Is it possible to enjoy the benefits of a makeup primer even if you have sensitive, acne-prone skin?
What Does a Makeup Primer Do?
A makeup primer or face primer as it’s sometimes called is a product that helps your makeup look more flawless.
Primers entered the beauty world a little over a decade ago. As more televisions came standard with high-definition screens and photo-centric social media platforms like YouTube and Instagram became more popular, the need increased for a makeup base that would smooth out pores, manage oily skin, and help makeup last longer.
Today, we have primers for all parts of the face, including the eyes, lips, lashes, and facial skin. We also have different types of primers meant to do slightly different things. Some are more moisturizing than others, for instance, and some include sun protection. Some have additional ingredients that shield your skin from the damaging effects of pollution, while others help tame oily skin.
On the whole, your makeup primer should help blur out large pores, smooth unwanted texture, help keep skin hydrated throughout the day, and help your makeup stay put.

Primer for Sensitive, Acne-Prone Skin
If you have sensitive, acne-prone skin, you may have tried a makeup primer and found that it exacerbated your skin problems.
The problem is that many makeup primers contain pore-clogging ingredients that can make you more likely to break out.
Silicones, for example, are one of the most common ingredients in makeup primers. They make them feel silky and smooth and can help your skin look the same way.
Unfortunately, silicones are occlusive, which means that they create a physical barrier on top of the skin to keep it moist and hydrated. That may work fine if you have dry skin, but if you have oily or combination skin, it could spell trouble. Silicone-based primers can be dehydrating and clog your pores. As a result, they may cause breakouts for some people. Some primers contain dimethicone or Siloxanes (D4 & D5). These are skin irritants and can cause dryness and adverse reactions, exacerbate acne, and may even by harmful to health.
Even if your primer doesn’t contain irritating ingredients, it might be heavy and oily. If it includes coconut oil for moisturizing—and coconut oil is a good moisturizer—it can be too much if you have oily skin.
Other primers may contain ingredients to “catch the light” and make skin look radiant. These ingredients create a shimmering effect on the skin, but again, they can clog pores and cause acne.
If your primer contains chemical fragrances, these may cause skin irritation and redness, particularly if you have sensitive skin. Some people are allergic to certain fragrance chemicals.
Oil-based primers, as well, can be problematic for sensitive, acne-prone skin. Though natural oils are healthy skin care ingredients in many cases, some can be irritating for sensitive skin and may cause redness and inflammation.
How to Choose a Makeup Primer for Sensitive, Acne-Prone Skin
If you have sensitive, acne-prone skin, does that mean you have to give up on primers?
Not necessarily. Though of course, you don’t have to use a primer—it’s up to you. You can create a smooth base for makeup application by using a lightweight moisturizer.  Remember healthy skin is beautiful skin.
But if you like using primer, you absolutely can use one—you just have to find the right one.
Start with Clean Skin
Sometimes, your breakout may be caused by bacteria that are trapped underneath your primer. Make sure you always start your makeup routine with clean skin. Wash with a gentle cleanser first, then pat dry.
Tone and Moisturize
Next, use a non-alcoholic toner to restore skin after cleansing and prepare it for moisturizer. We recommend our Rescue + Relief Spray as it’s cooling, healing, and moisturizing.  It is a non-comedogenic formula and will help balance skin.
Finally, apply a quality moisturizer so your skin is soft and supple before you start applying makeup. Our Calming Moisture is the perfect pre-foundation lightweight and breathable moisturizer as it will tame inflammation and help keep skin healthy and hydrated all day long. It is designed to restore radiance to a dull complexion.
Taking care of your skin before you dress it up helps ensure that it will look its best all day long.
Look for a Lightweight Primer with Non-Clogging Ingredients
In general, look for silicone-free primers that are non-comedogenic so they won’t clog pores. They should be lightweight and feel refreshing when you put them on.
Consider your skin type too. If you are oily all over, check the ingredient list on your primer. You’ll want something lightweight without clogging ingredients.
If you have combination skin, you may want a more moisturizing primer, but again, make sure it’s non-comedogenic.
Once you get the primer, try it alone on your skin for a day and see how it does. Sometimes finding the right primer is a matter of trial and error.

What If My Sensitive, Acne-Prone Skin Doesn’t Like Primer?
If you find that your skin reacts to pretty much every primer you try, you have another option.
We recommend using our Calming Moisture as a primer. You can start by applying it as a moisturizer, let it sink into the skin, and then apply another thin layer before you apply your foundation. It can help keep your skin balanced so that your makeup looks flawless. Best of all, it won’t clog pores or irritate sensitive skin.
Another option is to mix some Calming Moisture in with your foundation before you apply it to your skin. It will help calm and moisturize skin while boosting radiance, all without clogging pores. It’s fragrance free too. Celebrity makeup artists often mix Calming Moisture with foundation for a gorgeous dewy, flawless-looking finish.
If your skin is red and irritated, use our Rescue + Relief Spray as your primer. It’s naturally cooling and anti-inflammatory ingredients will work to heal your skin while you go about your day. It’s also a moisturizing spray, so it will help keep your makeup looking its best.
You can also use Rescue + Relief Spray as a setting spray. Just lightly mist it over your skin before and after you apply your makeup for a dewy, healthy-looking finish.
Have you found a primer for your sensitive, acne-prone skin that works for you?
Featured image courtesy of George Milton via Pexels.

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