Bun Bun Makeup Tips and Beauty Product Reviews

5 Differences Between Silicone Face Primer, Lotion Face Primer, and Cream Face Primer

March 14, 2011
Composed by : Bun Bun

I  have extreeeemmely oily skin so without a primer my face would be all oily and gross like 2 hours after I’m done with my makeup. Before face primers, I had to blot twice a day. I know, I know, over-blotting actually induces the skin to produce more oil. But the amount of oil on my face could save the global crisis ! I swear you can see your reflection on my cheeks if I don’t blot mid-day.

And then I got introduced to the makeup world and *throws confetti into the air!* got to know about face primers!

Primers are like a web over the skin, to smooth out the skin by sort of ‘filling in’ the unevenness in the skin and allow makeup to have something to cling on to. Like legendary celebrity makeup artist Adrien Arpel says, face primers are “under-makeup makeup”.

Face primers come in lotion, cream and silicone form.

Creamy Formula Face Primer

My first experience with a cream face primer (Stila Hydrating Primer) ended in tragedy. It was horrible! My face looked like a melted plate of candle wax in the hot and humid weather of Singapore. I think the fact that I paired the cream primer with a BB cream made me the greasiest pancake-faced person ever. Gawd, BB creams are creamier and oilier in texture and I was putting a BB cream on top of a creamy face primer on top of a moisturizer on top of an oily face. Dang!! Creamy makeup primers are too rich for me.

It is, however, recommended for dry skin as creamy formula face primers tend to contain moisturizing ingredients.

Lotion Face Primer

The MAKE UP FOR EVER HD Microperfecting Primer is more like a lotion than a cream primer. More lightweight and less greasy. I would recommend it to people with normal or combination skin. It may be a little greasy for oily skin though. I only use it when I feel that the air is a little dry and my skin needs a little more moisture.

Cream and lotion face primers (and BB creams!) are excellent for people with dry or dry/combination skin. It provides another layer of moisture (hence my disastrous oily face + moisturizer + BB cream = greasy pancake equation) and are great for use in winter. Try to avoid silicone primers as they tend to slide off dry skin in tiny flakes. Opt for a silicone-free face primer that has moisturizing content.

Silicone Face Primer

With a silicone primer, the oils on my face still appear, but MUCH LESS. When I blot my face in the late afternoon, there is less oil on the blotting paper and my makeup really does stay on longer. And I love the feeling silicone primers give, especially the Monistat Chafing gel – it’s like putting silk on my face!

The Monistat Chafing Relief Powder-Gel is a nontoxic silicone primer, which covers everything with a thin layer that stays between the skin and makeup. It works like a charm on me. I was afraid it would clog my pores but so far it’s fortunately done all the good and none of the bad – no clogging, no breakouts.


Buy Monistat Chafing Relief Powder-Gel

Here’s comparing Silicone Face Primers, Lotion Face Primers, and Cream Face Primers in 5 ways:

1. Texture

Creams are thicker in consistency than lotions. Silicone primers feels like silk. Whee!

2. Suitability

It is debatable as to whether silicone face primers are more suitable for people with oily skin or dry skin. Some makeup artists claim that silicone primers tend to end up flaky on people with dry skin, while others say it is best for dry skin. Some other artists say that they cause breakouts on oily skinned people, while other say it is best for oily skinned people.

I say, opt for a lotion or silicone face primer if you have normal to oily skin. Given the greasier elements in cream face primers, they’re more suitable for drier skin types or to be used in winter.

But to each his own! If a certain texture works for you, stick with it.

3. Staying power

Lotion and cream face primers tend to slide off my skin more than silicone primers.

4. Ease of removal

They’re all pretty easy to remove with a makeup remover. I just have less makeup left on my face with a cream face primer by the end of the day because nothing stays! Ha! The most important thing is, regardless of how thick or light your face makeup may be, always remove all traces of makeup before you go to bed.

5. Ability to keep shine at bay

For a person with oily skin, finding a primer that actually keeps the makeup on has been an arduous journey. I give my vote to silicone primers.

What kind of face primer do you use?

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One thought on “5 Differences Between Silicone Face Primer, Lotion Face Primer, and Cream Face Primer”

Clara says:

I have dry skin, but I love the texture and staying power of silicon primers. Unfortunately, silicon-based primers cause major breakouts on my skin, as I learned all too well with the Banila Co. Classic Primer (it’s a really good primer and I wish I could continue using it; it’s just that I have very sensitive skin). Ugh.

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