The Best Primers for Dry, Acne-Prone Skin for a Flawless Look


When your skin is parched, makeup can highlight the flakiness and peeling that it might exhibit. It won’t look very appealing and will make you look older. Combined with sensitivities and issues with acne, achieving a flawless look might seem impossible.

Fret not, though. Despite having dry, acne-prone skin, you can still wear makeup. The right products like the best primers for dry acne prone skin will help you out.

As primers are lauded for their ability to create the ideal base for your makeup, they can be the very products you need to avoid looking like a painted dry leaf. They can smooth and hydrate your skin to make sure that the makeup sticks nicely to it.

Choosing one can be a challenge, though, so here are a few tips and good picks that you can try.

How to Choose the Right Primer for Your Skin Type

1. Look for something moisturizing.

If your skin is parched, the first thing it needs is some moisture. Aside from wearing serums, essences, and moisturizers to achieve this, wearing a moisturizing primer can be of great help. As these products are labeled accordingly, you won’t have a hard time finding one.

2. Avoid drying ingredients.

Alcohol and a lot of acne-fighting ingredients can dry your skin out. So if you’re looking for a primer to help you improve the appearance of your dry, acne-prone skin, being careful with the products’ contents will be a wise thing to do.

3. Skip silicone-based products.

They tend to pill on dry skin and they can also clog pores which can trigger a breakout. Do primers cause acne? The wrong match for you will likely do so.

Water-based primers will be more gentle on your skin and can also be more hydrating, so they tend to be better options for you.

The Best Primers for Dry Acne Prone Skin

To help you choose the right primer for your dry, acne-prone skin, here are some of our top picks that you should consider.

1. SACHA Matte Face Primer

A primer for combination skin, the Sacha Matte Face Primer is a versatile choice, especially if your skin reacts differently to the changing seasons. It can also be suitable for those who are already getting frustrated with the dry and oily areas on their face.

While this product is designed to keep your skin matte and free of shine, it can still work for those with dry and acne-prone skin. As a pore reducing primer, it can do a great job in blurring your pores and fine lines to create a more flawless look. It can also even out your skin tone and create a smoother surface for makeup application.


  • Mattifying
  • Affordable price
  • Water-based
  • Perfect for the warm months


  • Has a relatively thick consistency

2. E.l.f. Hydrating Face Primer

Made by one of the most popular drugstore brands there is, the E.l.f. Hydrating Face Primer is hailed as an effective practical pick as a primer for dry skin with large pores. While it is silicone-based, it contains hydrating ingredients like grapeseed oil as well as Vitamins E, A, and C. These allow it to provide relief and moisture to seriously dry skin while creating a surface that’s good for makeup application.

What’s even better is its very affordable price. In all honesty, its low price might even put some people off as it might cast doubts about quality. However, with the credibility and great reputation of the brand, you don’t have to worry about it. In fact, you should even take advantage of it because it works.


  • Fantastic price
  • Seriously hydrating
  • Smoothens and softens skin which makes it ready for makeup application
  • A little goes a long way
  • Not greasy


  • Has a scent that can bother some people

3. E.l.f. Poreless Primer

Made specifically as a pore-filling primer, the E.l.f. Poreless Primer promises to create a smooth and flat surface that’s perfect for makeup application. It’s great for those with dry skin with large pores or fine lines as it can even out your skin, letting you apply makeup flawlessly.

This product also contains tea tree as well as Vitamins A and E so it can also be very useful in nourishing your parched skin. While it is a silicone-based product, it won’t clog your pores, so it shouldn’t trigger breakouts.


  • Extremely affordable
  • Blurs lines and pores nicely
  • Good for all skin types
  • Won’t cause you to breakout
  • Suitable for acne prone users


  • Can feel oily
  • Has a noticeable scent

4. e.l.f Studio Mineral Infused Face Primer

If you think mineral makeup works best for your dry skin, the e.l.f. Studio Mineral Infused Face Primer can be a good pick for you. This versatile product is one of the best primers for big pores and fine lines as it can fill in uneven areas nicely. It’s also suitable for most skin types, so whether you have oily or dry skin, this can help create a nice makeup surface.

This primer also promises longevity. It can provide a satin-smooth finish that lasts all day so you don’t have to worry about touch-ups.


  • Tested and proven effective by experts
  • Cruelty-free and vegan
  • Long-lasting
  • Suitable for all skin types


  • Pump can be fussy

5. Benefit POREfessional Face Primer

A cult-favorite pore filler is Benefit’s Porefessional Face Primer. This trendy brand has been appealing to users not only through its quirky, vintage-themed packaging. It’s also a big winner when it comes to performance, especially for this primer.

