Chemical Love: Make P:rem Capsule Sun Gel Review

Yes, the Make P:rem UV Defense Me Capsule Sun Gel SPF50+ PA+++ is an all-chemical/organic sunscreen. This is not a drill, I repeat, this is not a drill: this a chemical sunscreen review, on my blog.  I know, I can scarcely believe it either.

If you told me two months ago I would be writing a review on a chemical sunscreen with anything to say but "it made my face break out into burning pimples of angry rage" I would never have believed you. All my life, chemical sunscreens have made me want to claw my own face off. It's been all-physical/inorganic sunscreens or bust for me.

Make P:rem UV Defense Me Capsule Sun Gel SPF50+ PA+++
When you're that friend who brings a tray and their camera to Sunday afternoon dinners because they need to take photos while the light is still good. #bloggerfriendproblems

It's fitting that the combined enabling powers of the HolyFan duo from The Snailcast are to blame for this unexpected development. During our first ever live snail rout in NYC, we converged on Fanserviced-b's HQ loaded with travel-friendly sample sizes and decants.

After wearing this sunscreen on my neck and chest without incident, I was willing to risk it. Drunk on the spirit of yolo (or maybe it was the White Girl Rosé) I patch tested it on my face, expecting the usual burning, itchy reaction. Nothing untoward happened, unless you count our decision to try freezing the dregs of the wine in an adult novelty mold. Which I don't. 🍆

In this post

  • Product details
  • Ingredients & UV filters
  • My theories on why this isn't destroying my face
  • Swatches
  • Final thoughts, wear time, and how it plays with makeup

On the final day, I recklessly wore this sunscreen all over my face, determined to test it as much as possible in the time we had left. To my amazement, my skin didn't protest and I made it to my PM routine without incident.

HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?! A chemical sunscreen! On my face! I have some theories on what might be going on, and after chatting with a few others who have the same sunscreen woes, there may be hope for us yet.

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

Product details

Full product name: Make P:rem UV Defense Me Capsule Sun Gel SPF50+ PA+++.
Purpose: A full-spectrum sunscreen with chemical UV filters to block both UVB and UVA radiation.
Scent: Lightly floral, enough to notice but not the intense scent of the Goodal sunscreen I like.
Texture: A very moisturizing and rich gel that spreads easily.
White cast: None. At all.
Quantity: 75ml
Rating:  4.5/5, because it's very moisturizing and it's hot AF in the summer, which means I get melty.
Where to get it:  Amazon | eBay | Bisou Beauty Bar (currently sold out)

Note: I bought both Make Pr:em sunscreens in a 2 pack for $36 from Amazon, because it was a better deal. You can buy the Make P:rem UV Defense Me Capsule Sun Gel from a few other shops, but it's $$$$.

Repurchase:  Yes. I know, insane, a chemical sunscreen. But it's the first chemical sunscreen that my skin can tolerate and this exciting enough to strip naked and run through the streets. Except that would require a lot of sunscreen, and this is too expensive for that.

Plus, getting arrested and all that jazz. Check out the neat little "opened date" on the side of the bottle, so you can write in the date and thus be sure that your sunscreen is within the 12 month window. Not that it would last you that long.

Make P:rem Capsule Sun Gel
Interesting feature, just wish they had included translated ingredients too.

