January 3, 2020

Benefit Cosmetics The POREfessional Hydrate Primer Review & Swatches

I purchased this item and I receive a small commission if you shop using the links in this post.
2 stars out of 5

I picked up a mini of the new Benefit Cosmetics The Porefessional Hydrate Primer at Ulta. How much do you love that all new makeup and beauty is available in a mini? It’s just such a great and easy way to try something before indulging in a larger size. I paid $13 for the 0.5 oz size. The larger size is 0.75 oz for $32. You’re getting quite a generous amount in the smaller size and plenty to try out before you commit to that larger $32 dollar tube.

I have a love hate relationship with the original the Porefessional formula. It isn’t a formula that’s best for my skin type which is why I was excited about the launch of Benefit Cosmetics The POREfessional Hydrate Primer as that sounded perfect for my drier skin. Jeez! It sure did take a long time to get here though didn’t it? You’d think at this point in time Benefit would have already gotten on board creating a hydrating primer of some sort. But I do remember a time when hydrating primers were a rarity. 10 plus years ago when Korres introduced their Silicon-Free Primer I was shocked, delighted, and absolutely excited to finally have a primer on the market that would work great on drier skin.

Nowadays hydrating primers are plentiful and not terribly innovative but it doesn’t make the launch of Benefit Cosmetics The POREfessional Hydrate Primer any less exciting.

Benefit Cosmetics The POREfessional Hydrate Primer arrives in a squeeze tube that promises to diminish pores, smooth, and hydrate skin. It is water-based and does contain glycerin but if you’re seeking silicone-free this is not the formula for you as it does contain a good deal of ‘cones. It also contains some other hydrating ingredients like shea butter and sodium hyaluronate but those are lower on the ingredient list which could account for my disappointment in the formula which I’ll discuss with you shortly.

This is an oil-free formula that the brand says will provide up to 12 hours of hydration. It’s a light tan in color, almost a creamy beige, that’s lightly creamy with a subtle citrus fragrance that was pleasant. It absorbs very easily into my skin and created a nice smooth surface for my makeup to adhere to. It’s very light, it feels cool initially, and didn’t leave my sticky nor oily after application. I read reviews that said makeup didn’t wear well over it but I can’t say I had any such issues wearing it under foundation.

I do think the claims of 12 hours of hydration are bogus. This is light, creamy, it absorbs well but it provides very, very minimal hydration. It might be better suited for Summer use if you have drier skin that isn’t as tight in the warmer wear. For example, I’m pretty dry in the Winter but in the Summer my skin definitely switches it up a bit and I’ll still be dry but also, I’ll show signs of oiliness and I don’t require as heavy a moisturizer as I do in the Winter. That might be a good time to use this primer. But right now I felt like it was really quite light in the hydration department. I feel confident recommending it to oily skin for this reason as you can experience some light moisture but nothing that will make you too oily or greasy.

As for smoothing…I don’t really have visible pores aside from smaller ones on my nose and this seemed to do a nice job blurring and filling those. However, if you have larger pores on your face or an uneven skin texture I have my doubts you’ll experience much in the ways of smoothing or blurring. I also did not feel this added to the life of my foundation length. It didn’t feel like it made my foundation last any longer than it typically does.

All in all, Benefit Cosmetics The POREfessional Hydrate Primer is a lightweight in the world of hydrating primers. It’s a basic primer and a bit too expensive for what you get here. If you’re looking for something that provides heavy moisture while smoothing your skin and extending the wear of your foundation this sadly does none of these things. I am happy I purchased the smaller size as I’d be grumpy if I paid $32 for a full-size.

Where to buy

Sephora Ulta Benefit Cosmetics

Benefit Cosmetics The POREfessional Hydrate Primer is a new, permanent hydrating primer that’s available in a mini size of 0.5 oz which is $13 and a full-size version that is $32 for 0.75 oz. I purchased the smaller size to try before committing to a larger size and I’m glad I did as the formula wasn’t terribly special or unique. This is a light, creamy texture that absorbed very easily into my skin and didn’t leave a greasy or oily mess behind. It feels slightly cool during application and had a light citrus fragrance that was pleasant. It’s oil-free but not silicone-free. Sadly, I found it lacking in the hydration department when it promises up to 12 hours of moisture. It provided very minimal hydration which means if you’re drying and wanting to smooth the way for your foundation you might find that the moisture it provides is simply not enough to create a flawless base for your foundation to adhere to. I also felt like it was lacking in the smoothing department! If you have very small pores and a smooth complexion it might work fine at basic smoothing and blurring but for those with an uneven surface to work with and larger pores this might fail at blurring imperfections and smoothing skin. It also didn’t extend the wear of my foundation in the least. Overall, I was a bit disappointment at how very basic the formula was.

Aqua (Water), Cyclopentasiloxane, Glycerin, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Diglycerin, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Dimethicone, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Pentylene Glycol, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Isohexadecane, Phenoxyethanol, Diphenylsiloxy Phenyl Trimethicone, Cyclohexasiloxane, Silica, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Isoceteth-10, Polysorbate 60, Parfum (Fragrance), Dimethicone/Phenyl Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Sorbitan Isostearate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Limonene, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Bht, Alumina, Magnesium Oxide, Tocopherol. [+/-: Ci 19140 (Yellow 5, Yellow 5 Lake), Ci 42090 (Blue 1 Lake), Ci 77007 (Ultramarines), Ci 77163 (Bismuth Oxychloride), Ci 77491, Ci 77492, Ci 77499 (Iron Oxides), Ci 77891 (Titanium Dioxide)].


  • Light, creamy, absorbs easily without stickiness or oiliness.
  • Comes in a mini size that’s very affordable and generously-sized.


  • Provides very light moisture.
  • Not terribly smoothing.
  • Didn’t extend foundation wear.
  • Contains fragrance.


Benefit Cosmetics The POREfessional Hydrate Primer might be a good pick for someone with smoother skin that wants a very light moisturizing base for foundation however, it does lack many of the benefits of a good quality moisturizing primer.

I purchased this item and I receive a small commission if you shop using the links in this post.

About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

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  • kjh

    No math major here, but if half an ounce is $13, why TF is 3/4 of an ounce $32? It should be no more than 20. People are better off with minis.