Best Primers for Combination Skin 2020

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Does your foundation keep sliding off your skin? Is your skin oily and dry at the same time? 

You might have combination skin.

You don’t need to touch up several times a day, instead, all you need is the best primer for combination skin to keep that makeup last for hours! And the best primers for combination skin can also make your skin look oh so dewy and radiant! 

We’ve curated a list specifically made for your combination skin! Battling dryness and oiliness can be exhausting. Not to mention, finding a single product that can correct both may seem impossible.

Let’s see what brands made it to the top! Your face doesn’t need to be a warzone anymore!

15 Best Primers for Combination Skin (A Product Review)

1. DHC

Best Primers for Combination Skin

This fragrance-free and colorless primer comes in a gel powder form that works well for your combination skin.


  • Contains olive fruit oil and silica
  • Has a matte finish
  • Comes in a powder gel formula

You can get a matte finish with a translucent glow. And your skin would be peach smooth too. When you have combination skin, parts of your skin gets oily midday. And silica soaks up all the oil and keeps your T-zone shine-free longer. 


  • Non-drying
  • Safe for sensitive skin
  • Stays on for more than 24 hours
  • Doesn’t crease or cake
  • Blends well with your makeup
  • Makes your skin look fresh and radiant the whole day
  • Covers large pores and wrinkles
  • Provides great coverage but feels light
  • A little goes a long way
  • Soaks up the oil in your T-zone
  • Doesn’t feel greasy or oily


  • A bit expensive

Why we love the product

DHC can be worn alone or with your favorite foundation. The formulation is heaven’s solution to your combination skin! It comes in a powder-like gel, so it doesn’t cause any drying or oiliness. And we love its staying prowess! It stayed on for more than 24 hours! That’s a lot of time for a girl to stay up!

2. Jane Iredale ( Smooth Affair)

best makeup primer

It’s a translucent pink primer and brightener in one. You can get that glowing flawless skin with just one product.


  • Infused with grapefruit extract, green and white tea extract
  • A primer and brightener in one


  • Reduces the appearance of large pores
  • Works for dry mature skin
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Has a nice fruity smell
  • Provides good coverage without the heavy feel
  • Soaks in oil well


  • A bit expensive

Why we love the product

This primer and brightener make your skin glow! It gives good coverage without weighing your face down. And it’s a nice base for your makeup and makes it easier to apply your foundation. 

It slides down your skin like butter on a hot pancake! That’s how dreamy it feels.

3. CLINIQUE (Universal Primer)

primers for combination skin

A primer made for basically all skin types! It’s one of the best primers for every skin type


  • Can be used for all skin types
  • Fragrance- free
  • Paraben and oil-free

This is a universal primer that all girls can use! It can moisturize dry areas of your face without the oily feeling. It doesn’t cause breakouts and we recommend it for those with acne-prone skin. That makes it perfect for your combination skin too.


  • Can be worn alone
  • Covers pores
  • Quite affordable
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Evens out skin tone
  • Doesn’t clog pores
  • Moisturizes dry skin without feeling greasy
  • Doesn’t cake


  • Doesn’t last that long

Why we love the product

It’s one primer for all skin types! We rarely come across primer of this kind. We love how hydrating and moisturizing it is. When one part of your face is dry and the others are oily slick, you would hesitate if you’d get a primer that has a moisturizing effect. But we were in for a real treat! It felt so soft and hydrating, yet it kept our oily T-zone at bay! It’s quite amazing how a single product can keep everyone happy.

4. Laura Mercier

organic primer for oily skin

You can get that dewy finish sans the oiliness with Laura Mercier primer. It’s one of the best primers for oily skin and combination skin.


  • Water-based gel
  • Designed for acne-prone and oily skin
  • Infused with antioxidants and vitamins

Laura Mercier can leave your face smooth, silky, and shine-free for a couple more hours! It can make your skin a flawless canvass without all those silicones. 

It provides a smooth base for your foundation and makeup. And it even replaces your favorite foundation.


