The Best Primer for Oily Skin? Top 5 To Buy in 2023



by Lydia


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Oily-skinned makeup lovers understand the hassle of keeping makeup intact. If you are one of them, you might have experienced makeup sliding down your face as you sweat. It is heartbreaking and embarrassing, thus the need to find products that can keep it in place. One vital product is the primer.

There are great primers for oily skin, and these come with ingredients that keep your pores closed. Open pores contribute to extra oily skin because they release more sebum than normal skin. Therefore, when buying your next products, ensure the primer you get is pore minimizing, thus maintaining your makeup throughout the day.

The following is a list of primers you can try if you have that oily, shiny skin with visibly open pores.

1. Best Overall: Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer. All Day Oil-Free Makeup Primer with SPF 15

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This Hourglass Veil Primer is definitely one of the best in the market. It is a paraben-free, oil-free, and fragrance-free vegan primer.

If you have acne-prone skin, this product is ideal for helping conceal any redness or spots and minimize the look of pores and fine lines and wrinkles. With SPF 15, it will also protect your skin from external environmental factors.

It is a smooth, velvety and airy formula that works with any liquid, cream, or powder foundation and concealer.


  • Not greasy and light.
  • Free of parabens, phthalates, oils, fragrances, harsh dyes, glutens, and nanoparticles.
  • It is cruelty-free.
  • Perfect for oily skin with open pores.
  • SPF 15 sun protection.
  • Comes in a glass bottle for recycling.
  • Long-lasting.
  • Ideal for sensitive skin.


  • Quite pricey.
  • Not ideal for dry skin.

2. Best on Budget: Rimmel Stay Matte Mattifying Primer

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Your oily skin does not have to stress you anymore, thanks to this very affordable primer. It is designed to give you smooth, flawless skin to maintain your makeup for up to 8 hours.

It is a lightweight, non-greasy primer that minimizes the appearance of open pores in a velvety matte finish.

One good thing about this primer; is that you can even wear it without foundation, and it will still reduce the shine you don't want.


  • Very affordable
  • Lightweight
  • Non-greasy
  • Long-lasting
  • minimizes appearance of pores, wrinkles, and fine lines.
  • Versatile.


  • None

3. Best Drugstore Primer: Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser

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This Maybelline New York primer is just too good for the price. If you want to transform your oily skin into a smooth canvas to apply makeup on, Baby Skin is your ideal solution. A clear, moisturizing primer, it contains dimethicone, a powerful ingredient for hydration, filling open pores and reducing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and unwanted blemishes.

On easy days when you don't want to wear a lot of makeup, this primer is good enough to wear alone and still boast a baby skin face.


  • Leaves skin feeling soft, smooth, and young.
  • Affordable.
  • Lightweight.
  • Non-greasy.
  • Moisturizes skin.
  • It covers pores, wrinkles, and blemishes.
  • Long-lasting.
  • It can be worn without foundation.


  • Its Smell may not appease everyone.

4. Best for Unwanted Spots: Boots No7 Airbrush Away Primer

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There are days you just want pure fresh and flawless skin, which is where this Boots Primer comes in. It is a white cream that contains hyaluronic acid, which moisturizes your skin all day long.

It is a hypoallergenic primer suitable for extremely sensitive skin. This lightweight, non-comedogenic primer will last you a whole day, hiding all your imperfections and adequately minimizing the appearance of open pores, fine lines, wrinkles, and blemishes.


  • Lightweight.
  • Non-comedogenic.
  • Contains hyaluronic acid for moisturization.
  • Hypoallergenic for oily, sensitive skin.
  • It covers imperfections, blemishes, and age spots.
  • Smells great.
  • Ideal for hot climates.
  • Helps keep make up in place for long.


  • Quite pricey for the amount (one ounce).

5. Best Mattifying: Elizabeth Mott Thank Me Later Primer for Oily Skin

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If you want a mattifying, oil-free primer for the perfect selfie shots, look no further. This primer from Elizabeth Moss lives to its name; you will thank her later!

The primer is a silky, lightweight cream you can use before applying your favorite foundation. Perfect for your oily skin, Thank Me Later will ensure your make up doesn't move an inch regardless of the weather conditions while hiding blemishes, wrinkles, and open pores. It is also waterproof, so no external conditions can affect your beauty.

It is a paraben-free, cruelty-free, makeup enhancing primer that will also brighten and balance your complexion. Apply directly to clean skin and gently spread throughout the face in a circular motion for a perfect matte finish. If you wish to, you may proceed to apply your ideal foundation and setting powder.


  • Matte finish with a light texture.
  • Contains hydrating and moisturizing ingredients.
  • Easy to remove.
  • Smudge-proof.
  • Free of parabens.
  • Certified by PETA as cruelty-free.
  • Waterproof.
  • Non-greasy.
  • Brightens and balances skin your tone.
  • It covers visibly open pores and hides wrinkles, fine lines, and blemishes.
  • Suitable for oily skin for perfect shine control.


  • It may not work well with some liquid foundations.

Frequently Asked Questions About Primers

a). What is a primer, and why is it important?

If you are a makeup lover, a primer is a vital part of your routine. It is the first product you apply to your face, meaning it can make or break your skin, and it has a lot of say on your makeup's effectiveness.

It is essential to apply a primer before makeup, and on days you do not intend to use makeup. Choose a primer that compliments your skin type; normal, oily, dry, or combined. A good primer is gentle to your skin and makes your makeup look flawless and last long.

b). What are the different types of primers available?

There are different types of primers for different skin types, and these are;

  1. Hydrating primers for normal, dry, and combined skin types. These are primers that contain moisturizing and hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid.
  2. Oil controlling, pore minimizing, and mattifying primers for oily skin. These are primers that contain ingredients that reduce extra shine on oily skin and close pores to reduce sweating and sebum excretion.

c). How do I know which primer to buy if I have oily skin?

When buying a primer for oily skin, you must understand that you need a primer that can control how shiny your skin is and, thus, can keep your makeup intact. The best primers for you are;

  1. Oil controlling primers. These are primers containing ingredients that reduce your skin's tendency to produce and excrete excess sebum for the period you wear them. If not used, your face will appear shiny and oily, and you will be unable to wear makeup for long periods as it will gradually melt off.
  2. Mattifying primers are oil-controlling primers containing mattifying ingredients to reduce excess shine effectively. The primers give you an excellent matte finish that doesn't require a foundation to complete.
  3. Pore Minimizing primers contain specific ingredients such as silicone to blur, reduce, or fill visibly open pores as long as you wear them. With closed pores, the excess sebum your skin produces will be locked underneath the skin, thus allowing your makeup to stay in place for long periods.

Another factor that can guide you when choosing the best primer for oily skin is the kind of look or feel you want after wearing your makeup. Different primers have different textures, and thus they produce different textured-feels after wearing complete makeup. These are:

  1. Luxe, velvety creams.
  2. Smooth and silky creams.
  3. Light and refreshing creams.

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