Sometimes, skincare requires tradeoffs. For example, despite my having dry skin, pretty much all the sunscreens I use smell like rubbing alcohol due to their high alcohol content. This type of alcohol may be drying but it also allows the sunscreens to absorb with fantastic speed and I just don’t have enough free time in the mornings to deal with slow drying sunscreens.
And so the fact that I’ve been using this particular alcohol-free UV gel in the mornings regularly is a testament in itself to how great it is. On days when my skin feels particularly dry, I even find myself reaching for this sunscreen over my beloved Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Gel!
Appearance and Packaging
This sunscreen comes in a shiny silver tube bedazzled with images of shells, starfish, coral and other ocean things. Canmake packaging can sometimes look like little-girl-toy-makeup, but I actually really like what they did with the design of this sunscreen!
The tube is smaller than I’m used to – each tube comes with 40ml of product. For comparison, Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence and Sunkiller Perfect Watery Essence, which come in similar tube formats, come with 50ml.
Even though this sunscreen is dubbed a gel, from my experience it is more similar in texture to Japanese essence-type sunscreens. Essence type sunscreens usually have a buttery-yet-light creamy texture (which this sunscreen has) whereas gel-type sunscreens tend to be more fluid. This Canmake sunscreen is indeed watery, but it is nowhere near as runny as the gels that I have used.
**If you’re curious about sunscreen ratings, safety, FDA approvals, ingredients, or the reason Asian sunscreens (Japanese in particular) are so much better than the ones available in the US, see here and here**
This sunscreen is appropriate for every day usage. It is not water, sweat, or sebum resistant so if you are planning on doing strenuous physical activity of spending an extended amount of time outdoors, you may want to find another sunscreen.
The texture of this sunscreen is awesome! Out of the tube, the sunscreen has a very luxurious texture. With even the smallest amount of patting, the creamy texture gives way to a watery substance that is easy to apply and extremely moisturizing. This sunscreen does take longer to dry due to the lack of alcohol, but is not as slow as some other alcohol-free sunscreens, and fortunately there is no stickiness at all. It is also one of the better makeup-primer sunscreens that I’ve used. I am very generous with my sunscreen application and sometimes run into issues with the sunscreen pilling when I apply makeover over it, but I have not yet run into issues with this sunscreen.
This sunscreen does not ever feel heavy. It does make my face a little shiny, but in a dewy sort of way and not a socially-inapprorpiate sort of way. Over time, this shine fades and if you wear makeup, it shouldn’t be an issue at all.
The ingredients of this sunscreen are as follows. Sunscreen filters are underlined.
Water, ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate (aka Octinoxate) , butylene glycol, diethylamino hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl benzoate (aka Uvinal A Plus), zinc oxide, methylheptyl ester of lauric acid, titanium dioxide, dimethicone, bis ethylhexyloxyphenol methoxyphenyl triazine (aka Tinosorb S), polymethylsilsesquioxane, cyclopentasiloxane, sodium hydroxyethyl acrylate / acryloyldimethyl taurate copolymer diisostearyl malate, hydroxide Al, PEG-60 hydrogenated castor oil, stearic acid, phenoxyethanol, polyglyceryl-3 polydimethylsiloxiethyl dimethicone, polyhydroxystearyl acid, jojoba ester, xanthan gum, arginine, hyaluronic acid, alpha-glucan, phytic acid, saxifraga sarmentosa extract, glucosylceramide, cherry leaf extract, job’s tears seed extract, morus alba root extract, onethera biennis seed extract, silver oxide, Queen of the Meadow flower extract, bilberry leaf extract, artichoke leaf extract
I always try to ensure that the sunscreen filters will protect against UVA rays. Luckily, this sunscreen includes zinc oxide and Tinosorb S which cover the entire UVA spectrum!
Moisturizing, very cosmetically elegant sunscreen. My only real gripe with it is that it takes a long time to dry, but that’s pretty much unavoidable without alcohol in the formula.
Anna over at My Asian Skincare Story (which has TONS of great sunscreen reviews) was kind enough to ship this to me from Japan. It is also available on Rakuten (through forwarding service only) or eBay.
To see other sunscreens I’ve reviewed, see here.
Disclosure: Product paid for by me. Affiliate links. See my full disclosure policy here.