The 9 Best Oil Free Primers for Your Face

If you suffer with oily skin, using an oil-free primer could well be one of the best makeup moves you make.

Designed to stop your foundation slipping, the right primer leaves your complexion hydrated, nourished, and looking flawless for longer.

Shiny skin can be a real drag. Even your best foundation will struggle to maintain its staying power when you have very oily skin.

Do you need a makeup primer?

What Does a Primer Do?

An oil-free anti-shine primer will help you in your quest for healthy, oil-free, dewy-looking skin. Without a primer, you might find that by lunchtime, your T-zone is looking a little patchy and uneven. Not every dewy finish is intentional! A primer that doesn't have any oil in it will help your skin stay looking matte all day.

NapoleonPerdis AutoPilotPreFoundationPrimerGOLD ThisIsTheFoundationPrimerOurBeautyEditorUses 0026.jpg?transformations=f auto,w 700,h 540,c fill,g autoNapoleonPerdis AutoPilotPreFoundationPrimerGOLD ThisIsTheFoundationPrimerOurBeautyEditorUses 0026.jpg?transformations=f auto,w 700,h 540,c fill,g auto

Do I Need to Use a Primer?

A mattifying, oil free anti shine primer will keep your makeup look in place for as long as you need it to stay put. If you’re spending ages getting your look just the way you like it, the last thing you want is for it to slip away halfway through the day. An oil free primer for face will help lock down your look. A great primer will minimise the appearance of pores, give you a flawless base, and keep your skin hydrated without clogging your complexion. For smoother, healthier-looking skin, a primer for oily skin is the way to go.

And if you think finding an oil-free formula is going to be tricky, think again!

We’ve combed the reviews and found our favourite primers to help keep your complexion free from shine, with or without makeup!

Shiny skin can cause you foundation and concealer to slip, but you don’t always need to wear makeup to enjoy healthy-looking skin. Napoleon Perdis Auto Pilot Pre-Foundation Primer - GOLD is a gentle, moisturising primer that makes your skin feel smooth and soft every time you apply it. Made in Australia, this skin-loving formula helps your skin glow without making it look too shiny. Vitamin E soothes and nourishes the skin, and provides antioxidant protection that helps battle daily aggressors. Glycerine hydrates the skin and keeps it soft. Chamomile and Yarrow Extract combine to calm irritated skin. More than just a prep step, this nourishing primer can be worn alone whenever you want to experience healthy, smooth-looking skin.

This is a great oil free primer for dry skin. Designed to condition and treat dehydrated or irritated skin, this formula is rich in nourishing ingredients that work to promote healthy skin. The lightweight texture of Napoleon Perdis Auto Pilot Pre-Foundation Primer - GOLD won’t clog your pores. And your fine lines will appear reduced every time you use it. Perfectly prepping the skin for makeup, this primer will have you loving the smooth, even look of your skin. The gel-like texture perfectly bridges the gap between your skincare and makeup routine, and the formula is suitable for all ages, genders, and skin types. Those who have dry skin will love the lightweight finish of this oil free foundation primer.

If you struggle with oil, patchy, acne-prone skin, you might be looking for a product to ease your skincare woes. Designed to help you get your shiny patches under control, MAKE UP FOR EVER Shine Control Primer helps reduce the appearance of pores and evens out your skin’s tone and texture. Working to prevent shine from peeking through as the day wears on, this is considered by some to be the best oil free primer. Satin-soft to the touch and super-lightweight, this solution is ideal for those with combination and oily skin. Whether you want to wear makeup or not, you’ll enjoy the skin-loving, smoothing, blurred effect this primer gives your skin.

Today, primer is an essential for every makeup artist. If you're wondering what primers are good for oily skin, you might’ve just found one! MAKE UP FOR EVER Shine Control Primer is a silicone-based primer that doesn’t contain any oil. Your makeup will apply easier and last on the skin for longer when you use this oil free primer. It also won’t interfere with the colour of your foundation. This primer helps you optimise the colour of your foundation and concealer, and keeps both looking true as the day wears on. For a flawless finish that lasts for hours, the primer balances the skin’s texture and gives it a refined, silky finish. Apply the primer to clean, moisturised skin, especially along your T-zone.

