How can I cover wrinkles and reduce the appearance of fine lines? With best makeup tips for ageing skin and older women

Growing older gracefully....with a little help from skincare and makeup!
Growing older gracefully....with a little help from skincare and makeup!

We can't all have the luxury of personal stylists and makeup artists to keep us looking amazing as we go about our everyday lives.  Nor can we rely on Photoshop anti-ageing techniques in reality!

So how can you keep ageing skin looking its best at all times? Or even skin that is only just beginning to show signs of fine lines, perhaps around the mouth or the corners of the eyes?

- Choose the correct moisturiser for your skin -

light moisturizer, rich night cream, creamy day cream, cooling gel or soothing moisture for sensitive skin - finding the right good quality moisturizer for your skin type is key.
light moisturizer, rich night cream, creamy day cream, cooling gel or soothing moisture for sensitive skin - finding the right good quality moisturizer for your skin type is key.

Moisturising is key

It really all starts with a good moisturizer. The best makeup artists and the most experienced dermatologists will advise that moisturizing is key. I really do believe that it is the most important step in a good skincare routine. So invest in the best quality daily moisturizing lotion that you can - and that doesn't mean that more expensive equals better, but you need to find a balance.

Depending on how dry your skin gets, particularly in winter, you will likely go through quite a lot of it! So, go for what your budget will allow, but look at the ingredients, particularly if your skin is sensitive. I recommend that it is best to stay away from Mineral Oil in your moisturizers and body lotions - (you know, the stuff that is in Bio Oil - the supposed 'miracle' treatment oil that is meant to simply erase scars and unwanted pigmentation on the skin!) Doesn't work for most people, but that's another story...and the people who do find that they see a difference are no doubt noticing a reduction in the scarring simply through time (they do eventually fade on their own!) and perhaps due to the massaging that is required to rub the Bio Oil into the area of the skin that is affected. But that is most likely the extent of the 'miracle' benefits of this product! So save your money ladies, you can always just massage your lotion into the scarred area, just keep it moisturized and supple and the healing and fading will happen with time. Just be patient.

I also think it's very advisable to avoid parabens in your moisturizer as well. So make sure you don't see any parabens listed on the ingredient label. It's really not worth the risk. Sure, there are quite a few studies claiming that there is no need to worry about the addition of parabens in skincare products, but why take the risk if there's a myriad of skin care lines out there which do not contain parabens. Actually, I am seeing less and less companies now using parabens in their skin-care nowadays, which is great to see! Not everyone wants to go *completely* natural or even organic, but the majority of the population would prefer to know that there were no nasty and dangerous ingredients in the skincare products that they use everyday.

Who knows what we will find out years down the track about the safety of the creams, lotions and potions we are slathering all over our faces and bodies each day?

So that's why it's a good idea to stop using low quality moisturizers and day creams, and invest in something that will treat your delicate facial skin properly and have it radiant, hydrated and plump as it should be.

There is no 'miracle anti wrinkle cream' out there - so stop looking folks. It just doesn't exist. Short of getting botox or a face lift, we have to settle with what we've been blessed with, and for many people, that is early fine lines and premature ageing. Just try to think of your small lines as laugh lines, or smile lines. I know it's not what you want to think when they're staring right back at you in the mirror each morning, but trust me, other people are not half as interested in their existence as you are! What may appear to be extremely prominent eye lining to you probably doesn't even register on someone else's mind as they look at you!

It's true! We often forget, because we look at our own faces so closely in the mirror, that what we see isn't as obvious to onlookers. When was the last time someone you were chatting to was at as close a distance to your face as you are when you inspect your skin in the mirror? Exactly! They just don't see what you see. So remember that.

