What is the Best Primer for Large Pores? Top 6 Pore Minimizing Primer Picks

On the hunt for the best primer for large pores? Kudos to you, it's a wise decision. Big, bad pores are a common issue for women of all ages. Whether it’s genetics, age, or from a slew of bad skincare habits, gigantic visible pores can either be all over the face or concentrated in one area such as the notoriously oily T-zone where our sebaceous glands are the largest.

While it seems like a minor skin flaw, it’s one of the hardest to correct with just skincare, so most women resort to purchasing products that promise to conceal or minimize the pores.

Concealers and foundation are usually the first to come to mind when dealing with oversized pores, however it might not be the best solution. Piling on layers of foundation to mask your pores gives off an unnatural texture to the skin and can cause serious damage to your skin by clogging your pores even further.

Cue the magic step called primer. It’s a great way to provide a blurring effect to your pores, while keeping skin texture even. Primer can also have a preventive effect, because it serves as a barrier to keep pore-clogging makeup off your skin, plus you don’t have to pile so much of it on, since the primer already blurs your imperfections.

Most people with large pores also have oily or acne prone skin that tends to break out when exposed to so much product, so it’s crucial to pick the perfect primer that doesn’t have adverse effects on other sensitivities you're prone to. 

Silicone-based primers usually have the best effect, when it comes to concealing pore imperfections. Just make sure to apply it to clean and freshly moisturized skin, and always follow with a silicone based foundation to make sure that your foundation can sit well on top of your primer.

Still need help to conquer the beauty counter? See our run down of the best pore minimizing primers in the market.

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Matte

best primer for large pores
best primer for large pores

Get it for $32

La Roche Posay is a tried-and-tested skincare brand that is trusted and recommended by over 25,000 dermatologists worldwide. It’s a favorite amongst those with sensitive skin and stringent skincare needs. The Effaclar moisturizer, doesn’t market itself as a primer per se, but the beauty community can’t help but rave about this products primer-like effects due to the amount of dry silicone it has.

It’s primarily a moisturizer for oily skin that has a Sebulyse technology which zaps excess oil to give that mattifying effect, while also visibly reducing the appearance of pores. It also contains an ingredient called LHA which micro-exfoliates skin to refine the skin texture, while it has additional zinc pidolate to reduce shine even further.

Aside from all the cosmetic effects of this wunderkind of a moisturizer, it’s also good for the skin since it has antioxidants such as vitamin C and E and salicylic acid to target pimples. It’s also non comedogenic and oil-free. Needless to say, as a medical brand it is also dermatologist tested.

Just be a bit wary if you’re allergic to fragrance, since this one has additional ingredients that provide a distinct scent. It does not promise the same longevity of other heavy duty primers but if you’re not the kind of person who wears full-on makeup every day, this might be the best purchase for you since it also doubles as an effective moisturizer you can use twice daily.

Dr. Brandt Pores No More Pore Refiner

best pore minimizing primer
best primer for large pores

Get it for $38

This one is a cult favorite for large pored beauties from Dr. Brandt’s line, since it delivers a quick, selfie-ready complexion upon application. Unlike other silicone-based primers, this pore minimizer primer already comes with a subtle tint with just a hint of coverage to lessen the need to pile on the foundation.

It has a velvet-like texture that not just provides a great canvas for makeup application, but also mops up excess oil on the skin, and blurs fine lines and wrinkles. It’s also resistant to sweat so you can be sure that it preserves your makeup while keeping you enviably matte.

A glance through the ingredient list shows that it also has a slew of skin-benefitting ingredients such as tea tree oil for its antibacterial and anti-acne properties, flax seed extract to keep oil production at bay, and unique microspheres that diffuses the appearance of large pores. It’s also devoid of harmful ingredients such as sulfates, phthalates and parabens, however it does contain lavender oil (which gives it a distinct fragrance that might take a bit of getting used to), which might pose as an issue for those who have sensitivities to fragrance.

Upon application, it has a thick consistency that while easy to blend, may not be forgiving to those with occasional dry spots on the face. Average wear time for this primer seems to cap at 5 hours, but the good news is that it blends seamlessly with a majority of silicone-based foundations, so you can extend the wear if you pick out a longwearing foundation and set it further with powder.

Too Faced Cosmetics Primed and Poreless

best pore minimizing primer
best primer for large pores

Get it for $39

As a cheeky colorful brand, Too Faced set out to create a pore minimizing primer that will hold up a wide array of foundation formulations from liquid to powder and even bronzers in place while maintaining a flawless, airbrushed finish.