Beautifully packaged and expertly formulated, Yves Saint Laurent All Hours Primer is a great gift idea for yourself or someone you love. If you want your makeup to stay looking fresh and just-applied all day, you need to start your routine with the perfect base. Working hard to create the perfect shine-proof canvas for your makeup, the best oil free anti shine primer will keep your skin looking matte for hours after application. Created with active ingredients that help prevent shiny patches, this formula keeps your makeup looking flawless and helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and large pores. Perfect for all skin types but a must-have for combination or oily skin, this luxury product has a lovely lightweight texture that feels like heaven on your skin.

When you wear a perfectly formulated primer, you don’t always need to apply foundation to your skin. Yves Saint Laurent All Hours Primer is a mattifying primer that has a barely-there feel. You’ll love the soft, silky, velvety texture your skin takes on every time you apply this formula. Dermatologically tested, this non-comedogenic solution helps the skin resist shine as the day goes on. If you’re spending a lot of time and energy doing your makeup every morning, the last thing you want is for it all to disappear by lunch. This primer will keep your makeup locked in place for as long as you need it to stay. Apply this solution after you’ve applied sunscreen, and follow up with your favourite makeup look.

You don’t always need to spend a fortune to hit the jackpot with a winning formula. Sometimes, the most effective products are the most affordable! The Ordinary High-Adherence Silicone Primer is a cruelty-free, vegan, artificial fragrance-free formula that can be used alone or under your makeup. The Ordinary oil free water based primer uses advanced adaptive Silicones, which help keep the skin hydrated yet looking matte. If you’re suffering a few imperfections, this best primer for oily red skin will balance out your skin’s appearance, so you can choose whether to wear makeup or not. Created to mattify, hydrate, and blur the appearance of your skin, this formula reduces the look of your pores and any imperfections.

The Ordinary High-Adherence Silicone Primer works hard to keep your skin looking its best. Designed with skin-loving ingredients, this primer keeps even very oily skin looking mattified and hydrated after every use. If you love the look of perfect skin, this easy-to-use primer should be your next essential purchase. Wear it alone or under makeup to make your pores look smaller. This non-greasy hydrator lessens the visibility of your imperfections. Apply the product to clean, dry skin and top up with makeup if your day calls for it. Keep your makeup looking high-definition for longer with this silky-smooth primer.

Make it spray with this primer:

It’s always good to try something a little bit different. Skindinavia The Makeup Primer Oil Control is a primer, but not as you know it! If you’re wondering, Does oily skin need primer? The answer is usually yes. And you’ll love this unique, oil-absorbing, ultra-fine primer mist that works to keep your makeup in place. Designed to give you a smooth, silicone-free base, this cruelty-free formula maintains coverage for up to 16 hours. The convenient mist creates a light barrier between your skin and your makeup, so your look stays in place for longer. And any shiny patches are kept at bay. If you have combination or oily skin, you’ll love this easy-to-use mist primer.

Make it spray with this primer:

If you’ve never used primers before, you might think they’re a bit pointless. Surely, if your foundation is good enough, it’ll stay in place anyway, right? Well, that’s not always the case. As day goes on, your foundation has to work harder to handle whatever life throws at you. And if you’re a face-toucher (really not a good idea!), your makeup will look more and more depleted as the day goes on. Skindinavia The Makeup Primer Oil Control primer is silicone-free and has been proven to reduce the need for makeup touch-ups or blotting papers. Formulated to be worn with or without makeup, this hypoallergenic, paraben-free formula gives your skin a smooth, shine-free finish.

If you’re battling blemishes, and redness and imperfections are getting the best of you, you need to start using products that will make you feel and look your best again. Designer Brands Blur Primer has been designed to give your skin a ‘Photoshop finish’, even if you have acne-prone skin. Made in Australia, the cruelty-free and vegan formula helps you perfect your complexion and gives it an airbrushed appearance. Enhanced with exclusive Blur Technology, this primer glides on effortlessly and makes skin feel oh-so-soft. Free from talc, bismuth, and parabens, this kind and caring formula helps prepare the skin for any makeup application.

If you’re looking for a primer that leaves your skin feeling soft and smooth but with a serious matte finish, Designer Brands Blur Primer is your pick. Formulated with a cocktail of skin-loving ingredients, this primer leaves your skin looking fresher, more illuminated, and smoother for longer. The Peptide infusion and Q10 help keep the skin looking firm and plump. Antioxidant-rich Green Tea and Aloe Vera extracts work to soothe and protect the skin. Vitamins A, C, and E give the skin a brighter appearance. All the ingredients blend together perfectly to accelerate skin cell renewal, so skin looks smoother and better. Suitable for all skin types, the formula should be applied in a thin layer. Pat it in to help it dry.

