Makeup For Dry Skin: Get Flawless Makeup on Peeling, Flaky Skin

Applying makeup flawlessly on dry and flaky skin can be quite a challenge. If you do not prepare your skin first you can end up ruining your makeup look. Moreover, it is imperative to choose the products carefully and get the most out of them through proper application. The key is to avoid drying ingredients. It’s best to stick to those that will treat and conceal your dry and flaky skin.

close up of a woman with dry, flaky skin.

Let’s talk about everything you should know about applying makeup on your clean skin, especially dry skin that we realise requires the right dose of hydration to make the makeup application easy and even. Whether your facial dryness results from eczema or you just tried your hand at a new acne medication, thorough replenishment with intense moisture is the ultimate way to soften it. Something rich in humectants will be ideal to tame your parched skin by drawing moisture to its outermost layer.

After all, it should look and feel more like velvet than sandpaper, right?

Prime It Up Against Flaky Skin

The last step in this prepping session involves the priming of the skin. Your peeling pain will surprisingly reduce if you apply your makeup on well-primed skin.

model with makeup primer on her face.

The best part of priming is that it blurs all surface imperfections. These can include large pores, dry patches, uneven texture, etc. This then allows the makeup to glide seamlessly, even on the flakiest and most sensitive skin. In fact, it also adds a soft, natural glow to the skin, which lasts longer.   

Tip: Include a quick nourishing facial mask in this prepping session to give yourself a radiant complexion by resurfacing, revitalizing, and refreshing your peeling skin.

Products to Use on Flaky Skin for Smooth Makeup

It is a bit tricky to mask skin that refuses to behave and totally flakes out. However, as we have said already, you can make your makeup look as flawless as possible with a bit of preparation and the right choice of products. 

Now that your dry skin is prepped, it is time to figure out the ideal product types. For such skin that begs nourishment, the right formula can work like magic. It’s best to go for lightweight products that come in liquid or creamy textures, as they will offer you great staying power. Also, look for products with a dewy or glow finish to brighten up your complexion at once.

Suggested Article: How To Restore and Repair Your Skin While You Sleep.

For Cleansing and Exfoliation

A creamy cleanser that comes with gentle exfoliating beads will leave your skin silky smooth to touch. However, if you want to use a cleanser and an exfoliant separately, stick to a lightweight formula that will show results with zero harshness.

Swiping the face a few times with micellar water will make it squeaky clean without sucking out the moisture. On the flip side, try a mild scrub that will address your problem areas without making the skin flakier.

Suggested Article: Dry Lips: Combat Chapped Lips This Winter with the Best Natural DIY Remedies.

close up of a woman applying facial scrub to her cheek, best when trying to avoid dry, flaky skin.

For Hydration and Moisturisation on Flaky Skin

If you have been suffering from skin conditions, such as eczema, psoriasis, etc., a heavy-duty moisturiser is what your skin craves underneath the makeup. Select high-quality products with a thick, creamy formula that will add an extra dose of hydration to your irritable skin.

You can also swap out a serum or gel or even a lightweight face treatment oil for the rich moisturiser to ensure that your face drinks up the product quickly and delivers immediate relief.     

Tip: A skin-softening product loaded with super-hydrating ingredients like shea butter, thermal spring water, etc. is the ideal fix for those battling flakes.  

Suggested Article: Our Best Facial Oil Serums For Every Skin Type.

woman smiling whilst holding a small pot of moisturiser.

Creating the Base on Dry, Flaky Skin

While a classic primer is a good pick for creating the perfect base, you must find a product with a creamy texture that will cater to your dehydrated skin by treating those sensitive areas right. Experts suggest using a nourishing facial oil in place of primer to come up with moisturised and luminous skin that makes the application and retention of makeup much easier.

Suggested Article: Skin Redness – 7 Reasons Your Skin Is Red And Sensitive And How To Fix It.

Enhancing the Look

  • Your flaky skin needs a light water-based foundation with medium coverage only. This type will neither separate on your skin nor give you a cakey look over time.
  • Decide on an ultra-creamy, neutralising concealer that will sink in your skin and help your look stay smooth throughout the day by providing natural, all-over coverage.
  • Nothing can add a sheer flush to an irritable skin better than a cream or gel blush.

Setting the Makeup

As your skin always seeks a little extra help on those sensitive regions, it’s best to swear by a makeup setting spray that comes with hyaluronic acid and vitamin E oils. It will not only seal your makeup in place but also add extra moisture to your skin to keep it fresh and flake-free all through the day.

woman spraying liquid onto her face, with a white background.

Suggested Article: Prep Acne Prone Skin for a Long Day of Makeup.

Products to Avoid On Flaky, Peeling Skin for Seamless Makeup

The texture of your makeup makes a difference in the way it appears on your skin. No one would love it if their chosen products turn their already flaky and eczema-prone skin into alligator skin. In turn, it is essential to know about the types of product that you should steer clear of to ensure a seamless makeup application.

Shun heavy, cakey formula with a matte finish that will make your skin even rougher and flakier. Waterproof formulae are also not recommended for irritable skin types, as they deplete it from water.

close up of a person with dry, flaky skin on their lips and nose.

Silicone Foundation

Silicone-based foundations give the cracking skin a blotchy look by clinging to the dry and uneven patches. Hence, it is the last thing you will want to include in your makeup box.


Dark makeup like bronzer is a bad choice for dry and flaky skin. It will only accentuate the sensitive parts of your face and make your issue of peeling even worse.


Being a drying product, powder never goes well with dehydrated skin. It can make your flaky skin much more visible and prominent. However, you can dust a little setting powder around the oily T-zone, if needed.    

Bad Ingredients

Make sure to take a closer look at your product labels to find ingredients that could worsen your skin. Ingredients like witch-hazel, denatured alcohol, specially denatured (SD) alcohol, essential oils, fragrance, etc. All of which will take a heavy toll on your skin and cause extreme irritation.  

Flaky Skin: Woman is touching her face.

How to Apply Makeup Perfectly to Peeling, Flaky Skin

After prepping the skin in the first place, you are now armed with a checklist of products. Importantly, these products will successfully combat any makeup application issues for dry and peeling skin. So, here are the straightforward steps, which will turn you into a skilled professional and help you create impeccable makeup that will not flake off throughout the day.

Dab on the Foundation

A synthetic foundation brush can keep flakes away whilst being gentle to your skin. Alternatively, it is an even better idea to use an egg-shaped makeup applicator sponge in its damp condition. Just apply the right shade of foundation all over your face in small dots and then blend them out with the damp sponge by using a bouncing motion. Doing so, will push the product into your skin and make it sit nicely.   

woman using a bright pink beauty blender on her face to apply makeup, with a white background.

Brush on the Concealer

When you have irritable skin, avoid flat concealer brushes. Using a flat brush can subsequently result in a streaky look, it’s best to make use of a fluffy eyeshadow brush. Apply a small dab of product and blend it into the skin gently, be sure to wipe away the localised flakes and conceal the uneven texture in a miraculous way.

Add a Touch of Blush

Rely on your fingers or a duo-fibre wispy brush to add a hint of colour to your cheeks, as they allow for a more buildable control. Simply apply your favourite shade of blush to the apples of your cheeks. Make sure to blend it into a natural flush, without highlighting the sensitive patches.

Spritz on the Mist

To finish your makeup tale, spritz the setting spray on your face and seal it all for the whole day. Along with working as the perfect pick-me-up, this plumping hydration mist will give your parched skin a gorgeous sheen.


To learn more about how to treat and care for dry skin, click here to read how to create your own DIY Natural Hydrating Body Wash for Dry Skin. 

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