dermalogica hydrablur primer review

As much as I complained about dry skin this past winter, combination skin is a lot worse.

At least, with dry skin you know what you need: rich and creamy formulas that deeply hydrate and moisturize.

Combo skin is a lot trickier to deal with. That moisturizer mattifies your oily t-zone but leaves the rest of your face as dry as the Sahara. And that foundation gives your cheeks a lovely glow, but looks so awfully shiny on your forehead!

Finding a beauty product your entire face loves seems a mission impossible. But, I’ve recenly found one. No, I’m serious, I really did. It’s Dermalogica Hydrablur Primer.

What’s so special about it? Let’s find out:

What’s In Dermalogica Hydrablur Primer?


Silicones is how primers work. They fill in all fine lines and wrinkles on your skin, blur out large pores, and create a smooth canvas. Your imperfections are still there, mind you. You just can’t see them.

Plus, they improve the texture of the primer, helping it to glide smoothly on your skin. Without clogging pores.

That’s right. Silicones have a particular molecular structure made up of larger molecules with wider spaces between each molecule. They create a barrier that keeps moisture in but still allows skin to perspire.

But if you use anything comedogenic before this primer, then yes, silicones can trap them underneath their protective barrier and cause breakouts.

Bottom line: don’t use comedogenic ingredients in your skincare and you’ll be fine.

Related: Are Silicones In Skincare Bad?


Hyaluronic Acid is one of the most hydrating ingredients found in skincare.

It’s a moisture magnet that draws water from the environment and binds it into your skin. It’s so powerful, it can hold up to 1000 times its weight in water!

Extra moisture = plumper, softer and brighter skin.

P.S. Hyaluronic Acid isn’t the only moisture magnet here. Glycerin and Urea do the same thing, but on a smaller scale.

Related: Why You Need Hyaluronic Acid In Your Routine, No Matter Your Skin Type

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I’m not sure what retinol is doing in Dermalogica Hydrablur Primer. The brand doesn’t even mention it in its marketing copy.

Usually, brands love to rave about retinol. This anti-aging superstar fights wrinkles in three ways:

  • It has antioxidant properties that fight free radicals.
  • It boosts the production of collagen, the protein that keeps skin firm
  • It speeds up cellular turnover (the skin’s natural exfoliating process)

That means it can reduce crow’s feet and dark spots caused by hyperpigmentation.

Great, right? There are a couple of problems with it. For starters, retinol is irritating. That’s why it’s best to recommend to start with a small dose and work your way up slowly.

But that’s not why I’m surprised to see retinol in this primer. I’m surprised because retinol is highly unstable and degrades when exposed to light.

You wear makeup during the day mostly, right? That means retinol won’t stay effective for long. Why add it in the first place if it can’t do the job properly?!

Related: 3 Reasons Why You Should Add Retinol To Your Skincare Routine


Silky. Siliconey. Slightly tinted.


Technically, it’s fragrance-free. But it contains a couple of fragranced essential oils (lavender and bergamot) that can irritate sensitive skin.

How To Use It

Once you’re done with your skincare routine, apply it all over your face. You can use it on its own or as a base for makeup.

Performance & Personal Opinion

Dermalogica Hydrablur Primer is a primer with skincare benefits. It’s more hydrating than your average primer and can make your skin softer and plumper without ever feeling greasy or clogging pores.

At the same time, the primer helps absorb excess oil a little. If you have oily skin, you won’t see enough of a difference, but its oil-absorbing properties are enough to soak up the little excess sebum combination skin produces and leave it matte for a few hours.

Of course, like all primers, Dermalogica Hydrablur also blurs out imperfections. It makes large pores and wrinkles look smaller and creates the smoothest base for foundation. Liquid foundation, that is.

With powder foundation, the end result is a bit cakey. I personally don’t mind that because I don’t use powder foundations, but, if you do, you may want to switch to a liquid formula on days when you wear this primer.

It’ll make your foundation last a couple of hours longer, too.

dermalogica hydrablur primer

Who Is This For?

  • Combination skin
  • Oily skin

Who Is This NOT For?

  • Dry skin
  • Sensitive skin


A white and grey tube. Pretty boring and reminds me of a medicine. But it’s practical and does the job.

Does Dermalogica Hydrablur Primer Live Up To Its Claims?

Blur fine lines and pores, hydrate and brighten for flawless-looking skin. True.
Lightweight, non-greasy primer minimizes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, mattifies against oily shine and imparts a silky, smooth finish True.

Price & Availability

$49.00/£43.50 at Dermstore, Feel Unique, John Lewis, and Ulta

Do You Need It?

Primers are not a must-have. But if you’re looking for a primer for combination skin, this one is worth checking out.


Dupes & Alternatives


Caprylyl Methicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, Isododecane, Glycerin, Water/Aqua/Eau, Lauryl PEG-10 Tris (Trimethylsiloxy) Silylethyl Dimethicone, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Vinyl Dimethicone/Methicone Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer, Crambe Abyssinica Seed Oil, PEG-12 Dimethicone/PPG-20 Crosspolymer, Dimethicone/Bis-Isobutyl PPG-20 Crosspolymer, Dime-thicone, Silica, Boron Nitride, C30-45 Alkyl Cetearyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Fomes Fome-tarius Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Evodia Rutaecarpa Fruit Extract, Hydrolyzed Verbascum Thapsus Flower, Serine, Retinol, Potassium Phosphate, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia Fruit Oil, Co-riandrum Sativum Fruit Oil, Cupressus Sempervirens Leaf/Nut/Stem Oil, Juniperus Communis Fruit Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Dodecene, Caprylyl Glycol, Pullulan, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Algin, Propanediol, Trehalose, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Disodium Phosphate, Sodi-um PCA, Urea, Isohexadecane, Mica, Silica Silylate, Cetearyl Methicone, Steareth-2, Silica Dime-thyl Silylate, PEG-10, Polyester-1, Pentylene Glycol, Steareth-21, Glyceryl Polyacrylate, Butylene Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Limonene, Linalool, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77492), (CI 77491), (CI 77499).