How do you apply make-up to dry skin?

Summary of the issue

How do you apply make-up to dry skin?

Tightness and discomfort: if you have dry skin, everyday make-up can quickly become a headache. Your complexion is dull, sometimes rough and sometimes even dotted with small red spots. If you feel like your foundation is separating, you may not be using the right products or following the right steps. Don't worry, here are all our tips for a perfect make-up application, even on dry skin.

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Why is does the skin get dry?

Have you ever heard of “xerosis”? This is the scientific term for dry skin. There are several reasons for this unpleasant feeling. Chemical factors (soaps, etc.) or climatic factors (wind, cold, etc.). Age is also a factor in skin dryness. 75% of those over 65 are affected. The epidermis becomes thinner and cell renewal is slowed down. This raises the question of make-up. How do you apply it if it accentuates dead skin or doesn't apply well?

I dream of luminous skin—mine is so dry that it’s always dull. I tried pearlescent powders but it doesn’t look natural, especially during the day

Aglaé, 33 years old


Dry skin: the first step is moisturising

Not all skin dryness is the same. If your skin is only moderately dry, make-up will hold up quite well and will be fairly easy to apply. But if your skin is very dry, things become more complicated, as the skin may flake. Start by moisturising your skin. The cream used as your make-up base should be fairly "nourishing" to allow the pigments in the make-up to spread more easily. And for an added boost, combine this product with a serum that will increase the skin's hydration without a greasy effect. A word of advice: don't forget the neck when applying your cream and serum.

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Which foundation for dry skin?

To make up your dry skin, choose a high tolerance foundation. If your imperfections are slight, opt for the Fluid Foundation Corrector. If they are severe, choose a comforting Compact Foundation Cream. The question is how to apply it?

To hide flakes, opt for a sponge.

To hide flakes and avoid any cracking or separation, apply your foundation with a sponge. Place the foundation on the back of your hand and soak the tip of the sponge. Then apply in small strokes, smoothing outwards. Tip: in case of imperfections (visible dry areas, spots, etc.) tap locally to increase the blurring effect. 

With fingers for more speed

Apply a dab of foundation on your fingertips, then place it on the centre of your face and work it towards the edges of your face and neck. In case of localised imperfections, pat on the foundation to boost the corrective effect. And if you are looking for a natural and sheer effect, opt for a brush application.



How to set your make-up 

A powder will set make-up on dry skin; however, it’s not necessary to mattify the complexion as you would with oily skin. On the contrary, it’s recommended to find solutions to restore the luminosity that dry skin so often lacks. The solution is to use the Brightening Mosaic Powder. It sets your make-up while illuminating it. Apply it preferably with a large brush over the whole face. And to prolong your make-up’s hold, finish with a spritz of Avène thermal spring water.

Dry skin: enhance your lips

Putting on lip make-up can be a real pleasure as well as a way to give your smile a boost. But if your skin is dry, your lips can easily become chapped. If this is your case, apply a nourishing lip balm before your lipstick to moisturise and protect them. And if dryness persists, try a lip perfector that will moisturise your lips while giving them a lightly coloured tint for a natural effect. 

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The best practices to remove make-up from dry skin

Make-up removal is often too vigorous. This does not go well with dry skin. To gently remove your make-up, apply a Micellar Lotion to a cotton pad and move gently from the centre to the outside of your face. If your skin is very dry, opt for textures, and combine the milk cleanser with Avène Gentle Cleanser Lotion. Tip: if cotton pads are too irritating, apply the milk cleanser with your fingertips and remove the excess with a tissue.

Find out how to apply lip make-up

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