The 5 Best Pore-Filling Primers For Oily Skin

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Despite what beauty market might imply, there’s no way to permanently shrink the size of your pores, but there are ways to minimize their appearance while quelling shine. As an immediate solution, applying a light layer of one of the best pore-filling primers for oily skin will prep your skin for a smoother makeup application (or create a blurred, matte finish if you’re wearing your primer alone).

Almost universally, the best pore-filling primers for oily skin contain silicones, like dimethicone, which both curb excess oil production and fill out inconsistencies in your skin’s surface. Silicones also deposit a silky film, which creates a smooth but grippable canvas for your makeup.

Before you protest, I know that silicone gets a bad rep as a comedogenic ingredient — but scientific research has come up with zero proof that silicone clogs or suffocates your pores. So if you’re concerned about your primer causing breakouts or irritation, look for a lightweight, oil-free primer that contains good-for-skin ingredients like rice seed protein and niacinamide, rather than nixing silicone completely. (Of course, you should steer clear of silicones if you have a known allergy to them.)

In a hurry? Here are the five best pore-filling primers:

1. The Best Drugstore Pore-Filling Primer: Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser

2. The Best Prestige Pore-Filling Primer: DHC Velvet Skin Coat

3. The Best Pore-Filling Primer For Redness-Prone Skin: Touch In Sol No Poreblem Redness & Pore Covering Base Primer

4. The Best Pore-Filling Primer & Serum: Neutrogena Shine Control Matte Primer + Serum

5. Another Great Budget Primer For Blurring & Mattifying Oily Skin: Maybelline New York Master Prime Blur + Pore Minimize Primer + Base

Ahead, take a look at five of the best pore-filling primers for oily skin. They’ll suit a range of formula preferences, skin care concerns, and budgets, but they’ll all help you achieve Instagram-worthy makeup with just one swipe.

The Best Drugstore Pore-Filling Primer

After years on the market, Maybelline Baby Skin is basically synonymous with “pore-filling primers.” This trusty drugstore product is on the thicker side — resulting in a near-impenetrable shield against oil, sweat, and pores — but it dries to a remarkably soft finish, and it feels relatively lightweight and non-greasy on your skin. It’s earned well over 31,000 five-star ratings and reviews on Amazon, making it one of the internet’s (and the world’s) best-selling makeup products, period. It sells out constantly, unsurprisingly, so grab this pack of two to keep yourself in stock.

Rave review: “ I was amazed at how it minimizes the size of my large pores & how incredibly silky smooth it glides on my face. I have sensitive skin & I have never had one bad reaction using this product & I have been using it for a couple of years now. [...] It works better than any hyped-up, over priced face primer that I've ever used. I Love it!!”

The Best Prestige Pore-Filling Primer

It doesn’t get much better than the cult-favorite Velvet Skin Coat from Japanese beauty brand DHC for achieving a silky-smooth, completely matte finish. The unique powder-gel texture creates a feather-light film over your skin that blurs textural inconsistencies (including enlarged pores), while silica and dimethicone keep away unwanted shine for hours. This prestige pick is ideal for keeping a full face of makeup on lock; but even if you’re going makeup-free, you can use it as a “spot treatment” to quell excess shine or minimize the appearance of pores wherever you wish.

Rave review: “This is the most important product in my make up routine. Unbelievably great texture. Noticeably fills in [...] pores before applying foundation. Makes my complexion appear even [...] and with a smooth look. A definite must have!”

The Best Pore-Filling Primer For Redness-Prone Skin

A targeted version of Touch In Sol’s cult-favorite No Poreblem Primer, this K-beauty primer offers the perfect one-two punch of redness-reducing and pore-minimizing effects: The green tint tempers ruddiness in your complexion (recall that green is on the opposite side of the color wheel to red), while absorptive ingredients like dimethicone and ozokerite spackle over inconsistencies on your skin’s surface. More to love? It doesn’t pill under makeup, feels surprisingly hydrating, and is packed with beneficial ingredients like cica and niacinamide — both of which work to reduce redness and boost skin’s brightness, to boot.

Rave review: “THIS IS THE BEST PRIMER I HAVE EVER FOUND [...] My face is [...] naturally very red. Before this primer, full coverage foundation just made my face look pink. After this primer, foundation looks true to color. [...] My makeup lasts all day, and I am EXTREMELY oily. [...] Pore no more for real...fills in pores [...] to make your makeup look smooth AF. I have had ZERO breakouts from this product, and I fall asleep in my makeup sometimes.”

The Best Pore-Filling Primer & Serum

This Neutrogena primer is actually a skin care/makeup hybrid: In addition to soaking up excess oil and minimizing pores to prep skin for makeup, the oil-free formula contains good-for-skin ingredients that hydrate and strengthen skin. Silica and rice seed protein reduce the appearance of enlarged pores by absorbing excess oil, while glycerin, panthenol, and adenosine moisturize and fortify your skin. It feels just as lightweight and hydrating as a primer, and the finish is subtler than the other, thicker options on this list, so it’s a gorgeous choice for folks who like a “natural” (but still matte) look.

Rave review: “This is my favorite primer. I have oily skin and most primers just turn to slime. This one contains rice powder and actually works to reduce shine. It does not clog pores, like most of the others do. I fear that Neutrogena is discontinuing this product, which will be a great tragedy.”

Another Great Budget Primer For Blurring & Mattifying Oily Skin

For another, less expensive option, the Maybelline Master Prime Blur + Pore Minimize Primer + Base beautifully blurs enlarged pores, curbs shine, and provides a smooth base for even, long-lasting makeup. Lightweight and oil-free, this formula is ideal for both oily and combination skin, since its water-based formula won’t exacerbate dry areas. At just about $8, this is one of the most effective and budget-friendly pore-filling primers out there.

Rave review: “If you've never worn primer your life is about to change...pores....what pores?? They disappear and gives you an AMAZING canvas for your makeup or to just go fresh faced.”

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