Over 40? Best Organic Foundations & BB Creams

March 9, 2021 (updated October 24, 2023) — Written by

So excited to share a round-up of the best natural, clean beauty foundation for women over 40. I’ve narrowed these top picks down to three products: a light coverage option, a medium coverage option and a buildable to full coverage option. Come see why these are my top picks and why they will work for you too. BONUS: These picks work FOR ALL AGES!

Lisa smiling and showing off her skin

By: Lisa Fennessy

I am 45 years old and when it comes to makeup, I don’t want the same things I wanted in my 20s and 30s. Not only that, but my skin is a lot different than it used to be and my needs have changed. I want a refined, understated, polished, effortless, natural look. And I have a feeling I am not alone. That’s why I’m sharing my top picks for the best healthy (aka clean beauty) foundations and BB cream.

Here’s the thing though: Even though I may be adjusting my makeup as I get older, these picks are NOT just for those over 40. Nope, they work FOR ALL SKIN TYPES AND AGES. Why? Because who doesn’t want to look refined, understated, polished, effortless, natural?

You can skip right to my review if you want the down and dirty ASAP or you can read through for the who, what, when, where, why.

If you are going for the full scoop, let’s start with a little foundation(al) knowledge.

RELATED: Top 5 Clean Beauty Foundations (2023 Photo Lookbook)



BB cream vs. foundation

Foundation is a product designed to even skin tone, correct blemishes and eradicate redness. Depending on the one you choose, it will provide coverage from sheer to full, but the sheerest is typically still more coverage than a BB cream will provide. The sticking point with foundation is that you need to make sure you get the correct shade for your skin.

So what is a BB cream? In comparison, a BB cream is used to even out skin tone and reduce redness. It provides lighter coverage than a standard foundation, but more than a tinted moisturizer.

There are so. many. benefits here, but one huge one is that the color range is more forgiving. Typically you will only see 2-4 shades of BB cream from one line and that’s because one shade can work for many skin tones.


Who should wear a foundation vs. who should choose a BB cream?

If you are someone who typically wears foundation or likes a medium-ish coverage, try my foundation picks.

If you are someone who likes a lighter coverage or maybe you are new to using foundation…maybe you think to yourself…foundation isn’t for me…I’m not used to it…I don’t know how to apply it…I never wear makeup and I don’t want to look like I’m trying too hard…whatever it may be, start with the best BB cream.

Also important to note: As we get older, our skin’s overall texture changes. It’s impacted by both endogenous (genetics, cellular metabolism, hormone and metabolic processes) and exogenous (sun exposure, pollution, ionizing radiation, chemicals, toxins) factors.

Together, these can lead to cumulative structural and physiological alterations AKA, thinning skin, fine and deep wrinkles, dry skin, discoloration, laxity, dullness, and roughness.

That’s why as you get older, I recommend that you STEP AWAY FROM THE POWDER AND MATTE FINISH FOUNDATIONS.

They can accentuate deep and fine wrinkles, play up dullness and highlight skin texture. A dewy finish is always in, and it can help skin look alive, vibrant and, well, at it’s best.


Best natural foundation pro tips

Pro tip #1

Make sure you blend foundation and B.B. Cream down into your neck—there is nothing that looks more odd than an olive face and a white neck.

Pro tip #2

You can apply most foundations with your fingers or a beauty blender but my go-to is a foundation brush. I specifically love a good kabuki. Applying with fingers and then blending with a brush ensures product is applied evenly and gives a beautiful polished look.

Pro tip #3

Make sure to exfoliate your skin 1-2x a week to keep it looking it’s best – no flakes, dull patches or clumpy foundation spots. I love this one and this one.

Pro tip #4

Make sure skin is primed and moisturized before applying. You can use anything from a face oil like the Le Prunier Plum Beauty Oil to a true foundation primer like ILIA’s True Skin Radiant Priming Serum to my current obsession; Iris&Romeo’s The Reset. This will ensure product goes on even and smoothly.

RELATED: Check out my favorite clean beauty makeup brushes.


RELATED: Read my full INIKA review.


 

RELATED: Want more info on ILIA? Read about my faves (with pros + cons for each)or my full review on ILIA’s Super Serum Skin Tint



What is your go-to clean beauty foundation or BB cream?

xo, lisa in cursive

TNK Team Note: This article contains affiliate links. TNK uses affiliate links as a source for revenue to fund operations of the business and to be less dependent on branded content. TNK stands behind all product recommendations. Still have questions about these links or our process? Feel free to email us.


