15 Best Primers for Large Pores (2019)

Updated 5 years ago

Ever look into the mirror and notice the pores on your nose and cheeks seem ghastly huge under the unforgiving bathroom lighting? Ever look at pictures of models on Vogue’s cover and wish you had inherited the perfect-looking skin that looks poreless from every angle? Or maybe you have piled on layers and layers of foundation, in the hopes that the full coverage will mask these imperfections. Maybe it did, but it is also probable that you end up with cakey makeup that no one ever wants.

If you have been constantly vexed over the issue of large pores that seem to be visible from a mile away, and have tried all kinds of foundations and concealers that didn’t do it for your stubborn pores, we present to you the best primers for tackling these imperfections.

15 Best Primers for Large Pores that actually work

Benefit Cosmetics the POREfessional Face Primer

For a smoother-than-smooth makeup base, the POREfessional is your go-to primer. This holy grail item primes your face well to hide visible pores while the natural-looking tint complements your skin tone for a skin-like finish. As it is silicone-based, it fills in large pores and instantly minimizes their appearance. The oil-free formula comes in a soft texture that melts down to a silk-like finish without making your skin greasy. As such, it’s perfect for oily skin individuals. Once you follow up with the usual foundation and setting powder, you won’t be able to see nary a pore under that flawless finish.

NYX Studio Perfect Photo-Loving Primer (Clear)

The Clear version of NYX’s primer provides you with an instant solution to large pores and fine lines. This silicone-based primer has been consistently vouched for as a more affordable dupe for many higher-end brands out there. It refines the appearance of large pores and gives you a smooth finish for your BB cream or foundation to glide on. The velvety texture of it does not feel oily or sticky and keeps your makeup budge-proof for a good 8 hours before touch-ups are needed.

Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser

For a drugstore alternative, Maybelline’s Pore Eraser comes to mind. Exceptionally affordable without skimping on quality, this primer offers you a lightweight formula that feels sheer on your skin and allows your pores to breathe. Being non-comedogenic, this also means that the primer blurs out large pores and blemishes effectively without clogging them. Thus, you won’t have to worry about potential acne breakouts with this one. On top of that, it keeps your skin matte all day so that there is no chance of your foundation sliding around in oily patches.

L'Oréal Paris Studio Secrets Professional Magic Perfecting Base

A triple wonder in smoothing fine lines, filling invisible pores, and blurring out imperfections, this lightweight primer does it all for you. Users liked how the primer effortlessly minimizes their large pores while smoothing out the skin so that makeup goes on seamlessly over it. It leaves the skin feeling soft and matte without any tackiness. Furthermore, its oil-controlling property is so strong that it keeps the shine away all day and prevents your foundation from looking like a greasy mess at the end of the day. With its rich texture, a little goes a long way so make sure you use only a pea-sized amount on the problem areas.

Revlon PhotoReady Pore Reducing Primer

For perfectly airbrushed skin, try this primer by Revlon. Its pore-minimizing formula includes silica mattifiers that reduce sebum shine on your skin, the no. 1 cause of making your pores look monstrous when the light shines on them. As such, applying this underneath your foundation makes for a smooth, poreless look that stays shine-free all day. Reviewers were amazed by the instantaneous difference this primer made on their skin as the large pores on their nose and cheek areas were completely hidden. One thing to note is that this primer does dry down fast so you’ll have to be quick during blending to get the immaculate finish you desire.

Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer Pore Minimizing

This award-winning primer (2014 Allure Best of Beauty Award) has been highly raved by legions of loyal fans. Being non-acnegenic, talc, and fragrance-free, this dermatologist-tested primer is suitable for all skin types, particularly those with troubled skin. A tiny blob of this primer is enough to hide visible pores and negate the need for blotting papers. In fact, most users required fewer touch-ups after using this primer as it significantly extended the longevity of their foundation to last all day. The powdery cream also settles down to a matte finish that makes excess sebum a thing of the past.

Dr. Brandt Pores No More Pore Refiner Primer

This long-standing cult classic has been known as the Queen of all primers due to its game-changing formula that promises instant mattifying and pore-refining effects. Its smooth, velvety texture creates a barrier that prevents makeup from clogging pores which acne-prone users have vouched for as they experienced no breakouts when using it. The primer also provides a flawless base for makeup to go on easily and stay melt-proof even under high humidity conditions. Additionally, it absorbs excess shine and fills in stubborn large pores and blackheads so that your skin does look like there are “Pores No More”!

Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer SPF 15

The light, airy texture of this primer provides a soothing balm for makeup to flow on smoothly. By concealing large pores and providing a bump-free surface, the primer helps your foundation to glide on evenly without becoming greasy as the hours go by. One reviewer even mentioned that the heavy-duty primer helped her makeup stay budge-proof for an impressive 12 hours! As such, this high-end primer is definitely worth a splurge due to its quality results. It also dries down quickly which helps you to save time as you can pile on the rest of your makeup without waiting. The added SPF 15 is a nice side benefit to provide you with some sun protection.

Touch in Sol No Poreblem Primer

To ensure you face no problems with unsightly, large pores, this silky primer masks all sorts of imperfections that range from pores to wrinkles to uneven skin tone. It also does its job of prolonging the staying power of your makeup and making sure it looks fresh even after a long day. With a slightly dewy finish to it, the serum-like consistency helps to prevent flaking which makes it ideal for combination to dry skin types. In fact, a few long-time users have shared that they used this primer to set their under-eyes which prevents their concealer from creasing.

philosophy Supernatural Poreless, Flawless Tinted SPF 15

With its silky formula, the primer goes smoothly onto textured skin to fill out enlarged pores for a smooth makeup base. The peach-tinted cream lightens to a skin-like hue which helps to blur out blemishes and fine lines so that you look flawlessly made up once you add on a bit of foundation and concealer. But do note that the light peach color may not work so well on darker skin tones. While this primer does come with some sun protection at a level of SPF 15, it will still do you well to layer on additional sunscreen underneath your skin.

Becca Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfector

This cult favorite is your ticket to achieving that flawless, airbrushed complexion that you have been lusting for after seeing this month’s Vogue cover page model. It does what it claims by filling in pores to reduce their visibility and appearance. Due to its matte finish and sebum-controlling properties that can last up to 12 hours, this primer is a lifesaver for oily skin types. Additionally, the water-based and alcohol-free formula also make it gentle enough for sensitive skin individuals.

bareMinerals Prime Time Original Foundation Primer

To get your pores under control, try this preservative-free primer that is ideal for sensitive skin. Using Vitamins C and E, plant extracts, and antioxidants, this ultra-popular primer is a favorite for diminishing the appearance of enlarged pores, excess shine, and fine lines. The end result is a smooth, flawless canvas that makes your cosmetic choice sit up and stay where it’s supposed to. Needless to say, fans of the product have awarded HG status to this game-changer for extending the longevity of their foundation while controlling sebum production effectively. It’s definitely prime time for the poreless skin to steal the spotlight when using this primer.

Cover FX Blurring Primer

Living up to its namesake, this primer is a genius at blurring out massive pores, fine lines, and redness to attain perfect-looking skin due to its Light Diffusing Technology. It is so effective at concealing imperfections that some users have used this alone on days when they feel their skin can use a little boost but prefer to be makeup-free. The antioxidant-rich Vitamin E also keeps your skin hydrated and soft underneath the makeup. Lastly, the primer significantly enhances your foundation’s staying power as users have noticed that their makeup stopped separating into patches after using it.

Make Up For Ever Step 1 Skin Equalizer Smoothing Primer

With a smooth and powdery consistency, this creamy primer is the antithesis to massive pores and uneven skin texture. It smooths out imperfections completely so that your skin resembles that of an airbrushed complexion. Besides that, the lightweight primer is quite sheer so that it feels like you are not wearing thick layers of makeup on your face. At the same time, it prevents your foundation from pilling and holds it up well on hot, humid days. Truly a ride or die primer that is worth the price.

Urban Decay Optical Illusion Complexion Primer

To mimic the flawless, porcelain-like skin complexion that Barbie has, this face primer has your back. Infused with a moisturizing blend of Argan, Rosehip, and Meadowfoam Seed Oils, this hydrating primer has helped countless reviewers effortlessly reduced the visibility of enlarged pores to emulate poreless, perfect-looking skin. It leaves the skin soft and velvety-smooth with a matte finish. Users also liked how the slightly pink tint of the primer gives their skin a subtle touch of radiance while the powdery finish blurs out fine lines and blemishes.

Instead of only relying on foundation and concealer to cover up large pores, it is recommended by makeup experts to use a primer underneath your makeup. Doing so will fill out pores for a smoother finish and help your makeup go on readily so that you can rock your poreless-looking complexion with confidence.

What Causes Large Pores

If you are one of those unfortunate individuals with pores that seem to be the size of Canada, we feel you. In order to minimize the appearance of these unsightly imperfections, we first need to understand their underlying causes.

