Wading through the thousands of primers on the market can be daunting, and there are plenty of formulas that claim to moisturize thirsty skin but really fall flat when push comes to shove. So we've removed the effort and guesswork by rounding up 10 of the best hydrating primers money can buy along with some of their best, ultra-moisturizing PICs. Keep scrolling!
I don't know about you, but it doesn't seem like things could get much dreamier than an Augustinus Bader and Victoria Beckham Beauty collab, right? This hydrating primer is a sucker punch to the bank account, but it's also not your average primer. It feels much more like a moisturizer than a primer (it doesn't have that pill-inducing, silicone feel), and it will literally make your foundation look 10 times better than it normally does. (The first time my fellow beauty editor Courtney Higgs and I tried it, we could not stop texting "OMGs" back and forth.) But it gets even better. The legendary AB leaves his stamp on this formula via his trademark TFC8 technology, which stimulates the skin's natural repair process, kicks the regeneration system into overdrive, and, of course, tackles visible signs of aging like lines, wrinkles, and loss of elasticity.
When I asked Courtney about her hydrating primer top list, she immediately brought up this top-rated pick from Fenty Beauty. It features key ingredients like grape-seed oil and sodium hyaluronate that feel light and not at all cloying on top of your skin but that surge dry and dehydrated skin with long-lasting moisture for improved makeup wear.
This hydrating primer-serum hybrid from Neutrogena is the ultimate proof that you don't need to spend an arm, leg, and entire paycheck on a super-effective primer. As it's part of the brand's beloved Hydro Boost collection, you can count on all the best ingredients (like glycerin and hyaluronic acid) to re-up your skin with radiant moisture.
Tula is one of our favorite skincare brands thanks to its signature focus on probiotics and other skin-strengthening ingredients. So really, it comes as no surprise that this skin-blurring, redness-reducing primer is at the top of our recommendation list. In addition to the aforementioned probiotics, it houses plenty of other nourishing fares like chia seed, licorice, and inflammation-fighting turmeric.
We love a high-quality, multitasking primer, but we've tried plenty of formulas that are so tricked out they actually don't work. This three-in-one primer, moisturizer, and SPF option from nontoxic brand Suntegrity, however, is an exception. It rises to the occasion on all fronts, it never looks greasy, and it keeps your skin bouncy, bright, and youthful looking.
Although the main purpose of a primer is to help maintain the freshness of your makeup, it's rather sad that some are pretty incapable when it actually comes to gripping onto your makeup. All of the primers we're featuring on our list do a fantastic job, but this one seems to do extra well on days when we somehow end up wearing a full face for 12 hours straight. True to Milk Makeup form, it contains a healthy hit of hemp-derived cannabis-seed extract along with other healthy additions like blue agave extract, aloe water, and hyaluronic acid for a smooth, calm, and cool as a cucumber finish.
This vitamin-rich base has been around forever, and it's deservedly gained a holy-grail icon status among editors, celebrities, and A-list makeup artists. You can use it as both a moisturizer and primer, and it tackles tons of potential skin gripes. Whether your oil glands are under- or overactive, the hearty mix of shea butter and vitamins B, C, and E spike your skin with TLC and provide a super-smooth canvas for the rest of your makeup.
Okay, I know I'm not supposed to pick favorites, but I have been absolutely obsessed with this hydrating primer since I first discovered it a few years ago. I use it all year long, but I've found the strategic mix of algae and marine plant extracts, hyaluronic acid, kefir extract, and turmeric to be so nourishing and balancing for my skin, especially come winter. My skin stays hydrated but never greasy, and it smooths everything out so my skin looks practically line-free and poreless.
Believe it or not, glowing skin and hydrated skin aren't always synonymous. And unless you're some kind of alien (if you are, we want all of your secrets), you probably need an extra something-something in addition to healthily watered skin to get an ethereal glow this winter. That's where this beautiful serum from Laneige comes in. It seals in moisture but also keeps oil levels in check so you don't start to veer too shiny. The magic lies in super-special ingredients like diamond mineral powder (for a smoothing effect), Light Fit Prep Technology (for longer-lasting makeup), and ceramide hydration gel (for the ultimate oil-water balance).
Huda Beauty has had launch hit after launch hit this year, and we have to say… This Jelly Hydrating Primer is one of our favorites. If you're someone who wants to ensure your foundation and makeup are locked in for good (or, at least, until you want to remove it), this fast-absorbing pick is for you. Plus, the unique jelly texture just feels so dang refreshing atop winter-chapped skin.