The Best Face Primer for Acne Prone and Sensitive Skin: Korres Vitamin E Silicone Free Mattifying Face Primer

For the longest time, I never used makeup primers because all the ones I tried would break me out.

I have VERY reactive skin.

My skin breaks out if I look at it the wrong way.


Anyway, so I have tried a LOT of makeup primers with such horrible results.

Sure, they looked great on, but within a day or even a few hours I was combating a bad breakout or at least one or two painful spots. Even the primers that claimed to be anti-acne or infused with some acne treatment formula still made my skin freak out.

Finally, after much facial pain and suffering, lots of lost cash, and 5 unused re-gifted primers later, I found the perfect face primer: Korres Vitamin E Silicone Free Mattifying Face Primer with Pomegranate.

Application Instructions from Korres: 

Apply a pearl-size amount to face before applying foundation.

Product Claims : 

If your symptoms are visible pores, unwanted shine, and an overall makeup meltdown, then Korres has the remedy for you. This clinically proven, universally nude Pomegranate Mattifying Primer blends to an invisible matte finish while minimizing the appearance of pores, balancing skintone and texture, and preparing skin for smooth makeup application and long-lasting wear. The 94% natural, non-comedogenic formula is water-based so it allows skin to breathe and never clogs pores.

My Experiences: 

I have had nothing but good experiences with this primer. I originally bought it from Sephora after the Cover FX Anti Acne Primer broke me out really horribly. What I initially loved about this primer is that it is silicone free so it is much less likely to clog your pores as other makeup primers might. Many makeup primers include silicone because it fills in your pores, but it also blocks them in turn, and can create a lot of skin issues for you if you are sensitive to ingredients as I am.

When I first applied this primer, I was surprised that it has such a nice finish. It really makes your skin look more even toned, vibrant and hydrated. Makeup goes on great over this primer as well and, even though it touts itself as a mattifying primer, it is not drying to the skin in the least. Another thing I love about this primer is that it is made with natural ingredients, some of which include great benefits to your skin while you wear it. I feel like it works much like skincare, but with makeup functionality.

The formula includes pomegranate extract which is rich in vitamins A, C & E so you get antioxidant protection from pollution and other free radicals as well as skin nourishment. It also includes 5% willow bark extract and 5% witch hazel flower water, both of which are known to help with breakouts, irritation and oiliness.

Who It’s For: 

In my honest opinion, this primer is for anyone, but those who will benefit the most are those with oily, acne prone, reactive, or sensitive skin types. This primer will NOT break you out or irritate your skin. One of the main reasons why is because it is silicone free, an ingredient often included in primers to “fill” pores (or block them, as I see it!) which can break a LOT of people out. If you have large pores, though, there is good news. According to Korres, you, too, should use this primer if you have enlarged pores!

Best Uses:

 I have experimented loads with this primer. I think it works really well as intended as a makeup base primer, but it also works well to seal in your nighttime skincare products, especially as it has beneficial ingredients in the formula and it won’t irritate your skin.

Noted Ingredients: 

  • Pomegranate Extract – Rich in vitamins A, C & E. Provides antioxidant benefits and Korres says it will “tighten pores” as well
  • 5% Willow Bark Extract – Balances the skin and treats breakouts
  • Rice Starch – Absorbs excess oil and softens the skin
  • 5% Witch Hazel Flower Hydrosol Water – “Mattifies and tightens the skin without stripping natural oils”

Ingredient List: 

Water Dicaprylyl Ether, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Hamamelis Virginiana Flower Water, Cetiaryl Alcohol, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetyl Palmitate, Nylon-12. Glyceryl Stearate Citrate, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Salix Nigra (Willow) Bark Extract, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Starch, Benzyl Alcohol, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Phenoxyethanol, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Xanthan Gum, Fragrance, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Cellulose Gum, Lactic Acid, Tocopheral, Sodium Phytate, Maltodextrin, Punica Granatum Extract. May Contain: Iron Oxides, Mica.

Formulated WithOUT:

  • Parabens
  • Sulfates
  • Synthetic Dyes
  • Petrochemicals
  • Phthalates
  • GMOs
  • Triclosan

Product Pros:

  • Silicone Free – Will Not clog pores
  • Ingredients are Beneficial to Skin as well, especially vitamins A, C & E
  • Great Finish Mattifies Skin without being drying
  • Smells like Grapefruit
  • Has a Nice Finish
  • Evens Skin Tone

Product Cons: 

  • May be Considered Expensive for Some
  • May Not be Mattifying Enough for Very Oily Types
  • Some May not Like Scent of Product

Final Thoughts:

In summation, I am really glad a primer like this is available. That I know of, it is the only silicone free primer on the market, or at least the only one that advertises as such. I really love that I can still get a nice matte, yet hydrated and even finish from this primer without harmful, pore clogging ingredients. I love that it includes skin beneficial ingredients that will improve my skin in the long term. Although it does cost $33, which may seem like a lot for some, I have had mine for about 6 months and I am barely running out now so, for me, it is  good value for the money.

Where to Find:

You can find the Korres Vitamin E Silicone Free Primer on the Korres website if you are not in the USA or at Sephora (where I bought mine).


Have you ever tried any Korres products?

What are your favorites?

That’s All for Now!

Stay Beautiful


I’ll Talk to You Soon : ]

Disclaimer: I was NOT given compensation to write this blog post in any way. I purchased this of my own free will. My opinions, thoughts and experiences with this product are my own.

