Benefit Specialist Dream Screen Invisible Silky-Matte Broad Spectrum SPF 45 Sunscreen For Face Review & Swatches

As promised in my May 2015 Favorites post, here's a full review of my current sunscreen love! I'm actually in the “sunscreen phase” right now as I've been looking for different sunscreen to use. Sunscreen has come a long way. It used to be something I dreaded wearing due to the thick/heavy feel and strong unpleasant scent, not to mention the white cast that seemed to take forever to sink in, if not at all. Nowadays the formula has been widely improved. It's easy to find one that is lightweight, liquidy, unscented, and goes on practically invisible on the skin. And today I have one such sunscreen to share with you in this post!

Benefit Dream Screen Broad Spectrum SPF 45 Sunscreen
Benefit Dream Screen Broad Spectrum SPF 45 Sunscreen

Right off the bat, I fell in love with the cutesy packaging! The mint green bottle with a cork-like screw-on cap is so lightweight, so sturdy, and so portable! And look at the nozzle size (see below)! So small, which makes it perfect to dispense only the amount needed. Don't forget to shake the bottle well prior to every use and reapply every 2 hours!

Benefit Dream Screen Broad Spectrum SPF 45 Sunscreen
Benefit Dream Screen Broad Spectrum SPF 45 Sunscreen

Dream Screen has a very liquidy texture that feels so silky smooth to the touch. The weightless, milk-like emulsion spreads on the skin effortlessly and sinks in instantly to create a soft, velvety matte finish that is truly invisible on the skin. It doesn't leave any oiliness, greasiness, stickiness, or shininess like most sunscreens do although you may have to wait 10-15 seconds for it to fully set. I really just can't get enough of how smooth and comfortable it makes my skin feel!

I apply it post-moisturizer so that it acts as a light “primer” for my foundation. It isn't marketed as a primer but I think it has a finish that mimics one! It makes my foundation glide on smoothly without interfering with its color tone or coverage.

Unfortunately it is not waterproof or sweat-proof. So if you sweat a lot or are going to spend your day in the pool, this is probably not the sunscreen to use. Those who don't like the initial silicone-y feel may not appreciate it, either.

Benefit Dream Screen Broad Spectrum SPF 45 Sunscreen
Benefit Dream Screen Broad Spectrum SPF 45 Sunscreen

Key Features

  • Liquidy, milky texture
  • Unscented, oil-free, fragrance-free
  • No white cast, oily, or sticky residue
  • Leaves a truly invisible finish
  • Parabeen-free but does contain silicone
  • Not waterproof or sweat-proof
  • Active ingredients: Octinoxate 7.5%, Octisalate 5%, and Avobenzone 3% (all chemical filters)
  • Broad spectrum (PA+++) SPF 45 protects your skin from both UVA and UVB rays that cause premature aging and sunburn, respectively

Benefit Dream Screen Broad Spectrum SPF 45 Sunscreen
Benefit Dream Screen Broad Spectrum SPF 45 Sunscreen
Benefit Dream Screen Broad Spectrum SPF 45 Sunscreen swatched (L) and blended (R)
Benefit Dream Screen Broad Spectrum SPF 45 Sunscreen swatched (L) and blended (R)

Having a combination to oily, blemish-prone skin, I try to use sunscreen that's lightweight, doesn't clog pores, and doesn't add any more oily residue to my face and I'm glad to find that Dream Screen meets all my requirements. I've been using it for a little more than 3 weeks now and haven't noticed any skin irritation or had any breakouts from it.

Being that it's so light and invisible, I feel comfortable layering it all over my face (sometimes during the day post-makeup, too) and down the neck. It is meant to be used on the face only (not sure why) but I always apply my sunscreen on my neck, too. I suppose you can use it anywhere even on the body but that might get a little too expensive. Some mention that the price is not worth such small amount (45 ml / 1.52 US fl oz) but I find that you don't need a lot at all per application because the fluidy texture spreads so well on the skin.

