The Best Oil Control Primers to Keep Your Makeup in Place All Day Long


There are lots of things to hate about having oily skin but nothing can beat the fact that it makes wearing makeup a challenge. If you like getting all dolled up, there’s a good chance that foundation will start to cake and concealers will begin to move once your oil glands decide to act up. In most cases, they’ll start to seek attention in just a couple of hours after washing your face, leaving you looking like a greasy pan ready to fry some eggs in no time.

All of these can be avoided with two things, though. A good skincare regimen will help ease your oily skin and keep it under control. Wearing primers can also help. The best drugstore primers for oily skin come aplenty so you don’t even have to worry about spending too much.

As improving your skin’s quality can take a while, adding a layer of primer into your prep routine would be the fastest way to keep your makeup intact. In fact, it will be easier to put a primer on than to pick one with so many options available.

How do you choose and which primers should you consider? Let this guide help you out.

A Few Tips for Choosing the Best Drugstore Primer for Oily Skin

Before you look at the best oil control primers available today, you might want to know how you should choose one. Here are a few tips that can help point you in the right direction.

1. Know the different types of primers that you can get.

A quick search will bombard you with primers that are described as replenishing, equalizing, perfecting, blurring, hydrating, pore minimizing, mattifying, and color correcting among many others. They all serve various purposes, but for oily skin, pore-minimizing and mattifying primers are great picks as they work well in keeping oil at bay.

2. Look at the label to see if it’s suited for oily skin.

The name of the primer you’re eyeing will tell you a lot about what it is for.

3. Opt for something that feels lightweight.

Because your oily skin will already be weighed down by natural oils, a lightweight primer is a must. Going for water-based products is recommended as they’re very light and won’t clog your pores.

Primers for Oily Skin: Our Top 9 Picks

Ready to find the right base product for your makeup? Here are 10 of our picks of the best primers for oily skin:

1. Becca Ever Matte Poreless Priming Perfector

Being a world-renowned brand that has cornered the market for being able to cater a diverse market, Becca can definitely offer the best cosmetics that can get the job done. This is why it shouldn’t come as a surprise that their Ever Matte Poreless Priming Perfector is at the top of this list.

It checks all the boxes in what an oily makeup enthusiast needs in a primer. It’s mattifying, pore-minimizing, lightweight, and free of silicone. It takes things up a notch for not having any alcohol, oil, or fragrance in its mix as all of these can trigger oil production.


  • Mattifying and pore-minimizing
  • Water-based
  • Highly recommended by beauty pros and bloggers
  • Free of silicone, alcohol, oil, and fragrance
  • Promises to control oil for up to 12 hours
  • Humidity and sweat resistant


  • Rather pricey

2. SHANY Paraben/Talc Free Oil Control Mattifier

Lots of folks with oily skin need to be more careful in choosing a product because they tend to have sensitivities as well. This makes the SHANY Paraben/Talc Free Oil Control Mattifier a solid choice as it’s formulated for such skin woes.

As the name suggests, it doesn’t have parabens or talc that can irritate your skin. It features a gel consistency so it’s also very easy to apply.

This silicone-based primer will help you fill your pores while preventing them from excreting too much oil. This makes it a good option for those with oily skin as it can help ensure that your makeup won’t get cakey or pill a few hours into the day.


  • Made in the USA
  • Cruelty-free
  • Free of parabens and talc
  • Great price
  • Hydrating


  • Silicone-based so it might clog pores

3. LORAC POREfection Mattifying Face Primer

Offered by one of the few trendy and cult-favorite beauty brands today is the Lorac Porefection Mattifying Face Primer. This product has been widely reviewed not just by users but by industry pros, magazines, and bloggers as well.

It gets a lot of buzz for its ability to keep oil at bay for hours on end. It can endure humidity and sweat, so you can wear it all day long even when outside.

As a bonus, this silicone-based primer is also infused with ingredients that can keep your skin healthy and glowing. It has vitamins A, C, and E, all of which are packed with antioxidants and anti-aging properties. It also contains salicylic acid which is a well-known pore unclogger so you don’t have to worry about breakouts with this product.


