10 Best primers for oily skin to keep your face shine-free all day

Two celebrity MUAs recommend their best primers for oily skin, plus application tips and tricks for keeping your face mattified

A collage of the best primers for oily skin
(Image credit: Future)

Picking the best primers for oily skin will help keep your makeup looking shine-free, matte and glowy in all the right places. 

Just like discovering the best sunscreen for your face, or the process of layering skin toners with your best moisturiser, finding out what the best primers for oily skin are is so worth your time. Picking a specific primer for oily skin is important to keep your complexion balanced, and shine-free - and they'll be a saviour during rushed school pick-ups to save you from having to blot your way through the playground. Plus, if you struggle with your makeup looking cakey, this is something a good primer can help with too.

"Silicone-based products are great for mattifying and blurring, they make the formulas smooth over the skin beautifully," reveals Brooke Simons, MUA to the likes of Laura Whitmore and Pixie Geldof. Ruby Hammer MBE and celebrity make-up artist,  agreed, "you want something that will be mattifying and long-lasting, without being drying and uncomfortable." With that in mind, we’ve rounded up the best the make-up market has to offer and spoke to two industry experts to give you unrivalled application advice too. 

What to consider when looking for the best primer for oily skin

Why you can trust GoodTo. Our experienced Consumer Editor & parent reviewers spend hours testing products to help you make the best choice. Find out how we test and review products.

  • Star rating: Our in-house star-rating system is based on peer reviews. They’ve tried and tested the hair brushes and awarded stars based on factors such as product quality, ease of use, customer feedback, awards and value for money. Products that have received a 5-star status are rare and considered exceptional, going above and beyond our reviewer’s expectations.
  • Active ingredients: Most of the best primers for oily skin will contain ingredients such as salicylic acid, hyaluronic acid and silicone. We looked out for these specific ingredients when testing the products. 
  • Cruelty-free: More and more beauty brands have realised that testing on animals is not a humane or sustainable practice. We’re keen to select products from brands that follow this ethos.
  • The wearability of the formula: The whole point of a primer is to prepare your skin for makeup and to ensure that it stays in place all day. We tested to make sure that the primers we tested would not only prevent shine but also keep your base from budging, melting or slipping. 

The best primers for oily skin as picked by our beauty team and celebrity MUAs