Beauty

15 Best Primers for Mature Skin That Will Keep Your Makeup Fresh All Day Long

Combat wrinkles and keep your aging skin looking flawless!

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The best primers for mature skin not only help makeup last throughout the day, they keep foundation from settling into fine lines and wrinkles. Even better, many primers are formulated especially for aging skin, so they don’t just help your makeup look better — they help your skin look more youthful as well! If you’ve never used a makeup primer before, keep reading to find out what these products do, how long they last, and which one is best for your face.

What are the best primers for mature skin?

When it comes to the best makeup, skincare, and beauty products for women over 50, we’ve got you covered. Whether you’re looking for a foundation that won’t settle into fine lines and wrinkles, an under-eye concealer that works magic, a new eyeshadow to make your lids pop, the best eyeliner to make the perfect cat-eye, the hottest face masks everyone is loving now, or a self-tanner for mature skin, you’ll find something to love in our beauty archive. Just add one of the best primers for mature skin to make your makeup look even better!

What are makeup primers?

As the name suggests, makeup primers are gels, creams, or oils that get your face ready for your beauty products, providing a smooth, even base on which to apply your favorite foundation or loose powder. By creating this barrier between your skin and your makeup, you’ll boost the longevity of your look, making primer a must-have for any makeup devotee.

Combining elements of both skincare and cosmetics, certain primers can even moisturize, just like your favorite creams, while others will work to even out your complexion, just as a bb cream would. The best primers for mature skin are available at drugstores, department stores, and dedicated cosmetics retailers, in a range of prices.

Why use makeup primer on aging skin?

As we mature, adding a face primer alongside our favorite serums and moisturizers ahead of our makeup is a step we don’t want to skip. In addition to keeping product firmly in place and making it last longer, the right primer can also help you address aging skincare concerns. For some, skin may get drier with age, while others will see wrinkles and fine lines appearing on the horizon.

“I think a lot of people don’t realize that certain primers do specific things. It’s about evaluating what issues you have with your skin and then finding primers that address them,” makeup artist Allan Avendaño told Allure in 2019.

If you suffer from dry skin, for instance, you’ll want to look for primers that are made with hydrating ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid or coconut water. If it’s fine lines and wrinkles you want to tackle, look for ones that feature smoothing properties or a dose of plumping collagen.

There have even been tests done to gauge the effectiveness of primers on skin conditions like hyperpigmentation and fine lines, with one study from 2015 determining that a primer helped improve skin’s appearance when used over a 12-week period. No matter what your specific needs may be, there’s an accompanying primer out there to help make sure you always look your best. There are even primers for eyelids, created specifically to keep your eyeshadow and eyeliner in place!

How to Apply Face Primer

Adding the best primers for mature skin to your routine is as simple as can be. Applied just after a moisturizer to prevent pilling, but before makeup, a pea-sized amount of primer should do the trick. (If your skin is dryer than most, use a little more; if you’re using a half-dollar amount, you’ve gone too far.)

Begin applying your gel, cream, or oil of choice, working from the middle of the face outward. After you’ve fully coated your face, allow the product to absorb for at least one minute before continuing on with your normal makeup routine.

Whether you’re treating wrinkles and fine lines, or your skin is in need of an intense hydration boost, using the best primers for mature skin will help keep your makeup fresh all day long!

Keep reading to learn more about our picks for the best primers for mature skin to see which one is right for you!

See more of our best product recommendations.

We write about products we think our readers will like. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the supplier.

15 Best Primers for Mature Skin

Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer

Best overall primer for mature skin
best primers for mature skin
Nordstrom

Buy from Nordstrom, $14-$52

Why we like it:

  • Lightweight, oil-free formula
  • Contains vitamins A and E
  • Vegan and cruelty-free

Smashbox’s Photo Finish Foundation Primer is one of the most popular makeup primers out there, which isn’t surprising, as it was developed to help makeup stay fresh and vibrant during long photoshoots. We like it for its lightweight, oil- and fragrance-free gel formula, which helps fill in and smooth out fine lines and pores while providing the skin with nourishing ingredients, like vitamins A and E. It can also be applied to hair to help tame frizz, and since it’s vegan and cruelty-free, this is a product you can feel great about using.

