A good primer can protect your skin from the harsh effects of your environment, smooth over visible pores, and prepare your skin for makeup. Picking a primer for the needs of dry skin can be difficult, but there's plenty of choice, from hydrating, glowy primers to those that help to minimise large pores, and even primers to use when you have a hangover.
We've searched through popular sites like Amazon, eBay, and Boots to find you the highest-rated dry skin primers to buy here in the UK, including options for sensitive and ageing skin. Whether you'd like a drugstore bargain or to splash out on a bestseller from Too Faced or Dermalogica, you're sure to find exactly what you need right here.
To ensure that you buy the best primer for your dry skin, take a look at our buying guide to learn about the best ingredients and how primers can complement your complexion. By exploring the different benefits of each product, you can decide which one suits your preferences the most.
Different primers serve different purposes and you should decide why you need one before you buy. Are you wanting to cover up the appearance of large pores? Or perhaps you'd like to counter dry skin dullness and enhance your radiant glow. Let's take a look at what this wonder product can do for you!
Pores are the small openings in the skin that look like tiny holes, and can often enlarge for a number of reasons. Genetics can play a big part in this, as well as if the pores are frequently blocked, which in turn makes them expand.
Very dry skin can also cause pores to flatten out and appear larger, so to minimise their appearance, go for a pore-minimising primer, which can help not only to cover them up, but to deep clean them, too. This means that the formula penetrates the skin to directly target the problem area.
Your pore-minimising primer could appear either matte or radiant, depending on the product, so choose whichever you'd prefer.
Using a primer is the best way to get a smooth finish when applying makeup. If you feel that your matte foundation is too thick and heavy on the skin, you can use a mattifying primer instead. A mattifying primer can help to minimise the glow of your foundation if you prefer a more neutral, tone with less shine.
People with dry skin often shy away from mattifying primers but after conducting research, it became clear that as long as there are heavily moisturising ingredients in the formula as well as the mattifying ingredients, it shouldn't be a problem.
Dry skin can very often lead to dull and tired patches across the face. To enhance your complexion, buy a primer that is formulated to make your skin look radiant and glowy. In comparison to mattifying primers, you can use a radiating product when aiming for a dewy complexion, for example, if you plan to use lots of highlighter.
Adding this light to your face is a popular beauty trend as it helps to contour your look, highlighting your cheekbones, forehead, and jawline. Whether the glow is achieved by a pearlescent primer formula or even golden specks of pure shine, you're sure to love the way your skin looks at golden hour.
To make sure that your dry skin gets the hydration that it needs, you'll do well to find a primer with additional moisturising ingredients, such as glycerin, vitamin E, and other plant extracts. Find out what works best for you in the next section of our buying guide.
Glycerin is a natural moisturiser that's found in our skin, meaning that it's excellent for boosting severely dry complexions. While it's a simple moisturiser, it's highly effective.
Working hard to keep the skin lipids between our skin cells, this hydrator will soften and protect the outer layer of your skin. It's also safe and gentle for use by most skin types, including sensitive, making it an excellent all-rounder!
To nourish and protect your skin, take a look at the products on our list which contain vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that you can also use to help reduce the risk of UV effects on the skin. Plus, not only is it protecting, but it's also very moisturising, and a known skin healer.
Those with mature skin may also like to look to vitamin E in their primer, as it's a fat-soluble vitamin so it can penetrate deep into the skin's surface and hold onto lipids in your face.
Choosing primers with added extracts and oils is another great way to add a boost of hydration alongside the other products in your skincare regime.
Firstly, coconut water. Just like the drink, this ingredient is refreshing, hydrating, and rich in cytokinins to give you a healthy, youthful glow. In addition to having anti-ageing properties, it's also a good solution for mildly dehydrated skin.
Grape seed contains vitamin E, and it's commonly used by massage therapists to soften the skin and act as a gentle moisturiser. Also, if you have any dark patches or scars on your face, grape seed can help to minimise their appearance.
