5 Best Foundations for Dry Skin in 2023 – Expert Reviews

Looking for the best foundation for your dry skin? Look no further:

As a long-time user with extensive experience, I found a foundation that suits your specific skin type and needs.

Fortunately, after conducting extensive research, I’ve compiled a list of the top 5 foundations for dry skin that are currently available.

So, whether you’re looking for full coverage, an airbrushed finish, or something that’s perfect for mature skin or a tight budget, keep reading to find the perfect foundation for you!

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Key Takeaways

  • When looking for a foundation for dry skin, choose a lightweight, hydrating, illuminating, and non-cakey formula that is buildable and provides full coverage.
  • NARS Sheer Glow Foundation suits dry and normal skin, is lightweight and buildable, with Vitamin C and Tumeric for brightening, and is free from harmful ingredients.
  • Maybelline’s Fit Me Dewy + Smooth Foundation is a top drugstore pick for dry skin, with a hydrating, non-comedogenic formula that leaves a luminous, radiant finish.

Don’t have time? Check this table for a quick comparison of my faves:

Table could not be displayed.

♥ What Type of Foundation Works For Dry Skin? 5 Top Picks!

Finding the best foundation for dry skin is no mean feat!

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, 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.

We’ve got you covered – with foundations that provide 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 (one that makeup artists use).

Choose one with ingredients linked to improving the appearance of dry skin (such as urea and petrolatum) [1].

#1. Best Overall: NARS Sheer Glow Foundation

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  • 1 fluid ounce
  • 20 shades
PROSCONS
Large shade rangeDoesn’t come with a pump
LightweightNot the best coverage for acne-prone skin
Free from mineral oil, parabens, sulfates (SLS, SLES), formaldehyde, fragrance, and gluten.
Buildable
Vitamin C and Turmeric for brightening and radiance

Free from many harmful ingredients, specially designed for dry and normal skin

Here’s what the user KatiaGarbriela wrote:

“You won’t go wrong with this product! It covers everything, but it looks so skin-like. This is the fulcrum product I use for natural and full coverage since it’s so practical.

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 a 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 [2].

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 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 of acne and blemishes.

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#2. Best Drugstore: Maybelline New York Fit Me Dewy + Smooth Foundation

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  • 1 fluid ounce
  • 24 shades
PROSCONS
Great priceAdvertised as fragrance-free, but has a light scent
Non-comedogenic (doesn’t clog pores)SPF 18 can leave a white cast, especially on darker skin
Matching concealer and powder are availableMany shades, but the colors selected don’t work for everyone
Fit Me Foundations rated no. 1 in the US 2017

Award-winning foundation, non-comedogenic formula – great if you’re on a budget

An Amazing product I will never leave” is what user Kaitlin has to say about this product.

My own personal experience confirms this: it’s simply a fantastic product, even more 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, radiant finish.

Worried about your foundation breaking you out? The non-comedogenic formula prevents clogged pores.

I can attest to this: when I’ve used it, my skin felt radiant and hydrating. I felt this to be a true dependable formula I’d keep on my shelf.

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 it.

When it comes to choosing the right foundation for dry or normal skin, you need to be mindful of the ingredients you put on your skin.

That’s why NARS Sheer Glow Foundation is the perfect choice for those who want a buildable, lightweight coverage that won’t harm their skin.

Formulated with Vitamin C and Turmeric, this foundation brightens and adds radiance to your complexion while glycerin helps retain moisture for a fresh, dewy look.

And with a large shade range, it’s easy to find the perfect match for your skin tone.

The only downside is that the bottle doesn’t come with a pump, but don’t let that stop you from trying this highly-rated foundation.

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.

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#3. Best Full Coverage/for Acne Prone Skin: Makeup Up For Ever (MUFE) Ultra HD Invisible Cover Stick Foundation

No products found.
  • 0.44 ounces
  • 20 shades
PROSCONS
Great coverage on acne and scarsNot super long wearing
Can be used to spot concealSome customers don’t like the smell
Blends well, doesn’t creaseCap can pop off
Darker shade can be used as contour

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.

As confirmed by a brilliant review from user Nicole: “It’s buildable medium coverage and lasts me all day where I work outside in all 4 seasons.”

It can be really difficult to find a high-coverage foundation suitable for dry skin.

Most high-coverage formulae seem to be designed with oily skin in mind. Those foundations 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 a cakey foundation with tons of dry patches, either!

The stick foundation is designed to provide a creamy, blendable, natural finish with ultra-high coverage on dry skin. Get your skin confidence back with full coverage of blemishes, scars, and discoloration. hyaluronic spheres for time-released hydration

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 the use of the product. It can be used to spot concealment instead of 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 find it doesn’t cake. It blends well, and you don’t need to use much product – a little goes a long way!

Regarding 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.

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#4. Best Airbrush Effect: Diorskin Airflash Spray Foundation

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  • 2.3 fluid ounces
  • 18 shades
PROSCONS
Customizable coverageSpray application can be messy
LightweightPricey (but contains a lot of product)
Pigments for radiance and glowShade range is poor
Not cakey
Airbrushed look

Smooths and blurs for an airbrushed glow on dry skin

A hydrating, natural finish, medium-to-full coverage spray foundation – perfect for achieving an airbrushed finish on dry skin.

This product is worth all your money,” writes user Lorraine. “I have to get it from the USA. I have been using it for years especially during these hot months in summer.”

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 many products 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.

spray onto your foundation brush of choice and apply in small circular motions to the face. • OR

• 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 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 the product. It works much better for most people to apply with a brush instead.

best foundation for dry skin

This foundation has really high average reviews online. Many customers find the water-resistant formula lasts a lot longer when you apply it 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.

best foundation for dry skin

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 relatively poor. If you can find a shade that works for you, it’s an excellent option for dry skin.

