When you have a dry complexion, the best foundations on the market can make your skin look off if the texture is incompatible. The wrong base can show flakes, highlight your peach fuzz or lodge into fine lines, resulting in skin that is patchy and uneven.
If you don’t want to end up with a formula that leaves your skin looking uneven and patchy or exacerbate your dry skin issues, hydrating foundations packed with acids and oils will provide you with the flawless skin you’ve been dreaming of.
This list has the best foundations for dry skin types that will make cakey layers of makeup and parched skin a distant memory of the past.
The Best Foundation for Dry Skin in 2023
1. Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation
Oil-free and extremely lightweight, this cult favorite melts into the skin without adding extra dryness, latching onto dry patches or finding a home in any fine lines.
Made with Micro-fil technology, color pigments of this medium coverage, buildable formula lay flat for effortless layering and blending and its luminous finish provides just the right dewy glow. You’ll look like you’ve just returned from a sun-filled vacation, even if you’re really fighting the flu.
2. Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Ultra-Longwear Foundation
Stay camera-ready with the best foundation for your next photo-heavy event. This full coverage foundation provides dry skin with buildable coverage, ranging from medium to full cover, and a beautifully even skin tone.
A transfer-resistant and oil-free liquid foundation, it minimizes imperfections and lasts up to 15 hours. Lightweight, it won’t cake up or streak your dry skin’s dry areas and the matte finish is never flat or dull, giving you a face that is always ready for another picture.
3. It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream w/ SPF 50
Skin care meets beauty in this full coverage foundation with SPF. Peptides smooth and firm the skin, reducing the appearance of wrinkles, while hyaluronic acid locks in your skin’s moisture, boosting elasticity and diminishing fine lines.
An all-in-one beauty product, it acts as a color corrector, concealer, primer and moisturizer. Hydrating and brightening, the creamy texture delivers dry skin that is flawless, smooth and youthful with a natural finish.
4. Covergirl TruBlend Matte Made Liquid Foundation
A budget friendly, drugstore friend with flexi-hold technology, your skin will get moisture and a smooth, matte finish. While dry skin makeup lovers may shy away from matte formulas, this liquid foundation is creamy enough to hydrate sensitive skin that flakes easily without ever feeling as if a mask has dried on your face.
If you don’t think you can have smooth, supple skin and long-lasting full coverage at a reasonable price, think again.
5. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Tint Gel Formula
Designed to make skin look plump and healthy, this may well be the perfect foundation for your dry skin.
A moisturizing powerhouse thanks to hyaluronic acid, it provides complete hydration that improves the skin’s suppleness the longer you wear it throughout the day. Its weightless water gel formula is breathable, keeping pores clear and unsightly streaks at bay.
Ideal for those who avoid thick foundations, it evens out the complexion for a fresh and natural look.
6. Maybelline FIT Me Dewy + Smooth Foundation w/ SPF 18
True to its name, the light to medium buildable coverage drugstore foundation goes on smooth and gives an oh-so-dewy finish you and your skin will love. Its pump applicator’s sleek design makes the drugstore option even more of a steal, not to mention its staying power, sunscreen protection and moisturizing effects.
With over 20 shades to choose from, every dehydrated skin tone can experience smooth skin and a glowy, natural finish that lights up any room you walk in.
7. Maybelline New York Dream Satin Liquid Foundation
Dry and sensitive skin has met its match in this hydrating serum foundation. A lightweight consistency and breathable formula wraps around your skin, providing hydrating effects from all day long.
Blend it seamlessly into your skin for an even look that will look like you hired a makeup artist, easily hiding blemishes and dark spots. Buildable medium coverage that will leave skin soft and smooth, you’ll achieve poreless skin that looks as if you were born with naturally airbrushed skin.
Buying Guide to the Choosing the Best Foundation for Dry Skin
There are many choices when it comes to foundations that enhance dry skin.
Every single one doesn’t have to work for your particular skin, but there are a few factors that you should take into consideration when buying a foundation that can quench thirsty dry skin.
Foundation base and type
Foundation bases are the starting point of a foundation’s formula and can be water, oil or powder based. If a base is chosen incorrectly, the base can cause common problems like flakiness and creasing. Oil-based formulations are the best for dry skin, providing skin with essential oils your skin may be lacking and maintaining its moisture.
Dry skin has the most success with liquid and cream foundations, hydrating it while avoiding any flakes. Foundation sticks, mousse, powders and mineral formulas aren’t usually the best for dry skin, but if you do choose one, ensure it is enriched with vitamin E or oil-based.
The most important factor of a foundation is that it should include hydrating properties. This is a must, and cannot be neglected under any circumstances. Hyaluronic acid and ceramides are two ingredients revered within skincare and beauty products.
An ideal hydrating foundation enhances or encourages the skin’s natural oils or has a built-in moisturizer. Moisturizing is essential to dry skin, keeping the skin smooth and providing necessary moistness.
Irritants to avoid
Compared to skin on other parts of the body, the skin on your face is sensitive and soft, becoming hypersensitive to harsh chemicals.
- Paraben-free formulas reduce the change of allergic reactions occurring.
- Sulphates leave skin scorched and dried, something dry skin does not need. If you have sensitive skin, this ingredient can cause pricking and reddening of the skin.
- Silicones should be avoided. Foundations with silicone cling to patches of dry skin, giving a splotchy and appearance.
- Salicylic acid is an ingredient that absorbs the skin’s oil, and in most cases dry skin is in no need of less oil. If you have purely dry skin, you’ll want to make sure your foundation contains no salicylic acid.
Level of coverage
This is the ultimate effect you want your skin to have, categorized as full, medium and light.
Generally speaking, full coverage is not the best choice for dry skin; look for light to medium coverage or buildable formulas that can give you the look you want without looking cakey or unpolished.
Keep in mind, formulas have come a long way and full coverage formulas are now lighter than ever (matte finishes are possible for dry skin, too!). When in doubt, check the reviews. They will shed light on what may or may not work for your dry skin.
Hydrated, Even Skin is Yours
Don’t be overwhelmed by the number of choices on today’s market, narrowing your choices down just got easier with this list of best foundations for dry skin. You won’t be disappointed.
You might also be interested in these foundations for other skin types:
- Best Foundations for All Skin Types
- Best Foundation for Acne Prone Skin
- Best Foundation for Combination Skin
- Best Foundation for Mature Skin
- Best Foundation for Sensitive Skin
- Best Foundation for Pale Skin
- Best Foundation for Dark Skin
- Best Natural Foundations
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