Looking for the best foundation for your dry skin?
Ever tried out a foundation recommended by a friend that just looks awful on you? You need to find a formula that works for your skin type and particular skin needs!
It’s not easy to find a foundation that works for dry skin. After 36 hours of intense research, we break down the top 5 foundations for dry skin on the market right now!
Keep reading to find the best foundation for your dry skin (and which ones won’t work for you!).
Whether you want full coverage, an airbrushed finish, a product for mature skin, a gorgeous glow, or if you’re on a budget – we’ve got you covered!
♥ What Type of Foundation Works For Dry Skin?
There’s nothing worse than applying your base in the morning and feeling the heavy, cakey, flakey foundation mask on your skin as you go about your day.
What you need is something lightweight on the skin, with a hydrating, illuminating, and buildable, non-cakey formula.
It’s really tough to find a foundation to cover imperfections when you have dry skin – most full coverage foundations are made for oiler complexions.
Well we’ve got you covered – with foundations that provides a hydrating, full coverage without caking or flaking on your skin!
Before you apply your foundation, it’s best to prep your skin with a hydrating moisturizer. Choose one with ingredients linked to improving the appearance of dry skin (such as urea and petrolatum).
#1. Best Overall: NARS Sheer Glow Foundation
- 1 fluid ounce
- 20 shades
- Large shade range
- Free from mineral oil, parabens, sulfates (SLS, SLES), formaldehyde, fragrance, and gluten.
- Vitamin C and Turmeric for brightening and radiance
- Doesn’t come with a pump
- Not the best coverage for acne prone skin
Free from many harmful ingredients, specially designed for dry and normal skin
Specially designed for dry and normal skin, Sheer Glow is the best option for a buildable medium, lightweight, ‘radiance’ coverage with a dewy finish. Free from ingredients that can harm your dry skin, including mineral oil, parabens, formaldehyde, fragrance, and gluten.
There’s nothing worse than working in an office under the aircon with dry, cakey, flaking foundation sitting on top of your dry skin. By the end of the day you just want to run home and scrub it all off your face!
What you need is a lightweight foundation. Formulated with Vitamin C and Tumeric for brightening and radiance, this foundation includes glycerin to attract and hold moisture on your dry skin.
The foundation is well liked, with very high average reviews online. Customers are generally impressed with the buildable, soft, poreless, and no-cake, lightweight feel. Most of the rave reviews are from people with dry skin, however it can work for normal-oily skin for a very dewy finish! Reviewers also like that it photographs well – perfect for selfies!
The most common disappointment is that the bottle doesn’t come with a pump! For an expensive foundation, it really should have better packaging. Although the coverage is quite buildable, it is medium and lightweight, so customers looking to cover acne generally aren’t impressed with this one.
Looking for a lightweight, medium-to-buildable coverage foundation that won’t cake on your skin? This is the one for you!
With impressive customer reviews, the no-cake formula blurs imperfections while your skin shines through. However, it doesn’t come with a pump and is not suitable for high coverage on acne and blemishes.
#2. Best Drugstore: Maybelline New York Fit Me Dewy + Smooth Foundation
- 1 fluid ounce
- 24 shades
- Great price
- Non-comedogenic (doesn’t clog pores)
- Matching concealer and powder available
- Fit Me Foundations rated no. 1 in the US 2017
- Advertised as fragrance free, but has a light scent
- Many shades, but the colors selected don’t work for everyone
- SPF 18 can leave a white cast, especially on darker skin
Award winning foundation, non-comedogenic formula – great if you’re on a budget
The Fit Me Foundation range was rated the number 1 foundation in the US in 2017 according to Nielsen.
Looking for a good foundation for dry skin on a budget? The Maybelline Fit Me Dewy + Smooth Foundation is great for the price. The smoothing formula is designed for normal to dry skin, and provides a hydrating, luminous, and radiant finish on the skin. Worried about your foundation breaking you out? The non-comedogenic formula prevents clogged pores.
The Fit Me range also includes concealer and powder options suitable for normal to dry skin. Getting the matching powder and concealer means a close color and formula match is more likely than using products from completely different brands.
Overall, customers tend to really like this one, with very high average reviews online. Customers liked that it’s hydrating, lightweight, easy to apply, and easy to blend. Many wish it had higher coverage.
Although the foundation range ‘Fit Me’ markets itself as having a wide range of shades, the 24 shades selected are not suitable for everyone. Many customers find the lightest shades are not light enough, and the darkest shades are not dark enough. Many darker skinned ladies noted that the SPF in the foundation leaves a slight white cast on their skin.
