The Best Foundation for Dry Skin -- Laura Mercier, Giorgio Armani, Tarte and More
By Megan McIntyre
Each product has been independently selected by our editorial team. We may receive commissions from some links to products on this page. Promotions are subject to availability and retailer terms.
Getting great looking skin is never easy. The goal of foundation is to create a complexion that appears smooth, even-toned and pore-less. Unfortunately, when you have dry skin, this becomes a case study in “easier said than done.”
Those with a dry complexion or who are prone to dryness have less oil on their skin and can have a weaker moisture barrier, which locks in hydration. This often leads to a rough texture, flaky skin, redness and more pronounced fine lines and large pores. Layer on the wrong foundation and those problems become even more noticeable as the makeup settles into cracks and builds up on dry patches, which -- let’s face it -- kind of defeats the whole point of foundation.
Fortunately, there are solutions for those of us lacking in the hydration department. Many new foundations are a hybrid of skincare and cosmetics, providing nourishing and moisturizing benefits alongside their complexion-perfecting powers. And they come in a variety of coverage options, applications, textures and finishes.
Whether you have sensitive skin, combination skin or you're just looking for a hydrating primer, browse the best foundations for dry skin below.
ET Style's Picks for the Best Foundation for Dry Skin:
Beloved by makeup artists and beauty editors alike, this red-carpet favorite lives up to its rep with a smooth-as-silk hydrating foundation formula that transforms your skin tone and hides imperfections, all while giving a lit-from-within glow.
Don't let the fact that this foundation is also a face oil intimidate you. It fuses three types of mineral pigments into a base of active botanical oils that are skin-moisturizing and a much more pore-friendly (and eco-friendly!) smoothing alternative to silicone. Shake it up and spread it on for a dose of healthy hydration and luminous finish.
Stick foundation tends to get a bad rap, mostly because of its reputation for being old-fashioned and cakey if you have a dry skin type. Well, that was then, and this Hourglass stick is now. This full-coverage stick magically conceals without feeling heavy or looking spackled on, and it provides maximum coverage with minimum product even on mature skin.
With SPF 30, this bb cream from Tart has the matte finish anyone with dry skin is looking for. Like a regular matte foundation or powder foundation, it can stay matte all day, but it doesn't require as much prep. That means this can be your one-step solution for foundation.
Maybelline's Fit Me collection of foundations is hands-down one of the best values for high-quality face makeup, and this hydrating version does not disappoint. Its glycerin-based hydrating formula moisturizes any rough patches to create a uniformly silky look and dewy finish.
The OG makeup-skincare hybrid, this classic tinted moisturizer just got a major update. Now available in 20 shades, it's infused with nourishing oils from macadamia and kukui seeds, plus antioxidants, SPF and glycerin (for lightweight hydration). The end result is a sheer hint of dewy coverage that helps improve skin health and strengthen your natural moisture barrier over time for just about any skin type.
Say goodbye to redness and hyperpigmentation with a few swipes of the Tarte Clay Stick Foundation. Its creamy formula melts onto skin and provides comfortable matte coverage in seconds for a flawless finish.
Iconic makeup artist Pat McGrath is the unofficial queen of skin, so you better believe that her own foundation is not like any drugstore foundation. Spanning 36 shades, the futuristic formula features pigments treated with amino acids, making it a cream foundation and easy to build. It also contains polymers to provide longwear capabilities and luminosity as well as a Vita-serum complex to moisturize dehydrated skin and minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Try it and you’ll be obsessed with how good your skin looks.
Equal parts skincare and makeup, this serum foundation has the ultimate hydrating ingredients. This liquid foundation is infused with antioxidant desert date oil, plus skin-nutritive sweet almond and macadamia oils. It gives skin a velvety look and feel with buildable coverage -- without looking heavy. And with ten different tones, there's a shade for you.
$48 AT VAPOUR
Each product has been selected, and each product’s style has been reviewed, by our editorial team; however, we may receive affiliate commissions from some links to products on this page. Prices listed are subject to change by the retailer.