Choosing the right makeup for dry skin

Organic makeup Primer for dry skin in biodegradable tubeEssential Foundation suitable for dry skin in glass bottleNatural concealer for dark skin with swatch
The blustery weather has hit and even in cities like Vancouver where it rains a lot, dry skin is a common challenge!

The environment has a huge impact on the biggest part of our body, our skin, and since our faces are left largely uncovered both inside and outside, they are more exposed. If we are wearing masks, they can cause chafing especially if the skin is dry, so keeping the skin smooth and supple is important.

Dry skin can impact us at any age and its causes can range from environmental factors, stress, hormonal changes, air travel, controlled air circulation, etc. but regardless of how it is caused, the resulting tightness, redness, flaking, uneven skin tone and patchiness can become contributing factors to our feeling embarrassed, insecure and uncomfortable in our own skin.

There are solutions, however, and it IS possible to comfortably wear makeup with dry skin.

Skincare plays a huge role.

To combat dry skin, the most important and basic requirement is the consistent use of the right products for cleansing and moisturizing. It might be useful to consider varying your skincare routine by adjusting it for the summer or in the winter, as some of us have much drier skin in the cold weather months for example.

There is no alternative to a good skincare regime and so we typically recommend choosing organic or pesticide-free products that cleanse your skin and then feed it the appropriate moisture for your skin type, whether it is dry or combination, oily, etc. This is what we do to prep faces for makeup application, an important step not to be overlooked!

It doesn’t stop there.

Different makeup formulas work better with certain skin types, and some have specific needs to take into consideration as some makeup can dry out skin. Here are our recommendations when it comes to choosing the right makeup products specifically for dry skin from my line SAPPHO New Paradigm.

In my long career as a film & television makeup artist, I worked on thousands of faces and learned a lot about working with different skin types. Many people wonder how to do dry skin makeup and choosing the right products has a lot to do with it.

Let’s explore our options for creating a suitable makeup base step by step together:
  • Primer
  • Foundation
  • CC Cream
  • Concealer

Open primer for dry skin with swatch and box on white table

1. Primer

First, the use of a face primer to top up your skincare regimen is recommended for longer wearing foundation as well as providing an extra layer of moisture to your skin before applying makeup.

SAPPHO’s Skin Perfecting Primer for Dry Skin does exactly that, using the best of organic plant ingredients as a skin-soothing, moisturizing base, including succulents like aloe vera and agave tequilana, combined with antioxidant-rich fruit juices from apple and pineapple and leaves from gotu kola. Bonus: it’s like literal magic for enlarged pores, helping temporarily reduce their appearance and minimize uneven skin texture. Think of it like prepping your dry skin into a smooth, moisturized canvas from which to work!


Essential Foundation bottle in Jennifer with swatch on green background

2. Foundation

Natural foundation worn over a moisturizing primer can also help lock in nutrients and emollients.

Jojoba oil is a base ingredient for SAPPHO’s Essential Foundation, and despite its name, while it looks like an oil it is chemically a wax ester, derived from an evergreen drought-resistant shrub. It can provide some protection to the dermis but also helps to lock in any moisture your body naturally creates or that you added onto your skin with products.

Foundation can also provide dry skin types with an extra layer of environmental protection, as well as having the added perks of evening out skin tone and reducing redness, helping you to feel more like your best self. Non-comedogenic formulations such as the Essential Foundation offer a further benefit to those who suffer from acne, with a totally weightless feel.


Natural CC Cream tube swatched with brush and box on white table

3. CC Cream

Alternatively, CC cream (short for Color Correcting Cream) has similar properties to primer and foundation in one tube, however it is more of a “quick and easy” makeup product and because it is a cream and thicker in texture, it is found soothing to the skin. SAPPHO’s Light Reflecting CC cream has a base of certified organic coconut oil to lock moisture in, combined with 10% zinc oxide to help with the elements, plus color-correcting minerals that help immensely with overall skin tone. In one go, it helps by camouflaging and soothing redness, covering age spots and masking discolorations with a clean ingredient list. Effortless in application, simply with fingers or a makeup brush, it is easy to incorporate to a no-fuss “5-minutes-or-less” makeup regimen after your skincare, leaving your face with a silky feel that’s not patchy or heavy at all.


Organic concealer open with swatch, cap and box on pink background

4. Concealer

Concealer can do wonders for creating the illusion we got a few more hours of sleep than we actually did, brightening the eye area by covering dark circles and redness, but also for spot camouflaging any part of the face without drying it out. Choosing a formula that is highly pigmented with strong coverage, non-drying and easy to apply will help you achieve better results, by not having to tug the skin excessively by piling on more and more on the delicate skin around the eyes. SAPPHO’s Cream Concealer checks all the boxes, does not crease much throughout the day or leave a patchy look and feel, rather the opposite, giving you healthy, organic coverage you can count on for your dry skin. It has been created specifically as a smooth, high coverage natural concealer using skin-friendly ingredients like organic coconut oil and jojoba oil and plant waxes instead of beeswax, commonly found in other natural makeup brands, making it a suitable concealer for vegans.

All the DO'S to combat dry skin

  • Cleanse and moisturize regularly, in the morning and at night with organic products designed for your skin type
  • Gently pat your skin dry and put on your moisturizer while your skin is a tad damp
  • Exfoliate a bit less in the winter and use gentle products
  • Use a moisturizing primer just before makeup application to help to lock in moisture
  • Look for jojoba oil in your foundation as you are then getting a wax ester which will also help lock in both natural and applied moisture
  • Wear a foundation for a polished look and even skin tone, but also to add another layer against environmental stress
  • Use a CC cream rich in moisturizing ingredients like coconut oil, but also with zinc oxide, to even out skin tone quickly but also add a layer of environmental protection
  • Choose a concealer that's non-drying and high coverage
  • Remember oils don’t add moisture, they lock it in
  • Drink lots of water
  • Remember climate-controlled rooms can cause dryness
  • Keep your hot showers to a shorter time
  • If you are going outside in the elements to enjoy the outdoors or for winter sports: double down on the moisturizer
  • Consider a humidifier in your home for the winter, or if you are staying in a hotel ask for one

…Did I mention drinking lots of water?

Feel free to drop us a line if you have any specific questions or need personalized advice at