nourishing Argan Lip Oil Duo, which is infused with 100% pure argan oil. This lip oil treatment is claimed to condition, hydrate, revive, and replenish lips instantly and long term. It can also smooth texture, as well as enhance lip shape and volume.
Physicians Formula® can be purchased online directly from the manufacturer. Some products in the line can also be bought at sites including Walmart, Ulta, Amazon, and Walgreens.
5. Youngblood® Mineral Cosmetics
Youngblood® is considered “the premier luxury mineral cosmetics line” that’s made with natural, finely ground minerals from the earth, according to the manufacturer’s website.
An award-winning cosmetics line, Youngblood’s Mineral Rice Setting Powder was named “Beauty Product of the Year” at the 2007 Danish Beauty awards.
The products do not contain common irritants found in conventional makeup, such as chemicals, dyes, and preservatives. Rather, the products contain a signature blend of Malachite, Rhodolite, Hematite, and Zincite to help protect cells and tissue.
Youngblood® is also said to be gentle to all skin types and conditions, including skin recovering from a laser or chemical peels, as well as skin with rosacea, acne or discoloration.
This product line includes makeup for the face, cheeks, lips, and eyes. The Pressed Mineral Foundation, for instance, contains “superior” concealing and oil-controlling properties, and softens the appearance of fine lines and pores with a smooth, matte finish.
Additional makeup includes Hydrating Lip Tint SPF 15, a new product made with jojoba, argan, sunflower, and avocado oils to help heal dryness and soften roughness; and Outrageous Lashes Mineral Lengthening Mascara, a conditioning and volumizing formula that is said to create noticeably longer, fuller, defined lashes.
Youngblood® makeup can be purchased directly from the manufacturer. Other websites that sell Youngblood® makeup include Amazon, Overstock, The Beauty Place, and LovelySkin.
Now that we’ve explored five of the top makeup brands for women over 40, let’s address what to avoid when it comes to making a decision, which we cover in the next section.
What to Avoid When Shopping for Makeup for Women Over 40
Copeland educates her patients to look at the ingredient list of makeup to determine what to avoid.
“The brands that are simple with fewest ingredients tend to be more gentle on the skin,” she said.
Alcohol will tend to dry out the skin that is already drier in this age group, “so avoid a product that has that at the front of the ingredient list,” Copeland advised.
Additionally, “women that have more sensitive skin as they age should try to avoid high fragrance and additives that could irritate the skin,” said Copeland.
Women over the age of 40 should avoid drying agents such as alcohol and choose more hydrating options, Copeland re-emphasized.
“I tell women who are concerned with lines and wrinkles to avoid drying agents because that can make fine lines and wrinkles appear deeper and give the skin a dull finish,” Copeland said. “Try to choose products that put moisture in the skin and finish your makeup with a facial mist that's plain water, like Evian, to give an immediate moisture and dewy skin-like appearance.”
The Bottom Line
Women over 40 need their skincare and makeup to be just like them – “a hardworking multitasker that won’t fade throughout the day,” Dr. Lain said.
“Good quality mineral makeup with antioxidants provide great coverage, excellent sun protection, and deliver the important properties of antioxidants,” Dr. Lain advised.
It’s important to keep in mind that what works for you won't work for another woman, Copeland added.
“We all have a different level of extrinsic damage to the skin – especially in our 40s, we have different hormonal effects to the skin,” Copeland said. “We may be started on certain medications such as thyroid or cholesterol medications that change our skin. Getting a consultation with your dermatologist is a good starting point.”
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