  • Oil, fragrance, and paraben-free
  • Mattifying
  • Infused with vitamins and salicylic acid
  • Smooth and silky feel


  • Quite expensive

4. Clinique Super Universal Face Primer Dry Combination to Oily Skin for Women

The Clinique Super Universal Face Primer Dry Combination to Oily Skin for Women is a translucent, silicone-based primer that’s best known for its smoothening effects on your skin. It promises to help create a flawless canvas for your makeup.

Its oil-free formula makes it a good pick for those with oily skin. It’s also very lightweight and won’t affect the pigments in your cosmetic products.


  • Lightweight
  • Oil-free
  • Easy to use
  • Popular pick


  • Details about this product can be quite hard to find

5. Laura Geller New York Spackle Mattifying Oil Control Under Make-up Primer

Another professionally made primer is the Laura Geller New York Spackle Mattifying Oil Control Under Make-up Primer. This product is popular for its multi-tasking formula. It minimizes pores while mattifying the skin to achieve a non-greasy feel and finish.

Lots of people also like this silicone-based product for its moisturizing effect. It contains shea butter so it glides smoothly during application while it also nourishes and hydrates the skin.


  • Mattifying, pore-minimizing, and smoothens the skin for easy and perfect makeup application
  • Moisturizing
  • Easy to apply


  • Tends to separate so it needs some shaking before use

6. jane iredale Smooth Affair for Oily Skin Facial Primer and Brightener

The jane iredale Smooth Affair for Oily Skin Facial Primer and Brightener is a popular pick among conscious beauty junkies. Aside from its responsible manufacturing processes and vegan-friendly products, this product itself delivers great results.

Featuring the PoreAway™ technology and the brand’s state-of-the-art mineral science knowledge, this product won’t just help create a good makeup base for you. It can also brighten your face to better enhance your look. As a result, it creates a luminous glow that makes you appear fresh and radiant.


  • Contains antioxidants (vitamin C and green tea) to care for your skin
  • Made for oily skin
  • Mattifying
  • Suitable for sensitive skin


  • A bit pricier than the other items in the list

7. BECCA Ever Matte Poreless Priming Perfector Makeup Foundation Primer

Another Becca item that worths recommending is the Ever Matte Poreless Priming Perfector Makeup Foundation Primer. This primer double duties as a touch-up product as you can also wear it over your makeup to control oiliness all throughout the day.

Available in a small .4 oz tube, this is can be a must-have addition to your portable makeup bag.


  • Can be used as a primer or for touch-ups to manage oiliness throughout the day
  • Mattifying
  • Portable
  • Sweat and humidity resistant
  • Lightweight


  • Pore coverage can be improved

8. Laura Mercier Secret Finish

The effect of Laura Mercier Secret Finish is what the best drugstore matte primer for oily skin tries to imitate but can’t completely replicate. Highly-praised by beauty pros and enthusiasts alike, this is not a primer but is actually more of a setting product as it goes on top of your makeup as a last step.

It’s designed to restore freshness and radiance which are two things oily skinned folks tend to struggle with. It’s lightweight and hydrating so you won’t have any problems reapplying it all throughout the day.


  • Helps you look fresh
  • Provides a smooth and dewy glow
  • Easy to apply
  • Hydrating


  • Not exactly a primer but can help keep your makeup look nice and fresh like most primers do

9. Temptu Base Smooth and Matte Primer

Known for their top-notch airbrush makeup, the Temptu Base Smooth and Matte Primer tends to hold a lot of promise, too. As it is designed to be used as the base for airbrush foundation, it has to be perfectly smooth, right? It gets this crucial job done with ease, so it’s the perfect pick to round out this best-of list.

This silicone-based primer is actually ideal for all skin types and all sorts of foundations. It may be made for airbrush makeup, but it sticks so well into the skin that it can work with other formulas.

Aside from being long-lasting and mattifying, this product is also very easy to use. The tube comes with a brush attached to it so you don’t have to fuss over its application.


  • Mattifying
  • Lightweight
  • Oil-free and won’t leave greasy residue
  • Brush attached to the tube makes application fuss-free


  • Some folks might find the applicator brush tricky to work with


All nine products are top-rated and well-loved. However, the Temptu Base Smooth and Matte Primer can be hailed as the finest pick in the bunch. Its longevity, performance, and overall feel tends to be superior than the rest, so it can be the best pick for you. Give it a try and you might just find your holy grail primer.

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