The Best Primer for Acne Prone Skin - 2017 Reviews and Top Picks

“With our dedication to help you end your skin breakouts without sacrificing your beauty and confidence, we spent a good 15 hours going through 20 different products to help you get your hands on the best primers for acne prone skin. They were chosen based on their ingredients, ability to prolong your makeup and address your acne.”

At A Glance: Our Choices for The Best Primers for Acne Prone Skin

When it comes to primers, Cover FX Mattifying Primer with Anti-Acne Treatment is our top pick. It has 1% salicylic acid to prevent acne and control oil.

We like that aside from its ability to prolong makeup, it can also help unclog your pores. It's infused with vitamins, too.

Becca Ever Matte Poreless Priming Perfector is a great primer for those with excessively oily skin. Apart from that it offers good and long lasting oil control, it can also minimize pores for that flawless canvass.

Made from natural botanicals, Laura Geller Spackle Under Make-Up Primer is a good choice for those struggling with dull skin. The primer has good antioxidants and soothing ingredients that are compatible with your skin type.

If you have oily acne prone skin, we highly recommend Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer. It has great oil absorbing properties that can last for several hours.

Plus, it comes with SPF 15.

BareMinerals Prime Time Original Foundation Primer is fit for those with dry skin. It has ingredients that can address dry, rough patches.

It has antioxidants, too.​

2017’s Reviews of The Best Primers for Acne Prone Skin

Best Primer for Acne Prone Skin

#1/ Cover FX Mattifying Primer

Cover FX

This two-in-one acne treatment and makeup primer helps control oil and prevent acne. The 1% salicylic acid from natural willow bark extracts provides treatment against mild acne without over drying.

Cover FX Mattifying Primer with Anti-Acne Treatment contains alpha-hydroxy acids, too. It has gentle exfoliating properties to slough away dead skin cells to unclog pores.

This is actually great since clogged pores commonly cause skin breakouts.

The gel formula reduces the appearance of fine lines and large pores, creating a smooth canvas for flawless makeup application.

Apart from the willow bark extracts, the primer also has vitamins F, C and E to reduce redness and soothe inflammation around blemishes.

The primer is a bit thick but feels silky on the skin. It leaves a matte finish which is helpful for acne prone skin.

Despite the finish it offers, the product doesn’t have intense oil control. You may still need to blot a few hours after.

What We Like:

  • Has naturally derived salicylic acid
  • Has vitamins to soothe skin
  • Leaves a matte finish
  • Water based

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Oil control isn’t that great
  • Expensive

Best Oil-Free Primer for Acne Prone Skin

#2/ Becca Ever Matte Poreless Priming Perfector


This oil-control primer can be used all over the face or just applied to trouble spots like your T-Zone. It leaves skin matte and fresh all day long.

Becca Ever Matte Poreless Priming Perfector can do two things most primers fail at. It can truly leave your skin matte and it doesn’t contain silicone.

It’s also free from fragrance and oil.

It promises to control your oil and minimize your pores for up to 12 long hours.

As for its consistency, the texture seems more like a gel but it’s not oily or watery. It dries to a completely matte finish.

When applied, the product seems to tug a bit, like it’s tightening your skin. If you have dry skin, I wouldn’t suggest this primer to you as it feels like it can suck out moisture temporarily.

What We Like:

  • Long lasting product
  • Offers good oil control
  • Leaves a matte finish

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Not for dry skin
  • Expensive

Best Natural Primer for Acne Prone Skin

#3/ Laura Geller Spackle Under Make-Up Primer

Laura Geller

Laura Geller Spackle Under Makeup Primer has an interesting set of ingredients.

It has botanical antioxidants, like white tea and calendula, to retexture and revive skin for easier makeup application. It also has aloe vera to protect skin and lock in moisture for an all-day facial plump.

Having hydrated skin is essential when it comes to makeup since it prevents caking and settling. The primer is lightweight and you wouldn’t feel it too bothersome on your skin.

In addition to the colorless original, this line also offers tinted versions in three different shades: champagne, ethereal, and bronze. This is actually a nice feature, especially if you are into the “au naturel” look.

The primer has shiny pigments that leave a subtle glow on the skin. It’s perfect for those who are also struggling with dull skin.

What We Like:

  • Leaves skin glowing
  • Made from natural botanicals
  • Has aloe vera to plump skin

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Shiny pigments may not be for everyone
  • Has a satin finish

Best Primer for Oily Acne Prone Skin

#4/ Hourglass Cosmetics Veil Mineral Primer


The Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer is a great choice for oily acne prone skin type. Formulated without harmful ingredients like parabens, sulfates or phthalates, this mineral-based primer minimizes shine by absorbing excess oils on your face

Just think of it like an all-day liquid blotter.

