Home shopping channel, HSN, is kicking off the new year by promoting PRAI Beauty. The company's name is inspired by the root of a kind of ginger called zingiber cassumunar. Taking a random look at one its products, Radiant Night Caviar ($55), there are some good ingredients, including Matrixyl, but nothing that you wouldn't find in dozens of other potions and lotions. So is there enough zing in prai root oil to make it a must buy?

PRAI seems to have taken a teensy bit of license with zingibar cassumunar as it is commonly known as plai, not prai. This ginger has a long culinary and medical history and more recently has been discovered to have anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce tissue hydration and inflammation during wound healing, according to researchers in Thailand. In one test, it was found that the most active compound, DMPBD, was twice as potent as the reference drug Diclofenac.

Plai has been compared for activity of known antioxidants - trolox, quercetin as well as kaempferol - against 18 other aromatic plants found in Thailand. Holy basil oil (Ocimum sanctum) came out tops with the highest antioxidant activity, with phlai oil as the strong number two.

Like any self-respecting anti-ager these days, there is a marine ingredient. In this case it is macrocystis pyrifera extract, a giant brown seaweed found in the Antarctic. The peptide of choice is Matrixyl (palmitoyl pentapetide-4). Two other powerful ingredients are wound-healing copper and anti-inflammatory astaxanthin.

Zingibar, when applied topically is an effective fungiside. Perhaps PRAI doesn't even need the handful of additional preservatives that are potential irritants. One of the things that would make me pause before buying PRAI is the inclusion of benzophenone-3. This is the sunscreen active oxybenzone that is thought to be a photocarcinogen and is banned in Sweden.


Cyclomethicone, Dimethicone, Algae, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Sorbitol, Calcium Ascorbate, Water (Aqua), Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Carbomer, Polysorbate 20, Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Macrocystis Pyrifera Extract, Guar Gum, Copper Tripeptide-1, Retinol, Papain, Orchid Extract, Astaxanthin, Caprylic / Capric Triglyceride, Echinacea Purpurea, Zingiber Cassumunar (PRAI) Root Oil, Ascorbic Acid, Benzophenone-3, Benzyl Salicylate, Hexyl Cinnamal, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, DMDM Hydantoin, Imidazolidinyl Urea, Propylparaben, Methylparaben, Fragrance (Parfum)