How to stop foundation creasing & settling into wrinkles?

How to stop foundation settling in smile lines?

We all know that creasing foundation is a common problem for women who wear makeup, especially when they get older. If you have ever tried to apply your foundation only to see it settle into the fine lines or separate on your face or nose, then this article is for you!

Follow these tips on how to stop foundation creasing and settling into wrinkles: Wash your face with a gentle cleanser, exfoliate your skin at least once a week to get rid of flaky skin, and moisturize with a lightweight moisturizer. Apply a primer with a light coverage foundation and set it all with a translucent powder.

This post contains affiliate links. Read the full disclosure.

How to stop makeup creasing?

Wash your face with a gentle cleanser

Oil and dirt are the worst. They make your foundation look more creased than it is. Washing your face before applying any makeup can help to keep the foundation from settling into fine lines and wrinkles.

Use a gentle cleanser like this lightweight cleanser so that dirt and oil can be removed without stripping away your skin.

Use this daily facial cleanser as part of an effective skincare routine and always wash your face in the morning to remove your nighttime creams used the night before.

Exfoliate your skin

Exfoliation is a great way to keep your complexion looking healthy and glowy. It helps to remove dead skin cells which can clog pores, so if you want a clear complexion then 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 actually 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.


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.

If you have 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 on the areas where you have fine lines like on your forehead , around the mouth, around the eyes and nose around, on your chin, and your upper lip.

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

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

Choose a smoothing primer like this silicone-based primer which helps to 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. You want a small amount and that should be enough for your entire face.

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

You know when you put on your eye primer and it feels slightly tackier than a face product? That’s because this stuff has some grip and it helps to 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 which makes 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.

If you’re looking for a more natural look, then light coverage silicone-based foundations should be the perfect choice. 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 the 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.

Blending your foundation correctly is a very important step to prevent it from creasing on smile lines.

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

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

If you don’t like to blend 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

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

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

If you want smooth skin, be sure not to overdo the makeup!

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 get rid of 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

Loose or pressed setting powders set your makeup into place which prevents 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 and 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 it 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 excess powder on the skin.

Apply a setting spray to stop creasing

Setting sprays are formulated to hold makeup throughout the day but they 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 in fine lines.

Choose an alcohol-free setting 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 every day, be sure not to apply in large amounts as this can irritate your face and cause a breakout.

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 the wrong amount of foundation can all accentuate the look of 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

As we age, our makeup starts to settle into fine lines and wrinkles. 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 that the makeup can sit well on top of 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 on special occasions to lock everything into place. 

Follow these steps as closely as possible for a flawless look no matter what’s 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.

34 thoughts on “How to stop foundation creasing & settling into wrinkles?”

  1. haha yes it’s so important to go on with a light hand!

  2. Great tips!
    I find that prepping the skin before makeup makes a huge difference!!

  3. a sponge helps a lot because it’s damp and it absorbs the excess product!

  4. 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! 🙂


  5. These are good tips! I’ll keep these in mind if I notice my foundation doing this! 🙂

    Hope you’re having a great start to your week 🙂 It’s a more relaxed week this week for me after a busy week last week!

    • glad you enjoyed your week !

  6. This is such great advice! I definitely needed to hear this when I was younger and had no clue about makeup


    • hehe you’re still young though 🙂

  7. 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

  8. 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

    • yes powders are tricky to use !

    • yes it’s really annoying!


Leave a Comment

Skip to content