Top 10 Best Primer for Acne-Prone Skin: 2021 Reviews & Buying Guide

Primers are one of the prerequisites to applying makeup if you want the makeup to last for a long time. However, in the case of acne-prone skin, they do much more than just hold the makeup. The best primer for acne-prone skin can correct the tone and texture of your skin and reduce any unwanted shine. They serve as an excellent tool for hiding and preventing blemishes. One needs to have the right ingredients in the primer for the best skin effect.

In this review, we would be discussing the best primers available in the market for acne-prone skin along with a comprehensive guide to help you choose the best primer for your skin.

Top 10 Best Primers for Acne-Prone Skin Reviews

Choosing a primer, especially if you have acne-prone skin, can be an overwhelming task. You need a primer that is non-comedogenic and oil-free. To make your task more accessible, we have compiled a list of the top 10 primers for acne-prone skin in 2021 with the help of top dermatologists and make-up artists. You are sure to get your best first out of this list.

1 – Mattifying Primer with Anti-Acne by Cover FX

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Cover FX brings a weightless primer that not only takes care of mattifying skin but also handles blemishes. This gel helps in minimizing the appearance of pores. The primer is free from sulfates, formaldehyde, parabens, and any synthetic fragrances. It is cruelty-free, entirely vegan, and free from gluten. Providing a matte finish, the Cover FX mattifying primer controls any extended shine. The presence of salicylic and hyaluronic acid in the primer helps in preventing and addressing the cause of any blemishes on the skin. Additionally, it visibly blurs the pores in the skin.

The primer for combination skin also contains antioxidants for keeping the skin young and healthy. It will calm any inflammation and will fade redness. It helps in keeping the foundation stable for a long time.

Key Features

  • Lightweight gel
  • Oil-free primer
  • Cruelty-free and gluten-free
  • Free from formaldehyde and sulfates


  • Doesn’t grease or stick to the skin
  • Lasts for a long time
  • Value for money


  • It has a medicinal smell

2 – Foundation Primer, Oil-Free by Laura Mercier

The lightweight and creamy foundation primer by Laura Mercier illuminates the skin while creating a barrier between the makeup and your skin. Since it is worn under the foundation, it allows the foundation to glide smoothly. The primer helps in creating a smooth and flawless canvas for application. Being ideal for different types of skin, this pearl has a universal pearl tint that minimizes the look of imperfections and gives you a radiant finish.

This oil-free primer is dermatologist tested and is formulated with Vitamins A, C, and E and essential antioxidants.

Key Features

  • Oil-free, and creamy gel
  • Non-comedogenic, dermatologist-tested
  • Contains Vitamins A, C, and E
  • Demi-matte finish


  • Smoothens the skin surface
  • Holds makeup for a long time
  • It has a dense composition


  • Has an unpleasant silica smell

3 – Super Universal Face Primer by Clinique

Clinique brings a Universal face primer that goes well with all types of skin. It easily corrects any skin discolorations and mattifies the skin. The Clinique primer has a white and translucent texture that does not stick or grease. This oil-free primer is lightweight and completely water-based. The primer comes in a bottle of 1 ounce and is recommended for casual wear. It can be smoothly applied with fingertips over your skin, or you can use a makeup sponge for its application.

The primer is free from any parabens, phthalates, or any variety of artificial fragrances, making it entirely safe for use.

Key Features

  • Oil-free texture
  • Translucent and lightweight
  • 100% fragrance-free
  • Suitable for all skin types


  • Light and smooth
  • Dries quickly
  • Great for sensitive skin


  • Expensive product

4 – Face Studio Master Prime Primer by Maybelline New York

The Face Studio Master Prime Primer by Maybelline New York is a popular product that has a beautiful and light feel on the skin. The texture is thin and lotion-like that easily spreads without any effort. This primer can blur imperfections in the skin tone and smoothens any fine lines. It can soften fine lines and wrinkles, which makes it quite a favored product. You can wear this product under your makeup or use it alone daily.

Another best feature of this primer is that it enhances the makeup wear time and requires hardly one or two touch-ups throughout the day. The skin would look bright and clean throughout the day. Water-based formula is an excellent option if you need an even makeup application without getting a greasy feeling.

Key Features

  • Water-based and weightless formula
  • Non-oily texture
  • Dermatologist and allergy-tested
  • Blurs skin imperfections


  • Smoothens skin
  • Prevents clogging pores
  • Ideal for normal to dry skin
  • Affordable product


  • Not suitable for sensitive skin

5 – Veil Mineral Primer by Hourglass Cosmetics

Hourglass Cosmetics brings a Veil Mineral primer that contains SPF 15 along with all the essential minerals. This water-resistant primer can quickly neutralize the skin and minimize shine. It creates a uniform and smooth canvas so that you can flawlessly apply makeup. The oil-free formula has a satin finish that helps in keeping the makeup looking fresh and doesn’t let it fade. It can also aid in oil control and helps in reducing the appearance of pores by even distribution.

