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Wearing makeup when you have dry skin can be hard. After all, after putting in all of the effort that goes into achieving a beautiful, radiant and flawless look, it can be beyond disappointing when the finishing touch – your setting powder – lets you down. For people with dry skin, setting powder can settle into fine lines, creases and wrinkles. It can also highlight dry patches. Forgoing powder, however, can cause your makeup to slide off of your face within a matter of minutes. So, what’s a girl to do? Check out our picks for the best drugstore setting powder for dry skin to get on your way to healthy, glowing results with only a few swipes.

Best Drugstore Setting Powder For Dry Skin

  1. Editor’s Pick – Almay Loose Finishing Powder
  2. Best Setting Powder and Highlighter For Dry Skin – Essence Pure Nude Highlighter
  3. Best Translucent Powder – Milani Prep + Set + Go
  4. Best Drugstore Loose Translucent Powder – L’Oreal Hydra Perfect Powder
  5. Best Drugstore Loose Setting Powder – E.l.f Halo Glow Setting Powder
  6. Best Finishing Powder – Wet ‘n Wild Photo Focus Pressed Powder
  7. Best Hydrating Setting Powder – Maybelline Fit Me Loose Finishing Powder

Editor’s Pick

Almay Loose Finishing Powder

Almay Loose Finishing Powder, Natural Finish Mattifying Makeup Setting Powder, Hypoallergenic, Cruelty Free, Fragrance Free, Dermatologist Tested, 100 Light, 1 oz
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Why This Powder Is Our Top Pick

This powder has it all. From reducing the appearance of large pores to locking your makeup in place, Almay has really outdone themselves in terms of creating a setting powder that is, truly, a jack of all trades.

Defined as “clean”, hypoallergenic and cruelty-free, this fragrance free loose drugstore makeup setting powder from Almay comes in various shades and can be swept over foundation to create a healthy and radiant glow.

The only bummer? This powder is only available in three shades, which may not be plausible for many.

What Buyers Love

According to buyers, this setting powder does a great job at keeping dry skin free from irritation, and doesn’t accentuate dry patches. What’s more is that the setting powder for dry skin has the added bonus of providing additional coverage… something those with redness, hyperpigmentation or general blemishes will be thankful for.

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What Other Drugstore Setting Powders Are Good For Dry Skin?

If you’ve tried the Almay powder or find that the color options don’t quite jive with your own skin tone, don’t worry. There are plenty of other options to choose from!

Remember, purchasing a powder for dry skin is about much more than hydration… it is also about what you are trying to achieve with the make up, your skin tone, your problem spots and much, much more.

In attempt to suit the needs of everyone, the following are six more of our most recommended powders for dry skin:

  1. Essence Pure Nude Highlighter
  2. Milani Prep + Set + Go
  3. L’Oreal Hydra Perfect Powder
  4. E.l.f Halo Glow Setting Powder
  5. Wet ‘n Wild Photo Focus Pressed Powder
  6. Maybelline Fit Me Loose Finishing Powder

Best Setting Powder For Dry Skin Drugstore

Essence Pure Nude Highlighter

essence | Pure NUDE Highlighter, 10 Be My Highlight | Natural and Subtle Glow | Vegan & Cruelty Free | - Beige
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About This Powder

The Essence Pure Nude Highlighter is, you guessed it, a highlighter, but it functions as so much more.

As previously mentioned, those suffering from dry skin will have different needs from their drugstore setting powder. As such, this nude highlighter is perfect for those looking to brighten up dull skin and add a little sheen and moisture to their makeup routine.

Why the Powder Is Worth It

Created in Europe and PETA approved, this cruelty-free drugstore setting powder has a neutral sheen that will compliment any complexion. It can be used on the entire face, troublesome areas or areas that you want to accentuate for a smooth, flawless and radiant look.

