20 Best Primer for Combination Skin (The Definitive Guide)

Updated 5 years ago

Dry in some areas, oily in other parts – this is the best way to describe a combination skin. Finding a product that works perfectly for this skin type can be challenging. You need to find one that can perfectly balance the skin.

If you have combination skin and you are looking for the best primer on the market, we are here to extend a helping hand. The rest of this post will tackle some of the top choices that should be on your radar.

Top Primers Perfect for People with Combination Skin

Change your makeup game by using any of the primers below. They are ideal for people with combination skin.

Lancôme La Base Pro Perfecting Makeup Primer

This is made by a trusted cosmetic brand, providing you with enough reason to have it considered over other products. It is an oil-free makeup, so this is perfect if some parts of the skin are oily. On the other hand, it can also hydrate the skin to combat dryness. Among others, one of the defining features of this product is the Elast-Smooth Technology, which has been developed exclusively by Lancôme to refine the texture of the skin. It is also effective in diffusing light, making the skin as smooth and soft as satin. It allows the makeup to glide smoothly on the skin while also staying true to its original color.

Belleza Secreto Premium Foundation Makeup Primer

Want your makeup up to stay on the face all day long? This primer can offer the perfect solution, especially for people who have sensitive skin. With just a thin coat, you can expect your makeup to last up to 12 hours. You also do not have to think about ugly smudges! This primer is packed with beneficial antioxidants and vitamins. It has Vitamins A and E, which are both responsible for the reproduction of cells. It also has components that prevent skin damage caused by free radicals. It makes the skin flawless without clogging the pores, which will be beneficial in terms of preventing acne. It does not contain oils, parabens, and synthetic fragrances. The primer is also cruelty-free.

Radiant Complex Face Primer

With the use of this primer, you will be able to prepare the face to make it smoother prior to the application of makeup or foundation. To add, this primer also helps to hide the fine lines and other skin imperfection, allowing you to look more flawless after having your makeup. It is packaged in a tube that is sleek and lightweight, making it easy to put in your bag. The product is made without using harsh chemicals, minimizing the likelihood that it will cause adverse effects on the skin. It is also worth noting that it is never tested on animals.

Thank Me Later Primer

With the lightweight formula of this face primer, you won’t end up feeling greasy throughout the day, even when it is humid. More than mattifying the surface of the skin, it is also known for minimizing the appearance of the pores and allowing the makeup to last longer, basically because it is sweatproof and waterproof. While the formula of this primer is silky, it is not one of those that will make the face shiny, making it perfect if there are some parts of the skin that are oily while there are also others that are dry. Aside from being cruelty-free, it should be also pointed out that it does not contain parabens. It has a powder that controls sebum production.

Rimmel Stay Matte Primer

A person with a combination skin has oily parts with dry patches. If you have this skin, this matte primer will be an ideal product to use. As the manufacturer claims, it will allow you to get rid of the shine as it stops the production of sebum while also providing a moisturizing effect. You will also love the formula that is as lightweight as a feather, making it perfect for all-day and all-season wear. In fact, it can last for up to eight hours. In terms of effects, more than preparing the skin for the application of makeup, it is also effective in minimizing the appearance of pores without clogging. You can use the primer on its own or in combination with your choice of foundation.

Dr. Brandt Skincare Pores No More Pore Refiner Primer

If you want to mattify the skin to prevent shine, this is one primer that can prove to be perfect for the job. Considered as a game-changer in the world of primers, users of this product swore how it helps in minimizing the appearance of large pores. It provides a quick-fix for making the skin photo-ready, making it a cult-favorite amongst selfie addicts. It also makes the makeup melt-proof, regardless if you are in a place with high humidity. Even during the summer months, this primer won’t disappoint. It will help in the absorption of excess oil on the face. It also has a non-drying formula. The main ingredients used include salicylic acid, willow bark, and tea tree oil.

