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12 Of The Best Hydrating Foundations For Dry Skin

All your must-haves when packing your makeup bag

12 Of The Best Hydrating Foundations For Dry Skin

hydrating foundation for dry skin

Anyone with dry skin knows the horrors of applying a full face of makeup only for it to look cakey and flaky almost instantly. However, don’t fret as we have complied a list of the best hydrating foundations for dry skin, as well as tips and tricks on how to apply makeup seamlessly to dry skin.

Dry skin can be caused by many factors such as weather, moisture in the air and harsh cleansers, but many people have naturally dry skin no matter how much moisturiser they apply. Therefore, it is important to not only prep your skin carefully before makeup, but also look out for certain ingredients in your makeup that assist in additional hydration.

How To Prepare Dry Skin Before Applying Your Foundation

In order to get a flawless look for your foundation, it is essential to start with a clean and fresh base.


Cleansing is a must before makeup to get rid of any dirt that is trapped deep in the skin. Rather than just using a makeup wipe to get rid of the dirt that you can see on the surface layer of your skin, opt for a hydrating cleanser and clean for two minutes. Wash with lukewarm water, avoid hot water as that may dry out the skin further.


Next up comes exfoliating or using a hydrating sheet mask before applying foundation. As a result, this can help to achieve a smooth look. Exfoliators will remove dead skin cells that your foundation tends to cling onto. Whereas sheet masks can infuse additional hydrating agents into the skin.


Moisturiser will be your saviour! This is the most important step in adding hydration to dry skin and should be done twice a day even if you are not wearing makeup. Not only does moisturiser hold water in the top layer of your skin, but it also can reduce the possibilities of breakouts on the skin which will allow for a more even and flawless makeup look.


Lastly, you need to do is prime your skin. This can either be gel or spray to even out your skin tone and give a radiant look to improve the application of your makeup. Try a primer that has nourishing and hydrating ingredients, such as:

  • Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Primer
  • e.l.f Cosmetics Hydrating Face Primer
  • Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer

Hydrating Ingredients To Look For In Your Foundation

Now that we have added nourishing products to our skin to prepare it for the makeup, it is essential to be aware of what foundation will suit your skin type. To anyone with skin on the drier side, we need as much hydration in our skincare and makeup as we can get to achieve a radiant glow. Therefore, we need ingredients that will enhance the moisture retention in our skin. Not only is it important to look out for ingredients that are a blessing to our skin, but also recognise the ones that we should avoid as many products can strip the skin to dry us out further.

Look For These Hydrating Ingredients:

  • Hyaluronic acid
  • Ceramides
  • Aloe Vera
  • Squalene
  • Jojoba Oil

Avoid These Potentially Drying Ingredients:

  • Denatured alcohol
  • Fragrances
  • Retinoid
  • Salicylic acid

Best Long-wear Full Coverage Foundations For Dry Skin

We’ve picked out our all time favourite foundations that will stay in place for the whole day, whether you’re in the heat of summer or dancing the night away. For those with dry skin, one of the below foundations is an essential in your kit for the days when you are needing a full coverage look.

Face Tape



One of the most talked about full coverage foundations in the market, and we know why! Paired with the similarly formulated Shape Tape Concealer, this foundation hydrates and brightens the skin, while still providing a smooth and matte look.



Born This Way


Two Faced

Loaded with all the key ingredients that dry skin craves, the coconut water and hyaluronic acid in this foundation allows for a natural and radiant finish. The best part is that it is a medium to full coverage buildable foundation, meaning it provides versatility for any look you want to create.



Pro Filt’r Hydrating Long-wear Foundation

Fenty Beauty

With 50 shades to choose from, this foundation is known for how hydrating it feels on the skin, leaving a natural and dewy finish. We love that it is super buildable and easy to blend on the skin.



Best Skin tints, BB and CC creams For Dry Skin

If you are wanting for a lightweight and effortless look, we’ve got your back. Skin tints, BB creams and CC creams are the perfect addition to your makeup bag when travelling as they can provide coverage and an even tone, without being heavy on the skin.

Hint Hint

Skin Tint


This skin tint is a saviour when you are seeking a natural coverage, glass skin look. Providing moisture for up to 12 hours, you will never have to fear this will melt off your skin on a hot day as it is water and sweat resistant.



BB Cream

SPF 20

e.l.f. Cosmetics

This multi use product can prime, protect and moisturise the skin, while still providing natural coverage. We absolutely love that the cream has Vitamin E, Jojoba oil and Aloe Vera to hydrate the skin, in addition to SPF 20 protection.



Moisture Surge CC Cream Hydrating Colour Corrector


This CC cream has it all. Great for dry skin, this cream is able to solve any dull and uneven skin tone with its lightweight formula. It provides a healthy glow, while still protecting the skin from the sun.



Best High End Foundations For Dry Skin

If you are willing to splurge on a high end foundation for dry skin, these are some incredible products to add to your makeup bag. The extra cost can often justify the amount of benefits coming from high end makeup, including better formulas and longer lasting.

Natural Radiant Long-wear Foundation


Treat yourself to an insanely lightweight and breathable foundation that provides full coverage and a radiant glow. Nars has carefully created a perfect formula that lasts all day and is sweat and fade resistant due to being oil, sulphate, paraben, fragrance and alcohol free.



Airbrush Flawless


Charlotte Tilbury

This full coverage foundation will save the day when you are wanting to cover up any blemishes, big or small. Without clinging to dry patches on the face, Charlotte Tilbury has created an incredible formula that moisturises for up to 24 hours.



Luminous Silk


Giorgio Armani

Although suited for all skin tones, we love the way this foundation looks on the ladies with dry skin as it blends seamlessly. Giving a gorgeous glow from within, you are able to build this foundation to provide the skin with a silky and luminous look.



Best Drug Store Foundations For Dry Skin

With the amount of variety at drug stores now, there is no need to spend excessively to have your makeup looking glowing and perfect all day long. The list below will provide you with some amazing foundation dupes for a fraction of the price.


Dewy + Smooth Foundation


This foundation beats many high end brands when looking for makeup suited to dry skin. The formula protects with SPF 18 and hydrates any dry patches on the skin to create an even and dewy glow. To top it off, add the Fit Me Concealer to create a radiant look.



ColourStay Foundation Normal/Dry Skin SPF 20


Revlon has created a long wearing foundation to last you through any heat or humidity due to the hydration it provides. A massive plus that it provides protection to the skin from UV rays with SPF 20. We suggest this one throughout summer or when travelling.



Infallible 32HR Freshwear Foundation

L’oreal Paris

The formula is insanely creamy and hydrating which feels great when applying to the skin, and looks even better once on. With full coverage, this foundation is a go to when you are wanting a breathable but longwearing foundation.



How To Apply And Set Foundation For Dry Skin

Paired with these amazing foundations and creams, also comes the application process. The trick to getting a dewy look can come down to certain products and tools that are used after the base is applied.

We recommend applying your base with a soft, damp beauty blender over a brush as brushes can often cause irritation and result in the flakiness that you notice on your skin. Not to mention, a damp beauty blender will add to the moisture on your skin.

Limit the use of powders as this can accentuate the dryness. Powder only needs to be used in spots that become oily throughout the duration of the day. If you are wanting to set your makeup, opt for a setting spray as this can still lock your makeup in place all day and night while giving you a bright glow.

Do you have dry skin & have tried any of the foundations above? We’d love to hear your experience and feedback!

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