Blog /Beauty/ 12 Best Primers for Oily Skin: Get The Perfect Matte Look [December, 2023]
12 Best Primers for Oily Skin: Get The Perfect Matte Look [December, 2023]
By Aravind Pai -
Having oily skin can be frustrating. No matter what you do, you end up with a shiny T-zone halfway through the day. While blotting papers help, the ultimate solution is finding the right primer for your skin type.
Primers create a smooth base for your makeup and help it last longer. But not all primers are created equal. Using the wrong formula can make your oiliness worse.
This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about finding the best primer for oily skin. I’ve tested and reviewed the top-rated options to help you discover your new holy grail product.
How to Choose the Best Primer for Oily Skin
With so many primers on the market, deciding on the right one takes some work. Here are the main things to look for:
1. Mattifying or Oil-Controlling Formulas
The number one thing you want in a primer for oily skin is a formula that controls excess oil and shine. Look for these key terms on the label:
Silicone-based and water-based (gel) primers typically work best for oily skin. They glide over the skin, filling in pores and creating a smooth, matte finish.
2. Long-Lasting Wear
You want your makeup to look fresh for as long as possible. Seek out primers that promise extended wear for 8+ hours. Some also claim to be transfer-proof and sweat-proof.
3. Blurs Pores and Textures
One of the main causes of oiliness is large, congested pores. Primers with light-diffusing ingredients blur the look of pores, fine lines, and imperfections. Your skin will look airbrushed in photos.
4. Non-Comedogenic and Oil-Free
Make sure any face product you use is non-comedogenic, meaning it won’t clog pores. Oil-free formulas are best for acne-prone skin. Avoid primers with mineral oil, coconut oil, and other oils.
5. Reviews From Oily Skin Users
Always check the reviews before buying a primer. Look for feedback from shoppers with oily skin. This will give you a good sense of how it performs for your skin type.
Now that you know what to look for, let’s get into the top primer picks for oily and acne-prone skin. I tested these myself and included real user reviews as well!
Best Mattifying Primers for Oily Skin
1. Maybelline New York Fit Me Matte + Poreless Primer
Key Features: Mattifying, oil-absorbing, blurring, up to 16 hour wear
Maybelline’s Fit Me line has primers for every skin type. The Matte + Poreless version is ideal for controlling oil and shine. It goes on smoothly and leaves a perfect matte finish. The formula contains clay to absorb oil through the day. It’s also non-comedogenic and won’t clog your pores.
“This is the only primer I’ve used that actually keeps my T-zone shine-free and matte all day long. It makes my makeup last so much longer without getting cakey. Love it!”
Key Features: Matte finish, minimizes pores, smooths texture, waterproof, up to 12 hours wear
Lakmé’s blurring primer is a top choice for oily and acne-prone skin types. It contains mattifying ingredients that control excess oil while filling in pores for a perfect canvas. The formula is smudge-proof and waterproof, so your makeup stays put no matter what.
“This primer paired with Lakmé foundation is perfect for my super oily skin. My makeup didn’t budge at all even after 8-9 hours of wear. Will keep using this primer during summers.”
Key Features: Oil-free, shine-free, blurring, color correcting, pore minimizing
Insight Cosmetics makes a primer that does it all. It minimizes the look of pores, smooths texture, and controls oil for up to 12 hours. The oil-free formula won’t clog pores or cause breakouts. It also color corrects redness for an even, flawless base.
“I have extremely oily skin and this primer is a game changer. My makeup stays matte and fresh looking for so long. Doesn’t feel heavy or greasy.”
Key Features: Mattifying, oil-free, blurring, color correcting, photo-friendly finish
Blue Heaven offers an affordable primer that helps makeup adhere smoothly onto oily skin. The oil-free formula minimizes pores and leaves a soft matte finish. It also color corrects redness and dark spots. Your skin will look filter-ready in photos!
“I have been using this primer for over a year now. It keeps my T-zone matte for a good 5-6 hrs. Doesn’t clog my acne-prone skin. The best budget primer for oily skin.”
