10 Best Primers for Oily Skin That Put an End to Shine

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I truly think that everyone has something to gain from using a primer, even if it’s just smoothing out their skin a little.

Unless you were blessed with perfect skin that keeps makeup looking flawless regardless of how long you’ve had it on…get yourself a good primer!

And my oily skin girls out there? Well you definitely will benefit from using a primers for oily skin!

Basically, a primer that mattifies is magic in a tube in that it not only will help keep your makeup from sliding all over the place, but will control your oils and leave your skin looking fresh, baby smooth, and mattified to perfection all day long!

Related: Mattifying Makeup Setting Sprays You Need in Your Life

best primers for oily skin

1. Cane + Austin Primer & Protect Mattifying Primer with Broad Spectrum SPF 50

CANE + AUSTIN Prime and Protect Mattifying Primer, 1.5 Oz

Okay so besides being really, really expensive, this primer is absolutely amazing because it is like a 4 in 1 product.

It evens out skin tone like a sheer foundation, corrects redness like a color corrector, hydrates like a lightweight moisturizer, and mattifies like a primer!

Oh, and did I mention it has an SPF 50? Make that a 5 in 1 product.

If you don’t like using a lot of products and like a quick, no fuss routine, don’t sleep on this gem of a product.

2. Tarte Poreless Mattifying Primer

tarte Poreless Mattifying Primer 30 mL

This waterproof (!) primer is specifically developed for those with combination or oily skin that has blurring technology to help hide imperfections and virtually erase pores.

It also helps to keep the skin matte for up to 12 hours.

Another bonus is it’s nutrient-rich formula containing such ingredients as avocado oil and a T5 Superfruit blend which has fruits super rich in antioxidants.

3. Rimmel Stay Matte Primer

Rimmel Stay Matte Primer, 1 Ounce (1 Count), Makeup Primer, Refines Pores, Stops Shine, Smooths Skin, For Use Under Makeup or as a Standalone Skin Mattifying Product

A great drugstore option, this product is lightweight, non greasy and helps to minimize the appearance of pores and give the skin a soft, matte finish.

For the price it is definitely a great product to try, however, it can ball up on the skin if you apply too much or don’t properly care for your skin before application so always use the product sparingly and cleanse, exfoliate, and moisturize beforehand.

4. Murad Oil-Control Mattifier SPF 15 PA++

Murad Oil-Control Mattifier with SPF 15 PA++ - (1.7 fl oz), Provides a Long Lasting Matte Finish, Reduces Shine and Can Control Oil for Up To 8 Hours, Regulating Oil Production and Preserving Moisture

Although not technically a primer, this moisturizer does help to absorb and control oil on the face for up to 8 hours and contains ingredients like willow bark extract and tea tree oil to detoxify the skin and keep it clear.

This product would be ideal for those who are looking for something more along the lines of skincare and less of a makeup product to combat their oils.

Also, those with acne? This product is for you!

5. Boscia Perfecting White Charcoal Mattifying Treatment Primer

This primer is unique in that it actually helps to strengthen the pore wall (aka make pores look smaller) over time with regular use.

If you want something that will give a matte finish to the skin instantly, control oil all day, and help to visibly reduce the appearance of pores even after it’s washed off then look no further.

6. Nyx Cosmetics Shine Killer

NYX Professional Makeup Shine Killer, 0.67 Ounce

Another drugstore hero is this primer by Nyx which also moisturizes with Vitamin E.

This product preps the skin for makeup by leaving it silky smooth and matte, helping to ensure your face stays flawless all day and night.

In my opinion (just being honest), this product is not the best at keeping the skin matte BUT I wanted to include it on the list because if your budget is tight, I do think it is better than not using a primer. Just something to consider.

7. Make Up For Ever Step 1 Skin Equalizer Primer

Make Up For Ever Step 1 Skin Equalizer - #2 Smoothing Primer 30ml/1oz

This primer is one of 10 versions in Make Up For Ever’s “Step 1” primer series, all of which contain hyaluronic acid to help smooth, hydrate, and firm the skin.

The formula is light and creamy and does an amazing job of increasing foundation’s hold to the skin.

The Equalizer Primer is designed specifically for controlling oil, but they have a primer for basically any concern in this series.

Make Up For Ever is a brand that is highly regarded by industry professionals as top notch, so it’s no surprise that this primer does an awesome job.

8. Clinique Stay Matte Hydrator

Clinique Pore Refining Solutions Stay-Matte Hydrator Dry Combination To Oily Skin Scrub, 1.7 Ounce

Another product that is more skincare than makeup, this hydrator has three essential functions: hydrate the skin, blur pores instantly and over time, and mattify the skin.

A light lotion type formula, this is absorbed quickly by the skin and I can personally testify that it works awesome under makeup.

I have been asked what primer I am wearing when I use this product so in my opinion, it works no differently than an actual primer.

This is a great choice for those with sensitive skin since Clinique is dermatologist developed and this product is non-acneogenic, fragrance free, and oil free.

9. BECCA Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfector

BECCA Ever Matte Poreless Priming Perfector Makeup Foundation Primer 0.4oz

This primer is really high tech because it contains ingredients that act like oil blotting paper to absorb oils!

It’s also really unique because unlike all the other products on this list, this one can be applied after foundation, as well as throughout the day for touchups! How cool?!

It’s also silicone free (which is pretty hard to come by with primers), and resistant to sweat and humidity.

The only difficulty I’ve found with this product is you can’t rub it into the skin or it tends to ball up, you need to press it into skin so it can be absorbed.

Also, warm it up between your fingers to make it more absorbent for the skin.

10. Ulta Professional Matte Prime

Ulta Professional Matte Prime Face Primer, 1 Ounce

Look, we all know that store brands aren’t always the best, but trust me when I say you do not want to pass on the Ulta brand!

This primer is just as good at controlling oil as any I’ve tried and is ideal for those also want to smooth their skin over time because it contains salicylic acid.

This formula contains special mattifying powders to instantly control oil and keep it at bay.


So there you have it, these are just some of many amazing mattifying primers and skin care products you can use to achieve an oil-free complexion.

If I missed any of your favs, please feel free to mention them in the comments below so I can give them a go next time I need to replenish my own 🙂

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