The Best Primers For Acne Prone Skin – 2018 Reviews & Top Picks

To continue with our mission to help you find the best products on the market, we’ve come up with this list of the best primers for acne prone skin. These products were carefully selected based on their effectiveness in reducing the appearance of pores, fine lines, and wrinkles. We believe these products will make your acne-prone skin look smooth and flawless.

A makeup routine isn’t complete without an excellent primer. That’s because it prepares your skin for foundation, giving it something to hold onto, so it lasts throughout the day.

Primers are also used to combat shine and create a smooth base for foundation. But like many cosmetics, it can be a likely source of acne.

Luckily, that’s not always the case. There are primers out there that are specially formulated for acne prone skin.

But finding one can be a daunting task. That’s why we’ve taken the liberty to list our top five picks to help you in your search for the best primer for acne prone skin.

At First Glance: Our Top Picks for The Best Primer For Acne Prone Skin

OUR TOP #1 PICK - The Bellezza Secreto Premium Makeup Primer tops our list of the best makeup primer for acne prone skin. It’s made with premium and organic ingredients including vitamins A, C, and E, which not only cover fine lines and wrinkles but may also help prevent them from forming.

OUR TOP #2 PICK - Next up on our list Maybelline New York Master Prime. Because of its non-oily formula, it won’t clog pores, making it a good foundation primer for acne prone skin. It blurs fine lines and other imperfections to create a smooth base for foundation.

OUR TOP #3 PICK - For the third product on our list, we have the Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer. Its oil-free, water-based formula is ideal for oily, acne-prone, and sensitive skin. To help reduce the appearance of acne scars and wrinkles, it has a silky blend of vitamins and antioxidants.

OUR TOP #4 PICK - The Laura Mercier Foundation Primer is the fourth product on our list. This oil-free primer contains green tea extract, cucumber, and vitamins A, C, and E that will not only help smooth out imperfections, but will also refresh your skin.

OUR TOP #5 PICK - And lastly, we have BECCA Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfector. This primer keeps oil at bay and may give your skin a smooth finish before makeup application.

What to Consider When Finding a Good Primer For Your Acne Skin

Primers are no doubt an essential tool in a professional makeup artist’s makeup kit.

Not only does it provide a smooth base for your foundation, but it also creates a lasting hold for the layers of makeup that you put on so you’ll look fresh throughout the day.

But like many cosmetics, primers can also be a cause for your breakouts. That’s why many people nowadays prefer to use primers with oil-free and water-based formulations to avoid having pimples, whiteheads, or blackheads (source).

Listed below are some of the quintessential things that you should look for when choosing a face primer when you have acne prone skin or if you just want to avoid any products that might trigger breakouts.

1. Look for a Non Comedogenic Primer

The first thing to look for is, of course, a non-comedogenic label.

According to the research of American Academy of Dermatology, a “comedo” is referred to as an “acne lesion”, which is caused an excess of sebum in a pore and creates something called "a blockage" (source)

This blockage can cause blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples. That's why “comedogenic” is known as products or ingredients that can cause blocked pores and eventually lead to comedones or acne.

Therefore, considering the noncomedogenic label is very important as that will help you determine if a product can clog pores and hence cause acne.

So you just need to keep in mind that only pick a primer with a non-comedogenic label.

2. Avoid Mineral Oil

If you can’t seem to find the non-comedogenic label on the primer that you chose, one of the ingredients that you should avoid is mineral oil.

Mineral oil is considered to be highly comedogenic, which means it can clog your pores and increase the risk of acne and blackheads (source).

Not only can it contribute to breakouts, but it also doesn’t infuse any nutrients in your skin. The only thing that it can do is moisturize your skin and prevent moisture loss, but that can come at a cost.

There are other ingredients that can do the same for your skin without triggering acne, such as vitamin E or glycerin. 

So if you don’t want new breakouts yet you want to keep your skin flake free, you may be better off choosing a primer with these ingredients.

3. Choose Water-Based Cosmetics

Water-based cosmetics are slowly increasing in popularity. Since they’re much lighter in texture compared to oil-based and silicone-based cosmetics, they’re less likely to block your pores and cause breakouts (source).

However, when using a water-based primer, make sure you’re also using other water-based cosmetics with it to get the best results.

What Are the Benefits of Using a Primer for Acne Prone Skin?

And since primers are usually the first things you apply on your face, it’s best to make sure that you’re giving your skin the care that it deserves.

A good acne primer will help keep oil at bay and help make skin look fresh and matte for hours.

It will also blur the appearance of pimples, tone down the redness, and disguise smaller bumps.

Other primers may even fill in acne scars to make the skin look smoother under makeup.

However, you should also make sure that the primer you choose is not only compatible with acne prone skin, but also effective in minimizing the appearance of your pores, fine lines, wrinkles, and other blemishes.

Ultimately, your primer should not only reduce breakouts but also make your skin look uniform and smooth.

The Best Primers For Acne Prone Skin with Non-Comedogenic Ingredients

Bellezza Secreto Premium Makeup Primer

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First up on our list of the best primers for acne is the Bellezza Secreto Premium Makeup Primer. It’s made with premium and organic ingredients including natural vitamins A, C, and E.

Vitamin A helps keep your skin healthy, firm and radiant. It also lessens your skin’s sensitivity to the sun by providing natural protection against sun-induced redness.

Also, vitamin A also helps slow down signs of aging such as fine lines, wrinkles, and saggy skin.

The antioxidant properties of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and its role in collagen synthesis makes it a vital molecule for skin health.

Some studies have also shown that vitamin C helps prevent and treat ultraviolet (UV)-induced photodamage.

