August 14, 2020

10 Best Non-Comedogenic Primers for Oily and Acne-prone Skin

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Anything non-comedogenic is perfect for acne-prone skin. These kinds of products don’t clog up your pores so chances of pimples forming are lower.

A non-comedogenic primer is especially useful if you enjoy wearing makeup.

Primer works as a base under all other products so that your makeup lasts longer.

Its basic functions include smoothing large pores. It also moisturizes dry patches to create a smooth canvas for your makeup. It minimizes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles as well.

Some people even choose to wear primer on its own as an extra step to their skincare routine.

Every primer has a specific finish. A hydrating primer can give dry skin a dewy finish. A mattifying primer will give oily skin less shine and an airbrushed finish.

To help you find the right makeup primer for you, here are the 10 best non-comedogenic primers we recommend:

 
Table of Contents

10 Best Non-Comedogenic Primers

Drugstore Non-Comedogenic Primers

Drugstore primers are heaven-sent. They’re great if you want effective but still affordable products.

If you want to save on your next buy, then these are the best makeup primers for you.

(Additionally, we particularly love buying drugstore brands for our other products. Setting powder is one example. You can check out our Best Drugstore Setting Powders for Dry Skin article to have an idea.)

Our Pick

This makeup primer also functions as a color-corrector.

Color-correctors are like concealers. They correct a specific color or skin tone. For example, green correctors can conceal redness from acne and scarring. Yellow correctors hide dark circles and spots.

The Maybelline Master Prime comes in 6 variants. Each targets different skin concerns.

All variants feel lightweight when applied to the skin. The formula is water-based and oil-free so it doesn’t feel greasy. It also gets absorbed well.

The product’s main benefits are its smoothing and blurring properties. They minimize the appearance of pores, fine lines, and textured skin.

To top it off, it has SPF 30 and dermatologist-approved. You can rest easy knowing your skin is getting extra sun protection.

Application: Massage primer onto skin before makeup.

Pros

  • Smooths uneven texture
  • Blurs the appearance of pores
  • Controls oil and shine on the face
  • Dermatologist-tested
  • Allergen-free

Cons

  • Contains silicone

Key Ingredients:

Glycerin, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Propylene Glycol, Polyglyceryl-3 Disiloxane Dimethicone, Vinyl Dimethicone/Methicone Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer, Phenoxyethanol

Best for Acne-Prone Skin

Acne prone skin types always need extra care. This contains ingredients that treat blemishes and active acne. It also mattifies your skin without making it feel dry.

Salicylic acid and Tea tree oil help to dry up pimples to clear up breakouts faster. An antioxidant like Vitamin E also gives skin a healthier glow.

Users also find that it shrinks large pores and smoothens their face. Others even claim to use it without makeup since it works perfectly with their skin.

It has no parabens, sulfates, or phthalates. All Elf products are cruelty-free and vegan as well.

Application: Blend primer evenly on the skin. Wait for 30 seconds for the product to set. Proceed with makeup.

Pros

  • Lightweight and easy to spread formula
  • Has nourishing ingredients
  • Smooths the face as well as it moisturizes it
  • vegan
  • paraben-free, sulfate-free, pthalate-free, and cruelty-free

Cons

  • Doesn’t have SPF
  • Has a slight scent that others might not enjoy

Key Ingredients:

Salicylic Acid 2%, Dimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Propylene Glycol, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Tocopheryl Acetate (Ve), Silica, Panthenol, Rosemary, Thyme, Tea Tree, and Lemon Peel Extract

Best for Fine Lines

This primer is called a holy grail product by many. It is multi-functional and feels lightweight on the skin. The price is just the cherry on top.

It’s formulated with light-diffusing particles. These are what help make you look perfect for every picture.

It also contains Vitamin E, which keeps skin nourished throughout the day.

This product helps your fine lines look visibly smoothened. Any noticeable pores are also smoothened and become almost invisible.

Finally, it’s paraben-free and fragrance-free. Chances of allergic reactions or breakouts are close to none.

Application: Massage primer into skin before makeup.

Pros

  • Smooths pores and perfects the skin for makeup application
  • Easy to blend on the face
  • Helps foundation stay on your skin longer
  • Paraben-free, and fragrance-free

Cons

  • Can’t completely blur out deeper scars and uneven skin texture

Key Ingredients:

Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Silica, Phenoxyethanol, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E)

Best for Large Pores

Getting the perfect makeup look is easier with this primer.

Its key ingredient, Vitamin E, hides large pores and uneven skin texture. You can worry less about any fine lines and wrinkles as well.

The lightweight formula makes skin dry matte and smooth. Since it’s also oil-free and talc-free, people with acne prone skin can use it.

