You wouldn't paint a piece of furniture without priming the wood first. By the same logic, you shouldn't apply foundation without priming the skin first, especially if you have large or visible pores. Here's everything you need to know about primers and concealing large pores.
Why Should I Use A Primer?
Whether you have large pores or not, everyone can benefit from a makeup primer. While this product wasn't all that popular a decade ago, it's become an integral part of most women's makeup applications.
A primer is a product, typically silicone-based, that creates a layer between your skin and your makeup. While primers are often lauded for helping to keep foundation and makeup in place all day, they have other benefits beyond that.
They help to lock any skincare products you may have used in place; Michelle Phan famously introduced her viewers to the technique of using a primer to lock skincare products in place in this video.
Primer creates this strong barrier between your skin and your makeup; it has the added benefit of preventing you from breaking out due to the products you apply. While most foundations taut themselves as being non-comedogenic, any product that gets into the pores has the potential to cause inflammation or blemishes.
When it comes to large pores, primers are especially important, as they fill in the pores and create an even surface. To return to the analogy of painting furniture from the beginning of this guide, one of the reasons you prep furniture with a primer is to fill in any ridges or irregularities in the wood. The same principle does apply here. Watch beauty guru Elessa Jade explain below.
As Elessa discusses, primers can occasionally have some skincare benefits as well. Some primers feature anti-acne or anti-dryness ingredients and some even have SPF.
Priming Large Pores
In our guide on foundations for large pores, we highlighted some of the reasons why people get large pores in the first place. Sadly, it's almost impossible to reduce the size of large pores with skincare significantly.
While you might have seen tips such as splashing the face with cold water, it's a myth that pores open and close. Using a toner or treatment product with BHA or AHA can help somewhat, but for the most part, the best way to conceal large pores is with smart makeup techniques.
While many people apply primer with their fingers, the best technique is actually to apply it with a foundation brush. There are a few reasons why applying primer with the fingers isn't ideal.
First, you're trying to create a smooth base when you apply primer. The best way to do this is with a brush, as it allows you to work in evenly distributed, smooth strokes. Second, a primer is often used to create a matte surface and reduce the amount of oil on the face, since oil can cause makeup to budge and travel.
Since you have oil on your fingers, even if your hands are clean, they're not the ideal tool for applying a product meant to reduce oil. YouTuber Smashin Beauty explains all of this in her guide to primers.
Preventing Large Pores
In our guide to finding the right foundation for large pores, we discussed the best methods for trying to control large pores, including which toners to use. While there's not much you can do to take care of the large pores you already have; there are some steps you can take to prevent new ones from forming.
First and foremost, avoid harsh cleansers and don't use bar soaps. Removing your makeup at night is essential since large pores are technically clogged pores that are filled with oil and debris. Dr. Dray, a dermatologist who vlogs about skin care, explains this in her video about enlarged pores.
As Dr. Dray states, it's essential that you avoid cosmetics that aren't non-comedogenic. That's why all of the products on this list fit the bill and won't cause blemishes or further pore enlargements.
However, no matter what products you're using, remember to always wash your face at night, especially on the days you've worn makeup. Any substance can become comedogenic if left on the skin for too long.
Now that you're informed about large pores let's look at the best five primers for reducing large pores, evening out the complexion and prepping your skin for a flawless foundation application.
The reason that large pores are such a pain is that it's just about impossible to shrink them with skincare. However, the magic of makeup allows us to hide our visible pores from the world.
There's perhaps no product more important for concealing large pores than a primer. It is during this step that the pores are filled, and a smooth base is created, giving the illusion of an even and pore-free complexion.
All of these primers have their pros and cons. However, when it comes to the top choice of primer for large pores, we have to declare the DHC Velvet Skin Coat the winner.
It does the two things we want in a primer for large pores, which is to not only reduce the visibility of pores but to create a smooth application on which to apply foundation. We also love that it can double as a final step in a skincare routine to lock in all of our nightly products.
There might not be a permanent solution to large pores, but with a little makeup magic, it's easy to hide your pores from the world. Just always remember to remove your makeup at night, especially if visible pores are an issue for you.
When you're applying multiple layers of primer, foundation, and powder, it's essential that all of that is removed at night so that your skin can breathe and heal.