Foundation Makeup and the Aging Woman

Stylish older lady
Photo: Dreamstime
Choosing the right foundation makeup is often a daunting task, since properly matching the skin tone can be tricky for many women. However, thanks to modern cosmetic chemistry, there are solutions for this problem, and even the most “hard to match” skin tones can be blended into a smooth, even complexion. But as a woman gets older, there are some things that need to be addressed to preserve or present a more-youthful appearance.
It should be noted that the common “problems” of aging skin all work together to make the skin look older, but we need to identify the separate effects as they often require different focus ingredients. The common changes in aging skin present specific problems when it comes to cosmetic choices. Here are some of the common problems, and then we’ll talk about some solutions:
Loss of Moisture
Aging skin often loses its ability to retain moisture. This causes the skin to appear dull and may even include dryness and scaly patches in many cases. This gets aggravated by seasonal changes and environmental conditions. The level of moisture in the skin is important, because it helps the skin act as a protective barrier for the body. Good moisture levels also help maintain a youthful, dewy appearance.
Solution & How To:
Obviously, you want a foundation makeup that will help to provide and replenish the moisture your aging skin is lacking. Just don’t be seduced by oil-based foundations. These are great for protecting the skin in times when the weather or environment is likely to strip the skin and make it even drier, but you need a foundation that has hydrating properties to help restore what age is taking away.
If you have a difficult time finding something suitable, remember that you can always use a two-stage approach. Find a great moisturizing cream and use it under your foundation.
Also, be sure to use a moisturizer even when you aren’t planning to wear foundation (after makeup removal, at night, etc.). Finally, remember water. Good hydration starts from within. Medical professionals recommend that the average person drinks 8 glasses of water each day, if you work out or engage in activities where you perspire a lot, you should drink even more. Here’s an easy way to figure how much water you should aim for: Take your weight in pounds and divide by 2. This is how many ounces of water you should target in a given day.
If you are an “active person” who exercises a lot or works in a strenuous profession, you can increase that amount by another 50%. (For example: Paula weighs 120 pounds, and works as a secretary, but rides her bicycle for an hour many evenings. At her weight she should normally drink at least 60 ounces of water each day, and could drink as much 90 ounces of water to compensate on the days she rides her bike.) Given that the average size of a bottle of water is 16.9 ounces, this is equivalent to 3.5 or 5.3 bottles of water each day.
Loss of Resilience
Another thing lost by aging skin is the collagen and elastin that are what gives the skin its ability to “bounce back” when pulled and pushed. As these components of the skin break down, the skin’s texture becomes thinner, and the skin starts to sag in places where it previously appeared taut and plumped.
The effects of this are usually first noted in the areas of the face containing concentrations of “soft tissue” – such as under and around the eyes, and below the jaw and in the cheeks.
Solution & How To:
According to dermatologists, trying to replace collagen and elastin with topical treatments is ineffective. The molecules of collagen and elastin are too large to pass through the epidermis. However, you SHOULD look for foundations and skin care treatments that use ingredients which help to stimulate dermal activity.
Among these are Vitamins C & E, Alpha-hydroxy acids, lycopene, green tea, and coenzyme Q10, which help to eliminate free radicals which attack the collagen and elastin, and help increase the skin’s collagen production. Many cosmetic manufacturers are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of these ingredients and are now including them into their foundation formulas to help women keep the skin healthy and young-looking longer.
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