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The Absolute Best Primers for Oily Skin and Shine Control

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If you’ve been neglecting using a primer with your foundation, you may be missing out on having your makeup look that much better! This is especially true if you have oily skin and find that you develop shine throughout the day. When you apply a primer underneath your makeup, it can help combat excess oil and leave your skin with more of a matte finish before you even apply foundation. They can also help your makeup stay on and last longer so you don’t have to bother with frequent touch-ups. There are tons of primers on the market choose from, but if you deal with excess oil, there are specific details to look out for that will benefit your skin type.

What to Look Out for While Shopping for a Primer That Works for Oily Skin

This probably goes without saying, but it’s best to look out for primers that are oil-free. Many primers will leave you with a matte finish, but if you have oily skin, you don’t have to worry. Dryer skin types may get a flakier look with primers like these, but excess oil will neutralize on your skin and leave you with a truly natural finish.

You may also want to look out for primers that can serve as a moisturizer as well, so you don’t have to pack on as much product. If you have a go-to moisturizer that you swear by, you can certainly keep using that in addition to your primer. That said, you may find that your primer is all that you need to secure hydration — plus supreme oil-control benefits! Some primers even have skin-blurring abilities. Yes, you may not have to wear your foundation on a regular basis if you select the right find from our list below. Read on for more!

Our Top Primer Picks if You Have Oily Skin

MAC Studio Fix Mattifine 12-Hour Shine-Control Primer


MAC Studio Fix Mattifine 12-Hour Shine-Control Primer
Nordstrom

This is an OG primer that’s been available for ages, and it’s maintained its status as one of the best ones around! It’s designed to help your foundation last for up to 12 full hours, so if you have a busy day ahead and want to avoid makeup touch-ups, this is a solid primer to pick up.

Pros

  • Long-lasting
  • Shine control
  • Matte finish
  • Pore minimizing

Cons

  • Slightly pricy
  • May not work for combination skin

Available at: Nordstrom, Ulta, Amazon

First Aid Beauty Hello FAB Pores Be Gone Matte Primer

First Aid Beauty Hello FAB Pores Be Gone Matte Primer

First Aid Beauty Hello FAB Pores Be Gone Matte Primer
Nordstrom

If you have oily skin that’s prone to sensitivity, this is an excellent primer to try out. This is as much of a nourishing skin treatment as it is a primer, so you’re getting a ton of benefits from this single product. Beauty bang for your buck alert!

Pros

  • Oil-free
  • More minimizing
  • Great for sensitive skin

Cons

Available at: Nordstrom

Nars Pore & Shine Control Primer

Nars Pore & Shine Control Primer

Nars Pore & Shine Control Primer
Nordstrom

Shoppers say this specific primer has been their go-to for years! The staying power it gives foundation combined with the lightweight formula may leave your skin feeling like it’s naturally flawless, and you get the added pore and shine control so your skin feels smooth and balanced.

Pros

  • Oil-free
  • Pore minimizing
  • Blurring effect

Cons

  • On the pricier side
  • May leave white residue

Available at: Nordstrom, Ulta, Saks Fifth Avenue

Benefit The POREfessional Face Primer

Benefit The POREfessional Face Primer

Benefit The POREfessional Face Primer
Nordstrom

When you’re not putting on a full face of makeup but want to give your complexion a boost, this is the perfect primer to use! Shoppers swear that using this product alone leaves their skin looking incredible, and with foundation, the results only get better. The pore-minimizing abilities of the formula are bar none!

Pros

  • Matte finish
  • Tried and true formula
  • Long-lasting

Cons

Available at: Nordstrom, Ulta, Sephora, Amazon

It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better Oil-Free Primer

It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better Oil-Free Primer

It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better Oil-Free Primer
Nordstrom

Though this primer is oil-free, it does deliver hydrating benefits that your skin will soak up. It also has blurring effects that one shopper compared to using Photoshop, which is truly high praise! It may also help to brighten up your complexion, as an added bonus.

