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NOW READING The Best Dry Skin Cushions (+ How to Prep Skin For a Flawless Finish)
January 18, 2018

The Best Dry Skin Cushions (+ How to Prep Skin For a Flawless Finish)

For dry skin types, your makeup base starts before you pat on that first dab from your cushion compact. How to prep your skin for your cushion foundation, and 5 dry skin cushions that will bring the glow back into your dry skin.



It sometimes seems like oily skin gets all the attention. There are a million “oil-free,” “mattifying,” “sebum sucking” products out there. The oily skins are very vocal about what they want and the market scrambles to answer. Meanwhile, us dry skins are over here desperate to be the squeaky wheel, because just like the old saying, we want some of that grease we so pitifully lack!


I’ve had a lifetime of dry skin, and I’ve been chasing the shine for a long time. I want my skin to be bouncy, plump, and most of all, glowy. As I’ve aged I’ve noticed what little glow I did have in my youth has quickly faded, so the hunt has taken on a whole new level of seriousness. I have tried just about every BB cushion you can imagine, and I’ve amassed quite the collection. I’ve also worked out what I need to do to make sure I am at peak glow from sunup to sundown.


dry skin cushions


So before I introduce you to my favorite BB cushions for the parched masses, let’s start at the beginning.


Addressing the problem


I cannot tell you how important it is to replace the oil for a dry skin. The reason most of us dry skins are the way we are is low sebum production. And while that may sometimes bless us with tiny pores, it also curses us with itchy, flaky skin, which is the absolute worst thing to have before you apply a foundation or cushion. Because we’re lacking that oil, it’s extremely important to supplement. It’s like being anemic and needing iron. Oil is our iron pill!


The good news is we get to replace our sebum with whatever we want, and there’s a cornucopia of excellent oils out there. Mine is, of course, camellia oil, but there are so many other excellent ones, too: sea buckthorn, rosehip seed, argan, marula, tamanu, the list goes on and on. Do some experimenting until you find a few you really love that work for you. I always try to do one month on, one month off, and alternate my favorites to keep things fresh.


camellia oil dry skin cushions


Once your skin is properly oiled up and hydrated (which your skincare routine should be taking care of), you can minimize and or prevent those nasty dry patches that BB cushions love to cling to. Instead you’ll have a lovely, plump starting point.


Check your sunscreen


Check the alcohol content in your sunscreen. Now, there are different types of alcohol. Some are beneficial, and some may not be, especially for us desiccated mummies. Fatty alcohols such as cetyl, stearyl, and cetearyl alcohol aren’t going to dry you out; quite the opposite, these can actually be beneficial for dry skins.


The type of alcohol that can dry out skin is SD alcohol or alcohol denat. Sometimes, dry skin really does not appreciate a high SD alcohol content (which for the most part is used in sunscreens to make them dry down quickly). If you have one of those skins, you could find yourself with stubborn dry patches or bumpy irritation. A well formulated but mild sunscreen without SD alcohol might be what you need. Innisfree Extreme Safety 100 Sun Cream SPF50 PA+++ is one that I personally love. Another good option is Goodal Sensitive Relief Sun Cream SPF35 PA+++.


Lay down a primer to counteract dullness


Primer isn’t just a mattifying tool for oily skin. Primer also serves as the foundation for a smooth canvas and can help impart a glow to overcome the flatness of drier skins. My absolute all-time favorite of these primers is VDL Lumilayer Primer. It both locks the makeup in place and gives a natural ethereal shine that you haven’t seen on your face since you were a teen.


Now that you’ve done all the groundwork, let’s get down to business


Innisfree Ampoule Moisture Cushion


dry skin cushions



You like dew? Well, here Innisfree gives you the dew. In addition to being moisturizing, this formula features “highly refractive oil ingredients [that] evenly distribute light, giving your skin a gorgeous natural glow,” according to the Innisfree website. The result is a gorgeous, youthful dewiness, and your skin is left hydrated and comfortable, even in harsh conditions. The finish is natural, so it’s best for skin without a lot of dark blemishes. This cushion is also very affordable, checking in at under $20. It’s a great budget option that totally does not feel like a budget option.


Missha The Original Tension Pact Tone Up Glow SPF30/PA++


dry skin cushions


I love this cushion, although I can’t rightly call it a cushion. It’s technically a tension pact. What is a tension pact? Inside of this compact is a finely woven mesh net, instead of a sponge. When you pat your sponge onto the netting, you get a perfectly even deposit that translates as flawless onto your skin. This formula is creamy instead of the typical liquid found in sponge cushions.


