There are countless types of makeup primers on the market now — you have ones that blur pores, ones that mattify, ones that help with longevity. The list goes on and on. But if you ask us, the best makeup primers are ones that also provide skin-care benefits, like further protection from free radical damage and some of the potentially harsh ingredients found in certain foundations, tinted moisturizers, bronzers, and highlighters.
Put simply, if formulated properly, primer can create a protective barrier between your skin and your environment, which of course includes the makeup you wear. Continue reading to learn more about what we personally look for in a makeup primer — plus a few factors to consider when shopping for your own.
Makeup primer musts:
To us, ingredients are always the most important factor we consider when shopping for makeup primers. We steer clear of formulas that are packed with fragrance, artificial colors, petrochemicals, and any other ingredients that could be potentially damaging to the skin. As for the ingredients that we seek out, well, that would be anything with soothing, hydrating, and skin-protective properties — such as plant-based, antioxidant-rich oils that are non-comedogenic so pores don't get clogged.
We also look for primers that feel weightless on the skin, as it can be super-uncomfortable when formulas feel heavy, cakey, or overly mattifying.
Picking a primer for yourself:
When it comes to choosing a makeup primer for your skin type, you're best off looking for — again, non-comedogenic formulas that won't clog your pores! — but also for ingredients that you know your skin likes, whether it be hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, or a soothing agent like green tea extract. You also want to take the texture and consistency into account. In the summertime especially, it can be super-nice to have a primer that's lightweight and feels like you're wearing nothing. With that said, if your skin is on the drier side of the spectrum, you may prefer a primer that's a bit richer and more moisturizing. Ultimately, it all depends on what you're looking for in a primer and what your skin concerns are.
Ways primer can help your skin
- Some primers contain sunscreen, which can help protect against UV damage
- Primers that contain ingredients like hyaluronic acid can help plump and hydrate dry, dehydrated skin
- Primers made with vitamin C and niacinamide can help to brighten and protect against free radical damage
- Primers with soothing agents like green tea and cica can aid in soothing irritated, distressed skin while simultaneously protecting it from harsh ingredients found in makeup