The foundation is advertised as fragrance free on the official website, however ‘fragrance’ is listed as an official ingredient, and some customers can smell a faint scent when they apply.
If you’re looking for a good foundation for dry skin on a budget – this is a good option for the price. Rated the number 1 foundation range in the US for 2017, the hydrating, lightweight, blendable formula works great for dry skin. A similar medium coverage formula as the NARS Sheer Glow – this is a good dupe on a budget.
However, the shade range doesn’t work for everyone, and the SPF 18 can leave a white cast on deeper skin tones. Some customers find it has a light scent even though it’s advertised as fragrance free.
#3. Best Full Coverage/for Acne Prone Skin: Makeup Up For Ever (MUFE) Ultra HD Invisible Cover Stick Foundation
- 0.44 ounces
- 20 shades
- Great coverage on acne and scars
- Darker shade can be used as contour
- Can be used to spot conceal
- Blends well, doesn’t crease
- Not super long wearing
- Cap can pop off
- Some customers don’t like the smell
A stick foundation with special time released hydration for a creamy, high coverage on dry skin
A sister product to the award winning Ultra HD Liquid Foundation, all skin types can use this stick foundation, but it’s specifically designed for dry skin.
It can be really difficult to find a high coverage foundation suitable for dry skin. Most high coverage formulae seem to be designed for oily skin in mind. Those foundations tend to cling to dry patches and cake up on dry skin.
So we’re stuck in a dilemma.
Do I choose a drying foundation, that will cover the acne but make me look patchy? Or do I go for a lightweight foundation that won’t cling to dry patches, but will not cover my blemishes?
It’s a difficult choice because blemishes and scars can impact our day to day confidence so much. And we don’t want to look in the mirror and see cakey foundation with tons of dry patches either!
The stick foundation is designed with hyaluronic spheres for time-released hydration to provide a creamy, blendable, natural finish with ultra high coverage on dry skin. Get your skin confidence back with full coverage on blemishes, scars, and discoloration.
MUFE created the Invisible Cover Stick especially to look natural under the most advanced, 4k lens film and TV photography. So it’s great for taking selfies!
The foundation earned high average reviews online. Customers like the flexibility in use of the product. It can be used to spot conceal in place of a concealer, or if you accidentally buy a darker shade, it works great as a contour.
Reviewers generally think it looks pretty natural for such high coverage, and most with dry skin finds it doesn’t cake. It blends well and you don’t need to use much product – a little goes long way!
In terms of packaging, the twist up part is well made and sturdy, however some say the cap pops off and can make a mess in your makeup bag. So make sure it’s securely attached after use!
Some customers don’t like the smell, and some say it’s not as long wearing as other foundations.
If you’re looking for a high coverage foundation that works great on dry skin, this one is for you! It covers blemishes, scars, and discoloration without caking or producing dry flakes.
The creamy stick can also be used as a concealer or contour (in a darker shade), and the formula is specially designed to make your skin look flawless on camera. The hydrating formula is easily blendable and natural looking on the skin.
However, some customers find it doesn’t last as long as other foundations, and others don’t like the scent.
#4. Best Airbrush Effect: Diorskin Airflash Spray Foundation
- 2.3 fluid ounces
- 18 shades
- Customizable coverage
- Pigments for radiance and glow
- Not cakey
- Airbrushed look
- Spray application can be messy
- Pricey (but contains a lot of product)
- Shade range is poor
Smooths and blurs for an airbrushed glow on dry skin
A hydrating, natural finish, medium-to-full coverage spray foundation – perfect to achieve an airbrushed finish on dry skin. The micro-diffusion spray releases a fine mist of foundation to provide a soft, velvety complexion.
Enriched with light-diffusing pigments and mother of pearl pigments, it smooths the look of dry skin, evens skin tone, blurs fine lines, and creates a radiant, glowing effect.
It appears quite expensive for one bottle, however you get a lot of product in each can. Most foundations only contain one fluid ounce – this has more than double that!
How to use it?
• Shake the can for five seconds before use.
• Spray 20 cm (eight inches) from the face in a “Z” formation.
• OR spray onto your foundation brush of choice and apply in small circular motions to the face.
• You can build more layers until you achieve the desired coverage.
Flawless coverage? The fluid, fine texture means it’s extremely buildable. This is great if you want a more lightweight coverage day to day, and a higher coverage at night or for special occasions, without becoming cakey and dry.
The spray method can be messy, and for some can result in foundation sprayed on their hair and house! Plus the nozzle can get messy and build up product. It works a lot better for most people to apply with a brush instead.
This foundation has really high average reviews online. Many customers find the water resistant formula lasts a lot longer when you apply with a brush.
