10 Best Face Primers for Acne-Prone Skin of 2018 Reviewed

To discover the best primers that work effectively on acne-prone skin, we spent a considerable amount of time going over a range of products.

The main factors we considered were the ingredients, effectiveness against acne, and capability of prolonging makeup.

We uncovered the best solutions for skin breakouts, which also preserve the smoothness and beauty of your skin.

Top Primers for Acne-Prone Skin Sneak Peek

According to our research, the best primer you can use is Cover FX Mattifying Primer with Anti-Acne Treatment.

The product contains 1% salicylic, which effectively prevents acne and controls the oil in your skin.

This primer unclogs the pores in your skin, and it helps prolong makeup.

It also contains some essential vitamins, which help bolster the health of your skin.

Another effective primer is the Spackle Under Makeup Primer by Laura Geller.

We were particularly impressed by its ingredients, which include a host of botanical antioxidants.

They keep your skin safe from acne and other factors.

The primer also moisturizes your skin, making you look fresh and giving your skin a smooth appearance throughout the day.

The best thing about this primer is its formulation, which is light enough to prolong your makeup without making it appear cakey.

Next on the list is the Hourglass Cosmetics Veil Mineral Primer.

This primer does not contain any sulfates or parabens.

It’s safe for your skin, without compromising effectiveness.

And it absorbs excess oil from your skin (which keeps it from appearing greasy) and effectively prevents sun damage.

The bareMinerals Original Prime Time Foundation Primer is also a good choice for acne-prone skin.

This primer contains a range of antioxidants, vitamins, and botanical extracts—all of which have a soothing effect.

You only need to apply one pump of this primer to prolong the effect of your foundation; this enhances its efficiency, and it ensures that you can use it for a long time.

The fifth primer on our list is the Murad Invisiblur Perfecting Shield.

At its core, it’s a makeup primer, but it also works well as a sunblock and anti-aging serum.

Your skin will love this three-pronged effect, which makes this primer stand out from the rest because you can use it for other purposes.

Top 10 Primers for Acne-Prone Skin

Not all primers are made equal, and each product is different.

To make things a tad easier for you, we’ve compiled a list of 10 effective primers that suit acne-prone skin.

Regardless of the intensity of your condition or skin type, you’ll be able to find a product that serves your needs well.

We suggest that you start by using a primer as soon as you spot one that suits you.

Then you can get rid of acne forever.

Cover FX Mattifying Primer with Anti-Acne Treatment

Cover FX Mattifying Primer with Anti-Acne Treatment

This primer serves a dual purpose: it’s ideal for treating acne, and it prolongs your makeup.

The ingredients in the primer (including salicylic acid) keep your skin free of acne without causing dryness.

Other ingredients in the primer include alpha-hydroxy acids, which have an exfoliating impact on your skin.

And they help you get rid of dead skin that may be clogging your pores.

By using this primer, you can reduce fine lines and treat large pores, making your skin smoother.

So it’ll be easier for you to effectively apply your makeup.

The primer also contains Vitamins C, E, and F, which reduce the discomfort, inflammation, redness, and blemishes caused by acne.


    • ​Since it treats acne and works as a primer, this product is two-in-one.
    • ​By applying it nightly, you can use it as a spot treatment for acne.
    • ​It contains salicylic acid and vitamins, which prevent acne and reduce inflammation.


    • ​The salicylic acid content is a mere 1%, which only helps treat mild acne.
    • ​This primer only prolongs makeup up to 8 hours.
    • ​It causes some slight tackiness and residue.
    • ​To keep this primer fluid, you have to shake it every time you use it.

Spackle Under Make-Up Primer by Laura Geller

Spackle Under Make-Up Primer by Laura Geller

The Spackle Under Makeup Primer prepares your skin and makes it smooth.

Then you can easily apply makeup—due to its high antioxidant content (which includes white tea).

It also contains aloe vera, which protects your skin, effectively moisturizes it, and makes it look great throughout the day.

When your skin is hydrated, makeup doesn’t cake, and your wrinkles and fine lines can be covered with ease.

Since this primer’s formula is lightweight, you can get softer, smoother skin by using it.

You can also choose from three different shades (ethereal, bronze, or champagne) to occasionally change your look.

That being said, the original version of this product is colorless, so it’s ideal for preparing your skin before applying makeup.


    • ​This primer blends well with your skin.
    • ​Its formula is lightweight.
    • ​It doesn’t have any greasy residue.
    • ​It contains no oil, so there’s no risk of clogging your pores.
    • It contains ingredients that reduce redness.


    • ​It takes a long time to dry.
    • ​The shades aren’t dark enough.
    • ​The formula contains parabens.

Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer

Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer

This primer is perfect for people with oily skin.

The formula is safe and free of any harmful ingredients.

The primer effectively absorbs excess oil from your skin, so it gives off a smooth texture and appearance.

The formula also contains zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which reduce the risk of sun damage and keep inflammation at bay; because of these ingredients, the primer is white.

