What is prickly pear seed oil?
Many of us are obsessed with a good facial oil like rosehip seed oil or Moroccan argan oil. But, did you hear about a do-it-all facial oil with excellent moisturising, anti-aging benefits called prickly pear seed oil, sometimes also called barbary fig seed oil? Skincare manufacturers and beauty editors have deemed the prickly pear seed as the fountain of youth and an “it” skincare ingredient.
It is derived from a cactus called Opuntia Ficus Indica, native to Morocco, just like argan oil. The cactus grows fruit pods that contain small seeds, and these seeds are filled with a nutrient-rich oil that’s extracted and used in skincare. The process of extracting the fruit from the seeds takes up to three to four days. It is a manual operation and the season only lasts for a few months. It is worth noting that half a ton of these cactus fruits only produce one litre of prickly pear seed oil, each seed only contains 5%. Quality prickly pear seed oil is one of the most expensive raw oils in the beauty industry, not only due to its labor-intensive extraction but also because of the incredible amount of nutrients it contains.
Many people are obsesses with argan oil mainly for its high Vitamin E concentrate, but prickly pear seed oil contains 150% more Vitamin E than argan Oil. Tocopherol (Vitamin E) is a natural potent antioxidant found in vegetables oils. Also, this oil is also extremely rich in essential fatty acids including omega 6 and 9, antioxidants, polyphenols and amino acids.
Prickly pear seed also boasts lots of vitamin K, which is known for its ability to brighten skin and reduce the appearance of under eye circles, hyperpigmentation and dark spots! High levels of amino acids make prickly pear seed oil an ideal product for stimulating the production of collagen, promoting cell turnover, and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Prickly pear seed oil has a high content of essential fatty acids which help calm down any inflammation and redness especially for those prone to rosacae. The oil is easily absorbed into skin and penetrates quickly without leaving any greasy residue.
Betalains are effective and potent antioxidants, which are red and yellow pigments found in plants. You have probably heard about Acai or Goji berries, superfoods containing high concentration of betalains. Prickly pear seed contains even a higher amount than these superfoods. Betalains help to protect skin against ageing from various types of damaging radicals which would otherwise encourage wrinkle formation. it is an incredibly effective for anti-aging formulas.
The fatty acid profile of linoleic acid and oleic acid replenish lost lipids within skin which helps moisturise and restore skin’s elasticity. The high linoleic acid content, roughly 62%, ensures that even the most dehydrated skin is ameliorated.
On top of all these fabulous ingredients, prickly pear is also renowned for hydrating and nourishing the skin and tightening pores . Plus it does not leave a greasy or oily residue. Prickly pear seed oil is non-comedogenic, meaning that it can be safely used without worrying about clogging pores. In fact, it balances your skin's oil making the skin less prone to breakouts.
Hair essence - Prickly pear seed oil is excellent for dry, dull or fizzy hair. It can be used as a hair treatment. Simply use one or two drops and massage into the hair.
Face mist - Mix with a toner (7:3 ratio) to create a refreshing, hydrating facial spray throughout the day or a quick pick me up.
Extra moist - Mix the prickly seed oil with a moisturiser to create a powerful coating effect that moisturises the skin as quick its absorbed.
Lip balm - for chopped, dry lips. Use the oil as a lip balm.
Cuticle oil - When applied regularly to the nail cuticles, this oil works to strengthen nails making them less prone to breakage.