4 Ways To Handle Flaky Foundation

by Gio

Winter is coming. It’s bringing with it holiday cheer, delicious warm foods, and… harsh temperatures and cold winds that suck all the moisture out of your skin! Dry skin = flaky foundation.

It happens to me every winter. As my cheeks and the area around my nose get drier, foundation starts to stubbornly clinging to these flaky patches. I look like my skin is falling apart – awful!

The solution? Hydration. Foundation needs a smooth canvas to adhere to, so you need to pump the moisture up in your skin. Here’s how skincare can help:

1. Opt for a gentle creamy cleanser

Did you know that sebum is your skin’s natural moisturiser? Stripping the excess is fine, but when you go too far and soak it all away, your skin turns drier than the Sahara. Stay away from harsh or gel cleansers and opt instead for creamy formulas that cleanse and moisturise skin at the same time.

Best Picks:

Related: How To Choose The Right Cleanser For Your Skin Type

2. Switch to a richer moisturizer

The lightweight moisturizer you used in the summer will probably not be moisturizing enough to keep your skin in top shape now it’s under attack from the harsh weather outside. Switch to a heavier duty formula that’s rich in natural oils and butters, like shea, marula and Squalane.

They’re rich in fatty acids, the building blocks of your skin’s protective barrier. They repair it when it’s broken down and strengthen it when it’s intact. The result? Hydrated, plumped skin that makes a smoother canvas for makeup.

Some of my favourite moisturizers for dry skin are Paula’s Choice Resist Barrier Repair Moisturizer, Skin Remodeling Complex, Clinique Super Rescue Antioxidant Night Moisturizer, for Very Dry to Dry Skin, and Bioderma Sensibio AR.

Best Picks:

Related: How To Choose The Best Moisturiser For Dry Skin

3. Exfoliate The Flakes Away

Dry skin needs exfoliation, too. The trick is to do it gentle. Scrubs are out. They’re too harsh and tear at the skin. Ouch! Instead opt for a AHAs exfoliant. AHAs, such as Glycolic Acid, dissolve the glue that holds your skin cells together, making those pesky flakes come off sooner. Plus, they also boost collagen production, reduce small wrinkles, and hydrate skin.

The catch? Too much exfoliation has the opposite effect and dries out your skin even more. Don’t go overboard. Two or three nights a week is more than enough!

Best Picks:

Related: AHAs VS BHA: Which Exfoliant Is Right For You?

4. Choose a moisturizing foundation

Enough with skincare. The type of foundations you use matters too. Powders are drying by definition, so avoid them like the plague. Instead, opt for liquid formulas that hydrate skin while hiding imperfections. If you hardly have any, go with a tinted moisturizer. Enriched with hydrated and moisturizing agents, tinted moisturizers even out the complexion and ensure skin stays soft and smooth for hours.

Best Picks:

Need help creating the best skincare routine for you dry skin? Sign up to the newsletter below to receive the “Dry Skincare Routine Cheatsheet” (it includes product recommendations, too!).

Does your foundation flake too in winter and how do you deal with it? Share your tips in the comments below.



Chic Readings November 4, 2014 - 4:35 pm

Oh thank you so much for this post, it is very helpful!:) My skin gets flaky every winter and I used to avoid exfoliating because of the sensitivity of my skin but it is definitely necessary. And I will try put the moisturizer on damp skin for sure:)

Gio November 4, 2014 - 7:37 pm

Helena, you’re welcome. I’m glad you find it helpful. Sensitive skin needs exfoliation too, but less often and with gentle products. 🙂

MonicaP November 4, 2014 - 5:25 pm

I’ve never had a problem with flaky foundation (oily skin gal here), my problem is fading .. like where does my foundation go .. lol. Of course, this depends on pigmentation of the foundation and how light I’ve applied it.


Gio November 4, 2014 - 9:05 pm

Monica, have you tried using a primer? That may help last longer. 🙂

Eleanor November 5, 2014 - 1:06 am

Thanks for the good advice.

I do all of these except for a moisturizing foundation. I can’t seem to find one that is my color, moisturizing and does not contain ingredients to which I am allergic all at the same time. So, I make do with a foundation that doesn’t bother me and layer up on moisturizer.

Gio November 5, 2014 - 12:27 pm

Eleanor, I’m sorry to hear about your allergies. Finding a good foundation is hard enough even without them, so your search for one must be so frustrating. But I’m glad you’ve found a way to make your foundation work and avoid flakes.

K November 8, 2014 - 2:32 am

Wow, it shows how long I haven’t commented since I didn’t know you had a new layout! It looks great!

I changed my foundation recently since my summer foundation started looking powdery on me. I tend to forget to moisturize more in the winter, but this year, the skin on my body has started getting dry!

Gio November 8, 2014 - 10:35 am

K, thank you! Glad you like it. 🙂

The winter weather is unforgiving, isn’t it? We need to pile on the moisturizer now. 🙂

Comments are closed.