Skip to main content Skip to header navigation

3 Foundations perfect for dry skin

The last thing you want is for your foundation to irritate your dry skin. We found three perfect products that leave skin looking luminous and radiant.

Close up of woman applying concealer around eyes

For those with dry skin, choosing your perfect foundation could be a little daunting. You know you want one that will deliver a flawless finish, but how do you know if it will also nourish — and not leave your face feeling as dry as snake skin? We talked with two dermatologists to get professional insight on exactly what’s best for you.

Dr. Jessica Krant, board certified dermatologist, founder of Art Dermatology in New York City and assistant clinical professor of dermatology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, suggests to forgo the oil-free and mineral powder makeup that’s popular in foundations right now. Instead, focus on traditional options that may contain light oils.

Dr. Julia Tzu, clinical assistant professor of dermatology at New York University School of Medicine, suggests wearing liquid and cream foundations. They’re much better options than powder products, because powder absorbs any oil on the face, leaving skin even more dehydrated.

Since dry skin needs moisturizing, Tzu explains that the best foundations contain synthetic ceramides, which is a moisturizing lipid naturally produced from the skin. Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Life and Firm Makeup (Elizabeth Arden, $42) contains a Ceramide Triple Complex, which holds vital, skin-plumping moisture within the skin, leaving it feeling comfortable and replenished.

Steer clear of moisturizers rich in retinol for anti-aging purposes and salicylic acid that treats acne. “Retinol and salicylic acid are two particular ingredients that can dry out the skin and is even more irritating to people with naturally dry skin,” said Tzu.

Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Life and Firm Makeup

Another moisturizing ingredient that draws water molecules from the environment and onto the skin is glycerin. A foundation that contains glycerin is L’Oreal Paris True Match Lumi Healthy Luminous (L’Oreal, $13). It’s made of 40 percent water to provide all-day hydration. Plus, antioxidants and vitamins C and E help improve clarity and skin tone. Simply Vera Vera Wang Cosmetics Naturally Radiant Hydrating Makeup (Kohl’s, $40) has weightless moisture to create a “lit-from-within” glow.

And remember: Before applying any makeup, it’s a good idea to place a thin layer of moisturizer under the foundation.

How to care for dry skin

Are you still wondering what conditions actually cause dry skin? Krant explains, “One issue is just true dryness: not enough natural oil in the skin to keep it soft, supple and glowing.” And sometimes people over-wash their face or use harsh acne or anti-aging products, which leads to dry skin.

The first step in treating dryness is to avoid over-exfoliating. According to Krant, “Over-exfolitating can cause microscopic inflammation in the skin, which can lead to more flaking and dryness, creating a vicious cycle.”

Krant suggests switching to a gentle cream cleanser and using a bland moisturizer with a thick consistency every day. Thin, watery moisturizers will soak into skin, just creating more dryness. Avoid scrubbing or harsh exfoliating and be sure to check all other products for irritating ingredients, including acne products and anti-aging products.

For more on skin care

Emmy Rossum’s best beauty tips
How to customize your skin care by “multi-masking”
10 Ways to prep your skin for winter

Leave a Comment

Comments are closed.