  • Helps keep your makeup on
  • Doesn’t cause breakouts
  • Keeps oily T-zone at bay
  • Perfect to wear in humid weather
  • Silicone-free
  • Infused with hydrating nutrients


  • A bit expensive

Why we love the product

You can still have that dewy finish without your skin looking like you can fry an egg in there! Yes, we got that healthy dewy finish. And it worked perfectly well with our oily T-zone. And if you’re looking for minimal coverage, you can also wear this primer alone. It’ll still give your skin that healthy shine.

5. bareMinerals ( Prime Time)

best primer for powder foundation

Get that airbrushed look and nourish your skin at the same time with a vitamin complex.


  • Infused with Vitamin C, E, and antioxidants
  • Contains silica
  • Has a matte finish

Prime Time has silicone that can soak in all the excess oil. But it doesn’t leave a feeling of the silicon layer on the skin compared to your regular primer.


  • Teeming with sun protecting vitamins
  • Gives a smooth, airbrushed finish
  • A little goes a long way
  • Lightweight
  • Creates a good base for your makeup
  • Makes skin even 
  • Helps keep your makeup stay for up to 12 hours
  • Improves dryness of the skin
  • Covers pores, acne scars, wrinkles, and fine lines
  • Reduces excess sebum
  • Blends easily and glides smoothly on the skin


  • The packaging doesn’t fit the consistency of the product. The thick cream is quite difficult to squirt out of the tube.
  • The consistency of the cream is quite thick
  • It takes a while to dry

Why we love the product

It can double up as an anti-aging cream! This primer is infused with antioxidants, Vitamin E and C. These nutrients can combat the signs of aging and protect your skin from environmental hazards. It can even provide a layer of protection from the sun’s UV rays.

6.  BENEFIT (POREfessional)

best drugstore primer for oily skin

BENEFIT can fill in all those large pores and make your skin smooth and even.


  • Infused with Vitamin E
  • Has a non-oil translucent formula
  • Slightly tinted

Professional truly lived up to its name. It’s the go-to pore minimizer that works for all skin types. You wouldn’t mind stacking one in your bag for emergency touch-ups!


  • Blends well with your skin
  • A little goes a long way
  • Doesn’t cause any breakouts
  • Minimizes the appearance of large pores
  • Provides a smooth and even base for your makeup
  • Helps your makeup last longer
  • Matches almost every skin tone
  • Can be used alone
  •  Has a subtle nice scent


  • A bit pricey

Why we love the product

It’s simple and go-to pore minimizer that you can wear alone or with your makeup! We love how it contains Vitamin E. Why so? Vitamin E is one of those nutrients that can protect your skin from aging and free radicals.  

With a non-oil formula, it can keep your T-zone shine-free and just velvety smooth too. And this brand lived up to our expectations! Its name truly suits how the brand performs- it can significantly minimize large pores!

7. Stila ( One Step)

primer for sensitive skin

Stila One Step may be your ultimate color-correcting primer. It combines three color-correcting pigments in one convenient tube.


  • Infused with 15 vitamins and minerals
  • A serum gel primer
  • Has three color-correcting primer in one tube

From redness, sallow undertones to dull skin, Stila has every color pigments that you need to even out your skin tone.


  • Has complete color-correcting pigments
  • Enriched with nutrients to nourish the skin
  • Feels lightweight
  • Can be used alone
  • Gives an oh so natural look
  • Removes the shine
  • Easily absorbed by the skin and blends in well
  • Hydrates the skin well
  • Safe for acne-prone skin


  • We wished the effects lasted a bit longer

Why we love the product

This the go-to primer if you want to correct your yellow undertones, redness or dull skin! It’s an all in one tube and it looks fab too. 

We love how hydrating it is to the skin it doesn’t feel oily or greasy. It’s even safe for acne-prone skin and does the job well for your combination skin too. You’ll get that translucent glow that makes your skin smooth to touch. All in all, it’s great to wear daily for a naturally flawless look.

8. Philosophy (Supernatural)

best primer for wrinkles

This peach tinted primer will leave your pale skin looking healthy and smooth.


  • Oil-free and tinted primer
  • Infused with SPF 15


  • Covers pores and fine lines
  • Looks very natural
  • Perfect for hot and humid weather
  • Hypoallergenic
  • A little goes a long way
  • Feels lightweight
  • Helps keep your makeup stay
  • Covers dark under-eye circles
  • Doesn’t feel greasy at all


  • It only comes in one tinted color. And a peach tint may not work for everyone.

