Help! My Makeup Makes My Skin Look Flaky and Uneven!

Dry skin tends to flake, and the wrong foundation can exacerbate your skin's flakiness and uneven texture. Here's how to get a smooth, flawless finish every time.

Dry skin isn't a curse; in fact, it can even be a blessing. During the balmy summer months, your makeup likely stays in place as everyone else's slowly sweats its way off. And you can probably load on luxurious creams without worrying about greasy shine or acne spots.

But when your skin's especially dry, foundation can go on unevenly, leaving you with a flaky, cakey mess. You don't have to give up makeup or resign yourself to uneven skin tone. The right makeup, coupled with a few skincare hacks, can keep your dry complexion glowing all day long.


model applying foundation

Prep Your Skin Before Applying Foundation

If you've ever painted a wall or piece of furniture, you know that paint goes on unevenly if a surface is dirty or rough. A new coat of paint can actually emphasise imperfections.

The same is true of makeup on your complexion. Just as objects need the right pre-treatment before being painted, your skin needs to be properly prepared for your makeup.

Makeup primers fill indentations in your skin for a smoother surface. Try a primer for dry skin that contains hydrating ingredients, such as Napoleon Perdis Auto Pilot Pre-Foundation Primer.

Napoleon Perdis Primer

Choose the Right Makeup for Dry Skin

Makeup labels exist for a reason: manufacturers really do formulate products for various skin types. So if you have dry skin, you need a makeup for dry skin. Of course, that doesn't mean every formula you try will work for you. Some tips for choosing the right foundation for your complexion:


model applying exfoliator

Exfoliate Weekly

Exfoliation removes the top layer of dead skin, reducing flakiness and helping your makeup go on more smoothly. Unfortunately, exfoliation can also strip your skin of its natural oils, increasing dryness over time. 

Balance these competing effects by choosing an exfoliator specifically formulated for dry skin, such as Dermalogica Gentle Cream Exfoliant. Exfoliate only once per week and moisturise immediately afterwards.



Shop Dermalogica Gentle Cream Exfoliant

Shop Dermalogica Gentle Cream Exfoliant

Don't Forget to Moisturise (the Right Way)

Moisturiser is dry skin's best friend, but some products are more effective than others. Steer clear of treatment formulas that address wrinkles and acne, since these often contain skin-irritating ingredients.

Instead, select a highly emollient moisturiser, such as Weleda Skin Food. Moisturise at least twice daily: once in the morning after showering or cleansing, and again at night after removing your makeup.

Experts at Dr. Hauschka claim that the way you apply moisturiser can make a big difference. A pressing motion can improve the way your foundation sits, as this method doesn't unsettle dry skin.

Try warming a pea-size dab of Dr. Hauschka Rose Day Cream between your palms to melt the waxes. Then press the product into skin that's still hydrated with toner.

Moisturising before you apply makeup can help reduce cakiness, but moisturiser can also make your makeup go on unevenly if you rush the process. Apply moisturiser fresh out of the shower, and wait until it's completely absorbed into your skin before applying your foundation.


Help! My Makeup Makes My Skin Look Flaky and Uneven!