Pick up any beauty guide or makeup column, and you'll see the same advice: set your foundation with pressed or loose powder. This one-size-fits-all 'tip' neglects the fact that dry skin is common, particularly in the barren, arid regions that comprise most of Australia.
About one-third of Australian children and 10% to 15% of the country's total population has eczema, a condition that produces extremely dry, irritated skin. Dry-skin conditions are common in the U.K. and U.S. as well.
Powder may be the worst thing you can put on a dry complexion. Primers and setting sprays are better alternatives—though you may still be able to wear powder if you pick the right formula and embrace the right skincare routine.
Can I Wear Powder on Dry Skin?
Powder helps set makeup, preventing foundation from sliding around on the skin and reducing oily breakthrough. If you have dry skin, you're unlikely to struggle with these issues. Instead, you might find that your makeup looks cakey and flaky or that your face takes on an ashen appearance as the day goes on.
The problem with powder is that it absorbs oil—something dry skin already lacks. Over time, even the best powders can dry out your complexion. And if you're prone to dry patches or uneven texture, you may find that powder actually makes your skin look worse.
Unless your skin gets oily as the day progresses, you don't need powder. Even then, better alternatives can keep your makeup in place and minimise shine without drying your skin.
Alternatives to Powder
If your skin tends to get shiny during the day, or if you have combination skin, try a primer instead of a powder. Napoleon Perdis Auto Pilot Pre-Foundation Primer - GOLD extends the life of your foundation without drying your skin or adding excess oil.
If your skin is very dry and flaky, or your foundation tends to clump on your face, you need a moisturising primer. Consider a product with light-reflecting pigments, which help offset the grey cast of dry skin. Giorgio Armani Prima CC Glow Moisturiser Cream 30ml adds a subtle glow to even the dullest complexion.
A hydrating setting spray is another great option. Spritz on Estée Lauder Set + Refresh Makeup Perfecting Mist before you apply your foundation and throughout the day for a boost of moisture and radiance.
Powders for Dry Skin
Some people find that their skin is dry in the morning but gets progressively oilier as the hours pass. Others struggle with combination skin that's dry along the cheeks but oily on the forehead and nose. If this sounds familiar, powder could be your best option—but apply it to oily areas only, not to your entire face.
Top the look off with a light dusting of loose powder, which gives your skin a bit more room to breathe and reduces extensive loss of moisture.