This oil-free, silicone-based product hide pores efficiently and creates smooth skin that’s perfect for makeup application. It’s also lightweight and mattifying so it can be worn by people with various skin types.


  • Light weight
  • Highly effective
  • Won’t break you out
  • Contains vitamin E so it can also be good for your skin


  • On the pricey side but you don’t need to use a lot of product for it to work, so a small tube will still last a long while
  • Fakes are available so be careful

6. L’Oréal Paris Studio Secrets Professional Magic Perfecting Base

If you think only magic can improve your dry skin’s appearance, then the L’Oréal Paris Studio Secrets Professional Magic Perfecting Base might just be exactly what you’re looking for. This silicon-based product creates a satin-smooth surface for flawless makeup application.

One of the most lightweight pore minimizing primers in the market today, you can wear this primer all-year round. It also has a nice powdery-texture, so it really won’t feel too heavy on your skin even when layered with other products.


  • Dermatologist tested
  • Lightweight and powdery feel
  • Flawless finish


  • Has a white cast when used with flash photography

7. Rimmel Stay Matte Primer

Another popular drugstore primer for large pores and acne scars is the Rimmel Stay Matte Primer. While it is known for keeping oil at bay, it’s also a good pick for those with dry, acne prone skin because of its light weight and lotion-like consistency.

Despite its ability to nicely fill in and blur fine lines, pores, and acne scars, it’s still able to feel lightweight. It also goes on nice and smooth on the skin because of its watery consistency.


  • Light, lotion-like texture lets it go on smooth on the skin
  • Mattifying
  • Long-lasting
  • Very affordable


  • Some folks need to wait for it to dry before applying makeup

8. SMASHBOX Photo Finish Foundation Primer

If there’s a consistent pick among experts and bloggers as the best primer for minimizing pores, it will be the Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer. You’ll find endless of rave reviews that hail this primer as a must-have.

Offering a velvety smooth finish, this silicone-based product fills in fine lines, pores, and even scars to create an even surface for makeup application. It’s oil-free but it won’t make your makeup appear dry, which is a common concern if you have dry skin.


  • Considered as a must-have by beauty pros and bloggers
  • Lightweight
  • Very easy to apply
  • Velvety-smooth finish
  • Contains Vitamins A, E, and peptides
  • Cruelty-free


  • Quite pricey
  • Counterfeit products are available online

9. NYX Professional Makeup Honey Dew Me Up Primer

Looking for a primer for deep acne scars? The Nyx Professional Makeup Honey Dew Me Up Primer might do the trick for you. Designed to provide a honey gold glow this product is everything your dry skin might be in need of.

For one, it’s honey, gold, and collagen infusion can all do wonders for dry skin. It can hydrate your parched skin, helping you achieve a smoother and flawless skin surface. Honey also has healing properties, so it can be a good pick for acne-prone skin.


  • Beautiful dewy finish
  • Attractive packaging
  • Unique concept
  • With ingredients that can nourish your skin


  • Can be quite sticky

10. [Touch in Sol] No Pore Blem Primer

For a K-beauty option, the [Touch in Sol] No Pore Blem Primer is an option worth looking into. This cult favorite is also a top choice for a primer for large pores and wrinkles with its smoothing and filling effect. It can provide a seamless coverage while prolonging your makeup’s wear.

What makes it a great choice is its formulation. It doesn’t use any parabens, sulfates, or phthalates, making it nicer to your skin. It’s also suitable for all skin types so it’s highly versatile.


  • Light and silky
  • No parabens, phthalates, or sulfates
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Cruelty-free and vegan-friendly
  • Easy to apply
  • Cute packaging


  • Has fragrance that might overwhelm some users

11. bareMinerals Original Prime Time Foundation Primer

For a primer that addresses most skin woes that affect the outcome of your makeup, try the bareMinerals Original Prime Time Foundation Primer. This product does everything in one nifty package including combating dry patches and flakiness, controlling excess oil, and blurring enlarged pores. It also evens out skin tone so it can help ensure a flawless look.

Made from plant-based ingredients, this product is also preservative-free. This can promise that it won’t trigger breakouts.


  • Combats flakiness and patchiness of dry skin
  • Combats excess oil
  • Uses natural ingredients including Vitamins A and E as well as antioxidants
  • Preservative-free so it’s gentler on the skin
  • Silky smooth finish


  • Pump quality can be improved


Creating the perfect base for makeup when you have dry, acne-prone skin may seem like a serious undertaking but fret not. These 11 products will be able to help.

If you need to be pointed in the right direction, though, start with the NYX Professional Makeup Honey Dew Me Up Primer. Not only will this product help you create a great base for your dry skin but it will also help improve your skin quality. It’s a multi-tasker so you’ll get more value from it. It’s very affordable, too, so there’s all the more reasons to give it a try.

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