17 Best Hydrating Foundations In 2021 For Parched Skin

Written by Sneha Manandhar
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Is dry, dull, and dehydrated skin keeping you up at night? Every skin type has its struggles, and we can’t disregard the issues each one faces. Our best bet lies in equipping ourselves with knowledge about how to take care of skin to look and feel great. Over the years, the very fiber of beauty products have changed, and now makeup comes infused with nourishing skincare ingredients to help you achieve healthy skin from the inside out. If you’re dealing with a problematic skin type like dry skin that may lead to redness, flaking, irritation, inflammation, and dry patches, our list of the 17 best hydrating foundations for dry skin will tackle and solve all or most of your skin problems!

A good foundation for dry skin not only matches your skin shade and undertone but comes armed with highly hydrating and moisturizing ingredients for your thirsty skin. And unlike traditional foundations, it is lightweight, offers maximum coverage, and doesn’t budge when you pile on other products to sculpt your (already gorgeous) face. Read on to find out how the best hydrating foundations for dry skin will transform your skin’s health.

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CoverGirl + Olay Simply Ageless 3-In-1 Foundation - Soft Honey
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Maybelline New York Fit Me! Dewy + Smooth Foundation - 120 Classic Ivory
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Milani Conceal + Perfect 2-In-1 Foundation + Concealer - Ivory
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L’Oreal Paris Infallible 24 Hour Fresh Wear Foundation - True Beige
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Revlon ColorStay Makeup For Normal Or Dry Skin - Ivory
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Catrice Cosmetics HD Liquid Coverage Foundation - Light Beige
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Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Tint - Buff
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Dermablend Professional Cover Creme - Hazelnut Beige
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Wet N Wild Photo Focus Foundation Dewy - Buff Bisque
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Clinique Even Better Makeup Broad Spectrum SPF 15 - Neutral
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17 Best Foundations For Dry Skin With Hydrating Benefits

1. CoverGirl + Olay Simply Ageless 3-In-1 Foundation – Soft Honey

The collaboration between a cosmetics giant and a makeup brand can only result in a good foundation for dry skin. You can see for yourself in this product that combines powerful ingredients like hyaluronic acid that amps up the moisture in your skin and vitamin C, this is your magic potion for a clear makeup base. Also containing niacinamide, a form of vitamin B3, which helps brighten the skin, this luminous silk foundation conceals dark circles and spots. You may find it challenging to find the right foundation for dry and mature skin, but you can stop your search at the CoverGirl + Olay liquid foundation, which helps soften the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. The Soft Honey shade lends a soft glow to your skin, and there are up to 17 shades to choose from to spoil your skin. Trust us when we say that this is one of the best foundations for dry, mature skin out there!

Pros

  • Contains brightening and firming ingredients
  • Suitable for mature skin
  • Helps conceal skin imperfections
  • Cruelty-free
  • Moisturizes skin
  • Non-greasy formula

Cons

  • Contains paraben

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2. Maybelline New York Fit Me! Dewy + Smooth Foundation – 120 Classic Ivory

This hydrating foundation for dry skin by Maybelline New York is ideal for covering those patches of rough skin you might find troubling. Aided with SPF 18, this liquid foundation works best on normal to dry skin types without clogging your pores. Vitamin E in this formula not only moisturizes the skin but helps heal dry skin issues like flakiness, redness, and itching. While you’re going about your day with flawless skin thanks to this drugstore foundation, rest assured that it also works internally to give you healthier skin. The resultant finish is luminous and dewy for a healthy glow! The foundation is easily absorbed by your skin, won’t look cakey, and offers medium coverage. The Classic Ivory shade has a slight pinkish undertone, but there are 24 shades available so that you can take your pick!

