Primer is almost always essential when starting a makeup routine. Without it, the whole process could go to waste. Just like with painting, you have to start off with a smooth, evenly toned surface to ensure that everything ends up looking as natural as possible.
However, people who tend to have oily skin need a special type of primer. Why? Because primer can slide right off, coagulate, or complete mess up if your skin is too oily to absorb it. Luckily, finding the best primer for oily skin isn’t as hard as you’d think. In fact, here’s a list of the ten best primers for people who suffer from skin with excess oils, breakouts, and more!
The 15 Best Primers for People with Oily Skin
1. Dermalogica Skinperfect Primer SPF30
Dermalogica is a great professional beauty brand that is used by dermatologists and cosmetologists. The skin products of this brand are high quality and effective.
This primer contains SPF30 protection against the sun. Tt is an important feature in makeup products since the sun can do a lot of damage to your skin. This primer contains soy proteins that even the skin tone and control sebum production. This primer gives you a flawless look. Also, this product contains pearl powder that gives a slight shimmer to your skin. Nevertheless, this primer for oily skin contains potent peptides that keep your skin firm and healthy.
This primer for oily skin is formulated without artificial fragrances, colors, and parabens.
- Formulated without harmful ingredients
- Controls sebum
- Smooths large pores and give you a flawless skin look
2. jane iredale Smooth Affair For Oily Skin Facial Primer and Brightener
Jane Iredale is a luxury brand that creates great products for every skin type. This primer is specially designed for oily skin. This primer reduces shine, minimizes large pores, and evens the skin tone. It creates a smooth makeup base and gives you a matte look. This primer has an advanced mineral technology that blends into our skin and looks seamless. This product moisturizes your skin but does not feel oily or sticky.
Also, this product is vegan and gluten-free. And the application is easy, you only need a pea-sized amount of product and you are good to go.
- Controls shine and gives a matte finish look
- Blends seamlessly into the skin
- Vegan and gluten-free formula
3. stila One Step Correct
This primer is a great product for those who have oily skin and discoloration. The product also has a moisturizing and shine control serum, so it also hydrates your skin and keeps it plump and healthy-looking. A primer also contains blue, red, and green pigments. Blue pigments neutralize hyperpigmentation on the skin. Red pigments neutralize dark circles and dark scars, while green pigments neutralize redness on your skin.
Also, this primer contains 15 vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that fight free radicals and premature aging. It is a great product that evens the skin tone and your foundation applies easily and gives you a smooth finish look. No pores or discolorations will be visible.
- Great for discoloration of the skin
- Smooths pores
- Moisturizes your skin
4. Dr. Brandt Skincare Pores No More Pore Refiner Primer
This primer is specially designed for oily skin and decreases skin oiliness by 40 percent. It absorbs excess oils and reduces shine. Also, this primer minimizes pores, fine lines, and skin imperfections. Nevertheless, it can minimize the pore itself during the time. This product gives you a smooth and even surface for makeup application.
The great this is that it comes in a velvety texture and has no fragrance. Also, it is easy to apply and it can be used to touch up the makeup.
After 2 weeks of use, it minimizes the pores, fines lines, and skin oiliness. Also, this product is non-comedogenic, hypoallergic, and tested by dermatologists.
- Perfect for oily skin
- Minimizes pores
- Controls shine and create a matte finish look
5. Dermablend Poresaver Matte Primer Face Makeup for Oily Skin
This is a silicone-based face primer that absorbs excess oils and creates a matte and smooth surface for makeup application. Also, this products blur imperfection without drying your skin. The company claims that this primer keeps your makeup matte and shine-free for 24hours. This primer has a lightweight consistency and is fragrance-free. It means that it can be used for sensitive skin also.
Dermablend primer for oily skin can be used under foundation or you can wear it alone to minimize the appearance of pores.
This primer is approved by dermatologists. Also, this product is fragrance-free and allergy-tested. The formula of this product is phthalate-free, triclosan-free, sodium lauryl sulfate-free, cruelty-free
- Minimizes pores and do not clog them
- Absorbs the oils of the skin but do not over-dry it
- Can be used for sensitive skin
6. Dual-Action Face Primer by Monica Ann Beauty
This primer does an excellent job at enriching the skin with natural hydration while also removing the excessive amount of oil. You’ll end up with skin that’s moisturized enough to prevent dryness, but not enough to where you can see it.
A huge key feature that most people notice immediately in the Dual-Action Face Primer by Monica Ann Beauty is the Vitamin C on its label. Vitamin C is unanimously known to help enliven skin, and it actually absorbs through your pores quite quickly. Placing it right on the skin helps it act as fast as possible.
