Best Primers for Oily Skin

Primers are the ultimate multi-taskers of the skin-care world. They mattify, minimize pores, soften, smooth, and make your makeup last longer. Think of your primer like glue to help your makeup stay in place for a longer period of time. Because of their absorbent properties, primers reduces the risk of skin oil disrupting your makeup,” says Dr. Joshua Zeichner, Director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. Unfortunately, they haven’t been the most friendly products for those people with oily skin. Many tend to be too heavy or too full of additional oils, which can lead to excess oil production, which can, in turn, lead to clogged pores and pimples.  

But that doesn’t mean oil-prone girls (and guys) need to skip them altogether — it’s a matter of choosing the right formulas and ingredients for you. After all, according to Dr. Zeichner, “primers are designed to help absorb oil and mattify the skin, as well as allow makeup to go on smoother and last longer.”


His advice? “Look for a primer that contains ingredients like dimethicone” (a type of silicone) as it helps to absorb excess oil and keep your makeup intact. We know, we know: Silicones are usually demonized in skin care. Most people avoid them because they are under the impression that they can cause breakouts by not allowing the skin to “breathe.”

Well, let’s settle this once and for all. First off, your skin doesn’t breathe. If that were the case, every single thing you put on it would be a potential skin disaster because it covers it up. The reason why people tend to break out from primers, explains Zeichner, is because they are either too heavy or too oily — it’s not because of the silicones themselves. In fact, says Zeichner, “primers [with dimethicone] are extremely helpful in people with oily and acne-prone skin because they absorb excess oil and help reduce shine” which will, in turn, keep your pores clear and your skin breakout free.

With that in mind, we took the guesswork out of finding the best primer for your oily skin. Below, our two favorites, both containing oil-absorbing ingredients and lightweight enough to keep those pores clog-free. Bye, bye midday shine!

Blithe Hydro Priming Cream


Blithe’s InBetween Hydro Priming Cream is a must for oily skin. It’s a skincare and makeup hybrid that features free-radical-fighting probiotics, hydrating squalane, and glow-boosting ceramides that nourish the skin for a smooth, foundation-ready canvas that doesn’t clog pores. This is thanks to its lightweight watery gel-cream texture, which also provides intense moisture without weighing you down.  

J.One Jelly Pack


The J.One Jelly Pack is a true multi-tasker that firms and hydrates skin as it ‘grips’ makeup for a flawless, plump complexion without the extra shine. Like the Blithe Hydro Priming Cream, this primer is a hybrid that actually takes into account how primers will react with the skin. You can rest assured knowing that you’ll be boosting your skin and priming your makeup at the same time. The unique jelly texture melts upon contact to create a smooth canvas for flawless makeup application.

Whether you’re heading out with friends or having a date night, you can rest assured knowing that these primers will keep your makeup looking picture perfect all day long.

What are your favorite primers? Let us know in the comments below!

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