The 9 Best Primers For Oily Skin
by Emily Estep

In an internet ocean of beauty products, the best primers for oily skin can be hard to find. There are tons of primers out there that promise to improve the look and longevity of your makeup, but not all are designed with oil-control in mind. So what makes for a good primer for oily skin?

Makeup primers serve many functions. When primer is applied correctly, it can even out the texture of your complexion and help your makeup adhere to your skin for a smooth, long lasting finish. Plus, it can serve as a protective barrier between your skin and makeup — which can prevent clogged pores — and some even shield you from the sun’s harmful rays.

Of course, if your skin is oilier than average, then you’re going to need a primer that works even harder to sap up the excess sebum. While all primers contain waxes and polymers to form a barrier to protect your pores and help to bind your make up to your skin, choosing a formula with the mattifying ingredient silica will ensure a shine-free finish. But, if you’re dead set on a primer without silicone, there’s one on this list for you.

There are plenty of stellar oil-control primers on the market, with various attributes that set them apart — from antioxidant-rich formulas to UV-combatting SPF properties. If you are looking for a primer that will keep you sheen-free all day long, once and for all, these primers for oily skin have you covered.


This Primer That Is Alcohol And Fragrance-Free

Becca Cosmetics Ever Matte Poreless Priming Perfector, $36, Amazon

This extremely popular primer without silicone from Becca Cosmetics is a go-to in the beauty industry for anyone with oily skin, with a silicone-free formula that controls excess oil and even reduces shine. It's also completely free of both alcohol and fragrance, making it an ideal choice for sensitive skin and sensitive noses.


This Primer, Formulated Without Preservatives

bareMinerals Prime Time Foundation Primer, $22, Amazon

The original Prime Time Foundation Primer by bareMinerals has been a favorite among beauty experts in the industry for quite a while — and for good reason. Its smooth formula doesn't contain of a single preservative and is instead packed with various plant extracts, antioxidants, and vitamins, nourishing your skin while keeping oil in check. And, because this formula is made with silica, it’ll have a mattifying effect on oily skin that primers without silicone cannot match.


This Organic Primer Enriched With Vitamins

Bellezza Secreto Premium Makeup Primer, $20, Amazon

This makeup primer from Bellezza Secreto is made with a stunning blend of certified organic ingredients that combine forces to form this waterproof product. Vitamin A, Vitamin E, and other nutrients round out this primer to make it a good primer for oily skin that you can use for skin priming, perfecting, and pampering.


This Primer That Resists Humidity

Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer, $42, Amazon

This oil-free primer from Smashbox promises a photo finish, and it delivers. Plus, beauty cultists have praised this primer for its ability to resist humidity and sweat, making in the perfect choice for long summer days, endless shifts at work, and even athletics — lasting for up to eight hours.


This Primer That Contains Salicylic Acid

LORAC POREfection Mattifying Face Primer, $33, Amazon

This complex yet oil-control primer from LORAC is the ultimate makeup primer for anyone looking to step up their makeup game. It not only controls oil but also has the chemical exfoliant salicylic acid which is anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, anti-irritant, and great for anyone with acne.


This Powdery Primer That Smooths Skin While Absorbing Oil

DHC Velvet Skin Coat, 0.52 oz., $23, Amazon

This skin coat primer from DLC has a powdery gel texture that helps control shine, making it ideal for under makeup and a good primer for oily skin, as well. Users love both the way it makes skin look and feel, with one Amazon reviewer saying “This product is wonderful. I use a small amount and my skin feels so soft.”


This Primer That Can Be Applied On Top Of Makeup

dr. brandt Pores No More Pore Refiner, 1 fl. oz., $37, Amazon

The Pores No More Pore Refiner from dr. brandt absorbs oil without clogging pores, so you won’t have to worry about acne forming with this oil-control primer. It also minimizes the appearance of pores and is an excellent option for combatting sweat and humidity. Plus – it’s popularly used on top of foundation and other makeup for touch-ups, whenever needed.


This PETA Approved Primer That’s Free Of Parabens And Talc

SHANY Paraben/Talc Free Oil Control Mattifier, Airless Pump, 0.5 Ounce, $15, Amazon

Both paraben and talc-free, this primer from SHANY diminishes oil without drying out skin, lasting for hours underneath makeup. It also aims to keep breakouts at bay with its ability to stop excess oil production, and perhaps best of all, it is PETA-certified, meaning it was never tested on animals.


This Beauty Cult Favorite That Locks Makeup In Place

Nivea Sensitive Post Shave Balm, $16, Amazon

That's right — this post-shave balm is actually one of the most popular "primers" in the beauty world for oil control and securing makeup, after YouTube guru and overall queen of makeup NikkieTutorials accidentally discovered that it keeps her makeup flawless all day, thanks to its second ingredient: glycerin. Fellow uber-popular YouTuber KathleenLights found similar results in her wear test. And, beyond just the makeup gurus, this oil-control primer is a fan-favorite as well: “It works so well as a makeup primer. Makeup stays on, no smudging.”

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