If you have excessively oily skin, you should know by now that you can’t use just any primer to set up your makeup. This is because makeup tends to wear off rather rapidly if your skin is extra greasy or oily, especially in hot weather. Now, we should point out that you can still use your favorite makeup pattern despite this, although you will have to employ a specially formulated primer for the job.

To meet these challenges, some manufacturers have formulated special primers, the type of primers that work particularly well with greasy or oily skin without causing your skin any harm in the process. Over the next few minutes, we will take a look at the ten best primers for oily skin in our quest to find out the very best and perhaps to learn more about what makes a good makeup primer to begin with.

Best Primers for Oily Skin – Reviews

10Banila Co. Prime Primer Classic Matte

Made by the Banila Company, this exquisite primer was created to offer an even base for a flawless makeup application in any weather. It provides a natural-looking matte, covering facial fine lines and pores while controlling the skin’s excess oils while moisturizing the skin.

At the same time, it features some pretty ingenious ingredients for tightening the skin, making it look youthful and healthy in the process. What’s more, you will find this primer to work with virtually any brand of makeup out there.

9Clinique Super Universal Face Primer

The Clinique Super is a great color correcting face primer with a light wearing formula that is also oil-free and transparent to glide on your skin evenly. Formulated specifically for oily skins, it perfectly preps the face for an efficient makeup application and a longer fresh-look wear.

It also delivers a satin, natural, flawless finish that you will find not only aesthetically pleasing but also quite practical long-term. Other than that, we should also point out that this primer works particularly well with skin-hydrating makeup.

8SACHA Matte Face Primer

This SACHA matte face primer will not fail in smoothing your skin tone for a perfect makeup application, one that maintains its freshness for much longer than most. Used alone, it effectively helps blur fine lines and wrinkles, absorb oil, alleviate pores appearance, even out shades, and keep your face matte at all times. As the great makeup primer that it is, it also offers the ideal canvas for your makeup application, helping the latter stay fresh all day long.

7Smashbox Photo Finish Primer

Created with high quality rejuvenating electrolytes for re-awakening the skin and restoring moisture, this Smashbox Photo Finish Primer dissolves into oily and other skin types instantly, offering long-lasting hydration. This preps the skin quickly for a speedy makeup application.

Doubling as a setting spray, it leaves the skin perfectly soothed, refreshed, soft and radiant. Furthermore, its safe formula is free of phthalates, oil, talc, parabens, silicone, and sodium lauryl sulfate. On a related note, try your best to stay away from any primer that uses parabens and phthalates as they have the capacity to really mess up your skin long-term.

6Benefit Cosmetics POREfessional Pro

Want to balm down the appearance of skin oil and pores? The POREfessional Pro might just be what you need. Formulated to reduce fine lines, this primer will render your skin extremely smooth if used regularly.

It is a lightweight and silky formula prier that can be applied alone, over or under your makeup. Its oil-free, translucent formula works on all skin tones and also helps keep your makeup fresh for longer. We should also point out that a contained vitamin E derivative protects the skin against free elements, which is something not many primers offer.

5Skindinavia Oil Control Primer

Boasting a highly effective, proprietary temperature control technology, this Skindinavia Oil Control Spray is the primer to use in order to treat the shine of your skin for a more efficient makeup application.

It works by keeping your makeup looking fresh for long by absorbing any excess skin oil, controlling the shine for up to 16 hours after its application. This means that your makeup wear will remain perfectly in place throughout the day, all this without using any potentially hazardous chemicals.

4Maybelline Face Studio Master Prime Primer

The Maybelline New York’s Master Prime is a popular face primer featuring ultra-blurring spheres in three water-based, weightless formulas that effectively combat any of your skin concerns. The Master makes your skin look perfect while feeling extremely light and fresh on the skin.

Furthermore, you will find that it is suitable for any skin type, even the extra sensitive types. Not only that but it contains almost no potentially harmful chemicals whatsoever, a formula that greatly adds to its overall value.

3Becca Ever Matte Poreless Priming Perfector

This is a high-quality, silicone-free primer for controlling excess oil and reducing skin glare. It also eliminates the appearance of any enlarged pores, offering an immediate skin tone evening and tightening, giving you a smooth matte surface to last you all the day long.

Its great lightweight formula features no oil, fragrance, or alcohol to speak of. This means that it can be used alone, before, or after applying your foundation. This gives you a fair share of flexibility when applying your makeup, which isn’t something many primers can provide for people with oily skin.

2bareMinerals Original Prime Time Foundation Primer

Another highly popular primer, the bareMinerals Original combats excessive oil, flaky dryness, rough patches, uneven tone, enlarged pores, and fine lines for a flawless makeup foundation. With a silky, stick-free gliding formula, it prolongs the wear of your makeup, keeping you fresh and chic for longer than regular primers ever could.

Made with select antioxidants, plant extracts and vitamins C and E, it not only soothes but also nourishes your skin. Not only that but it is also very safe to use since it is free of irritants and artificial preservatives.

