Having blemished or acne-prone skin becomes a vicious cycle in itself. Our face requires more skincare to help it out, but at the same time we might prefer to cover up any acne or scarring with makeup. Makeup isn’t the best for our skin either, which makes it seem harder to get rid of acne in the long run.

If you’ve got problematic skin and like wearing makeup, a good primer suited to your skin can help a lot, essentially creating a barrier between your skin and the makeup. There are several primers out there that are made specifically for acne-prone skin, and we’ve rounded up a few that are definitely worth trying. As a general rule, try before buying where possible! If you’ve got especially sensitive skin, it’s also safest to patch test on your arm to make sure the product doesn’t irritate your skin. 

#1 Cover FX Mattifying Primer With Anti-Acne Treatment

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If you’ve got oily skin, this one’s definitely going on your list. This lightweight mattifying primer has willowbark extract, which naturally contains salicylic acid. The salicylic acid (one percent) in the primer is meant to gently exfoliate and clarify the skin, while reducing sebum buildup and helping skin’s natural cell renewal process. 

What you get is a gel primer that promises to heal blemishes and minimise the appearance of fine lines and pores. It also boasts ingredients like vitamins F, C, and E that help protect the skin, soothe inflammation, and reduce redness. 

Cover FX Mattifying Primer With Anti-Acne Treatment, $62, is available from Sephora.sg.

#2 Smashbox Photo Finish More Than Primer Blemish Control

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If there’s anything Smashbox has been best known for over the last 15 years, it’s got to be their primers. As a brand that emerged from a photo studio, their primers are all about looking picture-perfect. 

Like the Cover FX primer, Smashbox’s blemish control primer also contains salicylic acid, but two percent instead of one. It even has a colour correcting element to it as the green is meant to neutralise redness on your skin.

Smashbox Photo Finish More Than Primer Blemish Control, $79, is available from Sephora Singapore.

#3 The Body Shop Tea Tree Pore Minimiser

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Anyone who’s dealt with acne from a young age will remember the hoards of advice from adults about tea tree oil as an effective blemish treatment. The Body Shop’s tea tree range that launched a few years ago was incredibly well received, especially by those with oily-combination skin. Aside from the usual cleanser, toner, moisturiser and the brand’s signature Tea Tree Oil, the range unexpectedly included a makeup primer.

The lightweight primer claims to minimise the appearance of pores and mattify your face, with some oil control to boot. It’s got a pretty strong tea tree smell, so it might not be for you if the scent is bothersome. 

The Body Shop Tea Tree Pore Minimiser, $32.90, is available from The Body Shop stores.