So now you've got a good moisturizer sorted's up to you whether you choose to use the same moisturizing lotion morning and night, or whether you decide you need a heavier night cream to treat your skin overnight because your skin is extremely dry and then a separate day cream which is lighter and will provide a nice plump yet soft base for your makeup. There's many options out there - Olay Complete is a very trusted option if you don't want to splurge on more expensive skincare brands such as La Roche Intense Rehydration or Lancome Skin Recharge. So is Nivea. Nivea is a very affordable option and they have just brought out their Nivea Q10 Plus Day and Night creams and they even have a tinted day cream, which is only very slightly tinted so it works on all skin tones. It's very good if you have dry skin or don't like to wear a lot of makeup or if you're in a hurry.

Is eye cream the holy grail?

Everyone's heard at least one person raving about the benefits of using an eye cream.  A lot of people find that as they get older, the area around their eyes and below their eyebrows becomes drier than it used to be.  

For many people, their moisturizer is hydrating enough to serve double duty to moisturize their eye area as well.  But people of any age, but especially people over 50, may find that their eye area becomes more prone to being dry.  It may be worse at certain times during the year, or sometimes when one switches to a new cleanser or a lighter lotion it may aggravate it.  Also, you must remember that as people age, the skin around their eyes becomes more delicate and much thinner, meaning that there is a greater need to protect and refresh the lid, the eye crease and the often-referred-to 'crows feet' area.

So is it really worth investing in an eye cream?  Well, that's really up to the individual.  If you still have oily skin, then it may not be essential to provide extra hydration to the eye area. But if you have dry or normal skin and you feel as if your eyes are often 'tight', flaky or dry, an eye cream could really be the saving grace in your skincare routine.  

If you already use a night cream - you can apply an eye-cream before you go to bed as you are using the night cream, but it is also a good idea to refresh your eyes after you cleanse in the morning by applying the eye cream where you would normally swipe your daily moisturizer/day cream over the eye area.  So in effect, the eye cream would replace your moisturizer but obviously only in the eye area and above the eyes, and if you choose you can also put it in the undereye area to refresh the delicate skin underneath the eye.   

So, it is something to think about when you consider that the skin around the eyes ages faster than the rest of the skin on the face.  Some would argue the skin on the neck also, but the eyes are where it is often most visible.  

But neck gels have become fairly popular for people looking to fight the ageing skin battle. Truth is, there are no true miracle products and very few which have the ability to produce amazing results.  You can search all you like, but the best thing is to save your money on all the gels and creams touting wrinkle reduction - this is why products will say 'may reduce' and 'the appearance of' rather than promising to actually get rid of your wrinkles!  The claims *seem* believable, but few can offer more than a plumping result, which is actually what may cause the skin to *appear* as if lines and wrinkles are being reduced, but essentially what is happening is the skin is merely being well treated and nourished that it plumps up which makes the lines look less obvious.  

So, don't waste your cash on products claiming results they obviously don't have the ability to offer.  Only cosmetic surgery, botox or 'fillers' can do that, and if you're against that or don't want to fork out extraordinary amounts for those types of plastic surgery procedures, then you're going to have to learn to love the skin you're in now and work with what you've got - and trust me, the better you treat your skin, the more healthy and radiant it will look.  

To prime or not to prime?

Now your skin is hydrated and if you have incorporated that good quality moisturiser into your regimen every day you should have a healthy surface to work with.

The next step is optional.  Not everyone uses or swears by a primer.  (also called a face primer or skin primer)  A lot of makeup artists use it on clients and many non-professionals also use a primer to prep their skin before applying their makeup.  Anyone who uses mineral makeup will know that many of the mineral makeup starter kits (such as the Bare Minerals starter kit) come with a sample size skin primer called 'Prime Time' to apply on your already moisturized face to prepare skin before the minerals are buffed into the skin.

There are many claimed benefits of using a primer on your skin before putting on your face makeup, whether that be minerals, liquid or powder...but the most obvious and beneficial reasons for using a primer include 'filling up' your pores (if you happen to have large pores, a primer is very helpful, especially around the nose area for many people) and smoothing out your skin.  The smoothing out is not always *wow* or over-the-top dramatic, but it does provide a base which allows the makeup to glide on more smoothly.  

