My 5 Best-Loved Primers for Acne-Prone Skin in 2021

Today, we’re discussing the best primer for acne prone skin.

I know how overwhelming it can be; any small mistake and your face is a hot mess. 

You don’t have to do the hunting by yourself, let me help you.

I went through the trouble of testing different primers so that you don’t have to. 

Check out my top picks on the below, then read on for my in-depth reviews.

Best Primer for Acne Prone Skin at a Glance

FYI, this post contains affiliate links. We earn a commission if you make a purchase at no extra cost to you.

5 Top Primers for Acne Prone Skin Review

Since the best primer for acne prone skin depends entirely on your budget and skin type, we covered a range of options for you below.

1. e.l.f Blemish Control Face Primer 

e.l.f., Blemish Control Face Primer - Small, Long Lasting, Skin Perfecting, Controls Breakouts and Blemishes, Matte Finish, Infused with Salicylic Acid, Vitamin E & Tea Tree, 0.47 Fl Oz

After countless times of being told, ‘this product will not cause your skin any breakouts’ and ending up with a face full of acne, my priority is always something that won’t trigger my acne. 

That’s why even after reading multiple reviews on Amazon, I still didn’t feel confident enough to buy this primer. I popped the question on a FB group, and a few members convinced me to go for it. 

Am I disappointed, no? Do I recommend it? YES. Let me tell you why it’s my first choice. 

Features & Attributes

It’s specifically designed for acne-prone skin. Although Elf has a variety of like ten primers, they manufactured one specifically for you. And that’s why it works. 

Back to how it performs as a primer and its better features. 

One, it leaves your skin smooth after application and allows you to apply makeup that lasts an entire day.

It saves you the time you have to excuse yourself to fix your makeup between meetings or dates. 

It also dries and blends perfectly with your skin, making makeup application very easy by forming a base for the following products. 

Well, I’m not going to lie, it’s going to be pretty messy in the evening when removing it, but it gets the job done. 

 e.l.f blemish control face primer also has powerful ingredients that help in controlling further skin breakout. The ingredients include; Vitamin E, Salicylic Acid, and tea tree. 

Also, if you’re vegan, you’ll be happy to know e.l.f is a cruelty-free beauty brand

For best results, I recommend using a setting powder and a mattifying powder on top. 

ELF best primer for acne prone skin 2

Benefits

  • It’s vegan 
  • It prevents further skin breakage and blemishes 
  • It works with all skin types 
  • Phthalates, Ethoxylate and triclosan-free
  • It leaves your skin smooth and moisturized 
  • It’s lightweight 
  • It spreads easily 

Drawbacks

  • You may need to use a setting powder for it to be effective 
  • It’s not completely odorless, and some people have issues with the scent 
  • It doesn’t have an SPF 

Who needs this primer? 

This primer works well for skin types. It’s also more beneficial to people who are looking for a primer they can use as a moisturizer. 

I asked my friend to demonstrate how well it works on fair skin (where literally every bump and line shows up). She really LOVED how it not only evened out her skin but also smoothed out fine lines.

photo of an arm with primer on top
smooth and fair skin after putting primer

FYI, e.l.f is also great for vegans as it’s a cruelty-free beauty brand

e.l.f., Blemish Control Face Primer - Small, Long Lasting, Skin Perfecting, Controls Breakouts and Blemishes, Matte Finish, Infused with Salicylic Acid, Vitamin E & Tea Tree, 0.47 Fl Oz
  • Transforms your face into a flawless, smooth canvas, ready for makeup application that lasts all day.
  • Infused with Salicylic Acid, Vitamin E, and Tea Tree to help control breakouts and blemishes.
  • Blend evenly on face and allow to dry before applying makeup.
  • Perfect for all skin types.
  • Cruelty-free, vegan and 100% free from Phthalates, Parabens, Nonylphenol, Ethoxylates, Triclosan, Triclocarban, and Hydroquinone.

2. SHILLS Moisturizing Invisible Foundation Primer

SHILLS Moisturizing Invisible Foundation Primer for Acne Prone Skin, Pore Eraser, Makeup Base, Tone Up Cream with Sponge Applicator

My first experience with Shills wasn’t outstanding. I had not researched the product, but I’ve used other Shill’s products before.

