Don't Waste Your Money is supported by our readers. When you purchase an item through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The Best Hydrating Foundation

Last updated on October 24, 2022

We looked at the top 6 Hydrating Foundations and dug through the reviews from 21 of the most popular review sites including and more. The result is a ranking of the best Hydrating Foundations.

Our Review Process

Don't Waste Your Money is focused on helping you make the best purchasing decision. Our team of experts spends hundreds of hours analyzing, testing, and researching products so you don't have to. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in a category.

Our Picks For The Top Hydrating Foundations

View All Recommendations
Product Overview
Key Takeaway
Pros
Cons
 Top Pick

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Oil-Free Hydrating Foundation

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval

Neutrogena

Hydro Boost Oil-Free Hydrating Foundation

Even out your complexion with this hydrating tint that goes beyond tinted moisturizers to disguise blemishes for a natural but smooth look. It packs in hyaluronic acid and a lightweight water gel formula to both plump and hydrate your skin. It features an oil-free formula that’s non-comedogenic to prevent clumping and clogging your pores.

Overall Take

Lightweight but EffectiveThe lightweight formula gives this foundation the power to cover fine lines while still giving you that natural look.

Pros
" Budget-friendly. Moisturizing formula contains hyaluronic acid. Evens skin tone."
Cons
"Blemishes could poke through."
 Runner Up

COVERGIRL Clean Fresh Vegan Hydrating Foundation

COVERGIRL

Clean Fresh Vegan Hydrating Foundation

Coconut milk and aloe extract help hydrate your skin, giving you a dewy glow while also delivering nutrients. The foundation is lightweight and blends well with a variety of skin types. The formula is free of formaldehyde, sulfates and talc and also eliminates animal testing for a more natural alternative to traditional cosmetics.

Overall Take

Extra AbsorbentThis foundation features all-natural ingredients that provide a dewy glow while also hydrating your skin.

Pros
" Vegan. Stays on. Very hydrating."
Cons
"This foundation is strongly scented. It did not give a glowy finish. It was not long-lasting and the coverage became patchy. It also emphasized skin texture over time."
 We Also Like

bareMinerals Complexion Rescue SPF 25 Hydrating Foundation

bareMinerals

Complexion Rescue SPF 25 Hydrating Foundation

In addition to a water-based formula, this foundation also packs in SPF 25 protection without the use of chemicals. The size is only 2.6cm L x 3.1cm W x 15.2cm H, making it easy to store with your other makeup products or take on the go with you. The formula is more than 30 percent enhanced mineral water to deliver hydration to your skin while also...

Overall Take

Great for PortabilityThe compact build of this hydrating foundation makes it great for packing in your luggage or keeping in your purse for touchups throughout the day.

Pros
" A clean, water-based formula that offers a radiant finish and helps hydrate the skin for a flawless look."
Cons
"Some testers had to apply quite a lot to get a medium to full coverage. One tester found the texture dry, which made it difficult to blend. Another tester would've liked a longer-lasting finish."
 Also Great

AGE 20’s Color Corrector SPF 50 Hydrating Foundation

AGE 20’s

Color Corrector SPF 50 Hydrating Foundation

You’ll get a color corrector, base and foundation in one compact format with this hydrating foundation. The powder is designed to absorb oil and sebum to reduce shine and provide coverage throughout the day. You’ll also get SPF 50+ to help protect your skin while you’re out in the sun.

Overall Take

Customizable OptionChoose from a variety of shades to find the tint that works with your own skin tone.

Pros
" Lasting stay. Lightweight. Blends easily. Sun protecting. Includes refill. Medium coverage. Dewy matte finish. Non-drying."

Buying Guide

Moisturizer is an important part of maintaining skin health. From a young age, applying hydrating products to your skin can help preserve the skin’s natural oils and provide the nutrients you need. But you also likely use products that disguise blemishes and provide a smooth, balanced look as you head out for the day. That’s where hydrating foundation can help.

There are varying degrees of hydrating foundation, though. You can easily find a wide range of products that apply a light tint to the face to help with blemishes while also boosting hydration. But the other end of the spectrum is full foundation that builds in moisturizing power. In between those two extremes are moisturizers with stronger tint and foundations that focus more heavily on hydration than layering makeup onto the skin.

