The 16 Best Pore


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Oct 25, 2023

The 16 Best Pore

Whether you're creating a no-makeup makeup look or going full glam, a great face

Whether you're creating a no-makeup makeup look or going full glam, a great face primer is a common through-line. However, the type of primer you layer depends on your skin type and what finish you hope to achieve. For example, a hydrating shimmer-based primer is an excellent option for a dewy look. If you want to minimize the look of your pores and obtain a long-lasting finish, global lead pro makeup artist for Smashbox Cosmetics, Lori Taylor Davis, recommends a long-wearing, oil-absorbing formula above all others.

When selecting the best pore-minimizing primers for your skin, Davis recommends oil-free cream-to-powder formulas that offer at least eight hours of makeup control with noncomedogenic silica.

However, while the primer you choose can certainly help minimize your pores, Shenelle Mays Smith, a licensed aesthetician and film and TV makeup artist, notes skincare is the first step to minimizing the look of your pores. "One great way to minimize the look of enlarged pores is to use a product with AHAs and BHAs," she tells us, adding these acids have what she calls "a retexturing effect" on the skin. She also recommends willow bark extract, a natural form of salicylic acid, as it helps keep your skin from becoming inflamed. If you're prone to breakouts and looking for pore minimization, many primers (including a couple on our list) are infused with this powerhouse ingredient, so you get skincare and prep in one step.

Speaking of skincare, we often hear silicones are a no-no for the skin. But Smith says they aren't as big of a beauty faux pas as we think. "Silicone primers are generally considered safe on the skin and have conditioning and emollient properties which help lock hydration into the skin and prevent moisture loss," she explains. "The silky and spreadable texture of silicones has made them popular in makeup products [and] silicone-based primers are better on oily skin, as the silicone creates a layer that keeps the oil from breaking through."

If the thought of silicone on your skin still gives your pause, don't worry. There are many non-silicone primers to choose from that offer the results you're after. Keep scrolling!

Rare Beauty by Selena Gomez Pore Diffusing Primer

I can vouch for this pore-minimizing primer infused with plumping hyaluronic acid, calming green tea extract, and skin-protecting vitamin E. With all those skin-loving ingredients, you might think its ability to provide staying power and pore-minimization is limited. Not true! The gel formula helps absorb shine and smooth the pores without making skin feel tight or going too matte.

Customer Review: "This is such a nice project. I had never really been into primers before I purchased this because I have sensitive skin, and most primers cause me irritation. Not only does this primer not irritate my skin, but it delivered on its claims! I did notice [the] smoothing effect when using this primer and longevity to my makeup that isn't there without it. I also really appreciate that my skin never feels tight or dry despite [the primer] being oil-controlling. I'm very impressed and will continue to repurchase."

Smashbox Photo Finish Smooth & Blur Oil-Free Foundation Primer

Formulated with skin-protecting vitamins A and E, you can count on this cult-loved oil-free primer to reduce the appearance of fine lines and pores while it grips your makeup for a long-lasting finish.

Customer Review: "The best primer on the planet! [It] applies like silk, making your skin flawless. I have tried so many primers on the market. This one does it all without agitating my skin or causing breakouts. You need [only] a tiny dot covering your entire face. [I] love how my makeup applies flawlessly and sheer. I do not recommend using this every day. I use it when I go out only."

Nudestix Blot & Blur Matte Stick

If you want a product that can function as a primer, balm-to-powder setting powder over makeup, or a means to blot away excess oil throughout the day, this silica-infused option—from a brand that celebrities like Sofia Richie love—is for you. Reviewers have mentioned using the stick over makeup can remove some of the pigment, but for me, taking a small brush to the stick and then gently dabbing in places where oil is peeking through helps keep my complexion products in place while the formula absorbs oil.

Customer Review: "Okay, so even though the reviews are confusing, I really do think this is an innovative and useful product for us oily girlies. I keep this in my bag to touch up my T-zone because I hate how wasteful blotting papers are, and the packaging on this is super eco-friendly. I absolutely see a difference! I removed a star because it does remove a bit of my makeup, but it's not too bad. I also love how it keeps my fingers AWAY from my skin, unlike blotting papers (which also absorb the oil from my hands)."

Benefit Cosmetics Benefit the Porefessional Face Primer

Formulated to minimize the appearance of pores and lines, this mattifying primer is ideal for use under makeup or on top post-application for a long-lasting skin-blurring effect that also keeps shine at bay. Give the formula a few seconds to dry down before applying makeup. And for those with deeper skin tones, the beige color of the formula might be off-putting, but the primer works well with all skin tones.

Customer Review: "I love this primer. It hides the fine lines on my forehead and blends smoothly over [the] pores. I wear it with powder to finish. It also goes great under a concealer to hide any under-eye darkness."

Dior Forever Velvet Veil Matte Primer

This noncomedogenic 24-hour foundation primer provides a blurring and mattifying finish that reduces the appearance of pores and blemishes and helps smooth the skin's texture on days when you're wearing foundation or going makeup-free.

Customer Review: "Wasn't sure what to expect but was happily surprised. Very lightweight, no transfer, blurs redness, and imperfections feels like you're wearing nothing. Even after a workout, it's dewy but not an oil slick."

Tula Filter Primer Blurring & Moisturizing Primer

We love a product that does double duty. This hydrating primer not only supplies a blurring effect to give makeup a more flawless finish, but the non-comedogenic formula is made with probiotic extracts and superfoods to help even-out and nourish the skin with cumulative use.

Customer Review: "I've used this product for a little over a year. It's a great item, especially if you don't want to wear any makeup. Just use this product. You can also build up with this product for more blurring and soft skin. Usually, one layer works wonders, but if you apply two layers, it will continue to cover any redness, pores, or blemishes on the skin. I love this stuff, and it's one of many of the Tula items I always have in my bathroom!"