Long story short, I gave it a bad review, and then one user responded and told me I was using too much of the product. 

And she was right; the glitch was on my end. 

I changed my rating to a five-star, and now it’s one of my go-to primers. 

Here is more about the product. 

Features & Attributes

The freesia’s formula prepares your skin for makeup application by creating a smooth, canvas-like surface. 

It creates a perfect base for makeup application so that  your make-up lasts the whole day. That’s without messing it and maintaining the first-application look. 

The other great feature of Shills primer is its light texture.

The primer has a formula that enhances and moisturizes your skin. And that’s not all; it reduces the appearance of wrinkles, blur lines, and blemishes. 

But that’s not what I loved most about the Shill’s primer; my favorite feature is the skin-tone correction.

If your forehead and other parts of your face have an entirely different tone, you know the struggle. The primer corrects your skin tone and protects your skin. 

And if you have an oily-face, then you’ll be happy to know that this primer is oil-free. It doesn’t leave you feeling greasy or like a hot mess in hot temperatures. 

Lastly, the primer has a brightening effect that fights the dullness and brightens your skin, leaving you with a radiant glow.

Benefits

  • It moisturizes the skin 
  • It brightens the skin, giving you a radiant glow 
  • Soothes irritated skin 
  • It helps fade blemishes and reduce the appearance of wrinkles 
  • It corrects skin tone 
  • It’s a 24-lasting primer 

Drawbacks

  • It has no SPF 

Who needs the primer? 

This primer is perfect for people with acne-prone oily skin. It protects your skin while ensuring that you don’t feel greasy all day. 

SHILLS Moisturizing Invisible Foundation Primer for Acne Prone Skin, Pore Eraser, Makeup Base, Tone Up Cream with Sponge Applicator
  • PRIMER FOUNDATION – This freesia’s formula will prepare your skin and help to create a smooth and soft surface.
  • LIGHT TEXTURE – This primer foundation contains a lightweight formula that enhances skin, minimizes pores, blurs fine lines and wrinkles and fades blemishes.
  • CORRECT SKIN TONE – Corrects and protects your skin. The ideal preparation before your make up routine.
  • LONG LASTING PROTECTION – One application can last, keeping your make-up immaculate so it looks like the first application.
  • OIL FREE- Ideal for any type of skin. A non-oily makeup base that helps skin achieve a perfect look creating a smooth, radiant & long-lasting film on your skin.

3. W-Airfit Pore Primer

2 Pack Face Makeup Primer, Pore Primer, Face Makeup Base Pink Isolation Cream Invisible Pore, Cover Acne Marks, Smooth Skin, Oil Control Moisturizing Essence Concealer Foundation

This is another good primer for acne-prone skin. I know there is a lot of backlash revolving around the W-Airfit Pore Primer, but my experience was different. 

The benefits I got were exactly similar to what the seller promised, and I would definitely buy it again.

But anyway, enough with the justification, let’s see what the primer brings to the table. 

Features & Attributes

The first great feature of the primer is that it can double as a foundation. So, it really makes your work easier on the days that you don’t feel like following your full makeup procedure.

The primer can also single-handedly brighten your skin, hide the large pores, and make the skin shiny and thin. It leaves a smooth surface for make-up allowing it to last all day.

The W- Airfit Pore Primer also helps hide the skin defectives by covering fine lines, wrinkles and reducing pores. The brightening skin feature also helps in decreasing the appearance of blemishes. 

If you don’t want to apply make-up, you can apply the primer alone and enjoy a smooth, matte, and moisturized look all day. 

The primer also has an oil moisturizing feature covering that prevents any excess sebum, allowing makeup to last longer.

It also has a deep-penetrating lightweight texture that keeps the skin hydrated and nourished, protecting it from drying. This explains why the primer works for both dry and oily skin.

Benefits

  • Reduces the skin tone 
  • It covers pores 
  • It reduces the appearance the blemishes and wrinkles 
  • It leaves your skin moisturized and hydrated 
  • It works for all skin type 

Drawbacks

  • It has a smell chemical-like.

Who needs this primer? 

This primer works best for people with dry and oily skin ( especially those struggling with acne). It also works well for those who want a primer that they can apply alone on lazy days.