Key Features: Oil-controlling, blurring, mattifying, sweat proof, up to 12 hours wear
This primer from MARS Cosmetics is specially formulated to control excess oil production. The oil-free formula mattifies shiny areas and blurs the look of enlarged pores. It keeps your makeup locked in place for up to 12 hours without fading or transferring.
“I have extremely oily skin and most primers make it worse. This one actually controls oil really well and makes my makeup last so long.”
Key Features: Oil-controlling, mattifying, blurring, sweat proof, vitamin E enriched
Sugar Cosmetics’ primer smooths skin texture and blurs the look of pores and fine lines. The mattifying formula keeps oil and shine at bay for up to 12 hours. It is also enriched with antioxidant vitamin E to nourish skin while you wear makeup.
“This primer keeps my T-zone from getting super shiny and greasy halfway through the day. It also makes my foundation adhere better to my oily areas.”
The Pore Minimizer Primer from Swiss Beauty is infused with vitamin E and C to nourish skin while controlling oil and shine. It fills in pores and fine lines for a smoother, more even canvas. The primer leaves a semi-matte finish that isn’t dried out.
“This primer is amazing for oily, acne-prone skin! It smoothed out my skin and prevented my T-zone from getting greasy all day. No new breakouts either.”
Key Features: Minimizes pores, oil-free matte finish, photo-friendly, long wear
Insight Cosmetics makes an inexpensive primer specially formulated for oily, acne-prone skin. It minimizes the look of pores and leaves a flawless matte finish. The formula is non-comedogenic so it won’t clog pores. It also lets your makeup last for hours without fading.
“I’ve tried SO many primers over the years and this is hands down the best for controlling oil! My makeup stays matte and fresh looking all day.”
Key Features: Blurs pores and texture, mattifying finish, sweat-proof, up to 8 hours wear
L’Oreal Paris makes an ultra-blurring primer ideal for oily skin types. The lightweight formula hides pores, fine lines, and imperfections for an airbrushed look. It leaves a natural matte finish and keeps makeup in place for up to 8 hours.
“This primer smooths over my pores and any texture so well. I finally have a poreless canvas for my foundation. It controls oil beautifully too.”
Key Features: Lightweight texture, blurs pores and fine lines, smooth matte finish
Flawless Finish Primer from Colorbar Cosmetics is a top choice for filling in pores and fine lines. The oil-free formula leaves a poreless, matte finish. It preps oily skin perfectly so makeup glides on seamlessly and lasts for hours.
“I love how this primer blurs my pores and smooths out my skin before foundation. It leaves a nice matte base without drying out my skin.”
The Makeup Primer from Swiss Beauty lets you achieve a photo-ready complexion. It contains blurring ingredients that minimize the look of pores, fine lines, and blemishes. The primer leaves a soft matte finish perfect for oily skin types.
“This primer smoothes over my acne scars and open pores seamlessly. Makeup goes on so evenly and stays put without sliding off.”
Key Features: Blurs imperfections, color correcting pigments, photo-friendly matte finish
Insight Cosmetics makes an inexpensive primer that blurs pores and texture. It contains color correcting pigments to even out redness and discoloration. The primer leaves a flawless matte base for your foundation to grip onto all day.
“I love how this primer makes my skin look airbrushed and poreless. My makeup doesn’t budge thanks to this primer. It also helps control oil really well.”
Comparison of Best Primer for Oily Skin
Key Feature 1
Key Feature 2
Maybelline Fit Me Primer
Lakmé Absolute Primer
Insight 3 in 1 Primer
Blue Heaven Primer
MARS Pore Cure Primer
Sugar Prime Sublime Primer
Vitamin E enriched
Swiss Beauty Pore Minimizer
Insight Pore Minimizer
L’Oreal Paris Magic Primer
Blurs pores and texture
Colorbar Flawless Finish
Swiss Beauty Makeup Primer
Insight Prime ‘N Perfect
Tips for Applying Primer to Oily Skin
Now that you’ve chosen the perfect primer, make sure you apply it the right way. Here are some tips:
Wash and moisturize your face before applying primer. Let the moisturizer fully absorb first.
