Fashion & Beauty

The 11 Best Foundations For Dry Skin To Get You Through Winter

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Picking the right shade of foundation is waaaay more difficult than picking the perfect shade of lipstick or eyeshadow. Go a shade too light, and you can look totally washed out. Go a shade too dark, and you can look like you spent too much time in the sun.

But when it comes to choosing the right foundation, finding the perfect color is only part of the equation. It’s equally as important to find the right formula for your skin.

If you have dry skin, the wrong foundation can throw off your entire look. A dry foundation can make you look cakey. It can settle into fine lines and wrinkles. And a dry foundation can make your skin look flaky and make it feel even drier than it is.  

And if you’re prone to dry skin, you know that the winter months can be brutal!

Want to rock a fresh-faced, glowy look with a dewy finish throughout the winter like you do in the spring and summer months? Here are the 11 of the best foundation for dry skin to get you through winter.

Why Does Skin Get Dry in the Winter?

Woman touching her face, wishing she had the best foundation for dry skin in the winter

Even if your skin is perfectly soft and supple during the summer, it can easily turn dry in the winter.


Because cold winter air lacks moisture and humidity, which makes the water in your skin evaporate faster. And being outside in the elements is no different than when you’re in your house or in your car. That forced hot air heat that comes through your heating system has the same drying effect on your skin.

To combat the unavoidable dry winter skin, you might need to switch up your foundation and use a formula that’s slightly different from the one you use during the rest of the year.

What to Look For in a Winter Foundation

Whether you tend to suffer from overall dryness or dry patches, you’ll want your winter foundation to be super hydrating.

For most people with dry skin, a liquid foundation is the best choice. (Stick foundations and powder foundations are usually a bit drier).

And even if you love the way your already-dewy summer skin looks with a matte foundation, you might want to switch it up for winter. Foundations with a matte finish can sometimes make dry skin look even drier.

When shopping for a winter foundation, look for liquid foundations that contain ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, squalene, ceramides, aloe vera, or shea butter. These ingredients are naturally hydrating and help to prevent that scaly, snaky, flaking dermis.

The winter season is also the ideal time to perfect your skincare routine. Make a morning and evening moisturizing session a part of your ritual. Your skin will be primed for foundation and look better on days when you decide not to wear any makeup at all. 

The good news?

Choosing a winter regimine may be easier than you think.

We chatted with Laura Roncagli, Senior Digital Beauty Editor and Makeup Artist from My Beautik, about some key differences in your skin during these cold months. She says, “Despite the huge differences between the summer and winter seasons, our skin’s needs don’t change that much. In particular, dry skin needs to be treated and hydrated all year long.” She notes that while winter brings is a much colder, drier environment, most people don’t spend as much time outside, offsetting the damage.

Should Your Winter Foundation Be a Different Color?

For some people, color also plays a role in their winter foundation choice.

If you have light to medium skin and you spend a lot of time outdoors in the spring and summer, you probably have a slightly darker skin tone in July and August than you do in January and February. Even with daily applications of sunscreen (which are an absolute must in a good skincare routine!), people with fair, light, and medium skin tones will almost always look more natural by opting for a slightly lighter foundation color in the winter months.

Just remember this:

If you change your foundation color in the winter, you’ll need to change your concealer color too. These products go hand in hand, so don’t make the mistake of changing one without changing the other!

Related: The 10 Best Natural Skincare Products In 2021 [Bye-Bye Toxins!]

The 11 Best Foundations for Dry Winter Skin

Roncagli also adds, “Old tips of mixing foundation with your face cream before application are to be avoided.” With so many super hydrating foundations on the market today, there’s no need to doctor anything up before it goes on your face.

Ready to find the perfect foundation to make your dry skin look flawless this winter? Here are the 11 best foundations for dry skin to make you look absolutely gorgeous through the holiday season and into early spring. 

Make Up For Ever Reboot Active Care Revitalizing Foundation

Make Up For Ever Revitalizing Foundation

The Make Up For Ever Revitalizing Foundation isn’t just great for dry skin – it’s also for people who want plumper, smoother looking skin.

This liquid foundation offers light coverage and helps to hydrate the skin for up to 24 hours. It’s loaded with ingredients to give your skin a natural glow and support collagen production. It rejuvenates tired-looking skin and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Win-win-win!

This Make Up For Ever foundation is available in two dozen shades, so whether you have a fair or dark skin tone, it’s pretty easy to find the right color.

Too Faced Born This Way Undetectable Medium-to-Full Coverage Foundation 

Too Faced Born This Way Undetectable Medium-to-Full Coverage Foundation 

Too Faced makes lots of great cosmetics, such as the coveted Better Than Sex mascara. But if you have dry skin, their Born This Way Foundation is the product you need.

This foundation offers buildable coverage and includes hyaluronic acid and coconut water to give your skin an extra boost of hydration.

It’s an oil-free foundation that’s available in thirty different colors, and it’s also photo-friendly … so when you’re filming Instagram stories or snapping selfies, you’ll look flawless!

It Cosmetics CC+ Cream 

It Cosmetics CC+ Cream 

With a cream formula, the IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream is a full coverage foundation and hydrating serum all in one.

This foundation has a natural finish that color-corrects uneven skin tones and protects your skin from the sun with a powerful SPF 50 mineral sunscreen. It includes hyaluronic acid, collagen, and peptides for hydration and plumping, and it does double duty as a poreless primer, so you can skip a step in your routine!

