Don’t you hate it when your foundation looks flaky? Makeup on dry skin looks like the desert floor.
Sometimes, moisturizer isn’t enough to compensate. You need the best primer for dry skin.
But what is a hydrating primer? And why should you give it a try?
Once you try primer, you won’t go back. Here’s why.
After you wash and moisturize, is your skin still dry? I’ll bet you’ve tried mixing moisturizer with your foundation to solve the problem. Since you’re still here, I’m assuming that didn’t work.
The best solution is a primer. But not just any primer will do – many are made for oily skin as they keep makeup from melting and sliding.
A primer for dry skin can keep makeup in place, but it’s also extra-hydrating. Moreover, you can find primers that blur pores and fine lines and add radiance.
It’s like a mini facelift in a bottle, and it’s all there before you put on foundation. In fact, you’re likely to be so impressed that a no-makeup look becomes a real possibility.
But what about combination skin? Should you get a primer for the T-zone or the cheeks?
Happily, there are hydrating primers that also mattify the oily spots. You’ll find the best ones in the reviews below.
- Three tips for picking the best primer for dry skin
- Are you supposed to let your primer dry?
- Best Primer for Dry Skin in 2021
- Laura Mercier Pure Canvas Primer Hydrating
- Neutrogena Hydro Boost Glow Booster Primer
- Hello FAB Coconut Skin Smoothie Priming Moisturizer
- Catrice | Prime & Fine Aqua Fresh Hydro Primer
- Honest Beauty Everything Primer, Glow
- bareMinerals Bare Escentuals Good Hydrations Face Primer, silky
- jane iredale Smooth Affair Facial Primer
- TULA Probiotic Skin Care Face Filter Blurring and Moisturizing Primer
- NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP Hydra Touch Primer
- NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP Honey Dew Me Up Primer
- wet n wild Photo Focus Dewy Face Primer
- L’Oreal Paris Makeup Visible Lift Radiance Booster
- Elizabeth Mott Thank Me Later Face Illuminating Primer
- e.l.f. Elf+ Glow Primer Stick
- e.l.f. Hydrating Face Primer Natural Matte Finish
- Dermablend Insta-Grip Jelly Primer
- Milk Makeup Mini Hydro Grip Primer
- Dermalogica Skinperfect Primer SPF30
Three tips for picking the best primer for dry skin
First, match the primer to your foundation. Stick to water-based or oil-based, depending.
If you can use the same brand of makeup and primer, they will likely work well together.
Second, if the primer doesn’t specify that it’s for dry skin, check the ingredients. If you see hyaluronic acid, glycerin, aloe, and vitamin E, it’s likely to be moisturizing.
Third, there are different textures. See if you feel more comfortable with a gel, mousse, or cream. Creams are excellent for extra dry faces, while mousse or gel is suitable for combination skin.
Are you supposed to let your primer dry?
Unlike the trick where you try to smooth the foundation over still-damp moisturizer, you need to let your primer dry.
Use clean fingers to spread a nickel-sized amount. Cover your face with a light layer, blending as you go.
Wait at least one minute after you’ve applied it. If you let it dry, it will prevent the makeup from pilling up.
Best Primer for Dry Skin in 2021
Now, check out the best hydrating primers below.
Laura Mercier Pure Canvas Primer Hydrating
Beauty experts swear you can’t go wrong with this primer.
It features ingredients like glycerin and squalane that draw in moisture and plump the skin. Olive extract helps the skin maintain hydration, too.
Reviewers say it makes their skin feel luxurious and extends the wear time of their makeup significantly.
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Glow Booster Primer
Neutrogena is a dermatologist-recommended brand. They’ve developed this primer for use under makeup or on its own when you don’t feel like wearing foundation.
It’s both a serum and a primer, so it can help you skip a step and still have glowing, hydrated skin. It refreshes your face with hyaluronic acid. This magical ingredient attracts and holds a thousand times its weight in water.
Thankfully, there are no parabens or artificial fragrances.
Hello FAB Coconut Skin Smoothie Priming Moisturizer
Make your face look healthier without makeup. This primer works wonders within moments.
