If you want your makeup to look flawless, you need a primer. The best primers for oily skin minimize shine and keep your foundation from melting. Try one of our top picks to see how it turns your face into the perfect canvas.
In case you’re new to this topic, primers are the base coat before you apply makeup. They fill in lines, conceal pores, and help foundation and eyeshadow adhere to the skin.
- Top Primers for Oily Skin
- Rimmel Stay Matte Primer
- Jolie Oil Free Mattifying Primer – For Oily, Acne-Prone or Sensitive Skin
- e.l.f. Mineral Infused Face Primer
- e.l.f. Blemish Control Primer Clear
- Smashbox NEW Photo Finish Foundation Primer Pore Minimizing
- Maybelline Face Studio Master Prime Primer, Blur + Smooth
- NYX Shine Killer
- NYX Studio Perfect Primer, Clear
- DHC Velvet Skin Coat
- Laura Geller New York Spackle Mattifying Oil Control Under Make-up Primer
- Dr. Brandt Skincare Pores No More Pore Refiner Primer
- stila One Step Correct
- LORAC POREfection Mattifying Face Primer
- Philosophy The Present – Invisible Skin Perfector and Oil-free Makeup Primer
- Elizabeth Mott Thank Me Later Primer
- Clinique Super Universal Face Primer Dry Combination to Oily Skin for Women
- Revlon PhotoReady Perfecting Primer
- Almay Primer 5-in-1
- L’Oréal Paris Studio Secrets Professional Anti-Redness Correcting Primer, Green
- L.A. Girl PRO Prep HD High Definition Smoothing Face Primer
- COVERGIRL + Olay Simply Ageless Primer
- bareMinerals Prime Time Eye Primer
- MAC Fix+ Skin Refresher / Finishing Mist
- Too Faced Cosmetics Primed and Poreless
- Tarte Cosmetics Clean Slate Flawless 12-Hr Brightening Primer
- tarte Poreless Mattifying Primer
- Tarte Cosmetics Clean Slate 360 Creaseless 12-Hour Smoothing Eye Primer
- Hourglass Cosmetics Veil Mineral Primer SPF 15
- How to reduce shine on oily skin
Top Primers for Oily Skin
We hand-picked the top primers for oily skin and reviewed them here for you. We hope it helps you find the right product for your needs.
Rimmel Stay Matte Primer
Rimmel’s Stay Matte is one of the least expensive yet effective primers we found. It promises to keep you shine-free and hide height your pores for up to eight hours. And since the lightweight formula is transparent, it doesn’t alter the appearance of your foundation.
Jolie Oil Free Mattifying Primer – For Oily, Acne-Prone or Sensitive Skin
Jolie’s Mattifying Primer has won over customers who buy it again and again. It keeps your skin velvety smooth throughout the day. It also reduces the appearance of blemishes and frown lines. Additionally, it’s free of parabens and artificial fragrances.
e.l.f. Mineral Infused Face Primer
The e.l.f. primer relies on minerals to absorb excess oil. It disguises pores and fine lines. But it also protects against dryness. If you have an oily T-zone with dry cheeks, this might be the best choice for you. Moreover, this product is PETA-certified to be cruelty-free and vegan.
e.l.f. Blemish Control Primer Clear
If you have oily, acne-prone skin, try the blemish control primer from e.l.f. It contains salicylic acid that reduces breakouts and inflammation. It also has tea tree to kill acne bacteria and vitamin E to speed up healing.
Smashbox NEW Photo Finish Foundation Primer Pore Minimizing
Smashbox understands what it takes to make you ready for the camera. Their Photo Finish primer helps you maintain a satin finish throughout the day. It has peptides and vitamin C to keep your skin looking young. Plus, it uses light diffusers to camouflage blemishes.
Maybelline Face Studio Master Prime Primer, Blur + Smooth
The Maybelline Blur and Smooth formula has tiny blurring spheres that disguise imperfections. But if you’re concerned about redness or dull skin, they have other editions of their Studio Master Primer for those problems.
NYX Shine Killer
The NYX Shine Killer primer is made specifically for oily skin. If you apply it in the morning, your face stays matte until the day is done. Furthermore, you can wear it by itself without makeup on top.
NYX Studio Perfect Primer, Clear
The NYX Studio Perfect primer also creates a matte surface for your makeup. It fills in fine lines and hides pores. But get the lavender version to brighten your face or the green edition to reduce redness.
DHC Velvet Skin Coat
DHC’s Velvet Skin Coat doesn’t have the same silky texture that many other primers have. Instead, it’s a powdery gel that you can apply to your face, neck, and hands. The silicone in it resurfaces the skin. In fact, professional makeup artists use this product. Part of its attraction is the oil-absorbing silica.
Laura Geller New York Spackle Mattifying Oil Control Under Make-up Primer
You only need to use a little of the Spackle Primer to make your face looked noticeably different. It controls oil throughout the day and makes pores look smaller. Users who say they have acne-prone skin report that it doesn’t cause breakouts. Plus, even though it mattifies, it doesn’t cause dryness.
Dr. Brandt Skincare Pores No More Pore Refiner Primer
The Dr. Brandt primer has an apt name. “Pores No More” not only hides pores but it also disguises fine lines and wrinkles. As you wear it, it slows down oil production to keep shine under control. Once it sets, it has a powdery finish that stands up to high humidity and perspiration.
stila One Step Correct
This primer from stila offers multiple benefits in one package. Instead of needing to apply one primer to correct color and another to minimize pores, this one does it all. It eliminates redness, brightens tired skin, and diminishes discoloration. But it also manages to moisturize while it reduces shine.
