The Best Makeup Primer for Your Skin Type

By Ellie Child - 2 years ago | Updated
Woman applying primer

Okay, it’s time we had a talk about primer. A lot of us think this beauty staple can be an unnecessary step: an additional product that is made to take the money from our pockets rather than actually benefit our complexions.

Perhaps you’ve tried a primer before that just really didn’t do anything for your look, and understandably, that has put you off investing further in any other priming product. But before you write off primers for good, consider this: have you ever shopped for a primer that focuses on your skin type?

More often than not, a primer can be ineffective because it simply doesn’t address your skin's needs. But with so many products on the market, which is the best primer makeup for your skin concern?

Below, we’ve categorised the five skin types and paired each concern with the best tried-and-tested primers that actually work. It’s time to fall in love with your complexion again, and it all starts here.

For Normal Skin:

Normal skin is the best yet least common skin type to have. Basically, it means that both the moisture in your skin and sebum production is well-balanced. Lucky, lucky you. In turn, this means you can use whichever primer you like to get the finish you desire, without having to think about dry patches or shiny noses!

Charlotte Tilbury Wonderglow

Charlotte Tilbury Wonderglow

Sure, you’ve got the unicorn of all skin types, but there’s always room to add a little brightness to your look. Give your complexion a beautiful golden glow with the Charlotte Tilbury Wonderglow's soft-focus formula and light-reflecting pigments.

For Oily Skin:

If you have an oilier complexion, you will be probably be quite familiar with the notion of your makeup slipping after a few hours of wear. Oily skin sufferers produce an excessive amount of sebum, which often results in a shiny appearance. Using the right primer is vital for keeping oil under control as it will help to improve the longevity of your look and prevent any slipping.

Benefit The POREfessional Pearl Primer

Benefit The POREfessional Pearl Primer

The best primers for oily skin include pore-minimising properties and mattifying formulas. This cult-favourite works to reduce the appearance of pores whilst keeping that unwanted shine at bay. The result? Longer-lasting, flawless makeup you can rely on.

For Combination Skin:

Most of you will probably have scrolled directly to this section because a combination complexion is the most common skin type out there. It means that your skin is both oily and dry, which can make it confusing when buying the correct primer. People with this skin type often have dehydrated areas around the cheeks and forehead but suffer with an oily t-zone – yeah, we know, super inconvenient.

DHC Velvet Skin Coat Primer

DHC Velvet Skin Coat Primer

You’re going to want the best of both worlds when it comes to treating your combination skin. Luckily, DHC have you covered. Their primer boasts a transparent gel texture that eliminates excess oil without drying out skin further. Its silky formula glides over rough patches for a smooth and faultless base.

For Dry Skin:

You guessed it, you’re going to need a seriously hydrating primer to win this unruly battle. Of course, moisturising beforehand is always key, but to really smooth out those rough patches you’ll want an extra layer of protection. Cue your new favourite makeup staple…

bareMinerals Good Hydrations Silky Face Primer Hydrate

bareMinerals Good Hydrations Silky Face Primer Hydrate

This moisture-boosting miracle primer nourishes skin whilst creating a slick surface that allows foundation to glide onto evenly. Au revoir, dry patches!

For Sensitive Skin:

Trying new products out with sensitive skin can be quite daunting, as you never really know what's going to set it off. Your main aim here is to find a gentle formula that soothes and calms that unwanted irritation and redness.

Darphin Intral Environmental Lightweight Shield SPF50

Darphin Intral Environmental Lightweight Shield SPF50

This little lifesaver contains SPF50, which is vital when defending your sensitive skin against harsh UV rays and pollution. It is an absolute godsend that can be worn beneath makeup or alone to provide your skin with a sheer, smooth finish.

Once you've determined your skin type, it's time to get shopping for that tailored primer to achieve a long-lasting look that doesn't let you down. And, if you're starting to notice the signs of ageing, why not check out our Best Beauty Primers For Mature Skin? You'll be flaunting party-perfect skin in no time, no matter your skin type.

Ellie Child

Written by Ellie Child

With five years’ experience under her belt, Ellie has worked alongside a range of highly regarded makeup artists, giving her a real insight into what consumers should be spending their money on.