Milk Of Magnesia is touted to be an effective and inexpensive primer for oily skin. While it is true that it helps to keep shine at bay for hours, its alkaline ph can cause havoc on the skin. Much better to invest in a properly-formulated primer that helps absorb excess oil, smooth out skin imperfections, and make your makeup last longer, without any nasty side effects, don’t you think?
But when you have oily skin, this search can often seem like a mission impossible. Oily skin needs primers with absorbent properties and lightweight silicones that feel comfortable on the skin (and no, silicones don’t suffocate skin; they have a large molecular size with a lot of space between each molecule which creates a breathable barrier).
So, without further ado, here are my favourite primers for oily skin:
Best for sun protection: Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer
Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer ($52.00)is one of the most raved about products in the blogosphere, and for a good reason. This weightless and colourless primer contains a blend of lightweight silicones that softens fines lines and wrinkles, makes pores look smaller and foundation last longer. The formula also contains alumina, which helps to absorb excess oil.
But that’s not all. Thanks to Zinc Oxide (4.2%) and Titanium Dioxide (2.45%), this primer also helps to keep your skin protected from the sun’s rays. These two white minerals, in fact, form a shield on the skin that reflects UV rays away from it. Zinc Oxide, on its own, offers protection against the entire UV range, while Titanium Dioxide only against UVB and short UVA rays. Together, they provide gentle, broad-spectrum protection. But don’t use this primer as a substitute for sunscreen! You’d have to apply too much to reach the SPF stated on the bottle. But underneath sunscreen, it helps to give it a boost.
Best for acne/breakout prone skin: Smashbox Photo Finish More Than Primer Blemish Control Salicylic Acid Acne Treatment
True to its name, Photo Finish More Than Primer Blemish Control Salicylic Acid Acne Treatment ($42.00) does a lot more than providing a smooth canvas for your foundation. Its blend of silicones, such as Dimethicone, fills in fine lines and wrinkles, giving skin a smoother appearance. But the product also contains a lot of other goodies: Tocopheryl Acetate, a form of Vitamin E, helps boost collagen production and protects skin from environmental damage; Aloe soothes skin; and Silica absorbs excess oil, helping to keep shine at bay for a few good hours.
But the star of this product is Salicylic Acid. This ingredient doesn’t just exfoliate the surface of the skin, but can also penetrate inside the pores, removing all the extra oil, dead skin cells, and gunk that has accumulated in them, thus preventing breakouts. If you’re already using an exfoliant with Salicylic Acid, there’s no need for you to get this primer too. But if you use primer often, then this multitasking Smashbox Treatment will make you save time in the morning (and money too).
Best for super-oily skin: Dr. Brandt Pores No More Pore Refiner
Dr. Brandt Pores No More Pore Refiner ($45.00) should be used only by those with super oily skin. Everyone else will find it too drying. Its secret? Magnesium Silicate. This ingredient has powerful absorbent properties that can keep extra shine at bay for hours. The rest of the formula is pretty standard, with the usual blend of silicones used to minimize fine lines, wrinkles, large pores, and other minor imperfections. The formula also contains tea tree oil, which has been found to be an effective treatment for acne when used in 5% of higher concentrations. Sadly, though, this primer contains much less.
Do you have oily skin? If so, what is your favourite primer? And have you tried any of these?