The 10 best primers for oily skin

Ayesha Muttucumaru 25 January 2018
Any products in this article have been selected editorially however if you buy something we mention, we may earn commission

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The best makeup primers for oily skin

A good primer can make a huge difference to the look and longevity of your makeup - especially when it comes to oilier skin types which need help with reducing shine and slip. Creating the smoothest of canvases, which ones deliver on their promises to sap shine and reduce the appearance of pores , fine lines and wrinkles? Here are the best primers we've tried for sweat, humidity and temperature-proofing our handiwork.

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Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Primer, £24

The perfect partner for the brand’s full coverage Pro Filt’r foundation , this pick feels more like a moisturiser than it does a primer. Once dry, it delivers a natural looking matte effect that also feels hydrating too. Our lovely Alex Harrison was a big fan, finding that it kept her face shine-free for about five hours and when she did need to blot away any oil, her foundation was left still intact. It's one that’s certain to appeal to those with combination to oily skin types in particular.

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YSL All Hours Primer, £29.50 for 40ml

Leaving skin matte without feeling dry, this silky textured primer cream helps makeup stay crease-free from pre-party drinks to the cab ride home. In an aptly coloured night time black bottle, it contains perlite to absorb sebum as well as hydration-boosting aerogels to offer a balanced range of ingredients for keeping skin shine-free but soft.

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Lancome La Base Pro Perfecting Makeup Primer, £28.50 for 25ml

Leaving skin softer and smoother, this invisible undercoat makes a significant difference to both the look and staying power of your makeup. With a quick absorbing oil-free texture that melts into skin, it’s the extra 5 seconds to your makeup routine that makes a massive difference.

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Urban Decay Urban Defense SPF30 Complexion Primer, £23 for 30ml

Transparent in colour, traceless in application, this crystal clear primer with an SPF may look undetectable when first applied but its effects are anything but. Leaving zero streaks, it gives makeup valuable durability to withstand sun and sweat.

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Benefit POREfessional Face Primer Balm, £27.50 for 22ml

A creamier pre-base pick, this lightweight oil-free balm skims over high-slick areas and blurs pores in one fell swoop. Easy to blend, its colour adapts to a range of different skin tones to help provide a smoother and more even finish.

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Smashbox Pore Minimizing Oil-free Photo Finish Primer, £28 for 30ml

Richer in texture than most of its counterparts, this shine-sapping oil-free primer effectively straddles the line between BB cream  and primer. Almost powdery in its feel, it’s great used either underneath or on top of makeup as a first or last step and comes into its own on the most humid of summer days.

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The Ordinary High-Adherence Silicone Primer, £3.90 for 30ml

Providing high end results at a high street price, this oil-free pick from  budget beauty  favourite The Ordinary adds impressive longevity to your base of choice. Hydrating yet mattifying, it’s a particularly good choice for oily skin types looking for something that isn’t overly drying. Using ‘adaptive silicones’ to help smooth over uneven texture, it delivers when it comes to both finish and formula. It also slips on rather well on top of one of The Ordinary's new foundations  too.

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Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer, £20 to £55

Veil by name, veil by nature - this multi-faceted primer glides silkily onto skin, absorbing oil with ease and creating the smoothest of surfaces for your makeup. Oil-free and non-greasy, it’s also available in a handy travel size , £20, for shine control on the go.

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NYX Shine Killer, £11 for 20ml

If you’re looking for a way to shine-proof oil-prone T-zones, this mattifying gel primer could be a worthwhile addition to your makeup regime. Best for combination skin types looking for more targeted coverage, it smooths on seamlessly for an effective extra layer of protection against excess sebum levels.

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Murad Invisiblur Perfecting Shield Broad Spectrum SPF30+++, £55 for 30ml

One of our favourite brands for expertly merging the worlds of skincare and makeup, this multi-faceted pick blurs, primes, protects and hydrates all in one go. Containing shitake mushroom and peptides chosen specifically for their collagen-boosting properties, an SPF of 30, plus other hard-working ingredients picked to help attract and retain moisture, it’s a great all-rounder.

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