The Only Foundations That Matter If You Have Dry Skin

When dry skin comes knocking, the only recourse to defeat the foe is a 360-degree hydration blitz. Whether you prefer nutrient-dense serums or intense moisturizers or even an overnight mask, it's important to douse your skin often as possible.

And if you wear foundation, choosing a formula that supports your hydrating mission is of utmost importance as well. There are hundreds of foundations out there that serve all kinds of purposes, but not all formulas are created equal.

Ahead, find the 20 best foundations to use if you have dry skin—they'll ensure a supple, luminous complexion even in the coldest winter weather.

If you want to spend $15 or less, try:

This buildable foundation is loaded with hyaluronic acid; Chinese wu zhu yu extract; and vitamins A, C , and E to keep the skin hydrated, smooth, and bright. Most importantly, the formula is breathable so your poor skin isn't suffocating under a scary layer of makeup.

We're confident that if we presented this foundation in an unmarked container, most people would think it was from a prestige beauty brand. It's that good. The formula is relatively thi, but the color payoff is excellent, so you never have to worry about caked-on product clinging to dry patches.

This oil-free, noncomedogenic foundation acts as an extension of your skincare routine. It plumps up the skin with hyaluronic acid and aims to actually improve suppleness with continued use. However, the shade range could use some work; we're interested to see if Neutrogena rises to the occasion to serve a more diverse crowd.

If you want to spend $40 or less, try:

This liquid skin tint is perfect for those who like to load up on skincare before applying any color cosmetics. Think about it: If you're applying layers of thick serums, moisturizers, and oils to quench your dry skin, you may not want to go in with yet another heavy layer on top of all that product. This lightweight formula won't interfere with all your other hydration efforts.

The name says it all here. With its formula of radiance-boosting flower acids and moisture-attracting hyaluronic acid, it really does leave your skin happy, flawless, and bright.

Grape-seed oil and sodium hyaluronate are responsible for the instant hydration this crowd-pleasing foundation delivers to the skin. 

We'll admit that when this foundation dropped earlier this year, we were a little skeptical. Foundation is a tricky category not every brand is able to execute well. We were pleasantly surprised, however, to find that this formula is truly great. The finish is natural, so you don't have to worry about it clinging to dry spots a few hours after you apply it.

This multitasking color corrector aims to replace a whole lot of products in your kit. In one compact tube, you get full-coverage foundation, a physical sunscreen, a brightening color corrector, a hydrating anti-aging serum, a smoothing primer, a dark-spot concealer, and (most importantly for those with dry skin) moisturizing day cream.

Just because this foundation is oil-free doesn't mean it lacks in the moisture department. Actually, the opposite is true since it packs a coconut water, alpine rose, and hyaluronic acid–packed punch. The result is soothing, nearly undetectable coverage that will leave people wondering if you were, in fact, born this way.

When a product has the word "water" in the title, it's a pretty good indicator that some major hydration is on the way. Such is the case with this glorious foundation, which also features marine plant extracts and vitamin E to soften the skin and provide antioxidant protection.

If there's one word we love seeing when considering products for dry skin, it's bounce. It evokes images of supple, hydrated skin, which is exactly the look and feel this foundation imparts. The finish is slightly matte, but don't let that scare you—it won't dry you out.

If you want to spend $50 or less, try:

Not only does this foundation cover every imperfection with weightless ease, but it employs mushroom extract, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin C to give you firm, hydrated, bright skin. It took five years to perfect the formula, and it shows.

There's a reason one Nars foundation or another appears on every single "best of" list out there. It's just a top-notch product, and this formula is up there as one of our current favorites. Its buildable coverage means you can pat a little onto the skin for light coverage, or go in and layer with tools for more drama. We love that even with more product applied, your skill still looks like skin.

Leave it to cult-favorite beauty brand Laura Mercier to supply a perfect match for dry skin. This shea butter–infused foundation can be used for everyday wear, but can just as easily be amped up to provide full coverage for special events and photos. And most importantly, it's hydrating and won't scare dry skin by drying down too matte.

If you want to spend $80 or less, try:

Balms are a wonderful means of intense hydration in skincare, and this product has taught us that the same is true for foundation. This silky formula is fortified with hyaluronic acid and antioxidants to deliver a supple, powder-soft appearance.

This hydrating foundation was actually created to complement dry skin. The brand's signature hyaluronic acid complex aids in boosting moisture and luminosity in the skin. And don't let the name fool you—this product offers medium to full coverage.

You can tell just by looking at it that there's some serious science at play inside this bottle. The little balls you see are pigment spheres, which stay suspended in aloe vera, lavender flower water, and vegetable glycerin until you pump the product from the bottle The result is a deeply nourishing, lightweight, foundation your dry skin will love.

I don't know one person who's tried this foundation and not absolutely loved it. The formula is lightweight yet buildable, and leaves skin looking so glowy. The high-tech pigment lays flat on the skin instead of separating like other foundations tend to do, so the result is always super natural-looking.

Mother must have had our parched skin in mind when she created this glow-inducing formula. Due in large part to the hyaluronic acid in it, this foundation is able to attract moisture to the skin, leaving it looking plump and dewy.

Celebrity makeup artists are always praising this foundation for the luminous finish it leaves on the skin. It's infused with jojoba oil, squalane, and shea butter, making it the perfect match for dry skin.

Up next, 21 chic beauty items I can only afford when they go on sale.