Best Pore Minimizing Primer: Which One’s Right for You?

If you have deep, noticeable pores, you might be wondering about the best way to make them less noticeable. That’s where the best pore filling primer comes in. Since products that minimize pores work by filling them in for a smoother look, it’s very important to choose non-comedogenic products that will wash away completely at the end of the day, minimizing your risk for breakouts that can make matters worse. Here are some tips for choosing the best pore minimizing primer, plus our list of the best poreless primer.

What to Look For in The Best Primer for Pores

When looking for the best pore filler, your primary concern is achieving a smoother texture. Unfortunately, many of us have found ourselves dealing with redness, blotchiness, blackheads, and full-on breakouts after choosing the wrong product. Here are some tips for picking a primer that will smooth your skin without causing a major case of buyers’ remorse.

Keep Your Skin Type in Mind

 Is your skin dry? Combination? Oily? Spend just a little bit of time checking to see if the primer you have in mind is a good fit for your skin type. If you have a skin concern such as sensitivity, rosacea, or acne, be sure that the primer you choose won’t make matters worse. Some of the best pore minimizing primer products double as acne treatments, which is great news for those of us who constantly find ourselves doing battle with zits. If you’re looking for the best primer for large pores and acne, it’s a good idea to look for one that contains salicylic acid.

Be Sure the Primer is Compatible with Your Foundation

 It’s vital to make sure that your primer won’t counteract your foundation, and vice-versa. This means using water-based primer with water-based foundation, oil-free primer with oil-free foundation, silicone-free primer with silicone-free foundation, etc. You should be in pretty good shape if you pair your primer with a foundation from the same line, particularly if the manufacturer recommends using those products together.

Check for Beneficial Ingredients

If you’re at all familiar with skin care products, you know that certain ingredients are beneficial for certain skin concerns. Cosmetics companies are doing a fantastic job creating dual-duty products that address multiple issues all at once – and given the fact that your primer spends the entire day in contact with your skin, choosing a primer with beneficial ingredients can help you achieve some pretty impressive changes over time. Here are a few things to look for.

Zinc or magnesium to help clear pores

Salicylic acid to unclog pores that are already compromised

Hyaluronic acid to add moisture without worries about blocked pores

Retinol or retinoids, which can help reduce pore size while fighting visible signs of aging

Botanical extracts to brighten, nourish, or soothe your skin

Vitamins such as A, C, and/or E to nourish skin

Color correction, i.e. a formula that will camouflage red or purple tones in your skin, such as dark circles under your eyes or old acne scars

Sunscreen, which might not be necessary if your moisturizer or your foundation already has it

Know How Long You Need Your Primer to Work

There’s nothing worse than reaching the end of your workday only to discover that you have to completely redo your makeup before going out. Most primers last at least 8 hours. Some last 12 hours, and some last 15 hours or longer.  

Watch Out for “Bad” Ingredients

Last but not least, when choosing the best primer for oily skin and pores, look out for scary stuff that might cause you to break out even if acne isn’t already an issue. Parabens, phthalates, artificial fragrances, mineral oil, and waxes are some things to look out for. Many of the best primers have prominent “free from” language on their packaging and in their product descriptions, so it’s easier to tell the difference between products that might cause problems and those that are likely to benefit your skin. Again, be sure that the product you choose is “non-comedogenic” meaning that it’ won’t block your pores!

Best Pore Minimizing Primer: Our Top Choices

So, what’s the best primer for textured skin? Depending on your needs, one of our favorite pore-minimizing primers is likely to do the trick. Here are ten choices to consider for your own shortlist.

bareMinerals Original Prime Time Foundation Primer

Designed to minimize the appearance of pores and provide some anti-aging benefits, bareMierals Original Prime Time Foundation Primer also helps with problems like flakiness, rough patches, and uneven texture. This primer gets excellent marks for smoothness, and people often mention that it lasts for hours when paired with a compatible foundation with silicone. The company had a problem with counterfeiters shipping fake product a few years ago, so if this is your choice, be sure that you double-check to ensure that you are purchasing from Bare Escentuals and not from a different source. With lots of natural ingredients including soothing chamomile and aloe, this primer has a velvety-smooth feel. A little goes a long way!