Why we love the product

We love how the peach tint evens out our skin tone! Go from pale skin to rosy and dewy with an oil-free product! You can mix it with your favorite moisturizer and use it daily for that no make makeup look. 

This will make your combination skin glow. And it feels lightweight that you would forget that you’re wearing a primer. And people won’t notice too since it looks oh so natural!

9. Smashbox ( Photo Finish)

best primer for combination skin

Smashbox is one of those primers that your makeup can’t live without. It fills in the pores, evens out your skin and makes it easier to apply your foundation.


  • A transparent primer gel
  • Oil-free formula
  • Infused with antioxidants, Vitamins A and E
  • Paraben and fragrance -free

There has been a hype on this brand for a while and it’s not hard to see why. The translucent formula works for aging dry skin, oily skin, and combination skin too. It can control oiliness while hydrating the dry areas of your face.


  • Provides good coverage for wrinkles
  • Recommended for mature skin
  • Feels smooth and silky on your skin
  • Helps your makeup stay all-day
  • Keeps oiliness at bay
  • Doesn’t feel greasy
  • Has a lightweight formula


  • Quite expensive

Why we love the product

Smashbox makes your foundation slide on your face like butter on warm toast! Your skin will feel smooth and it can cover large pores too. It’s a go-to brand for oily skin as well. It makes your makeup lasts longer and look fresher, hence the name photo finish!

10. No. 7 ( Airbrush Away)

best primers for combination skin

It’s one of the best drugstore primers for combination skin. You can get that dewy and smooth skin at a very affordable price.


  • Infused with Hyaluronic acid 
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Has a matte finish
  • Opaque white cream

Hyaluronic acid locks in moisture and hydrates the skin rather well. That’s why it’s heaven-sent for those with mature aging skin. And even if its hydrating prowess is top-notch, it doesn’t leave your T-zone oily!


  • Has a lightweight formula
  • Doesn’t feel greasy
  • Fills in large pores
  • Recommended for aging dry skin
  • Blends in well with the skin
  • Provides a perfect base for your foundation
  • Doesn’t flake
  • Hides wrinkles and age spots
  • Doesn’t clog the pores
  • Lasts for the entire day


  • The dispenser could have been better. It gives out way too much cream!

Why we love the product

If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative but don’t want to sacrifice the quality, you have got to try this primer! It blends in well with the skin and makes your foundation last for the entire day too! It works great for all skin types too.

11. REVLON (Photoready)

best moisturizing primer

A brightening primer that can even out your skin tone and gives your face an illuminated finish


  • Primer and brightener in one
  • Fragrance and oil-free
  • Leaves an airbrushed finished

It wasn’t called photo finish for no reason! If you love an illuminated and dewy look, this is your primer! It reflects light, highlights your face and conceals large pores.


  • Makes skin bright and dewy
  • Conceals large pores
  • Evens out skin tone
  • It stays for the entire day
  • Feels light but can provide full coverage
  • Removes redness on the face
  • Well worth the price
  • Hides wrinkles and fine lines
  • A little goes a long way


  • Not for sensitive skin
  • The pump dispenser is a bit difficult to use

Why we love the product

We’re all ready for the cameras! And this primer lived up to its name, photo finish! 

We love the dewy satiny look we got with this primer. Well, it’s a brightener too, that explains that illuminated effect. You can even wear it alone for those no-makeup makeup look and you’d still be getting lots of compliments on your skin.

12. TOUCH IN SOL (No PoreBlem)


It’s a silicone-based primer that can fill out large pores and correct uneven skin tone. 


  • Pink tinted primer
  • Infused with green tea extracts and soluble collagen
  • Leaves a dewy finish
  • Paraben and sulfate-free
  • Hypoallergenic


  • Minimizes the appearance of pores
  • Hydrates your skin
  • Helps keep your makeup last longer
  • Keeps oiliness at bay
  • Heat resistant
  • Has an affordable price
  • Leave skin soft and smooth
  • Spreads easily and dries fast
  • Doesn’t leave any residue
  • Corrects uneven skin tone
  • Stays on for 8 hours
  • Has a nice floral scent
  • Works well with any type of foundation


  • May feel a bit heavy

Why we love the product

Large pores no more! No PoreBlem is one of those primers that does a rather good job in concealing large pores. It’s infused with collagen that can make your skin elastic, tight and supple looking. What we love the most? It made our skin look nourished and dewy might be all that antioxidants!

