Start Right! 7 Best Primer for Oily Skin 2021 {Clean}

Having oily skin can be troublesome, whether you wear makeup or not. That’s why many people avoid using extra products on their faces. They believe extra layers will only add to the usual problems they face. But this isn’t always true, especially when you’re using the best primer for oily skin. These formulas are the base layer for your makeup, helping hold in place throughout the day. The ones designed for oily skin also have added benefits. Oil control and acne prevention are just two of the great reasons to add primers to your beauty routine. Best of all, these products can be used on their own to give you an even texture and smaller looking pores. If you’re thinking of adding a primer to your skin care regimen, check out our tips and reviews below.

Short On Time? Here Is The Bullet List:

**Below are our more detailed reviews. Click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.

Should You Use Primer on Oily Skin?

The biggest concerns for people with oily skin are excess oil and clogged pores. That’s why many avoid extra products. But their fears are unfounded since using a primer can actually benefit oily skin in many ways.

Benefits of Using Primer on Oily Skin

elf primerChoosing a random primer when you’re dealing with excess oil isn’t the best idea. That’s because many of these products use ingredients that are comedogenic. This means they will clog your pores, which will then lead to acne. Thankfully, many of the primers designed for oily skin eliminate these ingredients. This makes them a better choice for those with oily skin since it decreases this issue. If you do have acne, it is also rarely the fault of the primer you’re using. Your breakouts are most likely caused by inflammation or irritation from another source. The excess sebum production can also be the cause on their own. The addition of primer may just be the straw that broke the camel’s back rather than the cause. In fact, many primers contain ingredients that can treat acne for healthier skin.

The primer also creates a base for your makeup. Most of these products contain polymers and silicones. These help the makeup layered over the primer to hold better. Those who’ve had to deal with runny makeup after a few hours will understand how important this is. Primers for oily skin also have the same benefits as the ones for other skin types. They smooth your skin, flattening out fine lines and wrinkles for younger-looking skin. A primer also minimizes the appearance of pores. Acne, scars, and other embarrassing blemishes will be concealed. Even in humid weather, your makeup will be flawless, or you can use the primer alone for even-textured skin.

How to Use Primer for Oily Skin

There is a specific way to use a primer to give your oily skin the best results. But before you start your application of these products, it’s best to know you’ve chosen the right one.

How to Choose the Right Primer for Oily Skin

Looking for a new primer for your oily skin may be a bit frustrating. There are literally dozens of formulas lining drugstore shelves and listed online. So, how do you know which one to choose? Well, there are a few things you should be looking for in a product for oily skin. And there are a few ingredients to exclude from the list to ensure your primer won’t add to your oil issues. The first thing is pretty obvious, and that is oil. You don’t want to add more oil to your face, so an oil-free product is best. An oil-fighting product is even better since it will help to control your oil production.

Since oily skin also has a greasy-looking sheen to it, you should also try to find an anti-shine primer. These will give your skin a more natural glow without making it look like you need a blotting paper. Silicone-based primers can help hold makeup in place. But they can also irritate sensitive skin, causing an allergic reaction. If you have this type of skin, avoid these ingredients for the best skin health possible. For the acne-prone, salicylic acid is a must. If you have this ingredient in your primer, it will help to treat the acne and inflammation. These primers will also keep it from recurring, blocking the bacteria that causes it. You can use these types of primers alone as well for skin that looks and feels healthier.

How to Apply Primer for Oily Skin

primer pea sizeApplying primer to your oily face is as easy as using it on any other skin tone. But you don’t apply it in quite the same way. As with regular primers, you must wash your face first. For oily skin, it’s best to use a gentle cleanser that won’t strip away all the oils. This will ensure your skin won’t dry out and kick your sebaceous glands into high gear. You also want to make sure your hands are also clean so you don’t add any dirt and oil onto your face that way.

Then you should moisturize your face to combat any dryness your cleanser may have caused. Use a lightweight moisturizer that is specifically designed for your skin type. Let it absorb completely. Now it’s time to use your primer. With a regular primer, you start in the middle of your face and blend it outwards. But a primer for oily skin should be used first on the oiliest areas. Start with a pea-sized amount and dab it onto those areas. This includes your T-zone, forehead, chin, and nose. If these are the oiliest areas, you can focus only on them and leave the rest of your face alone.

But for the best base for makeup, it’s a good idea to use it for the rest of your face as well. Gently blend it into your skin, but don’t rub it. This could lead to clumping. You should use the primer all the way up to your hairline and on your neck for the most uniform tone and texture. But avoid your eyelids. There are special primers for eye makeup, such as eyeshadow and mascara. When your primer is blended and even, let it dry. Then you can move on to foundation, powder, and other makeup.