Pros

  • Allergy-tested
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Dermatologist-tested
  • Fragrance-free
  • Long-wear formula

Cons

  • Contains paraben

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3. Milani Conceal + Perfect 2-In-1 Foundation + Concealer – Ivory

If you find yourself wondering, “What is the best foundation for dry skin?”, you no longer have to wonder as soon as you get your hands on this multitasking foundation, which also doubles as a fantastic concealer! This waterproof wonder product offers the illusion of flawless, clear skin while improving your skin’s texture. This full-coverage foundation gives a luminous finish and has a creamy consistency that is not heavy. Even though people with all skin types can use it, it works its magic, especially if you have dry skin. The concealer covers up blemishes, spots, pigmentation, and under-eye circles so you can show off your even-toned skin. Perfect for daily use, this foundation-concealer combo is available in 36 colors for various skin tones.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Cruelty-free
  • Non-greasy
  • Full-coverage formula
  • Water-resistant
  • Thicky consistency

Cons

  • May not be transfer-proof

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4. L’Oreal Paris Infallible 24 Hour Fresh Wear Foundation – True Beige

One of the best makeup foundations for dry skin, L’Oreal Paris brings to you a foundation that will soon become your new favorite makeup product. If you want a buildable, medium-to-full coverage, this creamy formula will stay put the whole day without budging. The thin consistency glides smoothly and absorbs quickly without clogging your pores makes this ideal for acne-prone skin. A stellar choice for your ‘no makeup’ look days, it is available in a whopping 40 shades and the formula blends beautifully and evenly without requiring multiple touch-ups. The Infallible 24 Hour Fresh Wear Foundation will keep you looking fresh, come sweat or water. Our favorite feature is the broad spectrum SPF 25 it offers because you can never have too much sun protection!

Pros

  • Breathable formula
  • Transfer-resistant
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Comes equipped with SPF
  • Waterproof
  • Lightweight
  • Provides full coverage

Cons

  • Contains sulfate

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5. Revlon ColorStay Makeup For Normal Or Dry Skin – Ivory

On the lookout for a foundation for very dry skin? Allow us to introduce you to Revlon’s ColorStay Makeup that is a must-have in your makeup kit. With a natural finish and buildable medium-to-full coverage that lasts for up to 24 hours, this liquid foundation will work wonders in keeping your skin’s dryness in check. The formula is rich with key ingredients like vitamins A and E, which provide antioxidant benefits, silk for moisture and anti-aging, white lily, and orchid extracts to renew skin and boost immunity. You don’t have to work too hard at blending as the formula is easy to work with and offers a clear makeup base. There are 23 shades available, and whether you have light, olive, or deep skin tones, there’s bound to be something suitable for you!

Pros

  • Highly pigmented
  • Buildable medium coverage
  • Oil-free formula
  • SPF 20
  • Resistant to sweat, humidity, and water
  • Mask-friendly
  • Blends easily

Cons

  • People with mature skin may find that fine lines are exaggerated

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6. Catrice Cosmetics HD Liquid Coverage Foundation – Light Beige

One of the top foundations for dry skin, the Catrice Cosmetics HD Liquid Coverage Foundation softly conceals blemishes, under-eye circles, and redness to help you wave hello to a complexion that’s as clear as a summer’s day. This high-coverage foundation lasts for up to 24 hours and gives you a natural-looking matte finish. If you’re a perfectionist and like to keep your vanity or makeup pouch mess-free, the dropper applicator is hygienic and convenient for daily use. There are 21 shades available, catering to skin tones from fair to deep. The formula is free from parabens, oil, gluten, or microplastics if you want healthy skin. Rest assured your skin is in good hands with this best foundation for dry skin and pores.

Pros

  • Alcohol-free
  • Matte finish looks natural
  • Conceals skin imperfections
  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free
  • Fragrance-free

Cons

  • Contains sulfate

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7. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Tint – Buff

One of the best foundations for very dry skin, the Neutrogena liquid foundation is packed with hyaluronic acid that amps up the moisture and hydration levels in your skin to make it plump and soft. The breathable, water-based formula glides beautifully and hydrates your skin for up to 24 hours. It is weightless and won’t clog your pores. The coverage isn’t too heavy, and the product blends well to help even out your complexion. Available in 10 shades that disappear into your skin without leaving a trace, you can never go wrong with this hydrating foundation!

