The Best Primer for Sensitive Skin – 2023 Reviews and Top Picks

The Best Primer for Sensitive Skin – 2023 Reviews and Top Picks

In our commitment to help you find products that can make you feel more confident, we’re presenting our choices for the best primers for sensitive skin after more than 16 hours of hard work. We stringently studied and reviewed products based on their ability to create a smooth base, keep makeup on longer and additional benefits for your delicate skin.

For a natural glow, your best bet for your sensitive skin is Laura Mercier Foundation Primer. It has vitamins and jojoba oil to boost your skin's natural radiance.

It's good enough to be worn on its own or to enhance the effects of your trusted foundation.

Jane Iredale Smooth Affair Facial Primer and Brightener has ingredients that help it live up to its claims. It has natural extracts that can boost your skin's radiance as well as prevent free radical damage.

It's one of the best primers for sensitive skin if you are looking for something lightweight.

For a primer that can soothe sensitive skin, Laura Geller Spackle Under Make-Up Primer is one of your best options. It's infused with natural extracts to provide antioxidant benefits to your skin.

To neutralize redness, we highly suggest you take a closer look at Physicians Formula Mineral Wear Talc-Free Mineral Correcting Primer. It comes in a unique twist-pen applicator with a built-in brush.

Too Faced Prime and Poreless Pure Oil-Free Skin Smoothing Face Primer is a great primer for sensitive skin since it's irritant-free. Apart from that, it even has ingredients that are soothing.

2017’s Reviews of The Best Primers for Sensitive Skin





Editor’s Rating


1.7 oz

Squeeze tube


1.7 oz

Squeeze tube


2 oz

Squeeze tube


0.5 oz



1 oz

Squeeze tube

Confused? Lucky for you, our editors revealed all about the best primers for sensitive skin below.

#1/ Laura Mercier Foundation Primer

Laura Mercier

Laura Mercier Foundation Primer has a creamy gel-like texture that is lightweight on the skin. It is infused with vitamins A, C and E to boost your skin’s natural glow.

Apart from these ingredients, the product is also packed with jojoba oil to enhance your skin’s natural barrier. This is actually a great help for people with sensitive skin who are too reactive over environmental irritants.

Another thing that makes this primer suitable for delicate skin is that it is free from parabens. This ingredient is considered harmful for the body as it has been linked to cases of cancer.

The product has a pearlescent quality but don’t let this intimidate you. Once the primer has set on your skin, it actually leaves a subtle glow.

Well, that is if you don’t overdo your primer. If you apply more product than necessary, your skin can look extra shiny.

You can even wear the primer on its own or as highlighter to certain areas of your face. It has a pearly-beige color that can complement most skin tones.

What We Like:

  • Lightweight
  • Has vitamins
  • Leaves skin glowing
  • Can be used alone
  • Free from parabens

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Can feel greasy
  • Costly

#2/ Jane Iredale Smooth Affair Facial Primer and Brightener

Jane Iredale

Jane Iredale Smooth Affair Facial Primer and Brightener is one interesting primer. For one, it’s loaded with ingredients that promises great benefits for your skin.

It has grapefruit extracts that can make your skin more luminous. Apart from that, it also has green tea and white tea extracts to prevent free radical damage and combat signs of premature skin aging.

With these ingredients, the primer can reduce the appearance of large pores while boosting your skin’s natural radiance. It’s a great help if you want to achieve that no-makeup makeup look.

The primer can prevent foundations from oxidizing and turning orange on your skin.

The product is lightweight and does a good job in keeping excess oil to a minimum. It doesn’t however, gives a totally matte finish.

I think that’s is actually good, especially if you are after a healthy glow.

This one carries a scent which I find close to being “citrus-y”, thanks to its essential oils. It isn’t that intense or too strong that it can irritate delicate skin.

What We Like:

  • Has a great list of ingredients
  • Smooths out pores
  • Renders foundation application easy
  • Offers antioxidant benefits

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Scented
  • Texture can be an issue

#3/ Laura Geller Spackle Under Make-Up Primer

Laura Geller

Laura Geller Spackle Under Makeup Primer dries to a matte finish and has a silky consistency your skin will love. Apart from these benefits, the primer also has interesting ingredients, especially for sensitive skin.

It has aloe which is known for its soothing properties as well as gingko biloba for anti-aging benefits. It is also infused with white tea extracts.

The primer has a gel-like liquid texture which isn’t something you can always find in primers, especially those that contain heavy silicone.

One issue I have with this primer is that it isn’t that great when it comes to oil control. You may still need to use blotting papers to control shine by midday.

What We Like:

  • Has antioxidants
  • Texture makes application easier
  • Has ingredients to soothe sensitive skin

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Oil control isn’t that great
  • A bit expensive

#4/ Physicians Formula Mineral Wear Talc-Free Mineral Correcting Primer

Physicians Formula

For color correction, your best bet is Physicians Formula Mineral Wear Talc-Free Mineral Correcting Primer. It suits sensitive skin since it’s non-comedogenic, hypoallergenic and talc-free.

