Best Primers for Acne Prone Skin – 2023 Reviews and Top Picks

Best Primers for Acne Prone Skin

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, Lorac Porefection Mattifying Face Primer takes the top spot. It can keep your skin matte while enhancing your complexion with its blend of salicylic acid and vitamins.

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.

End your troubles with large pores with Benefit Cosmetics The POREfessional. It contains silicones to minimize the appearance of your pores and make your skin a lot more even and smooth.

Skindinavia The Makeup Primer Spray creates a really fine mist that won’t disrupt your makeup. It has great oil and shine control properties that you won’t need touchups.

For dry skin, Dermalogica Hydrablur Primer is the best primer for you. With its impressive ingredients and travel-friendly packaging, this one deserves a spot in your vanity.


Key Features

  • Consistency: Gel
  • Finish: Matte
  • Key Ingredients: Salicylic acid, vitamins A, C and E
  • Consistency: Soft non-oily gel
  • Finish: Matte
  • Key Ingredients: -
  • Consistency: Thick gel
  • Finish: Matte
  • Key Ingredients: Vitamin E
  • Consistency: Ultra-fine mist
  • Finish: Semi-matte
  • Key Ingredients: -
  • Consistency: Silky
  • Finish: Luminous
  • Key Ingredients: Whu-Zhu-Yu fruit (Evodia fruit) extract, Abyssinian Oil, mushroom extract

Here, we reveal in detail the best primer for acne-prone skin you definitely shouldn’t miss.


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

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

Gritty skin and large pores can affect the way your makeup looks. Even if you blend hard, it just won’t look as smooth and flawless as you’re hoping for.

Good thing there’s Benefit Cosmetics The POREfessional.The product promises to minimize the appearance of pores. It’s also oil-free so it will suit your acne-prone skin.

It contains polymers and silicones to get the job done. These are nice ingredients for your pores and skin type, but they’re not great for everyone.

If you are particularly sensitive to any of the two, it’s best to skip this product and move on to the other options in this list.

The primer has a slightly thick consistency but it doesn’t feel that heavy on the skin. It has a floral scent which tends to fade away as soon as the product sets.

One downside of the product is its limited properties. If you look real close at its list of ingredients, you’ll find that it doesn’t have any other skin benefits- apart from its vitamin E content.

What We Like:

  • Minimizes pores and bumps on the skin
  • Oil-free
  • Travel-friendly packaging

What We Didn’t Like:

  • No other skin benefits
  • Scented
  • Not for those who are allergic to silicones

Skindinavia The Makeup Primer Spray is a bit different from the other ones on this list. Instead of a gel or a cream, you actually get a spray.

One of the impressive things that can get your attention with this product is its patented temperature control technology. It’s what keeps the skin from getting any unwanted shine.

In fact, around 95% of its users claim that it does a good job in keeping their skin matte. This means you won’t have to touch up or blot the entire day or for at least 16 hours.

The spray you can get from this primer is ultra-fine so there’s no need to worry about ending up with huge droplets of water on your face.

It feels light on the skin and isn’t sticky or tacky. It doesn’t take that long to dry, too.

What We Like:

  • Creates a really fine mist
  • Keeps the skin matte for hours
  • Doesn’t feel sticky
  • Feels lightweight
  • Paraben-free

What We Didn’t Like:

  • A bit expensive for its size
  • Nozzle can wear down eventually

Finding a good primer that can work on dry skin, particularly if it’s also acne prone, isn’t that easy. And for that reason, we are placing Dermalogica Hydrablur Primer in this list- so you won’t have to go through the troubles of trying products after products.

The product comes in a squeeze tube with a twist open cap. It’s lightweight and non-greasy.

It can reduce the appearance of large pores and fine lines, thanks to its mushroom extract content. It also has Wu-Zhu-Yu fruit (Evodia fruit) extract to boost your skin’s radiance.

Now, you might be wondering what makes it great for dry skin.

The product is actually infused with Abyssinian Oil and its own H2ORelease™ Complex that can lock in optimum hydration and moisture in the skin. And they work without triggering excess oil production.

Take note that this primer can also provide a natural coverage. You can wear it alone or under your makeup.

What We Like:

  • Can boosts skin’s radiance
  • Offers natural coverage
  • Has no parabens
  • Refines pores and fine lines
  • Offers coverage

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Expensive
  • Can make powder foundations look cakey

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 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

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
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 out fine lines and pores
  • Has no silicone and parabens

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Pricey
  • Doesn’t keep makeup on that long

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
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

Reviews And Comparisons of The Best Primers for Acne Prone Skin


Best Primer for Acne Prone Skin

Best Oil-Free Primer for Acne Prone Skin

Best Pore Minimizing Primer for Acne Prone Skin

Best Primer for Oily Acne Prone Skin

Best Primer for Dry Acne Prone Skin

Top-Rated Primers for Acne Prone Skin 2017





Soft non-oily gel

Thick gel

Ultra-fine mist








Key Ingredient (s)

Salicylic acid, vitamins A, C and E


Vitamin E


Whu-Zhu-Yu fruit (Evodia fruit) extract, Abyssinian Oil, mushroom extract


1.47 fluid ounce

1.35 fluid ounce

0.25 ounce/ 0.75 ounce

0.66 fluid ounce

0.75 ounce


Squeeze tube with flip-open cap


Tube with twist- cap

Bottle with sprayer

Tube with twist open cap

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 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?

Best Primers for Acne Prone Skin – 2023 Reviews and Top Picks

Dr Kathleen May Eusebio-Alpapara

A board-certified dermatologist who practices both medical and cosmetic dermatology

Leave a Comment