Prana Reflect Antioxidant Skin Cream SPF 45 1.75 fl oz

Our Rating: 5 stars

“It WILL be sunny on my one vacation this year!”
“It WILL be sunny on my one vacation this year!”
“It WILL be sunny on my one vacation this year!”

Nope. Wasn’t sunny. Magic incantation failed. Not until four days of my seven-day Mexican yoga vacation had passed, at least. That made it hard to test the true efficacy of the Prana Reflect Antioxidant Skin Cream SPF 45 ($39 in the shop) I was sent to review. I diligently applied it every morning on the way to yoga class, though, knowing as every faithful TIA reader does, that even a cloudy day can cause sun damage to the unwary. I continued to apply it for the few remaining sunny days of my trip and every day since I arrived home to Seattle, in a mix of rain, clouds, and sun – sometimes all three in one day!

I am happy to report that I really enjoyed using this product from Prana Spaceuticals. And how fortuitous that I set out to try a product based on a sanskrit word for “breathe” and a philosophy of “‘Breathe Life Into Your Skin’ through the use of invigorating, all-natural ingredients that have been specially formulated to target unique skin concerns” at the same time I embarked on a yoga retreat!

The sun protection comes from 9% micronized zinc oxide and seemed to do a great job preventing sun impact. I was particularly looking out for any of my existing sun spots on my left cheek and tops of hands to get worse in the sun. They didn’t, but I would have to test again in full sunlight over a longer period of time. Of course, I don’t expect 100% protection from any product due to other variables, such as time spent in the sun and how frequently I reapply.

In addition, there is so much information out there about physical sunblocks like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide that I am confused about what combination to use and in what concentrations. Even doing some targeted research on TIA and other sites today didn’t make anything clearer. I will leave it at this: this particular combination of SPF, concentration and ingredients worked very well for me during the testing period.

One of the reasons for that is the wonderful sensory experience of applying the Prana to my skin. It smells delightfully of fresh cucumber with a wonderfully smooth texture that blends in easily and quickly. There is a beige tint, which supposedly adds color but wasn’t noticeable to me once absorbed. I found that the cream worked great as a makeup base as well, providing just enough of a mattifying effect to help my foundation apply smoothly and set well.

Besides the zinc, the other ingredients are very pure and were easily tolerated by my 45-year-old combo skin. I particularly appreciated the multiple antioxidants, especially alpha lipoic acid. I knew generally that this one is a heavy hitter but am now even more impressed after reading more about it on TIA and learning how it can repair past damage as well as add to the efficacy of other antioxidants – inside and outside the cell membranes. I was already in the habit of layering antioxidants with my sunscreen and will now look specifically for alpha lipoic acid when I do so in the future.

Prana Reflect Antioxidant Skin Cream SPF 45 is an excellent and enjoyable product at a decent price point. I’d buy it again and hope I have a “sure thing” trip to the sun soon!

Editor's note: please note that this formula has recently been reformulated into a tinted BB cream. We are currently in the process of re-testing it.


Old Formula: Micronized Zinc, Purified Water (Aqua), Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides, Hyaluronic Acid, Squalene, Sunflower Extract, Safflower Extract, Sesame Seed Oil Extract, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Allantoin, Cucumber Extract, Chamomile, Grape Seed Extract, Green Tea Extract and Wheat Protein Amino Acids


New Formula: Purified Water (Aqua), Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides, Hyaluronic Acid, Squalene, Sunflower Extract, Safflower Extract, Sesame Seed Oil Extract, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Allantoin, Cucumber Extract, Chamomile, Grape Seed Extract, Green Tea Extract and Wheat Protein Amino Acids.