Primers are an oily skinned gals best friend. Everyone with oily skin knows just how hard it is to properly apply your foundation without having it slip and slide its way off your skin within an hour or two. A great primer can help solve that problem for you. Bonuses of using primers are that they can help to minimize large pores, make the appearance of acne, acne scars, or other blemishes fade away, and all in all, they help to even out your texture.
What Is a Primer?
If you aren’t familiar with this type of makeup, then you might be asking yourself why primers are so special and why oily skinned people might need them. Well, to put it simply, they help prime the skin or make sure it’s ready for the rest of your makeup—the foundation, concealer, powder, color corrector, or whatever type of facial makeup that you use. Formulated with waxes and polymers, they help to provide you with a fresh, smooth face and texture so that you can have a truly flawless application process.
Who Needs a Primer?
While we’re focusing today on oily skin types and why they need primers, there are plenty of other reasons you may need one. If you have discoloration, uneven skin tone, or excessive acne, or the scarring caused by previous blemish breakouts, then you could benefit from a primer. Women who have wrinkles or fine lines may also want to invest in a good primer, as it offers you a bit of additional coverage when used along with your foundation, powder, and concealer.
How do you know which primer is the right one for you? We all know that no two makeups are created equally, and trust us when we say that primers are no exception to that rule. With your plight in mind, we have come up with what we believe to be the five best primers for oily skin. One of these five amazing primers are sure to give you that flawless starting canvas you desire, and help your makeup to stay in place well after you put it there. Good luck!
1. Nars Pro-Prime Light Optimizing Primer
This primer offers SPF 15, contains a light-reflecting complex that gives your skin a very nice pinkish-gold glow, and with no shine or glitter. It also contains vitamins A, E, and C which can help to protect your skin against free radicals. It’s also oil-free, paraben-free, alcohol-free, and non-comedogenic, so I know you’re going to love it.
The texture is very nice—not greasy or oily feeling at all. There is also a very light scent that goes away quickly and does not linger. It has been dermatologist tested and with consumer testing results that say 95% of all users agree that this product can prepare the skin for effortless makeup application.
- octinoxate (5.9%)
- avobenzone (2.5%)
- octocrylene (2%)
- “Not only does this primer help to extend and transform makeup wear, but the SPF will also protect your skin from harsh weather.”
- “Provides the perfect surface to apply makeup…this is one primer I can’t live without!”
- “This primer goes on smooth and absorbs readily.”
- “This is the perfect product to use alone or underneath makeup.”
- “I love the way it feels when you put it on, it soaks into your skin and pores and creates a great foundation for makeup.”
Cost: You can expect to spend around $34 for a 1.1-ounce tube of Nars Pro-Prime Light Optimizing Primer at most major stores.
2. Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer SPF 20 With Dermaxyl Complex
This primer doesn’t just prime—it also protects and corrects, all in one step and one bottle. This primer has been specially designed to help stop and reverse the effects of aging while at the same time creating the perfect canvas for optimal foundation application. You can wear it alone or beneath the foundation.
The anti-aging effects of this foundation include reducing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and pores for skin that is visibly softer and smoother. The added SPF 20 also helps to protect you against the sun’s damaging rays, which is always your first step in protecting yourself from premature aging. This primer won Allure Magazine’s Best of Beauty Editors Choice award for Best Primer.
- Avobenzone (2%)
- Homosalate (15%)
- Octisalate (5%)
- Grape Seed Extract
- “Your makeup stays in place and looks as fresh at 5 pm as when I put it on.”
- “It goes on with a silky feeling and helps to cover the imperfections of my aging skin.”
- “The feeling of this on my face is amazing, and I think that the light scent is wonderful.”
- “Use this daily before putting on my foundation.”
- “At almost 67, I still get compliments on my complexion all the time because of this primer.”
Cost: Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer SPF 20 with Dermaxyl Complex costs around $42 at most major stores. It’s certainly a bit on the expensive side but well worth it.
3. Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Primer
This lotion is extremely lightweight, which feels almost as though it isn’t there once you put it on. I know that there’s nothing any woman loves more than a makeup she can put on and forget about, which is why this amazing primer made our top five list. This primer soothes and moisturizes the skin while creating a gorgeously smooth surface for your makeup to adhere to. This is an essential first step in putting on any makeup.
The various ingredients help to soothe your sensitive skin and keep your moisture levels in check. It can also be used as a fantastic eye base. If you love a double-duty product that does it all, you are going to fall in love with this stuff. It was also voted one of Women’s Day Magazine’s Top Beauty Buys, so it’s not just us raving about it!
- Chamomile Extract
- Cornflower Extract
- vegetable-derived Glycerin
- Lemon Peel Extract
- Comfrey Root Extract
- “This makes every foundation look incredible.”
- “It eliminates cakiness, transferring, fading, creasing, and pretty much every problem that one could have with a foundation.”
- “I get compliments on my skin when I’ wearing this all of the time!”
- “A little bit goes a long way and it sinks right into my skin!”
- “This primer makes the airbrush foundation apply smoothly and last for hours without having to touch it up.”
Cost: Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Primer costs $25 for a one-ounce bottle when you buy it straight from OCC. All you need is a little drop for it to work its magic.
4. Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer
This primer is free of all sorts of nasty things you wouldn’t want to sit on your face. Things like parabens, sulfates, synthetic fragrances or dyes, and phthalates. What is does have is a mineral-based formula that is water-resistant and with added SPF 15. This will help you to neutralize the skin, minimize the shine, and create a smooth, uniform canvas for a wonderfully flawless makeup application.
The finish is very clean and satin-like. It helps to keep your makeup looking fresh for hours without the need for any touch-ups throughout the day, and it even helps to prevent any fading.
As a bonus, this primer also helps to absorb any excess oils while minimizing pores, skin imperfections, fine lines, and wrinkles.
- Titanium Dioxide (2.45%)
- Zinc Oxide (4.2%)
- Stearic Acid
- “I could not be happier…my makeup looks so fresh six hours after applications!”
- “I love the mineral veil because it makes my makeup go on so smoothly and my skin feels incredibly soft.”
- “Makes my skin feel amazing and my makeup goes on more smoothly.”
- “Lightweight and non-greasy, so it allows my makeup to stay on for long hours.”
- “It doesn’t break me out and doesn’t clog my pores!”
Cost: Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer costs around $52. It is certainly a splurge item, but we certainly think it’s worth it. If you have the money for it, we say go ahead and splurge away! You won’t regret it!
5. Too Faced Primed & Poreless Skin Smoothing Face Primer
This primer is amazing. It is a makeup primer that has been scientifically formulated for you to achieve the look of truly flawless skin without any actual makeup. This is truly a one-of-a-kind makeup primer that allows you to wear it all by itself, or underneath bronzers, foundations, powders, etc. for a personalized yet always flawless look. This stuff doesn’t just prime your skin though. It also helps to hydrate, firm, and detoxify your skin even while it works to allow your foundation of choice to slide effortlessly into your skin and stay there all day long. Your skin will appear brighter, fresher, younger, and smoother with every application!
- Camellia Oil
- Vitamin A
- Mulberry Extract
- Vitamin C
- Ivy Extract
- “Feels very soft and nearly weightless yet still does the trick!”
- “Silky smooth coverage and I wear it with just a colored moisturizer since I prefer a minimal use of makeup.”
- “It feels so good on my skin, and my face remains shine-free all day long! I recommend this product!”
- “I find that my foundation goes on smoother, stays fresh-looking longer, and is great for wearing alone to go to the gym with an even skin tone.”
- “It’s clean and pure, feels great on my skin. I love it!”
Cost: Too Faced Primed & Poreless Skin Smoothing Face Primer costs around $30. It’s a bit pricier than some, but a lot cheaper than others.
Well, there you have it ladies! Those are my top five picks for the best primers for oily skin. I hope you love them just as much as I do!