The 12 Best Primer for Acne-Prone Skin Reviews & Guide 2021


Primer makeup is only a recent invention in terms of the cosmetic world, but what is the purpose of using a primer?

Primer serves as another layer between the skin and your makeup. As the name suggests, it “primes” or it bases the skin before applying foundation, it is a great help in making makeup lasts longer, smoothing out the skin’s surface, and can easily even out skin tone.

They can be in silky cream (tinted) or gel formula (colorless), but the majority use tinted ones. One of the reasons is to match with the skin tone. Using this regimen is a great addition to your makeup especially when you must cover some imperfections on your skin, the most common example is acne.

Acne-prone people tend to feel more afraid of layering tons of makeup in their skin like a primer. Fortunately, the good thing is more companies now already have non-comedogenic primers. They are made with acne-fighting ingredients caused by issues like sun damage, oiliness, dryness, and bacteria.

You can even wear the primer alone to skip heavy foundation if you just want to minimize the look of your pores, cover redness, and do not want a layer on makeup.

What Primer should I use?

For you to achieve the best result, you need to choose the right primer for your skin that suits your complexion and addresses your skin concerns. And the first thing to do is to identify your skin type and we will make your job easier by the guide below:

  1. Acne-Prone and Oily Skin. Choose a mattifying primer, it will help the skin controlling the extra unnecessary shine and control oil.
  2. Dry Skin. Choose hydrating primers, they are enriched with moisturizers that will keep your skin hydrated and prevent flakiness when applying makeup.
  3. For Important Events/Occasion. Primers hold makeup, that is given. But some primers provide an increase in holding your makeup.

How to use the Primer?

Evaluate your skin type and decide on what primer your skin needs. Mostly, primers are always being applied after your last skincare and before makeup. One thing is for sure, it should be applied to a moisturized and clean skin. Then follow these simple steps:

  1. Just squirt a small quantity (pea size) of primer and use your finger to dab it on the skin. Using too much of this can cause your foundation to clump so a little amount is much better.
  2. Apply it on areas you want to minimize some skin imperfections, commonly at the T-zone part of the face, use gentle and circular motions. You can also use a sponge or makeup brushes, but the fingers are much better.
  3. Allow the primer to dry and continue applying your makeup routine. Do not be harsh and apply too much makeup on the skin, always remember that less is always more in terms of makeup.

Best Primer for Acne-Prone Skin in 2021

If you are having a hard time searching for the best primer for you, No worries! We already made you a list of the best primers for acne-prone skin, see below:

Elizabeth Mott Thank Me Later Face Primer

Elizabeth Mott is a cruelty-free cosmetic brand that uses innovative high-quality ingredients. Thank Me Later Face Primer guarantees you long-lasting makeup when you applied it first. It effectively minimizes the appearance of pores which makes the skin a good canvass as a prep for your look.

Thank Me Later has a mattifying finish that will lessen the oily look on your face so you do not have to worry if you will stay under the sun. This primer is non-greasy, sweatproof, and waterproof so you can wear it anywhere anytime! It will enhance the look of your makeup by balancing and evening the skin tone.

Good feedback about it is it not causing any breakouts and will provide good coverage sore most of the users.

LAUDA BOTANICALS Oily Face Control Mattifying Primer

Lauda Botanicals announced their primer as one of a kind, a “gem” among their products. Why? For those who are problematic about their acne problem due to puberty or clogged pores, this primer is for you.

Oily Face Control Primer is made with a great combination of ingredients such as Cinnamon peptides- minerals. Those minerals are known to fight acne-causing bacteria and help control the production of oil.

Meanwhile, Aloe Vera, Tea Tree Oil, Salicylic, and Lactic Acids- naturals help balance the PH level of acne-prone skin and help provide anti-aging and anti-inflammatory benefits.

Lastly, botanical extracts such as Lemon peel, Witch Hazel and Pine Tree extract will leave the skin smooth, soft, and oil-free.

Recommended using by men and women with oily, sensitive, and acne-prone skin types. Guaranteed 100% cruelty-free, vegan-friendly, and made with no harmful ingredients like paraben, artificial fragrance, colors, and mineral oils.

ELF Blemish Control Face Primer

ELF cosmetic brand already has ten varieties of primers to choose from, good news is that they have this Blemish Control Face Primer for acne-prone skin.

They provide high-quality products at such a reasonable price because they believed that everyone should afford and access beauty. And their primers are the number 1 choice of primer in America.

It is formulated with the key ingredient Salicylic acid, Tea Tree extracts, and Vitamin E that will fight blemishes and acne-causing dirt. It also promises its users to keep their makeup look long-lasting, smooth, and intact throughout the day.

All products are free from harmful ingredients such as parabens, phthalates, ethoxylate, etc. Proud to be 100% vegan and cruelty-free, all around the world.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Glow Booster Primer

Neutrogena came up with a unique formula when it comes to their primer. It is a primer-serum hybrid product that can be used alone or can be an amazing makeup base.

The Hydro-Boost Glow Primer is made with hyaluronic acid, which is known to contribute treatment to acne and help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles but keeping the skin’s natural moisture. It promises to give you smoother and plumper skin it uses regularly.

It is designed to give the skin instant hydration giving your skin an energized glow. Moreover, it can easily glide into the skin because of its non-greasy formula.

However, the users just do not love how the products are shipped, because they came with no box. Maybe just assure the seller, we think.