Best Primers for Oily Skin on the Market

Best Drugstore Primer for Oily Skin: L’Oreal Paris Magic Perfecting Base Face Primer

Studio Secrets Professional Magic Perfecting Base Trial Size, 0.17 Ounces

Though a magic primer doesn’t seem possible, what this formula can do for your skin may seem like just that. L’Oreal‘s face Perfecting Base Face Primer is great for all skin types, even those with excess oil. It minimizes pores and reduces the appearance of acne and other blemishes. This gives you a more even texture and tone, plus provides you with a smooth surface for your other products. When used under your eyes, it also fills in those lines and wrinkles for younger-looking skin. Applying it over your oily areas will reduce the shine without leaving your skin feeling dry. If used alone, you’ll have an amazing matte finish. Or you can apply it under your foundation to keep your makeup looking great all day long.


  • It can be used on all skin types
  • It has a velvety-smooth texture
  • It is non-comedogenic, so it won’t clog your pores
  • The price is decent


  • This primer may not hide redness
  • The consistency is a bit thick

Learn More On Amazon

The Best Primer for Oily Skin with Large Pores: bareMinerals Prime Time Original Foundation Primer

bareMinerals Original Prime Time Foundation Primer

Large pores can make it hard to achieve the perfect, flawless makeup you want. That’s why bareMinerals created their Prime Time Foundation Primer. This is a great base, minimizing the appearance of those enlarged pores. It also fills in fine lines and covers your blemishes. You’ll have a smoother area to seamlessly apply your foundation or other makeup. But this primer takes it a bit further. It will combat flaky dryness, but also soak up that extra oil that could ruin your makeup. This primer is also free of preservatives, making it a good choice for those with sensitive skin. Plant extracts, Vitamins C and E, and antioxidants have been added instead. This gives you healthier skin along with your perfect-looking complexion.


  • This primer is oil-free
  • It doesn’t contain preservatives
  • It helps your makeup stay on over the whole day


  • It’s pricey for a 1-ounce bottle
  • Pump doesn’t reach the bottom of the bottle, making it hard to get it all out

Learn More On Amazon

Best Primer for Acne-Prone Oily Skin: E.L.F. Blemish Control Face Primer

e.l.f. Blemish Control Face Primer, Acne Fighting Formula, Preps & Soothes Skin, Small, 0.47 Fl Oz (14mL)

If you have an issue with acne, you want to make sure your products won’t make the matter even worse. This primer from E.L.F. takes your acne worries away. It not only has ingredients to keep acne from forming, it will reduce the blemishes you already have. These ingredients include salicylic acid, which treats your acne medically. But it has also added Vitamin E and Tea Tree extract to heal your skin safely for a healthier complexion. You can use it alone as an acne treatment or as a base for your foundation. If necessary, you can apply it a few times a day to treat your acne when it’s especially bad. This clear product also smooths out fine lines for a younger appearance.


  • It contains salicylic acid for acne control
  • Use it alone as a treatment or under makeup as a base
  • It has a great low price, though the bottle is quite small
  • It reduces oil and shine


  • Those with sensitive skin may experience rashes or irritation

Learn More On Amazon

Best Primer for Oily Skin with Fine Lines: DHC Velvet Skin Coat Makeup Primer

DHC Velvet Skin Coat, Mattifying Makeup Primer, Powder-Gel Formula, Minimizes look of pores, fine lines, and Imperfections, All skin types, Fragrance and Colorant Free, 0.52 oz. Net wt

Fine lines can age you no matter how old you actually are. A primer designed to reduce the appearance of the creases in your skin can make you look years younger in no time. The Velvet Skin Coat by DHC can improve your skin’s look, filling in those lines for smoother, softer skin. It also blurs those pores and blends away those imperfections for perfect-looking skin. This is also an effective primer for those with oily skin since it will reduce those excess oils. You can use it on its own for a fresh, velvety look. If applied under makeup, those other beauty products will glide on easy and stay put over the whole day. This primer dries almost instantly, so there is no waiting time before moving on to the next step.