Becca Ever Matte Poreless Priming Perfector

Designed to tighten skin while controlling excess oil and reducing shine, Becca Ever Matte Poreless Priming Perfector is silicone-free, oil-free, and alcohol-free. Not only do people love the way it creates a smooth, even surface, they appreciate the fact that it resists sweat and humidity so makeup looks its best all day long. While this formula is prone to peeling or developing a white, filmy appearance if you apply too much, the fact that you only have to use a tiny amount means that ultimately, you’ll spend less over time. If you’re looking for a great primer that minimizes pores while mattifying oily skin, this might be a good one to try. At the same time, it’s worth noting that as with some similar products, people with very oily skin still found themselves dabbing with blotting paper to keep shine to a minimum.

NYX Studio Perfect Primer

Since this pore-loving NYX Studio Perfect Primer is clear, you’ll want to use a separate concealer to deal with any redness, acne scars, etc. The good news is that this product is top-notch for creating a smooth surface for the rest of your cosmetics, easily filling large pores and covering fine lines. The finish appears smooth and matte before any other makeup is applied, and once you do apply cosmetics, you’ll get great staying power. While most people who try this primer like it, there are a few who say that it makes their oily skin worse or felt heavy and greasy on very dry skin. If your skin is average to combination though, this is probably a good choice! If it doesn’t work out, you’ll be glad to know that the product is returnable.

Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer Unificateur Deteint

If you have dry skin, you’re going to want to look for a different product. Now that we’ve gotten the “fine print” out of the way, here’s the skinny: Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer is one of the best pore minimizing primers out there, and it’s very helpful in balancing oily skin as well. Like many other companies, this one has had some trouble with counterfeiters shipping fake product. Be sure to buy this from a reputable dealer or directly from Smashbox, and you’ll probably be pleased with the results! Most people report that their skin feels smooth, silky, and ready for foundation once this primer has been applied, and most recommend using just a tiny amount to prevent any issues like peeling or pilling. It gets a great score for blurring fine lines and other imperfections, too.

theBalm Time Balm Face Primer

With vitamins A, C, and E, plus anti-inflammatory ingredients and herbal extracts to soothe and repair skin, Time Balm Face Primer is designed to even out tone as well as texture. This formula gets rave reviews for its ability to minimize the appearance of fine lines as well as enlarged pores, and it’s light enough to prevent the undereye area from feeling or looking weighed down. These features make it a favorite with reviewers who are dealing with aging skin, as well as with those who have combination skin. People who have dry skin tend to find that it’s not moisturizing enough and those with oily skin sometimes feel out of balance as well. Overall, most users – including those with sensitive skin – love it and compare it to very high-end formulas.

Benefit the POREfessional

Benefit has an outstanding reputation for quality products so we weren’t at all surprised to discover that the POREfessional gets outstanding marks for shrinking enlarged pores. The formula is lightweight, oil-free, and suitable for all skin tones, plus it can be used over or under your makeup. This product has fans in different categories including women over 50 with some sun damage as well as some enlarged pores, people in the 30-40 age range with old acne scars that need to be filled in, and younger people who want a flawless finish. As with other products, you should use just a tiny bit of this one or risk having issues with pilling / flaking.  

Even if you have a tendency to break out, you’ll find that there are many quality primers that minimize pores while helping to keep your skin blemish-free. Keep in mind that the best primer for big pores varies from one person to the next, choose a primer that addresses any concerns that you have, and pick one that complements your favorite foundation. With these tips and a few others in mind, you’ll find that it’s easier than ever to choose the best pore minimizing primer so your makeup always looks its best.