Hourglass Cosmetics Veil Mineral Primer

A favorite amongst beauty bloggers, this is another primer that is worth considering if you have combination skin. Similar to most of our top picks on the market, it also has a lightweight formula so that you won’t have to end up feeling greasy or oily. One of the best things about this primer is the SPF 15, which allows it to protect the skin from the harsh UV rays of the sun. It also does not contain parabens, fragrances, and oils, making it perfect even for people with sensitive skin. If you have fine lines and large pores, this is a must-have in your everyday makeup routine.

Maybelline Facestudio Master Prime

This is a great primer to start your day. Once applied, layer it with your favorite makeup and your look is sure to last for an extended period. It is one of the company’s skin perfecting primers, all of which are known for providing a smooth base for makeup to effortlessly glide upon its application. It is in a water-soluble, weightless, and non-oily formula, making it an excellent choice for those who are being burdened by combination skin. It conceals and corrects the face, allowing you to hide the imperfections on the skin.

Makeup For Ever Step 1 Skin Equalizer Mattifying Primer

While details about the product specify that this is made for people with oily skin, if you have combination skin, this will also be a perfect choice. It balances the moisture and the oil of the skin, which is why it is recommended for use of people who have extremely oily or very dry skin. The formula is creamy and lightweight, allowing it to provide an even skin tone without being too heavy on the skin. According to the people who have used this primer in the past, they enjoyed the seamless application of makeup while also being able to optimize the color and finish. Best of all, it improves the staying power of makeup.

Mehron Velvet Primer

Transform your skin into a blank canvas that is easy for makeup application with the help of this primer. This will help to cover up the imperfections, including large pores. Once applied, makeup will glide smoothly and will stay for a prolonged period. It has a clear oil-absorbing formula, which will be effective in minimizing shine in the oily parts of the face. It has Vitamin C and aloe vera, two ingredients that are known for nourishing the skin. It also has antioxidants that will help in making the skin look radiant throughout the day. You can wear this primer even on its own or use it as a base for foundation or makeup.

bareMinerals Primetime BB Primer Cream

This primer comes with SPF 30, which also makes it great for protecting the skin from the harsh heat of the sun. It performs three functions at a time as it perfects, protects, and primes the skin all with the use of a single product. This is a multi-tasking primer that comes in the form of a BB cream. Some of the benefits associated with its use include improvement of skin tone and minimizing the appearance of discolorations. It has a silky and smooth formula, which will be beneficial in fighting dryness and excess oil, which are two of the most common problems that confront people who have combination skin.

Better’n Ur Skin Mineral Makeup Primer

While some primers rely on the use of harsh chemicals, this is different! Instead, it is power-packed with the best botanicals that are available, providing the skin with a radiant glow in the absence of having to worry about irritation. Aside from being all-natural, it is also vegan and cruelty-free. It has vitamins that will be effective in fighting skin aging. It is not just for people with combination skin, but it will also work perfectly for all skin types! Unhappy with your purchase? Fortunately, you can return it to the manufacturer and you will receive an unconditional refund.

L’Oréal Paris Magic Lumi Light Infusing Makeup Primer

This liquid primer is made by a reputable makeup brand, which should already be enough reason to include this on your list. As a light infusing primer, some of the benefits that you can enjoy with the use of this product include lighter complexion and longer-lasting makeup. It also makes the skin look more flawless and prepares it for the application of makeup. Using this product will also be effective in minimizing pores. As recommended by the manufacturer, to achieve the best look with the use of this primer, you have to apply it only when the skin is moisturized.

NYX Cosmetics Hydra Touch Primer

Although this is a creamy primer, you won’t have to worry because it won’t feel sticky at all. In fact, it is lightweight and will be perfect for all-day wear. People with combination skin will love how it can perfectly balance oiliness and dryness. Based on the reviews shared by the people who have used this primer in the past, they loved how it has ingredients that are gentle on the skin, including ginseng root extract, green tea, and chamomile. They provide the rejuvenation that the skin needs to make you look youthful. It also gives you a luminous glow.

