10 Best Drugstore Foundations for Dry Skin - From dewy to matte foundations, and light to full-coverage
Finding the right foundation for your skin type can be super tough, right?! It took tying many different foundations before I figured out what is the best type of foundation for my skin.
With so many options out there, I know it seems almost impossible to choose the right one.
That’s where I come in! I want to do all of the hard work for you. As someone with dry skin, I know exactly what to look for in foundation and what kind of foundation to use that works best on dry skin.
In this post, I’ll share a list of the 10 best foundations for dry skin that you can find at the drugstore!
If you’re wondering, “Which drugstore foundation is best for dry skin?” or, “Is dewy foundation good for dry skin?” or, “Is water-based foundation good for dry skin?,” you’ve come to the right place!
I’ll add in some tips on key terms you should look for when deciding what foundation to buy for dry skin as well as tips on getting a flawless foundation application if you have dry skin.
So, without further ado, let’s get started!
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P.S. Before you start shopping for foundations, be sure to sign up for Ebates!
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What to look for in foundations if you have dry skin:
1. Natural, Radiant, Luminous, or Dewy finish
To answer the question, “Is dewy foundation good for dry skin?,” the answer is YES!
Depending on how dry your skin is, you’ll want to look for foundations that have a natural, radiant, luminous, or dewy finish.
Avoid: Matte foundations
Matte foundations tend to be drying and can really suck the moisture out of your skin, so it’s wise to avoid foundations with a matte finish.
Matte foundations also commonly contain oil-absorbing ingredients, which can make you look even drier! And if you have any dry patches on your skin, matte foundations will likely make them more noticeable.
2. Stick with liquid foundation, not powder foundation
Powder is just super drying, right? Powder can settle into fine lines and dry spots and make them look way worse than they actually are.
You’ll be much better off sticking with a creamier consistency, like a liquid or cream foundation.
3. Avoid Salicylic Acid
Salicylic Acid is great for acne-prone skin because it sucks up excess oil, but that can make your dry skin even drier!
Some foundations will claim they make skin clearer or that it’s made for acne-prone skin and these foundations may have salicylic acid in them – always take a peek at the ingredient list!
4. Look for moisturizing ingredients like Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin E
Hyaluronic acid and Vitamin E are ingredients that are known to moisturize the skin. In addition, they revitalize the skin, making it look softer and smoother.
Look for ‘Hyaluronic Acid’ or ‘Vitamin E’ anywhere on the bottle or in the ingredient list. If it’s there, you can be sure that foundation won’t dry you out!
Dry skin tends to absorb foundation quickly, so adding in a moisturizing ingredient can help keep the appearance of dryness minimal for longer.
5. Look for hydration-related words
Foundations that have hydration-related words in the name or printed on the front is a really great indication that they’ll be a good match for dry skin.
Words to look for: Serum, Hydrating, Radiant, Dewy, Illuminating, Luminous, Glow, Water.
So, for the question, “Is water-based foundation good for dry skin?,” the answer is a little tricky.
Yes, water is a hydration-related term that I mentioned above and water-based foundations can definitely work well on dry skin.
BUT, depending on how dry your skin is, you may want to opt for an even more moisturizing formula that contains oil.
6. Look for unscented foundations
This can be tough to find because many foundations have fragrance them. But, if the foundation has a fragrance, it also contains alcohol. Alcohol is totally a cause for dryness!
It can also be tough to know if the foundation has a fragrance just by looking at the bottle/ingredients, so I’d recommend doing a quick search for a review of the foundation. Most reviews will mention if the foundation has a scent.
Tips for Flawless Foundation Application with Dry Skin:
1. Use a gentle exfoliator
Using a gentle exfoliator prior to makeup application will help remove any dead skin, leaving a smoother surface for your foundation to sit on.
Something like the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Exfoliating Cleanser would work great as it containds hyaluraonic acid, so it moisturizes while exfoliating.
2. Use an oil cleanser
After exfoliating I like to use an oil cleanser to make sure I got everything off of my skin and that it’s nice and clean!
Using an oil cleanser will ensure that you won’t be stripping your skin even more after exfoliating, because oils are very moisturizing.
I have yet to try this cleanser, but a drugstore oil cleanser with great reviews on Ulta is the Burt’s Bees Facial Cleansing Oil with Coconut & Argan Oils
3. Use a moisturizer
After all that cleansing, it’s super important to put some moisture back into the skin. I’d look for a lightweight and water-based moisturizer that’s a gel rather than a cream.
This is just to keep your skin from feeling too heavy, oily, or greasy, since you’re going to be putting makeup on top of it.
A great drugstore moisturizer would be the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel. It contains hyaluronic acid which is perfect for those with dry skin, since hyaluronic acid is a moisturizing ingredient. There is also an extra dry skin version.
4. Use a moisturizing primer
Are you sensing a them with these tips? Moisture, moisture, moisture! LOL.
It may seem like too much to add a moisturizing primer on top of moisturizer, but trust me, it’s not! I do however, like to let my moisturizer absorb into my skin for about 5 minutes before I apply primer.