Common questions about foundation and BB creams for women over 40

What’s the best foundation for women over 40?

Liquid foundation with a dewy finish will leave skin looking healthy, glowing and alive. These are my top two recommendations.

What’s the best BB cream for women over 40?

INIKA’s organic BB cream is a barely-there cruelty-free BB cream that uses certified organic ingredients. Read my review here.

What’s the difference between BB cream and foundation?

BB cream is a makeup “beauty balm” or “blemish balm” that provides coverage and skincare benefits while foundation typically only provides coverage. Read about my top pick here.

By Lisa Fennessy

Lisa is the founder of The New Knew. Passionate about clean beauty, organic eats and nontoxic lifestyle, Lisa writes to create awareness. Conscious consumerism and informed decisions will impact the marketplace, our health and THE WORLD!

51 Comments

  1. Reply

    K

    The Ilia products make my skin red and inflamed, maybe the jasmine oil. Looking for foundation or BB Cream for sensitive skin, no essential oils.

    1. Reply

      Lisa Fennessy

      Hi K! Have you tried Saie’s Slip Tint? I love it and it even has SPF in it too which you wouldn’t believe.

  2. Reply

    K

    Have not, will do some research on it. Appreciate it!

  3. Reply

    Amy W

    Hi Lisa! Do you have a suggestion for a foundation for mature skin with fine lines, the beginning of wrinkles, a few sun spots and lots of redness from rosacea? My mineral makeup isn’t doing the job anymore and I’m having difficulty finding a foundation that covers my rosacea without sinking into my wrinkles (while also looking more natural and is organic/nontoxic for my sensitive skin.) Thanks for any guidance, and all the time and effort you invest in helping others via your site. 💖 Amy

    1. Reply

      Lisa Fennessy

      Hi Amy! Thanks for your question. Have you tried the ILIA True Skin Serum Foundation? It’s listed in this post and that would be my top rec! xo, Lisa

  4. Reply

    Amy W

    Thank you for the reply, Lisa! I have not tried ILIA as I’d prefer to stay away from silicones. I’m using INIKA right now and it isn’t covering as well as I had hoped. I will continue my search!

    1. Reply

      Lisa Fennessy

      Yes, that’s a tough one to avoid when it comes to foundations because that’s what gives it that silky feel. BUT Vapour was able to do it so it’s not impossible. If you find something you like, please lmk! xo, L

  5. Reply

    Dinah

    There are so many products out there. It’s so confusing! I am 77. I need good coverage but I want a dewy look. What should I be using? DWM

    1. Reply

      Lisa Fennessy

      Hi Dinah! Have you tried the ILIA True Skin? xo, L

  6. Reply

    Nicole

    Hi Lisa. I’ve been using the INIKA BB but Nude is currently out of stock everywhere. Any other BB creams that are similar? I have the Ilia when I want more coverage but I really like how simple and easy the INIKA and how sheer it is but still covers (and it smells great too).

    1. Reply

      Lisa Fennessy

      Hi Nicole! YES! You have to try the Sappho Essential Foundation! Don’t let the word “foundation” trip you up, it’s more like a bb cream and very similar to INIKA. You will love it! xo, Lisa

  7. Reply

    Holli

    Hi Lisa, I’ve just recently found your site and thank you for doing all this research! I have really dark under eyes and set my under eye concealer with powder otherwise it just wears off. But recently it ends up creasing in my fine lines and makes them stand out. Can you recommend an under eye concealer that covers and stays put?

    1. Reply

      Lisa Fennessy

      Hi Holli! I like the MOB foundation which also doubles as a concealer. Have you tried it? Also, have you considered a color correcting concealer? Fitglow has Correct + which is peach / salmon colored concealer which helps counteract those darker shades (orange + blue = brown). With this, it can be more effective and require less product which = less creasing. Worth a try!

  8. Reply

    Holli

    Thanks Lisa! I’m going to give them a try.

  9. Reply

    Heather Kealamakia

    Have you tried Kosas Revealer Skin-Improving Foundation? I am curious what your thoughts are on it, compared to others you like. I do prefer when my foundation has some spf in it, as this one does.

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