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5 Best Bronzers for Mature Skin That Give the Complexion a Youthful Glow and Blur Wrinkles

Plus, how to find the most flattering bronzer hue for you

It’s a simple fact of life: Everyone looks great with a sun-kissed glow. The only (big) problem? The suntan that looks oh-so-pretty initially can ultimately turn into serious sun damage, upping the likelihood of both skin cancer and signs of aging. Enter the beauty of a bronzer, the perfect product to deliver a touch of color and glow — safely. But choosing and applying bronzer does require a certain set of skills and nuance, and that’s even more so the case the older you get. Ahead, makeup artists weigh in on exactly how to do so for the most flattering end result, plus share their favorite recommendations for the best bronzers for mature skin.

What is bronzer?

Bronzers are meant to mimic the effect of the sun on the skin, adding color and glow. They can also be used to subtly help shape the face, says celebrity makeup artist Bryan Cantor. And these days, bronzers come in powder, liquid, gel and cream varieties.

The benefits of using bronzer on mature skin

mature woman applying bronzer
milan2099/Getty

As we get older, our complexion can start to look paler, duller and generally more lackluster. A bronzer is the perfect way to add a healthy glow to your skin, making for a youthful and radiant appearance, explains celebrity makeup artist Brandy Allen.

What to look for in a bronzer

1. Choose a formula that will best suit your skin type

First, consider the formula. According to Cantor, the easiest way to pick the right formula for you is based on your skin type. Those with oilier skin should opt for powders or gels, whereas creams and liquids are more moisturizing options that are good for drier skin, he adds.

2. Find a shade that will flatter your complexion

Next comes color selection, a key step in ensuring your end result is more ‘just back from the islands’ and less ‘Oompa-Loompa wannabe.’ As a general rule of thumb, Cantor advises sticking with a hue that’s only one to two shades darker than your natural skin: “Any darker than that will start to look fake,” he cautions.

3. Consider the bronzer’s finish

Finally, think about the finish. Allen says that a matte or velvety texture is preferred when it comes to the best bronzers for mature skin. “Anything overly shimmery can bring attention to fine lines,” she points out.

The best way to apply bronzer

Think about where the sun would naturally hit your face and focus on applying bronzer in those areas, advises Cantor. “Start by applying it in an upside down ‘U’ shape, moving from one temple, along your hairline, and stopping at the other temple. Then apply it in a ‘W’ shape across your cheekbones and nose,” he says. Whatever you do, don’t swipe it on across your entire face, as this will also contribute to a fake-looking end result, he notes. Allen adds that a big, fluffy brush makes for seamless application of powder formulas; liquids, gels and creams can be applied with a sponge or even fingertips.

The best bronzers for mature skin

Keep reading to makeup artists’ top bronzer picks for mature skin that will give you the most gorgeous glow.

Best powder bronzer for mature skin

Pat McGrath Skin Fetish Divine Powder Bronzer
Pat McGrath/Sephora

Pat McGrath Skin Fetish Divine Powder Bronzer

Cantor is a fan of this powder, lauding the soft focus finish that helps blur away imperfections. He also adds that it never cakes, patches or streaks.

Best cream bronzer for mature skin

Charlotte Tilbury Beautiful Sun-Kissed Glow Cream Bronzer, one of best bronzer for mature skin
Charlotte Tilbury

Charlotte Tilbury Beautiful Sun-Kissed Glow Cream Bronzer

The addition of hyaluronic acid makes this pick extra hydrating. It’s a favorite of Cantor’s, who also likes how long-lasting it is.

Best contour bronzer stick for mature skin

Milk Makeup Matte Bronzer
Milk Makeup

Milk Makeup Matte Bronzer

“The creamy, hydrating formula builds and blends easily, providing natural-looking warmth in five shades to suit all skin tones,” says Cantor of another one of his picks.

Best splurge bronzer for mature skin

Chanel LES BEIGES Healthy Glow Bronzing Cream
Chanel/Bloomingdale's

Chanel LES BEIGES Healthy Glow Bronzing Cream

It’s pricey, yes, but Allen says this unique, cream-to-gel formula is, “perfect for dry or mature skin.”

Best bronzer for mature skin that has a wide shade range

Makeup by Mario SoftSculpt Bronzer, one best bronzer for mature skin
Makeup by Mario

Makeup by Mario SoftSculpt Bronzer

Both experts we spoke to like this choice, calling out the line-up of six flattering shades that create a naturally-bronzed effect on a variety of complexions.


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