What Buyers Love

Users say that this highlighter does a great job at providing a youthful glow, even to mature skin. Those with very fair complexions say that the “neutral” shimmer may come off a bit too dark, but in the world of make up, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. We recommend giving this drugstore setting powder for dry skin a shot when you are in the mood for a dewy and youthful look that doesn’t exacerbate flaky, red, irritated or otherwise dry skin.

Best Translucent Powder Drugstore

Milani Prep + Set + Go

Milani Prep + Set + Go Transparent Face Powder (0.3 Ounce) Cruelty-Free Primer & Setting Powder - Control Shine & Set Makeup for Long-Lasting Wear
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About This Powder

Also cruelty-free, this setting powder  from Milani comes in one translucent universal shade to compliment to any skin tone without drying it out. The powder is pressed and sleekly packaged for an attractive and conveniently sized translucent setting powder that you can take with you on the go.

Why the Powder Is Worth It

As with most items on this list, the price is right and the quality is high on this one. This translucent drugstore setting powder does well to mattify your skin without drying it out while also blurring fine lines, enlarged pores and setting your makeup for extended wear…all with just a few quick brushes.

What Buyers Love

Despite its jarring white appearance, buyers claim that this powder is perfect for photos and selfies. Moreover, many have commented that a little goes a long way, which is a bonus when your budget is tight. Those with extremely dry and textured skin say it works well to smooth the skin without over emphasizing texture, all while keeping makeup set and in place.

Best Drugstore Loose Translucent Powder

L’Oreal Hydra Perfect Powder

L'Oreal Paris Hydra Perfecte Perfecting Loose Face Powder, Minimizes Pores & Perfects Skin, Sets Makeup, Long-lasting, with Moisturizers to Nourish & Protect Skin, Translucent, 0.5 Fl. Oz.
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About This Powder

Looking for a loose version of pressed translucent powder? This is it.

This best drugstore loose translucent powder is perfect for hydrating the skin while keeping your makeup set and in place.

Why the Powder Is Worth It

The L’Oreal Hydra Perfect Powder is said to be light diffusing and infused with moisture to help even the driest skin stay hydrated and moisturized. It also comes with an applicator puff and provides light coverage for the ultimate flawless finish.

What Buyers Love

Similar to the Milani Prep + Set + Go, this powder, despite its white appearance, doesn’t leave behind any color. Those with dry skin have raved over this powder, claiming that it does well to set their makeup without further drying out their skin.

Some do complain about the perfume-y smell though, so if strong fragrances bother you, you may need to skip this one.

Best Drugstore Loose Setting Powder

E.l.f Halo Glow Setting Powder

e.l.f., Halo Glow Setting Powder, Silky, Weightless, Blurring, Smooths, Minimizes Pores and Fine Lines, Creates Soft Focus Effect, Light, Semi-Matte Finish, 0.24 Oz
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About This Powder

Described as being made from eco-friendly ingredients including sapphire particles, this extremely affordable glowy drugstore setting powder for dry skin by e.l.f is available in varying shades, is cruelty-free and is free from several offending chemicals including parabens and phthalates.

Why the Powder Is Worth It

Apart from being inexpensive, this powder works to blur imperfections and add a healthy glow even to the driest skin. Moreover, this versatile setting powder can be used alone, over makeup or under makeup adding to its appeal.

What Buyers Love

Buyers celebrate the fact that this setting powder offers the perfect amount of sheen without being too “glittery”. Other reviewers say that it is easy to wear, easy to “bake” (see information about “baking” your makeup below) and doesn’t look too cakey.

Best Finishing Powder Drugstore

Wet ‘n Wild Photo Focus Pressed Powder

wet n wild Photo Focus Pressed Powder(Packaging may vary), Warm Light
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About This Powder

The Wet ‘n Wild Photo Focus Pressed Powder is a cruelty-free satin-finish setting powder that is designed to make your skin look amazing even under bright lights or in photos. It comes in a variety of shades and can be used in tandem with the highlighter primer, concealer and more from the same line to create a seamless and flawless finished look even under harsh lights.

