Dry Skin Makeup: How to Apply Foundation When You’re Flaky

When you’ve got dry, flaky winter skin, wearing a foundation can be a real challenge. With these five easy tips, your makeup will be back to flawless in no time.


If your skin is dry and flaky, the best way to smooth away those rough spots is to grab a mild exfoliator. We like to use the Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Ultra Gentle Daily Peel in the evening. Not only will it help eliminate flakes with a sensitive skin-friendly blend of exfoliating glycolic, lactic, malic, and salicylic acids, but it’ll also give the complexion a gorgeous glow and antioxidant benefits.

Choose the Right Moisturizer

Whether your skin is chronically on the dry side or you’re experiencing dry skin from the changing seasons, it’s probably time to switch out your moisturizer. Look for a high-quality, deeply hydrating product that uses ingredients like glycerin, ceramides, and hyaluronic acid, which absorb into the skin to give it a naturally dewy, healthy look. One of our favorite moisturizing treatments is SkinMedica HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator, a serum that uses five types of hyaluronic acid to bind moisture to the skin long-term.

Find a Dry Skin Foundation

Your mattifying, oil-control foundation may be perfect for summer, but if your skin is dry and flaky, you’ll need a liquid formula that’ll pull double-duty, giving you coverage and moisture. Youngblood Liquid Mineral Foundation features a Deep Sea Hydrating Complex to help quench parched skin and provide a poreless-looking finish that lasts all day.

As a rule, you’ll want to stay away from powder-based products, which can stick to dry patches and look cakey and uneven.

Try a New Primer

A silicone-based primer may be a staple in your foundation routine, but dry skin makeup calls for a little thinking outside the box. Instead of reaching for your usual, try priming your skin with LovelySkin Vita Soothe Corrective Serum. This ultra-lightweight treatment is packed with nourishing vitamins E and F, plus lipids to help prevent moisture loss. It also helps defend the skin against signs of aging!

Apply Foundation with a Brush–Not Your Fingers

Using clean fingers to apply foundation may work in a pinch, but you should avoid it at all costs for dry skin makeup. This is because fingers can absorb a good portion of the product, leaving you with an uneven finish that’s anything but smooth. Instead, pick up a synthetic foundation brush, like the Jane Iredale Foundation Brush, and use small strokes to blend.