Apart from great oil control properties, the primer also has SPF. It has Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide which help reflect UVA/UVB rays to protect skin from sun damage.

Plus, it’s waterproof, too.

The primer has a lightweight texture and feels like silk when applied on the skin. It’s white in color and thin in consistency.

It evenly distributes light to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Upon application, it’s quite impressive how the product can instantly make the skin more radiant.

If you aren’t impressed with this primer, we also have a buying guide about Best Primer for Oily Skin if you want to take a look.

What We Like:

  • Has SPF 15
  • Easy to apply on skin
  • A tiny amount goes a long way
  • Sleek packaging that comes with a pump

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Expensive
  • White tint can be off-putting

Best Primer for Dry Acne Prone Skin

#5/ BareMinerals Prime Time Original Foundation Primer


Infused with vitamins, antioxidants and soothing plant extracts like licorice, BareMinerals Prime Time Foundation Primer is great for those struggling with dry acne prone skin.

Its powerful combination of ingredients fights against a whole slew of complexion problems like excess oil, rough patches, dryness, and fine lines.

The nice thing about this primer is that it’s formulated without irritants and preservatives. For someone with acne prone skin, this is a great help when it comes to combating breakouts.

It has a silky consistency that makes application a breeze. Just one pump and you’ll have enough product for your entire face.

What We Like:

  • Has no irritants and preservatives
  • Contains plant extracts for addressing dry skin
  • Comes with a pump
  • Not tacky

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Doesn’t have good oil control
  • Can take some time to set

Best Primer for Mature Acne Prone Skin

#6/ Murad Invisiblur Perfecting Shield


Murad Invisiblur Perfecting Shield has a multifunctional formula that provides anti-aging properties on top of the sun protection it offers.

It has Mushroom peptides to fight visible signs of aging by restoring firmness and elasticity. Its barley, sunflower and cucumber extracts, on the other hand, helps retain moisture so you can won’t get dehydrated and dry skin.

By blurring pores and filling in fine lines, this primer can give you a smooth canvas for your makeup application. Apart from these benefits, the product also blurs out large pores and even out your skin tone.

The primer goes on smoothly on the skin. In fact, it feels like a serum. You can use it under or as a replacement to your moisturizer.

It isn’t greasy, tacky or sticky which I find really nice. The product, however, is not water resistant.

What We Like:

  • Has potent antioxidant properties
  • Easy to work on the skin
  • Has SPF
  • Can be used to replace moisturizer

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Not water resistant
  • Not recommended for sensitive skin
  • Tends to ball up when applied thickly

Best Primer for Acne Scars

#7/ Shany Mineral Infused Face Primer


Shany Mineral Infused Face Primer comes in a sleek bottle with a pump. It’s hygienic and makes product dispensing easier.

The primer is free from parabens and talc. However, it is silicone-based.

If you aren’t particularly sensitive to silicones, I suggest you give this product a try. It works not only in smoothing out your skin but in decreasing the appearance of your acne by acting as a BB cream.

Yes, you read that right.

The product is infused with vitamins A, E and grapeseed extracts. The combination of these ingredients enables the primer to provide good moisture to your skin.

Take note that this shouldn’t be used as a replacement to your moisturizer. Although it can moisturize, it won’t still be enough.

The nice thing about this one is that it can adapt to your skin color. It’s also easy to apply with just your fingers or a brush.

What We Like:

  • Can act like a BB Cream
  • Has vitamins
  • Adapts to skin color
  • Affordable

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Has silicone
  • Can cause breakouts

Best Non-Silicone Face Primer

#8/ Laura Mercier Foundation Primer

Laura Mercier

Laura Mercier Foundation Primer has a creamy gel like texture that easily glides on the skin. It is formulated with vitamins to bring back your skin’s natural glow.

As for being a primer, the product comes with a pearl tint and a soft focus effect. These features help reduce the appearance of your pores and blemishes.

It can also make your skin more radiant-looking, whether you’ll be using it under a BB cream or a foundation.

The product works by acting as a barrier so your skin and makeup become more resistant against unfavorable weather and external conditions.

Since it has no silicone, it has less chances of breaking your skin out or causing allergic reactions. It also doesn’t contain parabens.

The product doesn’t ball up or turn crumbly after a few hours. As for longevity, I’d say the product is good but not that great.

What We Like:

  • Makes skin look radiant
  • Can blur our fine lines and pores
  • Has no silicone and parabens

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Pricey
  • Doesn’t keep makeup on that long

Best Drugstore Primer for Acne Prone Skin

#9/ Maybelline New York Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser Primer


Maybelline New York Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser Primer is a good product to try if you have large pores. It blurs out pores so you get a smoother skin.