13. Sacha ( Mattifier)

best primer for oily skin sephora

A mattifying primer that has a lightweight formula. it can give you that silky matte finish without making you look like a cake.


  • Has a satiny matte finish


  • Controls excess sebum 
  • Gives a silky matte finish that’s not dull
  • Has an affordable price
  • Has mostly natural ingredients
  • A little goes a long way
  • Feels lightweight for a mattifier
  • Sweat-resistant
  • Helps makeup stays for 12 hours
  • Perfect for hot and humid weather
  • Reduces the appearance of large pores


  • Can dry out your foundation

Why we love the product

If you love a matte finish, you would fall in love with this primer! It’s a mattifying primer but it won’t leave your face dull or too caked up! It gives that nice satin complexion that’ll make your foundation lasts for hours and hours.

14. L’OREAL ( Studio Secrets)

It’s a silicone-based primer that provides full coverage without weighing your face down.


  • Has a matte finish
  • Silicone-based
  • Pink tinted cream
  • Non-comedogenic

The consistency of the cream is a bit thick. So you should warm it up first before applying it on your face. But it goes on nicely afterward and blends in well with your skin.


  • Covers large pores and fine lines
  • Works as a highlighter too
  • Makes skin looks fresh
  • Provides a great canvass for your makeup
  • A little goes a long way
  • Mattifies oily T-zone
  • Affordable


  • Maybe a bit drying

Why we love this product

If you’re looking for some serious coverage with a matte finish, this is one of those go-to primers! It can fill in the fine lines, crows feet, wrinkles, and almost all the blemishes on your face. It controls oiliness your T-zone and your makeup stays for the entire day too.

15. NXN ( Flash Matte)

Best Primers for Combination Skin

Get that mattifying finish without drying your skin out with this primer. It hides your large pores and makes your skin feel like satin.


  • Gives a matte finish
  • Infused with licorice root and grapeseed


  • Corrects redness
  •  Minimizes the appearance of large pores
  • Makes skin silky smooth
  • It gives a matte finish but doesn’t dry your skin
  • A little goes a long way
  • Evens out skin tone
  • Has a delicate fruity scent
  • Makes a perfect base for your foundation


  • The shine-free effect doesn’t last long
  • Makes skin greasy by the end of the day
  • Caused breakouts for some
  • Can crease 

What we love about the product

We love how NXN made our skin tone even and smooth. It took care of all the redness and blotches. And we got a nice matte finish that isn’t too drying Oftentimes, a nice mattifying primer can dry your skin out. This brand, on the other hand, makes your skin dewy and velvety smooth.

Primers for Combination Skin

Things to Consider Before Buying the Best Primers for Combination Skin

How do you choose the best makeup primer for combination skin?  

1. You need to know what your skin type is!

Knowing your skin type is the first step in getting that dewy looking skin that’s neither oily or dry!

So we have 4 skin types. And each skin type needs a specific type of primer. Let’s see the apples and bananas!

  • Dry skin

You rarely have to deal with oiliness if you have dry skin. But the downside is, this skin type feels rather tight and is more prone to flaking, irritation, and aging.

Look for a primer that has a dew finish and avoid brands with a lot of mattifying compounds. This can make your skin look dry and dull. 

  • Oily skin

When you have oily skin, your primer and makeup could easily wear out by the end of the day. And cosmetics oxidize quicker when you’ve got oily skin, that’s why it tends to last for just a few hours. 

More often, silicone-based primers work well for oily skin. It gives this matte finish that and this compound can keep the oiliness at bay. Just make sure that you’re not allergic to silicone!

  • Normal Skin

Congratulations! You have the easiest skin type to care for! You can practically use any primers. But to keep that skin nourishes, go for primers infused with antioxidants and vitamins. You have to take care of what you’ve got!

  • Combination skin

This may be one of the most challenging skin types to deal with. You’re in a tug of war between dryness and oiliness. Your regular primer will not suffice! 

