Choosing a good face primer is one of the most important steps in your beauty routine. This can be an especially difficult task if you have oily skin. Primer sets the stage for your makeup, allowing you to have a fresh looking complexion all day long, and helping makeup to last longer.
Many face primers on the market are oil based, or contain silicone gel. You know the sealant you see around all of your windows, and even at the base of your toilet? THAT contains silicone gel. Its a mystery as to why many cosmetic companies put this sticky sealant into primer and foundation formulas. Silicone gel is said to provide a smoothing layer on top of your skin, over which makeup will glide, erasing pores and fine lines. It does just that but at the same time, it prevents your skin and pores from getting any oxygen circulation. Without oxygen, a breeding ground for bacteria is formed, causing blackheads and acne. People with oily skin already have an influx of sticky sebum clogging pores, and adding a layer of silicone gel over the pores will only exacerbate the problem.
How do you prevent this from happening? Use a powder-based primer, and avoid all foundations and primers containing silicone gel. One of the best (and only) powder primers on the market is Mattify! Powder for Oily Skin by Mattify! Cosmetics. This light weight primer multitasks as a primer and setting powder, and protects your pores from becoming clogged with foundation and sebum. The natural minerals in Mattify! Powder absorb 3 5 times their weight in oil, effectively cleansing your face as you wear the product. This item does contain Silica Spheres (not to be confused with Silicone Gel).
Silica Spheres are virtually weightless and do not prevent pores from obtaining oxygen. The spheres absorb excess skin oil and trap it within the sphere, allowing pores to remain clear.
Apply the Mattify! Powder after all of your other facial treatments, including moisturizer (if you normally need to use moisturizer). Make sure you are using an oil-free moisturizer, and allow it to dry for 2 minutes before applying Mattify! Powder. Brush the powder over your entire face, using circular motions to blend into the skin. Now, you can apply your regular concealer and/or foundation. If you have exceptionally oily skin, and would like a matte complexion, dust another layer of the Mattify! Powder over your foundation (but after blushers/bronzers have been applied). This will set all of your makeup, and allow for a shine-free finish that lasts for hours.
If you have exceptionally dry skin, and very small pores, Silicone Gel based primers can be ok to use. People with dry skin types often do not experience any acne breakouts or clogged, enlarged pores. In this case, the silicone gel will skim over the surface of the pores and small facial lines, without causing blockages. Those with combination skin or oily skin should avoid Silicone Gel primers at all costs. If you do have oily skin, and continue to use silicone based primers, be sure to exfoliate thoroughly when you cleanse your face, to assist in removing the gel and clearing blocked pores.
If you have oily skin, there are some other ingredients you should avoid in face primers (whether the primers are powder based or gel based). These are: Mica, Pearl Powder, Bismuth Oxychloride, and Boron. These are illuminating, glittery ingredients, which will accentuate oily skin, acne, acne scars, and imperfections. While not specifically harmful to the skin (unless you are allergic to one of the said ingredients), these will cause the face to look more oily and make flaws more noticeable.
In short, its wise to avoid Silicone Gel primers if you have oily, acne prone skin. Your pores and complexion will thank you!