The Best Primer for Oily Skin—2023 Reviews and Top Picks

The Best Primer for Oily Skin

In our commitment to provide you with only the best products that will suit your skin type, we have gathered and reviewed 5 of the hottest primers for oily skin available in the market today. After hours of research, we have picked what we feel is the best primer for oily skin based on the products’ ability to control oil and shine, staying power and value for money.

If you’re going for a long-lasting satin finish, you’d love e.l.f.’s Mineral Infused Face Primer. It transforms your face into a smooth canvas as it combats enlarged pores and excess oil.

It also comes with an air pump packaging which we think is a new and exciting way of dispensing the product.

A moisturized face and a soft, matte finish is what the Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser by Maybelline New York can offer. It instantly blurs out pores for that beautiful, “poreless” face.

The Shine Killer by NYX also promises to keep you fresh all day long with its matte finish. A must-have in combatting shine, you can wear it under makeup or by itself for a more natural look.

If you need help diffusing light, then choose Revlon’s Photoready Perfecting Primer. Extremely lightweight, it helps even out skin tone and minimizes flaws and imperfections.

It can also be worn on its own, perfect for days when you want to go “bare.”

Our last item is the Thank Me Later Eye Primer by Elizabeth Mott. Waterproof and lightweight, it helps eye makeup last longer and prevents it from creasing.

2017’s Reviews of the Best Primers for Oily Skin




Editor’s Rating


(dries transparent)


Matte finish


Satin finish


Matte finish


Matte finish

So, what are you waiting for? Below are the best primers for oily skin you'd be proud to have in your vanity.

#1- Mineral Infused Face Primer by e.l.f

Best Primer for Oily Skin - e.l.f.’s Mineral Infused Face Primer

End your fight against enlarged pores and excess oil with this best primer for oily skin and large pores. With a more flawless and even skin, you can watch as your makeup goes on easily and effortlessly.

The result is a satin finish that lasts all day. For someone who loves makeup, these are really, really good news.

You’ll also love that this product has been tested by makeup professionals which is one of the reasons why we think it’s the best foundation primer for oily skin. Silicone-based, this primer can really help you achieve that “poreless” look.

It is also moderately-priced, something that I find nice since there are tons of mattifying primers that can really burn holes in your wallet. If you’ve heard the saying “why pay more if you could get the same quality for less?”, then this one is a reflection of that.

What We Like:

  • Affordable
  • Comes in an air-pump bottle
  • Lightweight
  • Fragrance-free

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Offers a satin finish
  • Can leave a silicone-y feeling on skin
  • Packaging can be misleading

#2 - Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser by Maybelline New York

Best Primer for Oily Skin review - Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser by Maybelline New York

Another must-have primer for those dealing with shiny and greasy skin is the Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser by Maybelline New York.

Completely lightweight, this primer leaves you with a matte finish and baby soft skin. It also blurs out pores and can be worn even without a moisturizer.

This product is free from any trace of fragrance. It is non-comedogenic which means you’re less likely to worry about getting clogged pores.

The primer also contains Propylene glycol and Dimethicone crosspolymer. The former moisturizes the skin while the latter serves as a skin protectant.

This means that aside from getting a good face primer, your skin is also protected from harsh elements.

What We Like:

  • Affordable
  • Fragrance-free
  • Lightweight
  • Offers matte finish
  • With added moisturizers

What We Didn’t Like:

  • May not look good without makeup
  • Foundation can get hard to blend in

#3 - Shine Killer by NYX

Top rated Primer for Oily Skin  - Shine Killer by NYX

Shine Killer by NYX is a good face primer for oily skin because it can really leave you shine-free the whole day. It can also be worn on its own if you’re the type of person who’s into minimal makeup.

This product sells like hotcakes on NYX’s website. It’s greatly in-demand and for all the right reasons.

Aside from a matte finish, the primer can also help your makeup stay in place even after going to the gym. I’m not kidding here as there are users of this product that can actually attest to that.

It doesn’t come with any fragrance and it doesn’t feel heavy on the skin either.

What We Like:

  • Leaves a matte finish
  • Fragrance-free
  • Lightweight

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Expensive
  • May not work for everyone

#4 - Photoready Perfecting Primer by Revlon

Top picks Primer for Oily Skin - Revlon’s Photoready Perfecting Primer

The best drugstore primer for oily skin, this product reflects and bends light to minimize imperfections. It also has a slight pink tint, making any discolorations less noticeable.

