The best concealer for dry skin

Skin Treatments

If you have dry skin, try to apply as little concealer as possible to cover your blemishes and dark spots. Excess concealer can cling to dry areas, settle in fine lines and look cakey.

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Which concealers for dry skin are best?

The right concealer can brighten up dark circles, cover acne and hide other discolorations. If you have dry skin, concealer often clings to dry patches and leaves you with cakey, uneven makeup — unless you find a concealer designed specifically for dry skin.

Concealer for dry skin contains hydrating ingredients that glide effortlessly over the face, so your skin looks moisturized and smooth. If you’re looking for a highly pigmented, full-coverage concealer for dry skin, NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer is an excellent choice. 

What to know before you buy a concealer for dry skin


Check the ingredients list when shopping for concealer for dry skin to ensure that it’s a moisturizing formula that goes on smoothly. Some ingredients to look for in your concealer include:

  • Hyaluronic acid can help bind moisture to your skin to give it a plump, hydrated appearance. It can also attract moisture to the skin to keep it hydrated throughout the day.
  • Jojoba oil is a humectant that helps the skin hang onto moisture. It also serves as a barrier over the skin to lock moisture in place.
  • Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps prevent free radical damage to your skin. It can also moisturize and reduce inflammation.
  • Shea butter is a natural fat rich in vitamins and fatty acids that help soften your skin. It can seal moisture into the skin too.
  • Squalene is a naturally occurring lipid that helps hydrate the skin.
  • Peptides are amino acids that help form collagen, elastin and other proteins in the skin. They can help strengthen, plump and firm the skin, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. 


Liquid concealers are probably the most common formula and are available in multiple coverage and finish options. They can be fairly hydrating and usually don’t accentuate fine lines and wrinkles due to their lightweight texture.

Cream concealers are thicker and creamier, so they provide medium to full coverage. They’re often incredibly hydrating, making them an excellent option for dry skin. Unfortunately, they can settle in fine lines and wrinkles, so you may need to set a cream concealer with powder. 

Stick concealers are like cream concealers, but they come in a tube similar to a lipstick’s packaging, making them faster and easier to apply. 


Because it lacks hydration, dry skin can look dull. Consider the finish of your concealer to make sure it improves your skin’s tone.

For dry skin, concealers with a dewy, radiant or satin finish are your best bet. Dewy or radiant concealers have a slight glow that makes your skin look healthier. Satin finish concealers look more like natural skin, so they have a subtle sheen.

Avoid matte concealers if you have dry skin. They don’t have any glow or sheen, so they can make dry skin look even drier. They work best for oily skin.

What to look for in a quality concealer for dry skin


Like your foundation, your concealer should match your skin as closely as possible to provide natural coverage for redness, blemishes and other hyperpigmentation. If you’re using your concealer under the eyes, you may prefer an option that’s a shade lighter than your skin tone to help brighten any darkness. 

When selecting a concealer, look for a product that offers as many shades as possible. The more shades included in a range, the easier it will be to find the right match for your skin and concealing needs. Some brands provide as many as 50 shades, while others offer just three. 


Concealer is available in three coverage options: light, medium and full. Light coverage works well for minor discolorations, while medium coverage is best for more obvious dark spots and hyperpigmentation. Full-coverage concealer covers almost anything, including tattoos. 

For dry skin, you’re usually better off avoiding full-coverage formulas, since they’re thicker and can cling to dry areas. Light and medium coverage concealers are typically the most flattering for dry skin. 


Thin liquid concealers come in a tube with a wand built into the cap. The wand has a sponge applicator at the end that allows you to apply the concealer directly from the tube. You can then use your fingers, a brush or a sponge to blend it. 

Cream concealers are housed in a pot or compact. You have to dip a finger or brush into the pot to remove some of the concealer, so it’s a little more challenging to apply. 

How much you can expect to spend on a concealer for dry skin

You can pay $3-$85 for a concealer that works for dry skin. Drugstore concealers for dry skin usually range from $3-$13, and formulas with higher-quality ingredients cost $14-$30. Moisturizing concealers from luxury brands can range from $30-$85.

Concealer for dry skin FAQ

How should I prepare my skin for concealer?

A. Make sure your skin is fully hydrated before applying your concealer and any other makeup. First, use a moisturizing serum, and top it with a rich moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated all day. After you’ve given your skincare products some time to absorb, apply a hydrating primer to add extra moisture to your skin. Some primers even impart a slight glow to the skin, so your concealer has a more natural look. 

What’s the shelf life of concealer?

A. Like most liquid or cream makeup products, concealers offer 12-18 months of use before they should be thrown away. If you notice changes in the odor, color or consistency of your concealer at any point, it’s time to toss it. 

What’s the best concealer for dry skin to buy?

Top concealer for dry skin

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer

What you need to know: This creamy, lightweight concealer provides enough hydration to give dry skin a smooth, flawless finish without looking cakey or sinking into fine lines. 

What you’ll love: It’s available in 30 shades to make matching easier. The concealer provides medium, buildable coverage to cover most spots. It contains botanicals that help moisturize the skin. It only requires a small amount of product to conceal effectively, so a tube lasts a long time.

What you should consider: For the best results, it still requires moisturizing before application on dry skin.

Where to buy: Sold by Sephora and Ulta


Top concealer for dry skin for the money

It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Full Coverage Anti-Aging Waterproof Concealer

It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Full Coverage Anti-Aging Waterproof Concealer

What you need to know: An excellent anti-aging formula, this concealer provides full coverage but still offers enough hydration to look natural on dry skin.

What you’ll love: It contains hyaluronic acid to hydrate the skin and soften the look of fine lines. It comes in 48 shades for easy matching. Despite the full coverage, it doesn’t crease or cake up.

What you should consider: It has a somewhat thick texture that can be difficult to apply.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon, Sephora and Ulta


Worth checking out

Clove + Hallow Conceal + Correct Concealer

Clove + Hallow Conceal + Correct Concealer

What you need to know: This vegan, cruelty-free concealer offers many of the same benefits for dry skin as higher-priced formulas do at half the price. 

What you’ll love: The lightweight, creamy formula applies and blends easily. It contains argan oil and minerals to help hydrate the skin. It’s highly pigmented, so a little goes a long way. It comes in 14 shades.

What you should consider: Some buyers report that it doesn’t last all day. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Jennifer Blair writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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