You don't have to use your primer everyday, but if you have a special event to attend, are going out somewhere where you will be under lights or taking photographs, then it's a fabulous product/step to include in your makeup application process.  Or even just if you have a long day at work or out anywhere where you may not have time for touching up your makeup throughout the day or before you go out again at night...primer helps to keep your makeup feeling fresh for longer and last that little bit longer without sliding off your face or fading.  That makes it an excellent option for summer, particularly if you happen to live in a humid or very hot climate.  

Some primers can even have nourishing effects on your skin.  So, those type of primers can even kind of be counted as a step in your skin care routine!  Even better!  Also look out for primers specifically designed for sensitive skin if you are prone to breakouts or redness.  Not all primers are equal - again, quality products will generally provide you with a better result, not necessarily more expensive brands...remember, check the ingredient list! That's incredibly important in ensuring you are getting value for money and won't be disappointed when you get the product, start using and get a skin reaction.  For instance, I am allergic to salicylic acid - found in quite a lot of cleansers and even some shampoos!  I have been caught out a few times when I have purchased Redken shampoo and conditioner! Some of the Redken shampoo line contains salicylic acid.  It's really interesting how many differences there are with ingredients, even in shampoo, for instance.  I have even bought a hand-wash which contained salicylic acid in it before...see, this is why it's important to read the list of ingredients before you buy - even if you're not allergic or sensitive to a particular ingredient or chemical, it could end up being a certain combination of ingredients that causes a reaction on your skin if you suffer from sensitive skin, or it could cause redness around your eyes, for instance.  You just never know.  

Concealing is believing

Now we all know the magic of a good concealer, but the truth is, as we age we need a different type of concealer.  

Don't go for anything that has light reflecting properties or anything that is at all shimmery, even for underneath your eyes, as this will only highlight and draw attention to the things you want to hide.  

Aim for a matte concealer.  This is often the most flattering type for middle-aged to older skin. Teens can get away with illuminating their under-eye area and highlighting with frosty eye shadows, but more mature women need something that will cover without putting the focus on those fine lines on the face and eye area.  

And remember, with concealer - less is more.  Some of the high-end brand concealers often look overpriced, but the reality is that because they are so pigmented, the tubes will last so much longer.  So, it's often a great item to pay that little bit extra for because you will find yourself only needing a tiny amount to use on all the areas of your face which require concealing.  

If you are someone who has enlarged pores (some people find as they age the pores around their nose become larger) a good matte concealer will tone down the appearance of the oversized pores and instead of sinking into them it will glide over the top of the area of enlarged pores and create a smooth finish.  

If you're looking instead for something that will reduce or cover redness, a green toned concealer that you use before you apply your regular skin tone shade of concealer is a god-send!  It seems strange, but green shades tone down the color red, so it's a very useful trick for those who suffer from redness around the bottom of the nose and the chin.  Don't use it for eye redness though...a yellow-based concealer like Benefit Lemon Aid yellow concealer is a much better option for around the eyes and to cover the blue veining that some people will notice on their eyelids.  Benefit Lemonaid really wakes your eyes up and makes them look fresh.  These are great staples to have in your makeup kit on those days when you need more color correction or for a night out when you want your face to look flawless.  They really work magic I must say.  There are higher end brands out there who make green based concealers, but Physicians Formula make a duo (one end has green concealer and the other end of the wand/tube contains regular skintone concealer) which is very handy to keep in your makeup bag - even better to have 2 concealers in one!  No need to go out buy a separate green concealer.  Plus, Physicians Formula is a very affordable drugstore brand but they do have some excellent products.  You don't always need to spend the big bucks to get a quality product.

