Best Primer for Dry Skin of 2023, According to 6 Experts

What are the most suitable primers for dry skin?

We asked experts to recommend some of the best brands to use.

Viseslav Tonkovic-Capin, M.D.

Viseslav Tonkovic-Capin

Dermatologist and Dermatopathologist | Editor, DermBoard

Look for glycerin and/or dimethicone containing primer

Here is my take on primers for dry skin:

I will probably differ from many of the answers you have already received about primers, but it does not bother me because there are several good reasons to listen to my advice.

If you want to keep your skin healthy, radiant and youthful for years to come, make a habit of using a good mineral sunscreen containing zinc oxide as a primer, and for dry skin look for those containing glycerin and/or dimethicone (which will keep the skin well hydrated).

It will protect your skin from harmful ultraviolet radiation, and as a big plus, zinc is an essential micronutrient and therefore, it is not a foreign substance for the human body, and it is not harmful to the environment.

At the same time, such sunscreen will smooth out any skin imperfection and prevent new ones from occurring. It will keep skin well hydrated and will enable makeup to stay longer on the skin which will, in turn, be protected from, for the most part unknown, ingredients in most makeup products.

Raquael Flores, LLC, LE, CAE, IBCLC, MA

Raquael Flores

Licensed Aesthetician, BodiSculpting Specialists

The use of primer helps create a smooth base that can diminish the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, large pores, and uneven skin tone and textures. There are two products that I’d recommend – one is a designated primer, and the other is a 3-1 product.

This sunscreen and primer combination is non-greasy and tinted, so it reduces the appearance of skin imperfections. It is a long-lasting, moisturizing formula containing Vitamin E, which helps to soften dry skin and relieve any potential itching or irritation from dry skin.

The Professional C Suncare protects against skin-damaging UVA and UVB rays with broad-spectrum sunscreens, formulated with 10% L-ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) to help diminish the signs of aging. It is cosmetically elegant, with a luxurious feel upon application, and is Non-Comedogenic.

With the use of medical, prescription-grade products, you can obtain healthy, more youthful-looking skin. When our skin is damaged, cell turnover slows and old skin cells remain on the surface, causing our skin tone and texture to be uneven.

We lose natural moisture (hyaluronic acid), leaving the skin feeling dry and looking dull and tired. With the use of medical-grade products and primers working at a cellular level, your skin will be healthy and moisturized and will have improved tone, texture, fine lines, and wrinkles.

Mandie Brice


Make-up Artist | Founder, Mandie’s Makeup Mastery Academy

For me, primer isn’t always a necessity, but I think it can be helpful for skin that needs extra care, and dry skin is a perfect example of that! A favorite of mine is the primer made by the Australian company INIKA Organics because it also contains hyaluronic acid, which is a humectant that occurs naturally in our bodies, and holds up to 1000 times its weight in water.

It’s fantastic because since it is already in our bodies, our skin knows what to do with it, as opposed to some unnatural things that end up just sitting on top of the skin or are absorbed but don’t have a proper impact.

Additionally, it helps smooth the skin and keep in plump and hydrated!It’s fantastic because since it is already in our bodies, our skin knows what to do with it, as opposed to some unnatural things that end up just sitting on top of the skin or are absorbed but don’t have a proper impact. Additionally, it helps smooth the skin and keep in plump and hydrated!

Dr. Adarsh Vijay Mudgil, M.D.

Dr. Adarsh Vijay Mudgil

Dermatologist | Founder, Mudgil Dermatology

Glossier Priming Moisturizer

$33.99 ($19.99 / Fl Oz)
Buy on Amazon
09/22/2023 08:35 pm GMT

It’s packed with hyaluronic acid, which is extremely hydrating. Leaves the skin silky smooth!

Adina Mahalli


Hair and Skincare Expert, Maple Holistics

This hydrating primer was designed to soothe and nourish dry skin tones. Formulated with organic aloe vera to lock moisture into your skin, PURE Aloe Cares primer is infused with shea butter and hyaluronic acid to ensure that your complexion remains deeply hydrated throughout the day.