This makes your face transform into the perfect flawless canvas for any makeup look you want.

Application: Apply a pea-sized amount of primer onto the skin. Wait for a few minutes until the product is fully absorbed. Proceed with makeup.

Pros

  • Minimizes pores instantly
  • Smooths the skin before makeup application
  • Oil-free and talc-free

Cons

  • Tends to melt away in hot and humid weather
  • Feels a little thick on the face when applied

Key Ingredients:

Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Silica, Dimethicone,Cyclopentasiloxane, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol

Best for Oily Skin

This primer’s longevity has made it a cult favorite. It keeps a matte finish for up to 8 hours.

It hydrates and smoothes skin. It works to conceal any large pores and minimize shine as well.

The consistency is very lightweight. As it stays on your face, it doesn’t feel greasy at all.

This product is oil-free, so it’s good for an acne prone skin type. Your makeup will also stay intact longer.

This primer helps smoothen skin texture. Most users apply it even without makeup, since it’s a great skin perfector on its own.

Application: Blend primer into skin before makeup.

Pros

  • Tube packaging makes it travel-friendly
  • Product blends easily on the face
  • Effectively controls oil and shine
  • Smooths pores and skin texture
  • Oil-free

Cons

  • Has a slight chemical scent that some might not enjoy
  • Can’t completely fill in fine lines and wrinkles

Key Ingredients:

Cyclopentasiloxane, Talc, Cetyl Peg/Ppg-10/1 Dimethicone, Propylene Glycol, Vinyl Dimethicone, Silica, Glycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Propylene Carbonate, Tocopheryl Acetate

Mid-end to High-end Brand Non-Comedogenic Primers

If you’re open to spending a little bit more, then we think these are the best primers for you.

Best for Oily Skin & Large Pores

Another fan favorite is The Porefessional. It’s probably the first primer that comes to mind when asking any makeup addict.

True to its name, this product minimizes the appearance of large pores. Fine lines and skin texture also look smoother. The translucent formula also complements all skin tones.

The key ingredient is Vitamin E. This keeps skin healthy. It also gives protection from free radicals that cause damage.

It’s a good foundation primer since it feels lightweight when worn under makeup. Other users opt to wear it alone too. It gives skin a smoother finish when worn.

Lastly, it’s oil-free, so it doesn’t aggravate oily skin types.

Application: Apply primer onto the skin before makeup.

Pros

  • Minimizes the appearance of pores and smooths skin texture
  • Fills in wrinkles and fine lines
  • Tube packaging is portable and travel-friendly
  • Oil-free

Cons

  • Has a mild scent that some may not enjoy

Key Ingredients:

Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Silica, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Phenoxyethanol, Titanium Dioxide, Cyclohexasiloxane, Tocopheryl Acetate, Iron Oxides, Limonene, Triethoxycaprylylsilane

Best for Dry and Textured Skin

This hydrating foundation primer is perfect for dry skin types. You get a smooth, dewy finish for your face.

It’s infused with vitamins to retain moisture longer. Antioxidants also work to prevent aging effects from the environment. This formula nourishes skin best.

It also has a soft-focus effect that makes imperfections less noticeable. Fine lines, pores, and blemishes are concealed. This helps to create a clean canvas for the foundation.

A silicon-free product like this allows your pores to breathe. It’s good to use for long-wear without irritating the skin. If you have a sensitive skin type, then this product is a good choice.

Application: Massage primer onto skin with your fingertips. Apply makeup when fully absorbed.

Pros

  • Lightweight and easily blendable formula
  • Packaging is travel-friendly
  • Gives skin a natural glow, even when worn under makeup
  • Smooths skin texture and pores
  • Silicone-free
  • Dermatologist-tested

Cons

  • Has a subtle scent that some might not like
  • Doesn’t have added SPF

Key Ingredients:

Tidecyl Neopentanoate, Carbomer, Propylene Glycol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Retinyl Palmitate, Soybean Oil, Cymbopogon Martini Oil, Orange Oil, Jasmine Oil, Lavender Oil, Geranium Maculatum Oil, Tocopherol, Honey Extract (Mel), Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Kiwi Fruit Extract, Grape Fruit Extract

Best for Combination Skin

This makeup primer gives a blurred and matte finish for almost 12 hours. It is one of the best mattifying primers for oily skin. It works great even in humid environments.

It also makes the skin look tighter by concealing large pores. You can even re-apply it over your makeup to touch up. The matte finish will still stay put.

Since it’s water-based, it feels very light on the skin. It also contains no alcohol, oil, or fragrance. People with a sensitive skin type are safe to use the Becca Ever Matte.

