Choosing the Best Primer for Oily Skin

Nothing ruins a night out faster than an oily t-zone or breakout! Going from “matte” to “shiny” before the dinner is served can be a real problem for those suffering from oily skin. If this sounds like you, ditch the anxious nights. An effective primer can help combat excess sebum and keep you looking your best. We’ll tell you how! 

Primer provides a ton of beauty benefits. To experience the perks, choosing the right primer for your skin type is important. We reviewed some of the top products on the market and weren’t disappointed. We found the BECCA Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfector to be the best for oily skin. This primer has the power to address the biggest concerns of those suffering from oily skin. 

Keep reading to find out which other primers topped our list!

What exactly is primer?

Primer is the best friend that no beauty guru should go without. Applied after moisturizer, primers can be worn alone or under makeup. The magic of primer is that it hydrates and plumps. Used to smooth skin and cover facial imperfections, primers help you look your best.

A primer acts as a barrier between your skin and foundation. This barrier stops the skin from absorbing your makeup and allows your beauty look to last all day! From illuminating to anti-aging, primers come in various forms to meet your skin’s needs.

What makes a primer good for oily skin?

Oily skin occurs when our sebaceous glands are overactive. This can cause enlarged pores, breakouts, runny makeup, and too much shine. Primer hides acne scars, evens out skin tone, and allows for long-lasting makeup. This can provide a needed boost of confidence for those experiencing oily skin woes. 

What is the best primer for oily skin?

The best primers for oily skin are mattifying primers that work to keep excess sebum at bay. The right primer will provide hydration without clogging your pores. Avoiding that extra oil will help curb breakouts too! With continued use of a good primer, you might even see an improvement in your skin’s health. 

With so many benefits, why not give a new primer a try? Keep reading to hear about our favorite pick! 

BECCA Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfector

Our favorite

BECCA Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfector addresses the root causes of oily skin. It works to absorb excess oil, hide blemishes, and prevent makeup from clumping. This mattifying primer also contains Enantia Chlorantha Bark. This ingredient is an astringent which means it conditions and tightens the skin. Plus, this primer reduces sebum production and fights free radicals. For a modest price, this lightweight primer packs a major punch!


· Extremely mattifying
· Minimizes pores & tones skin
· Reduces excess sebum
· Makeup lasts up to 12 hours


· Can dry out your skin with overuse
· Learning curve to application 
· Sticky texture

Where to Buy: Amazon

Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer SPF 15

Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer SPF 15 is a multipurpose primer. It smooths fine lines and hides discoloration. Zinc oxide and titanium protect the skin with a layer of broad-spectrum SPF 15. Luxurious and silky, this primer glides onto the skin. It clings to make-up for a long-lasting look that stays fresh all day. 


· Mattifying
· Contains broad-spectrum SPF
· Luxurious texture
· Makeup lasts up to 12 hours


· Very Expensive
· Some users report a short shelf-life
· Not the best choice for darker complexions

Where to Buy: Amazon

bareMinerals Prime Time ™ Original Foundation Primer

BareMinerals Prime Time ™ Original Foundation Primer has a dedicated following. Designed to smooth flakes and rough patches, this silky primer provides a satin-finish. This primer is filled with goodies. Vitamins C and E provide skin regeneration and conditioning benefits. Plus, the added SPF and antioxidants fight free radicals. As silicones are the main ingredient of this primer, those with skin allergies may want to use it with caution.


· Smooths skin 
· Packed with vitamins and antioxidants
· Contains SPF
· Cost-Effective


· Is not mattifying enough for some
· Doesn’t target root causes of oily skin
· Not the best for acne-prone or sensitive skin types

Where to Buy: Amazon

Benefit The Porefessional

This creamy and translucent primer has been on the market for a long time because it works. Benefit the Porefessional has a balm-like texture. This allows for buildable coverage that can help those wanting to fill in acne scars or blur fine lines. The smooth application is great for hiding enlarged pores and breakouts. Plus, a vitamin E derivative helps to protect against free radicals. This cult classic keeps consumers coming back year after year. 


· Buildable coverage
· Fills in acne scars
· Hides pores
· Provides a smooth base for makeup application


· Does not prevent excess sebum
· Less makeup longevity
· No added antioxidants

Where to Buy: Amazon

Smashbox Cosmetics Photo Finish Oil

Smashbox Cosmetics Photo Finish Oil is a light-weight oil primer. It combats dull skin and provides a radiant look. Highly absorbent, this primer instantly sinks into your skin, leaving it feeling hydrated. It contains natural and essential oils that nourish the skin.

Apricot oil contains age-defying antioxidants while lavender and chamomile provide a calming effect. If you are looking for a dewy finish, this is the primer for you! Great for combination skin types that have both oily and dry areas.  


· Seamless makeup application
· Provides radiance
· Extremely hydrating
· Lightweight and absorbent


· Expensive
· Better for combination than oily skin

Where to Buy: Amazon

IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better Primer + Oil-Free

This gel primer is ideal for those “on-the-go.” IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better Primer + Oil-Free promises makeup-gripping technology. This primer helps foundation stay looking good all day. Plus, ingredients like ginger root extract work to improve skin texture over time. 


· Makeup-gripping technology for all-day wear
· Refines pores with continued use
· Very moisturizing
· Cruelty-Free


· Watery Texture
· Takes a moment to dry

Where to Buy: Amazon

Final Thoughts

We all want long-lasting makeup with a smooth finish. Primer is the quickest way to achieve a flawless look. To reap the benefits of a primer, choosing the right type for your skin is essential. 

Mattifying primer is the most effective for those battling oily skin. Our top pick is BECCA Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfector. This popular primer provides long-lasting makeup and ingredients that work to improve skin. With continued use, it even decreases the production of excess oil. For tips on applying this primer, check out this video from beauty influencer Nikkia Joy. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Makes a Good Curling Iron for Thick Hair?

Curling irons for thick hair must have a high-temperature setting (heat up to at least 400F) to hold thick hair into curls all-day if not for a few days!
The best curling irons for thick hair use an advanced ionic or infrared technology to reduce frizz and keep your hair moisturized.

What size barrel is best for thick hair?

For thick hair, a curling iron with a barrel sized 1.5 inches is the most suitable option for everyday use.
Depending on your desired hairstyle, you can section your hair into smaller or thicker sections to create both tight and loose curls.

How do you make curls last all day with thick hair?

Use a mousse and heat protectant before you blow-dry in order to give the hair more hold. Prepping with a setting spray is also great for locking in your curls. Many of them offer heat protection, too!

Is primer good for oily skin?

Yes, the right primer can be wonderful for oily skin. It is important to choose a primer with ingredients that work to reduce sebum production. Also, look for primers that calm skin inflammation and keep the skin moisturized.

What can I use instead of primer for oily skin?

Believe it or not, a common ingredient in medicine cabinets can double as a primer. Milk of magnesia, when used topically, soaks up extra oil. If you prefer to stick to cosmetic substitutes, we recommend using a BB cream.

Is BB cream a primer?

Though they share many similar characteristics, BB cream is not a primer. BB Cream acts like a thicker version of a tinted moisturizer. It covers minor imperfections and hydrates the skin. Some creams even reduce shine. Look for a BB cream that offers benefits like SPF and antioxidants. 

Can I use primer daily?

Yes, you can use primer daily – just remember to wash your face before bed. The best primers to use daily will improve the look of skin over time. Look for ingredients like antioxidants, vitamins, plant oils, and SPF.