Use a pea-sized amount and dot it onto oily areas like the T-zone. Blend outward using your fingertips.
Focus on filling in large pores and blurring imperfections for a smoother base.
Let the primer fully dry before applying foundation. This helps makeup adhere properly.
Always apply primer before any other complexion makeup for the best oil control and staying power.
Pair your primer with an oil-free, long-wear foundation formula made for oily skin.
Set your makeup with a translucent mattifying powder to lock everything in place.
FAQs About Using Primer for Oily Skin
Q. Which primer is best for oily skin?
Primers that are oil-free and mattifying tend to work best for oily skin types. Look for primers that say they help control shine, blur pores, and absorb oil. Silicone-based and water-based gel primers are good options as they glide over skin and fill in pores. The Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Primer, Lakmé Absolute Blur Perfect Matte Primer, and Insight 3 in 1 Primer are some top-rated options for oily skin.
Q. Do you need primer for oily skin?
Yes, using a primer can be extremely beneficial for oily skin. Primers create a smooth base for makeup to adhere to, preventing it from sliding off easily. An oil-controlling primer also keeps excess shine at bay. Primers with blurring effects minimize the look of pores and imperfections caused by oiliness. Always choose an oil-free, non-comedogenic primer so it won’t clog pores and cause acne.
Q. Which brand primer is best?
Some top primer brands for oily skin include Maybelline New York, Lakmé, Insight Cosmetics, Blue Heaven, L’Oreal Paris, Colorbar, and Swiss Beauty. These brands offer affordable primers with oil-controlling, mattifying, and blurring benefits. Their formulas help makeup last longer on oily skin without fading or transferring.
Q. Is gel or water based primer better for oily skin?
Gel or water-based primers are generally the best formulas for oily skin. They have a lightweight texture that absorbs easily without feeling greasy. Gel primers also offer better oil control and a smoother, more matte finish. Water-based primers are great for hydrating oily skin without making it look shiny. Avoid heavy, emollient primers as they can make oily skin look greasier.
Q. Should you use primer everyday?
A. Primers are great for daily use, especially if you have oily skin. Using a primer ensures your makeup stays fresh and lasts longer throughout the day. Make sure to choose an oil-free, non-comedogenic formula suitable for oily, acne-prone skin types.
Q. What order should you apply primer, foundation, and concealer?
A. It’s always best to start with primer first. Apply primer after skincare and let it fully dry. Then layer your foundation on top. Only use concealer after your foundation. The primer creates the ideal smooth base for the rest of your complexion makeup.
Q. Can you just use primer without foundation?
A. You can definitely use primer on its own without foundation! Primers even out your skin tone, blur pores, minimize oil, and create a perfect canvas. Just apply it liberally all over your face. Then set it with powder to keep oil at bay. Add some spot concealing if needed.
Q. How long does face primer last?
A. An unopened primer generally lasts 1-2 years from the manufacturing date. Once opened, primers typically last around 6 months with proper storage. Make sure to keep it in a cool, dry place and tightly closed when not in use. Primers may expire sooner if contaminated with water or bacteria.
Q. Can you apply primer with your fingers?
A. Yes, using clean fingertips is a great way to apply primer! The warmth of your fingers helps the product melt into the skin. Dot the primer onto your face and use a pressing and blending motion. Make sure hands are clean to prevent bacteria buildup in the product.
Achieve a Flawless, Matte Complexion with the Right Primer
Oily and acne-prone skin types know the struggle of keeping makeup looking shine-free all day long. Finding an oil-controlling, mattifying primer tailored for your skin is key.
I hope this guide to the best primers for oily skin helps you discover your new must-have makeup product. Say goodbye to midday grease and enjoy long-lasting, flawless wear!
Aravind Pai is a passionate blogger and content creator who has been writing extensively on technology topics since 2020, with a focus on Online shopping deals and product reviews. He graduated as a B.Tech 4 years ago and enjoys road trips and exploring latest gadgets.
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