It’s also hydrating. According to Missha, it hydrates for up to 24 hours: “Double moisturization (moisturization + creation of a moisture barrier) helps skin retain moisture for an extended period.” I’m never going to wear it for 24 hours, but I can attest to its longevity for at least up to eight hours at a time, as that’s the longest I’ve ever worn it. It also gives a lovely radiant glow and has medium, buildable coverage.


Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion Brightening


dry skin cushions


Ugggggh. You perfect, beautiful princess. Yes, I’m talking to you, Sulwhasoo cushion. Not only are you gorgeous, you make my skin gorgeous as well. Talk about the antidote to a dull complexion, this stuff makes you glow like a freshly minted coin in the sun. According to their website, “The formula includes magnolia extract, which blooms with the bright light of spring, and a Pearlescent Complex to bring a translucent radiance to the skin. Your skin will be left bright and luminous for up to 12 hours.”


Whatever is in there, it really works. I hate that I love this cushion so much, because it is the most expensive of all the options listed here at $69. But I can’t sit here with a straight face and say it’s not worth it, because it is. It leaves my skin looking radiant, glowy, dewy, all the adjectives! Really, the incandescent glow is just too perfect. I absolutely love this cushion. It’s a splurge, but a splurge you won’t regret.


Skinfood Vita Fit Serum Glow Cushion


Skinfood Vita Fit Serum Glow Cushion SPF50+ PA+++ dry skin cushions


I feel like I owe you another budget option after that Sulwhasoo recommendation. Skinfood Vita Fit Serum Glow Cushion is a no-nonsense cushion that contains ceramide for moisturization and a very subtle shimmer for glow. This cushion is super saturated with product, so a light hand in the beginning will go a long way. This is the least natural looking finish of all the aforementioned cushions. I’d dare say it’s almost a full coverage cushion, and it can quite quickly build up to cakey, so go easy. It is, however, moisturizing, and it’s worked well for me even during the harsh snowy winter.


Yuri Pibu Cucu Maronza Cushion

dry skin cushions

This cushion straddles the line between treatment and makeup, and who wouldn’t love that? Its first listed ingredient is Western truffle extract (20%) and the second is extract of mushroom. C’mon, marry me already. As if that isn’t already enough to make you a believer there’s also sweet almond oil very high up in the ingredient list, which is excellent for dry skin.


And here is where I put on my cheesy infomercial voice and let you know, “But wait, there’s more!” I can’t even begin to pick and choose what is more awesome because it’s all great, so let me park the rest of the ingredients here.


Yeast Fermentation Filtrate, Yeast / Fermented Extract Of Lactobacillus Japonicus, Fermented Extract Of Lactobacillus Japonicus, Fermented Extract Of Lactobacillus Japonica, Fermented Extract Of Lactobacillus Japonica, Fermented Extract Of Aspergillus Cerevisiae, Rice Fermented Extract, Aspergillus / Rice Fermented Extract, O Yeosin, Alpha-Bisabolol, Grays Extracts, Seaweed Extracts, Broccoli Extracts, Pearl Extracts, Seaweed Extracts, Caffeine, Hose Tail Kelp Extracts, Golden Extracts Sodium Chloride Superfine Fruit Extracts, Earth Nore Extracts, Waxy Extracts, Stearic Acid Ethyl Perlate, Aluminum Hydroxide, Mushroom Extract (20%), Peppermint Oil, Rose Oil, Peppermint Oil


Bruh, amazing! It also has a beautiful, glowy, natural finish and wears well throughout the day.


What do you think about my cushion recommendations? What are your favorite dry skin cushions?




Coco Park is an author, beauty journalist, blogger, podcast host, and all around oddball living in Montreal Quebec with her family. Originally from the southern USA, she worked for several years in the makeup industry as a professional makeup artist and holds a certificate in esthetics. She is a proud member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. Want to know more? Check her out on the Beauty Beyond Basics podcast, on her blog, on Instagram @thebeautywolf, and in her book "Korean Beauty Secrets: A Practical Guide to Cutting-Edge Skincare & Makeup."




I love Sulwhasoo's Perfecting Cushion! It had a nice finish~ Right now, I'm obsessed with Troiareuke's Healing Cushion! It has a nice dewy finish, and doesn't cake up at all~ It also gives my skin that nice moisturizing feeling! Love it ! :)


The one from Missha sounds promising! Thanks for this article, this is really helpful for me.

Ruth Kim

I've still yet to try any of the Sulwhasoo cushions but it's definitely next on my list!

A side tip on boosting the moisture game with a cushion: I like to spritz the puff with a few sprays from my face mist that's on rotation (I really like the SanDaWha camellia facial mist for this!). Then I dab that into the cushion and apply as usual. It just adds a little bit more hydration and glow!

Jane Heur

YAAAHS! Finally a story on dry skin cushions!
Huge dilemma on which of these cushions to try........(bank tells me i can only buy one).