2 Pack Face Makeup Primer, Pore Primer, Face Makeup Base Pink Isolation Cream Invisible Pore, Cover Acne Marks, Smooth Skin, Oil Control Moisturizing Essence Concealer Foundation
  • 【 Pore Minimizer Face Primer】The face makeup primer can effectively cover and reduce pores, fine lines and wrinkles. Hides the skin defectives and creates a smooth skin texture.
  • 【 Multi-purpose Make Primer】It is especially suitable for oily and dry skin. Use alone can brighten the complexion, hide the pores and make the skin shiny and thin. Or use before foundation that you don't worry about falling powder, makeup and peeling caused by oily or dry skin.
  • 【Perfect Primer Makeup For Face】Just use this pore primer makeup to help create a perfect look for makeup, light and breathable texture, moisturizing and easy to push, isolation protection that won't clog your pores or suffocate your skin!
  • 【Oil Control Moisturizing】 Add green tea extract that Improves your oily appearance and covers & prevents excess sebum for long-lasting makeup for hours. Also its deep-penetrating lightweight texture hydrates and nourishes the skin to prevent skin drying.
  • 【Everyday Makeup Base】Apply primer, face makeup & concealer, or wear primer on a bare face for a low-maintenance look that's smooth, matte & moisturized all day. If you're looking to minimize pores, no more searching. This primer is for you.

4. Cherioll Makeup Primer 

Makeup Primer, Isolation Cream, Skin Tone Correcting and Brightening Primer, Invisible Pore, Cover Acne Marks, Oil Control Moisturizing Essence Concealer Foundation-45ml

I’ll be honest with you; I didn’t buy this product, but I did my research extensively. And from what I gathered, it deserves a spot in every best primer for acne-prone skin list. 

Katie says the product is very well priced, and she got more than she paid for. 

“I bought Cherioll primer after one of my co-workers recommended it. When I saw the price ($15 at the time), I didn’t expect much. But it was amazing with my sensitive skin. And I’ve bought it several times since then, “Katie Said. 

Let’s learn more about the primer. 

Features & Attributes

Like other products I’ve recommended on this list, this primer works well for both dry and oily skin. 

The primer has an alvory white that hides the skin, creating a perfect base for makeup application. It leaves the skin smooth and flawless. The silky base it creates helps your skin in fighting further breakup. 

It also helps protect your skin against skin pollution issues such as UV rays, makeup pigments, facial burn, etc. 

Benefits

  • It lasts through sweat and humidity 
  • You can wear it alone on days you don’t want to wear makeup 
  • Protects your skin from environmental factors
  • It works for all skin types 

Drawbacks

  • After 13 hours, you may need to apply powder to avoid feeling greasy 

Who needs this primer?

This primer is for anyone with acne-prone skin. And if you’re looking for a primer that will protect you from UV rays and other skin pollution problems, then this is your best option. 

Keep in mind that this primer doesn’t exactly last for 24 hours, so if you’re looking for a primer that allows your make-up to last for that long, you’re better off with the first two recommendations.

Makeup Primer, Isolation Cream, Skin Tone Correcting and Brightening Primer, Invisible Pore, Cover Acne Marks, Oil Control Moisturizing Essence Concealer Foundation-45ml
  • 【Multi-purpose】A versatile primer with aIvory white that hides the skin and creates a smooth skin texture.The silky base helps the skin fight breakouts and lets your makeup glide on – while giving it all-day lasting ability and Shine.
  • 【Invisible Pores】 Isolation Cream effectively cover and reduce pores, fine lines and wrinkles, leaving skin smoother Improves oily appearance, covers and prevents excess sebum from persisting for long periods of time and prevents unnecessary melting.
  • 【Multi-purpose】A versatile primer with aIvory white that hides the skin and creates a smooth skin texture.The silky base helps the skin fight breakouts and lets your makeup glide on – while giving it all-day lasting ability and Shine.
  • 【Multi-purpose】A versatile primer with aIvory white that hides the skin and creates a smooth skin texture.The silky base helps the skin fight breakouts and lets your makeup glide on – while giving it all-day lasting ability and Shine.
  • 【 Features】Helps you avoid skin pollution problems such as haze, ultraviolet rays, facial sunburn, makeup pigments, etc., and creates an effective protective barrier for the skin.