For its price and effects, I’d say it’ll be worth your money. You’ll only need a small amount of it so one tube can last you for quite a while.

The product is lightweight and doesn’t feel greasy at all. It has a clear gel-like consistency which doesn’t take a lot of effort to apply on the skin.

Another nice thing about this primer is that it’s easy to wash off. Most primers tend to sit on top of the pores which can make cleansing them off completely a bit difficult.

Keep in mind that the product is meant to minimize the appearance of your pores. It doesn’t claim to prolong your makeup, although it is able to extend wearing time.

What We Like:

  • Can blur out large pores
  • Affordable
  • Works in an instant
  • Fragrance-free

What We Didn’t Like:

  • May not be enough for those with extremely oily skin

Best Mattifying Primer for Acne Prone Skin

#10/ Cover FX Mattifying Primer


Lorac Porefection Mattifying Face Primer contain salicylic acid to keep breakouts at bay. Apart from that, it also vitamins like A and E to improve the condition of your skin with each use.

The primer leaves a matte finish that helps makeup last longer. If you are struggling with extremely oily skin, this one is definitely for you.

Other than these benefits, the product is also free from parabens and fragrances. It’s oil-free, too.

As for its mattifying effects, I’d say it does the job well. It disappears on the skin in a matter of seconds and absorbs excess oil effectively.

The primer feels velvety when rubbed on the skin and does a good job in preventing your foundation from settling into your fine lines.

What We Like:

  • Has salicylic acid
  • Contains vitamins
  • Doesn’t have fragrance and oil
  • ​Good mattifying properties
  • Doesn’t affect foundation finish

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Salicylic acid content may not be enough to heal acne
  • Pricey

Reviews And Comparisons of The Best Primers for Acne Prone Skin


Best Overall

2nd choice

3rd choice

4th choice

5th choice

Top-Rated Body Washes for Acne Prone Skin 2017

Cover FX
Laura Geller


Cover FX


Laura Geller





Soft non-oily gel

Gel to cream

Thin cream





Silky satin finish



Key Ingredient (s)

Willowbark extract, Vitamins F, C and E


White tea, calendula and green tea


Botanical extracts (Chamomile, aloe vera, licorice)


1 fluid ounce

1.35 fluid ounce

2 ounce

1 ounce

1 ounce





Glass bottle with pump

Bottle with pump

Get Started

What Is A Makeup Primer?

A lot of people refuse to use a primer because they think they don’t really need it- or they just don’t know how to use it.

Primers can be intimidating, especially if it’s your first time to invest in one. Apart from formulations, they also have different types.

There’s a primer for foundations, mascaras and even eyeshadows. There’s even a primer for lips.

What primers actually do is prep your skin for your makeup so that your cosmetics will last longer. It also creates a smoother base so you can apply your makeup easier and more flawlessly.

Most primers contain silicon to get the job done. Silicone can fill in pores to make your skin ultra smooth.

Now, this is where the tricky part comes in.

Although silicone-based primers sound helpful in evening out your skin, the problem is that they aren’t always the best with acne prone skin. It’s because dimethicone can potentially cause allergic reactions.

​If this is your first time to use a silicone-based primer, make sure you do a patch test first to see how your skin will react. To avoid risks, however, you can try a non-silicone primer.

Aside from helping you out with large pores and lines on your skin, there are primers that can help with skin discolorations as well. Color correcting primers can neutralize redness, dark undereye circles and other blemishes based on opposing colors.

Primers can help with oil control, too. They can also help your makeup endure the hot weather.

How To Apply A Primer?​

Primers help create a smoother canvas. Because of this, it should go before your foundation and right after your moisturizer.

Yes, moisturizers are still a must. Although primers can help smoothen out your skin, applying moisturizer can help primers go more even.

Sounds confusing, right? But once you get the hang of it, it’s actually not that difficult to understand.

A little bit goes a long way for primers. You’ll generally need a pea size amount of the product for your entire face.

Start dotting the primer on the center, starting with your forehead, nose and sides of the nose. Whatever is left, you can work it outwards.

You only need a thin layer of primer on your skin so avoid applying the product heavily.

For application, you can use your fingers or a sponge. These methods can help press the product into your skin better.

Make sure to wait a couple of minutes for the primers to set before you apply your foundation.


If your ultimate goal is to find a primer that will work well for your skin type, then this list of the best primers for acne prone skin is the answer. Whether you have oily, dry or sensitive skin, you’ll be able to find the right product for your skin’s needs.

The list even has products that can fit your budget.

Primers are a great help not only in prolonging the wearing time of your makeup, but also in soothing your skin. You just have to find the right primer that contains the right ingredients.

What factors are most important to you when selecting a makeup primer?​

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