What’s the Best Primer for Oily Skin? 6 Perfect Primer Picks

Woman Applying Facial Cream

Can we just blame social media for our obsession with perfection? If it weren’t for those deceptive (and yes, addictive) filters, we might have been able to carry on with our lives without obsessing over visible pores, natural flaws and fine lines.

But no. The culture of the selfie has made it so that we are all clamoring for the latest product that will make us look just as smooth and poreless as the latest snapchat filter does. Good news for beauty companies, bad news for your wallet.

Thankfully we’ve waded through the influx of ‘insta-perfectors’ to bring you the best of the best. With this little of the best primers for oily skin and a little knowledge on your side, you’ll have baby perfect skin to rival social media’s best influencers quicker than you can say Kardashian.

Becca Cosmetics Ever Matte

BECCA – Ever Matte Poreless Priming Perfector, 40 ml / 1.35 oz
  • Silicone-free primer that controls excess oil and reduces shine
  • Gives instant skin tightening and metrifying effect
  • Offers a smooth matte surface throughout the day

Becca claims that this bestselling formula is not only the ideal base for makeup but that its ‘liquid blotting paper’ superpower will work throughout the day to wick away shine. Insert collective gasp from the excessively oily here.

Suitable for combination to extremely oily skin types, this primer delivers 12 hours of protection from oil spills. It’s sweat and humidity resistant as well, making it an excellent choice for brides, performers or anyone hoping to capture the perfect beach selfie. Oil, silicone, alcohol and fragrance free, Ever Matte Perfector can be applied before foundation, after and throughout the day should any shine muscle its way through.

The biggest issues with this product seems to be in its application. To achieve the poreless, velvet complexion you’re expecting, you’ll need to warm the product between your fingers before applying. Once your body heat ‘loosens’ the texture, apply it quickly by patting it on with a stippling ‘out and up’ gesture. Being too eager and slapping on your make up right away has been known to cause pilling so allow it to set before applying your foundation or finishing it with loose powder.

Paula’s Choice Shine Stopper Primer

Paula's Choice SHINE STOPPER Instant Matte Finish Oil Control Primer, Pore Minimizer for Oily Skin,...
  • LONG LASTING MATTE PRIMER: Our SHINE STOPPER minimizes the look of pores and reduces...
  • Paula's Choice--SHINE STOPPER Instant Matte Finish Oil Control Primer absorbs excess...
  • This oil-absorbing makeup primer for face works quickly to keep oily shine in check...

Paula Begoun made a name for herself in the early 90’s by exposing the beauty industry’s use of iffy chemicals in her book “Don’t Go to the Cosmetic Counter Without Me”.

Honesty and effectiveness are the Paula’s Choice calling cards. The line reflects that with both its money back guarantee and the respect its gained among the skincare obsessed. Out of the hundreds of products she’s developed Her Shine Stopper Primer is one of her most beloved.

Perfect for combination to oily skin types, the primer promises a silky, powdery finish that will last throughout the day. Those who are used to having their makeup slide off somewhere down by their shoes by lunch time have reported that even at the ten-hour mark, they are still shine free and flawless.

This is thanks to what Paula refers to as ‘micro sponge technology’. When the primer is dabbed (not rubbed) over the skin, the micro spheres adhere to the pores and absorb oil as it emerges throughout the day. This primer is a life saver for the super oily and those struggling with large pores over the entirety of their faces.

DHC Velvet Skin Coat Primer

DHC Velvet Skin Coat, Mattifying Makeup Primer, Powder-Gel Formula, Minimizes look of pores, fine...
  • Prime your skin for complexion perfection with this antioxidant-rich powder-gel...
  • Velvet Skin Coat makeup primer instantly minimizes the look of pores, fine lines and...
  • Organic olive oil provides antioxidant protection from daily environmental stresses,...

The biggest rebels in the Japanese beauty scene, DHC has been producing innovative cosmetics and skin care since the 70’s. Their formulations are on the cutting edge, stunning the rest of the industry with products that revolutionize.

The velvet skin coat primer is one such products. Sold out almost everywhere, women worldwide scramble for a tube of what is often referred to as the ‘holy grail’ of primers.

Velvet Coat Primer is suitable for everyone from the young and oily to women in their 60’s and beyond. The secret is in the formula. DHC has created a gel texture that glides onto the skin and dries immediately. The result is an all over softening of the complexion, creating an illusion of smoothness and perfection that for some even eliminates the need for foundation

How good is it? Let’s just say some people have been known to slice the tube and scrape away at it with a Q-tip to get every last drop.

Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer

Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer. All Day Oil-Free Makeup Primer with SPF 15. Vegan and Cruelty-Free....
  • VEIL MINERAL PRIMER. Elevate your foundation with a silky, state-of-the-art primer...
  • FEATURES. This oil-free primer conceals redness (even rosacea) while minimizing the...
  • HOW TO USE. Apply ½ to 1 pump of Veil Mineral Primer to clean, moisturized skin...

Hourglass is all about luxury, beauty and science. Their formulations all promise to create what they call ‘surreal skin’ – skin that is otherworldly in its perfection.

If the hype surrounding this primer is any indication, they’ve succeeded. The only primer on the list with an SPF factor, it promises to ‘nourish, hydrate and protect’ all types of skin, from dry to super oily. Those with excessively shiny skin however, have noted that it takes at least 4-5 pumps of the product to get the effect they need.

Free from oils, synthetic fragrances or parabens, the primer works to hide pores and soften imperfections while locking makeup into place all day. There is no tacky feel to the primer as well and minimal downtime as it dries which is ideal for those ‘under 5 minutes’ make up types. There is even the added benefit of a slight glow after application thanks to the mineral sunscreen elements in its formula.

LORAC Porefection Mattifying Face Primer

LORAC POREfection Mattifying Face Primer, 1.7 Fl Oz (Packaging May Vary)
  • Oil, fragrance and paraben free formula
  • Minimizes appearance of pores and fine lines
  • Promotes long-lasting makeup wear with a matte finish

If you’re ever wandering around a Sephora and see a tube of this on the shelf, grab it. One of the most sought-after primers on the market, it’s rare to get your hands on this primer without having to hover on a waiting list for months. It’s simply that good.

Formulated by celebrity makeup artist and company founder Carol Shaw, this primer promises to put ‘care before color’. Like the rest of her line, it’s formulated to act more like skin care than color but it does both very well. Filled with ingredients such as salicylic acid, vitamin C, retinol and vitamin E it hides pores and pampers simultaneously. The result is skin that not only looks cosmetically flawless but is well protected at the same time.

Oil, fragrance and paraben free, the primer mattifies and resists caking all day. Those who love it say it gives their skin a radiant, natural look while keeping excess oil under control. It is also the only primer on the list that really seems to make a difference on signs of aging. Unlike the rest that may blur a fine line or two, Lorac’s primer has a noticeable effect on deeper wrinkles such as forehead lines of nasal labial folds. And you wonder why it’s so hard to get a hold of!

Aritaum Pore Master Sebum Control Primer

Aritaum Pore Master Sebum Control Primer, 0.9 Ounce
  • Necessaries Makeup Primer Gel for oily skin people.
  • The Compact Case: Easy to Carry.
  • Breathable mineral polymer gel

The online beauty community is obsessed with dupes. Discoveries of products that have the same look as designer brands but without the crippling price tags are celebrated like hunting trophies! This highly affordable and highly effective primer is one of the most celebrated catches of all.

Produced by a Korean company more known for its dedication to trendy color than skincare, this primer has gained a devoted following. It is said to be almost an exact replica of Benefit’s Porefessional, but at over half the price.

The pore master serum is made of a lightweight polymer gel that adheres to the skin, filling in pores and blurring small imperfections. Although the instructions say to apply it beneath foundation, most users have found that patting it onto the skin afterwards creates an airbrushed, baby soft look to the skin without smearing or pilling.

Perfect for younger, acne prone skin types, it also washes off very easily and doesn’t clog sensitive pores even with multiple applications throughout the day.

Choosing the Best Primer for Oily Skin: Tricks of the Trade

Once you’ve chosen the primer that’s right for you, you should be able to just slap it on and watch your pores disappear, right? Wouldn’t that be nice if it were that easy? Sorry to disappoint but if you intend to serve smooth, egg shell realness you’re going to have to put in a little more effort.

Although most of us will use our fingers to apply our primer, professional make-up artists recommend a synthetic brush or a beauty blender. Of course, if you’re using a heavier product such as the Becca primer you’ll need the warmth of your fingers to manipulate the texture to get the right application. In the case of other more liquid primers, using a brush or blender will help to push the primer into the pores deeper and give you better coverage.

To really do a full David Copperfield on your pores however, remember to use the same synthetic brush or blender to apply your foundation. Take your time! Really bounce that blender over your skin and if you’re using a brush, buff the colour in a circular motion until you think you can’t buff a second longer. The result will be an airbrushed, super natural appearance to the skin that rivals anything Snapchat has developed. All you’ll need to complete the look is a pair of puppy ears and you’ll be all set to break the internet IRL.

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