Pros

  • Amply hydrates and moisturizes skin
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Oil-free
  • Lightweight formula
  • Easy to blend

Cons

  • May not offer buildable coverage

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8. Dermablend Professional Cover Creme – Hazelnut Beige

If you’re hearing us scream in delight, it’s most likely because we’ve found one of the best foundations for dry skin. This high-performance unscented foundation cream glides on your skin like silk and leaves it feeling fresh and even! Kaolin clay present in this cream detoxifies your skin, extracts all impurities, and controls oil production. The Dermablend Professional Cover Creme offers 16-hour wear without smudging and deeply hydrates your skin. We love this jar of golden goodness because a dermatologist and a makeup artist made it, so we know that this formula is a steal. The high-quality pigments will help you cover birthmarks, burns, scars, hyperpigmentation, and vitiligo. And to shield you from the harmful rays of the sun, it comes with SPF 30 protection.

Pros

  • Strengthens the skin barrier
  • Available in 21 shades
  • Allergy-tested
  • Velvety finish
  • Safe for people with sensitive skin
  • Waterproof
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Doesn’t contain parabens, phthalates, triclosan, and SLS

Cons

  • Contains mineral oil

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9. Wet N Wild Photo Focus Foundation Dewy – Buff Bisque

One of the best hydrating foundations for dry skin comes from the well-loved brand Wet N Wild. The hydrating formula is intensely nourishing and moisturizes your dry skin. Seeping beautifully into the skin, the sheer formula helps cover tiny bumps and brown spots, redness, and flakiness to help you achieve a smooth base. It offers easily buildable medium to full coverage, so you can quickly transition from a stressful day to an exciting night with barely any retouching. The matte foundation gives a clean look that looks great under any lighting, so that you can say goodbye to filtered selfies! Available in 19 shades, this creamy formula gives you a hydrating glow. You can’t go wrong with this one, as it’s one of the best budget foundations for dry skin.

Pros

  • Matte finish
  • Free from gluten and talc
  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free
  • Lightweight formula
  • Reduces the appearance of pores

Cons

  • As it contains fragrance, it may not be suited for those with extremely sensitive skin

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10. Clinique Even Better Makeup Broad Spectrum SPF 15 – Neutral

This hard-working liquid foundation by Clinique is a creamy formula that brightens your skin tone with a natural finish. Miraculous ingredients in this foundation such as grapefruit extract tones the skin, birch extract purifies and hydrates and murumuru seed butter provide intense hydration. These star ingredients are what makes this product one of the best foundations for dry, patchy skin. Additionally, the pigments present are high-performance and stay the same throughout wear without fading. The coverage remains put for 24 hours, and SPF 15 prevents your skin from seeing sun damage. And what’s even better is that this cream foundation for severely dry skin is resistant to both humidity and sweat. Developed by dermatologists, this formula is known to lessen dark spots in around 12 weeks visibly.

Pros

  • Moderate-to-full coverage
  • Protects skin from hyperpigmentation
  • For healthier skin
  • Alcohol-free
  • SPF 15
  • Gluten-free
  • Free from talc, SLS, synthetic colors

Cons

  • Not available in a shade for dark skin tones.

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11. BOURJOIS Paris Healthy Mix Anti-Fatigue Foundation – Light Beige

The best products not only give the illusion of healthy skin, but they work behind the scenes to improve your skin quality and strengthen the skin’s barrier. And if you’ve been looking for the best hydrating foundation for dry skin, we have a superstar for you. The BOURJOIS Paris Healthy Mix Anti-Fatigue Foundation contains a hyaluronic acid derivative, which keeps your skin hydrated all day. There are also spherical powders that blur the appearance of blemishes and spots to give you an even, dewy coverage. Available in 13 shades, this is an excellent foundation for dry, mature skin, as you can find a cocktail of vitamins like C, E, and B5 that give an anti-fatigue effect, supply antioxidants, and tone your skin. The anti-aging benefits coupled with medium coverage that lasts up to 16 hours result in a natural, dewy finish.

Pros

  • Hydrating formula
  • Deeply nourishing vitamin blend
  • For an even complexion
  • Ideal for mature skin
  • Weightless formula
  • Does not contain any scent

Cons

  • Offers only a semi-matte finish

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12. Maybelline New York Dream Radiant Liquid Hydrating Foundation -20 Classic Ivory

You’ll find that Maybelline New York is one such brand that somehow finds its way into every woman’s makeup kit! The Dream Radiant Liquid Foundation comes in an attractive bottle and vows to quench the thirst of dry skin and transform it to appear plump and youthful. You can choose from a range of the best cheap foundations for dry skin on the market with this moisturizing formula of hyaluronic acid and collagen. Hyaluronic acid present in the formula reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by supplying ample moisture to your skin whereas collagen firms up the skin while adding elasticity. This foundation is incredibly lightweight and softens and smoothes skin texture to better absorb the product without clogging your pores. The powerhouse ingredients make it one of the most hydrating foundations for dry skin that you can count on!

