Editor-Approved: The 8 Best Primers for Sensitive Skin

Updated 08/27/19
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primer for sensitive skin
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Thanks to Instagram, anyone can achieve the poreless #nofilter skin of their dreams. However, the right lighting can only do so much, and while there are apps and filters that can fake a flawless complexion, having smooth skin IRL is even better. Enter primers. They’re a divisive product—some beauty editors swear by them while others denounce them—but whether you’re pro-primers or not, we have a feeling you’ll appreciate the products ahead. All of them can give your skin an airbrushed finish while instantly waking up your complexion. The best part? These products work (sans any irritation). Say hello to blurring products that are kind to your skin.

Keep scrolling to see the best primers for sensitive skin.

Kiehl’s Micro-Blur Skin Perfector
Kiehl's Micro-Blur Skin Perfector $35
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With a mixture of LHA (lipohydroxy acid), bark, and lentil extracts, this product not only perfects the skin’s appearance but also promises to improve its texture over time.

Juice Beauty Phyto-Pigments Illuminating Primer
Juice Beauty Phyto-Pigments Illuminating Primer $36
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This cruelty-free primer is full of antioxidants to hydrate skin, smooth lines and wrinkles, and blur imperfections. Gwyneth Paltrow told us she thinks it’s the best primer on the market. Oh, and it’s made with certified-organic ingredients.

Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat Blur Primer
Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat Blur Primer $52
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Leave it to YSL to produce a primer that not only looks luxurious but also feels (and smells) amazing. Packed with four nourishing oils, this primer minimizes pore size and leaves skin feeling smooth without any greasy residue. The best part? It’s noncomedogenic, making it suitable for all skin types (yes, sensitive skin too).

Smashbox Iconic Photo Finish Foundation Primer
Smashbox Iconic Photo Finish Foundation Primer $36
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This cult-favorite, oil-free primer contains a blend of vitamins A and E, green tea, and grape-seed extract. The ingredients help to reduce the appearance of lines and pores, leaving your skin with a smooth finish.

Marvelous Silicone-Free Makeup Primer
Mia del Mar Marvelous Silicone-Free Makeup Primer $26
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Primers often promise benefits they don't provide, particularly when silicone is in the mix. This primer from newcomer brand Mia del Mar has coconut oil, pomegranate extract, and even olive oil to help nourish your skin while yuca starch holds your makeup firmly in place. Some reviewers even used it to replace their foundation.

Perfect Canvas Clean Primer
REN Clean Skincare Perfect Canvas Clean Primer $45
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Primers can often leave you feeling cakey, even if you don't look it; it's just too many things on your face at once. This serum primer from REN is somewhere between skincare and makeup, and drastically reduces your need for either. It's silicone-free, sure, but it's also packed with lactic acid and probiotics to ensure your skin stays on point below your makeup, too.

Hydro Grip Primer
Milk Makeup Hydro Grip Primer $30
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Milk Makeup released this primer to a ton of fanfare, and for good reason. It's hydrating, yeah, but the real draw is how much your makeup just won't budge when you use it. People with all skin types (including oily) absolutely love it. If you intend to stay out all night, this is the primer you want to use.

Your Skin But Better Makeup Primer+
IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better Makeup Primer+ $39
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If you're looking for a thin, oil-free primer, go with this one from IT Cosmetics. Like others on this list, it's hydrating, and it contains actives like ginger root extract in order to improve the texture of your skin. However, it's less active than many primers, which is good for people who don't quite know what makes their skin so sensitive. People with combination sensitive skin particularly like this one—it's long-wearing no matter the climate.

Now that you have the perfect base, find out how to get a flawless foundation finish.

This story was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.

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