They also use hyaluronic acid, which helps moisturize your skin and make it look much more youthful. It slowly helps reduce the appearance of pores and wrinkles, which almost seems to set your age back a couple years! All in all, the smooth application keeps everything looking in sync and completely natural.
- Uses Vitamin C to enrich and soak into the skin
- Produces a youthful, plump look
- Reduces the appearance of wrinkles and pores
7. LORAC POREfection Mattifying Face Primer
This primer is specially designed for oily skin. The formula of this primer contains salicylic acid that is a great prevention against breakouts. Salicylic acid cleans your pores, and controls skin oils. Also, this primer contains antioxidants such as vitamin E and vitamin A that are great for fighting premature aging. This primer also contains vitamin C that is a necessary element for collagen synthesis in the skin.
The formula of this primer gives you a matte and smooth base for makeup application. This product makes your makeup stay in place no matter what.
Also, this primer for oily skin is formulated without fragrances, parabens, and oils.
- Contains salicylic acid
- Blurs the appearance of large pores
- Contains antioxidant vitamin E and A
8. Thank Me Later Primer
One of the biggest issues with a lot of oily skin primers is the fact that they always tend to make your face shinier. Sure, they might work well with the oil itself, but nobody wants to walk around shiny all day! Luckily, the Thank Me Later Primer has a matte finish to make things look as natural as can be.
Made by Elizabeth Mott, this brand of face primer is eco-friendly. It’s actually registered with PETA to show that it’s not used to test on animals. Taking the extra steps to ensure animal safety is something that far too many brands seem to pass up.
Another huge benefit to this product is that it helps minimize the appearance of pores. Overtime, exposure to makeup can cause enlarged pores which leads to acne and blackheads. This one tackles those issues, preventing acne in the long run.
- Made by an animal-safe brand
- Helps minimize the appearance of pores
- Nice matte finish to create a natural look
9. Oily Face Control Mattifying Primer by Lauda Botanicals
Using natural ingredients is always the way to go, especially when you’re putting the product directly on your face. The Oily Face Control Mattifying Primer by Lauda Botanicals uses all-natural Aloe Vera, witch hazel, and other ingredients to promote healthy skin.
If you’re looking for that matte skin tone, the one that you see in commercials, then this one is worth investigating. It removes the shiny, oily appearance that our skin naturally puts off, without clogging pores. The result is a refreshing, rejuvenated face!
Unfortunately, a lot of other brands use alcohol-based primers to get rid of oil. This leads to excess dry skin. You’ll end up having to buy more primer and concealer for dry skin, which means more money out of your pocket. However, this product doesn’t use alcohol, which means your skin won’t dry out.
- Doesn’t dry out your skin with alcohol
- Keeps you looking refreshed and reduces pore size
- Removes the ‘oily’ appearance
Related: Have a dry skin? Check our article about primers for dry skin!
10. Rimmel Stay Matte Primer
Whereas primer is usually meant as a base foundation for all of your makeup, the Rimmel Stay Matte Primer can be worn alone. That’s right, all of your entire makeup routine can consist of a single bottle. How easy is that?
Another unique factor that Rimmel took into mind when making this primer is that it leaves you feeling as if you just applied lotion. Everybody loves that fresh, moisturized feeling… And nobody loves that icky, oily feeling! This helps remove the oil, and hydrate your skin.
While your shine is 100% under control, you’ll also notice that your pores will begin to appear smaller. People who produce excess oil tend to have larger pores. Since your oil is being taken care of, your pores will slowly start to appear smaller over time.
Related: Best Primer for Large Pores
- Can be worn alone, as your entire makeup setup
- Keeps oily shininess at a minimum
- Hydrates your skin, giving it a lotion moisturized feeling
11. Premium Foundation Makeup Primer by Bellezza Secreto
Not all of us have the luxury of being able to take makeup off after only a few hours. For those of you looking for that 8-10 hour, all day control, you’re going to love this. The Premium Foundation Makeup Primer by Bellezza Secreto is made to last all day long. Whether you’re at school, work, or a friend’s house, you’re covered!
This makeup primer is more than just a typical primer. It’s meant to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, pores, and any other features that goes with aging over time. Using Vitamins E and A, it naturally hydrates and replenishes your skin to keep it from drying out or producing excess oils.
With this primer, you’ll find that a small portion goes a whole lot longer than most other brands. This’ll save you money in the long run, and keep you from putting too much on your face. Just be careful to not overdo it!