Pros

  • Gives plump and youthful skin
  • Medium coverage
  • Easy to apply
  • Creamy texture
  • Weightless formula
  • Dermatologist-tested
  • Non-comedogenic

Cons

  • May not be transfer-resistant

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13. L’Oreal Paris Infallible Pro-Glow Foundation – Creamy Natural

Get your glow on with this 24 hour-wear brilliant foundation from L’Oreal Paris. The formula hydrates your skin from the inside and lends it a subtle sheen that lasts all day long. This lightweight cream glides easily and is a dream to blend. It does a great job of covering up your skin imperfections to make them look subtle and soft as a makeup base. It also comes with SPF 15 to protect your skin from the sun and delay signs of aging. The Creamy Natural shade makes it one of the best foundations for wheatish dry skin tones.

Pros

  • Blurs fine lines and spots
  • Medium coverage
  • SPF 15
  • Radiant, dewy finish
  • Lightweight formula
  • Available in 12 shades

Cons

  • Some may find the consistency slightly runny

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14. Smashbox Studio Skin Hydrating Foundation – 1.2

When curating this list we extensively also thought of what foundation is good for dry skin, and we couldn’t skip the Studio Skin Hydrating Foundation by Smashbox. This potent, high-performance liquid base makeup gets a perfect score from us for its hyaluronic acid-packed benefits. Formulated without oil, this foundation for severely dry skin is breathable on your skin and sets like a dream without making your lines look more prominent. It offers buildable coverage and the matte finish looks natural without being cakey. 22 shades abound in this range, catering to both fair and deep skin tones, along with shade-specific undertones.

Pros

  • Oil and sebum control
  • Transfer-resistant
  • Doesn’t contain oil
  • Cruelty-free
  • Vegan
  • Doesn’t oxidize
  • Resistant to sweat and humidity

Cons

  • Some may find the smell slightly off-putting

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15. Wet N Wild Bare Focus Tinted Hydrator Foundation – Fair

This foundation comes with a skin-strengthening blend of hyaluronic acid that hydrates and plumps, along with vegan squalene that helps reduce the redness of dry skin. If you’ve been wondering about which foundation to use for dry skin, this one is good in our books as it moisturizes your skin while helping improve your complexion. The sheer-to-medium coverage is ideal for daily use and imparts a subtle, natural glow to your skin. The semi-matte finish will ensure that your skin doesn’t look too greasy and also softens the look of wrinkles and dark circles. The Fair shade is just 1 among 8 which you can choose from to match your skin tone and undertone for a healthy look. This vegan foundation for dry, uneven skin will do nothing but serve you well!

Pros

  • Buildable formula
  • Cruelty-free
  • Fragrance-free
  • Semi-matte finish
  • Non-greasy application
  • Doesn’t contain parabens

Cons

  • May not be transfer-proof

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16. Cover FX Natural Finish Foundation – N110

This best-selling water-based foundation contains ingredients your skin will love and thank you for. With emollients that provide dry skin with hydration for up to 12 hours and vitamins C, E, and F that moisturize and protect your skin from environmental stressors, this foundation does it all. Antioxidants present in the formula protect your skin by fighting against free radicals which make your skin prematurely. This Cover FX foundation is formulated without any mineral oils, talc, sulfates, phthalates, and gluten to keep your skin healthy from the inside out. The N110 shade is perfect for deep ebony skin with neutral undertones.

Pros

  • Paraben-free
  • Fragrance-free
  • Natural finish
  • Contains squalene that moisturizes skin
  • Blends easily
  • Available in 38 shades

Cons

  • Some may find this formula to be slightly heavy and sticky.

