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The Good and Ugly Sides of Makeup Primers (& How to Avoid the Ugly!)

by Cindy Sim |  | 4 comments

Makeup primers, which often come in powder, gel, or cream form, are applied to the skin to help foundation and makeup be applied smoother and last longer. However, along with their benefits, primers may also be harming your skin in ways you didn't know about! Here's a list of pros and cons of using makeup primers:


Keeps your makeup intact in extreme weather

Your skin becomes dehydrated in hot, humid, and dry temperatures but luckily, primers can moisturize your skin. Makeup stays on moisturized skin longer than it does on dehydrated skin.

Evens Out Your Face's Complexion

Primers can even out the color and texture of your face creating a smoother radiant look. Makeup primers have silicon and mineral powders that can fill skin furrows and tiny wrinkles to smoothen any aging lines.


Clogs pores

Most makeup primers are made with silicone (large synthesized particles) or mineral particles that can clog your pores. If you have large pores, then makeup primers are probably not for you. 

May cause breakouts for acne-prone skin types

Clogged pores increase the chances of breakouts so it is important to use primers with caution if your skin is acne-prone.

Makes skin oilier in combination with makeup

The mineral powder in primers absorb your skin's natural oils, which urges to skin to produce its own oils in response. Additionally, makeup makes your skin dry out faster because they also contain mineral powders. When primers and makeup are used together, they cause your skin to produce excess oils. 

How Do You Determine Which Primers are Best For Your Skin Type? Are There Alternatives to Primers?

For those with oily skin, it is best to use oil-free primers. Those with dry skin should seek primers with creamier formulas that contain aloe-vera to keep the skin hydrated. And those with aging skin should invest in primers that are rich in vitamin A, E, and peptides, which all help in smoothing wrinkles and age-spots.

Of course, in addition to choosing primers that cause the least damage to your skin, it is important to maintain a healthy hydrated skin overall. This can be achieved by applying face masks before makeup. All of SHRAY masks hydrate your skin but the Go-Getter Goddess acts as a natural makeup primer (without silicone and mineral particles) by evening skin tones and reducing appearance of wrinkles and blemishes. Although face masks adds an extra 10 minutes to your makeup process, the skin benefits are longer lasting.

The best way to avoid the cons of primers is to use face masks after a long day of wearing makeup. Primers work best when applied to healthy hydrated skin - and makeup looks better on skin that already glows!

Comments (4)

  • Marilyn on October 17, 2019

    I think there are more cons to using a primer than most think. So many are hell bent on using primer to the point where they’ll ignore that it’s actually bad for your skin. Not only can it clog your pores, it can build up over time, making a bad situation worse. I used Smashbox original primer, and it made me have the worst breakouts I’ve ever had since high school. An uneven, lumpy texture on my forehead, chin and sides of my face with whiteheads under bumps. It didn’t matter how much I washed my face or that I wore a face mask every day, it either stayed the same or got worse, until I stopped wearing primer.

  • Musharraf on August 06, 2018

    I have dry skin so a face primer always works beautifully on it. I am using the one that suits me for all the rights reasons, it seems. ☺️

  • best primers on May 29, 2018

    hi thanks for a great post keep up the hard work

  • Courtney on June 03, 2016

    I love shray face masks they make skin so smooth an soft!! It feels so luxurious on my skin an the best pampering experience ever

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