Why the Powder Is Worth It

Another colored pressed powder, this is one of the best drugstore setting powders for dry skin out there. The extremely affordable Wet ‘n Wild franchise has really delivered in recent years and this product is no different, especially for those with dry skin.

What Buyers Love

Buyers comment that this setting powder is light-weight and offers warmth to the skin without making it dry. True to its claims, buyers agree that they look great in photos when wearing it and love that it lasts nearly all day.

Best Hydrating Setting Powder

Maybelline Fit Me Loose Finishing Powder

Maybelline Fit Me Loose Finishing Powder, Medium Deep, 0.7 Ounce
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About This Powder

Specially designed to “fit” varying skin tones, this loose finishing powder from Maybelline is mineral-based and declares to control shine while smoothing the skin. It also adds a touch of color unlike translucent powders.

Why the Powder Is Worth It

We love that the “Fit Me” collection branches out to encompass women of all tones, textures and skin types, including those with dry skin. Moreover, Maybelline is a well-known and trusted brand, adding to its commercial appeal.

What Buyers Are Saying

Many lovingly compare this powder to higher-end brands like Laura Mercier and others. And for the price point, many appear to be stunned by the results. The kicker is that those with dry skin caution to go light with this one.

Though it is an excellent pick for those with dry skin, putting on too much may cause you to look cakey, and choosing the wrong tone may cause a gray cast.

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What’s in a Good Drugstore Finishing Powder?

Dry skin needs moisture and a powder that won’t accentuate flaws, texture and dry patches. Unfortunately, however, most setting powders set out to do just that as they are generally marketed for people with oily skin.

It is for this reason that we recommend choosing a powder that packs hydrating ingredients or makes claims of locking in moisture without producing a drying effect. Though it may seem obvious, reading the fine print and descriptive detailing on a makeup label can save you a tremendous amount of time. Simply put, if the makeup doesn’t claim not to dry out the skin, or worse, is specifically marketed to those who have oily skin, then that is a good indicator that the powder in question isn’t for you.

Moreover, it can help to talk to others who have dry skin to see what they have to say. There are countless bloggers, vloggers, reviewers and YouTubers who dedicate themselves to providing open and honest reviews about products they hate and products they love. The dry skin community is a large one, so be sure to check out the comments and recommendations of those who have dry skin, including those who are your friends or who are in your family, to get an idea of what products might work best for you.

Can You Use Setting Powder on Dry Skin?

First, it might be helpful to start off with a few definitions.

If you have dry skin and are wondering “What is setting powder?” in the first place, you’ve come to the right spot. Setting powder is meant to be applied right after your foundation but before your other makeup…like your eyeshadow, blush, bronzer and so on. Its sole purpose is to absorb oil and set your foundation in place, to give you a smooth and flawless canvas on which to build.

It is important to note that all “powders” in the world of makeup are not created equal, and as such, aren’t always designed to be applied right after foundation. A finishing powder, for example, is to be put on after all of your makeup is complete.

“Translucent” powder refers to a finishing or setting powder that is transparent in nature… a good translucent powder should leave behind no white residue although the powder is usually itself, very white.

Lastly, you may have recently heard about the “baking powder” craze. It is important to note that “baking” powder isn’t technically a powder type. Instead, “baking” is a verb that describes the process of laying a base of foundation or concealer on your face before dusting it with setting powder and allowing it to sit for 5-10 minutes as the heat from your skin sets the makeup in place.  Afterwards, you are to remove the excess setting powder from the areas of your face you “baked” with a dusting brush.

Why Use Setting Powder on Dry Skin?

You may be wondering what the point of using a setting powder on dry skin is if the purpose of setting powder is to absorb oil? A person who has dry skin but still wants to wear makeup will likely need to go ahead and invest in a good hydrating setting powder instead of nixing powder, altogether.