Ingredients & UV filters

Sadly the package didn't have translated ingredients, so I'm going off the list in Cosdna:
Water, Homosalate, Butylene Glycol, Octocrylene, Ethylhexyl salicylate, Behenyl Alcohol, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Glycerin, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Niacinamide, Betula Alba Juice, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein/ PVP Crosspolymer, Hippophae Rhamnoides Fruit Extract, Chamaecyparis Obtusa Water, Thermus Thermophillus Ferment, Ascophyllum Nodosum Powder, Asparagus Officinalis Stem Extract, Hedera Helix Leaf/ stem Extract, Sunflower Seed Extract, Leuconostoc/ Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Moringa Pterygosperma Seed Extract, Methyl methacrylate crosspolymer, Neopentyl glycol diheptanoate, Pentylene Glycol, Hydroxyacetophenone, Caprylyl Glycol, Tromethamine, Ethylhexylglycerin, Adenosine, 1,2-Hexanediol, Sodium chloride, EDTA, Propanediol, Polyglyceryl-10 oleate, Lecithin, Sodium Dilauramidoglutamide Lysine, Hydrogenated lecithin, Lysolecithin, Phytosterols, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Sodium Polyacrylate, PEG-8, PPG-1-PEG-9 LAURYL GLYCOL ETHER, Phytic acid, Calcium gluconate, Gluconolactone, Hyaluronic Acid, Maltodextrin, Citric Acid, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate, Carbomer, Alcohol, Disodium EDTA, Potassium Sorbate, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Benzoate, Fragrance

As you can see, this sunscreen has a lot of pretty extracts in it. Like any Korean ingredient list, I can't rely on its place in the ingredients order as an indicator it contains enough of said extract in it to actually do anything, but if they do, it's an extra perk. There is alcohol, but it almost at the very end of the list, and I don't detect any notable alcohol smell. Some extracts can only be extracted (heh) with alcohol as the solvent, for example.

There are plenty of hydrating ingredients here, like Glycerin and a few types of Hyaluronic acid, and some emollient ones as well like Lecithin and Dicaprylyl Carbonate (which I had to google.) It also contains some sexy star ingredients like Niacinamide (brightening) and Adenosine (anti-aging) but like any product that doesn't comply with USFDA list order regulations, I assume there's negligible amounts until documented otherwise.

The important ingredients are the UV filters: Homosalate (UVB),  Octocrylene (UVB), and Ethylhexyl salicylate (UVA). The latter two also partially filter the other UV type, apparently, but I've listed them as their primary UV type. This is worth mentioning because this is full-spectrum sunscreen with protection from both types. What's not on this list: Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate.

No Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate!!! 


Not sure what Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate is? It's the chemical (also known as organic) UV filter that is in everything. It's even in the Blue Ray version of this sunscreen, which means that's a hard pass for me. EM (that name is too long) is to blame for making me think that I couldn't wear sunscreen, ever. Then I thought I couldn't wear chemical sunscreens. Nope, it's just EM being Extra Mean. I'm fairly sure that it's refined in hell and is distilled from the acrid sweat of Satan's ballsack.

My theories on why this isn't destroying my face

It could be a few things, but the most likely answer is that it doesn't contain Beelzebub's nut juice (aka Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate) and it's that specific, extremely prevalent filter that is my skin trigger. We're taking angry inflammation breakouts, mottled red patches, and welts, sometimes within 20 min, not to mention a burning, itching feeling that makes me want to rend my flesh with my nails.

When I checked the Cosdna ingredients list, I didn't recognize any of the filters at all. That means none of them were present in the many products that I cross-referenced to identify what were the common culprits for my skin reactions. I do notice a very small amount of irritation when I leave it unblended on the back of my hand, and I noticed that wearing it every day for over a week did start causing a few small breakouts here and there. It's entirely possible that they were due to the daily double cleansing with an actual cleansing oil, as my skin doesn't like oils.

However, when I wear it just occasionally (a few times a week when I'm going somewhere and don't want to risk a white cast) my skin tolerates it just fine, which means I've added a zero white cast sunscreen to my arsenal. I can get away with a bit of white cast as I'm a Mac NC10 in base makeup and sometimes use it as a correcting primer for too-dark foundation, but obviously that has limited usefulness.