Also, the primer can soften and hide any skin imperfections or fine lines. It is free from sulfates, parabens, phthalates, and any synthetic fragrances, making it safe for use by all skin types. The primer is made with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide that is naturally derived. It acts as a sunscreen by protecting the skin from harmful radiations of the sun.

Key Features

  • Mineral-based and water-resistant
  • Satin finish
  • Free from oil, fragrance, and gluten
  • Sulfate and paraben-free


  • Light and conservative fragrance
  • Protects from harmful sun rays
  • Has a creamy consistency
  • Lasts for a long time


  • Can make the skin dry

6 – Smooth Affair Facial Primer and Brightener by Jane Iredale

The sleek and skin-nourishing primer by Jane Iredale is an excellent option if you want to even the skin tone and minimize the appearance of pores on the skin. This wondrous primer can enhance the luminosity of the skin. The skin-quenching primer prepares the skin such that the makeup can be easily applied and can last all day long.

The mineral-based formula helps in maintaining the youthful look of the skin and helps in bringing out your natural radiance. It has excellent coverage and does not bring a heavy or cakey feel or look to the skin.

Key Features

  • Lightweight and hydrating
  • Translucent pink tint
  • Light citrus scent
  • Contains antioxidants and soothing lotion


  • Gives good coverage
  • Has an appealing scent
  • Easy to apply
  • Smoothens and brightens the skin


7 – Colour Correcting Primer by Mineral Fusion

The Mineral Fusion primer is made from naturally camouflaging mineral pigments that help in concealing hyperpigmentation and any unwanted redness for flawless skin. This soothing primer can quickly even the skin tone and smoothen the texture of the skin. It creates a balanced canvas for even the application of makeup. Formulated with chamomile and aloe vera, this primer can calm even the most sensitive skin.

The Colour Correcting primer contains natural antioxidants and collagen-boosting peptides that help in fighting wrinkles and, at the same time, help in minimizing any fine lines on the skin.

Key Features

  • Contains aloe vera and chamomile
  • 100% vegan and gluten-free
  • Hypoallergenic formula
  • Free from parabens, palates, and artificial color


  • Silky and smooth texture
  • Easy to use
  • Hydrates the skin


  • Not very mattifying

8 – Stay Matte Primer by Rimmel

The Stay Matte primer by Rimmel is an ultra-lightweight formula that helps in minimizing the appearance of pores. It helps in creating a matte and soft complexion and controls shine. The primer comes in a bottle of 30 ml and is an excellent option for skin-perfecting. It can be worn as a silky and matte base before the application of the foundation. Rimmel claims that the primer can help in controlling the shine for up to 8 hours.

The shine-control formula would not feel sticky or greasy on the skin and can be worn alone or along with makeup. It has a matte finish.

Key Features

  • Skin Perfecting
  • Controls shine for up to 8 hours
  • Lightweight formula
  • Non-greasy


  • Prolongs the wear-time of make-up
  • Has a soft and matte finish
  • Easy to use
  • Affordably-priced


  • There have been many cases of packaging issues

9 – MINERAL PRIMER by Better’n Ur Skin

The Mineral Primer from Better’n Ur Skin is a popular product that can hydrate the skin and strengthen it with the help of botanical extracts. It can even work with the T-zone which tends to be oilier than the other parts. The primer can easily control shine and calm redness on the skin. This organic primer can correct the Ph balance of the skin and gradually help in erasing fine lines.

This primer comes with a satisfaction guarantee from the manufacturer, so you can have peace of mind in case you do not like it. Made with certified organic ingredients such as jojoba oil, aloe vera, green tea extracts, tea tree oil, etc., this mineral primer is entirely safe to use for different skin types.

Key Features

  • Made with botanic and organic ingredients
  • Smooth and non-greasy
  • Anti-aging properties
  • Made in the USA


  • Does not clog pores
  • Has a great coverage
  • Smooth and hydrating


  • The smell might not appeal to all

10 – Shine Killer by NYX Professional Makeup

The matte makeup primer by NYX Professional Makeup is an anti-shine and oil-absorbing primer that helps in creating a barrier between the makeup and your skin, safeguarding your skin from any harmful elements from the outside. It has a smooth and matte-finish and cleanses the skin so that your makeup stays put for a long time. The Shine Killer primer is PETA-certified cruelty-free.

This face primer completes your makeup look by aiding in color correction and covering any blemishes. You can wear it solo or with makeup.