Pros

  • Long-lasting
  • Oil-free
  • Hydrating feel

Cons

Available at: Nordstrom, Amazon, Ulta

Paula’s Choice SHINE STOPPER Instant Matte Finish Oil Control Primer

Paula's Choice SHINE STOPPER Instant Matte Finish Oil Control Primer

Paula’s Choice SHINE STOPPER Instant Matte Finish Oil Control Primer
Amazon

If you find yourself using oil blotting papers all day and want to break the habit, this may be the primer for you. It’s specifically designed for anyone who deals with excessive oiliness, and reviewers claim it works like magic! It can last on your skin all day and keep the shiny look we all want to avoid at bay.

Pros

  • Oil control
  • Long-lasting
  • Alcohol-free
  • More affordable

Cons

  • May leave some white residue

Available at: Amazon

Smashbox Photo Finish Oil & Shine Control Primer

Smashbox Photo Finish Oil & Shine Control Primer

Smashbox Photo Finish Oil & Shine Control Primer
Amazon

This gel-based primer is another solid one to try if you want to avoid blotting your face all day long. It may fully eliminate shine and leave you with a beautiful, natural-looking matte finish for hours on end. Shoppers also adore that the formula is sheer and super blend-able with other products.

Pros

  • Lightweight, translucent finish
  • Long-lasting
  • Blurring effect

Cons

Available at: Amazon, Ulta, Sephora

LAURA GELLER NEW YORK Spackle Skin Perfecting Matte Makeup Primer

LAURA GELLER NEW YORK Spackle Skin Perfecting Matte Makeup Primer

LAURA GELLER NEW YORK Spackle Skin Perfecting Matte Makeup Primer
Amazon

This primer is designed for oily skin but also helps to smooth out the look of fine lines. You’re left with a more even-looking complexion after application, and it also has a light tint that can help you go makeup-free if you don’t feel like throwing on a full foundation look.

Pros

  • Lightly tinted
  • Oil-control
  • May help skin appear smoother

Cons

  • More expensive
  • The tint may not work for darker complexions

Available at: Amazon

Rimmel Stay Matte Mattifying Primer

Rimmel Stay Matte Mattifying Primer

Rimmel Stay Matte Mattifying Primer
Amazon

This may be the most inexpensive primer out of our roundup, but don’t let the low price fool you! It’s garnered thousands of five-star reviews and truly gives you a ton of bang for your buck. Shoppers say they were pleasantly surprised with how well it works for their oily skin — so if you’re looking to save some money and get a noteworthy primer, this one is hard to beat!

Pros

  • Super affordable
  • Tons of glowing reviews
  • Greta shine control

Cons

  • May not work for super oily skin

Available at: Amazon

NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP Shine Killer Mattifying Primer

NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP Shine Killer Mattifying Primer

NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP Shine Killer Mattifying Primer
Amazon

As its name suggests, this primer is a dream for tackling any type of shine. Reviewers say it works especially well for the T-zone area, which is commonly where we see the most excess oil produced. You can use it all over the face or target specific portions of your skin which tend to get oilier throughout the day!

Pros

  • Affordable price
  • Great for all skin tones
  • Matte finish

Cons

  • May not be as long-lasting as others

Available at: Amazon, Ulta, Target, Walmart

Elizabeth Mott Thank Me Later Face Primer for Oily Skin

Elizabeth Mott Thank Me Later Face Primer for Oily Skin

Elizabeth Mott Thank Me Later Face Primer for Oily Skin
Amazon

This is arguably the top-selling primer on Amazon, and shoppers say they haven’t found a better one at this price point since! On top of it being affordable, the formula may also help even out your skin tone, in addition to giving you the ultimate canvas for makeup application. Some have even compared it to higher-end counterparts and found that this primer does the job better!

Pros

  • Affordable price
  • Matte finish
  • Skin-smoothing benefits

Cons

  • May not be as long-lasting for some

Available at: Amazon

Still haven’t found what you’re looking for? Check out these related product articles below:

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