My cousin gifted me this Benefit Dream Screen Broad Spectrum SPF 45 sunscreen when she was working at the Benefit counter. Truth to be told, I was very on the fence about this product, as I would never associated Benefit with skincare products, and among all skincare products, I take sunscreen particularly seriously. As a matter of fact, one of my never-ending, ongoing missions when it comes to skincare is finding the perfect sunscreen. As I just ran out of the Elta MD UV Clear SPF 46 sunscreen (reviewed here), and I don’t have any other sunscreens on standby, I decided to put aside my bias, and give this one a fair shot.
This … is an interesting sunscreen, let me tell you. Looking at the ingredient list, Even though clearly claimed as an “oil-free” sunscreen, when initially applied, my face feels extremely slippery and greasy, no matter how much rubbing I do, it just doesn’t seem like the product is absorbing into the skin. I literally would need to wipe clean my hands to get rid of the greasy residue. I’m not exaggerating when I say this is probably the most oily sunscreen I have ever tried, well, if judging by the initial application.
The good new is that it doesn’t stay that way. After about 5 minutes or so, the sunscreen starts to settling down, first around the perimeter of the face, then eventually in the T-zone area. Once it settles down completely (takes more than 10 minutes on my skin), it truly matches what it says at the back of the bottle: Invisible and silky-matte. Yep, it’s 100%, completely invisible, I mean there is no white case, no shininess – I would say it even takes away some of my skin’s natural glow, I guarantee you that no one can tell you have sunscreen on. It also does have that silky matte finish, very similar to the effect you would get from a silicon based primer – it doesn’t blurs the pores or fine lines, but when touching the skin, it feels like you are having a newborn’s skin all over again. For that, I would say the claims on the Benefit website is quite spot on:
You can’t feel it, you can’t see it…but it’s got you totally covered. Dream screen silky-matte sunscreen is ultra lightweight and truly invisible on skin. It absorbs instantly to help prevent skin from aging by protecting against sun damage…and leaves skin feeling moisturised. Dream screen puts all other sunscreens in the shade!
However, two things I would call out that I definitely don’t agree with. First of all, it does not “absorb instantly”. As mentioned above, it takes me 5-10 minutes to get it absorbed into the skin. And secondly, “leaves skin feeling moisturised”? If anything, it’s feels quite the opposite on my skin: I would feel a bit of tightness on the skin throughout the day, which I have never experienced with any other sunscreen.
Because of the silky matte finish, it doesn’t come as a surprise that it sits very well under makeup, even though it requires a bit of waiting time. It doesn’t necessarily prolong the wear time of a foundation, but it provides a smooth base, has a bit of oil-control and tones down the glowiness of any foundations with radiant finish.
The final verdict? If you are someone that hates the white case, the scent, or the feeling of a sunscreen, give this one a try, you may actually really like it, especially if you have oily skin. Also, if you are looking for a good sunscreen that wears well under foundation, the Benefit Dream Screen also fills the bill. But if you have dry skin, you may feel a bit of tightness like I do, so definitely recommend having a good hydrating base.
Oh, I almost forgot to mention, looking at the ingredient list, it appears to be a chemical sunscreen, which is more likely to irritate sensitive skin, so definitely test it out on your hands before pull the trigger. For me personally, I don’t dislike it, but I don’t think I would repurchase it either, mainly I don’t like the greasy feeling at the beginning, and the tightness throughout the day.