How to Stop Foundation Creasing & Settling Into Wrinkles?

How to Stop Foundation From Settling in Smile Lines?

Are you tired of going out with a freshly applied makeup look only to discover that your foundation has already creased?

Makeup can separate and settle into fine lines and wrinkles, making you look older.

Fortunately, you can use several techniques to prevent your foundation from creasing and keep it looking smooth all day.

First, wash your face with a gentle cleanser. Exfoliate your skin at least once a week to eliminate flaky skin. Moisturize and use less foundation, especially in problem areas around the mouth and chin. Apply your skincare and makeup products in thin layers and set your makeup with a lightweight powder.

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How to Stop Makeup From Creasing?

Wash Your Face With a Gentle Cleanser

face cleansers

Applying foundation on an unwashed face can cause your makeup to crease. Start by washing your face with a gentle cleanser to eliminate dirt or makeup residue.

Choose a lightweight formula that doesn’t leave your skin feeling tight or dry. Avoid harsh cleansers, which can strip the skin from its natural oils.

Exfoliate your skin

face exfoliator

Exfoliation is a great way to keep your complexion looking healthy and glowy. It helps remove dead skin cells, which can clog pores, so if you want a clear complexion, this should be one of the first steps of your skincare routine.

There are two types of exfoliants: physical exfoliants like face scrubs and chemical exfoliants like serums.

Physical exfoliants can be harsh on the skin, so I prefer chemical exfoliants formulated with BHA (beta hydroxy acid)  or AHA (alpha hydroxy acid).

If you have acne-prone skin, try a chemical exfoliant formulated with beta hydroxy acid to clean clogged pores. This BHA exfoliator has got a lot of rave reviews. It’s one of the best exfoliators that I’ve ever used.

For dry skin, use a non-drying AHA exfoliator like this Glow Daily AHA Toner. It helps to eliminate dead skin cells, and it’s also vegan and cruelty-free.


face moisturizers

Makeup will not be able to stick properly, and it can settle into wrinkles when applied directly onto dehydrated or flaky skin. Instead, moisturize with a lightweight oil or serum before applying your foundation.

Let the moisturizer set for 30 minutes before you apply any makeup so that the moisturizer gets absorbed by the skin.

If you have oily skin, use an oil-free lightweight moisturizer with plumping ingredients like hyaluronic acid.

It helps to smooth the appearance of fine lines, and it sits well under makeup.

I like this hyaluronic acid moisturizer. It has a water-gel formula that absorbs quickly into the skin without leaving a residue.

For dry skin, use a lightweight moisturizing oil like this Squalane Facial Oil. It’s one of the best oils, especially for winter, as it provides great hydration without feeling greasy.

Dab the moisturizer gently onto your skin, especially in areas with fine lines, like on your forehead, mouth, eyes, nose, chin, and upper lip.

PRO TIP: Avoid thick or heavy creams under makeup, as they might cause your foundation to crease and peel throughout the day.

Use a Primer to Fill in Wrinkles

face and eye primers

Primers create a barrier between your skin and your makeup. They fill in wrinkles that help stop the foundation creasing in smile lines.

Choose a smoothing primer like this silicone-based primer that helps smooth out pores, fine lines, and wrinkles.

Apply a tiny amount and dab it gently onto your skin. Let the product set for one minute before applying any makeup on top.

Make sure you don’t overdo it with the primer. A small amount should be enough for your entire face.

Tip: If you don’t like using a face primer, try using an eyeshadow primer. Apply a small amount of eyeshadow primer on the areas where you have fine lines around the mouth, forehead, chin, and upper lip.

You know when you put on your eye primer, it feels slightly tackier than a face product? This stuff has some grip and helps keep makeup from settling in wrinkles.

Apply a Light Silicone Based Foundation

Avoid thick foundations that have a dry and heavy formula. These foundations tend to settle more into the fine lines, making you look older.

Go with a light formula like this Sheer Liquid Foundation, and choose a medium to full coverage concealer to hide any blemishes.

Light-coverage silicone-based foundations should be a perfect choice if you’re looking for a more natural look.

Silicone ingredients provide a smooth look and help blur fine lines and wrinkles.

These foundations are less likely to crease than heavy ones and give your face just what it needs without feeling like you’ve applied too much.

Choose a foundation with the same base ingredients as your primer. Silicone-based primers work best with silicone-based foundations. Avoid using a water-based foundation with a silicone-based primer.

For more foundation options, check our guide on the best silicone based foundations for big pores.

Apply Your Foundation the Right Way

makeup brushes

Blending your foundation correctly is crucial to prevent it from creasing on smile lines.

Here’s how to ensure your foundation is applied seamlessly and evenly without any harsh lines: Take a makeup sponge, dampen it with water, and squeeze out all the excess.

Blend the foundation by dabbing gently on top of the skin. Make sure the foundation is well blended in the areas where you have fine lines and wrinkles.

If you don’t like to apply your foundation with a sponge, use a brush and then go over your fine lines and wrinkles with a damp sponge to absorb all the excess makeup.

Read More: The Difference Between Sponge And Brush

Use Less Foundation on Fine Lines and Wrinkles

Use less foundation on the areas where you have fine lines, such as around the mouth and the eyes, chin, and upper lip. 

Applying a ton of foundation on your face makes it more likely to crease.

If you want more coverage, you can apply your foundation in thin layers and add more only where you need to.

Tip: After applying the foundation, go over the area of your fine lines and wrinkles with a Q-tip to eliminate any excess product, and then dab the foundation gently with a damp beauty blender.

This helps eliminate any excess makeup that might crease or cake throughout the day. 