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17. ILLUMINARÉ Moisturizing Mineral Foundation – Portofino Porcelain

Some serious hydration power is brought to your dry, flaky skin by this Moisturizing Mineral Foundation by ILLUMINARÉ. A multitasking product, the cream comes in 5 shades to choose from and works to give you a smooth base for your makeup and also helps conceal dark circles, spots, and signs of aging to provide you with a clear complexion. The finish is dewy, and the medium coverage can be built to full, depending on your preference. Formulated without any parabens, talc, artificial dyes, animal derivatives petroleum, and mica, this just might be the best foundation ever for dry skin.

Pros

  • Suitable for sensitive skin
  • Contains no perfume
  • Buildable formula
  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free

Cons

  • Slightly expensive

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Now that we’ve looked at some of the best foundations for dry skin let’s get into how you can use the product to achieve the best look.

How To Apply Foundation If You Have Dry Skin

Step 1: Prepare your skin before applying foundation by exfoliating and moisturizing with a high-quality lotion to ensure that your base is already soft.

Step 2: If your skin is too dry and needs a long-wearing look, use a primer for the best results. Doing this will ensure that your foundation sits well without smudging and patching due to sweat.

Step 3: Choose a foundation that provides medium-to-full coverage and also offers hydrating benefits at the same time.

Step 4: Dab the cream in a few areas of your face at precise locations— along the bridge of your nose, on the cheekbones, in the middle of your forehead, and your jaw.

Step 5: Using your fingers or a makeup sponge, start blending the cream up and outwards on your face. This ensures that your muscles work against gravity and defy the early onset of aging.

Step 6: You can dab a bit of the product under the eyes and even out your complexion.

Step 7: You can follow this up with a concealer, blush, or setting powder to set the look.

Choosing a foundation that suits your dry skin can be a little confusing as there are so many options in the market. Read our guide to find out what to look out for in the best dry skin foundation.

How To Choose The Best Foundation For Dry Skin

  • Coverage

Coverage can be light, medium, or full. Dry skin types fare better with lightweight coverage or medium, as they have a breathable formula. Full coverage might work if you have a long day ahead, but they can cause your skin to look cakey. Buildable coverage is ideal as you can change the thickness of your foundation according to how much consistency you want for the day.

  • Hydrating ingredients

Since dry skin lacks moisture, looking for products with hydrating components like hyaluronic acid, ceramides, lactic acid, and vitamins will help keep your skin plump even with makeup on. Hydrating foundations go deep into the skin to moisturize and strengthen the skin barrier. Dry skin types will also need to steer clear of stripping ingredients like alcohol, salicylic acid, sulfates and fragrances.

  • Shade

You must be especially careful choosing the right shade for dry skin types because selecting the wrong one can make you look pasty and give an uneven skin tone. The problem is amplified with dry skin as it is prone to dry patches, redness, and flakiness. You can swap the shade on your wrist or neck to check how right it matches, along with the undertones. Warm complexions usually have yellow undertones and the veins in the wrist appear green. Cooler complexions with pinkish undertones will have blue-colored veins. A mix of blue and green in the veins signifies a neutral undertone. These days, a specific brand’s official website comes equipped with ‘shade finders’ to help you find the right shade in their specific range.

  • Base

Oil-based foundations serve dry skin well by providing moisturizing benefits instead of water-based ones that may not help. However, powders, compacts, and mousse foundations can add to the dryness and flakiness of your skin, so it’s better to avoid them altogether.

Dry skin might be tricky to deal with at times, but it’s never complicated. Thanks to the ever-evolving beauty industry, there’s always so many products that can help you combat a skin issue. We’ve gone over how you can choose the best foundation for dry skin. Choosing foundations that have an oil base with highly hydrating ingredients can work wonders to help you achieve healthy skin. There are many options, so depending on the weather, you can switch from light coverage for the summers to a full makeup look in the winters. Buildable-formula coverage will help you best in this area. Achieving a smooth base for your makeup look is half the battle, and we hope that this article helped you pick the right foundation for dry skin.

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Sneha Manandhar holds a Master’s degree in English from the University of Pune. She has previously worked with media and publication houses in varied capacities as a lifestyle writer, an editor, a copywriter, and a translator. She reviews beauty, skin care, and wellness products from specialized curated lists. She believes that SEO-driven content is the present and the future and keeps herself busy by dabbling in SEO-related tools and honing her editing skills.