Minimalism is in, and it seems even beauty routines and makeup stashes are included in the lifestyle.1
Streamlining your daily makeup look is about choosing the right powerhouse beauty products to do more with less.
Case in point: Face primer.
Beauty experts are divided on how truly essential it is to your makeup routine. Some say primers not only keep your makeup in place for the entire day, but they allow you to use much less product. Others swear it can help give you a perfect airbrushed look.2
Are makeup primers for combo skin, dry skin, or oily skin worth a permanent spot in your beauty arsenal? Read on to learn more.
What Is Primer And Should You Be Using It?
Face or makeup primer literally “primes” the skin for additional makeup, offering up a smoother, more even-toned canvas. You can choose a specific primer formulation based on your skin type or other skin- and makeup-boosting properties it may offer.
A good primer may help:
- Liven up dull skin with a shimmery or dewy finish
- Lessen the appearance of redness or uneven skin tone with color correcting pigments
- Keep oily skin matte
- Minimize the appearance of pores, wrinkles, and fine lines
- Make skin appear more smooth by reducing the visibility of rough patches
- Ensure even and long lasting makeup application
- Keep skin moisturized, to avoid flaking3
What To Look For In Primers For Combo Skin And Other Skin Types
Your skin care needs may vary depending on specific concerns or goals you have. Luckily, there’s a wide range of primers on the market that might address your needs.
Primers For Combo Skin
Combination skin may need both added moisture and oil-clearing properties, so get yourself a basic primer that doesn’t lean too much either way. A neutral, straightforward primer that simply prolongs your makeup’s wear would be a good choice.
Alternatively, you can opt for two primers and use them on specific areas of your face.
Primers For Oily Skin
Oily skin often presents the following problems:
- Too much sebum, causing makeup to slide off too quickly
- Visible and enlarged pores
If these are your common complaints, a mattifying primer formulated with silicone, which can control oil and “fill in” pores, could be your best bet. Look for keywords like “pore eraser” or “shine control primer.”
You can also try primers with salicylic acid. Salicylic acid works to gently exfoliate skin and help clear up oil.4
Opt for lightweight formulas that won’t clog up your skin.
Primers For Dry Skin
Dry skin issues often include:
- Pilling makeup because of rough or uneven skin texture
- A dull complexion that lacks radiance and glow
- Visible fine lines and wrinkles
These issues can be addressed by choosing a primer marked as “moisturizing,” “hydrating,” or even “illuminating.” Try to go for a creamy, but not sticky, formulation that can amp up skin’s moisture and even skin tone.
Primers For Sensitive Skin Or Mature Skin
A primer for sensitive skin or mature skin should be able to address such common issues as:
- Lines and wrinkles
- Dark spots
However, its formulation should be as gentle as possible, so it won’t irritate your skin. It’s also best to avoid primers that offer any shimmer, as these can accentuate signs of aging (like wrinkles).
Look instead for primer products created without parabens, but which still contain skin-boosting ingredients like hyaluronic acid and green tea (which can offer a brightening effect great for sensitive or mature skin types).5
How To Apply Primer
Makeup primer should be the last step of your skin care routine before applying any makeup. Make sure your moisturizer, serums, and other products have been absorbed into the skin before applying primer with your fingers.
Experts suggest giving your layer of skin-perfecting primer a full minute to dry on your face before applying your usual makeup: Foundation, powders, concealers, and the like.
It could take some practice before you hit the sweet spot when it comes to primer use. Work with small amounts at a time, or even consider “spot-treating” areas that need it most. For example, if you’re only oily in the T-zone, apply your mattifying primer there instead of on your entire face.
You can also mix and match primers with specific benefits — like color-correcting or pore-blurring on your problem areas.6
Primed And Ready
Take the time to assess your skin type and figure out what you need from a primer. When you do, you might just find that primer is an invaluable fixture of your beauty routine. With one product that can do so much, you’re definitely on the way to nailing that “less is more” aesthetic. And… you can even try making your own.
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