We’ve found the best foundations for dry skin
Hello hydration *and* coverage
Beauty Crew Contributing Editor / June 05 2019
For us dry skin sufferers, these issues are constantly getting in the way of our flawless base goals: a rough texture due to flaking; a tight, parched feeling; a dull appearance; and the highly likely event that foundation will settle in our dry patches. We sure pulled the short straw, didn’t we?!
If you have dry skin, chances are any foundation that claims to mattify is your worst nightmare. Instead, words like ‘hydrating’, ‘dewy’ and ‘non-cakey’ get you excited.
While matte finishes and powder formulas shouldn’t be off the table completely (spoiler: we found some foundations that fit the brief for these two prerequisites), liquids, semi-matte to luminous finishes, and formulas packed with skin-loving ingredients are generally a winning combination for transforming your flaky, dry skin into the perfect canvas.
Since finding the right foundation for your dry skin needs is such an important one - and a difficult one - we enlisted the expertise of our Beauty Crew team and SUPERcrew members and asked them to share their personal faves for the best foundation for dry skin in Australia. These are their Holy Grails.
#9 / Adorn Cosmetics Hydrating Cream Mineral Botanical Foundation Stick
Our pick for the best full coverage foundation for dry skin, this Australian-made and cruelty-free stick foundation is proof that maximum coverage can still look dewy. A great fit for dry and/or mature skin, besides organic jojoba and shea butter to rehydrate dry skin, antioxidant-rich vitamins A and E provide skin with protection from free radicals.
The review: “I personally love a new Australian cosmetic from Adorn Cosmetics. It is a stick foundation. It's so lightweight on the skin which makes it very hydrating, too. You don't need a lot for coverage and perfect with my dry skin and age. It's also not tested on animals.” Amanda, SUPERcrew member
#8 / Natio Cream to Powder Foundation
Let’s begin with the hydrating ingredients - there’s argan oil and jojoba to nourish, and vitamin E to protect and soften. As for the finish, it starts off creamy to give you a good medium coverage, then dries to a velvety powder texture that’s lovely and lightweight. This is great foundation for dry skin types that want a more natural, matte base while still looking after their skin’s thirsty needs.
The review: “This has argan oil and jojoba so it's beautifully creamy and smooth to apply, and doesn't dry out skin during the day. It feels lightweight yet has a long-wearing coverage. Handy and high-quality packaging!” Georgia, SUPERcrew member
#7 / Innoxa Hydrating HydroBoost Foundation
This is a serum foundation, which means the texture is super fluid and melts into the skin, and the formula goes above and beyond a normal foundation in the hydration department. So if your skin really struggles with dryness and needs an extra boost of moisture in addition to what it’s already getting from your skin care products, get this one. It contains active ingredient Aqualance™ and botanical extracts to pamper skin. It delivers a natural-looking radiance that you can build from a light to medium coverage. Plus, it’s the best foundation for dry, sensitive skin and hypoallergenic skin.
The review: “This gives skin a lovely dewy glow and is a light to medium coverage. It has great hydrating ingredients and feels so light and breathable on my skin.” Milan, SUPERcrew member
#6 / Maybelline New York Dream Cushion Foundation
Cushion compacts are great for providing coverage without feeling heavy on skin – a big positive for skin that’s prone to dryness. This budget-friendly buy has light-reflecting pigments in the formula to deliver a luminous glow to skin, it provides SPF 40 protection, the formula is lightweight and doesn’t stick to dry patches, and its cushion compact packaging makes it great for popping in your handbag for touch-ups on the go.
The review: “I adore how weightless this foundation feels on my dry skin, and how it takes my complexion from being dull and lacklustre to looking fresh-faced and softly glowing (think more healthy-looking than ultra dewy). I usually just smooth the sponge over my skin lightly for a natural finish, but I love that I can build it to a medium coverage if need be. I feel like my skin can breathe underneath the formula and it never feels tight or drying.” Chelsea Tromans, Beauty Crew's Contributing Editor
#5 / Giorgio Armani Maestro Glow
This may be a luxe buy, but you will feel (and see) the difference on your skin. Its light, fluid yet water-free formula glides over dry skin like a dream, easily building to your desired coverage without ever going cakey. You’ll find nourishing oils and broad-spectrum SPF 30 sun protection in the formula, which pamper and protect your skin with every application.
