If you have dry skin, you know that it can be particularly difficult to find a setting powder that doesn't flake or cake up. You wouldn't opt for a moisturizer or a foundation without deeply hydrating ingredients, so the best setting powder for dry skin should also be nourishing, moisturizing, and gentle. Unfortunately, due to their traditional matte finish, most setting powders are formulated to work best on oily or combination skin, often leaving people who are prone to dry skin without many options.
At first glance, the selection may be overwhelming; the vast majority of setting powders look the same, so you really have to get down to the nitty-gritty of the ingredients in order to differentiate. A powder that's infused with hydrating ingredients will help nourish skin, and a formula with some sheen can help create a dewy, glowy effect despite dryness. That said, sometimes it's more about what a formula doesn't contain: Common setting ingredients like talc can be very drying and irritating, so it's best to avoid formulas that utilize them.
With all that in mind, I researched the best setting powders according to ingredients and reviewer feedback. The options listed below will help preserve and prolong the life of your makeup — all without drying out your skin.
1. The Best Overall Setting Powder For Dry Skin
Hourglass Veil Translucent Setting Powder, 0.37 oz
Hourglass's Veil translucent setting powder has made a huge name for itself since its release in 2018 when it sold out not once, but twice on Sephora.com shortly after making its debut. Fans of the product can't seem to get enough, raving about its light-refractive and non-talc formula, which helps to prevent flashback when being photographed —a quality which is certainly valued in this day and age of endless selfies.
That said, the benefits don't stop there. Thanks to its finely milled composition, which is infused with diamond powder, this Hourglass product is not only non-drying, but it will leave you with an illuminated, silky finish. The best part of all is that the formula's transparency allows it the ability to work on just about every skin tone, so it's a winner across the board.
2. The Best Budget-Friendly Option
L'Oréal Paris Hydra Perfecte Face Powder, 0.5 oz
L'Oréal's Hydra Perfecte face powder contains special moisturizers that nourish and protect skin, all while locking in your makeup for long-lasting wear. With nearly 80 percent five-star reviews, it seems that this product can't be beat when it comes to value — or versatility. One Amazon user was amazed by its ability to complement their dry skin, exclaiming, "Love this product." Reviewers also revealed that they've used it to prevent eye shadow creasing and set concealer without it caking. All of these qualities alongside a $9 price tag make L'Oréal's Hydra Perfecte a great value for dry skin.
- Available shades: light, medium, translucent
3. The Best Powder For Any Skin Tone
MAC Cosmetics Prep + Prime Transparent Finishing Powder, 0.32 oz
The non-drying properties in MAC Cosmetics's Prep + Prime transparent finishing powder offer a way to set makeup with a silky finish. Its sheer-coverage formula, which comes in one universal color that suits all skin tones, can be worn over makeup or on bare skin. Not only does it help to prevent makeup from smudging or settling into lines, but it also aims to soften without emphasizing dry patches or looking cakey. Instead of talc, the formula utilizes zinc stearate, which won't absorb as much of your skin's natural moisture — great news for those with dry skin.
4. The Best Setting Powder For Sensitive Skin
BareMinerals Illuminating Mineral Veil Powder, 0.3 oz
Free of preservatives, fragrances, waxes, and talc, BareMinerals's Illuminating Mineral Veil powder aims to balance the complexion; it melts into skin for translucent, hydrated coverage, but it'll still absorb any excess oil when needed. Both nourishing and illuminating, this powder gives skin a soft, airbrushed effect.
Best of all, those with sensitive skin absolutely love it: "I have extremely sensitive skin and rosacea, so non-comedogenic products are my 'go-to,'" one reviewer writes. "Illuminating mineral veil has an iridescent quality that brightens my complexion. I love it!"
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