  • Oily Skin: more often than not, oily skin individuals often face the issue of enlarged pores when compared to other skin types. This is because when excess oil gathers around the pores, it actually highlights their visibility, particularly under bright lighting.
  • Pimple Popping: dermatologists and skincare experts have often stressed the importance of not popping that annoying pimple, and with good reasons too. Zit-popping is a tricky technique that can easily go wrong in amateur hands. And when done inaccurately, it can damage the pore and stretch it out.
  • Sun Damage: if you haven’t been religiously applying your sunscreen, it is likely that you have visibly large pores. This is because sun damage can cause the skin around a pore to thicken which then causes it to widen in size.
  • Aging Skin: as we age, our skin’s natural ability to produce collagen falls and this results in a loss of skin elasticity. This is also why mature skin has a higher tendency to sport enlarged pores.
  • Genetics: genes play a big part in our skin type and pore size. So, if you noticed that your parents (or grandparents) tend to sport larger-than-normal pores, you know where to lay the blame game at. But don’t worry, there are tricks to cope with large pores, which we will show you in the next section.

With this in-depth understanding of what causes large pores, we are now better able to decide which beauty products and routine actually work to minimize the appearance of large pores.

Beauty Tips To Minimize the Appearance of Large Pores

Dermatologically-speaking, your natural pore size is fixed and cannot be reduced, albeit under more invasive methods like laser treatments. And these treatments can be pretty heavy on our purses. That’s why we have curated a list of beauty tips that cost way less and can actually help to minimize the appearance of enlarged pores for a more refined look:

  • Apply the primer only to areas with large pores. This prevents you from piling too much product onto your skin while making your current purchase last longer.
  • Choose makeup products that contain silicones as they help to fill in the pores and reduce their visible size. Just make sure that you remember to match your products correctly. So, if you are using a silicone-based primer, remember to follow up with a silicone-containing foundation for better results.
  • Use matte foundations and BB cushions instead of those that give you a dewy finish. This is because while a glowy finish can add radiance to your skin, the brighter look actually accentuates the appearance of large pores.
  • Go for foundations with oil control and medium to full coverage. A cushion with oil-controlling properties will regulate excess shine on your T-zone and cheeks which are normally where enlarged pores are located. The reduced shine will also minimize the look of pores while a fuller coverage helps to mask them completely for a poreless complexion.
  • Look for setting powders with a soft focus blur that will not only even out visible pores, but also diminish the appearance of fine lines, blemishes, and uneven skin tone. Just think of them as your favorite Instagram filter but IRL.

Keep these tips in mind the next time you put on your makeup so that massive pores will haunt you no longer.

Match Your Primer to Your Skin Type

Now that we know the life-changing importance of a makeup primer in our beauty arsenal, it is even more important to choose the right primer for your skin type.

  • Oily Skin: go for mattifying primers to control shine and regulate your skin’s sebum production. This will prevent a buildup of oil and makeup residue which can lead to clogged pores and acne. At the same time, it also prevents your makeup from sliding around or separating into oily patches.   
  • Troubled Skin: those with acne or scarring will do best with water-based primers that do not contain any silicones. This is because silicones can easily clog up the pores and trap dirt in it which can exacerbate your existing acne.
  • Dull Skin: if you feel like your skin can do with a boost of color, try tinted primers that matches your skin tone. These will add radiance to your skin, and may even be sufficient to be worn alone so that you can skip the rest of your makeup routine.
  • Mature Skin: aging skin is most prone to fine lines and wrinkles. It is recommended by dermatologists to choose a primer that contains skin-nourishing benefits in addition to its standard formula of prepping your skin for makeup. Look for anti-aging and moisture-boosting ingredients which can soften the signs of aging.
  • Dry Skin: hydrating primers are your best bet as these moisture-intense formulas will keep flakiness at bay and prevent your makeup from looking patchy in dry spots.

With a clearer guide to which primer is best for your skin type, you really have no excuse to not wear one today!

Wrap Up

Primers are the key to flawless-looking makeup, particularly for those with visibly large pores. They fill in the pesky craters so that a smooth canvas is created for your makeup to go on readily. The end result is the much-coveted poreless, smooth texture on your face. At the same time, these priming formulas are crucial to keeping your makeup in place and fresh all day. The last thing you want to do is to scare off your dinner date with a face full of oily, patchy makeup after long hours of wear. As such, if you haven’t already incorporated a face primer in your routine, it’s high time that you do so now.