We Found The Best Primer For Oily Skin—And It Will Fit Your Budget

Just the idea of adding more layers to your skin care routine can make anyone who is blessed with oily skin cringe. Don't dismiss primers, though, as they can keep your makeup from slipping and smudging through the day—you just have to find the right one. Focus on finding oil-free primers (duh, right?) that tackle shine, and apply before foundation all over your face or just to the trouble areas like your T-zone. And there's a primer perfect for you, no matter your budget.

We've created a list to find the best primer for oily skin across four budget categories: the Splurge-Worthy, that centers on luxury brands $45+; the Treat Yourself zone that hovers around $30; Wallet-Friendly for around $20, and the Super Steals you can snag for less than $10. Now you can look fresh-faced even when the temperatures start scorching in the summer.


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Splurge-Worthy: Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer

Though you may hesitate at the price point, this Hourglass is cheered for creating one of the best primers for oily skin, ever. Take one look at reviews and you'll find makeup lovers across the globe screaming their love for this primer from the rooftops—and we totally agree. It's oil-free and goes on very light and silky, and not only does it provide a great surface for makeup, it also helps with redness and minimizes pores. Oh, and it has built-in SPF 15, meaning you don't have to apply sunscreen, which can make your face extra oily, especially in the hot and sticky summer months. (If you're not ready for the investment, Hourglass has a travel-sized Veil Mineral Primer that fits more in the "wallet-friendly" zone.) ($19-$54; nordstrom.com)

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Splurge-Worthy: Cane + Austin Prime & Protect Mattifying Primer with Broad Spectrum SPF 50

*Cue the Saturday Night Live Stefan voice* This primer does everything. When you have oily skin, you don't want to be applying moisturizer then sunscreen then primer then foundation… and so on. Cane + Austin has created a primer that hydrates, primes, mattifies, has SPF 50, and even lends a slight tint that can work as a light coverage foundation, like a BB cream. So basically, you're not splurging for a face primer, you're saving on a handful of prep products in one. ($56; sephora.com)

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Splurge-Worthy: Dr. Brandt Skincare Pores No More Pore Refining Primer

This primer for oily skin is a cult favorite for a reason: It doesn't clog pores, which can cause breakouts; it smooths out fine lines and wrinkles; it minimizes pores; and—most importantly for our purposes—it kills shiny-face-syndrome. The slight tint means that on more casual days, you can rock this primer sans foundation for a fresh-faced look. ($45, macys.com)

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Treat Yourself: Benefit Cosmetics The POREfessional Face Primer

When talking about Benefit's The POREfessional, you'll sometimes hear the phrase "holy grail of primer" thrown about—that's when you know makeup lovers are serious about this product. It's lightweight and smooth going on, meaning you don't get that cakey feeling some primers can give, especially ones that claim to mattify. With a boost of Vitamin E, this Benefit primer reduces the appearance of both pores and fine lines, and because it's oil-free, it works great on oily skin. ($31; belk.com)

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Treat Yourself: Too Faced Primed & Peachy Cooling Matte Perfecting Primer

Some oily-skinned ladies are partial to Too Faced's Primed & Poreless primer, but we lean toward its Peaches & Cream collection primer. (A brand with two killer primers for oily skin? Heaven.) It's super lightweight, and it brightens your complexion without making it shiny while absorbing oil through the day. The cooling effect feels great, particularly in the sweaty summer months, and it works to tighten your pores and smooth any fine lines. Could the Peaches & Cream collection be any more stocked with great products? ($32; sephora.com)

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Treat Yourself: Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Stick

Smashbox is famous for its impressive line of face primers that hold your makeup, but we think the Photo Finish Primer Stick is the best primer for oily skin it has. The stick application method means it's super easy going on, and you can specially target the troublesome T-zone. Throw it in your purse if you have a long day, and you can dab on any touch-ups you might need. ($32; sephora.com)

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Wallet-Friendly: Sacha Mattifier & Face Primer

Founded in Trinidad and Tobago in 1979, Sacha Cosmetics is a go-to beauty brand designed with women of color in mind—and the brand's dedication to innovation for all skin colors and types is clear in its Mattifier and Face Primer. This primer soaks up all that excess oil and creates a perfect canvas for applying makeup without clogging your pores. ($20; amazon.com)

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Wallet-Friendly: Touch In Sol No Poreblem Primer

Not only is this Touch In Sol primer amazing for oily skin, it's cruelty-free, vegan, and hypoallergenic, too! Fans of this K-Beauty fave rave that it rivals even the most expensive brands on the market. The primer goes on very lightweight, and it doesn't have that tacky, sometimes glue-like texture of so many other primers. The formula is made with green tea and collagen, helping to reduce pores and keep your skin looking silky smooth. No POREblem is right! ($18; revolve.com)

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Wallet-Friendly: IMAN Undercover Agent Oil Control Primer

Makeup-lovers adore IMAN's oil-control primer—and not just because of its totally on-point name, "undercover agent." You can use it over or under your makeup to absorb excess oil. In fact, nearly all of the products in the IMAN Cosmetics collection are oil-free, if you're looking for other products to help your oily skin! Founded by the model and icon Iman, the cosmetics line is created specially for women of color, though the primer is perfect for everyone of all skin tones. ($17.49, walgreens.com)

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Super Steal: Rimmel Stay Matte Primer

Rimmel is definitely near the very top of our list of drugstore primers for oily skin. With only a small amount, the Rimmel Stay Matte Primer keeps the oil at bay throughout the day. It works best under a powder-based foundation, its biggest fans say, though at less than $10, you can experiment without breaking the bank (or cutting into your makeup fund). ($6.49, target.com)

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Super Steal: Fyrinnae Powder Primer

This Seattle-based indie brand caught our attention years back with its line of loose powder eyeshadows, but since then, Fyrinnae has established itself as a vegan makeup brand of note. Its Powder Primer is a steal at less than $10, and it's a cult favorite for using rice powder that gently absorbs oils through the day without leaving your skin dry and flaky. Just apply with a powder brush or sponge before foundation—the brand recommends a mineral foundation, but it works well with liquid, too. ($7; fyrinnae.com)

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Super Steal: The Ordinary High Adherence Silicone Primer

It might be in the name, but this is no ordinary primer. At less than $5 (!!!) The Ordinary's face primer is basically the biggest bargain ever—which is probably also why it sells out so often, so don't sleep on this deal. This High Adherence Silicone Primer is created with out oil (hello, oily-skinned ladies!), and also without fragrance, alcohol, nuts, or gluten. Oh and it's also vegan and cruelty-free. Basically this means it can suit nearly any skin, but those with oily skin have been raving about it since it was released. ($4.90; sephora.com)

get this super inexpensive primer