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Article: The 7 Best Foundations for Dry Skin, Tested and Approved by Our Beauty Editor

The 7 Best Foundations for Dry Skin, Tested and Approved by Our Beauty Editor
BEST products

The 7 Best Foundations for Dry Skin, Tested and Approved by Our Beauty Editor

Enhance your beauty with these dewy, moisturizing foundations this winter.


Since harsh cold weather can easily aggravate your skin, it's always a good move to switch up your winter skincare routine (think: face wash, toner, and face moisturizer) to match the elements. Your makeup routine is no different. Opting to use a foundation for dry skin during these chilly months is an easy way for makeup lovers to perfect and protect their complexion while enjoying additional skincare benefits, like hydration and barrier restoration. To help simplify your search for the best, gift-worthy foundations for your loved ones and yourself, I tested several options and shared my honest feedback on my all-time favorite foundations for dry skin.

What to Consider


When it comes to winter coverage, you'll want to avoid powder foundations because they'll cling onto dry patches of the skin and leave behind an extremely mattifying look. Instead, liquid foundations, BB creams, and CC creams are your best bet.


Liquid foundations are my favorite type of foundation to wear, and I recommend them to anyone with dry or mature skin. They're easy to work with and offer anywhere from sheer to full coverage, depending on the product's formula and the tools you use to apply them.

BB and CC Creams

Beauty balms (BB) and color-correcting (CC) creams offer a bit more coverage than tinted moisturizers and can help camouflage redness. They also offer more skincare benefits than CC creams and tinted moisturizers, making them great for extremely dry, acne-prone, and mature skin. CC creams are lightweight like BB creams but offer less coverage than traditional foundations.


The goal is to use a foundation for dry skin infused with high-quality skincare ingredients that will leave your face well-moisturized and impart a gorgeous glow. A few dermatologist-loved ingredients include:

  • Hyaluronic acid is a superstar moisture magnet that's found in several of these foundations for dry skin, including the Charlotte Tilbury Beautiful Skin Foundation. Some options, such as the Danessa Myricks Beauty Yummy Skin Soothing Serum Skin Tint Foundation, include sodium hyaluronate, a hyaluronic acid derivative, which also attracts hydration.
  • Collagen, which is also found in Yummy Skin, is a protein naturally found in our bodies. It's appreciated by beauty enthusiasts who want to slow signs of aging and boost hydration. "The only way to get more collagen into the skin is to apply topical ingredients that stimulate your own production of collagen, board-certified dermatologist Dr. Dennis Gross, M.D., previously told me in our guide to collagen creams.
  • Squalane is an emollient that smoothes and moisturizes skin, retains water, and fills in holes in the skin barrier. It's also safe for anyone dealing with skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and sensitive skin.
  • Glycerin is a hydrating pick-me-up for dry skin that moisturizes and protects the skin barrier because it has antimicrobial properties to help ward off bacteria and infection.
  • Niacinamide, which is found in the IT Cosmetics' CC skin tint, brightens dark spots with prolonged use.

How We Chose

Best Products is all about hands-on testing. As our beauty editor who spent a year testing hundreds of makeup products for our 2024 New Beauty Awards, I can confidently say you're in great hands. I specifically tested dozens of foundations last year, but these seven are my favorites for dry skin.


First, I considered their label to ensure they're infused with the above-mentioned moisturizing ingredients that are actually beneficial for dry skin.


Next, I considered their formulation. While I enjoy powder foundations, they're not ideal for dry skin because they make your complexion look more dehydrated and dull. Powder foundations are also known for clinging onto dry spots, which is a real bummer for anyone with dry skin. If you're worried about the wear of your foundation for dry skin, focus on skin prep. Apply a face primer, like the reader-favorite Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré, then lightly dust a hydrating setting powder onto your skin, such as the REFY Skin Finish, which is water-based and offers a refreshing cooling effect.


I also factored in the ease of application with various tools — brushes, sponges, and my fingers — and longevity. My biggest pet peeve with beauty products is when makeup doesn't last. It's unfair, and I don't want you to waste your money or time applying a subpar beauty product only to watch it erase from your skin a few hours into wear. These foundations for dry skin all last a full workday, but some, such as the Charlotte Tilbury and NARS foundations, last for up to 16 hours.


Lastly, I considered the shade availability to ensure you won't have to compromise on finding a foundation that accurately matches your skin tone. Beyond the number of colors available, I considered the undertones of each offering to ensure there were enough cool, warm, and neutral options.

Check out my favorite foundations for dry skin below that are sure to give your skin a radiant glow, no matter the weather.

BEST FOR SENSITIVE SKIN: Oxygenetix Oxygenating Foundation

During the holidays, I raved about Oxygenetix's gif-worthy foundation. The first ingredient in this foundation is aloe vera, meaning it's incredibly gentle and soothing to the skin. It camouflages and helps calm acne, rosacea, and cosmetic treatments like lasers, injectables, and microneedles.

I wore this foundation to a fall wedding in the Deep South and loved how well it was photographed and looked throughout the milestone event.

If you're looking to maximize the benefits, invest in a bottle of the Oxygenetix Hydro-Matrix. It is a moisturizer that doubles as a face primer that helps dry skin look dewy on no-makeup makeup days.



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