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Why Does My Makeup Look Dry And Cracked? Q&A Beauty

Oh no! Why Does My Makeup Look Dry And Cracked? You do that fantastic makeup, and in the end, your foundation is all cracked on your face?

If this happens to you, this post will be the solution to your problem. 

Today, I will teach you how to prevent the foundation from getting cracked on your face. So let’s go?

Before I start talking about preventing the foundation from getting cracked on the face, I need to tell you the difference between a cracked foundation and a built-up foundation.

Cracked Vs. Accumulated Foundation

Why Does My Makeup Look Dry And Cracked?

Cracked foundation

Cracked foundation usually happens on the driest parts of the face, such as the corner of the nose and under the eye. 

It usually happens due to a lack of hydration. When your concealer, or foundation, starts to crumble, it means the foundation is cracked.

Accumulated Foundation

As the name implies, the accumulated foundation accumulates in some parts of the face, unlike the cracked foundation. 

It often focuses on expression lines. When the concealer, or foundation, accumulates on the wrinkles, we call it accumulated foundation.

Now that you’ve learned the difference between them, I will explain why foundation creases and how to prevent this from happening in your makeup.

Why Does My Makeup Look Dry And Cracked?

Why Does My Makeup Look Dry And Cracked?

As stated before, it usually happens due to a lack of skin hydration. 

Our skin needs water, and when we use moisturizers, the skin absorbs the water from the moisturizer. 

If we skip this step and already apply the foundation, the skin will suck the water from the foundation.

In this way, cracking occurs.

At the same time, dryness is not always caused by treatments or lack of care. 

Numerous skin conditions can cause dryness and cracking, such as psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis. 

Those who suffer from these diseases should have a well-designed skin care routine to alleviate the symptoms.

Cracked foundation on the face – How to avoid it?

Why Does My Makeup Look Dry And Cracked?
  • Always moisturize your skin before applying foundation, 

It prevents your foundation from cracking and combats premature aging. Oily skin also needs to be hydrated. Avoid applying too much powder. It cleans the makeup but will dry your skin if used too much, causing the foundation to crack.

  • Don’t overdo the foundation, and apply it evenly. Using too much foundation and not applying it correctly can also contribute to cracking.

Below, let’s talk about Why Does My Makeup Look Dry in more detail!

How To Prevent My Makeup From Looking Dry And Cracked?

Later, I will share with you a step-by-step guide to help you apply your foundation without drying your skin out.

But for now, let’s take a look at the essential skincare pro tips, including a routine to prevent this from happening.

Let’s go! 

Take Care Of Your Daily Skincare Routine

If your skin is DRY, the main idea is to look for products that can promote hydration, such as hyaluronic acid. 

If it is NORMAL, you can relax, but it is still important to use hydrating products. Hyaluronic acid will work for you as well.

Now, if your skin is OILy / MIXED, it is recommended that you look for products that can control the production of sebum and excess oil, such as niacinamide.

It’s very common to hear, “I have oily skin; I don’t need to moisturize.” 

This is wrong. That’s because all skins, without exception, need hydration. 

However, for each skin type, there are specific products. So, people with dry skin or mature skin should use cream moisturizers. 

People with oily, acne-prone skin should use a gel-textured moisturizer. 

And, of course, the primary moisturizer is water. So, the ideal is to drink two liters of water daily. 

That way, you will be able to keep your skin hydrated.

We will share some tips to set up your routine from today. Are they:

  • exfoliate the skin
  • use good moisturizers
  • protect your skin
  • Collagen stimulation

Prep Your Face Before Applying Foundation

Why Does My Makeup Look Dry And Cracked?

You should take care of your skincare routine every day, and the more you do it, the more hydrated your skin gets.

With time (long term), you may notice that your foundation is flawless and that it’s not drying anymore.

Still, in the same way, and to prevent your foundation from cracking today (and in the short term), there are still ways to prevent your skin from drying after applying foundation.

The way to do it is to always prepare your skin before applying makeup.

Here I have already written an article about quick and easy ways to prep your skin before makeup.

You can also look at this guide here teaching how to apply foundation like a pro!

Gentle Cleansing

This is essential to fix the makeup on the face without the dreaded cracked look. 

It is essential to pay attention to the indications for each type of skin since dry skin, for example, requires a moisturizer with a more basic but effective formula that helps to reduce dryness.

