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The Best Silicone-Based Primers and How to Use Them

If you want to achieve a flawless makeup look, you need to start with a good base. And that’s where primers come in handy. Primers are products that you apply before your foundation to smooth out your skin, fill in pores and fine lines, and make your makeup last longer. But not all primers are created equal. Depending on your skin type and concerns, you may benefit from using a silicone-based primer.

What Is a Silicone-Based Primer?

A silicone-based primer is a primer that contains silicone as one of its main ingredients. Silicone is a synthetic polymer that has many uses in cosmetics, such as creating a silky texture, providing water resistance, and forming a protective barrier on the skin. Silicone-based primers have a smooth and velvety feel, and they glide easily on the skin, creating a blurred effect that minimizes the appearance of pores, wrinkles, and other imperfections.

Silicone Ingredients To Look For

There are many types of silicone that can be used in primers, but some of the most common ones are:

  • Dimethicone: This is the most widely used silicone in primers, as it has a high spreadability and a matte finish. It helps to smooth out the skin and reduce shine, making it ideal for oily and combination skin types.
  • Cyclopentasiloxane: This is a lightweight and volatile silicone that evaporates quickly, leaving behind a thin and breathable layer on the skin. It helps to reduce the greasy feel of other silicones and improve the application of makeup.
  • Silica: This is not a silicone per se, but a mineral that is often used in conjunction with silicones to absorb excess oil and provide a soft-focus effect. It helps to mattify the skin and blur out pores and fine lines.

Benefits of Using Silicone-Based Primers

Silicone-based primers have many advantages, such as:

  • They create a smooth and even canvas for your makeup: Silicone-based primers fill in the gaps and unevenness of your skin, making it easier for your foundation to glide on and blend seamlessly. They also prevent your makeup from settling into pores and fine lines, giving you a more flawless and youthful appearance.
  • They extend the wear of your makeup: Silicone-based primers form a barrier between your skin and your makeup, preventing them from mixing and breaking down. They also help to lock in moisture and control oil production, keeping your makeup fresh and intact for longer.
  • They suit most skin types and tones: Silicone-based primers are usually transparent or lightly tinted, so they can match any skin tone and complexion. They also work well for most skin types, as they are non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic, meaning they won’t clog your pores or cause irritation. However, if you have very dry or sensitive skin, you may want to opt for a more hydrating or soothing primer instead.

How to Use Silicone-Based Primers

To get the most out of your silicone-based primer, you need to use it correctly. Here are some tips on how to apply it:

  • Cleanse and moisturize your skin: Before applying any primer, you need to make sure your skin is clean and hydrated. Wash your face with a gentle cleanser and pat it dry with a soft towel. Then, apply a moisturizer that suits your skin type and let it absorb for a few minutes.
  • Apply a pea-sized amount of primer: You don’t need a lot of primer to cover your entire face, as too much can make your makeup look cakey or heavy. Squeeze a pea-sized amount of primer onto your fingertips and rub them together to warm up the product.
  • Dab and blend the primer onto your skin: Start from the center of your face and work your way outwards, focusing on the areas where you have more pores, fine lines, or texture. Use gentle dabbing and blending motions to spread the primer evenly and avoid rubbing or tugging your skin.
  • Wait for the primer to set: Give your primer some time to dry and set before applying your foundation. This can take anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes, depending on the formula and the amount of primer you used. You can also use a setting spray or powder to seal in your primer and make it last longer.
  • Apply your foundation and the rest of your makeup as usual: Once your primer is ready, you can go ahead and apply your foundation and the rest of your makeup as you normally would. You should notice that your makeup looks smoother, more even, and more long-lasting.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most common questions that people have about silicone-based primers:

  • Are silicone-based primers bad for your skin?: No, silicone-based primers are not bad for your skin, as long as you use them properly and remove them thoroughly at the end of the day. Silicone is a safe and inert ingredient that does not penetrate or harm your skin. However, some people may have an allergic reaction or sensitivity to silicone, so it’s always a good idea to do a patch test before using any new product.
  • Do silicone-based primers clog pores?: No, silicone-based primers do not clog pores, as they are non-comedogenic and do not interfere with your skin’s natural functions. However, if you don’t cleanse your skin well enough, you may end up with some residue or dirt trapped under the primer, which can lead to clogged pores and breakouts. That’s why it’s important to use a gentle but effective makeup remover and cleanser to get rid of all traces of primer and makeup at night.
  • Can you use silicone-based primers with water-based foundations? Yes, you can use silicone-based primers with water-based foundations, as long as you apply them correctly and let them set before layering them. However, some people may prefer to use primers and foundations that have the same base, as they tend to blend better and last longer. For example, if you use a water-based primer, you may want to use a water-based foundation as well, and vice versa.

Choose the Best Silicone-Based Primers for Your Skin Type

Now that you know what silicone-based primers are and how to use them, you may be wondering which one to choose for your skin type and needs. To help you out, we have compiled a list of some of the best silicone-based primers on the market, based on customer reviews, ratings, and features. Here they are:

  • Best Overall: Smashbox The Original Photo Finish Smooth & Blur Oil-Free Primer. This is one of the most popular and iconic silicone-based primers, as it has a lightweight and oil-free formula that smooths out the skin and reduces the appearance of pores and fine lines. It also extends the wear of your makeup and gives you a matte and flawless finish. It suits all skin types and tones, and it’s vegan and cruelty-free.
  • Best for Oily and Acne-Prone Skin: Rimmel Stay Matte Mattifying Primer. This is a budget-friendly and effective primer that helps to control shine and oil production, keeping your skin matte and fresh for up to 8 hours. It also minimizes pores and imperfections, and it’s compatible with most foundations. It’s ideal for oily and acne-prone skin, as it’s non-comedogenic and fragrance-free.
  • Best for Wrinkles: Dermalogica SkinPerfect Primer SPF30. This is a premium and multifunctional primer that not only smooths out the skin and prepares it for makeup, but also protects it from sun damage and aging. It has SPF30 and antioxidants that shield your skin from UVA and UVB rays, as well as peptides and silicones that reduce the appearance of wrinkles and improve skin elasticity. It also has a natural tint that evens out your skin tone and adds a subtle glow.
  • Best Drugstore Option: Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser Primer. This is a cult-favorite and affordable primer that delivers a smooth and poreless look, without breaking the bank. It has a non-comedogenic and lightweight formula that blurs out pores and fine lines, creating a soft matte finish. It’s fragrance-free and suitable for sensitive skin, and it can be worn alone or under foundation.
  • Best for Dry Skin: NYX Professional Makeup Hydra Touch Primer. This is a hydrating and nourishing primer that moisturizes and plumps up dry and dull skin, giving it a healthy and radiant appearance. It has a water-based formula that contains hyaluronic acid, chamomile, green tea, and ginseng extracts, which provide hydration, soothing, and antioxidant benefits. It also smooths out the skin and helps your makeup glide on and stay on.


Silicone-based primers are great products that can enhance your makeup look and performance, as well as your skin condition and appearance. They can smooth out your skin, fill in pores and fine lines, and make your makeup last longer. They can also suit most skin types and tones, as they are transparent or lightly tinted, and non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic. However, you need to use them correctly and remove them thoroughly to avoid any potential issues. You also need to choose the best silicone-based primer for your skin type and needs, based on the features and reviews of the products available. We hope this blog post has helped you learn more about silicone-based primers and how to use them, and that you have found the perfect one for you.

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