The other theory I have is that I have strengthened my acid mantle and moisture barrier, and lessened how sensitive my skin is to ingredient triggers. How? By following in Kerry of Skin & Tonics's footsteps, aka the OG proponent of the low pH life. Her post The Importance of Fatty Acids, pH & the Moisture Barrier: How I Eliminated my Acne & Decreased my Skin Sensitivity led me down a research rabbit hole, where I hoped to find a loophole that would let me still use my favourite high pH cleanser. Unfortunately, my deep dive concluded just the opposite, and you can read it here: Why the pH of Your Cleanser Matters.

I've been living the low pH cleanser life ever since, and while it's just one piece of puzzle, I'm no longer stressing my skin with alkaline cleansers so it's logical that it's more resilient.


No swatches from Dr. Mr. the Pear, because there's no white cast that needs demonstration. It's invisible on the skin.

Make P:rem UV Capsule Sun Gel amount
It's so easy to use the 1/4 a teaspoon recommended dose. This is 3 pumps of product.

It's got an odd texture; looks a bit like a poorly emulsified formulation with separation between ingredients, but I suspect that's the "capsules" of ... something (sunscreen? moisturizer? who knows) that are suspended in the product.

It applies and blends beautifully though, with no white cast.

Make P:rem Sunscreen with no white cast
No white cast at all, mmm.

Absolutely fantastic. I just worry about whether or not I've applied enough (despite using a 1/4th of a teaspoon) because I ... can't see it.

Final thoughts, wear time, and how it plays with makeup

So obviously the lack of white cast, and the high full-spectrum protection are a major win for this sunscreen, and that whole doesn't-immediately-destroy-my-face thing. That doesn't mean it's a perfect HG and I'll never wear anything else; I did have what may have been a small reaction after daily use for an extended time, it's a bit pricey, and most of all, it's really moisturizing.

Like, really moisturizing. Yes, it says that on the bottle, but the fact is, I don't need my sunscreen to be a moisturizer, and the time of year where one needs to be extra vigilant about sunscreen is the summer. It's hot. It's humid. I'm sweaty. My face is oily. I am sure this sunscreen will be the bee's knees in the winter when my skin is the driest, but I have to powder down my t-zone or my makeup will melt right off.

Um, if you notice that the drink level seems higher in this photo, that's because I was in fact drinking from it while taking these photos. It wasn't even intended to be a prop, just my drink.

Thankfully I just wear a cushion with a bit of concealer so it's not a complete disaster (and just roll with my zits blurred, screw it) but that's going to be a big limitation for people who 1. have oily skin, 2. sweat a lot or live in a humid climate, or 3. wear full-coverage makeup. Thankfully, being a chemical sunscreen that feels like a lotion means that it's easy to reapply; I just dab it on top of my makeup and pat it with my cushion puff.

It also takes a while to dry down enough to apply makeup, so I like to give myself a good 15-30 min to let it settle before I try to get makeup on top of it. That's not going to be practical for everyone. That being said, I didn't have any issues with pilling or with it causing problems under makeup, but again I don't wear full coverage foundation. It doesn't feel like sunscreen, it just feels like lotion, and despite the excessive moisture for a summer sunscreen, that's pretty damn good in my book. I'll definitely rebuy it, and I'm sending some to my mom.

I'll be buying mine off Amazon or  eBay, and although it's currently sold out at  Bisou Beauty Bar, that's where I'll be getting hers because they're already located in Canada and it's currently hell trying to get cosmetics across the border.

Note: Yes, this sunscreen is available in other shops but it's twice the price so they can miss me.

Did you think you couldn't wear chemical sunscreen only to discover a specific filters was the problem? 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,

**Disclaimer: All products mentioned in this post were purchased with my own money. 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.


  1. Thanks for the review! I've been wanting to get this... Do you find the sunscreen moisturizing enough to wear alone(in the summer)? :)

    1. Hmm, I think that's really going to depend on your skin. It's too heavy for me to wear with a full-out AM routine with multiple layers, but I get overwhelmed skin really easily in the summer.