The ideal is that the product does not contain parabens, alcohol, or any substances that can harm it.

Choose soaps with hydrating ingredients such as collagen, hyaluronic acid, glycerin, urea, and ceramides.

Below you have five steps to have a soft, hydrated face with no signs of dryness. 

  1. Wash your face with a moisturizing soap  
  2. Rinse off with cold or lukewarm water 
  3. Dry your face gently with the towel  
  4. Remove the rest of the residue with a micellar solution

Exfoliate Your Skin

Facial exfoliation is an essential step in your beauty routine, right?

But it is necessary to follow some tips to avoid the appearance of microlesions and dryness.

Use an exfoliator to remove the excess dead cells and renew your skin cells.

All the time, our skin is in the process of replacing old cells with young cells. 

However, over the years, the speed with which this replacement happens decreases.

If you are experiencing dryness on your skin, give preference to creamy or lotion exfoliators because they are more hydrating than the other types. 

Exfoliation will aid you in this process. But you should not overdo it.

Do it once a week, and you should be fine. Some people do it every 15 days.

Test out and experiment to check out what works best for your skin.

Use A Primer

Another critical step for perfect makeup is using a primer or a moisturizing serum before applying other products. 

It will help even out your skin and close all pores, helping to set makeup for longer without leaving it cracked. 

I know some people think it is ok to skip this step, but the truth is that primers make a considerable difference in the final result.

After following all the cleaning and moisturizing steps, it’s time to use a primer. 

We know that if we are going to apply makeup to someone, we cannot use our fingers under any circumstances. 

However, applying the primer with your fingers and pressing against the pores can help. 

If you forgot to use the primer, you should not apply it after the foundation. 

In this case, you’ll need to remove the makeup and start again from scratch or continue the makeup without it.

Hydrate Your Skin

Another bet is the daily use of moisturizers. Therefore, we recommend using lighter products, such as gel, cream, or serum. 

The use of vitamin C is also recommended in these cases. In addition to moisturizing, it promotes skin whitening while fighting premature age.

After cleansing applies the right moisturizer and let the skin absorb it for one minute, before applying foundation. 

The dermis will not “pull” water from the product, as it will be hydrated.

Avoid Harsh Acids

If you notice your skin is getting too dry, it is better to avoid harsh acids altogether.

Sometimes, you may need to use some acids to clear dark spots and acne scars, but some of these products may irritate the skin.

Acids usually peel off the skin for cell renewal. Therefore, during this treatment, you need to pay attention.

If you still need to use these acids, make sure you find a lightweight, more liquid foundation, and don’t apply too much powder.

Protect Your Skin

Always use sunscreens to protect your skin, even indoors. 

Lights emitted from smartphones, computers, and the like can strongly contribute to faster skin aging. 

Use sunscreen as the last step before applying makeup foundation.

As you plan to apply your foundation afterward, give preference to lightweight formulas.

Or you can opt to use a foundation with a high SPF factor, which can save time and helps your makeup look more natural.

Pick The Right Cosmetics & Foundation

As I mentioned before, it is essential to choose a hydrating gentle soap, right?

The same applies to all your cosmetics, including your makeup products.

As a rule of thumb, the products will start on the bottle if hydrating.

Soon I will write a complete guide of ingredients that are indicated for every skin type.

I will publish it soon, but if it takes too long, Please send me some reminders in my email!

The most suitable foundations for dry skin are liquid and creamy, preferably containing moisturizing agents. 

These components are essential to reinforce the first step, which is hydration.

Always avoid the matte foundations in case your skin gets dry too often.

Why Does My Makeup Look Dry And Cracked?

Application: Use The Right Tools

The way you apply the foundation also matters a lot. 

If you just spread the product without setting it on the skin, the foundation will probably not adhere to the face, augmenting the chances of cracking.

A great way to apply foundation is by tapping it softly onto the skin, either with a brush or a sponge.

Make Sure To Apply Just Enough Product

The excess foundation and powder can give you a cracked aspect of your makeup.


If you decide to apply powder, make sure to apply it only when you need it.

Remember that you don’t need powder if you have dry skin. 

But if you have combination skin, you will probably need a little powder on the ‘T’ zone, but you can ideally leave the cheeks without it.