Using a moisturizing primer, you guessed it – moisturizes your skin even more! But, that’s not all! In addition to moisturizing your skin, a primer serves as kind of a barrier between your skin and the foundation.
It stops your skin from absorbing your foundation, which helps extend the longevity of your foundation and makes your skin a lot smoother.
A great drugstore moisturizing primer is the Maybelline FaceStudio Master Prime Hydrate + Smooth Primer.
5. Use a hydrating setting spray to set your makeup
Using a setting spray to lock your makeup into place is an absolute must!
There are a lot of setting sprays on the market and many of them have different purposes. It’s important to find one that’s hydrating rather that one that mattifies.
Especially if you use a loose setting powder to set your foundation in place, a hydrating setting spray will put back some of the moisture into your skin that the powder took away.
My favorite drugstore hydrating setting spray is the Flower Beauty Seal The Deal Hydrating Setting Spray. I like this setting spray so much, it's in my holy grails!
Best Drugstore Foundations for Dry Skin
L’Oreal – Infallible Fresh Wear 24HR Foundation
Even though this is said to be for all skin types, I’ve been wearing it recently and as someone with dry skin, I love it!
It’s super lightweight, provides medium buildable coverage with a natural “fresh” finish, it feels great all day, and it contains SPF 25.
Flower Beauty – Light Illusion Liquid Foundation
This is another foundation that I love! It gives a beautiful luminosity to the skin that is very “life-like.” Think, your skin but better!
It’s a very lightweight, breathable foundation that provides medium coverage as it smooths and perfects your skin. Also contains SPF 18.
Makeup Revolution – Fast Base Stick Foundation
This foundation is totally one of my go-to foundations, especially when I’m in a rush because the stick application makes it so easy to apply! I even included it in my holy grails!
It is a medium coverage foundation that’s totally buildable to full coverage and it leaves a gorgeous natural radiant finish.
Also seen in: Holy Grails
L’Oreal – Infallible Pro-Glow Foundation
One of the most popular foundations for dry skin at the drugstore, this foundation is a lightweight foundation that is hydrating with a dewy/glowy finish.
It’s a light to medium coverage foundation that lasts all day, is super comfortable to wear, and it contains SPF 15.
Maybelline – Fit Me Dexy + Smooth Foundation
This is another one of the most popular foundations at the drugstore for those with dry skin!
It hydrates and smooths the texture of the skin, leaving a natural luminous finish. It provides light to medium coverage, is non-comedogenic, contains SPF 18, and is fragrance-free.
Physicians Formula – he Healthy Foundation SPF 20
The Healthy Foundation is a long-wearing foundation that provides medium buildable coverage with a healthy, satin finish.
It contains hyaluronic acid (YAY!!) to hydrate, brighten, and improve the appearance of skin tone. It also contains Chinese Wu-Zhu-Yu Extract, a blend of Vitamins A, C, and E, and SPF 20.
L’Oreal – True Match Super-Blendable Foundation
This foundation has been around for years, but it’s still a favorite for many!
It is infused with Pro-Vitamin B5 and Vitamin E to hydrate skin and keep it looking healthy and radiant.
The True Match foundation provides medium coverage with a natural finish.
Revlon – ColorStay Liquid Foundation for Normal/Dry Skin
This is another foundation that I personally really like because of all the foundations made for dry skin, I feel like this one has the best coverage as it’s totally buildable to full coverage. (And I’m a full coverage girl.)
It feels great on the skin, is lightweight, long-wearing, and has a beautiful natural finish.
Also, it contains hyaluronic acid to hydrate the skin (YAY!!) and SPF 20.
L.A. Girl – Pro Coverage Liquid Foundation
L.A. Girl is definitely not one of those brands that get talked about a lot, but they should be!
This foundation is a gorgeous luminous foundation that is long-wearing and buildable to full coverage. It is a lightweight, paraben-free formula with added antioxidants that is comfortable to wear all day long!
L’Oreal – True Match Lumi Healthy Luminous Foundation
This foundation is made of 40% water for all day hydration. It also includes antioxidants for improved clarity and skin tone.
It is a medium coverage, lightweight and long-wearing foundation with a healthy, luminous finish. Totally a ‘your skin, but better’ type of foundation!
Here’s a quick comparison table of all the foundations mentioned in the post:
click to enlarge
Even though this post isn’t to discuss shade range, I can’t help but notice the difference in the shade ranges of these foundations versus the foundations that were in my Best Foundations for Oily Skin post…
It’s almost as if brands think having adequate shades available for those with dry skin is less important than for those with oily skin.
And that’s it for this post on the best drugstore foundations for dry skin!
Using any of the foundations in this post plus my tips on what to look for in foundation and how to get a flawless makeup up with dry skin will put you in great shape!
And don’t forget to use Ebates if you are going to buy any of these foundations online!
SIGN UP HERE FOR FREE AND GET A $10 BONUS after you make your first qualifying purchase using Ebates!
Let me know if you’ve tried any of these foundations or if you are planning to down in the comments! <3
Thanks for reading and until next time! :)
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