PUBLISHED: 02/12/2020 UPDATED: 03/06/2020
Ever wonder how some women achieve a near flawless makeup application that lasts all day long? Did you know that you can achieve this look without having to spend hours meticulously applying your foundation everyday. As it turns out, besides a consistent skin care routine, one of the best kept secrets to achieving a super smooth foundation look is to use a natural facial primer.
What is a Facial Primer? How Do Natural Primers Work?
Makeup primers work by filling in lines, wrinkles, creases, and other uneven areas of the skin–creating a perfectly smooth surface for makeup application. The best time to apply a facial primer is after you’ve completed your skin are routine. After cleansing and applying a serum and/or moisturizer, then layer your primer on-top before beginning your makeup application.
Natural face primers work similarly to conventional makeup primers. The major difference is that you won’t find petro-chemicals, known hormone disruptors (like phthalates & synthetic fragrances), artificial colors, silicones (4), parabens(6, 7, 8), or even known allergens & irritants in a “real” natural face primer (1, 2, 3). (I say “real” natural primers because there are many products that claim to be natural and still use many of the questionable ingredients listed).
Instead of synthetics, toxic preservatives, and fillers, high quality natural and organic makeup primers use luscious plant-based oils & waxes (like jojoba, argan oil, candelilla wax), minerals & fruit pigments, skin plumping actives (like hyaluronic acid and vitamin C), and moisturizing butters. These kinds of high quality ingredients work to both smooth skin in the short-term and gradually improve the look of uneven skin over the long term. Think of conventional primers as a “quick fix” and natural primers as a long term solution.
What Makes An Effective Natural Primer for My Skin Type?
Regardless of your skin type, the ideal natural primer will contain ingredients to smooth skin and help your foundation last longer. There are, however, different ways to achieve these goals depending on your skin type. Here are some tips on what to look for in a primer based on skin type:
Oily Skin: In order to keep a foundation looking matte and staying put, oilier skin types need an oil-balancing primer. Oil balancing primers are often made with just natural minerals (such as titanium dioxide, mica, silica, and iron oxides) or include an absorbent powder base made from ingredients like kaolin clay.
Dry Skin: The cause of fine lines, wrinkles, creases, and flakiness which can create issues with foundation application is often dehydrated skin. The best natural primer for dry skin types will be made with hydrating, anti-inflammatory, and skin-plumping ingredients like hyaluronic acid, plant oils & butters, aloe vera, and vitamin E. (9)
How Did We Choose These Best Natural Primers?
The list of makeup brands engaging in “green-washing” is miles long. Green-washing is a practice where brands use deceptive marketing language to convince shoppers that their products are “clean” when they are not.
That’s why we spent months developing this list of the best and truly clean makeup primers. Each natural primer on our list has gone through our product testing process and are free from cheap and undesirable ingredients such as talc, parabens, artificial fragrances and colors, dimethicone and silicones, and other ingredients listed here. In addition to our own strict ingredient standards, all ingredients have also been checked against the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Database. In short, these are some of the cleanest of the clean natural primers you’ll find anywhere. Enjoy!
1. (2004) Nanoparticles – known and unknown health risks https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC544578/
2. (2017) Health and societal effects from exposure to fragranced consumer products https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2211335516301449
3. (2010) CSPI Says Food Dyes Pose Rainbow of Risks https://cspinet.org/new/201006291.html
4. (2018) The truth about dimethicone, the controversial ingredient in cosmetics https://hellogiggles.com/beauty/what-is-dimethicone-in-cosmetics/
5. Talcum Powder and Cancer https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/talcum-powder-and-cancer.html
6. (2007) Study on Enhancing the Endocrine Disrupter Priority List with a Focus on Low Production Volume Chemicals. http://ec.europa.eu/environment/endocrine/documents/final_report_2007.pdf
7. (2008) Combined activation of methyl paraben by light irradiation and esterase metabolism toward oxidative DNA damage. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18656963
8. (2016) Vitamin E in Dermatology https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4976416/
9. (2017) Anti-Inflammatory and Skin Barrier Repair Effects of Topical Application of Some Plant Oils https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5796020/