You need to use a neutral or balanced primer that can mattify the oily areas while hydrating the dry ones. You may also have the option to use two separate products but that’s just too much of a hassle and costly too. Besides, we’ve got the perfect list of primers for combination skin for your choosing!

2. Skin dilemmas

Are you looking to cover your large pores? Or do you want a primer that can also hydrate your mature skin? Or do you want to correct that redness or sallow undertones? You can find what you need on our list! The best primers can do all of that.

3. Price points

Some primers for combination skin work wonders, but some may cost more than what you have bargained for. What to do? Our list contains some of the best drugstore primers for combination skin. These brands work like a dream without ripping your wallet.

It doesn’t need to be a battle! Combination skin may be a problematic skin type, but you can still win over this war between oiliness and dryness with the best primers for combination skin.

What is Combination Skin

It’s nice to have the best of both worlds. But that’s not always the case, especially when it comes to your skin type.

Your skin has four types- oil, dry, normal, and combination skin. A tag team between the first two results in combination skin.  

If you have this skin type, you might find some areas of your face dry while some areas are oily. Your cheek and eye area tend to be dry but the – zone can be oil. 

Your T-zone consists of your forehead, nose, and chin. And this area can accumulate a ton of dead skin cells too and it can look rather dull. 

Having combination skin puts you in a battle because you have to please both sides! Luckily, we’re here to help so you don’t need to buy two separate products for your face!

But first, let’s see what causes your skin to be both oily and dry at the same time. And how can you tell if you indeed have combination skin?

Keep scrolling!

How Can I Tell if I Have Combination Skin

Having an oily T-zone Is quite normal. Because this is where your oil glands are concentrated so it’s quite a problem area for most women and women alike. 

But if you have abnormally oily skin in the T-ZONE and very dry skin in other areas, you may have combination skin.

Here are other signs to look out for:

1. Shiny skin

There could be areas in your face that have larger pores than the rest. With combination skin, your skin produces abnormal amounts of oil. This excess sebum makes some parts of face shiny.

2. Larger pores

Take a closer look at the mirror. If you have larger pores in your nose than your cheeks and the rest of your face, you have combination skin. And as the dead skin cells accumulate, your pores get clogged and it could get larger.

3. You have dandruff

While your T zone may be oily, your scalp tends to be flakey. And oftentimes, people with combination skin also develop dandruff. 

4. You can’t get a single product to work for you

That expensive cream that you bought works wonders for your face but it’s causing your T zone to be slick oily! It’s quite hard to get a single product that would give you nourished and smooth skin for your entire face!

That’s combination skin. You’re constantly dealing with breakouts and flakes at the same time!

5. You get oilier – zone in the summer and dryer in the winter

And it gets abnormally oily in the midday morning.

6. You’re more prone to seborrheic dermatitis

Facial dandruff, as what they say, can plague the skin surrounding your T-zone. This can lead to the growth of yeast that looks somewhat yellowish, dry, and flaky.

It might seem like a nightmare! Especially if the oiliness and dryness are getting out of hand. And you can’t find a product that would pacify your skin situation! And it becomes worse in the summer and winter too!

Before we hop on to the solution, let’s see first what causes your skin to be like that.

What Causes Combination Skin?

So, what shall we blame your combination skin to? Here are several factors that cause such skin types.

1. Your genes

Yep, there’s no doubt about it, your genes dictate your skin type. Much like physical attributes, your genes will tell how large the oil glands in your T- zone is. The larger the oil glands, the more oil it produces. 

2. Using harsh products on your face

Products that are too drying on your face can make your oil glands go crazy! When your skin gets too dry, the body reacts by producing more oil. This can make your face oilier than it is. 

And using products that are not suitable for your skin type can aggravate the problem too.

3. You’re too stressed

Stress messes up everything in your body, so it can wreak havoc on your skin too. It can aggravate the oiliness and dryness on your skin faster than you think. 

So have a coffee break or get a slice of your favorite cake to ease things out a bit.

4. Unhealthy diet

What you eat radiates through your skin. Excess sugar and carbohydrates can cause breakouts and can further add up to your oily situation. While your lack of water intake can make your skin dry too. 

