Sure, finding the perfect foundation—shade, formula, finish, price—is one of the defining struggles of the first world any day of the week, but one way to make the hunt even more difficult is to have a skin type that doesn’t fall under the umbrella of “normal”… and don’t we all?
Oily, dry, combination, acne-prone, whatever it may be, all skin types can present a problem at one point or another. For a complexion that stays thirsty, dry patches, sensitivity, and flaking rank high at the top of the list, and once foundation gets involved, the risk of enhancing those features rather than hiding them is very real.
Because displaying your dry patches to the world sounds like a good idea to exactly no one, these five tried-and-true foundations come pre-approved by Reddit users who know what’s up. Pick a shade—and a price point—and give ’em a try.
This insanely popular pick is a hit for all skin types, thanks to its radiant, barely detectible full-coverage finish, but the replenishing trifecta of coconut water, hyaluronic acid, and alpine rose makes it ideal for complexions that could use a major shot of moisture.
Too Faced Born This Way Absolute Perfection Foundation, $39; at Too Faced
For a budget-friendly foundation that leaves skin looking naturally perfected and infused with just the right amount of glow, this lightweight gel formula can't be beat. Because it's slightly transparent, each (non-comedogenic, dermatologist-tested) shade seems to merge with your skin tone rather than cover it up, but there's still enough coverage to smooth and correct.
Maybelline Fit Me! Dewy + Smooth Foundation, $7.99; at Ulta
Just in case you're under the impression that no foundation can actually be hydrating, this water-based formula is here to prove you wrong. It's oil-free, yes, but key ingredients like glycerin and squalane impart a dewy, youthful finish that leaves skin looking plumped and perfected.
COVER FX Natural Finish Oil Free Foundation, $40; at COVER FX
Full-coverage foundation can spell doomsday for dry patches, but this comforting serum blends seamlessly into the skin, smoothing over flakiness like a dream for a flawless, even-toned look that lasts all day. (One complaint, however: The shade range here is disappointingly limited.)
Rimmel London Lasting Finish Liquid Foundation, $7.19; at Drugstore.com
Long-wearing, oil-free, non-comedogenic, non-greasy, non-drying, sweat-proof, humidity-proof, and safe for even the most sensitive skin, this formula blends rich color-true pigments with illuminating, skin-nourishing waters, hence the mildly confusing shake-to-activate situation, but the fresh, well-hydrated complexion it'll help you achieve is totally worth the trouble.
Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide, $48; at Laura Mercier