It’s formulated with coconut water, quinoa, and essential minerals. It’s astonishing how well it hydrates given its lightweight texture.
It’s oil-free to protect acne-prone complexions. Plus, it contains no alcohol, artificial fragrances, dyes, parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde, or other undesirables. There are no nuts, nanoparticles, or soy, either.
Instead, there are micro-pearls – light-reflecting minerals that leave the skin luminous.
Users say the primer provides an excellent base for makeup, but it also lets them enjoy a bare-faced look.
Catrice | Prime & Fine Aqua Fresh Hydro Primer
When women over fifty are praising this primer, it’s time to take a closer look.
It’s silicone-free yet still feels silky. It contains bamboo water, hyaluronic acid, and squalene to perfect the skin. It fills in fine lines and tightens pores. The effects last for at least 8 to 9 hours, even underneath makeup.
Not only does it moisturize, but it also avoids ingredients that could dry and irritate the skin. It has no alcohol, perfume, or parabens. Even the palm oil it contains is sustainably managed.
Another point in Catrice’s favor is that it’s a cruelty-free brand.
Honest Beauty Everything Primer, Glow
“Just prime and glow”. That’s what people are saying about this product. You can wear it with or without makeup.
While hyaluronic acid refreshes dry skin, botanical peptides smooth and firm. Finally, mica adds a subtle shimmer to brighten the complexion and create a soft-focus finish.
Furthermore, the dermatologist-tested formula is free of artificial fragrances, PEGs, petrolatum, and parabens.
bareMinerals Bare Escentuals Good Hydrations Face Primer, silky
Be sure you grab the right one. bareMinerals has similar packaging for their hydrating primer and the mattifying primer.
The silky version offers extra moisture with glycerin, coconut, and hyaluronic acid. It’s oil-free to keep pores clear.
Speaking of pores, this primer hides them. It’s infused with light-reflecting minerals that serve as a soft-focus filter.
Also, it has no artificial fragrance or parabens.
jane iredale Smooth Affair Facial Primer
Which is the best primer for dry skin and wrinkles? We vote for jane iredale as it visibly improves the skin’s texture.
It’s lightweight and fragrant, making it a pleasure to use. Reviewers are thrilled with how it feels good and looks good on the skin.
They say it makes them look younger and healthier, plus it helps makeup endure for hours longer.
What’s the secret to its success? It contains proven ingredients like Royal Jelly, algae, apple, and coconut alkanes. It doesn’t hurt that it has Polysilicone 11 to smooth and seal in moisture.
TULA Probiotic Skin Care Face Filter Blurring and Moisturizing Primer
If you’re a fan of botanical solutions, you may enjoy this primer. It’s packed with superfoods and probiotics for healthier skin.
It reduces redness and discoloration naturally with licorice and turmeric. Then, chia brings out the skin’s natural vibrance.
NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP Hydra Touch Primer
One of the best drugstore primers for dry skin is right here. NYX’s water-based formula blends botanicals with silicone, so you get the best of both worlds.
The silicone seals in the hydration and leaves the skin velvety smooth. We’ve seen people exclaim how refreshing this primer feels to dry skin.
Next, nutrients from ginseng, licorice, and Centella asiatica enhance your complexion. Niacinamide and chamomile erase redness, too.
Finally, the formula keeps makeup in place. It won’t flake on your cheeks or slide off your T-zone.
The only downside is the artificial fragrance. It smells appealing, but there’s a slight chance it could irritate sensitive skin.
NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP Honey Dew Me Up Primer
NYX also promises to brighten your complexion with this primer. It literally contains gold flecks to leave your face luminous.
No, thankfully, it’s not glittery. And the primer itself is fun to use. It’s like putting honey on your skin with a little spatula.
But it dries rapidly and provides plenty of grip for makeup on top.
It also has hyaluronic acid to moisturize and lavender to soothe redness.
wet n wild Photo Focus Dewy Face Primer
This cruelty-free brand wants everyone to have access to the beauty products they desire. They develop for all skin types and ethnicities, plus they have affordable prices.
If you’re not sure what a dewy complexion looks like, go watch Korean pop stars or soap operas. Korean beauty culture promotes a radiant, youthful, and smooth appearance. If that speaks to you, you’ve got to try this primer.