26 thoughts on “The Best Face Primer for Acne Prone and Sensitive Skin: Korres Vitamin E Silicone Free Mattifying Face Primer

    1. storybookapothecary Post author

      I didn’t for the longest because I associated them with pore clogging nightmares, but I love this one because it’s more like skincare makeup prep. ! Plus smells delicious 🙂

  1. Sarah

    This sounds like a dream come true! My pores get clogged by EVERYTHING, and for a while I couldn’t figure out why my liquid foundation gave me acne. One question: you said it evens skin tone. I have a little redness, on my cheeks and on my nose. Will this primer cover it up? And how long did your makeup last over it?

    1. storybookapothecary Post author

      Hi Sarah, I totally understand!! This primer did not irritate my skin at all. What liquid foundation do you use? Yeah it does even out skin tone, but there’s no pigment to cover redness. It will probably calm the redness a bit, but you will still need to use a powder or concealer over if you want coverage. my makeup lasts like 6-7 hours over this primer using a liquid foundation and like 8 ish hours with a full coverage powder.

  2. ecobeaut

    Very nice review! I’ve been thinking about picking up this Korres primer awhile back but always hesitated because of the price. I generally go for hydrating primers because I have such dry skin but it’s nice that it’s silicone free. I am extremely partial to Korres’ lip goss/butters 🙂 have you tried them out before?

    1. storybookapothecary Post author

      Thanks! Yeah i understand that. Its very hydrating without clogging pores. It smells like grapefruit too, which i love! I love their lip butters as well! I have the non tinted one. Love korres products!

    2. storybookapothecary Post author

      Thank you! Yeah this one is really nice and hydrating without clogging the pores. It smells delicious as well! Just like grapefruit! I love their lip butters ; I have the non-tinted one, but I’d love to pick up the new coral one as well!

    1. storybookapothecary Post author

      Thank you! and thanks for commenting 🙂 I’ve had the best luck with the ones from Korres; everything else seems to make me break out. The only other one I’ve had nice luck with is the Alpha-H Liquid Gold Perfecting Daywear which isn’t really touted as a primer, but can be used as one. I wrote about it here, if you’re interested >
      What does the one from Benefit do?

  3. thehealthandwellnessblog

    Hi and thanks for liking my post!Thanks for the handy tip on primers. I’ve never used one but I will try the Korres Vitamin E as I have a delicate skin ans it should give a better cover using it with my foundation- You stay beautiful too!!

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  5. rachel

    Hey, was just wondering, could you still see your pores through the foundation after using this primer? I’m trying to find one that hides my pores as best as possible. Thank you!

    1. storybookapothecary Post author

      Hi Rachel,

      honestly, the only way your pores won’t be visible or least visible is if you use a silicone primer or if you take care and improve your skin. Enlarged pores can be genetic, but if you have acne or redness, they can be enlarged from skin inflammation and dirt clogging them. If you take care and heal your skin, your pores will naturally shrink. If that isn’t a problem for you, the only way to ensure you don’t see much of any pore surface is by using silicone primers. They fill in the pore holes and make the surface of your skin look smooth. Unfortunately they usually aren’t too great for your skin. It depends on the primer though. I recently did a review for Jane Iredale Smooth Affair primer and it has silicone, but didn’t break me out. Maybe you could try that one and see how it goes? Good luck! x

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  10. Ally

    Thanks for the great review! I just started using a primer on my face. I’m using Smashbox and it hasn’t broken my face out at all yet. However, if it does, I’ll look into Korres.

    1. storybookapothecary Post author

      Whattt! That’s such a freaking bummer! Well, it doesn’t really matter at this point since I haven’t used this primer in years. They discontinued it a few years ago, sadly. It was one of the few that worked for me. Now I use Studio78 Primer and the Jane Iredale Smooth Affair Primers .I’m not sure if they have silicones in them, but they might. They are vegan and organic, though so maybe not. Sorry to hear you have an extreme sensitivity. I know my skin tends to hate them in most cases.

  11. Kate

    I liked this post a lot! Unfortunately, I went to take a look at the primer and it seems that it is has been reformulated with silicone. Do you have any other primers now that you like and don’t clog your pores?

    1. storybookapothecary Post author

      thanks! yes, I saw that they discontinued the silicone free one. such a bust. I LOVE Jane Iredale Smooth Affair Primers and the Studio 78 Primer is also really good. I talked about them here >>>

      Studio78 Fresh Air Luminous Primer was featured in this post > it does include plant silica, but it doesn’t clog my pores (thank GOD!) and it’s super light and dewy on the skin.

      If you want something more mattifying or gel texture, the Jane Iredale primers are great. I’ve tried the brightening primer and the one for oily skin – both are amazing. I talked about the oily skin one here > it also has silicone, but it works really well for me and doesn’t bother my skin at all. if you find that silicone primers will definitely NOT work for you, then what I suggest is to use a face oil or balm before applying makeup instead. it works pretty well as long as you give it time to set 🙂 hope this helps!

    1. storybookapothecary Post author

      hello! no worries. There’s no problem with silicone primers if they don’t bother your skin, but silicone can clog pores and cause acne for some, while others can have a reaction to them if they have more sensitive skin. but if those things don’t apply to you, you’re fine, I think 🙂 I try to avoid them since I don’t fare too well with them and also since they tend to irritate/break me out.


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