It has a slight tint which provides a bit of coverage (it only comes in a light beige shade though), so it can even be worn alone. It does a great job at hiding skin imperfections such as fine lines and large pores, all while fortifying your skin with the antioxidants that are also present in the formulation. It contains Mulberry extract to perk up and brighten the skin while soothing redness. It also has Retinyl Palmitate and Cyclodextrin to bring back moisture and suppleness to the skin. Camellia oil and white tea plant essence provides even more free-radical fighting capabilities.

However it is a bit lacking in the oil control department, so it might not be the best choice if you’re looking for something to mop up excess oil all day. On the other hand, this is a great option if your skin is looking dull and tired or if you’re wearing particularly flashy makeup wherein you want the bright colors to stay true on skin the whole day.

BECCA Ever Matte Poreless Priming Perfector

best pore minimizing primer

Get it for $28

Becca is a brand known for their impressive range of highlighters to ramp up the shine, so it’s pretty ironic that they also have a great range of products that wipe shine off effectively. That being said, they do it damn well.

Their Ever Matte Poreless Priming Perfector is the best primer for pores if you're looking for a great primer minus the silicone. It's a fragrance-free product with a bit of a thick texture that becomes supremely comfortable once applied on skin. Notably, this is one of the few well-reviewed water-based primers in the market, so it’s a great option for gals who don’t feel too comfortable with silicone’s distinct texture.

The magic of this pore minimizing primer lies in magnesium aluminum silicate, a clay-derived mineral that is excellent at absorbing shine and keeping skin matte for a seriously long time. In fact this primer would feel a bit uncomfortable if you have dry patches in your skin, but it is a god send for the slick-skinned. As additional ingredients to benefit oily skin, it also has Enantia Chlorantha Bark Extract, an antioxidant that zaps free radicals while inhibiting oil production on your face and Oleanolic acid, which reduces shine, pore size and makes skin appear more refined.

To use this primer you have to be great at following instructions, because Becca gave some pretty specific ones. First make sure your SPF is fully dry before applying this primer. Next take a pea-sized amount and pat it only on areas of the face where you have issues with oil or large pores. Patting is the name of the game, don’t rub as it causes the primer to ball up. Wait a few minutes until the primer is completely dry before slapping on your foundation. Voila. Perfect, poreless visage. 

Smashbox Cosmetics Photo Finish Pore Minimizing Primer

best primer for large pores

Get it for $36

When it comes to texture and finish, it’s hard to beat Smashbox's pore minimizing primer, a brand that has become synonymous with great, must have primers. The pore minimizing variant definitely delivers. It absorbs oil while feeling supremely comfortable and non-drying on skin, and it also dramatically blurs pores.

Its texture might be a bit thicker than you’re used to, but for good reason. The primer is formulated with a lot of silicone to fill in skin imperfections and blur the appearance of pores. Since it is also made to be shine and humidity resistant, you can expect the matte, oil-free effect and reduction in pore size to be in place for up to 8 hours.

One thing about this primer is that it’s a picky one to layer. If you want to put on sunscreen and foundation on top of it, you have to experiment a bit to find the right match to avoid pilling or looking streaky. This primer generally works better with liquid foundations rather than cream or stick-based. This is a small price to pay considering how well it blurs pores. As an added bonus, it’s also fantastic value for money considering how little you need per application. This 30mL bottle will definitely last a while, making this one of the most cost effective primers for pores!

Tarte Cosmetics Clean Slate Poreless 12-Hr Perfecting Primer

best pore minimizing primer

Get it for $41

Known for being an environmentally conscious brand, Tarte is a good pick for those who are eco-conscious without wanting to sacrifice efficacy. This pore minimizing product is basically makeup that’s loaded with so many good-for-skin attributes, that it can definitely double as skincare too. It contains Rosemary Extract, Echinacea Root Extract, and Centella Asiatica extract to reduce inflammation. It’s also filled to the brim with Avocado, Acai, Goji Berry and Hibiscus Flower extract to act as antioxidants and a healthy dose of Vitamin E to round up even more skin benefits.

In terms of appearance, it has the typical smoothing, soft-focused effect of silicone primers. It’s one of the thickest primers in the market, but when on skin it’s easy enough to blend and dries up faster than most, it only takes 30 seconds and then you can proceed to put on foundation. It’s also compatible with a wide range of foundations without pilling, so that’s a plus.

This pore minimizing primer is also waterproof, and is remarkable at keeping makeup (even eyeliner doesn’t budge!) in place during humid summers, even with occasional dips in the pool. It has a great effect for blurring pores, but it’s lacking in terms of oil control, so if you want your primer to do double duty, this might not be your best bet. But if you’re a dry-skinned girl with huge pores that find other silicone primers too drying, this is a great compromise.

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