First Impressions & Swatches: Make P:rem Blue Ray Sunscreen

Good all-physical UV filter sunscreens are hard to find. "Physical" filter (also known as "inorganic") sunscreens  are sought by people with sensitive skin and/or reactions to chemical UV (also known as "organic") filters, such as yours truly. The most common recommendation request from phys-only sunscreen hunters is for a high protection rated sunscreen with no white cast.

Sadly, with phys-only sunscreens, that just doesn't exist. One of the two options, Titanium dioxide, is literally used as white pigment. Think back to your trusty tube of Titanium White in art class. That's your sunscreen filter bro giving your paints the "whitest white" and also making your sunscreen search hell.

When my former favourite all-phys sunscreen was possibly reformulated (it's not, but more on this later) and I was blown away by a chemical sunscreen I could actually use from Make P:rem, I needed to get my ass in gear and test out some new all-physical options, stat. But I can't review the (orange cap) one I've been using. More on that later too.

So here's a first impression of the Make P:rem UV Defense Me Blue Ray Sun Cream SPF50+ PA++++. That's right, four PA ratings.


Make P:rem Blue Ray Sun Cream physical filter sunscreen
Our backyard wild bunnies were displeased that I plunked this down in their bun buffet patch.

(Incidentally, if you'd like to see one of the bun patch bunnies in action, I tweeted a short video of one that visited during this post here.)

In this post:

  • Why this is a first impression instead of a full review, aka I'm lightly brined by unfortunate developments
  • Differences between the orange (Natural) and blue (Blue Ray) cap versions
  • First impressions of the Blue Ray Sun Cream
  • White cast swatches on NC10 and NC30 skin tones
  • Is it worth it & where to get it

I was initially put off buying this version because I'm highly suspicious of anything "cooling" because that usually means either 1. massive amounts of alcohol, or 2. added menthol, which can be highly irritating.

Just give me a high-rated sunscreen with physical (inorganic) filters that's pleasant to wear, doesn't break me out, and has minimal white cast. So how does the Make P:rem Blue Ray Sun Cream stack up?

Just as a quick reminder: this blog uses both affiliate and non-affiliate links, and if you choose to click the former before you shop, your purchase may contribute a tiny amount to the maintenance of this blog.  See full details at the end of this post! #receipts


Why this is a first impression instead of a full review, aka I'm lightly brined by unfortunate developments


While the fast-paced release of Korean beauty products means there's interesting things coming out all the time, it also means that products are discontinued without notice. I've waited weeks for the orange cap version (aka the Make P:rem UV Defense Me Natural Sun Cream) to be restocked so I can finally review the sunscreen I've been long-term testing ... and it's nowhere to be found.

It's not even on the Make P:rem Korean site, which leads me to suspect that it's been replaced with this blue cap version. So all those weeks of long-term testing have now been wasted, which makes me just a wee bit salty.


I like my salt in my food, not in my feelings about skincare, yo. [source]

We're not talking full "salt baked fish" salty, more like "properly seasoned before grilling" salty. The revolving-door nature of K-Beauty products is inevitable, but I'm still going to to be stalking the orange cap version in case it restocks.

Thankfully, I had already ordered the blue cap version, and while I've yet to put it through the rigorous testing process I use to prepare for a review, I already have some thoughts about it.



Differences between the orange (Natural) and blue (Blue Ray) cap versions


The short version is that the blue is "cooling", and the orange is ... not. I don't care a jot about cooling, and it's actually a negative (see above reasons of alcohol/menthol) but as long as it doesn't irritate my skin, I'm game.

The primary differences at first blush are relatively minimal changes in scent, texture, and white cast. It also comes in a smaller size and has an extra PA+ rating, which has me wondering how they've pulled that off.


Make P:rem blue vs orange sunscreen versions
Your eyes do not deceive you, the blue version is in a smaller tube.

The orange version has a thicker, more cream-like texture, stronger white cast, and has a mild floral scent. It spreads and blends relatively easily, feeling like an upgraded version of typical physical filter sunscreens, which tend to be chalky.

Although the orange version isn't sold anywhere I'm willing to buy from, I paid the same price for the blue version despite the blue being only 70ml vs the orange being 100ml. Asian sunscreens have a perpetual problem of being amazing and expensive AF for their size.

However, after swatching the blue version on my NC30 husband for white cast, I realize that the extra PA+ rating may indeed justify the price.



First impressions of the Blue Ray Sun Cream


Texture: When first squeezing out the product, I was unimpressed because it seemed thick, chalky, and ... oily. Then I realized I needed to shake it before application, so I wiped it off my hand and tried again. It's actually a creamy fluid that flows and blends very easily.

The firm squeeze tube + pinpoint nozzle makes it easy to control how much is dispensed, but it does flow out very quickly so don't crush the tube in the vice grip you use to hold onto your sanity when your HG product is discontinued. (If the Joseon Cream ever gets discontinued in earnest, things are gonna get ugly around here.)


I figured this was a liberal amount for a small area of coverage.