5. Jolie Pore Perfecting Face Primer

Jolie Pore Perfecting Face Primer, Acne Control Oil Free Mattifying Formula With Salicylic Acid

The first thing I loved about the Jolie when it arrived was the packaging. It was pretty and exquisite. 

But that’s not very helpful information if you’re looking for the best makeup primer for acne-prone skin, is it? I know. 

So, let’s get to the serious part.

Features & Attributes

Like other primers, Jolie significantly reduces the visibility of your large pores. It also fills in the lines and wrinkles to give you very smooth and flawless skin. 

And if you’re worried, you’ll end up with a greasy appearance; then you have nothing to worry about. Jolie Pore is non-greasy and oil-free. It absorbs oil and reduces pores. 

Another great feature is that the primer is fragrance-free, which is perfect for those who prefer odorless products. 

Benefits

  • It’s fragrance-free 
  • It’s oil-free 
  • It’s paraben-free

Drawbacks

  • It may not absorb oil very well at very high temperatures.

Who needs this primer?

This primer is for those looking for a budget-friendly face primer for acne-prone skin. It works well for all skin types so anyone can use it. 

Jolie Pore Perfecting Face Primer, Acne Control Oil Free Mattifying Formula With Salicylic Acid
  • Pore Perfecting Face Primer visibly reduces the size of your pores.
  • For normal to combination skin - Fills in lines and wrinkles
  • Non-greasy, fragrance free, non-irritating Oil Free & Paraben Free formula
  • Helps make-up look flawless on the skin and last all day
  • Absorbs oil and reduces pore size

Primers for Acne FAQs

Here are questions that people ask regarding face primers for acne-prone skin. 

Does primer make acne worse?

Yes, the wrong primers can worsen acne for people with sensitive skin. That said, primers are very critical in our morning makeup routine. They help create a smooth surface for makeup application, which allows our makeup to last all day.
 

What ingredients should you look for in your primer?

Some ingredients to look out for when looking for a primer for acne-prone skin include salicylic acid, tea tree oil, sodium hyaluronate, vitamin E, C, and A, retinol. They should be ingredients that nourish, hydrate, hide blemish and stop further skin breakout. 

How do you apply primer on acne-prone skin?

1. Clean your face, pat it dry, and moisturize it. If you’re using a primer without sunscreen, apply sunscreen.
2. Put some primer on your hands, mix it with your fingers and then gently rub it on your face. Ensure you cover all areas, including your chin and forehead line. 
3. Allow your skin to absorb the primer before applying the foundation

What are the best primers for sensitive skin?

If you have sensitive skin, always go for the primers for acne-prone skin because they have acne-fighting ingredients. This will prevent your skin from any further breakout.  If you have acne, you can use primers in place of moisturizers to avoid further breakage. 

Final Words

Having an acne-prone face can make making up very difficult.

Personally, at some point in my life, I went all-natural for over a year. Was it because I hated makeup? No. I just got tired of all the products making my acne worse. 

Then I decided I was done being scared and went on a hunt for the right products. And now I’m happy to know that not all products cause acne; some even stop it.

You just got to learn to pick up products that favor your skin type. 

I hope you got a good primer for acne-prone skin from my review. What do you struggle most with when living with acne-prone skin?

Our Top Pick

e.l.f., Blemish Control Face Primer - Small, Long Lasting, Skin Perfecting, Controls Breakouts and Blemishes, Matte Finish, Infused with Salicylic Acid, Vitamin E & Tea Tree, 0.47 Fl Oz
  • Transforms your face into a flawless, smooth canvas, ready for makeup application that lasts all day.
  • Infused with Salicylic Acid, Vitamin E, and Tea Tree to help control breakouts and blemishes.
  • Blend evenly on face and allow to dry before applying makeup.
  • Perfect for all skin types.
  • Cruelty-free, vegan and 100% free from Phthalates, Parabens, Nonylphenol, Ethoxylates, Triclosan, Triclocarban, and Hydroquinone.
a gorgeous model holding one of the best primer for acne prone skin

For you, which one is the best primer for acne prone skin? Have you tried using it? Share with us below!

About LusineTG

Hi there, I am Lusine! A young enthusiast who loves to write about beauty, pets, food, and so many other things. When I am not writing, I am most presumably hanging out with my dog Benji or watching Netflix. I am also into cooking and yoga. Probably the best two things to do when I need some self-time.