Penny Choose: Maybelline Dream Pure BB Cream

We haven’t had a ‘treat under £10’ for a while, but I’ve been meaning to get around to reviewing this BB cream from Maybelline. It’s described as SPF15, an 8-in-1 oil-free cream gel, with 2% salicylic acid.

maybelline dream pure BB cream review

BB creams are essentially brilliantly re-branded tinted moisturisers. They often promise you the earth, but there is a limit to what any of them can do – but if you go in with that attitude then you might be pleasantly surprised. This one says it’s for oily skin and it comes in two shades: light and light-medium.

I’ve been wearing the light shade and it is unusually pale for a BB cream, designed for quite fair skin tones. That’s great for me because I find it very difficult to find anything pale enough that doesn’t also turn me chalky, pink or orange. I’ve found that the colour of this product doesn’t oxidise and darken much over time as some others can, which is also a bonus.

The 8-in-1 claims are a bit much, but you find that kind of hyperbole with nearly all cosmetics products now. What does it do when you slap it on? From personal experience I’d say:

  • Not obviously perfumed, and does not irritate my sensitive skin
  • Light to medium coverage, a bit more than most BB creams
  • Evens out skin tone, disguises mild redness and small blemishes
  • No greasy feeling, drying to a semi-matte finish
  • Longer lasting than most BB creams on my combination skin
  • Didn’t cause breakouts
  • Slight tendency to cling to dry/flaky areas

…of course, your mileage may vary. I did find this to be great for daytime use, when I didn’t want as much coverage as a standard foundation. If you have very oily skin I’m not sure whether this would work as claimed, although it would probably be better than the more moisturising alternatives, and you could blot and powder every now and again.

My only gripe is that very fair skin needs a higher SPF than 15, and it is therefore not suitable for the sunnier months, although you could wear a higher SPF underneath it or use a high SPF powder on top. It’s quite nice to wear on spring days though, so I’ll keep using it and sticking my oil-free factor 50 on first.

Also, a quick note about salicylic acid is needed. Much has been made of the 2% concentration in this product, but there’s something you should know. I’ve been using well-formulated 2% SA products on and off for years, and they work differently according to the pH of the product they’re in. If it’s a relatively high (acidic) pH, it has an exfoliating effect and can help clear blocked pores, zap acne and fade red marks left behind by old spots. If it’s a lower pH (less acidic) then you won’t get exfoliation, although many people will still get a soothing and calming effect. I just don’t think I’m getting any exfoliation effect here.

To sum up: a nice product for combination skin with natural-looking moderate coverage that you can use on an everyday basis, if one of them matches your skin tone. At £6.99 RRP for 30ml it’s good value, and it’s currently in the Superdrug ‘buy one, get one half price’ offer. and the Boots Maybelline 3-for-2 offer.

NB: Do not use salicylic acid products if you’re allergic to aspirin.

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  1. “brilliantly re-banded tinted moisturisers” – I’m so glad to have found a kindred spirit with this! However, as a combination/acne prone skin, I do find BB Creams are better for my skin than a heavy foundation. I’m on the verge of having to buy a new, and more importantly, cheap coverage so I may give this a whirl

  2. Hi Victoria – let me know how you get on 🙂 A test patch or swatch is probably the best place to start.

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