A yellow concealer will also work well under your foundation to tone down the look of brown spots.  Color-correction makeup really is your best friend.  A lot of companies make special palettes designed with a variety of shades and colours for color correction.  There's quite a lot of choices out there, it's just about finding one that matches and tones in with your skin tone and using a light touch - going overboard with colour correction is not a good look and what was intended to look natural will end up looking silly.  So, remember to use a light hand and work it in well with a brush or your fingers and always cover with your regular concealer afterwards, and finish with a powder to set the liquid or cream concealer.

The right foundation

As we age, our skin needs really do change. The foundation that you may have relied on for years might not be right for your skin anymore.

Sometimes when we get an old favorite we tend to stick with it, but sometimes you will need to switch to a foundation suited to dry skin or one that is completely matte to ensure that it doesn't draw attention to your fine lines and any areas of your face that aren't as smooth as they used to be.

Of course, as with anyone, your correct foundation shade will probably change a few times throughout your life, and throughout the seasons as well! It's often a good idea to get color matched at your favourite makeup counter as you get a little more color during the summer months as you may need to go up a shade in either your liquid foundation or your powder. Your concealer shade will most likely stay the same though (unless you have gotten completely tanned or used a full-body fake tan including your face) because as you know, with concealer you need to choose a shade or sometimes two lighter than your true skin tone. ie: if you have light skin, it's usually a good idea to go for an ivory concealer shade. If you're not sure what shade you are in either concealer or foundation, it is extremely helpful to ask the makeup artist at a store or at a make-up counter to make sure you find your correct shade, and don't forget it will most likely not stay the same always, so re-check and update if need be!

Now, back to foundations. For mature skin it's good to choose something hydrating as it's helpful to keep lined areas plumped and hydrated, even if you are using a good moisturizer or a primer underneath. You don't want your foundation to sink into those dry wrinkles if you can help it, you want it to glide over them and float on top to provide a sheer yet covered canvas. You can use a color correcting foundation if you wish, but it's not really necessary if you have used a color corrector concealer beforehand. Make Up For Ever makes a few very good color correcting foundations though if you need to even out extremely red skintone on a lot of your face, but if you only have a few very small areas of redness (eg: around eyes and side of nose) it's often easier to just conceal them before you add your powder or foundation in your natural shade.

Covergirl and Olay have teamed up to make an amazing duo type foundation, great for dry skin because it has the extra moisturization of Olay right there in the foundation which makes the foundation glide on effortlessly. L'Oreal also has some great foundations designed specifically for older skin which are also very affordable.   Lancome and Clinique have the higher-end options if you can afford to splurge.

Important tips

A few final tips for reducing the appearance and covering fine lines and wrinkles -

* Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! I can't say it enough...even if you think your skin is 'oily enough', moisturizing is what actually balances out your natural oils and rehydrates at the same time. It's incredibly important, don't overlook this step.

* If you like to use eyeshadow, use powder or mineral eyeshadows instead of cream shadows. Liquid or cream products tend to pool in wrinkles and make them stand out more.

* If you use a liquid foundation, apply a foundation powder or setting powder over the top as powders reflect light so they tend to take the focus away from the deeper lines in the facial skin.

* Using color correcting concealers can help to minimize areas of redness (around the nose, eyes or chin) and help to brighten up eyes as well as small veins on the eyelids. Make sure you cover the colors with your regular skin-tone shade of concealer so they are completely covered and look natural.

* Protect the eye area - it becomes even more sensitive and thinner as one ages. Even if the skin around your eyes isn't quite dry enough to warrant using a separate eye cream, then ensure you have a rich good quality moisturiser or day cream to keep your eye-area moisturised and supple too.

* Don't forget the SPF. It's never too late to keep the sun's dangerous rays from harming your skin and causing any extra damage to your skin texture and facial lines. There's so many great moisturisers with added high SPF levels these days that there's no excuse to skip the suncream.

* Drink lots of water! It's not just good for young skin. Hydration from the inside is important too.

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MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa

Excellent article!

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