Depending on who you ask, primer is either a saving grace or a total con. The takes are polarizing, but as with many beauty products, it depends on the person and the product — and if you have fine lines that you’d love to never see again, shoppers say there’s one primer that smoothes out wrinkles and pores even faster than retinol.
The raves are abundant for Colorescience’s Brightening Perfector SPF 20, which double-features as a wrinkle eraser and SPF that “doesn’t even feel like you’re wearing sunscreen,” per Dermstore shoppers. It’s a quality the brand is known for, and its powder sunscreen is beloved by Cameron Diaz and Maria Menounos. One commenter in her 30s writes that she’s used the primer for years and loves that it leaves her skin “silky smooth,” more even, and with softened fine lines. Another reviewer says that it helps to hide her fine lines before foundation, and within two weeks, it minimized her pores and decimated redness.
Others dub it a “line tamer” that simultaneously “fills in fine wrinkles” and calms redness with a satin-smooth finish, and more add that they’ve reordered the primer dozens of times because nothing else is as good. 220 people awarded the product five stars on Dermstore’s website (and it’s currently sold out at other retailers), with a non-stop flurry of them claiming that it “tames hyper pigmentation and fills in any voids in skin,” effectively gets rid of crows’ feet, and makes an “85 percent difference” in wrinkles after applying.
Convincing words, but the true test for any anti-wrinkle product is the face of a middle-aged person who’s done a lot of living. Ask and ye shall receive, specifically this review from one shopper in their mid-50s: “I LOVE this product.” Used alone or under makeup, they say it hides fine lines so well, it’s their “can’t live without product.”
Shop now: $39 (Originally $49); dermstore.com
Working towards the anti-wrinkle and redness objectives are light-diffusing pigments, inflammation-soothing aloe vera, and blue algae and oat extracts, which the brand says support collagen production for plump, smooth skin. Meanwhile, mineral sunscreens titanium dioxide and zinc oxide step in to prevent future sun damage from forming.
For redness, rosacea is the ultimate test — and one that the Brightening Perfector passed with flying colors (or rather, a complete lack thereof). One shopper who describes their skin as “pretty darned pink” writes that it hugely reduces redness, and others say that it works so well for it, they always have an extra bottle on standby. Still more call it the “primer of [their] dreams;” after using it for six months on their reddish, uneven skin and large pores, they say it smoothes out their skin color and texture so well, now they don’t like to go without it.
On top of smoother skin, other shoppers write that it controls oil better than anything else they’ve tried. “I am nearing nine hours wearing this primer,” writes one person dealing with oily skin, “and my face does not look oily at all.” With the primer on their face, many commenters attest that the compliments come rolling in (the best kind of buzz).
For something that cuts redness, immediately fills in lines, and keeps oil at bay, the $49 price tag is reasonable — but thanks to Dermstore’s excellent sale section, it’s currently going for 20 percent off at $39 (and you can take an extra 10 percent off with the code Extra10). Considering it makes you look an extra ten years younger, that’s a code well chosen.