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Primers serve as the base for foundation and tinting or colored makeup and they play an important role in the makeup process, that’s why you need the best Korean primers available on the market.
Primers generally target the same general concerns: uneven application due to oily, porous skin, uneven skin tone, and the troubles of short-lasting make up.
To address these issues, primers can even out your skin tone, reduce the look of pores, fine lines & wrinkles, hydrate & moisturize, adhere to makeup, and control facial oils.
This article looks specifically at primers made by Korean companies and here’s why.
Korean cosmetics are typically time-tested and characterized by innovative, herbal, and natural ingredients based on rigorous research.
Importantly, its skin-enhancing ingredients and beauty formulas are typically safer and friendlier for the skin, prone to fewer breakouts for sensitive types.
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10 Best Korean Primers Reviewed
So, let’s explore 10 of the best Korean primers found on Amazon.
If you look up “Korean Primers” you’ll find this one consistently in the top 5 of Korean primers.
If you are looking for a primer specifically to cover over your enlarged pores, this might be the one for you.
The No Pore Blem Primer comes in a frosted glass pump bottle which is preferred by most for its pump and general aesthetics.
The Pore Blem Primer is a smooth, lightweight primer with a mattifying effect.
It is highly praised for blurring and evening over pores for flawless make-up application.
Its success in targeting enlarged pores is made possible with microfibres as a protective layer for seamless skin.
Skin-health friendly, this product is hypoallergenic, vegan, cruelty-free, and without paraben, sulfates, phthalates.
Double thumbs up!
Perfect for all skin types: normal, oily, combination, dry, and sensitive.
No Pore Blem primer is also infused with green tea extracts to protect the skin and give it an energized look.
Green Tea extracts are also used to reduce inflammation, swelling, and redness in addition to diminishing signs of aging.
And of course, the No Pore Blem Primer has collagen which helps to maintain moisture for optimizing skin elasticity and hydration.
Reviewers have noticed a very light, fresh scent, but nothing overwhelming and are generally pleased with its ability to hide pores.
The No Pore Blem primer is one that many people swear by for flawless, seamless coverage and longer-lasting makeup wear.
Pros & Benefits:
- Suitable for every skin type
- Vegan, cruelty-free and without paraben, sulfates, and phthalates
- Targets enlarged pores
If you’re afraid of oiliness and acne as a result of too many make-up layers, this might be the primer for you.
Dispensed as a skin color with a mint fragrance the Innisfree No Sebum Blur Primer applies onto the skin in an easy glide.
Innisfree primer comes in a 25ml plastic squeeze tube.
It is aimed at smoothing over enlarged pores, bumps, and acne while controlling sebum.
Characterized by its Jeju mineral ingredient, the primer’s persimmon extracts helps tighten pores to help with “blurring” while the Jeju green complex assists with healthier skin complexions.
The Innisfree No Sebum Blur Primer finishes with a matte look so you can choose to use this product alone or under foundation and other makeup products.
Like other primers, reviewers reflect its ability to cover over pores, smooth over the skin while doing a good job at controlling skin oil.
Although the No Sebum Primer controls and reduces skin oils, it does not have the effect of fully eliminating sebum since that is a natural skin activity.
While it has some promising ingredients and proven results, this product does contain the silicon ingredient which can be unpreferred for those prone to acne.
Nevertheless, many combinations and acne-prone reviewers have reported the great effectiveness of the Innisfree No Sebum primer to blur out pores and control sebum.
Unlike other Korean primers, this primer does not have specific brightening or glowing effects.
Pros & Benefits:
- Blurs pores
- Matte finish
- Jeju ingredients tighten pores
Of Banila Co’s primer collection, featured here is the Banila Co Prime Primer Sun SPF 50+.
This primer not only functions to set your face for foundation application but also works as a sunblock to reduce the UV-caused effects of aging.
Its formula moisturizes, energizes, and enhances your makeup with brighter skin tones and reduced wrinkle lines.
Using a white flower complex, the Banila Co Prime Primer Sun SPF 50+ protects your skin from additional chemical and environmental stresses.
The Banila Co. Prime Primer Sun SPF 50+ is a primer without parabens, sulfates, and phthalates.
Many reviewers claim that the application of the Prime Primer Sun does not give you the “sunscreen” feeling and leaves your face soft, and free of stickiness perfect for foundation application.
This primer can also be used on its own as sunblock while perfecting the texture of your skin by blurring your pores for a flawless natural look.
This Korean brand, Banila Co has some other good primer lines to offer.
Banila Co has 4 different products to match your needs: classic, matte, hydrating, and sunblock.
Banila Co’s Prime Primer Classic and Matte are both more powdery than the hydrating line to give you a velvety skin feel.
The Classic is one of their most popular for controlling oil and blurring pores and fine lines and is a good alternative to the sunline.
Pros & Benefits:
- SPF 50+ protection
- Ingredients help brighten skin tones
- Has no parabens, sulfates, mineral oil
This primer is a winner for those that need to kick the dullness in their complexion.
The VDL Lumilayer Primer Fresh is slightly pink-tinted as it’s combined with gold, red, and white pigments.