1e.l.f. Mineral Infused Face Primer

Probably the most popular primer out there, the e.l.f mineral-infused, cruelty-free and vegan primer features a weightless silky formula that delivers instant skin smoothing and pore refining for a luminous, fresh look. Suitable for all skin types, it effectively combats excessive oil, enlarged pores, flaky dryness and fine lines creating an impeccable base for your desired makeup style.

All you have to do is apply a small amount on your clean, moisturized face, blending it on evenly before applying makeup. Overall, you will also find this primer to work much faster than most, which is great considering how accessible and affordable it is.

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Primer For Oily Skin Buyer’s Guide

A specialist primer for those of us who can’t seem to keep makeup on for long without it running, a primer for oily skin can be an important part of our daily routine. With a different formula to other products, they can help keep that look going for longer, without negatively impacting the skin.

This is only possible when you purchase a quality product. With so many on the market, it can be hard to tell which is best and if you even need one. We have created the following buyer’s guide to help clear a few things up. Including your skin!

What To Look For In Primer For Oily Skin

SPF Protection

Although this shouldn’t be a deal-breaker, it is a neat addition to a primer if you can find it. Because the sun’s UV rays can age the skin, especially over prolonged exposure, it is always good to give your face a little protection where you can.


Because the effects of oily skin can add a shine where it is unwanted, some of the best primers for oily skin will have mattifying ingredients. This means it can absorb some of the grease and oil so it does not impact the look or finish.


Not only are these best for reducing oil production, as they still allow the skin to breathe, but they feel nicer, and still provide plenty of hydration. A water-based primer is going to be lighter than a lot of the alternatives.

Fast Drying

A primer for oily skin is going to help create a consistent look, and if it can dry fast, then even better. Not everyone has a spare 5 minutes in the morning so saving a bit of time on a fast-drying primer can mean you get to the next step of your morning routine faster.


Adding more fuel to the fire isn’t going to be good for the longevity of the makeup and a primer with oil in the ingredients list may worsen the effects. This can also influence the finished look, and although some people like a shimmer or shine when they are done, an oily look is not the same.


This is an ingredient that is sought after in a lot of primers since it absorbs a lot of the excess oil that comes out of the skin. For a finish that looks consistent for longer, without the risk of cracks.

Free-From Harmful Chemicals

As good as a product may seem on the label, one of the first things to look for is what it does not include in the formula. Make sure the product you are considering does not contain the likes of Phytates,  Triclosan, and Parabens, among others.


The more conscious the makeup industry is regarding testing on animals, the better. This is why we always look out for products that do not use animals at any stage. It is usually easy to find out which brands are cruelty-free.

What Is A Primer?

A primer is available in both a liquid or powder form and helps to stop makeup from sliding or breaking down faster than it should. Some of the main culprits of this including having oily skin or sweating and a primer helps to counter any of the above. Any imperfections in the face such as pores or blemishes can be smoothed over or even shrunk to leave you with a blank canvas to work with.

When To Apply Primer

For the best impact, apply a primer after a moisturizer and before makeup. When using a moisturizer try and find one that is non-greasy, and fine for sensitive skin so there is no risk of flare-ups.

Powder Vs Liquid Primer

Depending on the user, both are useful ways of ensuring oily skin doesn’t ruin your makeup an hour later, but the powder can go on lighter and provide good coverage. Still, liquid primer tends to be the most common and these are still quality products. Powders are buildable, but this is not as important with a primer where coverage is more important – something that liquid primers are more than capable of providing.

Can I Use Coconut Oil As A Primer?

Although it goes on easily, is often to hand so can be used in a hurry, coconut oil is exactly as it sounds – oily. For those with oily skin, this is a bad combination and will only worsen the effects. The same goes for vaseline, another popular household hack for using as a primer, but again, it is not going to help oily skin hold makeup in place.

Is Primer Bad For The Skin?

When using a quality product, they do not have to be, but a lot of people consider primer to be a necessary part of a makeup routine. This means that to enjoy a crease-free look with imperfections that are smoothed over, a primer should be considered. The problem for some people is that they can clog pores, and this results in breakouts and blemishes.

However, this can be reversed by finding a quality product that is lightweight, and non-greasy.

What Is The Best Primer For Oily Skin?

For us, the best product of all that we took a look at is e.l.f. Mineral Infused Face Primer. Both vegan friendly and cruelty-free, it is weightless and combats excess oil, to help reverse the effects and leave makeup looking exactly how you want it to. Not only this, but it battles enlarged pores and leaves skin feeling moisturized at the same time.

It blends easily, and fast, to give you plenty of time to fix makeup exactly how you want it to look for the day.

How Much Does A Primer For Oily Skin Cost?

As with any makeup product, a primer for oily skin can cost as little or as much as you’d imagine. The cheaper products are not usually going to be so well suited because they lack the ingredient profile to help prevent oil from causing cracking. However, it is possible to buy a quality product for under $7.

Our top pick from e.l.f is one of the most reasonably priced options, yet it is as impressive as it is reasonably priced.