One fan says, “This stuff literally changed my life and my face,” and said it makes her skin “look absolutely flawless.” Best of all, it’s helped increase her confidence, and “doesn’t break [her] out at all!”

Tula Skincare Face Filter Blurring & Moisturizing Primer

Best rated primer for mature skin
best primers for mature skin
Nordstrom

Buy from Nordstrom, $36-$56

Why we like it:

  • Available in 4 shades
  • Made with licorice and probiotic extracts to help even out skin tone
  • Cruelty-free

With over 1,600 five-star ratings from Nordstrom shoppers, this popular primer by Tula Skincare is a bonafide hit. Its sulfate-, phthalate-, and paraben-free formula contains ingredients like licorice and probiotic extracts to have your skin looking and feeling its best, thanks to a more glowing, even skin tone that takes on a “filter-like finish.” Choose from one of four shades ranging from deep to light, and take comfort in the fact that this product is cruelty-free.

Happy reviewers can’t get enough of this primer’s “dewy” effect and the fact that it’s “lightweight” and “goes on smoothly.” One satisfied customer said it “works wonders” for her sunspots, while another said it “tames” her rosacea.

MAC Prep + Prime Fix+ Face Primer & Makeup Setting Spray

Best spray primer for mature skin
best primers for mature skin
Nordstrom

Buy from Nordstrom, $30

Why we like it:

  • Lightweight mist
  • Vitamin- and mineral-rich formula
  • Lasts for up to 12 hours

If you’re looking to nourish your skin while creating a smooth canvas for your makeup, this priming makeup setting spray by MAC was designed for you. It’s loaded with soothing ingredients, like green tea, chamomile, and cucumber to add a refreshing boost to skin that needs a pick-me-up. We love its unique spray application, which helps evenly distribute the lightweight, mineral-rich mist all over your face to allow for flawless makeup coverage, which lasts for up to 12 hours!

One makeup artist commented, “There’s a reason (if not many reasons) why this product has a cult following,” and said she uses this primer whenever she’s doing her own makeup or a client’s. She also said she loves its “top-notch skin nurturing ingredients,” and “skin soothing properties.”

Lancôme La Base Pro Perfecting and Smoothing Makeup Primer

Best Luxury Face Primer for Mature Skin
best primers for mature skin
Sephora

Buy from Sephora, $42

Why we like it:

  • Oil-free gel formula
  • Blurs and softens skin to create a smooth base
  • Works with all skin types

Luxury beauty house Lancôme is known for its outstanding skincare products, and its La Base Pro Perfecting and Smoothing Makeup Primer is no exception. With a little help from the company’s “Elasto-Smooth” technology, this oil-free formula manages to refine skin and diffuse light while simultaneously creating an even, radiant base that will keep makeup looking fresh and vibrant all day long.

One satisfied customer called this her “favorite primer,” and said, “your skin will feel like silk,” which ensures foundation “just glides on.”

Bobbi Brown Vitamin-Enriched Face Base Priming Moisturizer

Best Moisturizing Primer for Mature Skin
Best Makeup Primer for Aging Skin
Sephora

Buy from Sephora, $64

Why we like it:

  • Primer and moisturizer in one
  • Made with shea butter and vitamins B, C, and E
  • Hydrates and smoothes skin

Are you someone who prefers a simplified routine over a shelf full of potions? Then Bobbi Brown’s Vitamin-Enriched Face Base Priming Moisturizer just might become your next skincare obsession. A primer and moisturizer all in one, this oil-free formula is enriched with shea butter for hydration and vitamins B, C, and E for antioxidants. It’s also laced with notes of grapefruit and geranium for a light, fresh scent.

One reviewer, who calls this their “favorite product,” says “it feels food” and “smells amazing,” and that their skin looks noticeably different compared to when they go without it for a few days.

