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6 Best Primers for Large Pores and a Flawless Complexion

Featuring lightweight, nourishing ingredients that blur imperfections and prep for makeup.

Best Primer for Large PoresIt can be frustrating to deal with large pores, which can stubbornly peek out from underneath makeup. Makeup can even exacerbate the problem by soaking into and expanding already prominent pores. We’ve gone on a quest to find the best primer for large pores—a makeup primer that will seamlessly cover up their appearance, and help to fix the problem over time!

What causes large pores?

Large pores are often considered to be a genetic problem, and therefore an unfixable one. But while it may not be possible to change the natural size of your pores, there are certainly ways to diminish their appearance. Plus, there are other factors that can contribute to the problem, especially excess oil on the skin. That’s why large pores is typically a problem with oily skin or combination skin types.

How to minimize enlarged pores

A trip to the sauna, a gentle (preferably juice-based) skin peel, or a nightly exfoliating regimen are all effective ways to diminish large pores’ appearance.

Foundation can be a great tool for improving the skin’s appearance, but it’s intended to form a layer over the surface of your skin, and not to sink into the skin. All too often, though, foundation sinks into the pores and settles over imperfections in an uneven coating, drawing attention to imperfections rather than hiding them.

With the right pore-minimizing primer, though, you can drastically improve pores’ appearance—both by preventing makeup from sinking in around your pores, and by cleaning pores and boosting cell regeneration with natural ingredients. If you’re looking for the best primer for large pores, make sure to search for a product with natural ingredients that will help to fix the problem over time, rather than simply covering it up for a few hours. Try to avoid silicone-based products, which can trap gunk in your pores and stifle cell renewal. Instead, opt for nourishing, mineral-rich formulas that will keep your pores clear.

Best primers for large pores100% Pure Mattifying Primer

  1. Mattifying Primer from 100% Pure

    Cruelty-free, vegan, gluten-free

This formula fills fine lines and smooths over large pores, helping makeup glide on seamlessly and without shine. It contains hydrating and mineral-rich ingredients like aloe vera gel, seaweed collagen, and green tea extract to boost skin health in the long run. (Plus, it contains bamboo silica, silicone’s healthier sibling.) Reviewers love this product’s smooth, clean, matte look—and the way that it tames oily skin without drying. It’s perfect to use on dry skin too.Alima Pure Balancing Primer Powder

  1. Balancing Primer Powder from Alima Pure

    Cruelty-free, vegan, gluten-free

This is an affordable, highly-reviewed option for anyone seeking a primer powder. The main ingredient is kaolin clay, a mineral-rich substance that helps to cleanse pores. This product will protect your pores from oily makeup products, and keep them free of grime throughout the day. According to reviewers, this product will help to reduce oil and keep your skin shine-free. It’s silky and buildable, and can be used as a substitute for foundation if you feel like cutting down on your makeup routine. Reviewers did note, though, that you may have to use more product than you expect in order to see full results.

  1. Cherry Matte Mattifying Primer from Pacifica

    Cruelty-free, vegan

Pacifica has created another clay-based product with excellent reviews. It contains bentonite clay to keep pores oil-free, as well as nourishing ingredients like vitamin E and aloe leaf juice. Pacifica’s products are vegan and cruelty free, and formulated with natural ingredients. According to reviewers, this product does an excellent job of blurring imperfections (like pesky acne scars) and taming severely oily skin. It’s particularly long-lasting, even in hot weather. More mature reviewers also love its rejuvenating effects!

  1. Primer for Oily Skin from Sappho

    Cruelty-free, vegan

Sappho’s products are vegan and cruelty-free, so you can feel good about buying and using them. This primer is specially formulated for oily skin, and will fight extra hard against oily, enlarged pores using a blend of nourishing phytonutrients. It contains vitamin-rich fruit juices such as apple and pineapple juice, as well as soothing aloe leaf juice.

  1. Stratus Soft Focus Skin Perfecting Primer from Vapour Beauty


Not only does this multi-active primer work to conceal large pores and wrinkles. It also helps to even skin tone and reduce redness, giving you a flawless look with or without foundation. Its ingredients include healthy silica, anti-aging vitamin E, and vitamin-packed pumpkin seed oil. Reviewers love this product’s pore-diminishing powers, and the silky-smooth texture that it brings to their skin. Physically active reviewers also note that the product holds true all day long with no need for foundation.

  1. Phyto-Pigments Illuminating Primer from Juice Beauty

    Cruelty-free, vegan

This formula is intended for beauty-lovers of all ages. It contains essential vitamins to nourish the skin, all while forming a protective layer between your skin and makeup. Juice Beauty uses coconut alkanes, aloe juice, and vitamins C and E to hydrate and nourish your skin.This product has gotten positive reviews from normal users and makeup artists alike. Reviewers love the product’s lightweight feel, and the way that it powerfully conceals imperfections and creates a smooth canvas for foundation. They also note the healthy, dewy glow that this product gave their skin.

Have you found the perfect primer yet?

Everyone’s skin is different, so it may take a few tries to find the product that’s best for your skin. If you don’t see results with the first primer you try, consider one with different ingredients, or one that can be applied in a different way. You can also boost your primer’s perfecting effects by exfoliating and moisturizing at bedtime, and then moisturizing again five minutes before you apply your primer. The moisturizer will help to plump your skin and form a hydration barrier to prevent makeup from sinking in. Even if you find yourself stuck without primer, a quick coat of moisturizer can help to prime your skin for foundation.

As noted above, there are many other ways to reduce the appearance of large pores over time. Visiting the sauna can help to purge oil and tighten pores, and a regular exfoliating regimen can prevent dead skin cells from building up and becoming trapped in your pores. You can also consider a facial mask to deep cleanse and tighten your pores. Experiment with some DIY face masks for acne, or a natural toner for smooth skin.  

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