Hourglass Vanish Airbrush Primer

We can't talk pore-minimizing primers without this talc-and oil–free fan-favorite. Formulated with microspherical powders that give the skin a soft blur, this primer smoothes imperfections, minimizes the look of pores and fine lines, and absorbs excess oil providing a canvas for makeup that will last well beyond its application.

Customer Review: "I love this primer. It's my first time using a primer, and I can't believe it can make such a difference! It makes my skin looks flawless without or with foundation. It will definitely be a primary product of my makeup routine, and I recommend it to everyone!"

Clé De Peau Beauté Pore-Refining Mattifying Veil Spf 25 Sunscreen

Pore-minimizing priming with SPF 25? Yes, please! This water-based formula is enriched with a matte powder complex that hydrates for up to eight hours, absorbing excess sebum and creating a pore-smoothing base ready for long-wear, matte makeup application. And beyond creating an ideal canvas for makeup, with continued use, the primer helps improve skin's smoothness in four weeks.

Customer Review: "I was already using and loving the correcting cream veil but needed to blot my face throughout the day because I have oily skin. So I thought I'd give this a try. I was blown away! This primer does everything the correcting cream veil does but also controls my oil. I no longer need to blot my face, and my makeup remains the same throughout the day."

Lancôme Priming Serum 24 Hour Hydrating Solid Smoothing Primer

Starring hyaluronic acid and niacinamide, this skin-loving primer can be worn under makeup and for no-makeup days. It visibly blurs and minimizes pores while keeping the skin hydrated. Plus, a little goes a long way! Only a pea-sized amount is needed to get all the pore-minimizing, makeup-gripping benefits.

Customer Review: "This has to be one of the best primers I've ever tried. I absolutely LOVE the way it makes my skin look. It adds hydration that literally lasts for 24 hours. When I wash my face in the morning, I can still see the effects. My skin looks better the day after. It smooths, brightens, and minimizes my pores. I don't think I'll ever go without it. I've had this primer for a few days and have been wearing it every day ever since."

Yves Saint Laurent NU Blotting Lotion Primer

For acne-prone skin, salicylic acid can be a great help for keeping breakouts at bay. In this case, YSL has crafted a gel formula infused with salicylic acid and limonette extract that reduces shine and minimizes the look of pores, all without depleting the skin of moisture. You can use this as a mattifying base to control shine.

Customer Review: "So wonderful, so lightweight, [and] so easy to apply. You don't need much, and it's so beautifully effective! I was amazed that it worked so well! I used to always carry blotting papers with me before purchase[ing this], and always needed them to touch up during the day. Now everything is much different! So much easier! Every day is oil-free all day with no touch-ups needed at all!"

Maybelline New York Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser Primer

This noncomedogenic, fragrance-free drugstore buy offers a lightweight makeup primer that blurs pores and smooths skin instantly—and it's only $8.

Customer Review: "I am a guy using only primer with no makeup to light makeup. This primer blurs my pores and mattes my face (not in a dry way). I am not a big fan of spending lots of money on these things, so this keeps me below budget. My confidence level goes up before a night out."

Milk Makeup Pore Eclipse Mattifying + Blurring Makeup Primer

Made with 90% natural ingredients, this noncomedogenic, silicone-free cream primer is made with pore-minimizing niacinamide, bakuchiol to smooth skin texture and even skin tone, and lentil extract to help reduce shine, all packaged in a recyclable tube.

Customer Review: "The product performs as advertised. Pores are moderately blurred, and skin is extra matte after several hours. If matte skin is your primary goal, this is a good option."

Tatcha The Silk Canvas Protective Primer

This noncomedogenic, dermatologist-tested makeup-perfecting primer infused with silk extracts can be used for the face, eyes, and lips and is an excellent choice for anyone with mature skin who wants the staying power of a primer with pore-minimization and the smoothing of fine lines.

Customer Review: "I have pretty good skin for my age—79—but for a truly flawless, absolutely natural look, this is unbeatable. I also use liquid silk for quick daily use."

Thrive Causemetics Filtered Effects Blurring Primer

Dermatologist- and allergy tested, this gel-to-powder primer made with the brand's proprietary Color Grip Technology bonds to makeup, controls excess oil, keeps unwanted shine away, and ensures makeup stays put all day long.

Customer Review: "With rosacea and sensitive skin, it can be hard to find primers that are actually matte and don't irritate my skin and actually go on SMOOTH. This one is so smooth, and [I] love the feeling of it on my face, and makeup looks even and smooth."

Black Radiance Matte & Poreless Face Primer

Black Radiance has been in my makeup bag since I was a teenager. This oil-free, fragrance-free formula with a $6 price tag not only mattifies but also smoothes and minimizes the appearance of pores.

Customer Review: "I love this primer. Not only is it cheap, but it also leaves your face looking smooth and not greasy. I love it!!! Highly recommended!"

Supergoop! 100% Mineral Mattescreen Sunscreen SPF 40

You either love mineral sunscreens or you don't. Many say they offer a finish sans a white cast, but they miss the mark. If you do enjoy a mineral option, this one from Supergoop! works well as a primer, boasts SPF 40 to protect the skin, and gives skin a mattifying, poreless finish. Reviewers note the formula can pill, so let it dry down on the skin before applying complexion products. Taking that extra time can often prevent pilling. I say this from experience!

Customer Review: "I purchased the Supergoop Matte sunscreen for my upcoming cruise to Mexico. I will say I'm very impressed by the matte finish. It doesn't have a prominent white cast by itself, and it looks great underneath foundation too."

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