This primer specifically creates what they call a glass look to give your skin a luminous glow with seamless coverage.
The gold, red and white pigments help create this glow by reflecting light with some sparkle effect without feeling sticky.
The gold and red combination can give you a bronzer-glow look.
The VDL Lumilayer Primer Fresh is ultra-hydrating with Glycerin ingredients while smoothing blemishes, uneven skin textures, and other imperfections.
With 70% of its ingredients for moisturizing, the VDL Lumilayer Primer fresh is also suitable for drier skin types.
The VDL Lumilayer Primer Fresh absorbs into your skin immediately so you will not have to wait until you apply your foundation.
Many reviewers love the “plump” highlighter look to boost their gloomy dullness.
Other reviewers (with more oily skin), have stated that the extra luminous effect might increase the look and feel of oiliness if the skin is already naturally oily.
Nevertheless, this primer is created safe for those with acne and blemish-prone skin.
For an alternative without the sparkle and bronzing effect, the VDL Lumilayer Primer (not Primer Fresh), works to give a glass, plump, highlighter look while giving you a seamless foundation application.
The VDL Lumilayer Primers come in packaging and a 30 ml glass bottle that creates a luxurious product feel.
Pros & Benefits:
- Luminous look
- Can be worn alone as a sheer highlighter
- Safe for acne/blemish-prone skin
The Etude House Face Shot Blur primer creates a natural “filter” effect on your skin by blurring out pores and imperfections.
Out of a 35g plastic pump bottle, the Etude House Face Shot Blur primer is made of airy skin powder with a floral scent.
The Baby Pixel Powder and Cover Powder are what give the skin its smoothing, blurring look.
This primer has a pearly coral base which helps work brilliantly to correct different tones on the skin and brightens the look of your skin for a healthy complexion before foundation application.
Its Zinc Oxide and Titanium Oxide ingredients give the Etude House Face Shot Blur primer a natural protective barrier against UV rays.
With SPF, this Primer allows you to skip the sunscreen step in your makeup routine and does not leave you with the heavy sunscreen feel.
Suited for drier skin types as the silicone agents conditions and lubricates the skin.
Reviewers have claimed this primer as a photoshop in a bottle resulting in skin and photos as flawless before photoshopping and editing.
Pros & Benefits:
- Has a filter effect
This lightweight primer gel is perfect for smoothing over skin with enlarged pores and skin that is prone to acne as it applies to the skin flawlessly.
This mineral polymer gel primer is skin-colored and comes in a 40 ml plastic squeeze tube.
It leaves your skin smooth and ready for foundation.
The Aritaum Pore Master Sebum Control primer works to mattify the skin base without clogging those pores and leaves the skin baby soft, however, it does have a silicon feel.
To control breakouts, the Pore Master has Green Tea extracts that actively tighten pores while helping your skin with inflammation and redness reduction.
Additionally, green tea extracts are known to also be agents for reducing aging signs and puffiness.
The Pore Master is alcohol, sulfate, and paraben-free which is preferred by many skincare users.
Many reviewers have compared the Pore Master to the Benefit Pore Professional primer and have claimed that they feel is nearly identical.
Both oily-skinned users and dry/combination skinned users have loved this primer.
While the Pore Master is a cheaper alternative and some have even reported longer-lasting effects.
Pros & Benefits:
- Green tea extracts help reduce inflammation
- Controls sebum
- Priced well
The Misha B.B. Boomer Illuminating Primer specifically targets those who wear B.B.
Cream and comes in a 40 ml squeeze tube.
As the name suggests, this primer increases the wear of BB creams when you apply the Boomer as a primer under BBs.
This illuminating primer is also great for makeup application with a dewy texture and its pearly pink shine.
The Misha B.B. Boomer Illuminating Primer applies like a moisturizer and is noticeably fragrant.
You can wear it alone as the illumination works to brighten your complexion for a healthier look while hiding your pores and wrinkles.
The B.B. Bomer Illuminating primer has a patented ingredient of moringa which combined with Mannan and Squalene provides a barrier for moisture retention.
The Moringa oil also acts as an environmental protector for the skin against environment-related damages.
The Boomer Illuminating Primer also has ingredients (adenosine and arbutin) to target fine line coverage on the skin.
It is reviewed by users for its ability to prolong makeup wear and moderate to medium coverage.
Reviewers also reflect the easier application of BB Creams while leaving the skin with an illuminating shine and moisturization.
Pros & Benefits:
- Works specifically with BB Creams
- Patented ingredient for moisture retention and environmental protection
- Has an illuminating glow from within complexion
Known for its velvety smoothness, this 3CE Back to Baby Primer reduces pore and blemish appearances.
Without its silicone base, you won’t have to worry about this primer clogging your pores.
This primer leaves your skin glowing, luminous, and brightened.
Once spread, the primer finishes with a powdery feel, leaving your skin smooth, but still hydrated.
The 3CE Back to Baby Base has a light, baby powder smell.
This primer hydrolyzed Baobab tree extracts specifically to leave the skin hydrated.
The Elderflower, orange blossom, magnolia, and lily ingredients are responsible for the brightening of skin while soothing the correcting the overall skin tone for flawless foundation application.
