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If there’s one product those with mature skin have been sleeping on, it’s face primer. Professional makeup artists and dermatologists alike have sung its pore-smoothing, line-blurring praises for ages, but it hasn’t reached concealer or foundation status… yet. The best primers for mature skin create a flawless canvas for your makeup so you can go the whole day without retouching. “A makeup primer is going to solve problems that cause your makeup to move or disappear,” says Jamie Greenberg, celebrity makeup artist and founder of Jamie Makeup. “In other words, primers will help your makeup look better, last longer, and feel better.”

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The best face primers for mature skin, at a glance:

Why should people with mature skin use face primer?

Makeup primers are great for all ages, but as you get older, they help to combat certain skin concerns. For mature skin, that’s often fine lines, discoloration, dullness, and wrinkles. “Primers help hydrate your skin and keep your makeup from sinking in, which can accentuate fine lines,” says Mona Gohara, MD, associate clinical professor of dermatology at the Yale School of Medicine. So if you’ve noticed your makeup or sunscreen settling into your pores and fine lines, it might be time to give one a try. “Beyond hydration, face primers can be used underneath makeup to create a smoother texture, mattify, and to make makeup stay in place longer,” says Blair Murphy-Rose, MD, FAAD, board-certified dermatologist and clinical instructor of dermatology at Weill Cornell Medicine.

How do I choose the right primer?

Greenberg notes that when looking for a makeup primer, you should match the formulation to your skin concerns, just like you would if you’re shopping for skin-care products. “If you have oily skin, you want something mattifying, and if you have dry skin, look for a hydrating formula,” she says. Luminizing, subtly shimmery primers are great for dull skin, and color-correcting options are key for soothing redness, she adds. There are also key ingredients to look for specifically if you have mature skin. Both derms suggest finding one with hyaluronic acid, a water-attracting humectant that hydrates and plumps—and plays well with makeup. “Dimethicone, a silicone, is an ideal ingredient for mature skin primers because it fills in lines and pores, allowing makeup to sit on a smooth canvas,” says Dr. Murphy-Rose. Water-based primers (rather than silicone-based) are great for normal to dry skin types and people who use powder foundations, since they tend to be more drying. Generally, silicone-based primers play better with silicone-based foundations and concealers, and water-based primers work better with water-based makeup. So check the label on your foundation before you buy your primer. With the help of dermatologists and makeup artists, we’ve sourced 12 of the best face primers for mature skin, that’ll have your mug smooth, glowing, and prepped for makeup without feeling heavy or oily. We’ve included options for sensitive skin, primers specifically for eye makeup, and some budget-friendly picks too, plus plenty more. Pores, who?

The best face primers for mature skin

Best overall:

armani beauty luminous silk hydrating makeup primer

Armani Beauty, Luminous Silk Hydrating Makeup Primer — $44.00

“I love this hydrating primer because it gives the skin a youthful, bright glow,” says Mia Santiago, celebrity makeup artist and hairstylist. It luminizes without making the skin look sparkly, and it’s fortified with moisturizing ingredients like glycerin, shea butter, and rice bran. Dimethicone is also a star player as it provides that silky, smooth canvas feel.

  • Silky texture
  • Great for adding moisture to dry skin
  • Nourishing ingredients
  • Strong fragrance

Best moisturizing primer:

laura mercier pure canvas primer

Laura Mercier, Pure Canvas Hydrating Primer — $47.00

Greenberg recommends this one, saying that it offers top-tier moisture for dry skin, and it keeps makeup looking good all day long. It’s a water-based primer and has a lotion-like texture that feels lightweight and absorbs well into skin. It’s also formulated with moisturizing ingredients like glycerin, squalane, and olive extract to keep dry skin from flaking and feeling tight.

  • Lightweight, water-based formula
  • Blurring
  • Nourishing ingredients
  • Can look and feel oily on some skin types
  • Expensive

Best pore-minimizing primer:

smashbox original photo finish primer

Smashbox, Original Photo Finish Smooth & Blur Primer — $42.00

“This is the OG of primers for a reason; it conceals your pores and offers hydration,” says Greenberg. Smashbox’s Photo Finish is ideal for young and mature skin alike. Its silicone-based formulation creates a smooth canvas for foundation.

  • Blends well with skincare and makeup
  • Smoothes texture
  • Slick, silicone-like texture that might not play well with oily skin

Best primer for fine lines and wrinkles:

charlotte tilbury wonderglow face primer

Charlotte Tilbury, Wonderglow Face Primer — $55.00

We’ve written about this derm-approved primer before, noting its shimmer effect, which comes from “light-reflecting microspheres.” Not only does it provide a blurred base for your makeup, but it also contains ingredients derms recommend for mature skin, like hyaluronic acid and a combination of peptides, which work to increase collagen production for a strong skin barrier.

