Top 10 Best Primers For Oily Skin – 2021 Review

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best primer for oily skin
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Oily skin can be challenging throughout the entire year. Having oily skin can make it hard to apply makeup.

How can you keep your makeup on when it keeps sliding off? And when oil-production hell breaks loose, things get even more out of control. Getting the best primer for oily skin will solve your problems.

Primers solve problems with keeping makeup intact. But not all primers work for oily skin.

Sadly, when you have oily skin, you have to look for primer specifically designed for your skin type. And the bad news is, they cost a bit more. The good news, however, is that with the primer, you can make sure your makeup stays on.

There is a lot of work that goes into finding the perfect makeup set. And finding your favorite makeup. And for someone with oily skin, the search is a bit harder.

Quick Summary

bareMinerals Prime Time Original Face Primer, Clear, 1...
Rimmel Stay Matte Mattifying Primer, 1 oz, Pack of 1
Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer. All Day Oil-Free Makeup...
bareMinerals Prime Time Original Face Primer, Clear, 1…
Rimmel Stay Matte Mattifying Primer, 1 oz, Pack of 1
Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer. All Day Oil-Free Makeup…
  • Helps with dryness, fine lines, pores, and uneven texture
  • Mineral infused primer
  • Lightweight
  • Does not clog pores
  • Works for all skin tones
  • Mineral based
  • Water resistant
  • Satin finish
bareMinerals Prime Time Original Face Primer, Clear, 1...
bareMinerals Prime Time Original Face Primer, Clear, 1…
  • Helps with dryness, fine lines, pores, and uneven texture
  • Mineral infused primer
Rimmel Stay Matte Mattifying Primer, 1 oz, Pack of 1
Rimmel Stay Matte Mattifying Primer, 1 oz, Pack of 1
  • Lightweight
  • Does not clog pores
  • Works for all skin tones
Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer. All Day Oil-Free Makeup...
Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer. All Day Oil-Free Makeup…
  • Mineral based
  • Water resistant
  • Satin finish

Best Primer For Oily Skin ( 2021 Review )

#1 bareMinerals PrimeTime oil-control foundation primer

An oil-free foundation primer, this amazing product was developed to combat dryness, rough patches, fine lines, excess oil, large pores, and uneven texture.

It is a mineral-infused and preservative-free primer that can work for all skin types. But given its ability to control oil production, people with oily skin will love it.

Just remember, it was not specifically to work for oily skin only. 

It can hold up excess oil for a few hours, and absorb the shine while hiding pores and fine lines.

#2 Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer

The mineral-based and water-resistant primer can help you neutralize oil, and balance skin.

The result is minimized shine, and with a satin finish, you also minimize the appearance of pores and wrinkles.

Leaves your makeup feeling fresh, and non-slippery through the day.

You can use this beautiful product no matter your age, as it works for older ladies as well.

Yes, it is a bit expensive, but you will find the results justify the price tag.

#3 Rimmel Stay Matte Primer

You might be fooled by the price, thinking it is nothing special. But this primer will keep shine at bay for up to eight hours. 

That might not be a whole day, but it is more than enough for special occasions. 

The lightweight texture will soften your skin and minimize the appearance of pores.

In addition, the primer will take care of the redness of the skin.

With clear formula, this primer works for all skin tones. 

Leaves your skin perfectly matte, and with the pore-free finish. Works best when combined with other Rimmel products.

#4 Revlon PhotoReady Perfecting Primer

Revlon claims they’ve made this product specifically for taking a photo.

After all, it is formulated with HD filter technology that captures and transforms any light to mimic photo filters.

If you need to be photographed, this primer might help you get the best photo possible. 

No matter the lighting, your face will look smooth.

In addition to being photo-friendly, this primer will smooth and perfect your skin.

Lightweight, oil-free, and fragrance-free, you can be safe when using it. Works on all skin types.

#5 Estée Lauder The Mattifier Shine Control Perfecting Primer + Finisher

This product can easily be put in the Estee Lauder Hall of Fame.

One of the best primers by the company works by controlling oil and reducing shine.

The result is healthy-looking finish to your skin. It is a must-have for those with oily skin.

Use it to prepare your face for makeup, or create a flawless matte face. 

You can easily refresh through the day and keep the skin looking oil-free.

If you do not like powders, this product can be your new go-to primer.

#6 L’Oreal Studio Secrets Professional Magic Perfecting Base

L’Oreal is a company with a long and rich tradition in makeup. That is what makes their products stand out.

This primer can help you improve the texture of your skin thanks to its silky and lightweight formula.

Glides onto the skin perfectly and effortlessly. 

In the same time, minimizes the appearance of large pores and fine lines.

Apply it, and your skin will feel smoother. You get a unified and matte flawless finish. Dermatologist tested, this product is non-comedogenic.

#7 Nars Pore and Shine Control Primer

The primer will eliminate any excess sebum to leave an all-around more matte complexion.

With oil-inhibiting ingredients, the primer will guarantee there is no excess oil on your face.

 In the same time, the primer contains nourishing ingredients that balance the skin and keep it healthy.

The oil-free primer works best for oily skin, and keeps it gorgeous and matte through the day.

Lasts through the night as well. The ingredients balance the skin, and enhance the look of your makeup.

#8 Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser

Maybelline is one of the best cosmetic and makeup products company. 

This primer, for example, is a cult-favorite. And for a good reason.

The main active ingredient is dimethicone, which we mentioned earlier is best for filling in pores and reducing the appearance of blemishes. 

The name promises baby skin, and that is what you get.

Thanks to the powdery finish, the primer will give you smooth and clear skin. 

It is lightweight and non-greasy. Combine with Maybelline foundation, and you will have amazing skin on your face.