5. Lack of exercise

Exercise improves your blood circulation and makes sure all the parts of your body receives adequate nutrition. Just make sure to adapt good post-workout care. Meaning, don’t let your skin soak in the sweat for too long! Hit the sowers asap.

6. Going out without sunscreen

The harmful rays of the sun can do no good to any skin type, especially to combination skin. The UVA and UVB rays can make your skin more dry than it is. 

7.  Extreme weather

The humidity in the summer months can make your skin oilier. While winter can make it more dry than usual. Now that climate change is a reality, your skin is facing more environmental hazards than before.

Knowing what could have caused your combination skin will make it easier for you to manage it! 

And speaking of managing, you have to adopt a skin care routine that’s meant for your skin type.

Skin Care Routine for Combination Skin

Caring for combination skin can be quite tricky. You’re in between the too oil and too dry skin. And some areas of your skin can be drier or oilier than the rest. So it can really be quite confusing. 

Good thing, we have rounded up a very simple and sensible skin routine for your sensitive skin

1. Clean your face with a gentle cleanser

Washing your face twice a day can help get rid of the oil, dirt, and grime buildup. Your skin has accumulated a ton of dirt and it’s best to clean it before you go to sleep. And make sure to get a gentle cleanser that can also mattify or keep the oily T zones at bay.

2. Don’t neglect exfoliation

Exfoliation removes dead skin cells. Neglecting exfoliation can cause the build-up of these matters. And it can lead to clogged pores and even oiler skin too. But be careful not to over-exfoliate. And since you’re dealing with two skin types, it’s best to use a product that caters to both as well.

3. Moisturize to nourish your skin

Even if some areas of your skin are oil, it doesn’t mean you have to skip your moisturizer. Moisturizing is for all skin types. The key here is to use a moisturizer that is oil-free so it won’t aggravate your already oily T zone.

4. Keep your hands away from your face

The oilier part of your skin can be aggravated by clogged pores. And touching your face can lead to just that. When you touch your face, you transfer a ton of dirt and microorganism to it. And the buildup of these can clog your pores.

5. Use a sunscreen

The sun can be damaging to your combination skin. It is for all skin types. It can dry out the already dry areas of your skin. 

Lather on sunscreen with at least an SPF 15 to get decent protection for the sun’s harmful rays.

6. Eye creams are your best friend

The skin around your eye is the thinnest and more prone to drying. So you should give extra care to it by using eye creams.


How do I choose a primer?

Here are a few basic steps to follow:

– Identify your skin type
– Determine if you have skin issues that need to be addressed. 
– Get a primer that has the same base as your foundation ( oil to oil and water to water)
– Get a paraben-free primer
– If you have aging skin, choose primers that are infused with antioxidants.

Can coconut oil be used as a primer?

Coconut oil is teeming with essential fatty acids and nutrients that can benefit your skin. It can hydrate your skin and leave it with a radiant natural glow. Just make sure to apply just a few drops so that it wouldn’t clog your pores. It also works great when combined with your foundation. It’ll give you that dewy looking skin naturally.

Is matte or dewy finish better for combination skin?

A matte finish is perfect for oily skin since it is void of oil. While a dewy finish works well for dry and aging skin as it makes the skin appear illuminated and more radiant. But if you have combination skin, you may find yourself somewhere stuck in the middle!  

You can use both finishes provided that it’s in a lightweight formula! And our list has brands that can cater to the needs of your combination skin

Is a stick foundation good for combination skin?

Stick foundation is very convenient, easy to use, and loved by women who are always on the go. You can always find brands that can make your skin look radiant and healthy.

How can I identify my skin type?

If there is noticeable flaking and your ENTIRE face feels too tight, you have dry skin. If you have excess oil on your ENTIRE face, you have oily skin.

And if your T- zone is oilier but your cheeks or the rest of your face is dry and flaky, you may have combination skin.


Dryness and oiliness, this rather annoying combination can make your face look unhealthy and uncared for. If you have other skin issues ( such as redness, sallow undertones, dull skin, and large pores), it’s more challenging to find a primer that would make your skin flawless.

Gone were the days when primers are either too mattifying or too greasy. Today, primers have grown in leaps and bounds! And you can find the best primer for your combination skin in our list!

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