Chin-deep in summer, it’s easy to say hot weather is the worst time to have oily skin. But, honestly, oily skin is a total bummer a year long: It makes you turn into a sweaty oil-slick in the summer, and winter is that magical time of year when you’re skin is both dry and oily—you know, because your skin ups its oil production to battle the aforementioned dryness. And this is exactly why we all need to invest in the best primer for oily skin out there, year-round.
Before you grab any ole bottle off the shelf, be warned: Not all primers are created equally. A product labeled “mattifying primer” isn’t the solution to all our oily skin problems. The best primer for your oily skin, however, can change your makeup game and keep it that way. You’ll get smoother, clearer skin, a more balanced complexion, and makeup that lasts all day long.
Below, we’ve gathered the very best primers for oily skin out there right now.
A version of this article was originally published in May 2015.
The 12 Best Primers for Oily Skin You’ll Want to Invest In | @stylecaster
It Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Primer™
This non-clogging, oil-free primer erases pores, minimizes shine, and helps your foundation last a whole lot longer.
$38 at It Cosmetics
Algenist Pore Corrector Anti-Aging Primer
Not only does this Algenist primer improve skin texture and tone, but it also leaves your skin with a satin-soft finish for long-lasting makeup application.
$42 at Algenist
Make Up For Ever Step 1 Skin Equalizer Primer
This Make Up For Ever primer has a range of skin equalizers that'll refine, smooth and even out your skin. This one has true staying power.
$37 at Make Up For Ever
Make Up For Ever
Givenchy Mister Mat Mattifying Foundation Primer
This primer is an oily skin lifesaver, whether you wear it alone or under makeup. As a primer, its lightweight texture softens and hydrates, and plant extracts help control sebum over-production for a long-lasting matte finish.
$38 at Sephora
bareMinerals Prime Time® Foundation Primer
This bareMinerals primer is formulated specifically for people with oily skin to create a silky smooth canvas from the get-go. Throughout the day, it holds up to combat excess oil and absorbs shine while hiding pores, fine lines, and wrinkles.
$25 at bareMinerals
Smashbox Photo Finish Pore Minimizing Primer
The non-drying formula of this Smashbox primer locks in makeup and absorbs oil to keep your face shine-free throughout the day. Plus, it's sweat and humidity resistant for up to eight hours, so consider it a safe choice for summer.
$39 at Smashbox
Benefit The POREfessional
Benefit's primer quickly minimizes the appearance of pores and fine lines to help makeup stay put. The super-silky texture leaves skin super-smooth and shine-free, and the vitamin E in the formula protects skin from damaging free radicals.
$31 at Benefit
Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer
Hourglass' primer is mineral-based and water-resistant—with SPF 15!—neutralizing and balancing skin to minimize shine. The satin finish minimizes the appearance of pores and leaves makeup feeling fresh, and decidedly non-slippery, all day.
$54 at Sephora
Too Faced Primed & Poreless Primer
This Too Faced primer is scientifically formulated to achieve the appearance of smooth, poreless skin—even without makeup. Vitamins A and C, mulberry extract, and an impressive amount of retinol conceals pores and leaves skin firm and hydrated.
$30 at Too Faced
Per-fékt Skin Perfection Gel
Per-fékt Skin Perfection Gel wants to replace traditional foundation, primer, color corrector, and powder to enhance the appearance of your skin in one fell swoop. On top of keeping your makeup on all day, it also works to improve skin tone, help maintain hydration, and reduce the appearance of redness, discoloration, pores, fine lines, and shine. A multitasker for the ages.
$19.20 at Per-fékt
Korres Pomegranate Mattifying Primer
This Korres primer is water-based, so it has a super-lightweight feel that really lets the skin breathe. Pomegranate extract is an antioxidant powerhouse that helps tighten pores, while willow bark extract balances skin, witch hazel mattifies and keeps impurities out, and rice starch absorbs excess surface oil and softens skin.
$33 at Korres
Becca Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfector™
Ever-matte, indeed: This Becca primer controls oil and keeps skin mattified and pores minimized for up to 12 hours. Think of it as a "liquid blotting paper" to keep skin matte- and shine-free all day long, sans silicone, oil, alcohol, or fragrance.
$38 at Becca