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Expert Reviews

Salicylic acid is an excellent chemical exfoliant that can help unclog pores and treat acne so when we saw this BB cream from Maybelline that's medicated with this anti-acne ingredient, we were instantly intrigued. If a BB cream could help fight acne at the same time it covers it up, that would really be a dreamy find!

Unfortunately, this one misses the mark. Although this contains sodium hydroxide which is typically used to adjust and hold a formula's pH, the amount of kaolin (clay) that precedes it on the ingredient list likely keeps this BB cream from being within the ideal acidic pH range for the salicylic acid to exfoliate. That's a real bummer for anyone hoping this could be a two-in-one makeup/acne-treatment.

That aside, let's address the other BB benefits this product claims to have.

  • Conceals imperfections? Only slightly since the coverage is sheer.
  • Minimizes the look of pores? No more than your typical foundation.
  • Reduces appearance of redness? The coverage isn't opaque enough to do that to most people's satisfaction.
  • Adjusts to skin tone? No. Even though this is sheer, you still have to pick out the right color. Still, each shade has a natural-looking finish.
  • Hydrates and smoothes? A smidge.
  • Enhances and clarifies skin? No more than your typical foundation. (And what does that really mean anyway?)
  • Lightweight feel? Yes.
  • If you want to use Dream Pure BB 8-in-1 Beauty Balm for lightweight, sheer, natural-looking foundation, its creamy, fluid texture does just that, but don't count on it to clear up your skin.
  • Thumbs up to Maybelline for keeping the formula free of fragrance, and providing complexion flattering shades for light to medium-deep skin tones.
  • Complexion flattering shades for light to medium-deep skin tones.
  • Lightweight, sheer, natural-looking coverage.
  • Fragrance-free formula.
  • Salicylic acid can't work the way it needs to in this formula in order to treat acne.
  • Too sheer to cover imperfections and redness.
Last Updated:12.16.2014
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Community Reviews

Active: Salicylic Acid (2%). Other: Water, Dimethicone, Isododecane, Glycerin, Diisostearyl Malate, Kaolin, Disteardimonium Hectorite, PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Sodium Chloride, Phenoxyethanol, Dimethicone/Polyglycerin 3 Crosspolymer, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Chlorphenesin, Disodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Acrylates Copolymer, Tocopherol, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Aluminum Hydroxide, PEG-9, Dipropylene Glycol

Brand Overview

Maybelline New York At-A-Glance

Strengths: At least one excellent product (if not several) in almost every category; many excellent foundations; superior mascaras; inexpensive makeup brushes; some terrific concealers, powders, blush, and lip color options.

Weaknesses: Lips balms tend to be a letdown; a few of the Great Lash mascaras are surprisingly average compared to other Maybelline formulas.

Maybelline is one of the best-known and most recognized mass-market makeup lines in the world—it's available in 90 countries. Throughout its long history, which began in 1915 when T. L. Wilson founded the company and named it after his sister, Mabel, and Vaseline (which he combined with coal dust to concoct a mascara for her), the company has prided itself on bringing innovative products to the marketplace. L'Oreal purchased the company in early 1996, and that's when things really started coming together for the Maybelline brand.

Specializing in a large selection of lipsticks, nail polishes, and mascaras, there is a lot to love from this drugstore brand. Many of their foundations are exceptional, and their powders, several mascaras, pencils, matte-finish concealers, and Superstay Lipcolor collection impressed us by offering a high degree of quality for their inexpensive price point.

Maybelline's latest urban image is a positive step, as many of their latest launches have been innovative without resorting to "been-there, done-that" gimmicks. Smart shoppers will note the similarities of a few of Maybelline’s formulas to products from high-end brands that are also owned by parent company L’Oreal. That just goes to show conscientious shopping can really save you money—without sacrificing quality or performance.

For more information about Maybelline New York, call (800) 944-0730 or visit their interactive Web site at

About the Experts

The Beautypedia and Paula’s Choice Research teams have one mission: To help you find the best products for your skin, whether they’re from Paula’s Choice or another brand. By combining efforts, we’re able to share scientific research and remain committed to the highest standards based on our decades of experience objectively reviewing thousands upon thousands of skincare and makeup formularies in all price ranges.

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