Scent: I was hoping it would have the same mild floral scent that the orange version has, but no such luck. There's a bit of that floral, and some herbal notes, but it's overpowered by the reek of a bug repellent candle. I checked the ingredients on Cosdna, and supposedly it contains bergamot oil and not citronella, but I love bergamot and this is more "mosquito torch" than "earl grey tea" so be warned if you aren't into that.**

Cooling: If it didn't say so in the marketing copy, I wouldn't have noticed. It feels slightly cool when I apply it, but that's because it's wet. I don't notice any sort of sustained cooling effect, but long-term testing in the sun may produce a different effect.

Finish: I was super impressed with how easily this spread and blended into the skin, and didn't leave a greasy film. I was expecting it to have a crazy white cast due to the PA++++ rating, but to my astonishment, it went pretty much invisible on me. The left side of my hand has the blended sunscreen, the right side is bare:


All that sunscreen on one side of my hand resulted in a surprisingly minimal white cast.

I did have to blend it a fair bit because I'd applied a ton of it, but I was not expecting it to fade that much, especially since it has that extra PA rating. So as usual, I commandeered Dr. Mr. the Pear to assist me in measuring the white cast.

** Certain cold-pressed citrus oils, including bergamot, are flagged for phototoxicity, which obviously is a big deal for a sunscreen! However, other methods of extraction, or the "FCF" version which has been processed to avoid the dangerous (Furocoumarin) phototoxic elements, do not have this issue.



White cast swatches on NC10 and NC30 skin tones


Hello, awkward angles at which to take photos, resulting in a lot of camera fumbling. I suppose I should have dragged out my tripod but it was hot and there were mosquitoes everywhere.

We both have the sunscreen applied on half of our hands (the outer half) and applied liberally. I'm pleased to see that while it does have a slight white cast on him, it's nowhere nearly as intense as it should be for an all-physical filter PA++++ sunscreen.




I'm not sure how they've managed to tone down the white cast while boosting the PA+ rating, but it's amazing. I think it's so minimal that it would disappear under base makeup, without needing a darker shade to compensate. 

That's super impressive, considering the high rating, the pleasant texture, and the non-greasy finish.



Is it worth it & where to get it


While I'm a bit miffed that there's 30ml less product for the same price as the orange version, good all-physical filter sunscreens are as rare as hen's teeth and $20 for 70ml of good sunscreen is a price I'm willing to pay. I was willing to pay the same for 50ml of my former favourite from Goodal, which has a thicker texture, stronger white cast, and less PA+ protection. (Incidentally, a contact from Club Clio is double-checking that the packaging change is just repackaging, not reformulation, and I'll update accordingly when I know more.)

If the Blue Ray Sun Cream doesn't break me out or irritate me during long-term testing, this sunscreen is going to be a solid win. Take my money, Make P:rem, just keep making nice sunscreens.

Where to get it: Amazon | eBay | RoseRoseShop

Have you tried the Blue Ray Sun Cream, and can comment on the "cooling" gimmick? Hit me up on Facebook or Twitter and let me know!

Have something you'd like to share with me in general?  Snap a pic and tag me on Instagram at @snowwhiteandtheasianpear because I'd love to see it!

All the best,
-Cat

**Disclaimer: All products mentioned in this post were purchased by me.  I have very rarely accepted press samples for review in the past, and may in the future, but they will always be very explicitly disclosed as such. Personal gifts from family and friends will also be disclosed. I prefer to purchase products for review, which is why this blog contains both affiliate and non-affiliate links, and clicking the former before you shop means that this blog may receive a small commission to assist in this blog supporting itself.  Please see my Contact Info & Disclaimer policy for more information.

10 comments

  1. Oh man, it truly blows if you put a lot of time and effort into a review just to have the product being discontinued or reformulated shortly after. That being said, thanks a lot for the new impression! This one looks really good and I might just pick it up after my current sunscreen.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amen! I could have tested so many other things during that time, but sunscreens are such a big deal that I wanted to give it a serious testing period. T_T

      Delete
  2. Glad to see you back and I can feel your pain. You put so much effort into thorough reviews and for that time to be wasted well... it's pretty shitty to say the least!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The revolving door nature of K-Beauty is such a double-edged sword T_T

      Delete
  3. They sell the "orange" version on Glow Recipe. Unless that's not somewhere you're willing to buy from, just thought I'd give you the heads up. Great post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm just not comfortable shopping there, and the price is literally double what I paid. Recommending an $18 sunscreen is one thing, recommending a $36 one is quite another, eeek!

      Delete
  4. I actually have 2 of the orange one in my Amazon cart as it was rated top 10 for sunscreens in a recent Consumer Reports article. Apparently, these companies are selling sunscreens that doesn't have much sunscreen in them. It's incredible.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Natural (all-physical version) or the chemical Gel version? They're both orange capped. *slides over to shopping tab*

      Delete
  5. I hope that this doesn't put you in a tough spot, but I was curious as to why you're not comfortable shopping at Glow Recipe. I've bought from them a couple of times, but only during sales, since, like you mentioned, their pricing is kinda expensive. But, if I should be shopping elsewhere, entirely, please let me know!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The pricing is definitely the primary factor, but there seems to be ongoing issues with the stated pH of some of their products not matching what multiple people are getting even with sophisticated pH testers. If you google their recent blueberry cleanser, which they marketed as low pH, you can find several people getting very different results, even when using pre-packaged water to remove local water differences from the equation.

      Delete