In addition, the primer resists water, smoothly applies across your skin, and helps cover blemishes, fine lines, and wrinkles.


    • ​The primer absorbs quickly.
    • The formula is lightweight.
    • It reduces shine by absorbing excess oils.
    • ​It contains no oils, fragrances, or harmful ingredients.
    • ​It prolongs makeup for 12 hours.
    • The white color of the primer helps cover redness and smooths the skin tone.​


    • ​There is some chalky residue, but you can cover it with foundation.
    • ​The pump-style bottle makes it difficult for you to use the entire product, which reduces the value you get.

BareMinerals Prime Time Foundation Primer

BareMinerals Prime Time Foundation Primer

This primer is perfectly suitable for people with younger skin and those who are experiencing the effects of aging.

The formula is with soothing plant extracts, vitamins, and antioxidants, which enhances its potency and makes it effective for virtually any user.

The strong ingredients also work their magic on your complexion: they reduce fine lines, dryness, and rough spots, and they absorb excess oil.

Your skin becomes smooth and soft as satin, making it significantly easier for you to apply your makeup.


    • ​It contains SPF-15, offering sufficient protection against the sun.
    • ​It contains vitamins, which reduces dryness and flakiness.
    • ​It contains no preservatives, so sensitive skin won’t be irritated.
    • ​It removes the appearance of large pores.
    • It’s available in a range of products that help combat skin issues, including oily skin.


    • ​It comes in a pump bottle, which means that you might not be able to use the entire product.
    • ​It has significant lower wear-time than other primers.
    • ​It doesn’t effectively resist humidity or heat.

Murad Invisiblur Perfecting Shield Broad Spectrum SPF 30

Murad Invisiblur Perfecting Shield Broad Spectrum SPF 30

This primer is an all-in-one; it serves multiple purposes with aplomb.

The Perfecting Shield is an effective makeup primer.

And it also makes your skin appear younger and offers protection against sun damage.

It contains mushroom peptides (which make your skin firmer and more elastic), so it reduces the effects of aging.

Other ingredients include extracts from cucumber, barley, and sunflower, which help your skin lock in moisture and prevent dryness.

In addition, your pores are reduced, and the fines lines are filled when you apply this primer.

So you can easily apply makeup and achieve a look that lasts.


    • ​It smooths skin and improves texture, which makes it easier to apply makeup.
    • ​It reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
    • ​It was tested and developed by experienced dermatologists.
    • It contains SPF-30 for effective protection with no chalkiness.


    • ​It contains parabens, which might not be suitable for sensitive skin.
    • ​It emits a faintly woodsy smell, which some users find irritating.
    • ​It’s as expensive as other primers, but since it serves dual purposes, you can use it in place of multiple products.

Sunday Riley Effortless Breathable Tinted Primer

Sunday Riley Effortless Breathable Tinted Primer

This Tinted Primer is available in three tints, namely deep, light, and medium.

The primer makes your skin appear radiant and younger after application, which enables you to enhance the effect by applying makeup.

Your skin elasticity is enhanced, due to the peptide complex in the formula.

The other ingredients effective moisturize the skin, which reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.

This primer is unique because it contains Rejuvenox, which provides oxygen to the skin cells and fights acne.

If you want light foundation or BB crème coverage, this primer is perfect for you because it offers a semi-matte finish.

But you can also use it as a base if you want to wear heavy makeup.


    • ​Almost immediately after application, it makes your skin plumper.
    • ​It has anti-aging qualities, so skin looks younger.
    • ​Your skin feels smoother and softer after application.
    • As a primer and tint combo, it serves multiple purposes.


    • ​The range of tints is limited.
    • ​It doesn’t contain SPF, which limits effectiveness against sun damage.
    • ​You need to shake the bottle every time before using it.

Laura Mercier Oil-Free Foundation Primer

Laura Mercier Oil-Free Foundation Primer

As compared to crème-based primers, this primer from Laura Mercier offers a smoother, easier application.

In addition, the gel formula used in the product doesn’t contain oil.

The gel effectively hydrates your skin without enhancing oil production.

So you get a moisturized barrier against the makeup you apply.

Plus, the smooth finish improves the makeup’s blend.

The primer also contains a range of antioxidants, including green tea extract, cucumber, and vitamin A.

All of them keep your skin fresh and soothe it against the effects of acne.


    • ​It’s tested and approved by dermatologists.
    • ​It reduces redness and irritation
    • ​It hydrates the skin, yet it’s lightweight.
    • ​It resists humidity.
    • No oil = no clogging


    • ​The smell isn’t pleasant.
    • ​It takes some time to completely dry.
    • ​It has a high water content, which can lead to a greasy appearance.

Skindinavia Makeup Primer Spray

Skindinavia Makeup Primer Spray

When it comes to cosmetics and primers, Skindinavia is a virtually unknown name, but their makeup primer spray is highly effective.

The primer features a spray-on application with a touch-free design; this makes it perfect for people who are dealing with intense acne or have sensitive skin.