We’ve seen women in their sixties and seventies raving about it. But it’s not just for mature skin. It can give anyone a fresh face without making it greasy. Instead, you will look refreshed and glowy.
We suspect it’s due to the vitamin E and pearl pigment.
L’Oreal Paris Makeup Visible Lift Radiance Booster
L’Oreal’s drugstore primer provides hydration for up to twenty-four hours. All the extra moisture is bound to take years off your face.
It has iridescent pearls and skin-loving plant oils, too. If you go through the ingredients, it reads like a botanist’s wish list. There are all sorts of goodies that are proven to rejuvenate the skin.
For example, it has shea butter, fermented black tea, apricot kernel, and rosehip oil. But don’t forget the scientific solutions for dry skin like glycerin and hyaluronic acid.
Reviewers say it has no scent and it doesn’t pill or flake after it dries. It makes makeup look better and last longer.
Elizabeth Mott Thank Me Later Face Illuminating Primer
By this point in the reviews, we’ve hit a snag. There are so many good hydrating primers that we’re going to need more room in the bathroom cabinet.
Here’s another primer that’s definitely worth trying. It has a velvety texture that dries almost instantly. That’s the main con as it requires quick work to spread it.
It preps the face by balancing skin tone and brightening the complexion. It also makes pores less noticeable.
What’s nice is that it keeps eyeshadow and foundation from creasing and melting during busy days.
Keep in mind that very sensitive skin may be unhappy with the alcohol and artificial fragrance. On the bright side, the brand offers a money-back guarantee.
e.l.f. Elf+ Glow Primer Stick
Twist up the stick and spread the primer, then blend with your fingers. It leaves the skin hydrated and smooth whether or not you wear makeup on top.
It has a subtle golden shimmer for instant radiance.
What’s more, it’s free of parabens, phthalates, and animal ingredients.
e.l.f. Hydrating Face Primer Natural Matte Finish
If you prefer a natural look and don’t want a shimmery, glowing complexion, try this primer instead. Just like it says, it has a matte finish that simply looks clean and smooth.
It’s fortified with grapeseed oil, vitamins, and antioxidants that keep the skin young and hydrated. The hint of dimethicone locks in moisture without making it greasy.
The brand says the primer will give you a “baby-like finish”. In other words, it smooths over lines and pores, creating the perfect canvas for foundation or a light dusting of powder.
Dermablend Insta-Grip Jelly Primer
Dermablend makes some of the best full-coverage makeup in the world. It’s not surprising they offer a primer that keeps foundation in place for up to twenty-four hours.
It has a sticky jelly texture to make makeup stay put. It doesn’t contain silicone, but it firms the skin.
Furthermore, it visibly smooths uneven texture and tightens pores. That’s why it’s recommended for aging faces.
Also important, this is a dermatologist-recommended brand that leaves out fragrances, phthalates, parabens, oils, and animal ingredients. The formula is non-acnegenic and tested to be safe for allergy-prone skin.
Milk Makeup Mini Hydro Grip Primer
Which is the best primer for dry combination skin? This one has won awards for walking the fine line between hydration and mattification. It keeps makeup from melting without dehydrating the skin.
It features aloe, hyaluronic acid, and cannabis seed extract. No, there’s no THC. Any high you feel from wearing it comes from the satisfaction of seeing your face radiant and smooth.
But there’s one thing you should know. It has a tacky texture once it dries. This helps keep makeup in place, but not convenient if you don’t wear any. We suggest a little powder on top.
Dermalogica Skinperfect Primer SPF30
There’s sunscreen in this anti-aging primer. Wear it alone or underneath makeup.
It offers multiple benefits. Not only does it keep foundation looking flawless, but it also nourishes the skin with peptides and soy protein.
It makes the face feel silky and adds a hint of sparkle.
Lastly, it’s gluten-free and paraben-free.
The solution for your dry skin might not be a better moisturizer but rather a hydrating primer.
The right primer will perfect your appearance before you put on makeup. It helps the makeup go on easier and wear longer.
If you found your new favorite skincare product here today, we’d love to hear about it. Feel free to leave us a comment below.