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The beauty industry has evolved so much and has come to the realization that a reliable base for all the makeup we apply is crucial.
And that’s where face primers come in.
Makeup primers have become a product in their own category because of the varying formulations available, each with different effects on the skin.
And the use of primer with silicone-based ingredients is a rising trend among beauty enthusiasts for several reasons.
If you’re unfamiliar with silicone, continue reading to learn what it is, how silicone-based primers differ from other products, and why it might be the best option for your skin type.
We’ve also gathered a list of the best silicone-based primers for various face concerns!
- Proven to minimize the size of pores
- Reduces visibility of fine lines
- Extends makeup wear for hours
- Non-comedogenic and lightweight formula
- Blurs out pores for a smooth matte finish
- Fragrance-free for sensitive skin
- Protects from UVA and UVB rays
- Has anti-aging properties
- Reduces the appearance of wrinkles
What Is a Silicone-Based Primer?
It’s a primer with silicones as its key ingredients — simple as that!
But the question remains, what is silicone? And why doesn’t it usually appear on the labels of skincare and makeup products?
Silicone is a man-made derivative of the natural compound silicon.
Different types of silicone are produced when combined with other elements like oxygen, hydrogen, and carbon. This explains why you rarely find “silicone” on the label.
Many silicone-based primers have a velvety or creamy texture. But overall, they’re great for improving the skin’s smoothness because they tend to deliver a matte finish.
If you have oily skin, you’ll likely find your next favorite primer in our list.
Silicone Ingredients to Look For
The most commonly used types of silicone are dimethicone, cyclohexasiloxane, cyclopentasiloxane, and cyclomethicone. So if you find them prominently listed in the ingredients, you’re holding a silicone-based primer.
Other types of silicone can be easily identified by looking for their commonly used suffixes: “-cone,” “-methicone,” and “-siloxane.”
Keep that in mind if you’re looking for silicone-based products.
It can also be a life-saving piece of information if you have specific allergies that require you to avoid any silicone-based primer for your face.
Benefits of Using Silicon-Based Primers
People have been afraid to use makeup and skincare products with silicone-based ingredients for a long time.
Well, it’s hard to blame them, seeing that the types of silicone have names that sound far from being natural and safe.
But it’s time to debunk those myths because several studies have shown the benefits of adding silicone-based ingredients to skincare and makeup products.
Acts as a Barrier
Silicone is a well-known occlusive component. That means it has properties that act as an added barrier for the skin.
So you’ll find plenty of silicone-based primers that promise to protect your skin from environmental pollutants.
There are also silicone-based primers that are waterproof and sweatproof, which mean silicones extend makeup’s wearability.
And the silicone’s occlusive properties lead to even more skin benefits, as you’ll see below.
Speeds up Wound Healing and Reduces Scarring
A study found that silicone gel mimics the occlusive function of the outermost layer of the epidermis and prevents high to extreme water loss in an open wound.
It regulates the production of collagen cells to reduce “undesirable physical and aesthetic properties” of scarring.
While not a moisturizing agent per se, silicone’s barrier-like features help lock in products with hydrating properties.
So if dry skin is a key concern, look for silicone-based primers with the words “moisturizing” and/or “hydrating” on the labels.
Improves Skin Texture
Because of silicone’s composition and properties, it’s commonly found in products that promise to make your skin smoother and softer.
Combined with their moisture-locking abilities, silicones can reduce the visibility of fine lines, pores, and wrinkles.
9 Best Silicone-Based Primers
Now for the fun part. Here are some of the best silicone-based primers out there! Look for the one that works for your skin type and budget!
Best Silicone-Based Primers for All Skin Types
Remove fine lines and uneven skin tone from your list of worries with Benefit’s crowd-favorite primer.
Key benefits: Lightweight formula; minimizes pores and appearance of fine lines; smoothens the skin; suited for all skin tones
- Vitamin E derivative (tocopheryl acetate) fights UV damage
- Translucent formula
- Can match all skin tones
Start your beauty regimen with a primer that instantly smoothes the skin and helps makeup stay longer.
This is a wonder product that reduces the appearance of pores and fine lines while protecting your skin.
Primers are commonly applied before any makeup product, but The POREfessional Face Primer has a translucent formula.
So when you’re having a long day and pores start reappearing midday, you can apply a small amount and blend away to maintain a flawless look!