The color might freak you out, but rest assured that it’ll turn transparent once it sets in.

The primer is free of parabens, fragrance, talc, and oil which are exactly the things you wouldn’t want to apply to your oily skin. These properties make it safe for sensitive skin, too.

What We Like:

  • Affordable
  • Comes in a pump bottle
  • Gives a matte finish

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Can cause breakouts
  • Can have a slight burning sensation
  • Can make makeup look cake-y

#5 - Thank Me Later Eye Primer by Elizabeth Mott

Best Primer for Oily Skin - Thank Me Later Eye Primer by Elizabeth Mott

Because it keeps eyeshadow from fading and creasing, this product is the best eye primer for oily skin. It is also waterproof and lightweight.

It is waterproof and lightweight. With a silky formulation, this primer dries out transparent while making your eyeshadow pop more.

Unfortunately, the product doesn’t come cheap. However, since a little goes a long way, one bottle can last you for quite a while.

Another nice thing about this product is that it isn’t tested on animals. It’s also fragrance-free which is good news if you also happen to have sensitive skin.

What We Like:

  • Fragrance-free
  • Not tested on animals
  • Can request for a sample before purchasing

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Very expensive

Reviews and Comparisons of the Best Primers for Oily Skin


Best Overall

2nd choice

3rd choice

4th choice

5th choice

Top-Rated Primers for Oily Skin 2017

Best Primer for Oily Skin comparisions - e.l.f.’s Mineral Infused Face Primer
Best Primer for Oily Skin comparisions - Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser by Maybelline New York
Best Primer for Oily Skin comparisions - Shine Killer by NYX
Best Primer for Oily Skin comparisions - Revlon’s Photoready Perfecting Primer
Best Primer for Oily Skin comparisions - Thank Me Later Eye Primer by Elizabeth Mott


e.l.f. Cosmetics

Maybelline New York



Elizabeth Mott


0.47 ounces

0.67 ounces

0.67 ounces

0.91 ounces

10 grams


Satin finish

Matte finish

Matte finish

Matte finish

(dries transparent)














All day

All day

All day

All day

All day

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The Role of Primers

Applying a face primer should always be the first step in anyone’s makeup routine, most especially if you have really oily skin.

Available in powder, gel, and cream form, primers prepare the skin for your foundation or BB cream. And by preparing, I mean giving your cosmetics something to hold onto.

As a result, you get makeup that lasts the whole day.

Primers also help manage large pores, wrinkles and fine lines. Some of them can even color-correct so you can get better coverage, too.

The Best Type of Primer for Oily Skin

Wearing makeup if you have oily skin is really frustrating. Because of the excess oil on your face, achieving that clean, polished look with your makeup can seem impossible.

This, however, doesn’t mean that you can’t wear cosmetics. You just have to find the right primer for your skin type.

Generally, people with oily skin should opt for silicone-based primers as they help fill large pores. You should also look out for something that’s lightweight.

Since clogged pores are usually the result of having oily skin, choosing something with a heavy formula may not be a good idea.

The best type of primer for oily skin should provide a matte finish.

If you are unsure about how a product dries, do a small test on the back of your hand first before purchasing it. It should dry completely, without any shine or greasy feeling.

People with oily skin should avoid primers that give out a “dewy” or “illuminating” finish as they can only accentuate your skin’s natural shine.

The Best Tips On How To Make Your Makeup Last Longer

Oily skin is a lot difficult to work with when it comes to makeup. If you’ve ever experienced spending a full hour doing your makeup only to find your skin greasing up just 30 minutes after you’ve set everything in place, then you have a pretty good idea what I’m talking about.

For oil control and longer lasting makeup, here are some ideas you can try:

Using a toner that has oil-control property can help reduce your skin’s shine tremendously.


We all know how much of a hassle having oily skin can be. And if you think that wearing makeup can solve the problem, think again.

Wearing makeup just makes it even worse. Oily skin can “melt” your makeup so you’ll always end up with a messy, untidy look.

But that’s why primers are invented and that’s why we’re here.

Mineral Infused Face Primer by e.l.f is our pick as the best primer for oily skin. With its silicone-based formula, it can help you achieve that flawless finish.

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Dr Kathleen May Eusebio-Alpapara

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

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