Clinique Super Universal Face Primer

The manufacturer markets this primer as the perfect choice for people who have oily to combination skin. If your face often suffers from redness and discoloration, you will also have another great reason to have it considered over other products. It smooths and corrects the skin, making it possible to hide pores and fine lines while preparing the surface for easier application of makeup. It does not contain phthalates, parabens, and fragrances. Instead, some of its ingredients are extracts of algae, grapefruit, and green tea.

SHANY Hydrating Face Primer

Infused with vitamins, this is another primer that will help your combination skin to look radiant! More than just being a foundation primer, it also helps in defying the visible signs of skin aging, which include fine lines and wrinkles. The primer is also light diffusing. From all its ingredients, one of the most notable is hyaluronic acid, which is the one that is responsible for moisturizing the skin. It also contains glycerin. More so, it has never been tested on animals, making sure that you will be buying and using a primer that is cruelty-free.

Pure Aloe Care Aloe Vera Vitality Hydrating Makeup Primer

Among others, one of the best things about this product is the use of aloe vera as one of the main ingredients. This is the one that provides hydration to the dry portions of one’s combination skin. To make it even better, it is combined with hyaluronic acid and shea butter, which will penetrate deep to provide skin rejuvenation. The primer forms a protective barrier on the top layer of the skin to lock in moisture throughout the day. For the best results, the manufacturer recommends that it should be used along with their other aloe vera products.

E.L.F. Blemish Control Face Primer

From the way it is named, it is pretty much obvious that the main purpose of this primer is to be able to control blemishes. While this is often used by people who have acne-prone skin, this will also work for those who have combination skin. The effectiveness of this product can be attributed to the combination of the high-quality ingredients that are used, which include salicylic acid, tea tree, and Vitamin E. It is also 100% vegan and cruelty-free. It does not dry out the skin and won’t make you feel oily, which makes it a great pick for your combo skin.

Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer

If you have always been bothered by the large pores on your face, this is a product that can offer the perfect solution. Even if your skin is prone to acne, you also do not have to worry as this won’t cause breakouts. Looking at the ingredient list, this is commendable because it does not contain talc, fragrances, oils, sodium lauryl sulfate, and parabens, among others that can be harsh on the skin.

Estee Lauder Matte Perfecting Primer

Made by a luxury cosmetic brand, this is a primer that is formulated for people with combination, normal, and oily skin. It provides the skin with a matte finish, which is exactly why it will work in controlling the oily areas. For the dry portions, on the other hand, it has ingredients that are responsible for hydrating the skin.

What is a Primer?

Now that we have finished rounding up some of the top picks on the market, let us discuss what exactly a primer is. Basically, a primer refers to a cosmetic product that is applied on the surface of the skin as the base before the application of foundation or makeup. Often, it is available in powder, gel, or cream form.

While primers are often applied on the face, there are other types that are available. They can also be applied on the lashes, lips, eyes, and even on the nails. You need to find a primer that is suitable for its intended purpose.

The Benefits of Using a Primer

Here are some of the compelling reasons to use a primer:

  • Hide Pores: Large pores can affect your self-confidence. Fortunately, with the use of the right primer, you can easily seal the pores, allowing it to create a soft blanket.
  • Make Makeup Last Longer: The longevity of your makeup will not be a problem when you use a primer. This is because the primer allows the better absorption of the foundation or makeup. It also prevents the excess production of oil that could damage the makeup.
  • Even out Skin Tone: If you do not have a fair complexion, a primer will also be effective in improving your skin tone. It corrects the skin color even before the application of makeup.
  • Make the Skin Softer: Depending on the primer that you are using, it will provide the skin with a velvety finish, which makes it smoother. This is also the reason why it makes it easier to apply makeup when you use a primer.
  • Prevent Shine: When you have a combination skin, part of the skin will appear oily. The use of a primer will be beneficial because it mattifies the skin and prevents it from looking excessively shiny.
  • Boost Hydration: Aside from having oily portions, those with combination skin will also have parts that are dry. A primer will be effective in hydrating and moisturizing these parts.
  • Fight Skin Aging: Many of the primers mentioned above and those available on the market have ingredients that will be effective in fighting the visible signs of skin aging, including wrinkles and fine lines. It is an excellent way to keep the skin looking youthful.