If you’re into mattifying silicone-based primers, this one’s made for you!
Key benefits: Mattifying effect to reduce pores; works for all skin types; smoothes the skin to hide imperfections
- Advanced adaptive silicones with hydrating, mattifying, and blurring properties
- Dimethicone seals in moisture and delivers a smooth matte finish
- Isodecyl neopentanoate with emollient and skin-conditioning qualities
What more can you ask from a primer with something to offer for just about every skin type?
This list wouldn’t be complete without a primer from social media’s favorite brand.
By combining advanced adaptive silicones, The Ordinary High-Adherence Silicone Primer promises to rehydrate the skin while blurring imperfections with a smooth, matte finish.
It’s also safe even for sensitive skin because it doesn’t contain alcohol. Its cream-like formula is vegan, cruelty-free, gluten-free, and nut-free, so you won’t have to worry about common allergens.
Works on all skin types, but its oil-free formula should work even better for oily skin.
Key benefits: Popular crystal-clear gel formulation; helps makeup stay for hours; instantly smoothes the skin for a flawless finish
- Vitamin A (retinyl palmitate) promotes cell turnover and gently clears the pores
- Camellia sinensis leaf extract aids in skin regeneration
- Safflower seed extract is rich in antioxidants and can prevent flaking
Combines the benefits of vitamins A and E to protect and nourish your skin.
This Smashbox primer is easy to blend and does well to prep the skin for other makeup products.
But it has excellent nourishing benefits too, as it acts as a barrier to protect your skin from pollutants and further damage.
Smashbox conducted its own experiment with the participation of 103 women.
Most of them observed that the primer minimized fine lines and pores, blurred out imperfections, and delivered on its promise of a flawless finish.
Best Silicone-Based Primers for Oily Skin
Made to be worn for longer periods without making your skin feel heavy and greasy!
Key benefits: Reduces oily skin patches; minimizes the appearance of pores; lightweight and non-greasy formula
- Eight-hour shine control formula for a long-lasting matte finish
- Can be worn without foundation
- Cyclopentasiloxane for an easy-to-spread formula that seals in moisture
Delivers a matte, velvety finish so your face instantly looks and feels smoother even without makeup.
When looking for a silicone-based primer for oily skin, your best bet is to go for products that promise mattifying effects.
But the Rimmel Stay Matte Primer goes further with a formula that won’t clog your pores.
With its eight-hour shine control formula, you can expect your foundation to stay longer on a smooth surface without having to worry about oily patches for hours.
It’s the ultimate silicone-based primer for oily skin with a sebum-controlling formula.
Key benefits: Preps the skin with a smooth and matte finish; brightens the skin and balances complexion; delivers a pore-minimizing effect
- Sebum-controlling powder to prevent oily skin patches
- Paraben-free and cruelty-free formula
- Waterproof and sweatproof
Its claim to fame is a “weightless” formula that you can wear for hours without making your skin greasy.
If oily skin gets in the way of your skincare and makeup regimen, waste no time and get yourself the Elizabeth Mott Thank Me Later Face Primer.
Along with a “weightless” formula, it features sebum-controlling properties to make sure you won’t get oily patches on your skin all day.
It prevents creasing and delivers a flawless finish by minimizing the appearance of pores.
More importantly, it’s long-wearing so you’ll worry less about touch-ups.
Best Silicone-Based Primer for Wrinkles
With a 3-in-1 formula that preps and protects the skin, it’s definitely the holy grail of your search for the best silicon-based primers!
Key benefits: Delivers silky and smooth finish; blurs fine lines and wrinkles; improves skin elasticity
- Zinc oxide acts as a sunscreen and can help prevent minor skin irritations
- Broad spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen for protection from UVA and UVB rays
- Anti-aging properties
It has all the bells and whistles without skipping its most important purpose: to prepare your skin for makeup application.
Before you get lost in all its added benefits, the Dermalogica SkinPerfect Primer SPF30 is formulated with a velvet-like consistency and soy protein to smoothen the surface of your skin.
So it blurs out fine lines and wrinkles while allowing you to evenly distribute makeup.
And thanks to its sunscreen protection and anti-aging qualities, you can wear this primer before going out into the sun — even on a bare face!