The review: “This is a liquid foundation that evens out the complexion but still looks and feels fresh and natural ( thanks to a surprisingly light texture, coupled with a perfecting buildable coverage and a ‘light enough to be tolerable all day’ feel on the skin). What makes this so great for drier skin is the high concentration of nourishing oils (nourishing, NOT greasy), and the bi-phase ‘elixir’ component that you shake before use to mix to complexion perfection.” Jacqui, SUPERcrew member
#4 / Designer Brands Luminous Hydrating Foundation
The formula of this dry skin foundation is gel-like and contains a bunch of hydrating and skin-pampering ingredients: hyaluronic acid, aloe vera, green tea and vitamins A, C and E. The light-reflecting pigments are also a nice treat to counteract any dry skin dullness. Our Review Crew® gave this foundation 4.5 stars for its lightweight feel, dewy finish and buildable, even coverage.
The review: “I have combination skin but have used DB Luminous Hydrating Foundation for the dryer months (winter) and it is hydrating, gives a gorgeous dewy glow and doesn’t feel tight or too oily. Love it.” Pru, SUPERcrew member
#3 / Dior Backstage Face and Body Foundation
If you live an active life, the fact that this foundation is waterproof and sweat-resistant will be a dream come true for you and your dry complexion. The finish is so natural-looking yet luminous, it delivers that second-skin look and feel we all want from our foundation. We also LOVE that it comes in 40 shades.
The review: “I’ve been blessed with the driest, most annoying skin ever. So finding a foundation that doesn’t make it look patchy/uneven/gross is a serious TASK. I recently starting using Dior Backstage Face and Body Foundation and it hurts that I didn’t discover this sooner. It makes my complexion look silky and smooth, plus the texture is totally buildable. It’s one of those foundations that doesn’t clock off at 3pm, leaving your skin looking like a mess. This gem actually sticks around. Plus, Meghan Markle apparently wore it on her wedding day – so, yeah.” Erin Docherty, Beauty Crew’s Beauty Writer
#2 / L'Oréal Paris Infallible Pro Glow
This formula was made with dry skin in mind. That luminous glow it imparts on skin. The staying power (they claim 24 hours!). The smooth finish. The addition of hydrating vitamin E. And let’s not forget the SPF 15 sun protection (bonus!). Not surprisingly, our Review Crew® gave this foundation 4.5 stars and we think it’s up there as the best drugstore foundation for dry skin.
The review: “The best foundation for dry skin is the L'Oréal Infallible Pro Glow. With its light yet buildable coverage, I find that this slides over any dry spots on my face and conceals them perfectly without looking flaky or cracked. It stays glowy all day, and lasts even longer when set with powder, so it's perfect for everyday wear and for fresh-looking skin.” Alex, SUPERcrew member
#1 / NARS Sheer Glow Foundation
The reviews for this foundation are as equally glowing as the luminous finish it delivers (there are 1308 five-star reviews for it on Mecca alone). It feels weightless and comfortable on your skin (you can thank the water-based formula for that) and it smooths so effortlessly over the complexion - yes, even dry patches. It also claims to improve your skin’s texture and tone with daily use, which we’re not complaining about!
The reviews: “My skin can be quite dry, especially in the winter months, and I find that when it is, foundations don’t always sit as well on my skin as they usually do. I love the NARS Sheer Glow Foundation as it delivers a really beautiful, glowy (as the name suggests!) finish without drying my skin. In the dead of winter, the Mont Blanc shade blends perfectly into my natural/fair skin, and when I’ve got a tan, the shade Punjab is my perfect match. The formula is creamy and easy to apply. I prefer to apply it using a damp beautyblender or buffing brush, but it’s so foolproof to apply that you can also use your fingers if you don’t have tools on hand.” Isobel Larkin, Beauty Crew’s Beauty Assistant
“The best foundation for dry skin would have to be NARS Sheer Glow Foundation as it goes on seamlessly and doesn’t dry out the skin, all while giving dry skin a lovely glow, making it look less dry. It also lasts beautifully throughout the day, too.” Aneta, SUPERcrew member
“I’ve had dry skin for as long as I can remember and since I switched to NARS Sheer Glow I’ve never looked back- makes my skin look luminous/glowy/hydrated and never sticks to any dry patches.” Bree, SUPERcrew member
Dry skin not your skin type? We’ve also got a list of the best foundations for acne-prone skin, plus the go-to foundations for those who love a glowing finish.
What’s your favourite foundation for dry skin? We’d love you to share your review with us below!
Main image credit: Getty
Chelsea is BEAUTYcrew’s Contributing Editor. She has a sweet spot for anything that claims to make skin glow and won’t leave the house without a slick of mascara. Chelsea has 10 years of experience as a beauty editor and her words can be found on BEAUTYcrew, Women’s Health, Daily Addict, The Joye and Primped.