Primer is renowned for concealing pores, prepping your skin for makeup and providing a flawless base for foundation all day. However, since it seals your pores, does this mean that it clogs them? And is it bad for your skin?
Primer could be harming your skin. Depending on the product and what ingredients it contains, it could be doing more bad than good. However, don’t be alarmed. If primer is your beauty secret, you don’t need to ditch it just yet, as there are still some great primers out there.
Silicone is a common ingredient in many primers which is thought to negatively affect your skin.
So, is silicone bad for skin?
Silicone is derived from quartz/sand which is then synthetically manufactured with oxygen and other substances. It allows makeup to stick better, conceal creases and fill in fine lines. Sounds like a dream. However, some people argue that silicones trap dirt and debris underneath your makeup adhering it to your skin all day. As it acts as a barrier between your skin and makeup, it could be preventing other beneficial ingredients from being absorbed. But bare in mind that there is limited scientific research backing these theories, so are likely to just be common beauty myths. It is true that silicones aren’t environmentally friendly, so if you’re worried about our lovely landscape, try out REN’s silicone free primer.
If you have oily or acne-prone skin, silicone could be contributing to break outs, but not necessarily causing them. People with these skin types should be conscious of what products they are applying in all cases.
If you are looking for a primer that maintains your look for a long time whilst creating a flawless, pore-less appearance, silicone based primers could be perfect. They are able to make the skin look smoother and even lock in moisture due to the barrier that they create. If you like the idea of a silicone-based primer, try one from The Ordinary.
Are primers comedogenic?
In terms of breaking out, there are a few ingredients in many makeup products which may be contributing to your skin not being as clear as you had wished for. Be sure to check for ingredients such as (not limited to):
- Denatured alcohol
- Glycine soja oil
- Isopropyl myristate
- Ethylhexyl palmitate
- Acetylated lanolin alcohol
- Cetearyl alcohol
- Coconut oil
- Linoleic acid
- Stearic acid
- PEG 16 lanolin
If you’d like a full list of comedogenic ingredients, check out Skin Nutritious‘ article based on scientific research.
But before you ditch your primer, be sure to see your doctor/dermatologist who may discover a different cause to your acne. Spots are so confusing!
What primer is the best for your skin?
It totally depends on you! Your skin type, whether you have sensitive skin, what foundation you use all come into play when choosing the best primer for your skin.
For oily skin, opt for a non-comedogenic primer such as this one. For dry skin, I recommend First Aid Beauty to help hydrate your skin. But if you’re happy with your primer at the moment, that’s fine too.
Are there any good primers?
Many primers are non-comedogenic, meaning that they won’t clog your pores and won’t cause you to break out. If your skin is acne-prone, it is safer to opt for non-comedogenic options. However, silicone is regarded as non-comedogenic as well, so in order to work out what is best for your skin, you may need to shop around and experiment with a few. There are many good primers, some that work better than others. It all comes down to preference for most people, like with any beauty product. The most commonly raved about primers are:
- Smashbox Photo Finish
- Hourglass Ambient Light Correcting Primer
- Mac Prep And Prime
- Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Hydrating Primer
- Laura Mercier Pure Canvas Illuminating Primer
Primer is a very controversial topic. Some people love it, some people hate it. Depending on your skin type, it may cause breakouts, it may not. Some foundations work better with a primer, some work better without. There is limited research into silicones being harmful for your skin, so take the myths to do with silicones with a pinch of salt. In fact, even if you don’t use a primer, other makeup products may be able to infiltrate into your pores.
Primers are probably not any worse for your skin than any other beauty product that you apply.
And at the end of the day, if you’re really not set on using primer, just use a moisturiser (that’s what I do!). All in all; you do you, boo ♡.