Best Face Primers for Acne Prone Skin – 2018 Reviews and Top Picks

best face primer 2017

For those who don’t it already, face primers are a base for foundation that allows it to go on smoother and last longer. Face primers prepares your skin for your favorite tinted moisturizer or foundation, giving it something to hold on to so it lasts throughout the day.

Makeup primers diminish enlarged pores, smooth bumpy skin and disguise redness. Some primers like the Nars Cosmetics Pore Refining Primer below helps to diminish pores over time so that your skin is naturally more flawless.

Many face primers are formulated with silicone-based polymers like dimethicone because of their ultra smoothing effects. They contain fine silky powders that mattify your oily skin by absorbing excess oils and keeping your foundation in place for longer.

What Makes a Good Face Primer for Acne Prone Skin?

Dealing with acne prone skin does not have to be a frustrating or grueling experience. With many products that cater specifically to acne prone or oily skin, you too can achieve that flawless, perfect look.

Good face primers for acne prone skin contain:

  • Acne fighting ingredients like salicylic acid or benzoyl acid; The Lorac POREfection mattifying Face Primer is infused with salicylic acid that helps to absorb excess oils and keep your skin looking great.
  • Antioxidants; Vitamins A, C and E soothe red and inflamed skin while keeping your skin radiant and clear.
  • Silicone based; Silicon based face primers have a thick consistency that works well to smoothen out pores, acne scars, wrinkles and fine lines. Silicone molecules fill out indentations on the skin and prevent makeup from sinking in.
  • Water based; Water-based face primers are more lightweight and generally blends better with liquid, water based foundations

Also goes without saying that a good face primer for acne prone skin should have a good oil control formula.

How to Apply Face Primers

Primers not only make your face look smoother, they also help make your foundation stick to your skin for hours on end.

It is always better to combine products that have the same base i.e. you should use a silicone-based primer along with a silicone based foundation and a water-based primer with a water-based foundation.

  • Primers are applied after moisturizers and before foundation. Before applying, make sure your skin is completely clean. For acne prone skin, use a good face wash for acne-prone skin to avoid build up of sebum.
  • Moisturize very well and wait for 5 minutes for the moisturizer to settle into your skin. If you apply your primer on a skin that has traces of moisturizer, your foundation will break up into patches easily.
  • Press and pat your face primer gently into your skin with your fingers until you’ve filled all your pores. Massaging primer onto skin can be an exercise for the face. Massaging your skin helps to get the blood flowing underneath.
  • Use a pea size amount and apply gently to the skin. A little amount goes a long way
  • Go on to apply your foundation, concealer or BB cream as you normally would.

Best Face Primers for Acne Prone Skin

It is important to remember that not every product will work for your face. You may need to try and observe which combination of products will work best for your skin.

With that said, below are five face primers absolutely fantastic for acne prone skin.

1. Cover FX Mattifying Primer with Anti-Acne Treatment:

Cover FX Mattifying Primer with Anti-Acne Treatment

This lightweight water-based primer functions as two things, makeup primer and acne treatment.

Its 1% salicylic acid from natural willow bark extracts treats acne without over drying the skin. It also contains alpha hydvroxyl acids that gently exfoliate the skin and removes dead skin cells that clog your pores.


Cover FX Mattifying Primer with Anti-Acne Treatment gel based primer reduces the appearance of fine lines and large pores and provides a mattifying effect that leaves your skin looking flawless and smooth. This primer is vegan free with no parabens, gluten, fragrance, talc and mineral oil.

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2. Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer:

Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer6y

The Hourglass veil mineral primer is a great choice for oily skin types. Formulated without harmful parabens, sulfates or phthalates, this silicone based primer minimizes shine by absorbing oils on your face.


It is lightweight and colorless, with a beautiful silk-like texture that sinks right into your skin. It is non clogging and contains zinc oxide, a powerful ingredient that protects your skin from sun damage and harmful UV rays.

This primer is excellent for all skin types because it conceals redness, inflammation, rosacea and helps to even out skin tone. Even though it’s a little pricier than other primers, it comes highly recommended.

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3. Too Faced Primed and Poreless Skin Smoothing Face Primer:

face primers

Too Faced Primed and Poreless Skin Smoothing Face Primer primer fills large pores and works well for both oily and combination skin types.


This thick textured primer disappears into skin once applied and keeps your skin looking flawless and poreless as a Taylor Swift magazine cover.

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4. BareMinerals Prime Time Foundation Primer:

BareMinerals Prime Time Foundation Primer

BareMinerals Prime Time Foundation Primer is a great primer for acne prone and oily skin types. It reduces shine making your skin look smoother and keeps your makeup staying longer.


It contains plant extracts, vitamin C, E and other useful antioxidants that reduce redness and inflammation, smooth rough patches, uneven texture, fine lines and flaky dryness.

BareMinerals Prime Time Foundation Primer leaves your face a satiny smooth canvas for your makeup.

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5. Smashbox Photo Finish Oil Free Foundation Primer:

mashbox Photo Finish Oil Free Foundation face Primer

Smashbox Photo Finish Light Foundation Primer contains 2% salicylic acid that fights back at your acne while priming your skin perfectly for makeup.

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer eliminates redness and scars from acne.


It contains a blend of antioxidants and vitamins that keeps the skin smooth and plumps up collagen in your skin.

This product is targeted at large pores and minimizes pores and fine lines. It has a thick consistency that finishes off with a matte, powdery finish for an even and soft looking skin. It works perfectly when blended with liquid foundations.

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