Makeup with Benefits: Anti-Aging Color

Women use makeup to enhance their natural features or camouflage discolorations and wrinkles. There are lots of excellent products to address those beauty needs, but why stop with simply covering up the signs of aging? As Cosmetics Cop Paula Begoun posits, "Why not use makeup to get younger-looking skin, too?"

Research shows that using makeup with proven anti-aging ingredients can reduce signs of sun damage, smooth fine lines, and stimulate collagen for firmer skin. The trick is knowing which ingredients to look for and looking past the over-the-top claims.

Paula Begoun and her research team compiled savvy tips on what to look for, which kinds of anti-aging makeup really deliver results, and how to get the good stuff for less.

Knowing What to Look For

Before shopping, know this: Expensive makeup isn't better for skin. Many inexpensive brands have developed makeup that include the antioxidants, skin-repairing, and cell-communicating ingredients that skin needs to look and act younger.

When it comes to anti-aging makeup, the most important factors are the ingredient list and how the product is packaged—not the brand name and claims. Look for fragrance-free makeup that's formulated with a cocktail of cell-communicating ingredients and antioxidants such as niacinamide and vitamin C.

Packaging also matters: Delicate ingredients (like retinol) need stable, air-tight and opaque packaging in order to remain effective.

Avoid anti-aging makeup that comes in a jar or a compact, because any anti-aging ingredients will be compromised by air and light from the first time the container is opened.

Anti-Aging Makeup That Works

Wrinkle Fillers

Wrinkle fillers work to smooth skin's surface and temporarily fill in fine lines and deeper wrinkles which keeps makeup from slipping into lines. The best ones give skin anti-aging ingredients, too. A silky, spackle-like product like philosophy Deep Fill Fix Instant Line Filler and Long-Term Wrinkle Smoother ($34) is ideal, and the pen-style applicator is easy to use.


When it comes to anti-aging foundations, the formula and the finish are the two most important things to keep in mind. The ingredient list of an anti-aging foundation should include plenty of antioxidants, and a cocktail of other skin-beneficial ingredients such as ceramides. For a fragrance-free option, try Paula's Choice Resist Anti-Aging Foundation ($24.95); it blends easily and creates a smoother, more even skin tone while treating skin to antioxidants, resveratrol and anti-aging peptides.


For fine lines and wrinkles, a lightweight liquid concealer with a satin finish is best—especially if it has sunscreen. L'Oreal Paris Visible Lift Serum Age-Reversing Concealer SPF 20 ($12.95) can't "visibly lift" skin, but the thin liquid texture provides lasting coverage of dark circles or discolorations, which automatically makes skin look younger. It's fragrance-free, comes in a handy pen-style applicator, and provides broad-spectrum sun protection— an essential anti-aging benefit.

Finishing Powder

Research shows that sun damage causes most signs of aging, so it's a good idea to use powder with sunscreen for an additional measure of protection. Neutrogena Healthy Skin Pressed Powder SPF 20 ($11.99) sets foundation beautifully, making it a great addition to an everyday moisturizer with sunscreen.

Lip Primer

The best anti-aging lip primers not only fill in fine lines on the lips to create a smoother appearance, they also help repair sun damage and stimulate collagen production for younger-looking lips over time. Mary Kay TimeWise Age-Fighting Lip Primer ($22) does all of that, is easy to apply, and works perfectly under lipstick.

Recommended Products

About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

View Media Highlights

The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to helping you sort through the myths and half-truths of the cosmetic industry. With their expert advice, you’ll have the facts you need to take the best possible care of your skin.

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