If you still notice a line or two throughout the day, try to smooth the skin with a Q-tip. Keep one or two Q-tips in your handbag for touch-ups! I usually put them in the outside zip pocket of my handbag. They are so small and easy to store.

Set Your Makeup With a Setting Powder

setting powders

Loose or pressed setting powders set your makeup into place, preventing it from settling into smile lines.

The trick is to use a finely milled loose powder that doesn’t look heavy on the skin. Avoid thick pressed powders as they might settle into fine lines.

This loose setting powder has a thin texture that blends easily into the skin. It comes in different shades and doesn’t look heavy on the skin.

Use a damp makeup sponge to pick a tiny amount of loose powder. Dab the powder into the areas where you have fine lines and wrinkles. Use a small stippling brush to wipe off any powder on the skin.

Use Clean Brushes

Bacteria and dirt can accumulate on makeup brushes and sponges over time. Applying makeup with a dirty brush can cause your foundation to look patchy and crease.

Make sure you clean your brushes regularly with a good brush cleaner. I clean mine every other week, depending on how often I use them.

Apply a Setting Spray

Setting sprays are formulated to hold makeup throughout the day but can also stop the foundation from creasing.

Spray a tiny amount of setting spray onto your beauty sponge and dab it on the areas where you have fine lines and wrinkles.

This helps to keep the makeup in place all day and prevents the foundation from settling into fine lines.

Choose an alcohol-free spray like this Mist & Fix Hydrating Setting Spray that doesn’t dry out the skin. 

Alcohol-based setting sprays are more likely to dry out the skin than water-based ones.

If you’re using these sprays daily, be sure not to apply them in large amounts, as this can irritate your face and cause a breakout.

How to Get Rid of Smile Lines With Makeup?

lightweight foundation

Makeup can’t eliminate lines caused by aging, but you can use some techniques to make them less noticeable.

Start with a good moisturizer and eye cream. Let them sink into your skin for a few minutes before you apply any makeup.

Use a silicone-based primer and tap it gently over your smile lines using your fingers. A little bit goes a long way, so don’t apply too much.

Use less foundation on these areas and avoid thick foundations, as they can make your lines more obvious. Instead, opt for a lightweight one.

Apply the foundation around the fine lines instead of directly on them. Then, blend it with a damp makeup sponge or with your fingers.

Wait for the foundation to set and use a q-tip to remove any excess makeup that settled into the lines.

Finally, set your makeup with a lightweight translucent powder to ensure it stays in place all day. Apply a small amount of powder using a fluffy brush.

You can use a setting spray for special occasions to ensure your makeup doesn’t budge.

To get a long-lasting look, spray a tiny amount of setting spray into a makeup sponge and dab it lightly over your smile lines.

Why Do My Wrinkles Look Worse With Foundation?

Foundation can make wrinkles look worse for so many reasons.

Applying makeup on dry skin, using a high-end or drugstore full-coverage foundation, and applying too much foundation can accentuate wrinkles and fine lines.

To minimize the look of wrinkles with makeup, hydrate the skin with a gentle moisturizer, apply a smoothing primer, and choose a lightweight foundation to cover fine lines and wrinkles.

Avoid heavy foundations, as they might make wrinkles look worse.

Apply a tiny amount of foundation over the areas where you have fine lines, such as on your forehead, chin, around the eyes, and nose.

Let the foundation set and go over those areas with a Q-tip to eliminate any excess product.

Set the foundation with a finely milled loose setting powder and spray a tiny amount of setting spray.

Conclusion on How to Stop Foundation Settling in Smile Lines

Our makeup starts to settle into fine lines and wrinkles as we age. The tips I’ve given can help stop this from happening. 

Make sure to prepare your skin before the makeup application. Clean your face with a gentle cleanser to remove all the dirt.

Exfoliate at least once a week to eliminate dry skin cells so the makeup can sit well on the skin. 

Apply a lightweight moisturizer and let it set before applying foundation.

Use a smoothing primer to help to blur fine lines and wrinkles. Don’t forget that less is more when it comes to applying foundation.

Use less foundation on the areas where you have fine lines and wrinkles. Keep one or two Q-tips in your handbag and use them to eliminate any excess product that settles into your fine lines.

I usually put my Q-tips in the outside zip pocket of my handbag. That way, I can find them quickly whenever I want to touch up my makeup.

Dab the foundation gently with a damp beauty sponge. Set your makeup with a translucent loose setting powder and use a setting spray to lock everything into place on special occasions. 

Follow these steps as closely as possible for a flawless look, no matter your age!

Related foundation articles

Why is foundation separting on your nose?

How to stop foundation separating on your face?

How to stop concealer separating?

How to Stop Foundation Settling in Smile Lines?

how to stop foundation creasing

Claire is a beauty enthusiast and lover of all things makeup. Her blog is a resource for makeup tips and tricks, product reviews and beauty tutorials.

36 thoughts on “How to Stop Foundation Creasing & Settling Into Wrinkles?”

  1. I just recently watched a beauty vlog about the korean glass skin and same thing as this, in order to achieve the glass skin you have to apply less to look more radiant. I haven’t tried CC cushion because I don’t put usually makeups on my face. But I might start doing it and forget about the foundations in my cart. Haha! I love this blog! Thanks for sharing! 🙂


  2. I definitely see why lighter foundations work so much better when you need makeup to stay perfect all day long. It doesn’t get into all the lines and look so much better. Thicker foundations are definitely better for night time because they give that flawless full coverage look. Lovely advices. xx

  3. This is such a great feature with some very helpful suggestions! I have such a nightmare with powder as I need a bit to get everything settled, but if I used slightly too much then it looks horrendously dry xx

    Beauty Geek Beauty Blog


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