Best Silicone-Based Primers From Drugstore Brands
Get the best benefits from silicone-based makeup primer without ruining your budget!
Key benefits: Blurs out pores, moisturizes the skin; smooth matte finish; lightweight formula
- Non-comedogenic formula to avoid clogging the pores
- Fragrance-free so it’s safe on sensitive skin
- Formulated to deliver an all-day moisturizing effect
With moisturizing, smoothing, and pore-blurring effects, you’ll definitely feel and look younger when you put this on your face.
Not only is Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser Primer affordable, you’ll also only need a small amount or a thin layer to get its smoothing, pore-minimizing effect.
And it even comes with hydrating properties, so you can save on your moisturizer!
Its non-comedogenic formula and silicone-based ingredients also mean you can use this on any skin type.
Touch in SOL’s label itself highlights its pore-minimizing effect, and it's also formulated for oily skin without leaving it dry.
Key benefits: Minimizes the appearance of pores; non-sticky formula; controls shine and sebum production
- Green tea tree extracts to revitalize the skin
- Soluble collagen for smoother skin
- Free of paraben and mineral oils
You're tackling not just one but three skin concerns while creating a smoother surface for your favorite foundation!
Pores tend to be more visible on naturally oily skin. If this is one of your concerns when wearing makeup, priming your skin before applying foundation is a must.
For best results, choose a primer with a pore-minimizing formula like TOUCH IN SOL’s No Poreblem Primer.
Aside from healthy, natural ingredients, it also has silicones to create a moisture barrier for your skin.
So while it controls oil and sebum production on your skin, it also works its magic to keep your skin hydrated.
Best Silicon-Based Primer for Dry Skin
This is the go-to primer to tackle dry skin, but it does more than bring moisture to your face!
Key benefits: Improves and balances complexion to prep for makeup; moisturizes the skin without making it greasy; sheer coverage for a more natural look
- Grape-seed oil calms the skin and evens skin tone
- Vitamins A, C, and E moisturize, nourish, and brighten the skin
- Tridecyl trimellitate is an emollient that helps soften the skin
A well-rounded silicone-based primer with various benefits that won’t break the bank.
This primer is aptly named for its proven moisturizing properties without making your skin oily.
e.l.f. has also been one of the most-trusted drugstore brands, so expect reliable results while staying on your beauty budget!
e.l.f. Hydrating Face Primer doesn’t compromise on the ingredients either as it’s infused with grape-seed oil and vitamins that all work together to keep your face hydrated and nourished while balancing your skin tone.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to Properly Apply Silicone-based Primers to the Face?
Always start with a clean face, so use your favorite cleanser and toner before applying a primer or any makeup.
Remember to apply all skincare products like moisturizer and sunscreen before the primer.
Read the primer’s label on the recommended amount per application. For silicone-based primers, it’s usually advised only to use a small amount.
It’s best to apply the primer using your clean fingers to ensure you’re covering every part of your face. Also, the warmth from your hand will make it easier to spread the product.
Does Face Primer Have to Sit Before Applying Foundation?
Yes. You want to make sure that your face has fully absorbed the primer before applying foundation and other makeup products.
This is even more important for silicone-based primers. Let it sit for at least a couple of minutes before putting on your foundation to get its smoothing and mattifying effect.
This allows you to fully enjoy the product’s pore-minimizing and fine-line-blurring promises.
Can I Use a Face Primer as an Eye Primer?
No, eye primers are carefully formulated for the more delicate skin under your eyes.
Eye primers commonly have a tackier and thicker formula because their main purpose is to provide eyeshadow makeup something to hold on to for longer wear.
Face primers, on the other hand, are typically lightweight, so they wouldn’t be a great alternative.
Silicone-Based Primers: A Final Word
Despite the misconceptions about silicones, it’s been proven to be a great ingredient for those dealing with dry, oily, or rough skin.
Silicone-based primers offer a quick fix so we can look and feel flawless whenever we need to.
And they are the best primers to pair with silicone-based foundations to maximize the mattifying effect.
But the fantastic characteristics of silicones can be a double-edged sword if you do not maintain a good skincare routine.
To reduce the likelihood of clogged pores and acne breakouts, make sure you apply silicone-based makeup on clean skin and thoroughly remove silicone-based makeup before going to bed.
Incorporate the best skin-cleansing products if you’re set on using silicone-based primers for good.