Benefit Dream Screen Broad Spectrum SPF 45 Sunscreen
Benefit Dream Screen Broad Spectrum SPF 45 Sunscreen

As I said, I'm on a sunscreen mode right now. I love this Benefit Dream Screen and will continue to replenish but I won't stop exploring other options! Partly because it isn't waterproof and the fact that it contains unstable Avobenzone without any stabilizer in the formula kind of worries me a little bit. For indoor/office days, I suppose it is efficient but for an all-day out in the sun, I feel better using something else. If you know of anything else that is i) liquidy, ii) lightweight, iii) invisible, iv) unscented, v) broad spectrum, vi) non-oily/shiny, vii) waterproof and sweat-proof, and viii) photostable, please leave your recommendation down below in the comments! :)


US$32 at Macy's ○ Ulta ○ Bloomingdale's ○ Benefit

฿1,350 at Sephora Thailand

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  1. says: popsicle13

    This is a very cute packaging again from Benefits <3

    But I still prefer cheaper drugstore sunscreen anyway

    I'm happy with Garnier and Loreal one becasue I use a lot of sunscreen

    If i use pricey one I'm afraid that I will not use in for the certain amount to protect my skin. hahaha

    thx you for you review Love you

    1. says: Jaa

      I know what you mean ja! I have some of the cheaper ones as well but none from Garnier or L’Oreal! I’m lemming the new one from Eucerin right now!

  2. says: Lena L

    Ah…I was reading down “check, check, check!” until I hit the “avobenzone” block. I can’t do any benzone family on my face or neck. My skin is not fussy but it really seems dislike them. Glad to hear this is working out so well for you. I love multi-tasking stuff like this. I firmly believe sunscreen is the most important thing in my beauty routine but it has to be cosmetically elegant. :)

    1. says: Jaa

      I agree with you about the importance of sunscreen! I wish I had known this in my teen years. My skin wouldn’t have so many spots! >.<

  3. says: Erin

    Finding something that doesn’t clog pores is tough when it comes to sunscreen! I really want to sample it. I prefer physical blockers!

    1. says: Jaa

      Agreed! Most sunscreens are just too thick and leave such greasy feeling that you can’t help but feel suffocated! That’s why I’m so happy to find one that is so light! :)

    1. says: Jaa

      You read my mind, Anne! I have been thinking about trying the Eucerin one! They just released a new formula that I really want to try but of course, I completely forgot the name. LOL

  4. says: Jen

    Ah, this sunscreen sounds perfect for me! I’m always on the lookout for a sunscreen that won’t break me out or leave me oily. Will have to check it out! xo

  5. says: Rae

    If this had physical filters it would have been perfect.

    I love this under powder foundation. The primer-like feel, as you said, makes it a perfect base. And it really diffuses my pores.

    1. says: Jaa

      I think it wouldn’t feel as light if it contained physical filters… if I’m not mistaken, I think physical filters are what make sunscreens thick and leave the white cast?

      Yeah, I love this one, too. It doubles as a primer for me! :)

  6. says: Ali

    I use Nuetrogena dry touch face sunscreen for my face. It isn’t waterproof but it really does dry to a powder finish. It may be slightly white but it works cause so is my skin. I apply over moisturizer and have really oily skin and it’s only a tad liquidy that I can feel. Best I have tried yet and protects me all day as long as I’m not 100 percent in direct sun despite my death pallor skin that burns in seconds

    1. says: Jaa

      Thanks for the recommendation, Ali! I usually can’t get along well with sunscreens that dry to a powder finish. They tend to emphasize my dry acne spots but I’ll still check it out! :) Does it keep your face matte for a long time?

  7. says: Ali

    That’s understandable Jaa, that’s why I layer it over moisturizer. It doesn’t keep the matte as much as just not add greasiness if that makes sense

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