The 7 Best Foundations for Dry Skin in 2019

Perfect and hydrate skin with these top picks

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

Dry skin is a bit of a double-edged sword: while you want to cover up any imperfections, makeup can end up actually drawing attention to those flaky areas. The wrong formula can exacerbate dryness and make scaly patches even more obvious. Finding the right formula, however, can be challenging. While you want something that’s ultra-moisturizing, it’s also important to find a texture that doesn’t clump, glides on easily, and has a finish that won’t leave your skin tight or uncomfortable. Dry skin is also more prone to wrinkles due to the fact that it tends to crack, especially in the winter months. With the right formula, your foundation should provide a full, clean coverage and long-lasting hydration. It shouldn’t settle into any fine line or wrinkles. The texture should be creamy and blendable, providing a boost of moisture and a dewy finish.

Don’t worry—you won’t have to do much digging. Here, the top foundations for dry skin. 

Best Overall: Cover FX Custom Cover Drops

Cover FX Custom Cover Drops
Courtesy of Sephora

Want just a touch of color with same hydrating power of your moisturizer? You can have both. This innovative foundation has super-concentrated drops that deposit exactly as much color as you need—and all you have to do is mix it with your current face cream. Sound too easy? That’s because it is. The pure pigment droplets can combine with almost any of your liquid face products—from oils to serums to creams. Plus, you have the ability to choose your coverage as you see fit. A few more drops means extra coverage. If a matte finish is what you’re looking for, mix these in with either a primer or a lightweight lotion.

Best Budget: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Tint

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Tint
Courtesy of Ulta

Major hydration without the hefty price tag? Score! Hyaluronic acid plays a big part in this formula due to its ability to hold 1,000x its weight in moisture. It’s also something our bodies produce naturally, so our skin already easily absorbs the ingredient. This foundation also has a water-gel texture that smooths on without dragging into wrinkles or feeling greasy. With a long-lasting moisture power of 24 hours, this affordable little bottle keeps your skin looking healthy, lifted, and supple. 

Best Buildable Coverage: NARS Sheer Glow Foundation

NARS Sheer Glow Foundation
Courtesy of Sephora

Light, medium, or full coverage—this liquid foundation’s got it all. The silky texture blends easily into the skin, masking any imperfections, but without totally covering up your natural complexion. Infused with glycerin and vitamin C, the powerful, but seemingly weightless formula boosts hydration levels as it effectively reduces discoloration. Antioxidants also prevent free radicals from damaging and aging the skin. If you love a bit more radiance, you’ll love the dewy finish of this foundation. It will give you a natural, glowing look without feeling heavy.

Best for Mature Skin: Physicians Formula The Healthy Foundation SPF 20

Physicians Formula The Healthy Foundation SPF 20
Courtesy of Ulta

When you hear the words “anti-aging treatment,” you don’t typically think of foundation. In fact, you might think it’s even counterintuitive. But with new innovations and breakthrough formulas, makeup is starting to become a hybrid skincare category all on its own. This foundation from Physicians Formula is a complete upgrade from your usual product. Packed with skin-softening hyaluronic acid, soothing vitamins, and a whopping SPF 20, this foundation is a total gamechanger. It helps to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles for a healthy complexion. 

Best for Sensitive Skin: Make Up For Ever Water Blend Face & Body Foundation

Make Up For Ever Water Blend Face & Body Foundation
Courtesy of Sephora

Finicky skin needs special attention. It works best with a formula that is equal parts calming, soothing, lightweight and non-irritating. Enter: the water blend foundation. Created with 80% water, this gentle texture glides on like a gel and feels totally weightless on the face—no heaviness here. Because the formula is mostly water, the coverage starts off sheer, but is buildable. If you like the minimal, no makeup makeup look, then this is exactly the foundation you need. It’s the perfect texture to wear during the summer months (it’s very breathable). 

Best Lightweight Option: RMS Beauty Un Cover-Up Concealer/Foundation

RMS Beauty Un Cover-Up Concealer/Foundation
Courtesy of Sephora

This convenient, handy pot is a double whammy: a concealer and a foundation. You only need a bit of this potent formula for major coverage. Perfect for the under-eye area and any other problem zones, this texture is made to spot treat rather than masking the entire face. You can cover up anything from pimples, blemishes, scars, and even discoloration. The color is pigmented, so start small and work your way up. The product melts into the skin (thanks to cocoa seed butter), blending in seamlessly to minimize the look of pores, while providing a clean, glowing finish. It’s best to use this sparingly with your fingers as the color is concentrated—a little goes a long, long way. 

Best with SPF Option: Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Serum Foundation SPF 40

Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Serum Foundation SPF 40
Courtesy of Macy's

If you ask any dermatologist what the best anti-ager is, almost all of them will tell you that it’s SPF. Protection against the harsh rays of the sun is super important to your skin’s health. The sun can be extremely damaging—causing a slew of issues like age spots, hyperpigmentation, and rough patches.

Our favorite way to prevent all of these can be found in this mighty foundation formula. Armed with an incredible SPF 40, this foundation doubles as a serum. You can find age-defying ingredients like peptides, mushroom extract, and bamboo in this silky, float-on-your-skin formula. Beautiful coverage plus skincare in one? Sign us up! Before use, make sure to shake the bottle thoroughly so the formula is evenly distributed. Apply with your fingers to with a foundation brush or sponge.

Our Process

Our writers spent 6 hours researching the most popular foundations for dry skin on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 7 different foundations overall, screened options from 7 different brands and manufacturers, read over 5 user reviews (both positive and negative) and tested 6 of the foundations themselves. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.

Related Stories