While many people with dry skin, and especially mature dry skin, can get away with wearing no powder at all, we don’t recommend it, especially if you want your makeup to last several hours. Without setting your makeup with a powder, your foundation will slip off of your face and transfer onto other things, leaving your previously freshly made up face looking sloppy, flaky and uneven.

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Our Top 10 Dry Skin Tips

  1. Try applying your powder with a wet sponge to add extra moisture while still harnessing the ability to set your makeup.
  2. Try forgoing all powder and see how well your makeup stands up. To do this, we recommend going with a 2-in-1 foundation that goes from cream to powder, but then again, those can be drying and accentuate dry spots as well.
  3. Instead of wetting a sponge to apply your powder, try wetting a sponge (or your fingers) to apply your foundation. Some professional makeup artists have even recommended adding a pinch of olive oil to your foundation to provide extra moisture to your makeup routine, especially in winter months.
  4. Want smooth skin from the start? Start with an exfoliator before adding any makeup to your face. But be careful. Never exfoliate more than once or twice a week in order to prevent damaging your skin and making it look worse than before.
  5. Along with exfoliating comes moisturizing. You should apply a moisturizer, even if you have a combination of dry and oily skin, to even your skin’s overall texture and help both powder and foundation set more seamlessly.
  6. Is your face remarkably dry after washing it? Try washing your face only at night and nixing the morning wash for a healthy glow. Be forewarned, on this one, however. Different people get differing results when doing this, as for some, skipping a face wash can lead to further irritation for some dry skin types.
  7. When you do wash your face, be sure to use something gentle and non-drying. This goes for toners, astringents and anything else you are using on your skin as well.
  8. In line with toners, astringents and the like, be sure to keep a close eye out for products containing alcohol or that seem to cause your skin to flake or become irritated. Even if the product is your mom or best friend’s favorite toner, it might just not be the right formula for your skin.
  9. Watch the weather… in some seasons, such as winter, your skin might deserve a break from any toners or astringents, while in the summer months, you may need to add a moisturizing version of either one to keep your skin clean and fresh throughout the day. If your dry skin has you confused no matter the season, you may wish to check out Healthline’s article What Causes Dry Skin and How to Treat It.
  10. Lastly, don’t skip the extras when it comes to dry skin. Products that don’t always seem necessary like setting sprays and primers can actually be ideal for adding a moisturizing and smoothing layer both before and after makeup application for a flawless look from start to finish.

Thinking your dry skin is a little more serious? Read up on symptoms, causes and prevention for Dry Skin.

Dry Skin FAQs

e.l.f., Halo Glow Setting Powder, Silky, Weightless, Blurring, Smooths, Minimizes Pores and Fine Lines, Creates Soft Focus Effect, Light, Semi-Matte Finish, 0.24 Oz

Is pressed or loose powder better for dry skin?

Due to the finely milled nature of loose powders, they tend to have more ability to accentuate pores, fine lines and wrinkles than pressed powders. Moreover, pressed powders tend to have more oils in them. But really, this one is a matter of preference.  Results will depend largely on the product you choose, as well as your skin type.

What is the difference between setting powder and face powder?

A setting powder is meant to set your foundation in place, while a face powder is usually meant to add coverage. There are, in honesty, a million different types of face powders that all advertise different benefits. So, in short, be sure to know what exactly you are looking for, and be careful not to use an ordinary face powder if you are looking to actually lock your foundation in place.

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Picking a Powder For Dry Skin Can Be Tricky…

All in all, because most powders are formulated to absorb oils, it can get tricky to know which powders to choose to properly set or finish your makeup when you have dry skin. To help with this, try any of the methods mentioned above to prep and prime your skin first, then look for moisturizing powders that use terms like “non-drying” or “hydrating” to start.

Be sure to ask around, look around and scour the internet for popular setting powders that other dry skin makeup wearers love or check out any of the above mentioned powders to get you started. We hope this has helped you be able to determine the best drugstore setting powder for dry skin. Happy hunting!

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