Plant-based primers like this one provide a protective moisture barrier to your skin while simultaneously nourishing your skin from the inside out.

e.l.f. Hydrating Face Primer

Buy on Amazon
09/24/2023 08:05 am GMT

Get the benefits of a great primer while also hydrating your face with this e.l.f. Hydrating Face Primer.

It’s infused with grape and vitamins A, C, and E to give you a more even skin tone while moisturizing you at the same time. This is exactly why it’s the ideal primer for those with dry skin. And at only $6 a pop, you won’t break the bank while using this product.

This primer will help prep your face for foundation, concealer, or other makeup application. And it’s also paraben-, sulfate-, and phthalate-free, so it’s gentle on all skin types. And, an added plus is that this product is cruelty-free and vegan!

Related: Best Foundation for Dry Skin

Polina Bukovza

Polina Bukovza

Founder, Nail Art Gear

NYX Studio Perfect Primer

Buy on Amazon
09/23/2023 12:45 am GMT

If you’re under the impression that cheap primers can’t do the job, well, you need to think again. This budget-friendly primer is definitely one you should take into consideration.

What I like most about the NYX Studio Perfect Primer is the way it easily absorbs and combats extra shine. It’s also ideal for both dry and combination skin and will successfully smooth your pores, wrinkles, and lines.

That said, if your skin is extremely dry, try using a moisturizer before applying the primer to your face, that way your makeup will last all day without budging. All in all, this is a wonderful option for anyone who’s looking for an affordable primer with a silky texture and matte finish.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can the primer be used alone, or must it be used with foundation?

Primer can be used alone or with foundation, depending on the coverage you want. If you want a more natural look, you can use a moisturizing primer to create a smooth base. You can apply foundation over the primer for a flawless finish if you want more coverage.

How do I apply a primer to my dry skin?

To apply a primer to dry skin, cleanse your face and apply your usual skincare products. Then, take a pea-sized amount of the primer and warm it in your palms. Gently massage the primer into your skin, focusing on areas prone to dryness, such as cheekbones, forehead, and nose.

Can the primer be used for all skin types, or is it only suitable for dry skin?

Primer can be used for all skin types, not just dry skin. Different primers are formulated for various skin problems, so choosing the suitable primer for your skin type is important. For example, people with oily skin might prefer a matte finish primer. In contrast, people with dry skin might choose a hydrating primer.

What is the best way to determine whether a primer suits my dry skin?

To determine if a primer is suitable for your dry skin, look at the ingredients list. Look for ingredients that hydrate and nourish the skin, such as glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and aloe vera. You can also read customer reviews and check product claims to see if the product is specifically formulated for dry skin.

How long does primer last on dry skin?

The duration of a primer on dry skin depends on the product and your skin type. On average, a well-formulated primer can last up to 8 hours. To extend the wear time, you can set your primer with a loose powder to help it stay in place all day.

Can primer be worn in the summer months for dry skin?

Yes, primer can be worn in the summer months for dry skin. In fact, it’s a good time to use primer because it can create a barrier between your skin and the hot sun, helping to keep your skin hydrated and protected. Just make sure you choose a lightweight, non-greasy formula that doesn’t feel heavy or cakey in the heat.

Can primer be used on top of sunscreen for dry skin?

A primer can be used over sunscreen for dry skin. In fact, sunscreen is recommended as the first step in your skincare routine to protect your skin from UV damage. You can then apply a moisturizer and primer to create a smooth base for your makeup. Just ensure the sunscreen has time to absorb into your skin before you apply the primer.

Can primer be used with a powder foundation for dry skin?

A primer can be used with a powder foundation for dry skin. Using a primer before applying the powder foundation can help create a smoother and more even application. It can also help the powder foundation adhere better to the skin and prevent dry patches and flakiness.

Can a primer cover dry patches and flakiness on dry skin?

Yes, a primer can be used to cover dry patches and flakiness on dry skin. By creating a smooth and even base, primer can help minimize the appearance of dry patches and flakiness. Choosing a moisturizing primer that will hydrate the skin is important to prevent further dryness.

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