  2. Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate is Octinoxate. Hope this helps. Love the review by the way and I near pissed myself laughing when you mentioned Satan's Ballsack sweat (Octinoxate) as your skin trigger! XD

    1. Indeed! It always seems to show up in AB sunscreens as EM, so that's how I've left it here. But I definitely prefer it by its true name, aka Satan's ballsack sweat ;)

  3. Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane Is Avobenzone for (UVA)

  4. So glad you found another sunscreen option. Unfortunately my quest will continue, since as mine bily pointed out this contains avobenzone (gives me the Satan's ballsack sweat sensations). It's not AB, but have you tried the BareMinerals Mineral Shield Daily Prep Lotion? It has zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, is SPF 50, has a watery consistency, and isn't greasy once it sinks in. I can't comment on white cast since I might be even paler than you.

    1. Urgh, Satan's ballsack sweat is the worst. Still, it helps to know what your trigger is so you can dodge the hell out of things that contain it?

  5. I hope I'm not posting this comment three times! (Please delete if I have)

    I've been binge-reading your blog, and was wondering if you know what products/ingredients are safe to use during pregnancy? I know bha/aha's are out, but what about pitera/arbutin/bangang/etc?

    There doesn't seem to be much info about k-beauty and pregnancy out there :(

    1. Hi Ash,

      As I am not a medical professional, I'm not able to comment on what skincare is appropriate for use during pregnancy. I would recommend consulting with your doctor asap.

      Take care,

  6. Hello cat, I have been reading your posts in effort to find a good routine for my 11 year old struggling with first signs of acne. I got him the good morning ph cosrx cleanse for his first step. The mizon bha aha toner as step 2. And for moisturizer the gel moisturizer by mizon. However now wondering if I should add cosrx bha to the routine. If yes, would he use it AM and PM? Would he use it after the mizon toner? How long does he need to wait between each of these?
    Thank you

    1. Hi Timtim,

      Unfortunately, this is something that would definitely fall under the purview of a medical professional, especially as you son is a minor. I'd recommend reaching out to a doctor, either a pediatrician or a dermatologist, to confirm what skincare approach for a minor is safe.

      I hope all goes well!

  7. Hi Cat

    I would like to thank you for your blog. I love it!

    I need some advice, please:

    On my AM routine, I'm using LAA and BHA. At night, I'm using AHA.
    I read on your blog something about wipe down the vitamin C and the BHA or AHA after the wait time (20 minutes). So here is what I'm doing:

    1. Gentle cleanse (cosRX low ph)
    2. coRX AHA/BHA or Mizon AHA 8% (right now, I'm waiting 20 minutes, but I'll buy one of them!)
    3. Vitamin C - wait 20 minutes and wipe it down using thermal water (or the toners) and a cotton pad
    4. BHA Blackhead cosrx - wait 20 minutes and wipe it down using thermal water (or the toners) and a cotton pad
    5. other steps

    At evening, I don't use the Vitamin C. Instead, I use the AHA and wait the 20 minutes - no need to wipe down.

    The thing is: I love the feeling of wipe the residues down and have a clean face to use the next products, BUT I'm really insecure if the BHA would be better (and acting) during the day if I let it on my face.

    Also, both "The Ordinary Glucoside Solution 12%" and "The Ordinary Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate 10%" need the 20 minutes wait, right? Not sure if they are considered LAA as well.

    Thanks a LOT! <3

  8. Hello! I also can't have Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate! Therefore your sunscreen posts are always the most interesting ones for me :) Until now I also haven't found a cushion that doesn't contain it. Of course, a cushion has a bit less contact with the skin than sunscreen, but still I didn't want to risk it. I really wished there were more products with Tinosorb as a filter. It's broadband, it's stable, it doesn't give me spots, so whyyyyyyyy don't you use it more, cosmetics people?

  9. Don't know if my first comment went through...watched "The Royal Tailor" on Amazon, thought of your blog ;) Beautiful movie!