LORAC POREfection Mattifying Face Primer
The LORAC POREfection is a long-wearing primer that keeps your T-zone oil-free. It creates a matte finish while it camouflages pores and wrinkles. Part of its power comes from antioxidants and salicylic acid.
Philosophy The Present – Invisible Skin Perfector and Oil-free Makeup Primer
If you’re a fan of the airbrushed look, try this primer. Interestingly, it’s naturally antibacterial because it contains lavender oil. It makes skin look and feel smoother. But be aware that it contains parabens.
Elizabeth Mott Thank Me Later Primer
The Thank Me Later primer has an entertaining name as well as important features. First, it manages shine all day long to provide a matte surface for your makeup. Next, it disguises imperfections before you even apply foundation. It’s also waterproof. And finally, the cruelty-free formula also lacks parabens.
Clinique Super Universal Face Primer Dry Combination to Oily Skin for Women
Clinique’s Universal Face Primer works for any skin type. It’s free of parabens and oils. Happy customers say that it takes care of discoloration and blurs pores. If you have a specific concern like redness, choose the Clinique Super Primer that solves the problem.
Revlon PhotoReady Perfecting Primer
Revlon’s PhotoReady primer is the ideal base for a high definition foundation. It diffuses light, brightens skin tone, and blurs imperfections. Some users wear it alone without makeup. It tries to an invisible finish, plus it is free of artificial fragrances, parabens, oils, and talc.
Almay Primer 5-in-1
Almay’s five-in-one primer mattifies oily skin. Meanwhile, microspheres correct color issues like redness and dark circles. Moreover, the hypoallergenic formula is so light you’ll barely know it’s there.
L’Oréal Paris Studio Secrets Professional Anti-Redness Correcting Primer, Green
The L’Oreal Studio Secrets green primer cancels out redness. But if you want to brighten dull skin, try one of the other two versions for light to medium and dark skin tones. Keep in mind that this base neutralizes discoloration but isn’t the most effective at controlling shine.
L.A. Girl PRO Prep HD High Definition Smoothing Face Primer
Try the LA Girl primer to disguise large pores and fine lines. The silky formula prepares your face for foundation while it nourishes the skin with vitamin E. Also, it does not contain artificial fragrances or parabens.
COVERGIRL + Olay Simply Ageless Primer
CoverGirl and Olay teamed up to create the Simply Ageless Primer. For best results apply it before their Simply Ageless foundation. While you wear it, it fights signs of aging and minimizes lines, age spots, and wrinkles.
bareMinerals Prime Time Eye Primer
Oily eyelids don’t make a good canvas for eyeshadow. If you don’t want to apply primer across your whole face, try this one from bareMinerals. It reduces oil on your eyelids all day long. Then your shadow won’t crease or fade.
MAC Fix+ Skin Refresher / Finishing Mist
Instead of a regular primer, some have had success using the MAC Finishing Mist. In truth, it’s designed to set makeup after you’ve applied it. It prevents smudging and running. But those who tried it as a primer find that it keeps their skin matte for longer.
Too Faced Cosmetics Primed and Poreless
Primed and Poreless serves as a base for foundation, powder, and bronzers. It hides pores and imperfections while it brightens skin tone. Plus, it goes beyond the typical primer formula with anti-aging additives. For example, it contains retinol to fight wrinkles as well as antioxidants.
Tarte Cosmetics Clean Slate Flawless 12-Hr Brightening Primer
The Tarte Cosmetics Clean Slate provides effects that last up to 12 hours. Not only does it revitalize dull, sallow skin, but it also prevents hyperpigmentation. One of the most interesting points is that it completely lacks silicones, yet it’s waterproof. Customers say that it manages shine, too.
tarte Poreless Mattifying Primer
The Tarte Poreless Primer is even more effective at reducing oil. Moreover, it optically blurs blemishes and pores. It has a silky gel texture that smooths over fine lines and even resurfaces your face with regular use.
Tarte Cosmetics Clean Slate 360 Creaseless 12-Hour Smoothing Eye Primer
The eye primer from Tarte is naturally waterproof because of the beeswax it contains. It also has vitamin E to protect your eyes as well as a mineral pigment, too. But there are no artificial fragrances, parabens, or petrochemicals.
Hourglass Cosmetics Veil Mineral Primer SPF 15
The Veil mineral primer from Hourglass Cosmetics has a mineral sunscreen. It combines zinc oxide with titanium dioxide for UV protection. It also lessens oiliness and hides pores and fine lines. Moreover, the lightweight formula does not contain parabens, oils, or fragrances.
How to reduce shine on oily skin
Reducing shine is easier if you use the right products for oily skin. The first step to keeping your skin velvet smooth and matte begins when you wash it.
Use a face cleanser with salicylic acid. This ingredient penetrates oil to purify pores. It prevents breakouts and acne-prone skin and slows down oil production.
At least once a week, exfoliate. This keeps pores clear and gets rid of dullness. You may also benefit from a chemical peel or face mask. Glycolic or salicylic acids are gentle exfoliants. Also, clay absorbs excess oil and impurities.
Next, remember to moisturize and apply sunscreen. Better yet, skip the step by applying a high-quality moisturizer with sunscreen. Mineral sunblocks help manage shine.
Unlike people with dry skin, those with shiny faces can enjoy powder foundations. Apply your favorite oil-control primer and follow it with your preferred makeup. Try a setting spray to keep your face looking fresh for longer. And grab a pack of blotting paper to bring along with you.
Applying an oil-absorbing base before your makeup will keep your face shine-free. Try one of the best primers for oily skin for an impressive improvement in your appearance. Then, check back soon to see new reviews of the best in skin care and beauty.