Vitamin E has been known to block free radicals from the body, which play a large part in the aging process.

Fighting off those free radicals can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and keep the skin youthful-looking.

And when we tested this product out for a few weeks, we found out that it didn’t trigger our acne or irritate our sensitive skin.

What We Like

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    May make skin look smooth and fresh
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    Keeps skin matte

What We Don't Like

  • May not help makeup to stay on longer

Maybelline New York Master Prime

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For the second product on our list of the best non comedogenic primers, we have the Maybelline New York Master Prime.

It’s lightweight, water-based, non-oily formula flattens out fine lines and wrinkles to create a smooth base for your foundation without clogging up your pores, which can cause acne.

Not only does this primer prevent clogged pores and acne, but it may also treat them with the help of citric acid.

Citric acid is a wonderful ingredient to have in skin care products and cosmetics because it's excellent for acne prone skin. It also helps treat uneven skin tone, sun-damaged skin, and aging skin.

This primer also contains glycerin, which is an excellent humectant, meaning it attracts moisture and seals it into the skin to help prevent dry skin.

And when we tested this product out, it made our skin appear smooth and flawless, and we were happy that it didn’t clog our pores.

It has a slightly dewy finish, and while it looks beautiful, it can look a bit oily in a few hours.

What We Like

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    Has a slightly dewy finish
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    Makes skin look smooth and flawless

What We Don't Like

  • May take a while to dry
  • May look oily after a few hours

Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer

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The third product on our list of the best primers for acne skin is the Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer.

With its silky blend of vitamins and antioxidants, it helps reduce the appearance of pores, fine lines, and wrinkles by creating a smooth base for your makeup foundation.

And because of its water-based formula, it does so without clogging up your pores, making it the best primer for oily acne prone skin. If you have oily skin, you may want to check out these best inexpensive but effective primers for oily skin as well.

The Smashbox primer is enriched with vitamin C which promotes collagen production to help you achieve that flawless complexion. Vitamin C also helps prevent and treat ultraviolet (UV)-induced photodamage.

It also contains peptides that can help even out skin tone. This primer is also specially formulated to absorb excess oils for a smooth matte finish.

We love how this primer concealed our enlarged pores, and it gave our skin a dewy finish. Because our skin can get extremely oily after an hour, we wish that this product gave us a matte finish.

What We Like

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    May conceal enlarged pores
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    Leaves skin feeling soft and smooth

What We Don't Like

  • This primer may not work for you if you want a matte finish

Laura Mercier Foundation Primer in Blemish-less

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The fourth product on our list is Laura Mercier Foundation Primer in Blemish-less, which is the best mattifying primer for acne prone skin.

It contains green tea extract, vitamins A, C, and E, and cucumber that can help sooth and refresh the skin.

This lightweight, oil-free primer is non-comedogenic, meaning it creates a smooth, flawless canvas for your foundation without having to clog your pores which can eventually lead to acne.

Green tea extract is naturally rich in antioxidants, which protect the skin from the damaging effects of free radicals. It can also reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by stimulating the skin’s circulation.

Cucumbers, on the other hand, contain ascorbic acid which helps soothe skin irritations, reduce swelling, and prevent water retention.

For vitamins A, C, and E, they help keep the skin firm and healthy and treat wrinkles by supporting new skin cell growth.

When we tested this non-comedogenic face primer out, it was light on our skin and left a soothing and refreshing feeling after application.

We also like that it gave our skin a matte finish that lasted the whole day, and our T-zone was only slightly dewy.

What We Like

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    Gives a lasting matte finish
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    Feels light on the skin

What We Don't Like

  • May not blur fine lines and wrinkles

BECCA Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfector

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The last product on our list is BECCA Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfector, which is our best silicone free primer for acne prone skin.

We love how this primer is free of silicone, oil, alcohol, and fragrance, which are known to trigger acne breakouts.

What it does have is is enantia chlorantha bark extract, which controls oil glands from producing excess sebum. Having overactive oil glands is one of the major causes of acne.

It also has oleanolic acid, which has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties.

This primer comes in a tube, and to use, we squeezed a pea-sized drop on our fingers and warmed it up between our fingertips until it became clear.

We found that it was a bit difficult to apply, and we had to make sure to smooth on an even layer on our face to prevent the foundation from caking.

Though it did keep our skin oil-free, it didn’t smooth away our acne, and we could still see the bumps through our makeup.

However, we love that this can be used instead of blotting papers to touch up our makeup. We only had to dab a small amount on any oily patches of skin to maintain a fresh look.

What We Like

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    May keep skin oil-free
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    Double purpose product, can be used in place of blotting sheets

What We Don't Like

  • May not blur acne or acne scars

The Bottom Line

The clear winner of this roundup of the best primer for acne skin is the Bellezza Secreto Premium Makeup Primer.

With its lightweight, non-greasy formula, it smoothes out fine lines, wrinkles, and other blemishes without clogging your pores that can potentially cause acne.

It eliminates redness, flakiness, and excess oil to help keep makeup looking fresh all day.

Not only is it excellent for oily, acne-prone, and sensitive skin, but it’s also made with premium and organic ingredients including vitamins A, C, and E, which help reduce the signs of aging and protect your skin from UV ray damage.

Thanks to these ingredients, this product can help you a lot in preventing premature aging as well.

However, if your skin has already showed some signs of aging, we recommend you looking for a primer that's specifically designed for mature skin for more effective results.

You can read our detailed review of the top drugstore primers for aging skin here: https://supportyourbeauty.com/best-primer-for-mature-skin/