Can You Use Facial Oil As Primer

If you’re a makeup lover, you know the importance of primer. It helps your foundation stay on all day and makes your skin look smoother.

Facial oils are becoming increasingly popular for their skincare benefits, but can they double as primers?

In this post, we will be discussing if you can use facial oil as a primer and the benefits of doing so.

apply face oil as primer

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Can You Use Oil Instead Of Primer For Makeup?

Facial oils can absolutely be used as a primer. In fact, applying a hydrating face oil before makeup can help create a smooth, hydrated base for your foundation and can give your skin a healthy-looking glow.

What Are The Benefits Of Using Facial Oil As a Primer?

Using facial oil as a makeup primer can offer many benefits, such as:

It Can Help To Hydrate Dry Skin

burts bees facial oil

When applied before makeup, facial oils can help keep dry skin hydrated throughout the day. This is especially important in the winter when dry skin can become flaky and irritated.

If you have oily skin, you might find that using a thick facial oil before makeup can cause your foundation to look greasy during the day.

In this case, it’s best to choose a light oil or an oil-free primer. Many lightweight oils are suitable for oily skin, such as this facial oil, which is non-comedogenic and helps regulate sebum production.

It Can Give Dull Skin A Healthy-Looking Glow

argan oil

According to Healthline, facial oils are packed with great ingredients such as fatty acids and antioxidants to give the skin a dewy glow.

If your skin looks dull and tired, using a facial oil before makeup can help to brighten it up.

Instead of using an illuminating primer which can sometimes be too shimmery, facial oils can give you a natural-looking glow.

It Can Create A Smooth Base For Makeup

jojoba oil

Lightweight facial oils can be absorbed quickly into the skin without leaving a greasy residue. These oils are not as thick as many makeup primers on the market and can help to create a smooth base for foundation.

The texture of some primers can make makeup look worse, and using lightweight facial oil can help avoid this problem.

The key is to choose the right formula for your skin type. When chosen correctly, facial oils can replace many smoothing primers, which can sometimes be too heavy.

In fact, many primers have a silicone-based formula, which can be beneficial for creating a smooth base but can also clog pores. If you are prone to breakouts, you can opt for a light facial oil instead.

How To Use Facial Oil As A Primer

use face oil as primer

You should keep in mind a few things when using facial oil as a primer.

First, choosing a lightweight oil that wears well under makeup is essential. You don’t want an oil that is too thick or greasy, as it will not only affect the way your makeup looks but can also cause your foundation to separate.

Second, make sure the oil is fully absorbed into your skin before applying any other products on top.

Follow these simple steps to get a flawless makeup look that lasts all day long:

Cleanse Your Face

neutrogena cleanser

Starting with a clean face will help your makeup go on smoothly and last longer. Choose a gentle cleanser that won’t strip your skin of its natural oils. Avoid harsh scrubs or cleansers, and go for a lightweight formula instead.

This gentle cleanser is one of our favorites because it’s gentle and effective. It has a light formula and it leaves your skin feeling clean and refreshed.


first aid beauty moisturizer

Applying makeup on dry skin can cause your foundation to look flaky. A well-hydrated canvas is key for a flawless makeup look.

After cleansing your face, follow with your regular skincare routine. If you have dry skin, apply a hydrating serum before your face moisturizer.

If you have oily skin, you might not need to apply a rich moisturizer. In this case, you can go for an oil-free formula that will hydrate your skin without making it greasy.

Avoid layering too many products if you don’t need to, as this can cause your makeup to look patchy.

Apply A Few Drops Of Facial Oil

maracuja oil

After moisturizing your face, apply a few drops of your face oil into the palm of your hand and then pat it gently onto your face. Give it a few minutes to absorb into your skin before moving on to the next step in your makeup routine.

Avoid rubbing the oil into your skin, which might prevent it from absorbing correctly.

If you have combination skin, you can apply the face oil to the dry areas such as your cheeks and avoid the T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin).

TIP: You can mix your foundation with oil to create a dewy finish.

Finish With Makeup

cargo face foundation

After your face oil has been absorbed, you can apply your foundation, concealer, and powder products.

Set your makeup with a loose or pressed powder, and you’re good to go.

Related: The Difference Between Primer And Foundation

How To Choose A Facial Oil To Use As Primer?

sunflower oil for skin

There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a facial oil as a primer.

First, make sure you choose an oil that is non-comedogenic so it won’t clog your pores and cause breakouts.

Second, choose an oil that is suitable for your skin type. If you have oily skin, look for a lightweight formula such as this face oil that doesn’t make the skin look greasy.

If you have dry skin, look for an oil that is richer in texture such as this face oil that will help hydrate your skin.

Third, make sure the oil is light enough to wear under makeup. Thick oils are most suitable for a night treatment and won’t work well as a primer.

What Is A Primer Oil?

smashbox primer oil

Oil and primer oil differ primarily in their ingredients. Primer oils, such as this facial oil and primer in one, contain a blend of oils and silicones.

They have a soft and slippery texture thanks to the silicone ingredients, making them the perfect product to wear under makeup.

They help create a smooth base, minimize the appearance of pores, and prevent your foundation from creasing or looking patchy.

They can be beneficial for those with dry skin as they help hydrate and nourish the skin.


Facial oils are a great alternative to traditional primers and can help you achieve a flawless makeup look. Make sure you choose an oil that is non-comedogenic, suitable for your skin type, and light enough to wear under makeup.

Using a facial oil before makeup works wonders for dry skin. This lightweight oil, for example, helps to hydrate the skin and gives the makeup a smooth base to glide on.

People with oily skin might not need an oil before makeup as it might cause the skin to look greasy. However, many different oils work great for oily skin as they can help to control shine such as this face oil.

If you have oily skin and find that oils don’t work for you, it’s best to go for an oil-free primer that will help to mattify the skin.


What Goes First Primer Or Oil?

maybelline face primer

The order in which you apply your skincare and makeup products matters. You should apply primer after moisturizer or face oil.

Facial oil is the last step of your skincare routine before sunscreen, whereas a primer is the first step of your makeup routine.

It’s important to apply your oil before your primer so that the oil gets absorbed into your skin.

Related: Should You Apply Primer Before Or After Sunscreen?

Can I Mix Primer And Oil?

mixing palette

Yes, you can mix a few drops of oil with your primer to create a dewy formula. If you have dry skin and your primer isn’t providing enough hydration, mix in a few drops of oil.

With that being said, it’s important NOT to add too much oil as this can break down the formula of the primer. Start with a small amount and see how it works. Experimenting is the key to finding the perfect ratio.

For example, I like to mix squalane oil with the benefit face primer. I use one drop of oil for every two pumps of primer. I mix the two products on the back of my hand and then apply them to my face with a patting motion. Adding a drop of oil helps to give the skin a dewy and natural glow.

Do you have a favorite facial oil you like using as a primer? Let us know in the comments below.

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Claire is a beauty enthusiast and lover of all things makeup. Her blog is a resource for makeup tips and tricks, product reviews and beauty tutorials.

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