The Different Types of Primers

It is also important that you know the different types of primers, each with the promise of making the skin look radiant and beautiful:

  • Blurring: A lot of people consider this as the Instagram filter for the face. The main purpose of the latter is to blur the appearance of the visible flaws in the skin, including fine lines and pores, among other imperfections.
  • Color-Correcting: This is the ideal choice for people who have uneven skin tone or complexion.
  • Anti-Aging: If your main concern is to hide and prevent wrinkles and other signs of skin aging, this is the type of primer that you should use.
  • Illuminating: Use this type of primer if you want the skin to be more radiant and to illuminate. This will make the foundation look like your skin and not thick makeup.
  • Mattifying: Having a combination skin means that part of the skin is oily. A mattifying primer will work to prevent these parts from looking greasy, especially the T-zone.

Using a Primer Correctly

It is not enough that you use an expensive or high-quality primer. It will be useless, and the expected outcomes won’t be evident if you do not use it properly. That being said, below are the simple steps to keep in mind when it comes to the correct application of a primer:

  1. The first thing that you have to do is to clean the skin in preparation for the primer. If it has dirt and oil, the primer won’t cling. Use a gentle cleanser.
  2. Dry the face.
  3. Once the face is dry, apply your choice of moisturizer. Take note that a primer should never be considered as a replacement to a moisturizer. While there are primers that can moisturize the skin, their main purpose is to make your foundation last longer. Allow the moisturizer to dry.
  4. Before applying the primer, perform a patch test first to be sure that the skin won’t demonstrate an adverse reaction.
  5. Now, you are ready to apply the primer. Squirt a small amount at the back of your hand. The good thing about a primer is that you won’t need too much.
  6. Dab your finger on the primer and apply it to the face. Start at the center of the face and work all the way out in a gentle and circular motion. Make sure to cover all the parts of the face, including the skin under your eyes.
  7. Allow the primer to sit for a few minutes and wait until it completely dries. After this, you are now ready to apply the foundation and your makeup.

What is a Combination Skin?

Now that we have talked about primers, let us discuss all about combination skin. Basically, this means that some parts of the skin are oily (especially the T-zone) while the other parts are dry. This means that you need to find a product that can control shine and sebum production while also providing the hydration that is needed.

If you have combination skin, your pores are more open, which will make them look larger than the normal. This makes it important to use a primer with the main function of minimizing the appearance of the pores. Your skin may also be shiny and you can be prone to blackheads.

Taking Care of your Combination Skin

The use of the right primer will not be enough when taking care of your combination skin. Below are other things to keep in mind:

  • When it comes to the facial care products that you are using, especially in the case of cleansers, it is best to opt for those that are water-soluble. They are lighter while also effective in removing dirt on the face. They are also known for not causing irritation.
  • It will also be best to use different products on the different parts of the skin. For the dry areas of the face, use those that can provide the hydration that the skin needs. On the other hand, for the oily portions, harsher products are more effective against sebum and bacteria.
  • Do not forget to apply SPF every day, even when the sun is not out. As much as possible, choose a sunscreen with SPF30. It will also be best to choose a sunscreen that comes with a light formula and a matte finish.
  • Whether it is for makeup or face cleansers, you should also avoid those that can clog the pores. Look for those that are non-comedogenic.
  • Perhaps, the best and easiest thing that you can do is to check the label of the skincare products that you are using and make sure that it is made specifically for combination skin.

Wrap Up

Do not let your combination skin ruin your look. Be at your best all the time with the use of any of the primers that have been mentioned. They have been tried and tested, providing an assurance that it can solve problems with oiliness and dryness of the face. These primers will be effective in the prevention of shine while making the skin look hydrated.