- Last 8-10 hours, much longer than the competition
- Vitamins E and A are packed in to help your skin
- A small amount does a whole bunch of work
12. L’Oreal Paris Magic Perfecting Base Face Primer
L’Oreal is no stranger to the makeup world. As a matter of fact, they’re one of the most trusted brands around. Their products remain tried and true for several years, and their Magic Perfecting Base Face Primer is no exception.
This primer does an excellent job at targeting those troubled areas that we all have. Whether it’s the chin, cheeks, side eyes, or forehead, you’ll quickly notice that they all start to fade away and blur together. You’ll appear smoothed out and uniform throughout the skin.
Another great feature about most L’Oreal products is that they mesh very well together. This primer is meant to pair with skin lightening cream, foundation, blush, and a multitude of other products that most other primers would alter.
- Made by a world-famous, well-trusted brand
- Created to blend with any other makeup products you have
- Targets problem areas and eliminates the issue
13. BECCA Ever Matte Poreless Priming Perfector Makeup Foundation Primer
Sometimes you just want the simple things in life. Too many additives with a number of various purposes end up resulting in a mush that helps in one area but hinders you in another. This makeup primer by Becca focuses solely on tackling your oily skin problem effectively.
Using this primer means that you can take it with you wherever you go as a touch up product. Most others in the industry can only be applied prior to putting on the rest of your makeup. Once it’s one, it’s on. However, this one is great for little reapplies here and there.
A big selling point for this company is the fact that their poreless primer is made to resist sweat, humidity, and other natural moisturizers that happen to our skin. It’s made without skin-drying alcohols and silicone to allow it to attach and stay where it is until you’re ready to remove it.
- Made with one purpose, focusing directly on oily skin
- Use it as a touch up throughout the day
- No alcohol, oils, fragrances, and so on
14. COVERGIRL truBlend Primer for Oily Skin
Covergirl is another wildly famous brand in the skin care industry. They cover any and all aspects of makeup application, making them one of the go-to experts in the field. Being in the hands of a company that focuses and consistently takes down skin problems is reassuring as possible!
For starters, this makeup primer won’t clog your pores. Obviously clogged pores lead to acne and blackheads, which nobody wants. Not only that, but it also causes oil production to increase. Rest assured, you won’t have to worry about that.
It’s also great for sensitive skin, which is often too rare, or few and far between. Some of us have skin that’s prone to dryness and breakouts upon contact with certain types of makeup. Luckily, this one isn’t one of those.
- Made by Covergirl, a makeup expert
- Great for sensitive skin
- Won’t clog your pores
15. SACE LADY Invisible Pore Foundation Primer
There are a seriously unfortunate amount of makeups out there that end up looking like they’re caked on. You want that natural look, not the ‘I just put on a pound of makeup’ look. The Sace Lady Invisible Pore Foundation Primer does a great job at keep the natural appearance!
Keep your oil under control without making it look like you even had to try. People will start wondering how on Earth you manage to have such flawless skin! Not only does it remove oil, but it produces a matte finish.
Much like a couple of other products on in the ‘best primer for oily skin’ list, this one tends to last all day long. You don’t have to worry about sweating it off, or even losing it half way through the day.
- Looks natural, not cakey
- Creates a matte finish
- Stays on all day long
How to Choose the Best Primer for Oily Skin
If you’re having trouble finding the best primer that’ll work for your oily skin, you could always start by investigating the most popular brands. After all, there’s a reason why so many people enjoy their products!
You also might want to consider what kind of moisturizer is being used in the primer. Some moisturizers don’t mix with your skin’s natural oils, which causes it to shine even more than usual. It’s always good to stick with natural, organic ingredients that’ll hydrate your skin as much as it needs.
Finally, there are a few do’s and don’ts for buying your makeup primer.
You DO want:
- Vitamins that enrich the skin
- A matte finish to blur wrinkles, lines, and shine
- Pore-shrinking formulas
You DON’T want:
- Alcohol-based primers that dry out the skin
- Harsh chemicals that might make sensitive skin break out
- Cakey makeup, which leads to a chunky, messy appearance
There you have it! You now have the best tools you need to get the job done. Now go out there and find out what primer works best for oily skin from the 15 listed above!
Joan S. Wilson is a lifelong makeup and skincare enthusiast. She used to work as a makeup artist for 5 years. Joan is always curious and wants to learn more when it comes to makeup and skincare. She tries her best to make other people’s skin health better. This is why Joan is so passionate about writing articles on beauty topics. She always looks for products that are high-quality, dermatologist-tested, and does that it says on the label. In every article, she shares her knowledge to make your life healthier and happier!