You simply spray the primer on your face — making an X, then a T. And you leave it on to dry.

The mist from the spray has a long-lasting effect, staying effective for up to 16 hours.

And at the same time, it gives you a smooth base to apply your makeup on.


    • ​It’s free of silicone, which reduces the risk of clogged pores.
    • ​It’s easy to apply and has lasting results.
    • ​It’s free of parabens and is hypoallergenic.
    • ​Its formula is lightweight, and the primer is absorbed quickly.
    • It’s perfectly suitable for both oily and combination skin.


    • ​Its excessive application can make your face appear oily.
    • ​It won’t reduce inflammation due to redness or blemishes.
    • ​It requires vigorous shaking to retain fluidity.

Lorac POREfection Mattifying Face Primer

Lorac POREfection Mattifying Face Primer

This primer is loaded with a wide range of antioxidants, which are great for your skin health.

The primer also contains salicylic acid.

Each time you apply it, you’re making your skin smoother, suppler, and healthier.

So you’re combating the effects of aging.

The long-lasting primer also reduces the appearance of pores, which gives you a smooth, matte finish that effectively prolongs your makeup.


    • ​It contains ingredients that fight acne.
    • ​It’s free of oil, parabens, and fragrances.
    • ​It’s safe for use on sensitive skin.
    • ​It reduces redness and soothes the skin.


    • ​Due to its silicone content, it could clog oily skin.
    • ​The low salicylic acid content means it only works for mild acne.

BECCA Ever Matte Poreless Priming Perfector

BECCA Ever Matte Poreless Priming Perfector

This primer is highly effective at controlling the oiliness of your skin.

The best part is that you can use it any way you want.

So you can apply it across your entire face, or just to your T-Zone.

You’ll get a smooth matte finish, and your skin will remain fresh throughout the day.

Make sure you warm up the product in your palms before applying it to your face.

Almost immediately after application, most of your pores will disappear, and your skin will get tighter.

So your makeup will hold on for longer, as compared to other primers.

All in all, you should buy this primer if you have oily skin.


    • ​It has a quick-dry effect, which lasts up to 12 hours.
    • ​It contains no silicone, fragrance, oil, or alcohol.
    • ​It resists humidity and sweat.
    • ​It can only be used on oily eyelids, as the formula inhibits oil in the skin.
    • It reduces the appearance of pores.


    • ​If you don’t have oily skin, the matte finish can make your skin dry.
    • ​It contains parabens.
    • ​You have to apply it quickly.
    • ​It’s heavier than other primers
    • ​There may be a white residue after removing makeup.

What to Look for in Acne-Prone Skin Primers

Most people who experience regular outbreaks of acne have to deal with other issues related to their skin health (including increased sensitivity, oiliness, and dryness).

So it can be a tad difficult to find a primer that effectively deals with these problems and delivers the desired results.

When picking out a primer, the first step is to read the ingredients on the package.

It is important that you abstain from primers that contain oils, fragrances, and added chemicals.

They can adversely affect your skin by clogging pores and causing breakouts.

A good-quality primer for acne-prone skin should reduce the effects of acne on your skin, provide relief, and significantly prolong your makeup to enhance your appearance.

However, these are not the only considerations that you have to make when selecting a primer that will suit your particular skin type.

Here’s a look at some other factors:

  • Oil Control. When oil clogs the pores in your skin, it causes the growth of bacteria, which results in acne. So it’s important to steer clear of primers that contain oils, such as shea butter. The primer you choose should also have the capability to absorb existing oil and inhibit your skin from producing additional oil for an extended period of time.
  • Ingredients that Fight Acne. This one is a no-brainer. You have to pick a primer that contains certain ingredients that prevent acne. Some of the effective ingredients you should look for are salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide. They get rid of blemishes and enable you to recover from acne more quickly. Tea tree oil is another ingredient that has been proven to reduce the growth of bacteria that cause acne.
  • Moisture Retention. Lack of adequate moisture can also cause acne. So the primer should bolster moisture retention, which allows your skin to lock in moisture. Then the effects of acne can be repaired. Firmer skin is also less susceptible to acne. So look for a primer that contains water.
  • Nutrients and Healthy Elements. Primers made using natural extracts (such as licorice root and willow bark) keep your skin firmer and more radiant. And since vitamins help prevent acne, the primer should contain them (especially A and E). Using a primer that’s loaded with vitamins and antioxidants will reduce the discomfort and blemishes caused by acne.
  • No Fragrance. Fragrances can irritate your skin, as they tend to cause dryness. Active extracts used for enhancing fragrances (such as chamomile and lavender) are safe to use. But you should avoid primers with added fragrances, especially if your skin is sensitive.


There you have it: our Top 10 for effective primers that are effective for acne-prone skin.

Your goal should be to choose a primer that:

  • Suits your skin type
  • Takes into account all the factors that can impact performance
  • Provides a suitable treatment for acne

Thankfully, a number of primers on the market are effective at treating all the symptoms of acne, so they give you smoother skin when you apply makeup.

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