Murad Invisiblur Perfecting Shield Broad Spectrum SPF 30

Best SPF Primer for Mature Skin
best primers for mature skin
Murad

Buy from Murad, $65

Why we like it:

  • Up to 12 hours of wear
  • SPF 30
  • Made with mushroom peptides to restore skin’s firmness and elasticity

No matter how old you are, protecting your skin from the harmful effects of the sun is important. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, one in every five Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70. Using a primer that can also double as a sunscreen, such as Murad’s Invisiblur Perfecting Shield with SPF 30, is an easy way to stay protected. This lightweight product does all the work of a regular primer while also delivering anti-aging skin benefits and protecting against harmful UVA and UVB rays.

One satisfied customer said they were “looking for a sunscreen that didn’t look or feel like a sunscreen,” and that this product makes their skin “feel so soft and smooth, and look great, too!”

Laura Mercier Eye Basics Eyelid Primer

Best eye primer for mature skin
best primers for mature skin
Nordstrom

Buy from Nordstrom, $28

Why we like it:

  • Available in 4 colors
  • Water-resistant
  • Prevents creasing

The skin surrounding our eyes is the thinnest skin on our bodies, which is why it needs just as much — if not more! — attention as the rest of our face. We love this Eye Basics Eyelid Primer by Laura Mercier, which is water-resistant and helps prevent creasing, thanks to its lightweight yet creamy texture that creates a smooth surface for eye makeup application. Should you want a more “naked eye” look, the medium-coverage formula acts as a foundation in and of itself, covering redness and veins for a more even appearance. Best of all, this primer comes in four colors to choose from, with some being color-correctors and brighteners to enhance your eyes’ natural beauty.

One satisfied customer writes, “It will change your life,” and says multiple times that it “does not crease,” and that she even uses it as an eyeshadow. Another 54 year old reviewer said her “eyeshadows stay on all day” with this product, and appreciates that it doesn’t dry her out and that it’s “great for under eye circles as well.”

Kiehl’s Micro-Blur Skin Perfector

Best Primer for Sensitive Skin
best primers for mature skin
Kiehl’s

Buy from Kiehl’s, $38

Why we like it:

  • Lightweight texture
  • Dermatologist-tested
  • Ideal for all skin types

For those with sensitive skin, Kiehl’s is one brand you can count on to be a consistent source for high-quality products. It only makes sense, then, that its Micro-Blur Skin Perfector would make our list as far as sensitive mature skin is concerned. Dermatologist-tested and noncomedogenic, this lightweight, non-irritating primer blurs the appearance of pores and imperfections while its combination of bark and lentil extracts plus lipo hydroxy acid work to refine texture and improve skin’s overall health.

One happy reviewer says that using this product is like “airbrushing your face,” and another says it “blurs the pores” so well that she doesn’t “even use foundation anymore!”

Tarte BB Tinted Treatment Primer

Best Tinted Primer for Mature Skin
best primers for mature skin
Sephora

Buy from Sephora, $37

Why we like it:

  • Available in 9 shades
  • SPF 30
  • Medium coverage

For some, less is more. If you want a primer with enough coverage to skip your foundation altogether, try Tarte’s BB Tinted Treatment Primer. It’s available in a wide range of shades and infuses pigment with anti-aging properties to provide a powerful priming effect that offers light-to-medium coverage. Better yet, it’s got an added boost of 30 broad-spectrum SPF, keeping your skin both primed and protected.

One fan of this product calls it her “new holy grail,” saying she likes the “nice, natural matte finish” and that it “feels like a soufflé and goes on so smoothly!”

Origins Original Skin Pore Perfecting Cooling Primer

Best Primer for Dull Skin
best primers for mature skin
Sephora

Buy from Sephora, $35

Why we like it:

  • Cooling and airy mousse formula
  • Helps with dullness and uneven skin texture
  • Works for dry, oily, and normal skin types

If one of your major skin concerns is a lack of luster, you may want to invest in Origins’ Original Skin Pore-Perfecting Cooling Primer. While skin dullness can have various root causes, carbonylated proteins — a by-product of stress that can create a flat, uneven skin tone — are a major one. This primer is formulated with willowherb, which works to inhibit those proteins for your brightest glow yet.

