A Guide To Make-Up For Mature, Sensitive Skin
A Guide To Make-Up For Mature, Sensitive Skin

A Guide To Make-Up For Mature, Sensitive Skin

Skin irritation and sensitivities tend to worsen with age and some make-up can add fuel to the fire, but that should not stop you from wearing it altogether. A basic knowledge of ingredients and application techniques can help keep inflammation at bay and your make-up looking flawless. We asked two make-up artists to explain what to avoid, the brands to look out for and the skin experts worth seeing…

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Firstly, Treat Your Skin Barrier

“My own skin is slightly sensitive and can become irritated when I test too many new products. This is why it’s important to nourish your skin barrier before you do anything else. Replace harsh cleansers with nourishing balms, like Elemis’ Pro-Collagen and Indie Lee’s Soothing Cleanser. I recommend following up with CellCosmet Sensitive Cream too. This will take down redness and inflammation, so any make-up you then apply will go on smoothly.” – Tania Grier, A-list make-up artist

“It’s important to address what your skin needs before you rule out make-up. Is it a lack of collagen and omega 3s? Or is it simply that certain formulas are causing irritation? Give your skin barrier all the nutrients it needs, then go from there. Remember certain hormonal changes will also impact your skin, so bear this in mind before you ditch things altogether.” – Ruby Hammer MBE, pro make-up artist

Switch Up Your Formulas

“Our skin changes as we age, and we need to adapt to its needs. Depending on what you’re experiencing, it’s worth trying gentler formulas – specifically for foundation and blush – that won’t heighten your sensitivities. That includes looking for non-comedogenic products which won’t clog up your pores and aggravate conditions like rosacea and general inflammation.” – Ruby 

“It’s no bad thing to try some new products if you’re suffering with sensitivities. When it comes to foundation, my go-to base for mature skin that’s inflamed is SUQQU The Cream Foundation. It melts into the skin, covers all redness and is practically invisible. It’s also hydrating and never feels too cakey. If you prefer liquids, look to Iconic London’s Super Smoother Blurring Skin Tint. It gives very sheer coverage and a nice, healthy glow. For those who want to go foundation-free, but maintain smooth skin, try OLE Henriksen’s Banana Bright Primer.” – Tania

Shop The Right Brands

“When it comes to make-up brands for sensitive skin, some stand out from the crowd. For me, these include Clarins, Clé de Peau and No7 but, as I’ve stressed before, tailor the products you use to your skin’s needs. You need to research the foundation and concealer formulas to ensure they’re giving you what you need – be it hydration, glow or colour correcting uneven tones.” – Ruby 

“For me, you can’t beat SUQQU’s line of make-up if you suffer with sensitivities. I also love TATCHA and swear by its Dewy Skin Cream which delivers unrivalled glow and preps skin well for any make-up. Vichy does some brilliant products too – specifically foundations that offer great coverage and plenty of skin benefits.” – Tania

Invest In Good Tools

“To avoid irritating your skin when you apply make-up, use tools that are gentle. I love sponges as they don’t tug at the skin so much. If you’re using a brush, take a light-handed approach – I love my Magnetic Brush Sets as they have such fine points to them that softly sweep the skin. They are also made with synthetic BASF fibres which are incredibly gentle.” – Ruby 

“My favourite make-up brush for sensitive skin is YSL’s Foundation Brush No3. It blends foundation seamlessly and allows you to build up as much or as little coverage as you like. It’s so soft, too, so it will never cause unnecessary irritation or aggravation. I also love a sponge but, if you’re ever in doubt or suffering with severe sensitivities, use your fingers to apply your products.” – Tania

Our SKIN CHANGES as we age, and we need to ADAPT TO ITS NEEDS.

Be Careful With Your Eyes

“Face sensitivity is one thing, but it’s common for our eyes to become waterier and more irritated as we get older. To prevent this, I recommend using a good base for under eye make-up. This will hold everything in place and prevent creasing of make-up if you do get any watering. Start with Curel’s Eye Cream – it’s gentle and hydrating. For very sensitive eyes, stick to eyeshadow creams, crayons or liquids and avoid powders. Blending the latter back and forth will cause redness. I recommend Chanel’s Stylo Ombre et Contour Sticks – they are quick and easy to blend and so soft on the lids. Mascaras can be quite drying and often it’s a process of elimination, but I swear by Bella World for those with sensitive eyes. Its mascaras are impactful with minimal effort, and they’re approved for those prone to irritation.” – Tania 

“Try and switch to a tubing mascara if you suffer with sensitivities. These gently coat lashes but they never overdo it or feel too heavy. As they are designed to ‘wrap around’ lashes, the fibres don’t budge either once they’re on and they wash off easily with warm water.” – Ruby

Remember Less Is Always Best

“It sounds obvious, but those prone to inflammation should always go by the motto: less is best. Focus on keeping your skin glowing and just cover up the areas that need it – i.e. blemishes and dark circles. Avoid heavy, powder blushers and, instead, stick with creams and liquids like Armani’s Luminous Silk Blush (launching soon). It’s flattering and so lightweight, and it skims skin softly and never causes irritation. If you prefer a gentle cream, I recommend Merit’s Beauty Flush Balm which is available in some beautiful shades. It’s also made with natural, gentle ingredients that don’t worsen sensitivities. I love Merit’s Bronzer Balms, too, which look so natural and are easy to use. If you want a gentle mascara and brow product, try 19/99 Lash & Brow Tint. It has a tiny wand that gives you a ‘tinted’ effect and never looks OTT.” – Tania

Finally, Book In With A Skin Expert

“If you find that no product switches are helping, it’s worth seeing a good dermatologist to figure out what you’re allergic to. Most issues come from the gut, so it can be worth seeing a nutritionist too. I recommend Hannah Richards from The Gut Clinic – she does a full MOT and offers a 12-week programme which helps boost your skin and improve your energy levels. Supplements can also help ease sensitivities and I’ve noticed great results with The Advanced Nutrition Programme Skin Clear Biome, which has resulted in my complexion being calmer, plumper and much less irritated. Finally, I recommend trying the Wow Fusion Facial by Reeta Kumar. It’s a bespoke treatment that’s been designed with sensitive skin types in mind. It helps you understand what ingredients to eliminate and which to include within your routine and, above all, it gives immediate glow. Finally, I also recommend using the Rosalique SPF50 – it calms hot, inflamed skin and eliminates redness immediately.” – Tania

Shop These Expert Picks For Mature, Sensitive Skin

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