Difference Between Primer and Moisturizer

Doing makeup is an art for that one don’t need to be professional, but of course, one needs to practice a lot. Why? Because practice makes a man perfect. Makeup is known for adding stars to one’s beauty, but it can deteriorate his looks if not done rightly. The primer and moisturizer, vital products of every makeup, are assumed to be the same or thought to be used interchangeably, but that’s a myth. They are different and have their usage.

Primer vs Moisturizer

The main difference between Primer and Moisturizer is that primer is a product of makeup range, whereas moisturizer is a product of skincare space. Another way of expressing this is that the primer is the first step of makeup custom. On the other hand, moisturizer is the final step of makeup custom.

Primer and Moisturizer

As the name suggests, primer is the prime element in one’s makeup drill. It falls under the category of the makeup product range. It provides a base for smooth and spotless makeup. If one wants to have his makeup a long-lasting and crisp effect, then using a primer is a must. Primer helps protect one’s skin from the chemical reactions of other makeup products.

Moisturizer is a skincare component that everyone uses irrespective of they wear makeup or not. It helps lock the moisture present in one’s skin and nourish the skin. It addresses other issues of the skin while hydrating one’s skin. By providing the necessary nutrients, moisturizer improves the quality of the skin and heal the damaged skin.

Comparison Table Between Primer and Moisturizer

Parameters of ComparisonPrimerMoisturizer
What is it? It is a product that ensures spotless and uncracked makeup.It is a product that locks the moisture of the skin.
Type of productIt is a makeup productIt is a skincare product
UsesIt helps to secure makeup for long hours and cares for one’s skin from makeup productsIt helps to hydrate, moisturize and nourish the skin
TypesOil-based primer, Matte primer, Blurring primer, Illuminating primerEmollients moisturizer, Humectants moisturizer, Occlusives moisturizer
Makeup stepIt is applied after moisturizer and before makeup.Its application is before primer.

What is a Primer?

Primer is a makeup product that acts as a base for any makeup. It provides a desirable effect for a smooth and crack-free makeup look. It aids the makeup to be intact for a long duration and improves the coverage area. It helps to cover all the patches and spots on the skin. It acts as a fence between the skin and makeup products.

One crucial point to be noted here is that primer cannot replace moisturizer. The primer is applied after moisturizer but before makeup. One can wear it on any part of the face for getting an even makeup look.

There are various types of primers available for different parts of the face. When talking about eyes, Eyelid primer helps in the smooth application of the eyeshadow. Also, it helps to enhance the colour of the eyeshadow. Mascara primer provides thickness and longness to the eyelashes before wearing mascara. Other than that, it also aids in keeping mascara intact and doesn’t let it smudge. It regulates the health of eyelashes. Lip primer allows the lips in maintaining a smooth look by perfectly holding the lipgloss or lipstick on them. Nail primer works wonders for providing a smooth base for nail paint and keeping nail polish for a long time.

There are various types of primers that include Oil-based primer, also known as hydrating primer, which is helpful for people with dry skin. For people having oily skin, Matte primer sounds good. It blurs the skin’s pores and helps the foundation to stay flawless. Blurring primer is good for having a smooth makeup effect. Illuminating primer has a tint of sheen that gives a glass-like look to your skin.

What is a Moisturizer?

Moisturizer is a skincare product and not a makeup product. It helps to protect, moisturize and treat the skin and helps to avoid skin dryness. It hydrates the skin, improves its quality and retains its moisture. It aids in covering and nourishing the dry patches and makes the skin softer. 

One must apply it before primer because, after a primer, the skin seals to gain the goodness of moisturizer’s nutrients. Different moisturizers are used for different skin types because everyone’s skin varies. To achieve flawless skin and address any skin problems, one should choose the right moisturizer. It may contain oils, herbs or chemicals. 

There are three main types of moisturizers. Emollients are oil-based moisturizers that provide moisture to the skin and help protect it from dryness or harshness. They are in gels or light creams. They are a carrier of vitamin E. No matter what your skin type is, you can always use them. Humectants are responsible for holding the moisture provided by emollients. They draw moisture or water from the air and hydrate one’s skin. An oily skinned person can use these. They are known for absorbing very quickly and having lightweight consistency. One can find them in glycerin, aloe vera gel etc. They have a gel-like texture. If one wants to prevent water loss from the skin, you may use Occlusives. They are recommended for very dehydrated skin types and have a thick texture. They are in thick creams. 

Some other moisturizers are Night creams which have more hydrating qualities. Tinted moisturizers have a small portion of the foundation. 

Main Differences Between Primer and Moisturizer

  1. Primer is a makeup product, whereas moisturizer is a skincare product. Primer is the first step of the makeup routine, while moisturizer is the last stage of the skincare routine.
  2. The very use of primer is to protect makeup from smudging and make it last for long hours. On the other hand, moisturizer is helpful to retain moisture and hydration of the skin.
  3. Primer aids in having flawless makeup, whereas moisturizer helps prevent skin from dryness. 
  4. Primer is applied before makeup and after moisturizer. On the flip side, moisturizer comes in use before primer.
  5.  Types of primer are matte, hydrating, illuminating primer. Types of moisturizers are oil-based, water-based, occlusive moisturizers.


It is a fact that primer and moisturizer vary, and one cannot use them interchangeably. Primer and moisturizer can’t replace each other as both are important for the skin. Primer is to be applied only after moisturizer. One must keep a gap of a few minutes between wearing them.

Choosing the correct primer according to your skin tone is a very significant step. It is necessary to make sure the primer one chooses fills in the pores on the skin, has a smooth effect, and blends well. Select the moisturizer type according to the texture of the skin.

Considerably, the primer first needs to be tested on hand to see if the chemicals infused in it are not having any allergic reactions to your skin. To know if it will blend in one’s skin well or not, mix it with a foundation to see if they are blending perfectly.

Having read about them, one can decide which primer and moisturizer will suit him.


  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0091674914011609
  2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/09546634.2012.672713
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