  • Nourishing ingredients
  • Luminous, dewy finish
  • Rose scent

Best primer for sensitive skin:

tarte double duty beauty base hydrating primer

Tarte, Base Tape Hydrating Primer — $32.00

“This primer from Tarte hydrates and makes your skin feel so smooth,” says Santiago. “The subtle coconut scent is refreshing, and the formula preps the skin beautifully.” It has a serum texture that keeps your concealer and foundation from settling into fine lines. Jojoba and grapeseed oils offer lightweight hydration that’s especially key for dry and sensitive skin types.

  • Slightly sticky texture “grips” foundation
  • Very hydrating formula
  • Nourishing ingredients
  • Subtle coconut scent
  • Can cause breakouts

Best primer for long-lasting makeup:

peter thomas roth instant firm primer

Peter Thomas Roth, Instant FIRMx No-Filter Primer — $42.00

By now, you’ve probably seen the viral video of the 54-year-old using Peter Thomas Roth’s FIRMx eye cream. This primer (which we tested and can’t put down) is the eye cream’s cousin, with the same firming technology that’s excellent for mature skin. It contains a handful of ingredient complexes with microalgae, seaweed, silicates, peptides, and cica that work in tandem to tighten, deliver hydration, and calm redness.

  • Fills in fine lines, wrinkles, and pores
  • Excellent longevity
  • Nourishing ingredients
  • Tends to pill

Best brightening primer:

thrive causemetics illuminating primer

Thrive Causemetics, Brilliant Face Brightener Illuminating Primer — $36.00

This pick from Thrive Causemetics comes recommended by Greenberg because it “wakes up the face in a major way.” It’s formulated with brightening ingredients like vitamin C and licorice root extract, plus light-reflecting pigments, to create a glowing visage whether you’re wearing makeup or not.

  • Dewy finish
  • Great with or without makeup on top
  • Nourishing ingredients
  • Watery texture

Best firming primer:

tula skincare smoothing and firming treatment primer with a swipe of product in the background

TULA Skincare, Prime of Your Life Smoothing and Firming Treatment Primer — $42.00

As your skin ages, it’s important to find a primer that has benefits beyond laying a solid foundation for makeup. This TULA primer has a skincare-first approach, with ingredient additions like peptides, collagen, pre- and probiotics, and hyaluronic acid, so you’ll get those smoothing and firming benefits instantly and over time.

  • Lightweight, pillowy formula and finish
  • Pregnancy-safe
  • Nourishing ingredients

Best budget primer:

elf poreless putty primer

Elf, Poreless Putty Primer — $10.00

If you’re new to primers or simply watching your spending (same), opt for this one from cult-favorite brand E.l.f. “This one is great for hydrating and creating long-lasting makeup looks on a budget,” says Greenberg. It uses silicones and wax for a putty-like texture that’s great for keeping makeup locked in place during nights out, special occasions, or hot, humid days.

  • Effective at blurring and smoothing pores
  • Great longevity
  • Affordable
  • Waxy texture can cause breakouts on sensitive skin

Best eye primer for mature skin:

urban decay eyeshadow primer potion

Urban Decay, Anti-Aging Eyeshadow Primer Potion — $27.00

With more than 8,300 five-star reviews, this eye makeup primer from Urban Decay is a crowd-pleaser for all skin types. Regardless of whether you wear creamy or powder eyeshadow, it prevents creasing for up to 24 hours. This formulation contains silicones, peptides, ceramides, and oils to feel moisturizing and plump fine lines.

  • Doesn’t irritate sensitive eyes
  • Prevents eyeshadow creasing and running
  • Anti-aging ingredients
  • Oily, slick formula

Best SPF-enhanced primer:

colorscience calming face primer

Colorescience, Calming Perfector Face Primer SPF 20 — $56.00

“I love Colorescience primers that have hyaluronic acid and SPF in them for mature skin,” says Dr. Gohara. “Those hydrating ingredients are key since as you lose estrogen, your skin gets drier.” This one in particular is calming for easily-inflamed, sensitive skin thanks to cucumber extract, green tea extract, and vitamin C. Heads up though, derms recommend a minimum of SPF 30, so you should still be layering on that SPF for the most anti-aging benefits.

  • Great for sensitive skin
  • Color corrects redness
  • Contains SPF
  • Isn’t as long-lasting as others

Best drugstore primer:

neutrogena radiant primer

Neutrogena, Healthy Skin Radiant Primer + Serum — $15.00

We love a versatile beauty moment. Case in point, this makeup artist-approved primer and serum hybrid. It combines the lightweight, liquid formula of a serum and the smoothing, blurring effects of a makeup primer. It’s formulated with vitamin E, which adds moisture and makes it easy to apply, plus pearl pigments for a glow.

  • Budget-friendly
  • Dewy effect
  • Nourishing ingredients
  • Formula might be too shimmery for some people

Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission.