Dove DermaSeries Face Cleanser | Review

Sunday 21 February 2016

Dove - remember them? Not that they ever went away anywhere, but the brand seemed to have slipped entirely off my radar in the last few years.

I remembered their stuff as good, but uninspiring - reliable but not something I was likely to pick out from shelves full of more exciting, innovative options.

That was until I happened to try this face wash. And the Dove Dermaseries Ultra Caring Gentle Cream Face Cleanser is a bit of a game changer for me. 

Here's why it should be the next thing you add to your shopping basket...

The hype 

It almost feels strange to write about 'the hype' surrounding this product, because I personally had never heard of it before stumbling across this little treasure.

I think I was vaguely aware that Dove had launched a spa, and a series of slightly higher-end products, but that was it. 

My image of Dove? Reliable but not exciting. Using 'real' models in ads. One quarter moisturising cream. Bars of soap. So far, so beige.

But the claims of this facial cleanser are a bit grander.

They say: 'Non-foaming, cream facial cleanser.  It is enriched with skin-natural lipds; specially formulated to provide ultra-mild cleansing for even extremely dry, delicate and irritated skin.  Effectively removes dirt, oil, and make-up without leaving skin feeling tight or dry.'

That sounds ideal for stressed out winter skin, battered by arctic breezes and drying central heating. Remembering that my husband always used their bar soap when I first met him, and how his skin was always really soft, I decided to give it a go and find out.

The packaging

The Dove Dermaseries packaging is so much sleeker and cleaner than the rather dated looking blue and white of the main line. 

I'm somewhat of a packaging snob, and although it doesn't make much sense, if a product doesn't have 'shelf appeal', I'm unlikely to buy it unless I think it's liquid gold dust in a bottle.

I really like the simple, white tube this comes in and the unfussy approach this line takes. The products look much more premium and I take them much more seriously in their new grown-up design.

Plus, the Ultra Caring Cream Cleanser comes in a pump bottle. Sooo much love for the pump! It's clean, it's convenient, it's less wasteful and its hygienic. Absolute top marks.

The action of the pump is really smooth and the bottle also feels sturdy, as if it's unlikely to break. The pump top is wide- the entire width of the tubing- and the opening dispenses a perfect amount of product for one use.

You get 150ml of product, so it's a generous tube for the price. I've been using this well over a month both dat and night and it hasn't run out yet.

The formula

This face cleanser is a thick white cream- just as you'd expect when you think of Dove and their moisture-first approach.

It feels lovely and silky to apply onto the skin, rich and soothing. It's one of those products that you can almost feel doing good as soon as it hits your skin.  

The lack of foam is a definite trend in skincare, and of course foaming agents are drying and not necessary for a good cleanse, so more and more brands are choosing to leave them out. For me, psychologically I feel cleaner if something foams, even though I'm totally aware that doesn't make sense. 

Here, it doesn't seem to bother me so much though- partly because this feels very cleansing. It uses gentle stearic acid to remove dirt and debris without leaving skin feeling stripped bare.

There's no fragrance and nothing in here to irritate sensitive skins at all, so even the trickiest customers should be satisfied.

However, it is very emollient and contains petroleums, so if you have skin that gets easily clogged and breaks out, this might not be ideal for you.

The performance

After the first use, I was extremely impressed. My face felt exquisitely clean but amazingly soft.

There was absolutely no dryness and no real need for a moisturiser afterwards, so if you're looking for a time-saver this could be it. I skipped straight to my BB cream without feeling the need to layer another cream underneath.

This has performed marvellously well, and my first thought was 'I wish I could use this all over!'. There is a shower cream and body moisturisers in the range though, so no need to panic. 

It left my skin feeling fresh and soothed, like it had helped to melt away the dirt and also restored moisture lost during the day. It left a slight residue feeling on my skin but not in an unpleasant, sticky way. More like a barrier or a protective shield sealing in moisture.

Applying makeup straight after works well and foundation looks better as the skin is plumped up.


Well, you can probably tell by now I love this cleanser! I wasn't expecting much from it, I just picked it up to try when I ran out of my usual S&G Peaches and Clean. This is just as good as that, and perhaps even slightly better.

If you're suffering from dull, dried out winter skin it works marvellously well. It delivers a clean, soothed, moisturised face in one simple pump. It's housed in great packaging. And if you have sensitive skin this would be ideal. It's super gentle and there's nothing to irritate in there. Love the fact that their cleansers and creams are hypoallergenic, fragrance-free and paraben free.   

It's a little more expensive than you might expect at £14.00, and that price almost seems counter intuitive coming from a high street brand that's never been especially fancy.

But this really does work and in my opinion it's worth the spend if you have really dry or sensitive skin. Flaky, itchy faces would welcome this soft, milky cleanser.

It would stack up well against a cleanser from a brand such as Clinique, and the smarter feel of the Dermaseries line matches up to this.

I'm so impressed with this cream cleanser, it's everything I look for in a face wash and I will absolutely buy this again, and try some of the other products in the line. 

This has really changed my opinion about an old favourite brand- it's great to see a trusted name doing something new that works so well.

Want some? Unfortunately you can't just pick this up at Boots. But you can get hold of it for £14.00 at

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