Using a skin primer for makeup is a really useful way to help smooth out the appearance of your skin, fill in pores, help your foundation and eye makeup last longer, and (if tinted) correct any discoloration. It’s even better when the primer is made with ingredients that are all natural and safe for your skin, doubling up as skincare and makeup in one. The best of both worlds.
Below my five top favorite eco-friendly and cruelty-free primers that are less or non-irritating to the skin.
This primer is made with all natural organic USDA-certified ingredients. It smells great. And it has rave reviews about the natural healthy glow it provides that shows through light to medium coverage foundation. This is the only one I would recommend for people with sensitive skin.
Because green beauty (although a growing and thriving industry) is still very much in development, the majority of quality beauty and skincare lines tend to be on indie beauty sites like Etsy. This site highlights original handmade products and is where a professional makeup artist can find every kind of product needed to complete a full face of makeup.
Below are some indie beauty brands that have high-quality makeup primers that protect and prep your skin for makeup in more ways than one:
4 in 1 Anti-Aging Skin Primer by DABHerbMakeup – $10
This primer provides a great quadruple-punch of antioxidants and beautifying power! With such nourishing ingredients like grapeseed oil and food-grade clay, this primer is great for oily and combination skin. This multipurpose primer is also great for eye makeup, especially if you find that your makeup tends to sweat off regularly. And the zinc included will also offer natural sun protection so that you’re protecting your beautified face!
CleanFacedCosmetics on Etsy is one of my favorite shops for beauty products because their products truly are so clean and smell that way, too. This primer also cleverly takes advantage of the natural green tinge that hemp seed oil has to use it as a green correcting primer without the need for artificial colors or filler ingredients. Though, as the brand states in her very thorough description of this primer, the carrot seed oil in this formula might be a bit irritating for those with very sensitive skin. Otherwise, it’s quite optimal for dry, acne-prone and combination skin since there are no heavy, saturated oils. And if fragrance is important to you, this formula has lovely lavender essential oil.
Primer Balm by PranaPotions
If you are sensitive to essential oils (for some, it makes their skin itchy or breakout), then here is a wonderful fragrance-free primer! It’s intended to nourish the skin and encourage it to have a natural glow from being graced with such delicious and healthy ingredients. Great for sensitive skin and drier skin types.
NOTE: This Etsy seller is currently out of this primer balm, but you can ask them a question to check if another batch is on the way.
If you like to really nerd out on ingredients’ lists, this shop definitely does their research into their ingredients and knows what they’re doing. They have a very extensive definition and explanation for a couple of controversial-sounding ingredients that are both silicones. Otherwise, the rest of the ingredients like allantoin, jojoba, and tocopherol (Vitamin E) are all safe and conditioning for the skin.
Also, a nice perk of this shop is that they are willing to custom blend a formula for any skin type! That’s the true sign of a master formulator!
Finally, another benefit of using any of the above primers from Etsy is that they double-up as skincare and can all be used as eye and face masks or nighttime moisturizers! If you have sensitive skin, hope you’ve found at least one primer here that you’re willing to try. And if you know someone who loves beauty products, but is afraid to try makeup for fear of getting an outbreak or bad reaction from it, please share this blog and these shops with them to show how many more safe/r beauty options are out there now. These days, there seems to be something for everyone!
Terry Alabata is a 7-year experienced makeup artist and hairstylist and the Bay Area’s premiere beauty artist specializing in eco-friendly and cruelty-free makeovers. Her passion for makeup and hair grew from a desire to find safe, hypoallergenic options for people with sensitive skin and eczema, like her.