Key Features

  • Oil-absorbing, anti-shine
  • Smooth and matte finish
  • Color-correction and coverage
  • PETA certified cruelty free


  • Smooth and easy application
  • Lasts for a long time
  • Silky and matte finish
  • Affordably priced


  • Skin feels greasy even after application

Best Primers for Acne-Prone Skin Buying Guide

Primers come in the form of gel or liquids. Most of them are silicone-based and create a smooth and even surface on your skin for makeup application. Most of the primers are non-comedogenic and non-oily which makes them entirely safe for usage by people with acne-prone skin. They do not clog pores and hence will help you to fight acne. In this buying guide, we would be covering the critical points that need to be kept in mind before selecting a primer along with the benefits of applying a primer

Factors To Consider While Choosing The Best Primer For Acne-Prone Skin?

There is a massive variety of primers available in the market that promise to give the perfect skin to you. They can be chemical-based or can be quite costly. You might get confused about which one to choose according to your skin type and requirement. Following are some of the considerations that should be kept in mind while selecting the perfect primer for combination or acne-prone skin:


In case you have acne-prone skin or are susceptible to acne breakouts, you should go for a primer that is specially formulated for acne-prone skin. The primer should be oil-free and should contain natural ingredients that do not result in breakouts.

Skin Type

One can have oily, dry, or a combination of skin that can widely affect what kind of primer you use. The primers for dry skin are gel-based so that the skin remains hydrated. On the other hand, if you have sensitive skin, you should go for a silicone-based primer.

Non-Conflicting With The Foundation

The primer that you choose should be compatible with your foundation. This is important to ensure that the water and oil content does not rebel against each other. In case of uneven toning, you should consider replacing the primer or the foundation.

Benefits of Using Makeup Primer for Acne-Prone Skin

There are several benefits of using makeup primers before applying foundation. Some of these benefits are as follows:

Smoothens and softens skin

Primers can patch up uneven skin and provide a smooth canvas for the rest of the process of makeup.

Radiates the skin and brings a youthful glow

Usage of a primer may not fight the process of aging; however, it illuminates the skin and brings out its natural radiance. It also stimulates the production of collagens that enhance firmness.

Fixes pores

Primers aid in fixing large pores and create a smooth blanket over them. This will help you get flawless skin.

Lightweight formula

Primers are generally extremely lightweight. They are sure to leave you with baby-soft skin without giving you a feeling of having a mask on.

Makes makeup glide smoothly

With a soft blanket of primer, putting makeup on would become a straightforward task. It will bring a velvety and alluring feeling that is sure to appeal to you.

Easy to apply

Primers are quite easy to use. They feel like regular lotions but are grease-free and utterly light on the skin. They also get absorbed by the skin quickly.

Long-Lasting makeup

A primer can hold your foundation for acne-prone skin and help your makeup last for a long time. It acts as a perfect base for your makeup.

Process of Applying a Primer

Some key points need to be kept in mind before applying primer for smooth and flawless skin.

Clean Your Face

For removing all the impure toxins in your skin, you should first clean your face with a cleanser or a gentle body wash. Pat dry your skin with a towel once you have done so.

Moisturize your skin

Moisturizing the skin with a cream or lotion and then with a primer are two separate things. Although many may claim that a primer can also moisturize the skin, you should always use a different moisturizer on your skin with a good lotion according to your skin type. This is important to ensure that the hydration of the skin is locked.

Primer Application

To apply a primer, take a small pea-sized quantity and use your fingertips for dabbing the primer over your face. Now use a sponge to blend the primer with your skin tone. You can do this by starting from the center and applying it in a circular motion all over your face. You can then use the foundation and further proceed with your makeup.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is primer terrible for acne-prone skin?

In case you have oily or acne-prone skin, then you need to be aware of what your skin can handle. For such a skin type, acne breakout can happen due to a variety of factors, resulting in acne scars. Adding a primer to the mixture can further exaggerate it if the ingredients are not according to what suits you. The acne breakout can be due to an underlying inflammation that needs to be corrected. A primer with the right ingredients would not harm your skin.

Why can primers cause breakouts?

Face Primers can turn out to be a necessary evil in your beauty routine if the correct one is not used. They are vital as they lock the base and help in controlling oil. Primers help in providing a smooth and silky finish to your skin. The main reason for acne breakouts while using a primer is that they clog the pores- especially in the case of sensitive skin.

How can I cover up my acne without looking cakey?

Acnes destroy the beauty of flawless skin. However, covering it with loads of makeup can give you an undesirable cakey look. To avoid this, one should use a primer for acne-prone skin before applying foundation and makeup on the face. This creates a smooth canvas and evens the skin tone and texture. You can also go for ‘blemish balm’ cream (bb cream) for good coverage.


Even if you have acne-prone skin, several primers in the market can meet your requirements. They are of high quality and help you get the most out of your makeup. With this guide, we are sure you have been able to find the best primer for acne-prone skin.