In case you have oily skin, but it is dehydrated, and you apply a lot of face powder, the chances of it cracking are much higher.

If you opt to use powder, use just enough because the excess of it can leave your skin crackled.

I love to use loose powders; MAC has great ones. I used to like the CC loose powder, but a reader had just told me it is out of line.

Some people say that loose powders are great for mature skin.

In my opinion, it goes well on any skin type because it is very natural.

Diluted Foundation

If you want beautiful coverage, I still think that less is more. 

Even those who need full coverage, make sure to buy (exactly) a full coverage foundation, this way, you won’t need to build up layers and layers.

At the same time, pay attention to the full coverage foundation is not too heavy as it can get dried out.

P.s. I am sharing a tip to help you out in the following lines.

If you need a medium to light coverage, you can dilute the foundation in thermal water or hydrating cream.

Doing this helps the makeup to look more natural and provides an extra touch of hydration at the same time.

Choose The Right Concealer

You can apply concealer before or after foundation. Some people like me prefer to use it before.

If you are combining concealer and foundation, make sure you choose a lightweight concealer.

By choosing a lightweight concealer, your makeup will be more uniform, with fewer chances of being cracked.

Apply Creamy Blush

As I mentioned before, powders can weigh down your makeup and leave it cracked.

If you want to apply blush, an incredible turnaround is to apply creamy blush.

Nowadays, many long-lasting hydrating creamy blushes can save your look.

I like to have the pocket ones, like a stick blush, so I have them handy any time I want.

Finalize Your Makeup Properly

You need to finalize it well with all this skincare routine before and during the makeup process.

Your makeup will look more natural, neat, and settled by doing this.

It will also help your makeup last longer, keep your skin hydrated, and avoid drying it out.

Here you have a few tips to help you out with this task.

Use setting powders or sprays

You can use setting powders and sprays, but the best option for the cracked, dry foundations is to use the spray version.

It is also possible to use thermal water alone or before the setting spray, as it will nourish and hydrate your skin.

Hydrating Mist

Have you ever heard about hydrating mists or sprays? 

We can say that Thermal water is an example of hydrating mist to some extent.

But there are many cosmetic brands with fancy facial mists for hydration, nourishment, and many other functions.

They are called precisely as the name says (facial mists) and can contain various ingredients, including extracts from fruits and flowers.

You can find, for example, cucumber and mint, watermelon, and Botanics ingredients, depending on what you want to target.

When you water your skin (even after makeup), the makeup lasts much longer, the finish is prettier and natural, and it prevents the foundation and concealer from cracking. 

Keep Your Makeup Well Conserved

Last but not least, keep your makeup well conserved to avoid fungus and bacteria that can harm your skin.

Never use makeup with shelf life exceeded, and make sure to store it in a dry and friendly place.

In the same way, clean your makeup brushes regularly.

How To Apply Foundation to avoid it getting dry?

  1. Clean the skin with soap specific to your skin type;
  2. Use an astringent tonic, or micellar water, to remove other impurities;
  3. Now is the time to use a moisturizer. The ideal is to use a cream moisturizer for normal and dry skin. For mixed and oily skins, a gel moisturizer with a lighter texture is ideal;
  4. Use a quality primer. That’s because the primer is a powerful ally in makeup. It helps to hide pores and other imperfections;
  5. We can’t forget about sunscreen. So, choose a specific one which can be used during makeup;
  6. Now it’s time for the foundation. Pay attention to skin type and texture. So, if the skin is more sensitive and dry, the ideal is to use a fluid foundation for dry skin. You can even dilute it to make it easier to apply;
  7. Always remember this rule: using matte foundation on dry skin gives you a 100% chance of your makeup cracking;
  8. Choose a very fine powder, preferably a loose mineral powder. That’s because the better the quality of the powder, the lower the chances of the makeup getting cracked;
  9. Apply moisturizing mist before, during, and after makeup. This way, you can prevent the skin from becoming too dry. This moisturizes all powders that are applied and improves the adherence of the products to the skin.

Why Does My Makeup Look Dry Final Takes

Moisturizing the skin is essential to avoid that cracked effect that makeup can acquire some time after application. 

This happens because the dermis, when dehydrated, tends to suck water from the products that come into contact with the pores, leaving only the cosmetic pigment visible.

Moisturizing the skin before using makeup, you leave it perfect for longer.

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