As weird as it is to say, oily eyelids really are a thing. If you have oily eyelids, you might struggle with keeping your eyeshadows in place. From awkward creasing to not-so-hot smudging, oily eyelids can be annoying. If you’re suffering this issue, you should try an oil free eyeshadow primer. Designed to lock in place the eye look you’ve just spent ages applying, theBalm Put a Lid on It Eyelid Primer creates a seamless canvas for your shadows. Then, this eye primer keeps your look locked in place for as long as you need it to stay. Great for a just-applied look that lasts all day, this primer is smudgeproof and helps resist fading. The convenient, hygienic squeeze tube minimises waste, so you use only the amount of product you need every time.

If you’re looking for something that will keep your eyeshadow in place before a big night out, you should look to theBalm Put A Lid On It Eyelid Primer. The cruelty-free and paraben-free formula treats the skin with kindness and creates a smooth area to apply makeup on. The smudgeproof, fade-resistant primer features light-reflecting particles that brighten the skin. The Peptides in the formula work to minimise the signs of ageing. The perfect base for all your favourite cream and powder eyeshadows, Put a Lid on It lets you enjoy a freshly applied makeup look for as long as your day lasts. Glycerine helps draw moisture from the skin and makes it look less oily, while Cyclopentasiloxane creates a satiny, soft, silky finish.

Shiny skin sometimes needs a helping hand. If you’re struggling to keep your makeup look locked in place, Clarins Instant Poreless has been designed to help. The mattifying primer gets rid of your oily patches while giving your skin a smooth, matte finish. Made for all skin types, including oily, combination, dry, and even sensitive skin, this primer works to minimise the appearance of visible pores. The gel texture uses the latest cosmetic technology to give your skin a filtered real-life look all day. This unique makeup primer has a lightweight application that provides uneven-looking skin with a little extra polish. Perfect for those who are struggling with their complexion, this formula mattifies the skin without drying it out.

Formulated with a host of ingredients that help boost your skin’s moisture levels, Clarins Instant Poreless 20ml primer is perfect for people who want to play with makeup. Creating the perfect canvas for you to apply your look to, the nourishing and smoothing formula makes your skin glow. Effortlessly mattifying the skin without drying it out, this gel formula gives your skin a healthy boost. If you need to keep your oily patches in check, this primer will help you regain control while also minimising the appearance of any noticeable pores. This innovative formula leaves a blurred effect on the skin and boosts the skin’s moisture levels without creating any extra shine.

If you’re looking to improve the texture of your skin and give it a long-lasting matte finish, Lancôme Prep & Matte Primer will certainly do the trick! A nourishing formula that doesn’t compromise on comfort or hydration, this primer gives your skin a fresh appearance, maintains moisture levels, and helps control any shiny, oily patches. Working to enhance your foundation’s wear time, this primer keeps the skin hydrated and gives it a refined look. Helping to minimise the appearance of large pores, this formula doesn’t compromise on comfort. Your skin takes on a flawless, matte finish, glows with health, and shows fewer imperfections whenever you use this beautifully crafted skin primer.

Lancôme Prep & Matte Primer is suitable for all skin types but is best suited to oily, shiny-looking skin. If you have a long, important day ahead of you, you don’t want to keep having to touch up your makeup. This primer helps keep your foundation and concealer in place while you get on with the important stuff. The advanced Polymers help the primer last on the skin, and they help create a smooth, even base for your makeup application. Ensuring your skin stays soft, this primer doesn’t compromise on comfort or hydration and helps the skin maintain its moisture levels. Your skin will look perfected and blurred every time you use this formula. Apply in the morning after you’ve cleansed, toned, and moisturised your skin.

If you love to play with makeup, you want to make sure your carefully crafted look stays in place all day long. If you’ve never bothered with a primer before, you’ll be surprised at the difference one can make to your skin. Smoothing out imperfections and getting you Instagram Story ready, a primer just might get you to decide to ditch the foundation completely.




Brand and product inclusions are at the sole discretion of Adore Beauty’s highly trained Customer Service team. We do not seek or accept payment from brands or individuals listed in our guides.