Best Primers for Large Pores

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Despite what airbrushed pictures of perfect skin may lead you to believe, nobody has perfect skin. Large pores are one of the most common issues.

While there’s nothing wrong with having not quite perfect skin, you may find yourself wanting to hide your pores for one reason or another. Maybe you want your make up to coat your skin better, or maybe you want to achieve the appearance of youthful, dewy skin.

Whatever your reasoning is, while it may be impossible to permanently change your pore size, you can alter it using a primer!

Primer acts as a base to all of your make up in order to smooth your skin. However, while it may seem like the holy grail of skin products, there are some things to keep in mind.

That’s why we’ve created this guide to help you pick the best primer for large pores. We’ve included a list of our top ten favorite pore-filling primers, as well as answered your most asked questions.

Top 10 Best Primers for Large Pores

1. Dr. Brandt Skincare Pores More Pore Refiner

Dr. Brandt Skincare Pores More Pore Refiner

This silky, smooth primer is designed to work under or on top of makeup. It works instantly to reduce pore size, blur wrinkles, and control oil production with a matte finish.

The instructions say that you should pat this product onto your skin. However, multiple reviewers say that the best way to apply this primer is to smooth it over your skin.

The best time to apply it is in the morning right before you apply your makeup. Then you can apply touch-ups throughout the day to keep your skin smooth, oil-free, and looking flawless.

Despite the tanned tint that the product has, it melts into your skin for a smooth, even finish.

Some reviewers have said that there is a stronger smell to this primer than other options. If you’re sensitive to smells, then you may want to consider a different primer.

However, if you’re not, this can be a great pore filling primer.

2. Lancome Paris La Base Pro Primer

Lancome Paris La Base Pro Primer

The Lancome primer creates a smooth, makeup ready base without leaving an oily sheen. It goes on smooth and dries quickly for a poreless finish faster.

It works to help keep your makeup in place all day while minimizing pores. It also cools, helping minor redness for better foundation coverage.

The creamy texture is easy to apply and leaves your skin feeling smooth and silky. It’s colorless and translucent to help blend into your skin without any cast or tinting.

This primer utilizes Lancome’s Elasto-Smooth technology. As a result, it smooths your skin for a bouncy finish without caking into fine lines and wrinkles.

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3. Benefit Cosmetics POREfessional Primer

Benefit Cosmetics POREfessional Primer

The POREfessional Pro Primer Balm reduces the appearance of large pores as well as fine lines for smooth skin. This silky, lightweight balm can be used alone for smoother skin or applied under makeup to act as a base.

The best part is that, even though it uses ultra-moisturizing and protective ingredients such as Vitamin E, it’s a no-oil formulate. The translucent formula is designed to complement all skin tones while lasting all days.

To apply this primer under makeup, make sure to wash and moisturize your face first. Then, pat the product onto your problem areas and blend into problem areas.

You can also use it over makeup following the same steps.

Because you can use it over or under makeup, you don’t have to worry all day. If you ever notice your problem areas showing through, you can reapply the primer for refined, smooth skin.

4. Hourglass Cosmetics Veil Mineral Primer

Hourglass Cosmetics Veil Mineral Primer

Elevate your foundation’s coverage with this primer that extends its wear for a perfect complexion that lasts.

This oil-free primer conceals redness while minimizing the look of pores, fine lines, and wrinkles to create a smooth, even canvas. It helps your foundation glide on and stays on while proving SPF 15 sun protection.

It’s also water-resistant! This means that it’ll work even harder to protect your makeup throughout the day.

To apply, use ½ to 1 pump of the primer or clean skin before you apply your makeup. It can be used with any type of foundation – cream, liquid, or powder.

If you take a look at the ingredients, you can see that it is vegan and cruelty-free. It’s also made without parabens, sulfates, oil, fragrance, or synthetic dyes so it can be gentle on your skin.

5. Algenist Perfect Pore Anti-Aging Primer

Algenist Perfect Pore Anti-Aging Primer

This anti-aging primer visibly refines pores, blurs fine lines and imperfections, and helps improve skin texture and tone. It has an aqueous formula that is lightweight and breathable while maintaining a soft, satin finish.

The Algenist primer works to reduce fine lines and other imperfections using an exclusive star ingredient: Alguironic Acid. This natural ingredient is derived from algae and is proven to visibly minimize the appearance of aging while bolstering other ingredients.

It also includes other beneficial ingredients such as salicylic acid and botanicals like willow bark, hibiscus flower extract, and squalane. These are just a few of the seven natural botanicals at work in this primer.

It also contains no parabens, mineral oil, formaldehyde paraffin, or sulfates.

As a result, this dermatologist-tested primer is non-comedogenic, hypoallergenic, and suitable for all skin types, even sensitive.

6. Smashbox Photo Finish Primer

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer

The Smashbox Photo Finish primer uses an oil-free formula that reduces imperfections by minimizing pores and controlling oils and shine. However, it doesn’t dry out your skin!

It is waterproof and suitable for both oily and combination skin. It has a soft, matte finish that doesn’t show a cast in photos but gives you smooth, flawless skin.

It mutes warm tones to help add more depth to your skin. It’s also designed for daily use, so you can have photo-ready skin every day.