You can also use this without makeup since it nourishes the skin best. It mattifies without drying the skin, leaving it looking healthy.

Application: Warm a pea-sized amount of primer with your fingertips. Blend it into the skin before makeup.

Pros

  • Has instant mattifying effects
  • Packaging makes it travel-friendly
  • Refines the appearance of large pores
  • Vegan
  • Silicone-free, oil-free, fragrance-free, and cruelty-free

Cons

  • Mattifying power wears off pretty quickly
  • Can end up caking your makeup if not blended well

Key Ingredients:

Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Propylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylene Glycol, Enantia Chlorantha Bark Extract, Oleanolic Acid

Best for Dry Patches

The ingredients of this makeup primer make it stand out as one of the best. Aside from being non comedogenic, they’re also very nourishing on the skin.

It has an advanced formula. Ingredients are Hyaluronic acid, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and a mild form of retinol, which gives skin a boost of radiance.

It blurs pores, hides blemishes, and fills in fine lines. You can also expect minimal shine and a more even skin tone.

The Hyaluronic acid gives it a silky, hydrated finish. This makes it ideal for those with dry skin types since it hydrates dry patches and spots.

You’ll also notice that your makeup will have an airbrushed finish once applied. It holds well under makeup and helps it stay in place.

Application: Apply a small amount of product onto the skin before makeup. Blend primer with your fingers or a makeup brush.

Pros

  • Easily blendable and light on the skin
  • Smooths uneven skin texture well
  • Hydrates dry patches
  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free, Paraben-free, and Fragrance-free

Cons

  • Can’t completely minimize the appearance of large pores

Key Ingredients:

Dimethicone, Disiloxane, Sodium Hyaluronate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Retinol, Camellia Oleifera Seed Oil, Potassium Phosphate, Pentylene Glycol, Alcohol, Limonene, Citral, Linalool, Tocopherol, Iron Oxides, Bismuth Oxychloride

Best for Sensitive Skin

This primer is the perfect product for sensitive and acne prone skin types. It functions as a skin perfector that leaves a matte finish.

Fine lines are filled in so that skin looks silky and smooth. Skin tone is also evened out for better complexion. Pores are minimized and concealed as well.

Its key ingredient to fight acne is Salicylic acid. This reduces the production of oil and sebum on the skin for lesser breakouts. It’s safe for those who are acne prone since pores will remain clear.

It also has Vitamin A, C, and E. These work together to boost the skin’s radiance and health. This product will surely make you look younger.

Makeup also lasts longer when you use this specific primer. It also doesn’t feel greasy since it’s oil-free.

Application: Apply a pea-sized amount of primer on skin before makeup.

Pros

  • Lightweight and fast-absorbent formula
  • Controls oil and shine well
  • Packaging is travel-friendly
  • Doesn’t make dry patches more noticeable
  • Smoothing and blurring powers last long on the skin
  • paraben-free, fragrance-free, and oil-free

Cons

  • Can’t completely prevent acne
  • Can’t completely prevent breakouts

Key Ingredients:

Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Silica, Tocopheryl Acetate, Retinyl Palmitate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Salicylic Acid

Prime and Prep

Priming your skin before makeup is a key step.

First, the primer turns the skin into a smooth canvas.

Makeup is an art. You need an adequate base before applying it.

Primer allows for better blending of foundation, blush, bronzer, and more. Your makeup look will last much longer when used with a primer. It also gives your skin a silkier finish.

It also minimizes the appearance of pores and fine lines. Most primers have a blurring effect to achieve this. Any imperfections you have on your skin will be less noticeable.

Problems like acne prone skin, uneven skin tone, and large pores are no match for a good primer.

The better that your skin already looks before makeup, then the less you’ll need. It helps shorten your routine altogether.

Second, primer nourishes the skin.

As you saw, some primers contain ingredients like Salicylic acid and Tea tree oil. This formulation targets acne prone skin.

Other makeup primers have Sodium hyaluronate and Vitamin E. These ingredients give skin extra moisture and work well for dehydrated skin.

Primers with Retinol are perfect for preventing fine lines. They contain anti-aging ingredients to help revitalize mature skin.

The best primers will always have added ingredients that make your skin better.

Third, primer acts as a protective barrier for your skin.

Since you use a primer under makeup, it acts as an extra shield for your skin. The product will stick to the primer rather than on your skin. It’s less likely that the makeup will go into your pores and form pimples.

Protect Your Pores

Primer is vital in any skin routine. That’s why it’s important to ensure the product you use is non-comedogenic.

A comedogenic primer has ingredients that can get trapped in your pores. Acne prone skin suffers from a product like this.

Clogged pores cause skin issues like acne and irritation. If your pores are clogged, then it’s harder to remove trapped dirt and oil.

