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20 Foundations for Dry Skin That Hydrate, Smooth, and Protect
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Raise your hand if your dry skin is struggling right now. Like, IDK about you, but trying to wear a thick-ass foundation on top of my tight, flaky spots is about as uncomfortable as uncomfortable gets. And now that face masks—and the inevitable maskne breakouts—are a part of the equation? Yeah, no thanks. Still, having dry skin doesn’t mean you have to skip out on foundation altogether—you just need to be using the right formula.

“Using a hydrating foundation is crucial to your routine if you have dry skin, because healthy, balanced skin requires moisture,” says Shereene Idriss, MD, a cosmetic dermatologist in NYC. Her advice? Look for foundations that are loaded with hydrating ingredients like ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and glycerin—ideally all at the top of the ingredients list.

But rather than have you camp out in the makeup aisle, scrutinizing the back of tiny bottles, I went ahead and did the work for you. Keep reading to fine the 20 best ultra-hydrating foundations for dry skin that won't f*ck with your moisture barrier—even during winter (which, for the record, will be here way sooner than you think).

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Black Opal Skin Perfecting Stick Foundation SPF 15


1. This Stick Foundation for Dry SkinBlack Opal Skin Perfecting Stick Foundation SPF 15

Is there anything more convenient than a foundation stick? Nope, and this hydrating, easy-to-apply formula from Black Opal is no exception. It's spiked with vitamins C and E for a nice dose of skin-protecting antioxidants, and it leaves your dry skin with a soft, velvety finish that doesn't cake or settle into fine lines. That's what I call a win-win, y'all.

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Fenty Beauty Pro Filt'r Hydrating Longwear Foundation


2. This Long-Wear Foundation for Dry SkinFenty Beauty Pro Filt'r Hydrating Longwear Foundation

I get it: Sometimes the lighter-weight foundations for dry skin don’t last as long as their matte (albeit, drying) counterparts. That’s where this grapeseed oil-spiked foundation comes into play—you can expect medium-to-full coverage that won’t smear or fade halfway through the day. And did I mention it comes in 50 skin-flattering shades? ’Cause it most certainly does.

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Ilia Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40


3. This Skin Tint for Dry SkinIlia Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40

Perfect for anyone who wants a lighter, more natural-looking finish, this subtle tint from Ilia blasts your skin with hydrators like squalane, hyaluronic acid, and niacinamide. Give the bottle a nice little shake and smooth a few drops across your face for a subtle glow. And, psst: This one's also got SPF 40 in it for extra protection.

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ColourPop Pretty Fresh Foundation


4. This Medium-Coverage Foundation for Dry SkinColourPop Pretty Fresh Foundation

Blend this oil- and fragrance-free foundation on your skin, and you'll immediately see how soft and silky it feels. That's thanks to the coconut water and hyaluronic acid in the formula, which come together to moisturize even the driest of dry skin. Not bad for less than $12, IMO.

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Uoma Beauty Say What Foundation


5. This Hydrating Matte Foundation for Dry SkinUoma Beauty Say What Foundation

Listen, I'll be the first person to tell you that dry skin types don't typically mesh well with matte foundations. This top-rated formula from Uoma beauty is an exception though, since it's loaded with hydrating berry extract and soothing thistle extract to keep your skin from flaking off. It also comes in a whopping 51 shades, feels surprisingly weightless, and softens the appearance of pores and fine lines.

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Kosas Tinted Face Oil Foundation


6. This Face Oil Foundation for Dry SkinKosas Tinted Face Oil Foundation

This clean, ultra-sheer formula from Kosas is basically like a serum-foundation hybrid. It's super easy to apply—just tap it into your skin with your (clean) fingertips—and it leaves a soft and silky finish, courtesy of the formula's six botanical oils (think: avocado, jojoba, and raspberry oils). Think of this bb as the perfect everyday foundation for people who hate foundation.

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Cover FX Luminous Tinted Moisturizer


7. This Glowy Foundation for Dry SkinCover FX Luminous Tinted Moisturizer

My favorite thing about this tinted moisturizer is that it makes my skin look so effing dewy. All I need is a tiny dollop and the hydrating formula (shout out to the bamboo, lotus flower, and water lily) evens out my skin texture without completely masking it. It's almost like my skin but a tad—or, fine, a lot—better.

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Black Radiance True Complexion Bb Cream SPF 15

8. This BB Cream for Dry SkinBlack Radiance True Complexion BB Cream SPF 15

This BB cream acts as a solid—and hydrating!—base when you wear it on its own (kinda like a soft IG filter). Layer it with your go-to foundation, though, and you'll love how seamlessly it blends. But don't just take my word for it—peek through the over 3K five-star reviews on Amazon and you'll get the hype.

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BareMinerals Complexion Rescue Hydrating Foundation Stick Broad Spectrum SPF 25


9. This SPF Foundation for Dry Skin BareMinerals Complexion Rescue Hydration Foundation Stick with SPF 25

Not only is this stick foundation for dry skin super easy to apply, but it’s also formulated with effective hydrators like mineral-rich volcanic seawater and red algae. And, thanks to its stick formula, it can easily be blended across your skin with (clean) fingers when you have absolutely no time to sit down and do a full face.