One reviewer with “aging, dehydrated, but oily” skin said she’s tried numerous primers, but has only found success with this one. She applies this product to the areas where her “pores are largest,” and said it makes her skin look “smoother” and “less oily.” She’s also a fan of the “cooling feeling!”

Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch

Best Primer for Oily Skin
best primers for mature skin
Sephora

Buy from Sephora, $32

Why we like it:

  • Oil-free
  • Absorbs shine
  • Paraben- and phthalate-free

If there’s one popular beauty brand you’re sure to have heard of in the past few years, it’s Fenty Beauty. Founded by singer Rihanna, who drew upon knowledge she accrued from working with various makeup artists over the years to create a line filled with knock-out products, this Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Primer was born. Oil-, paraben-, and phthalate-free, it blurs the appearance of pores and evens skin tone to provide an optimal base for every type of complexion, include those who are prone to shine.

One happy customer said this product made their skin “noticeably smoother and velvety” after just one use, and that their “pores completely disappeared.”

Laura Mercier Pure Canvas Primer — Illuminating

Best Illuminating Primer for Mature Skin
best primers for mature skin
Sephora

Buy from Sephora, $39

Why we like it:

  • Light coverage
  • Breathable formula
  • Brightens and hydrates

Want to add a little glow to your skincare routine? Pick up a primer with radiant qualities, like Laura Mercier’s Pure Canvas Primer — Illuminating. Soothing and hydrating, it smooths the skin without mattifying it for the perfect dewy base that comes out looking fresh and healthy — not shiny.

One Sephora reviewer calls this product her “secret weapon to a dewy, luminous face,” while others have said the “partial coverage” allows them to go foundation-free when they’re short on time.

Urban Decay Quick Fix Hydra-Charged Complexion Prep Priming Spray

Best Foundation Primer for Mature Skin
best primers for mature skin
Urban Decay

Buy from Urban Decay, $33

Why we like it:

  • Hydrating formula
  • Ultra-light, microfine mist
  • Reduces the appearance of pores

As we age, skin can easily become dehydrated. An easy way to combat this is to add Urban Decay’s Quick Fix Hydra-Charged Complexion Prep Priming Spray to your daily routine. This ultra-hydrating spray-on formula is light enough to wear all day, and can even be worn at night under your favorite serum. Infused with vitamin B3 and coconut water, it’s both nourishing and energizing, brightening and smoothing skin while reducing the appearance of pores and helping your makeup look fresh.

One promising review called this product “fabulous and easy to use,” saying it was “refreshing” and like “a little wake-up call for your face.”

DHC Velvet Skin Coat

Best Smoothing Primer for Mature Skin
best primers for mature skin
Amazon

Buy from Amazon, $22.99

Why we like it:

  • Antioxidant-rich, powder-gel formula
  • Minimizes the appearance of pores and fine lines
  • Fragrance- and colorant-free

Used by makeup artists the world over, DHC’s Velvet Skin Coat is an industry favorite, and for good reason. It’s formulated with olive fruit oil (a natural hydrator) to instantly transform skin into a velvety smooth canvas as it minimizes the look of fine lines, pores, and wrinkles for a quick and easy makeup application.

A reviewer in her 50s said she used this product once, and since receiving “two compliments in one day on how youthful [her] face looks she considers herself sold!”

NYX Angel Veil Skin Perfecting Primer

Best Drugstore Primer for Mature Skin
best primers for mature skin
Amazon

Buy from Amazon, $13.50 (originally $16)

Why we like it:

  • Lightweight formula
  • Minimizes shine
  • Cruelty-free

While most of us take pride in investing in our skincare, you don’t have to spend a fortune to get great results. One great drugstore option putting many of its luxury counterparts to shame? NYX’s Angel Veil Skin Perfecting Primer. This smooth-as-butter primer will make your face feel just like silk while ensuring makeup goes on easily. Add in the fact that it’s less than $20, and you’ve got a guaranteed primer win. (See more of the best drugstore primers for mature skin!)

One fan called this primer “amazing,” saying it “feels like velvet” on her “dry, sensitive skin.” She also appreciates the fact that “it doesn’t irritate or dry [her] skin out, like most products do.”

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