#9 Korres Pomegranate Mattifying Primer

The water-based formula is super lightweight and feels easy on your skin.

Allows your skin to breathe, and despite the lightweight formula, can cover visible pores, unwanted shine, and more. 

With pomegranate extract, this primer also provides some antioxidant nourishment for your skin. 

Keeps impurities out, and absorbs extra surface oil.

Made with 94% natural ingredients, this primer is non-comedogenic. It will never clog your pores.

#10 Givenchy Mister Mat

Luxurious and with a perfect matt finish, this primer is one of the best you can get. 

Yes, the price is a tad high, but it is well worth it. 

The powder-gel primer is lifesaving for oily skin. You can wear it alone, or under makeup. 

The lightweight texture will soften your skin, hydrate your skin, and control sebum production.

What you get is a perfect matt finish, and you do not even need to apply powder after that. 

Your skin will look matte, despite having oily skin. 

The one downside is that you have to use other matte products alongside the primer, including foundation, powder, and everything else.

What causes oily skin?

Oily skin happens when your sebaceous glands produce too much sebum. Your skin produces oil (sebum) naturally. But when the skin produces too much of it, your skin is oily.

Now, you cannot completely get rid of sebum. After all, you need this waxy and oily substance that protects and hydrates your skin. Truth be told, sebum is vital for keeping your skin healthy.

However, producing too much of it can lead to oily skin, but also clogged pores, and multiple skin issues that follow.

The symptoms of oily skin are:

  • Shiny and/or greasy appearance of the skin
  • Large and obvious pores on the skin
  • Clogged pores
  • Blackheads
  • Skin that looks thick or rough
  • Occasional pimples

Symptoms can vary between people, depending on the severity of the condition. Genetics also play a role whether you have oily skin or not.

Hormone changes and high stress can spike production of oily sebum.

Preventing oily skin breakouts

Now that we know what oily skin is, let’s talk about can you keep things under control.

  • Find the right cleanser, the best being those with salicylic acid that will keep the sebum production at bay
  • Do not apply toner on a daily basis. Instead, apply it just once or twice per week. Do not buy toners that have astringent properties, containing drying alcohol, menthol, peppermint, or similar ingredients
  • Hydrate your skin, do not fall into the mistake of skipping the moisturizer. Moisturizing is important for your skin’s barrier. Just do not use creams with heavy ingredients like shea butter or coconut oil. Look for lightweight products with hyaluronic acid or glycerin

Dos and Don’ts for Oily skin

Here are some rules you should follow if you have oily skin.

The more you follow these principles, the easier it will be to control oil production

  • Wash your face two times per day, once in the morning, once in the evening, and after exercise
  • Do not scrub your skin while washing your face, even when you are removing makeup
  • Choose products that are labeled noncomedogenic, which will not clog your pores
  • Use gentle and foaming face wash
  • Do not use alcohol-based cleansers or oil-based cleansers that can irritate your skin
  • Apply a moisturizer on a daily basis
  • Wear sunscreen when you are going outdoors to prevent sun damage
  • Go for water-based and oil-free makeup products
  • Do not sleep in your makeup
  • Use blotting papers through the day to get rid of excess oil. Just gently press the paper against your face, and remove after a few seconds. Do not rub it
  • Do not touch your face throughout the day to avoid spreading oil, dirt, and bacteria

Ingredients to look for

When you are looking for the best primer, it is all about the ingredients. By now, you might have an idea what type of ingredients you need.

Simply put, you want ingredients that will not stimulate oil production. Instead, they will keep sebum production under control.

Here are some ingredients that work best for this purpose.


Dimethicone is an ingredient that mimics oils, and leaves your skin feeling healthy and dry after usage. Being that your products should not contain oils, you need something that will moisturize and keep your skin healthy.

Glycolic acid

One of the best ingredients for oily skin, especially if you are prone to acne breakouts.

Glycolic acid reduces oil production and prevents plugging of the pores that lead to acne breakouts. Any product with glycolic acid can be used on a daily basis.

Hyaluronic acid

Hyaluronic acid is the best moisturizer for oily skin. There is no reason to skip moisturizing if you have oily skin. The trick is finding the best ingredient for moisturizing.

Unlike traditional ingredients, hyaluronic acid will not feel heavy on your oily skin. In the same time, avoid mineral oils, petroleum, and similar moisturizing ingredients.


This ingredient can absorb sebum, improve your skin’s barrier, and stimulate the natural production of collagen. Also known as vitamin C3, niacinamide is an excellent ingredient in the primer for oily skin.


Found commonly in anti-aging solutions and formulas, retinol also keeps pores tighter so they emit less sebum.

Anything that firms up the skin and builds collagen is good for oily skin.

Salicylic acid

Last, but not least, you need an ingredient that is perfect for cleansing your oily skin. That is salicylic acid, which gets into the pore, and sucks the oil out.

Why do you need makeup primer?

Whether you wear full face makeup, or you keep it simple, a makeup primer is a godsend item. Primers are perfect for creating a smooth base for foundation and keep your makeup in place.

Many people skip the step of applying a makeup primer. They think they do not need it. Or they are not sure how to use it. There are also those who believe it is not worth the investment. Well, that is just crazy.

Using primer underneath your makeup will make your makeup last longer, stay in place, and allow your makeup to go on smoother.

And you can even wear primer on its own. You want to try that fresh and no-makeup look, but you want to look more polished? Apply just primer, and you are good to go.

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My name is Fani Gulevska, and I am passionate about helping people live better lives. I am a nutritionist, a mother, a wife, an entrepreneur, and the founder of Rock the Trend.
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