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Clarins Skin Illusion Natural Hydrating Foundation


10. This Foundation Serum for Dry SkinClarins Skin Illusion Natural Hydrating Foundation

The perfect middle ground between skincare and makeup, this foundation serum from Clarins offers lightweight-yet-buildable coverage that won’t dry you out. Tap it into your skin with your fingertips for a subtle look, or build it out with a makeup sponge—either way, you’ll be getting a nice dose of moisturizing ingredients like red jania, Mary’s thistle oil, and more.

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Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Natural Skin Perfector Broad Spectrum SPF 30


11. This Tinted Moisturizer for Dry SkinLaura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Natural Skin Perfector Broad Spectrum SPF 30

There’s a reason this tinted moisturizer has been one of my favorite beauty products for literally years: It’s suuuuuper comfortable (regardless of how many layers you blend on), it’s got SPF 30, and it’s crazy hydrating (which, like, is definitely a requirement for tinted moisturizers). Thanks to a blend of macadamia and kukui seed oils, you can expect your dry skin to feel soft and dewy when you’re wearing this foundation.

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Kjaer Weis Cream Foundation


12. This Cream Foundation for Dry SkinKjaer Weis Cream Foundation

A creamy, hydrating foundation for dry skin that comes in next-level packaging? Uh, yeah, sold. Unlike the majority of semi-matte foundations that leave your skin extra dry, this formula is spiked with coconut oil, sweet almond seed oil, and jojoba seed oil, all of which work to soothe and moisturize your skin (flakes included).

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Smashbox Studio Skin 15 Hour Hydrating Foundation


13. This Full-Coverage Foundation for Dry SkinSmashbox Studio Skin 15 Hour Hydrating Foundation

Having dry skin doesn’t mean you need to go for a light, subtle look with your foundation. If you’re on the hunt for a full-coverage foundation that won’t make your skin feel tight and flaky, you’ll love this comfy formula from Smashbox. And hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid and vitamin E in the formula will make you feel real good about this purchase.

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Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Tint $15.02

$9.36 (38% off)

14. This Ultra-Hydrating Foundation for Dry SkinNeutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Tint

Just like Neutrogena’s cult-favorite Hydro Boost Water Gel Moisturizer, the hero ingredient in this dry-skin foundation is hyaluronic acid, which delivers (and traps!) a huge dose of hydration into your skin every time you apply it. Pro tip: Layer this foundation over the moisturizer for a truly hydrating experience.

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CoverGirl + Olay Simply Ageless Instant Wrinkle Defying Foundation $13.40

$10.97 (18% off)

15. This Foundation for Dry Skin and Fine Lines CoverGirl + Olay Simply Ageless Instant Wrinkle Defying Foundation

A collab between two drugstore staples, this foundation from CoverGirl and Olay is formulated to literally glide over fine lines and wrinkles (see: the opposite of settling in and caking). And thanks to the formula’s hyaluronic acid and vitamin C, it’s also 100 percent dry-skin friendly.

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It Cosmetics CC+ Cream with SPF 50+


16. This Lightweight CC Cream for Dry SkinIt Cosmetics CC+ Cream with SPF 50+

This subtle foundation from It Cosmetics not only hydrates your skin (shout out to the formula’s hyaluronic acid, antioxidants, and peptides), but it also stays on—and looks freshly applied—all day long. Expect compliments on your skin every time you wear it.

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Revlon PhotoReady Candid Natural Finish Anti-Pollution Foundation


17. This Drugstore Foundation for Dry SkinRevlon PhotoReady Candid Natural Finish Anti-Pollution Foundation

This drugstore foundation for dry skin literally feels like a moisturizer when you slather it on—courtesy of hydrating ingredients like vitamin E and aloe—and thanks to its anti–blue light properties (like titanium dioxide), it protects your dry skin from getting even drier while you stare at screens all day.

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Tarte Shape Tape Hydrating Foundation


18. This Gel Foundation for Dry SkinTarte Cosmetics Shape Tape Hydrating Foundation

The cool thing about this oil-free gel foundation (which comes in 25 shades, BTW) is that it leaves your skin with a smooth, buildable base that doesn’t look even remotely cakey. And with ingredients like skin-plumping collagen and hydrating glycerin and hyaluronic acid, it soothes even the driest of skin types.

Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder Youth Boosting Perfect Skin Foundation


19. This Oil-Free Foundation for Dry SkinCharlotte Tilbury Light Wonder Youth Boosting Perfect Skin Foundation

Looking for a featherweight foundation that gives your skin a healthy dose of hydration? Um, hi, meet this oil-free formula that’s loaded with moisturizing glycerin and dimethicone, blends in for a flawless finish, and lasts for up to 18 hours.

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Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Moisture Foundation


20. This Hybrid Foundation for Dry SkinKoh Gen Do Maifanshi Moisture Foundation

This 60 percent water-encapsulated foundation (which includes hydrators like aloe, glycerin, and shea butter) is mixed with refined oils and powder for a smooth finish that stays on your skin for 10 hours. Just know that a little goes a long way with this formula—start with a dime-size drop and then build up if needed.

Ruby Buddemeyer Beauty Editor Ruby is the beauty editor at Cosmopolitan, where she covers beauty across print and digital.

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