Even though the ayurvedic spa Pratima is located in New York, I didn’t know about it until three years ago, when I came across some Pratima Skincare products in a salon-boutique in Philadelphia. Ever since I first brought home a few of those products, I’ve made many visits to Pratima Spa to restock my supply of Neem Rose Face Sunscreen.
I’m fair-skinned and I’m sensitive to quite a few ingredients, so whenever I find a sun-protection product that works for me, I hang onto it. This is one such product. It contains a high concentration of zinc oxide as a physical sunblock, plus several soothing botanical extracts and minimal preservatives.
Neem Rose Face Sunscreen feels like a lightweight facial lotion. It’s not quite moisturizing enough for me to use on its own (my skin tends towards dryness), so I mix one or two pumps with my morning moisturizer or layer it on top of the moisturizer. It gives me excellent sun protection for my daily urban life and it has never once irritated my skin.
(Please excuse the wear-and-tear to the label in these photos; the bottle gets used every day and moves around a lot in my makeup box!)
Here’s a close-up of the ingredients list, which I’ll also type out, since it’s so brief: distilled water, non-nano micronized zinc oxide 18.6%, neem, shatavari, licorice, brahmi, lechithin, rose essential oil, xanthan gum, and vitamin E.
I don’t know how this product manages to contain so much zinc oxide without feeling or looking like school paste, but it really does have a “silky” texture and it absorbs quickly and evenly into my skin. It works well under makeup, and it even has a light, natural rose scent, which I love.
There’s just one problem with Neem Rose Sunscreen, and it makes me feel almost bad about recommending this product. It’s currently available only through Pratima Spa and the Pratima Skincare website, and the shipping (via UPS) is quite high, even if you only purchase one item. I keep hoping that Pratima Skincare will expand its distribution a bit, if it can do so without sacrificing the quality of its products.
Neem Rose Face Sunscreen is sold for $18 (2 oz.) via the Pratima Skincare website.
Disclaimer: this product was purchased by the reviewer (many times over).
Images:Raphael Kirchner, detail of Sun Women (1901), via Wikipaintings; product photos by Tinsel Creation.