L’Oreal Paris Infallible Pro-Glow Foundation

L’Oreal Paris Infallible Pro-Glow Foundation

The Infallible Pro-Glow Foundation is the most hydrating foundation from L’Oreal Paris. This lightweight foundation offers medium coverage in a longwear formula that will make you look radiant for up to 24 hours.

We love that this foundation is super affordable at under $11. It’s a great option for the beauty fanatic that’s on a tight budget!

It also has a built-in SPF 15 sunscreen for added protection when you’re out in the sun.

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 20 

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 20 

Technically, the Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 20 isn’t a foundation – it’s a moisturizer. And you know what that means … extra hydration for dry skin!

Absolutely perfect for creating a natural look, this liquid moisturizer is lightweight, oil-free, and offers light coverage.

Because it’s a moisturizer, its key goal is to hydrate. But with vitamin E and licorice root extract, it also has the power to soothe irritated skin and protect against the sun.

Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Hydrating Longwear Foundation 

Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Hydrating Longwear Foundation 

With grapeseed oil for added hydration, this Fenty Beauty foundation is ideal for use on dry skin on cold, winter days.

The Pro Filt’r Hydrating Longwear Foundation offers medium coverage and a natural finish – perfect for when you’re trying to create the most gorgeous yet most natural version of yourself.

Prefer to wear a matte foundation in the summertime? When the winter ends, switch this product out for the Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Liquid Foundation, available in fifty different shades!

Related: Our Favorite 11 Nude Lipsticks To Spice Up Your Look

Chantecaille Future Skin Foundation 


A longtime favorite of celebrities and professional makeup artists, the Chantecaille Future Skin Foundation feels like a dream on the skin. Made with aloe and all sorts of other natural botanicals, this oil-free foundation adds tons of moisture into the skin, creating a fresh, glowing, and radiant face.

It’s a bit of a splurge at $79, but it’s worth every penny. And because it’s ultra-hydrating to begin with, it’s also perfect for year-round wear.

Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Perfect Flow Flawless Oil-Free Foundation

Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Perfect Flow Flawless Oil-Free Foundation

If it’s a hydrating foundation you’re looking for, check out the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation. Oil-free and buildable, this medium coverage foundation has a natural finish and a silky liquid feel – perfect for use on dry skin.

This foundation delivers a radiant finish that shines without being shiny, so it makes you look like you’re glowing from within. It’s available in 40 different shades, and if you want to save a few bucks, it also comes in a mini size that’s about half the size of a full bottle.

Dior Diorskin Forever Undercover 24 Hour Full Coverage

Dior Diorskin Forever Undercover 24 Hour Full Coverage

The Diorskin Forever Undercover 24 Hour Full Coverage Foundation is long-wearing and feels virtually weightless on the skin. It’s a great choice if you don’t like to feel as if you’re wearing makeup even when you are. And because it’s full coverage, it’s also excellent at covering blemishes.

This foundation has a matte finish, which can sometimes be problematic for people with super dry skin. But because it’s matte, there’s no need for a setting powder, so it eliminates that additional step in your winter makeup routine.

ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40

ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40

The concept of a serum foundation is sort of life changing …

The ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40 contains hyaluronic acid, plant-based squalene, and niacinamide – powerful ingredients to plump, soften fine lines, and deliver added hydration to the skin. The built-in SPF 40 sunscreen offers added protection, while the luminous finish will make your skin look like its glowing.

This ILIA serum tint serves the purpose of a foundation without actually being a foundation at all. And if your dry skin is also sensitive, it’s an absolute must!

Givenchy Prisme Libre Skin-Caring Glow Foundation

Givenchy Prisme Libre Skin-Caring Glow Foundation

Offering light coverage in a long-wearing formula, this Givenchy foundation is an excellent choice for winter.

The Prisme Libre Skin-Caring Glow Foundation contains glycerin from plants to hydrate the skin for up to 24 hours. It includes nasturtium extract to give you a healthy glow. It has coconut-derived oils to soothe and comfort irritated skin.

When we think of Givenchy, we don’t instantly think of cosmetics – we think of dresses.

After all, Givenchy designed the famous Breakfast at Tiffany’s black dress for Audrey Hepburn. But with this foundation bearing their famous name, they’re on track to become a must-have beauty brand as well.

What Are the Best Foundations for Dry Winter Skin?

No matter what your skin type, the best way to get your best look is to pick a foundation that works for your skin.

People that suffer with sensitive skin need products that aren’t irritating. People with oily skin need products that actually help to dry them out. And people with dry skin need to remember one key rule:

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

If you’re beholden to one specific foundation in one specific shade, it can be painful to even consider switching up your routine to include an alternate winter foundation. We suggest you do it. (Your dry skin will thank you).

But if you absolutely can’t do it, at least make it a point to amp up your skincare routine and apply more moisturizer to your face and neck in the winter months. 

You might also be interested in: 19 Of Our Favorite Moisturizers For Dry Skin [Shop Smarter]

Best Foundations For Dry Skin: 

  1. Make Up For Ever Revitalizing Foundation
  2. Too Faced Born This Way Undetectable  Foundation 
  3. It Cosmetics CC+ Cream 
  4. L’Oreal Paris Infallible Pro-Glow Foundation
  5. Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 20 
  6. Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Hydrating Longwear Foundation 
  7. Chantecaille Future Skin Foundation 
  8. Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Perfect Flow Flawless Oil-Free Foundation
  9. Dior Diorskin Forever Undercover 24 Hour Full Coverage
  10. ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40
  11. Givenchy Prisme Libre Skin-Caring Glow Foundation

Jessica Heston

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