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#5. Best Ingredients For Aging Skin: Hourglass Veil Foundation

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  • 1 fluid ounce
  • 11 shades
PROSCONS
VeganPoor shade range
Reduces the appearance of wrinklesClaims it’s without fragrance, but the sunscreen ingredient has a scent
Anti-aging ingredientsDoesn’t cover pores well
Oil-free
Parabens, sulfates, and phthalates free
Lightest shades are good for pale skin

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).

As one user Musia remarked, “My skin is shining. I’ve had a whole bunch of my friends compliments me on my new vibrant look“.

A skincare product and foundation in one, the result is a natural-looking, radiant finish on dry skin.

It seems counterintuitive 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 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, the skin feels hydrated, and the 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 and 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, which 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 inferior for a high-end foundation.

No products found.

Looking for the best mineral liquid foundation? Check out our article on the subject for all the tips and tricks to achieve a flawless complexion!

3 Tips for Choosing the Best Foundation for Dry Skin

My experience, as with the experience of my team, showed me that there are 3 magic tips to look out for.

As a cosmetics expert, I’ve tested out loads of products such as creams and skin products. My team and I sorted the most important steps to picking the right foundation as follows:

#1 Consider the Factors for Dry Skin

As someone with dry skin, I know firsthand how challenging it can be to find the right foundation.

It can be frustrating to try different formulas, only to have them emphasize dry patches and leave your skin looking dull and lifeless.

But fear not! I have some tips that can help you choose the perfect foundation for your dry skin and achieve a beautiful, hydrated complexion.

First and foremost, it’s important to consider your skin’s hydration needs. Look for a foundation formula that will intensely moisturize and nourish your skin, one with extra hydration if possible.

#2 Watch out for the Top Ingredients

Ingredients like shea butter, squalane, and argan oil can deeply hydrate and protect your skin’s barrier, keeping it looking and feeling healthy.

These provide a balanced moisturizing formula optimal for soothing your skin.

When shopping for foundation, look for ingredients that replenish moisture, such as hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and ceramides. These will help lock in moisture and restore your skin’s natural balance.

Foundation and brushes

The level of coverage you choose is also important. For everyday wear, a lightweight, sheer formula is perfect, while a full-coverage formula can give you a flawless finish for special events.

#3 See How it Reacts: Apply Some Techniques for a Flawless Finish

Before applying your foundation, make sure to prep your skin with a moisturizer or hydrating primer. This will create a smooth base and help your foundation adhere better.

When it’s time to apply your foundation, use a damp beauty sponge or foundation brush to blend it evenly onto your skin.

Avoid using your fingers, as they can transfer bacteria onto your skin and disrupt the finish of your foundation.

Finally, to make your foundation last all day and maintain a hydrated look, use a hydrating setting spray to set your makeup.

This will help prevent your foundation from settling into fine lines and wrinkles and give your skin a dewy, fresh appearance.

By following these tips, you can find the perfect foundation for your dry skin and achieve a gorgeous, glowing complexion that will leave you feeling confident and beautiful.

♥Which Foundation Is Best For Your Dry Skin?

  • Want a gorgeous, hydrating glow with medium coverage? NARS Sheer Glow is for you. Foundation
  • 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 discoloration that you’re looking to cover? Sick of every high-coverage foundation not working on your dry skin? Give Makeup Up For Ever a try. (MUFE) Ultra HD Invisible Cover Stick Foundation
  • Looking for an airbrushed look, a lightweight-feel foundation on your dry skin?Diorskin Airflash is for you.

For a great visual depiction, feel free to watch this excellent video on some other products for dry skin:

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the best foundations for dry skin?

The best foundations for dry skin are those that offer hydration and moisturization, such as liquid and cream foundations with a dewy finish.

2. How can I prepare my dry skin for foundation application?

To prepare your dry skin for foundation application, start by cleansing and moisturizing your face thoroughly. Then, apply a hydrating primer to create a smooth base for your foundation.

3. Can I use a powder foundation on dry skin?

Rather not.
Powder foundation is not the best option for dry skin as it can accentuate dryness and create a cakey appearance. Stick to liquid and cream foundations for a dewy and hydrated look.

Conclusion

Finding the best foundation for dry skin can be a daunting task, but with the right knowledge and products, it doesn’t have to be.

It’s essential to consider your skin’s unique needs and preferences when selecting a foundation.

Whether you prefer a sheer or full-coverage look, there are options available that will provide the moisture and hydration your skin needs to look and feel its best.

Remember to prioritize ingredients that nourish and soothe the skin, and don’t be afraid to experiment with different formulas until you find the perfect match.

With these tips in mind, achieving a flawless, hydrated complexion is well within reach.

a woman checking her skin at the mirror

Resources

1. Lod??n M. Role of Topical Emollients and Moisturizers in the Treatment of Dry Skin Barrier Disorders. American Journal of Clinical Dermatology. 2003;4:771–88.

2. Al-Niaimi F, Chiang NYZ. Topical Vitamin C and the Skin: Mechanisms of Action and Clinical Applications. The Journal of clinical and aesthetic dermatology [Internet]. Matrix Medical Communications; 2017;10:14–7. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5605218/

About LusineTG

Lusine is a fresh young writing enthusiast who loves to share tips about beauty, skincare, and so many other things. When she's not writing, you can find her snuggled up with her dog Benji binging on Netflix. She's also into cooking and yoga. Follow her on FACEBOOK and TWITTER. Learn more about her HERE.