Whether you wear makeup regularly or not, you want great skin—and that’s reason enough to try one of the new high-tech primers. Worn under cosmetics (they help makeup go on smoother and last longer) or on their own, these primers create the illusion of near-perfect skin by filling in lines, hiding imperfections, and disguising pores, says Ni’Kita Wilson, a cosmetic chemist at Cosmetech Labs in Fairfield, NJ. Even better, the new formulas actually treat and heal the imperfections they hide. “Because these primers stay on skin, using them day after day also improves your complexion over time,” says Jeannette Graf, MD, a dermatologist in Great Neck, NY. No matter what your skin concern, one of these multitaskers has you covered—in a completely natural way.
The best primers to use if you want:
A green-tinted primer with skin-soothing ingredients
As we age, our skin tends to become redder, according to Dr. Graf, who blames cumulative sun exposure and sensitivity. The fix? A primer with a green tint, which counteracts redness so it’s less noticeable. Try FusionBeauty PrimeResults Anti-Redness Primer ($42; fusionbeauty.com), which has a mineral-rich algae that protects skin from stressors that cause redness and irritation. If your redness is due to rosacea, choose a primer that also has sunscreen, since sun exposure can exacerbate the condition.
A More Even-Toned Complexion
A primer that targets discoloration
If you have dark spots, look for a primer with niacinamide, a vitamin that helps lighten pigmented areas by preventing melanin from traveling into skin cells, according to Carolyn Jacob, MD, director of Chicago Cosmetic Surgery and Dermatology. An especially good one is CoverGirl & Olay Simply Ageless Serum Primer ($14; drugstores). If your skin is dull all over, go for a primer with light-reflecting particles, such as L’Oreal Paris Studio Secrets Professional Anti-Dull Skin Primer ($13; drugstores), a sheer peachy-pink tint that can be worn alone (it works best on light to medium skin tones) or as an illuminating base for foundation.
You need: A primer that controls oil and acne
Products like Philosophy On A Clear Day Acne Clarifying Primer ($30; Ulta) and BareMinerals Prime Time Oil Control Foundation Primer ($21; Sephora) contain blemish-healing ingredients like salicylic acid. They also create a soft, matte finish so skin looks prettier while the acne fixers do their job. If you want to follow with foundation, these formulas also prevent the makeup slippage that is common with oily skin.
I personally recommend Prime Time Oil Control Foundation Primer. I use it a few times a week and it makes my skin look gorgeous! Only use a small drop on the entire face. I actually love the entire line of Bare Minerals–Bare Essentuals.