The Best Natural Primers For A Fresh, Prepped Complexion

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The beauty industry’s penchant for greenwashing can make it difficult to understand which products are actually natural, and which are just packaged in containers that have plants and flowers on them — but you can consider this list of the best natural primers a trustworthy resource. Not every product here is 100% natural — which, in this case, means containing ingredients that derive from natural sources — but they all contain mostly botanically derived ingredients. And, perhaps more importantly, they’re all free of the most common synthetic additives that are typically found in cosmetics, like parabens, phthalates, and fragrance.

As every primer on this list boasts a quality formula, the right one for you will depend mostly on your desired texture and effect. If it’s a mattifying primer you’re after, consider an option that harnesses rice powder or agave extract in lieu of silicones to impart a soft, powdery finish and control excess oil production. Otherwise, you’ll find plenty of primers infused with light-diffusing minerals that make your skin look dewy and radiant. And most of these primers have featherweight consistencies, but a few feel satisfyingly rich, and may even be able to replace your moisturizer.

Whether you wear your primer alone or use yours to prep your skin for makeup, you’ll find something to love (and trust) in this guide to the best natural primers, ahead.


Editor’s Pick

This TULA Face Filter is the only primer I personally use, mainly because it feels more like skin care than it does makeup. The consistency feels like a fluid lotion that blends seamlessly into skin, without a trace of greasiness or tackiness; and, thanks to ingredients like glycerin and chia seed oil, it feels as nourishing as a lotion. Other botanicals like turmeric and lactic acid help instantly brighten up your complexion, while “glow particles” impart a soft-focus finish — and help me achieve the dewy, glazed-doughnut look I’m always after.


An Illuminating Primer That Feels Like A Serum

ILIA’s True Skin Serum Foundation has rapidly ascended to cult status, but the brand’s accompanying primer is equally deserving of attention. Just like the beloved foundation, this aloe-based primer boasts a serum-like consistency that dries down to a featherlight, dry-to-the-touch finish. You may also notice an immediate firming effect, while beta glucan keeps your skin feeling plump and hydrated all day long. A hint of mineral particles offer an illuminating kick, too.


A Mattifying Primer Made With Oil-Absorbing Rice Starch

If you prefer to avoid silicones but crave a smooth, powdery finish with your makeup, consider this 100% PURE Mattifying Primer. Rather than silicones, this uses rice starch to absorb excess oil and minimize the appearance of enlarged pores, while tea tree extract works as an antibacterial agent — making this an excellent choice for acne-prone complexions, in addition to oily skin. This primer has the added distinction of comprising entirely recognizable ingredients — like seaweed collagen for plumping, and organic aloe for lightweight hydration, to name a few more botanical power players.


A Luxurious Primer Made With Locally Grown, Organic Ingredients

Like all Juice Beauty products, this primer is packed with ingredients sourced directly from the brand’s own organic farm in Sonoma County, CA. Key ingredients in this farm-fresh formula include organic aloe and glycerin for hydration, coconut alkanes (not organic) for smoothing and priming effects, and the brand’s signature blend of protective and brightening antioxidants. This primer is also infused with softly illuminating particles, so it’ll make your skin look naturally filtered — whether you choose to layer a foundation on top or not.


A Hypoallergenic Primer With A $20 Price Tag

You’ve likely caught on by now that natural primers tend to be on the more expensive side — but at $20, this Honest Beauty primer feels refreshingly accessible. Another glow-boosting pick, this is made with light-refracting particles that make your skin look naturally radiant and help minimize the appearance of pores. And everyone’s favorite hydrator, hyaluronic acid, is responsible for its fresh, fluid feel. This is hypoallergenic and dermatologist-tested — so while all the products on this list are generally suitable for sensitive skin, this one may be a particularly safe choice.


A Coconut-Spiked Primer That Can Double As Your Moisturizer

Every primer here is inherently moisturizing (hence, multitasking), but this one from First Aid Beauty feels especially nourishing. The consistency is on the richer side, like a moisturizer, but it blends in super smoothly — and even shoppers with oily skin report that it doesn’t feel greasy. Ingredient highlights include a unique mineral blend of zinc and copper that works to reduce redness; quinoa proteins that repair the skin barrier and lock in moisture; and coconut water for that signature, hydrating feel.


A Cult-Favorite Primer Made With Skin-Strengthening Probiotics

Here’s another deliciously lightweight primer, this time from cult-favorite British skincare brand REN. It’s made with sodium hyaluronate, and the texture actually feels akin to a hyaluronic acid serum — as do the plumping, hydrating, and mildly mattifying effects. Probiotics are another headlining ingredient, which work to bolster your skin barrier and improve moisture retention over time; and agave extract stands in for silicones to smooth and prep your skin for makeup.