Reviewers rave about the flexible, buildable coverage and lightweight feel and look on the skin. It’s a good option if you want a lot of coverage but hate feeling like you have a cakey mask on your face.
It spreads and blends easily. It’s quick to apply some product if you’re rushing in the morning, or to touch up your makeup before going out in the evening.
There are mixed reviews on whether or not it minimizes the appearance of wrinkles.
A lot of deeper toned ladies love the ‘mocha’ shade. However, some were disappointed by the shade range, even though Dior released new shades in recent years.
The lightest shade in particular is orangey and too dark for very fair skin. Considering it’s a luxury foundation, they should have a better shade range.
Looking for good coverage, natural airbrushed looking skin with a lightweight feel? This is for you. Each bottle is expensive, but it contains more than double the ounces of an average foundation. It contains hydrating ingredients – pearl and light reflecting pigments to make the skin look radiant and glowing.
The spray application method can be messy, though – it’s better to apply it with a brush. The shade range is quite poor. If you can find a shade that works for you, it’s a great option for dry skin.
#5. Best Ingredients For Aging Skin: Hourglass Veil Foundation
- 1 fluid ounce
- 11 shades
- Reduces the appearance of wrinkles
- Anti-aging ingredients
- Oil free
- Parabens, sulfates, and phthalates free
- Lightest shades are good for pale skin
- Poor shade range
- Claims it’s without fragrance, but the sunscreen ingredient has a scent
- Doesn’t cover pores well
Reduce the appearance of wrinkles with this oil free, paraben free, hydrating formula
Personally, my skin goes through periods of dryness and oilless. What’s nice about having dry skin is that you don’t have to deal with feeling slimy and gross, and blotting your face throughout the day. However, one of the disadvantages of dry skin is that wrinkles and fine lines can appear more visible.
The Hourglass Veil foundation helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles with the use of a special ingredient ‘Matrix Regeneration Complex’ (Matrixyl® Synthe’6). A skincare product and foundation in one, the result is a natural looking, radiant finish on dry skin.
It seems counter intuitive that an oil free foundation would work well for dry skin – but the formula was developed especially for older skin that needs hydration. Oil free and formulated without fragrance, sulfates, phthalates, or parabens to reduce the chances of breakouts.
This one looks its best when applied with a brush (not a beauty blender, sponge, or fingers).
Another highly rated foundation – customers also tend to really like this one. Customers like that it feels lightweight, the coverage is high, skin feels hydrated, and application is smooth. Even if you’re wearing it all day, it doesn’t feel like you’re wearing a mask.
The foundation works great on aging, dry skin to minimize the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines and discoloration spots. As it excludes harmful ingredients, the foundation is a good option for customers with sensitive skin or rosacea, blemishes, and redness.
Hourglass Veil is long wearing, buildable, and many customers say they only need one pump per application (a little goes a long way!). While it has good coverage considering the formula is so lightweight, many customers say it doesn’t cover pores well.
Unfortunately, the foundation only comes in 11 shades. Many customers find there aren’t enough ‘in-between’ shades. You might need to mix two shades together to get the perfect match for you. Such a small shade range is very disappointing for a high end product.
The deeper shades work well for many deeper toned ladies, however some reviewers said their skin looked a bit ashy. The lightest shade is light enough for very pale skin. However, the undertones are peachy and yellow, so this is better for warmer skin tones than cooler skin tones.
Do you have dry, aging skin? Are you looking for a foundation free from many of the typical harmful ingredients? This is a good option for you! The formula contains skincare ingredients that are perfect for combatting wrinkles on dry skin.
It doesn’t have a lot of the common irritating ingredients present in other foundations, meaning it works well for sensitive and blemish prone skin. However, it doesn’t cover pores well and the shade range is really poor for a high end foundation.
♥ TL;DR – Which Foundation Is Best For Your Dry Skin?
- Want a gorgeous, hydrating glow with a medium coverage? NARS Sheer Glow Foundation is for you.
- On a budget? Check out the no.1 rated ‘Fit Me’ range’s product specially designed for dry skin: Maybelline New York Fit Me Dewy + Smooth Foundation.
- Do you have blemishes, scars, or discolouration that you’re looking to cover? Sick of every high coverage foundation not working on your dry skin? Give the Makeup Up For Ever (MUFE) Ultra HD Invisible Cover Stick Foundation a try.
- Looking for an airbrushed-look, lightweight-feel foundation on your dry skin? Diorskin Airflash Spray Foundation is for you.
- For mature skin, the Hourglass Veil Foundation is a good option. Specially designed for aging skin, the Veil foundation is a skincare product and coverage foundation for dry skin in one.