Always make sure that the primers you use are non-comedogenic. Your pores will thank you, especially if you have acne prone skin.

Remember that primers act mainly to refine the appearance of pores. If you use a pore-clogging product, then you’re defeating the purpose of your primer.

A non-comedogenic primer is easier to cleanse off the skin. Dirt and oil are less likely to remain. This will prevent breakouts and blemishes.

It can also help your skin in the long run as an anti-aging strategy since most formulas include anti-aging properties. Aside from giving a matte or silky finish, it also prevents fine lines and wrinkles from forming.

You can hit two birds with one stone when using non-comedogenic products.

(Additionally, if noticeable pores are a dilemma for you, then you can check out our article on the Best Foundations for Large Pores that you can pair with your chosen primer.)

Complete the Non-Comedogenic Look

The non-comedogenic route is the best way to take care of your skin.

Don’t let your non-comedogenic primer’s benefits go to waste. Make sure that all your other products are in sync.

It’s best to plan out your entire makeup look. Always check the labels and ingredients to check if your products are safe for your pores.

These days, brands are more aware of the harmful effects of comedogenic products on the skin. Customers are also more discerning when it comes to buying products for their skin.

More and more companies have begun to offer non-comedogenic skincare lines. Cleansers, toners, and moisturizers are among the most currently marketed products.

A wide array of options that extend far beyond skincare is also available.

Cosmetics like primer, foundation, and face powder have plenty of non-comedogenic options now. There are varieties of highlighter, blush, and bronzer with breathable formulas as well.

The most immediate step after using a primer is usually foundation. It is also probably the most important.

Foundation is the base of your entire look. It will have to sit on your skin for long hours and hold all the other products you apply. (If you need any good suggestions, check out our article on the Best Non-Comedogenic Foundations to pair with your primer.)

It should also be able to conceal most skin imperfections. One with a mattifying finish can better hide large pores. A high-coverage variant can cover up any scarring or active blemishes.

Last-minute Tips

Always Use Sunscreen

One last piece of advice we can give is to never skip sunscreen. Be sure it has a non-comedogenic formula as well.

Primer is the barrier between your skin and your cosmetics. Sunscreen is the barrier between your skin and the sun! You should equally protect yourself from both.

Apply your SPF product before anything else. According to dermatologists, about 1/3 to 1/2 of a teaspoon of sunscreen is a good amount to use on the face.

Choose one with at least SPF 30 to prevent sun damage. Reapply it at least every two hours to avoid dark spots and hyperpigmentation.

Also, don’t just stop with your face. Make sure you spread it down to your neck and ears.

As for the rest of your body, use a body sunscreen on all exposed parts. Follow the same rules and reapply every two hours as well.

Finally, remember to wear sunscreen even when indoors or when the sun isn’t shining as much. UV light can still penetrate the atmosphere and reflect on your skin.

Ingredients To Avoid When Using Makeup Primers

On the road to younger-looking skin, be on the lookout for these two ingredients, and protect your skin at all times:

  1. Bismuth Oxychloride
  2. Latex
 

Yes, Bismuth Oxychloride is an FDA approved ingredient safe to use on your lips, face, and even eyes. In fact, you’ll find Bismuth Oxychloride in a ton of beauty products.

What’s alarming though is its effect on acne prone skin. As it stands, using primers containing Bismuth Oxychloride leads to more breakouts and causes irritation. Not exactly safe now, is it?

Fortunately, it’s not as common of an ingredient in your primer-solution. Still, be on a tight watch for this.

With regards to latex, you’ve probably already heard the rumors of its dangerous effects. On acne prone skin, it can cause allergic reactions that mimic the effects of acne.

Two ingredients to look out for aren’t exactly too hard for you to spot, right? What’s important is being able to use your primer without needing to worry about untimely side effects.

 

Save Your Skin

As we finish, we hope that our list helped you find the best primers that can work for you.

With many good products to choose from, you should already invest in the right one. Your primer can make or break your entire look.

Whether you opt for a drugstore or a high-end brand, your skin will thank you. So many options offer nourishing formulas that will give your skin the extra care it needs.

So, one last tip: Save your skin while you can.

Paola Diaz
Paola Diaz

Hi, I'm Paola! A skin care enthusiast and nature lover. Creating content that promotes proper skin treatment and keeping a healthy glow is my way of sharing with the world how healthy skin can go a long way. I’m a firm believer of natural beauty that radiates inside all of us. All we need is the right kind of nourishment that inspires our wellness from inside out. So it’s really not about physical beauty alone – it’s the beautiful life we can create for ourselves when we connect with our own nature and see there is beauty that shines from every one of us.