This product has two pastel shades to target specific needs.
The lavender shade assists with yellow undertones that can be dull-looking; and the mint green shade targets neutralizing redness of the skin.
Reviewers claim that a little product goes a long way, unlike other primers while leaving your skin hydrated.
While the Back to Baby Primer does not clog pores, due to its glowing effect, it can create an oily/greasy look for those who have more oil production.
A little pricier than other primers the Back to Baby Primers come in a 30ml tube.
Pros & Benefits:
- Beautiful glowing base
- Covers pores and blemishes but does not clog pores
- Highly adhesive to makeup
New to the market, this primer is described as the perfect concealer, applies like a moisturizer, and comes in a 35 ml squeeze tube.
The W-Airfit Pore Primer smooths over acne, pores, lines, and controls facial oils.
This primer is made with all-natural ingredients, featuring orange blossom, tea tree, rose flower, lily, magnolia, and oats.
Each with their effects, the natural ingredients together cleanse your skin, pores, and acne by disinfecting and removing unwanted substances, as well as hydrating and treating scars/blemishes.
Pink in color, the product works to correct dullness in the skin by brightening and smoothing over skin textures.
This primer is lower on our list because if you’ve looked online you might have noticed that the W-Airfit Pore Primer has had some conflicting reviews.
Some reviewers have fallen in love with this primer and claim its effectiveness in pore blurring while others have objected and claimed that next to another normal primer, the W Airfit Pore Primer does not blur pores as marketed.
What is consistent between reviewers is the moisturizing feel of the primer.
So, for those that need a moisturizing base to adhere to your foundation without too much concern with overly enlarged pores, this might be the perfect primer for you.
Pros & Benefits:
- All-natural ingredients
- Brightens skin
Last on our list is the A’PIEU Start-Up Primer simply because it is not as widely known and used as with the other primers we’ve discussed.
Out of a 30ml tube, this primer turns greasy skin to fresh, silky smooth, and ready to work with.
The appearance of pores is most significantly observed when a foundation or other creams are applied as opposed to worn on its own.
As a result, this Start-Up Primer might be best for those needing foundation-adhering primer not necessarily targeted for oiliness or enlarged pores.
The A’PIEU Start-Up Primer leaves the skin soft and dewy while clings to both the skin and your makeup.
Unlike other primers we’ve looked at, the A’PIEU Start-Up Primer does not leave your skin especially slowly, just a natural smoothing, pore covering effect.
The Olibanum tree ingredients work specifically to care for your pores while its 7 tea extracts are activated to clear away dirt from skin and pores.
The Start-Up Primer has herbal oils including tea tree and lemongrass for skin preparation and relaxation.
This primer can be mixed with foundation or BB cream as part of one application.
Slightly less popular reviewers like its hypoallergenic formula with mild and gentle ingredients.
Reviewers have also compared this to the Pore Professional and Aritaum Pore Masters as a similar product.
Pros & Benefits:
- Suitable for every skin type
- Natural ingredients to improve skin complexion
- Price is fair
Choosing The Right Primer For Your Skin
The basis of beauty, in this case, would start with skincare and a part of skincare is carefully choosing your products.
As someone with sensitive, blemish, and acne-prone skin, I understand the pain of having to re-balance the health of my skin after I’ve erroneously used a product that my skin does not like.
With that in mind, I always suggest using a product with ingredients that do not cause your skin to flare up.
This means that you may have to reprioritize your criteria if you are choosing skincare products heavily based on pricing.
Since primer’s main goal is to smooth out the skin for better makeup applications many of them work to reduce the look of pores.
You will want to be careful that these pore-reducing effects are not a result of comedogenic substances.
In other words, look carefully at the ingredients as opposed to purely on other user reviews since everyone’s skin reacts differently to the same products.
Next, you will also want to consider what makeup product you are using after you’ve applied your primer.
Since water is the universal solvent, some water-based products can be too slippery to be compatible with certain primers.
In other cases, some oil-based products may also be too heavy for what your primer can hold.
Another important consideration is the number of chemicals that your primer is made of as they can cause expedited skin aging processes.
When possible I prefer natural ingredients.
Lastly, as a personal choice, I believe less is more.
So, if a primer has effective SPF and is not sticky nor does it clog pores, why not use it?
We often want to protect the sebum from coming out but it is also important to prevent the UV rays from damaging the skin!
It’s important to remember that everyone’s skin is different.
Because the Korean market of beauty products prefers a brighter look and complexion, their products tend to have brightening effects.
This is true of their primers.
So, it is important to keep in mind that if you have darker skin or even tanned skin, these Korean primers may have a dramatic whitening effect that looks unnatural.
However, for those with fairer skin or who like to have brighter skin tones these primers will be your best friend.
All in all, based on the product descriptions, reviews and overall look, the Touch in Sol No Pore Blem primer, Innisfree No Sebum Blur Primer, Banila Co primers, and the VDL Lumilayer Primers are the best Korean Primers.
In summary, if you like primers with brightening, pore coverage, smooth effects and are lightweight, Korean primers are pretty promising.