Covergirl TruBlend Base Skin Primer

Shiny and oily skin tends to destroy you make up look, that is the why Covergirl formulated a special primer that addresses these concerns. The primer comes in seven options that address different skin concerns and these primers will allow you to create a good canvass for a flawless makeup look.

Covergirl Trublend Base Mattifying Skin Primer is made with Kaolin Clay, which is used to absorb excess sebum from the skin, preventing acne and breakout before they start popping out from your skin. Even though it has a lightweight formula, it will effectively cover blemishes and imperfections easily.

Good to know that Covergirl brand has switched to cruelty-free products so you can assure yourself that no animals are tested in their cosmetics.


What you will love about NYX Professional is that they are a well-known cruelty-free brand of cosmetics acknowledged by PETA. Lots of products to choose from and to experiment with.

Like their Shine Killer Primer, one of their best selling, it will guarantee you as what the primer’s name stated. This product has a middle consistency, not too runny, and not too sticky. It will effectively smoothen and minimize your pores without looking too matte and can blur fine lines and wrinkles around your eyes.

This primer will keep your make up lasts longer on your face without clogging your pores, hence, no acne breakouts will happen. Some users just said that it’s too pricey for its size but overall, a good product.

Tarte Poreless Mattifying Primer

A vegan-friendly primer for you! Tarte Poreless Mattifying Primer is the answer to your makeup meltdown problem as it promises you a 12-hour hold on your look. It effectively minimizes the pore’s look that is smooth, matte, and shine-free.

Loaded with natural ingredients such as Avocado, T5 superfruit complex, Echinacea root, Hibiscus flower, rosemary leaf extracts, and safflower seeds. The powerful combination is rich with antioxidants that help counteract free radicals. It comes in a gel-like consistency that can effectively cover redness, acne scars, and erase pores without causing acne breakouts.

Formulated with no harmful ingredients such as parabens, phthalates, gluten, and sodium laurel sulfates.

Cover FX Mattifying Primer

Cover FX is a good choice for people who cares about what they are putting in their skin, especially if you are having a sensitive and acne-prone skin type. And if you are looking for a primer, this can be your choice.

Cover FX Mattifying primer has a weightless gel that will effectively treat blemishes, covers imperfections, and minimize the appearance of pores.

The key ingredient of this product is the Salicylic Acid which is best for acne while the African Tree Bark acts as the shine controller by lessening the production of oil. It is also enriched with Natural Fruit AHA Complex such as Sugar Maple, Bilberry, Lemon, Sugar Cane, and Orange Fruit Extracts.

This primer can be worn alone or applied before makeup. No worries because of its vegan-friendly and cruelty-free product.

TOUCH IN SOL No Pore Blem Primer

Touch in Sol is a cruelty-free Korean beauty brand known to create high quality skincare and cosmetic products which only use botanical plus natural ingredients. It promises that you would not find any surprise harmful ingredients on the list.

The No Pore Blem “no problem” Primer claims that with their lightweight gel texture, it can effectively fight signs of aging like wrinkles and fine lines. It can be worn alone or a base to your makeup without clogging the pores or causing any acne breakouts.

The product is also suitable for sensitive and acne-prone skin types. It is rich with green tea extracts that also protect and energize the skin while making your makeup hold longer.

It comes with a frosted transparent bottle packaging in which users find it more luxurious at an affordable price.

Neutrogena Shine Control Primer

Now we came up with another primer from Neutrogena, but this time a primer alone. Awarded as the best primer in the year 2013 by a famous magazine, these cosmetics began to create its name. This primer offers an 8-hour matte and fresh look.

Neutrogena Shine Control Primer has a lightweight and no greasy formula that can be easily spread and absorbed by the skin. It is formulated with rice protein that amazingly acts as a sponge and absorbs all the excess oil in the skin.

Since it is non-comedogenic, it will not cause clogged pores and not cause any acne breakouts.

The bad news is that, according to some feedbacks, it does not hold as long as what it promises and also notice that you should spread the product quickly because it can leave a white cast on the skin.

Paula’s Choice SHINE STOPPER Instant Matte Finish

Paula’s Choice is a skincare and cosmetic brand that has a wide range of products, so whatever skin problem you may have especially acne, they have a product that can address it. Their products are made with no fragrance and no parabens which make it suitable for sensitive and combination skin types.

Paula’s Choice Shine Stopper Primer uses Microsponge Technology which acts as an effective oil absorber and will give you a matte finish look. It has a weightless formula that can be easily spread throughout the skin and smoothen out skin imperfections. This primer control oil production which can cause acne breakouts.

This primer can be worn alone and an amazing makeup base.

Mineral Fusion Mattifying Primer

Mineral Fusion Mattifying primer has a soothing formula that can control shine and even skin tone and create a smooth canvas for makeup application. It is a non-comedogenic primer that prevents makeup from setting deep down into the pores which can cause acne breakouts and can minimize the appearance of pores.

Loaded with Kaolin Clay and antioxidants that absorb all the excess oil to prevent a hassle shiny look and have anti-aging properties that boost the natural collagen production.

Made with no harmful ingredients and can be used by those who have oily and super sensitive skin.


If you think that a primer is necessary, it is 100% up to your decision. By making this list, we hope that you can get recommendations so you can find the best primer that suits you. And hope we help you out.


Hi there! I’m Claudia Gonzales, a real beauty addict and also the founder of Clo by Clau! Currently I’m working as a makeup artist and I have been doing this for 10 years. With my experience, I will recommend, guide and give the most effective makeup products, tips and much more about beauty.

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