Whichever route you choose, it’s important to look at the ingredients in the hydrating foundation you choose. Hyaluronic acid seems to be the must-have ingredient in moisturizing products today, and there’s a reason for that. Only a ¼ teaspoon serving of hyaluronic acid can hold 1½ gallons of water. The interesting thing about hyaluronic acid, though, is that your body produces it naturally. As you age, that production slows down, so buying products with hyaluronic acid built in can help make up for your body’s natural loss.

You’ll see some moisturizing foundations marketing their formulas as “buildable.” This means that the more you layer the cream onto your skin, the more coverage you’ll get. If you opt for this type of formula, you can customize your foundation to exactly what you need. If you want a light tint, simply spread a little on, while heavier coverage that disguises blemishes calls for a heavier application.

Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, DWYM analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
13

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the hydrating foundations available to purchase.
6

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

View All Product Rankings

21

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: Byrdie, Style Craze, Adjusting Beauty, Floating In Dreams, Dream In Lace.

87,957

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including

Our experts reviewed the top 6 Hydrating Foundations and also dug through the reviews from 21 of the most popular review sites including and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Hydrating Foundations.

DWYM is your trusted roduct review source. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval
Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in their category.

The Best Bang For Your Buck

COVERGIRL Clean Fresh Vegan Hydrating Foundation

Key Takeawy

Coconut milk and aloe extract help hydrate your skin, giving you a dewy glow while also delivering nutrients. The foundation is lightweight and blends well with a variety of skin types. The formula is free of formaldehyde, sulfates and talc and also eliminates animal testing for a more natural alternative to traditional cosmetics.

What other experts liked

Vegan. Stays on. Very hydrating.
- Byrdie
The Skin Milk was hydrating and nourishing (which is all thanks to the coconut milk and aloe extract). I have sensitive skin, so finding calming ingredients in my makeup is a major bonus. But the selling point for me is that I achieved the dewy look without looking like I...
- PureWow
Light coverage. Easy to apply. Buildable.
- Logical Harmony

What other experts didn't like

The smell.
- Byrdie
This foundation is strongly scented. It did not give a glowy finish. It was not long-lasting and the coverage became patchy. It also emphasized skin texture over time.
- Logical Harmony

What to Look For

  • Instead of hydrating foundation, some choose to go for tinted moisturizer. Depending on the level of coverage you’re looking for, tinted moisturizer could be sufficient. Tinted moisturizer focuses on hydrating your skin, but it has the added benefit of helping to add a little color to your skin. However, for covering blemishes, a foundation on top of your hydrating products might be necessary.
  • It’s important to consider how you’ll apply your foundation. Some come with an applicator brush that lets you scoop out the exact amount you need.
  • For best results, look for a hydrating foundation that uses water gel or hydrating natural oils for your skin. Chemicals can dry out your skin and even potentially cause long-term damage.
  • Some products can clog pores and lead to blemishes. Those are known as “comedogenic” products. That’s why you’ll see the term “non-comedogenic” on cosmetics that are formulated specifically to avoid clogging pores.
  • If you’re going for a more natural look, search for a hydrating foundation that is designed to keep things lightweight. You’ll want one that’s lightly tinted to conceal blemishes as needed but that focuses on hydrating the skin.
  • Different skin tones need different foundation colors. Some hydrating foundations are marked as working with a wide range of skin types and tones, but that might not be the case for your skin. Take a close look at the color you’ll get with your foundation to ensure you’re getting the coverage you need.
  • When trying out a new skincare product, it’s typically best to try it out on a small patch of skin, particularly if you have sensitivities or allergies. After your patch test, you can expand to your full face with confidence.
  • Some cosmetics are tested on animals. If this is important to you, look for products that are marked free from animal testing.

More to Explore

Long before the moisturizers of today, humans were trying to retain their skin’s natural moisture barrier. The use of moisturizing products has been traced all the way back to 3000 B.C., when Ancient Sumerians and Ancient Egyptians used animal fats, oils and honey to keep their skin soft and smooth.

But moisturizer in the form of bottled products didn’t come along until the 1400s B.C. Queen Hatshepsut of Egypt reportedly kept bottled lotions made from nutmeg oil, palm oil, fats and benzopyrene. The queen, who is believed to have suffered from a skin condition that might have been either eczema or psoriasis, needed the extra relief. Unfortunately, benzopyrene is a known carcinogen that has been found to cause tumors in animals, so it’s possible that contributed to her death, although the cause is still unknown.

From our partners