  • It smooths out fine lines
  • It reduces oil
  • Skin feels velvety soft and smooth


  • Pretty expensive for a small bottle
  • You may need a large amount for the desired results

Learn More On Amazon

Best Natural Primer for Oily Skin: Concept Skin Oil Control Moisturizer and Primer

Oily Face Control Mattifying Primer and Moisturizer with Salicylic Acid and Tea Tree Oil, Anti Shine Facial Primer for Men and Women, 2 Oz by LAUDA BOTANICALS

This Concept oil-free moisturizer and primer combo covers every oily skin issue there is. The moisturizer hydrates your skin, reducing the amount of oil it has to produce. The primer has a mattifying effect, which also helps to control that excess oil. Makeup application is then easier and stays where it’s supposed to. Acne is also dealt with, thanks to the Salicylic and Lactic Acids in this formula. They are mixed with a variety of natural ingredients for a healthier skin care product. Cinnamon and peptides soften while reducing oil production. Aloe and Tea Tree clarify and balance your skin’s pH. Witch Hazel, Lemon Peel Oil, and St. John’s Wort clean and balance out your skin’s moisture levels. They also leave your skin smoother and shine-free.


  • It contains a mix of natural ingredients
  • Oil is reduced without dryness
  • It treats and heals acne
  • You only need to use a small amount


  • It costs about $20.00 for a small 2-ounce bottle
  • The smell is a bit strong

Learn More On Amazon

Best Primer with SPF for Oily Skin: Maybelline Master Prime Blur + Illuminate

Maybelline Face Studio Master Prime Primer, Blur + Illuminate, 1 Fluid Ounce

Avoiding oil is one of the most important focuses for those with oily skin. This primer from Maybelline is lightweight and free of oil, so it won’t add to your problems. This also helps it to keep clogged pores to a minimum for less acne. The blemishes you do have will be covered, as will those large pores. The result will be smoother skin with an even tone. Most importantly, Maybelline’s Blur + Illuminate primer contains Broad Spectrum SPF 30. This will help protect your skin from the harmful rays that could lead to premature aging or skin cancer. Your skin will look younger and stay healthy for much longer. You can use it alone to keep your skin safe and looking fantastic or as a base under your makeup.


  • It is SPF 30 for sun protection
  • This primer is water-based instead of oil-based
  • The price is decent
  • It illuminates the skin for a healthy glow


  • May not hold well under heavy layers of makeup
  • The bottle is quite small

Learn More On Amazon

Best Budget Primer for Oily Skin: L.A. Girl Pro Prep HD Smoothing Face Primer

L.A. Girl PRO Prep HD High Definition Smoothing Face Primer, Assortment, 0.5 Fl Oz

You may not have the money to buy a top primer brand. But that doesn’t mean you have to go without one altogether. L.A. Girl has come up with a great primer with a budget-friendly price. It doesn’t skimp on the details either. This primer is lightweight, free of oils, parabens, and fragrances. It goes on smooth, filling in pores of any size and smoothing out those fine lines. This primer also hides those embarrassing imperfections. Vitamin E has been added to nourish your skin. Light diffusing particles reduce the shine, replacing it with a flawless, healthy finish. Even on those hot, humid days, your makeup will hold out with the Pro Prep Primer as its base.


  • It costs less than $5.00
  • It works equally well on oily, combination, and dry skin
  • This primer blends evenly for smoother, even-toned skin
  • It works as well as many of the high-end primers on the market


  • The consistency is a bit thick
  • The bottle is quite small

Learn More On Amazon

Best Primer for Oily Skin Final Thoughts

Primers aren’t just another makeup product to add to the dozens already available to you. They are a great base, smoothing out your skin and giving it an even tone. For those with oily skin, primers do double duty. The enlarged pores and acne that go hand-in-hand with this skin type are hidden for a smooth texture. The excess oil that usually plagues you after a few hours is also kept under control when a primer is used. And since the oil production is reduced, this helps your makeup last longer. This means fewer touch-ups, which saves you money in the long run, even with the extra primer cost. All seven of the primers we reviewed here are great for those with all issues associated with oily skin. But the best primer for oily skin is the Concept Skin Oil Control Moisturizer and Primer. This primer hydrates your skin, removing the need for an extra moisturizer. It helps control your oil and also contains medicinal ingredients to keep acne at bay. The addition of natural ingredients makes it a much safer product to use as well. Though the price is a bit high, you may find it’s well worth the extra cost.

Thank you for visiting! If you like what you see in this article, please click on one of our Buy Now buttons to make your purchase on Amazon. As an Amazon affiliate, we make a small commission off any purchase made from a click through from this website, which is how we can provide you with these informative articles. You will not pay more on Amazon by clicking through our website because the price is the same as if you go to Amazon directly. Please take a look at our other buyers guides for all your beauty and wellness needs.