What’s interesting about this product is that it comes in a twist-pen with a built-in applicator brush. It’s convenient to use since you won’t have to use a separate applicator.

The catch is that it’s not that hygienic.

The product promises to neutralize redness, which is a common nuisance when you have sensitive skin. Apart from color correction, it can smoothen your skin’s texture and fill in the fine lines on your face.

One downside of the product is its texture. It can be a bit chalky and hard to blend with the built-in brush.

The trick is to start off with a thin layer and build the product according to your preference. Make sure to wait for it to completely dry before applying your makeup.

What We Like:

  • Corrects redness
  • Dermatologist tested
  • Hypoallergenic formulation
  • Comes with a built-in brush

What We Didn’t Like:

  • A bit difficult to apply
  • Packaging isn’t that hygienic
  • Can be a bit chalky

#5/ Too Faced Prime and Poreless Pure Oil-Free Skin Smoothing Face Primer

Too Faced

Too Faced Prime and Poreless Pure Oil-Free Skin Smoothing Face Primer is fragrance- and irritant-free, making it ideal for people with sensitive skin. Apart from that, it also has an ingredient called Sepi-calm which is meant to soothe irritated skin.

It can blur out lines and superficial wrinkles. It can mattify oil and reduce the appearance of large pores, too.

The primer doesn’t bead up on the skin as you rub it. It comes clear in color, which means it can be used on almost all skin color.

One thing I particularly like about the product is that it soaks instantly into the skin- without leaving a tacky or sticky feeling.

What We Like:

  • Soothes irritated skin
  • Works well in reducing the appearance of fine lines and pores
  • Not tacky on the skin

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Contain silicone
  • Expensive

Reviews and Comparisons of The Best Primers for Sensitive Skin


Best Overall

2nd choice

3rd choice

4th choice

5th choice

Top-Rated Primers for Sensitive Skin 2017

Laura Mercier
 Jane Iredale
Laura Geller
Physicians Formula
Too Faced


Laura Mercier

Jane Iredale

Laura Geller

Physicians Formula

Too Faced


Pearl beige





Fragrance/ Scented







Slightly dewy





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How To Pick The Best Primer for Sensitive Skin

When it comes to makeup application, your usual skincare routine might not be enough, especially if you are aiming for a flawless result. You can buff away dead skin cells and apply your trusted moisturizer to prep the skin. But, to create an even better canvass, you’ll need a primer.

Similar to most makeup and skin care items, primers come in different formulations for various skin types. Although they are meant to do the same things, you can’t expect a primer for dry skin to work as good on oily skin.

The same thing applies to sensitive skin.

Since your skin is more delicate, you’ll need a primer that contains no fragrance or any scent-masking ingredients. These things are well-known to trigger irritations and sensitivity reactions.

Apart from scent, you should also pick one that is free from synthetic dyes and parabens.

If your sensitive skin comes with redness, you can invest in a primer that has color correcting properties. Green tinted primers are the most reliable when it comes to neutralizing redness.

And by color correcting, you’re less likely to use layers of foundations on your skin.

One thing you should also look for in primers for sensitive skin is the soothing property they offer. Since your skin is hyperreactive, you’ll need as much help as possible in calming it.

Great examples include green tea extracts and niacinamide.

The Best Tips On Applying Primers on Sensitive Skin

If you feel intimidated by applying a primer just because your skin is sensitive- don’t be. Primers, when chosen and applied correctly, can do more than just create a great canvass for your makeup.

They can actually protect your skin against environmental factors that can irritate your skin by serving as a barrier.

For application:

  • Start off with a freshly cleansed face. Your makeup will look better if you’ve exfoliated, moisturized and toned after washing.
  • Take a small amount of the product. A pea-sized amount is enough to cover your entire face.
  • Apply the primer by dotting it on your target areas, such as your forehead, sides of your nose and chin. You can also apply primer on your cheeks.
  • Gently rub the primer on your face using downward motions. This is to make sure your fine hairs stay in place.
  • Wait for the primer to set before applying your makeup. A good 3 to 5 minutes should be enough.
  • Start with a thin layer of your foundation. Since your primer can blur out pores and mild imperfections, you won’t be needing too much foundation.


Primers can be intimidating, especially if it’s your first time to invest in one. The idea can make you even more uneasy if you have sensitive skin.

But, seriously, primers are more than just a makeup product you layer on your skin. When chosen correctly, your primer can add protection by acting as a barrier against potential irritants.

For this particular roundup of the best primers for sensitive skin, we are recommending Laura Mercier Foundation Primer. It’s packed with vitamins that can boost your skin’s natural glow.

Apart from that, the product is free from parabens. It’s so good that you can wear it alone for days you just want to show off your bare (but better) face.


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Dr Kathleen May Eusebio-Alpapara

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

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