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a woman applying foundation on her dry skin

Choosing a foundation if you have dry skin

23 Nov 2022 • 1 min read

If you have naturally dry skin and find it looks especially flaky when you apply foundation, it’s possible that you’re using the wrong product. Never fear, though; selecting a foundation if you have dry skin can be very simple if you know what to look out for.

Why do I have dry skin?

Having drier skin is natural for some people and might be down to certain skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis. For others, it could be because you’re drinking too much alcohol, eating too much salty food or not getting enough sleep1. A change in climate can also be a contributing factor to dry skin which is why many people need to use moisturiser more when the seasons change. Love taking really hot showers? All that steam could be drying your skin out too.

Choosing a foundation for dry skin

Having dry skin and wearing makeup may often seem like an impossible task as some products can actually enhance flakiness instead of cover it up. When selecting your next foundation, you’ll want to choose one that is:


Above all else, dry skin needs hydration, so choosing a foundation which is moisturising is crucial. Look out for products which don’t contain things like salicylic acid, silicone or talcum powder. These ingredients are all designed to soak up excess sebum in the skin2. That’s great for people with an oily complexion, but bad for those with dry skin!

Has SPF in it

Exposure to the sun can be a contributing factor to dry skin which is why it’s especially important to use foundation which contains SPF. Even in cooler climates or on cloudy days, it’s still possible for the sun’s rays to penetrate through and damage your skin. As you won’t necessarily apply foundation all over your face, make sure you’re also using sunscreen or an SPF moisturiser as well3.

Is fragrance free

Scented products, while sweet smelling, aren’t always the sensible option. That’s because things which are fragranced tend to contain alcohol – an ingredient that should definitely be avoided if you have dry skin. Wondering why? As alcohol is a diuretic, it could potentially dry your skin out even more4.

Contains hyaluronic acid

Hyaluronic acid is something naturally present in your skin and is essentially what allows it to retain moisture. People with particularly dry skin may lack it which is why choosing a foundation that’s enhanced with hyaluronic acid can be beneficial5.

The best foundations for dry skin

If you’re keen to buy a new foundation that will hydrate your skin and make your complexion appear smoother, consider:


Powder foundations aren’t good options if you have dry skin as they’ll just stick to the cracks and make your skin appear uneven. Instead, you should select a liquid foundation such as a serum. These tend to be more lightweight yet still moisturising and will give you good, even coverage6. Apply it with a brush instead of your fingers to make sure your complexion doesn’t look patchy.

BB creams

Standing for ‘beauty balm’, BB cream is basically tinted moisturiser. This form of foundation allows you to get a nice, even coverage while keeping your skin hydrated. BB creams are often packed with other benefits such as SPF and nourishing ingredients which can reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Looking for more advice on natural beauty? Head on over to The Health Hub to find guides on things like achieving clearer skin or getting rid of blackheads. Shop Natural Beauty  Last updated: 26 March 2020 Sources https://www.prevention.com/beauty/makeup/g25608062/best-foundation-dry-skin/ 2 https://www.prevention.com/beauty/makeup/g25608062/best-foundation-dry-skin/ 3 https://www.webmd.com/beauty/features/sunscreen-and-your-makeup-routine#1 4 https://happyskincare.com.au/blogs/happy-news/alcohol-in-skincare-the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly 5 https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/hyaluronic-acid-benefits 6 https://www.womenshealthmag.com/uk/beauty/skin/a30607996/best-foundations-for-dry-skin/
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