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The Smashbox primer can also help even out skin that is textured from acne scars or other skin concerns. It’s designed to improve the manageability of your skin to make the rest of your skin routine easier.

7. Tarte Poreless Mattifying Primer

Tarte Poreless Mattifying Primer

Sometimes, you may need more than just an everyday primer. For when the going gets tough, you’ll need a primer that can handle the heat.

The Tarte primer is designed to mattify your skin and retexturize for a smooth finish. It’s waterproof and uses optical technology to filter out imperfections with a shine-free finish.

 If you have a long day planned, this primer lasts up to 12 hours, keeping your skin smooth all day. It’s a silky, invisible gel that is ideal for oil or combination skin.

It can cover more than pores too, smoothing out things such as uneven textures, fine lines, dry patches, and even acne scars.

However, if your skin leans towards the dry side, you may want to skip out on this primer. Since it has a matte finish, it may dry your skin out worse if you use it all over everyday.

8. Lancer Studio Filler Perfecting Primer

Lancer Studio Filler Perfecting Primer

Thanks to Porifin Complex, the Lancer Studio primer primes your skin while also treating. This means that while it’s covering your problem areas such as uneven skin texture and large pores, it’s also treating them.

It has a unique hydra-velvet formula that helps the skin look smoother by filling in lines and wrinkles. This provides a smooth canvas for your makeup while meaning shine.

Universal skin tint and optical diffusers subtly blur the look of imperfections and discolorations for a natural, flattering finish for all complexions.

9. Dermalogica Hydrablur Primer

Dermalogica Hydrablur Primer

The Dermalogica Hydrablur primer uses an H20 Release Complex and Abyssinian Oil for a luxury experience that primes while moisturizing. It has a microencapsulated tint that reacts to light for universal, neutral coverage.

The good news is you can wear it before or after moisturizer too, allowing you to stick to your routine. It smooths, mattifies, and minimizes the appearance of large pores, fine lines, and wrinkles.

Related: Best Drugstore Pore Minimizer

Since this is a highly moisturizing product, it’s good for all skin types. However, you may want to be cautious if you have oily skin, especially if your makeup consists of liquid, mousse, or creme products.

10. Erborian Pink Perfect Creme Primer

Erborian Pink Perfect Creme Primer

One thing that may turn people away from primers is the worry of dry skin. However, this creme primer is designed with multiple benefits for softer, smoother, and more supple skin.

It has a blurring effect that helps minimize the appearance of pores by using a soft-focus. This can also help with other minor imperfections such as wrinkles and fine lines.

The best time to apply this creme primer is right before your makeup. Apply it with gentle motions and allow a minute or two to absorb into your skin.

After it sinks it, you can apply your makeup right on top for a smooth, canvas-like effect.

What is the best primer for minimizing pores?

Which primer works best for minimizing pores depends on multiple, personalized factors. Skin isn’t created equal, and what you need for your pores may differ from someone else.

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However, some things go for all skin types. The best pore reducing primer is one that uses quality, non-harmful ingredients.

That means that you’ll want to try and avoid silicone-based primers. Silicone is comedogenic and can clog your pores.

Does primer make pores bigger?

Simply using a primer isn’t enough to make your pores larger. However, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

You see, like any type of makeup, primer can trap dirt and debris within your pores, clogging them. Over time, clogged pores can stretch, making them larger.

And once you have made them larger, it can be difficult, if not impossible, to return them to their normal size.

This is why regular face washing is so important. By taking the time to wash off your make up every evening and removing all of it, you can help protect your pores.

You should also check the ingredients on the back of your primer. It’s important to make sure that none of the ingredients will clog your skin, worsening any skin conditions you have.

Is primer bad for pores?

Primer is one of those things you either love or hate. Some people swear by it, other people swear against it.

One of the main reasons that people avoid using primers is because they’re afraid it will harm their pores.

While they’re not exactly wrong, they’re not exactly right either.

As with all products, whether or not prime will be bad for your pores depends on several factors. One of these being ingredients.

Silicone primers are one of the most popular types. While they do offer a lot of benefits, they also have a lot of cons to keep in mind.

One of these is enlarged pores, as mentioned above. They can also trap dirt and grime within your pores, causing bad skin.

However, these problems can be avoided – or at least reduced – by taking proper care of your skin. By avoiding wearing your makeup to bed, using harsh scrubs and chemicals, and by keeping your skin clean, you should have no issues.


Using a pore reducing primer can mean the difference between good makeup and flawless makeup. While covering up imperfections isn’t a necessity to look good – in fact, embracing your natural beauty is great! – primer has other benefits too.

One of the best advantages to primer is the fact it helps your makeup go on easier and stay put. Paired with a finishing spray, your makeup could possibly last all day with the right primer.

Primer can also be beneficial if you have naturally oily skin. This benefit is bolstered if you choose one with a matte finish.

It’s important to remember your skincare when using primers, though, especially if you’re using a silicone-based one. Left on your skin for too long, primers can have a count effect and clog your pores.

Once you decide and pick the best primer, for you, however, it’ll quickly become one of your favorite tools.

Still searching a good primer? Check also:

Best Water Based Primers

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