These Silicone-Free and Oil-Free Primers Won't Suffocate Your Skin

When you're already prone to breakouts, the last thing you want holding your makeup in place is something that makes your skin feel more congested.
Publish date:
August 27, 2015
primers, becca, marc jacobs beauty, oil-free, Too Faced, jouer, Vapour, Silicone-free

If you have a primer situation that 100% works for you, there’s little reason to change what you’re doing, most of the time... until you see all the newness afoot. Even if I found a ride-or-die daily product, I'd always try what’s new just to see what’s happening. I’ve been looking to finally commit to a daily primer, and there’s no better time than now!

Most primers these days are silicone-based, and no shade, but they are not right for everyone. says that they are noncomedogenic, but there are times where I have sorely regretted that choice. On another hand, some people experience clogged pores when a primer isn't oil-free, especially a product that sits under a layer of makeup.

So let's get down to business and look at three oil-free and three silicone-free primers that are shaking things up proper.

Silicone-Free Primers

This is the new frontier of primers. On one hand, you have hydrating and wrinkle-plumping peptides in Jouer’s Anti-Aging Moisture Primer, and on the other, you have balancing and nourishing properties in Hangover from Too Faced. Somewhere in between you have a top-selling luxury organic brand that has one of the most flattering sheer makeup products I have ever tried.

Jouer Anti-Aging Moisture Primer is just what you need if you don’t like that slippery, synthetic feel. Ginseng and argan oil with peptides are a dry-skin trifecta, and makeup sits tight after a pea-sized application.

Stratus Instant Skin Perfector by Vapour Organics has been on my covet list for a very long minute. It's like an ode to the natural beauty of your face. Choose a tint that suits your undertones, but for me, shade 903 buffs away redness and settles in seconds. Gorgeous frankincense and evening primrose oil are all up in there and all wonderful for the face. I swipe it on and use my fingers to blend. What I get in return is a subtle glow and a non-greasy base for makeup, or a good enough veil for none at all.

Hangover is bringing the much touted yeastface to makeup. With coconut water and lactobacillus you get a moisturizing effect that will take makeup like a champ. If you have dry skin, you’ll love the hydration; if you have acne, you’ll love the activity of the yeast in this crossover product. It looks so enticing and innocuous that even my boyf slapped it on his face a few times before realizing it was for makeup. He regrets nothing, and I’m taking this as a cue to make him my guniea pig in future experiments.

Oil-Free Primers

Clearly, coconut’s moment is nowhere near over. Feelings were felt over the oil, but now coconut water, aka endosperm, is being recognized for its beauty uses, like extra hydration and electrolyte content.

Marc Jacobs Beauty decided that gel-like silicone primers were not as well received by consumers as initially thought, and Under(cover) Perfecting Coconut Face Primer is a genius product. The real surprise is when you let it evaporate before applying further product—skin feels smooth as satin with a demi-matte finish.

There is a holy grail for those who can tolerate neither oil nor silicone in cosmetics: it’s either Becca’s Ever Matte or Jouer’s Anti-Blemish Matte Primer. Both have no trace of oil or silicone and perform wonderfully.

Jouer’s is cruicial if you use an SPF sunscreen and need a mattified AND medicated base. Salicylic acid is delivered in an aloe and glycerin base, while silica helps mattify skin surface to prepare for makeup.

Becca Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfector is like some kind of legendary Excalibur against face grease. The brand calls it blotting paper in a tube, and it’s really no freaking joke! My only gripe was that makeup read a bit lighter than usual, but nothing a pump of the next shade up couldn't fix. Even in the swampy soup of August, my ish stayed perfect for hours without a blot.

If you are like me, you are picky AF about, well, damned near everything, but if you are picky about primer, the gods have heard your prayers.

  • Am I the only weirdo that gets this excited about primers?
  • What’s your fave silicone or oil free formula?

Photos: Maria Penaloza