Finally, aloe vera, a plant with plentiful antioxidants, enzymes, and vitamins such as A and C. This ingredient works as an anti-inflammatory to help soothe irritation, a common symptom of those with dry skin. Similarly, green tea also has anti-inflammatory properties and, in addition, can wake up tired skin.
Alcohol is a popular ingredient that's frequently used by many top skincare brands. Unfortunately, while some forms of fatty alcohol are good for preserving and binding the formulas, they're not all that beneficial for everyone in their simple forms, namely ethanol, isopropyl or ethyl alcohol.
If you have dry skin, and especially dry, sensitive skin, it's usually recommended that you avoid alcohol-containing products as much as you can. This is because in large quantities, alcohol can destroy the sebum in your skin, drawing out the moisture and causing cracks and dryness – the opposite of what you want!
Consumers are becoming increasingly interested in the ethics of the companies that they're buying from, and in particular, whether or not a product and its ingredients have been tested on animals.
It's important that you're comfortable with the primer you're putting on your face, which is why we've made sure to check each product on our list, so if you would prefer to go cruelty-free, you can happily go ahead with your purchase.
As well as being animal-friendly, cruelty-free products are more sustainable, plus, the ingredients are usually more natural, too.
Now that you know what to look for in a primer for dry skin, you can pick your favourite products from our list. We've chosen a range of primers that are loved not only for their suitability to drier complexions, but also for their glow, coverage, and good results.
|Good For||Pore minimising, mattifying|
|Moisturising Ingredients||Vitamins A, C and E, grape seed oil|
|Moisturising Ingredients||Isodecyl neopentanoate|
|Good For||Pore minimising|
|Moisturising Ingredients||Vitamins E and A, grape seed extract|
|Good For||Pore minimising|
|Moisturising Ingredients||Green tea leaf extract|
|Good For||Pore minimising, mattifying|
|Moisturising Ingredients||Glycerin, aloe, coconut water|
|Moisturising Ingredients||Glycerin, coconut oil|
Good Hydrations Silky Face Primer
Hangover 3-in-1 Replenishing Primer
Professional Makeup Hydra Touch Primer
Superprimer Universal Face Primer
Photo Finish Primer
High-Adherence Silicone Primer
Hydrating Face Primer
Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser
Honey Dew Me Up
An All-Round Fantastic Primer for Dry Skin
The Perfect Spray Primer and Setting Spray
Possibly the Most Hydrating Primer on the Market
For Silky Soft Skin With a Smooth Finish
Energising and Lightweight for a Morning Pick-Me-Up
A Softening Primer for Instagram-Ready Skin
A Popular Favourite for Skincare Enthusiasts
Sweet Smelling and Good for Your Skin
The Best Affordable Drugstore Option
A Golden Hydrating Primer That Calms Dry Skin Redness
|Good For||Radiating||Radiating||Pore minimising, mattifying||Radiating||Pore minimising||Pore minimising||Mattifying||Radiating||Pore minimising, mattifying||Radiating|
|Moisturising Ingredients||Glycerin, coconut oil||Glycerin, aloe, coconut water||Glycerin||Glycerin||Green tea leaf extract||Vitamins E and A, grape seed extract||Isodecyl neopentanoate||Vitamins A, C and E, grape seed oil||Glycerin||Glycerin|
|Volume||30 ml||120 ml||22 ml||30 ml||30 ml||30 ml||30 ml||14 ml||22 ml||22 ml|
Tired of wasting money on products that don't really do much for dry skin? Let our collection of related skincare guides save you from hours of review-reading and give your skin the love and hydration it deserves.
Now that you're up to date on all of the facts, you should have an understanding on what to look for in your new primer. To soothe dry skin, you need to stay hydrated and putting on a primer before applying layers of foundation, concealer, powder, and blusher can really do your complexion a favour.
Author: Annie Speight
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