Prickly Pear Seed Oil - 7 Amazing Skin Benefits April 03, 2018 18:25

 Prickly Pear Fruit

Prickly pear seed oil is without a doubt one of the most valuable and expensive oils in the beauty industry and this is not only because of its labour-intensive extraction, but also because of its incredible skin benefits. This oil has been on my shopping list for a couple of years now, but I kept delaying the purchase because of its extremely high price tag. A few months ago, out of curiosity, I bought a few cactus pears, which I had never tasted before, unaware that this is the actual prickly pear fruit. It all started with googling "how to eat a cactus pear" and the information returned was mind-blowing. This turned into passionate research, which made me realize I couldn't wait another day to experiment with this precious oil. Once I tried it, I fell in love with it so deeply and completely, I just had to have it in my products and share my findings with you. In short, everything you've heard about the prickly pear seed oil is true. This is an amazing oil that will do wonders for your skin. If you haven't heard about it yet, you simply have to read on.

What is Prickly Pear?

Prickly Pear, also known as Cactus Pear, Barbary Fig or Indian Fig Opuntia, is the edible fruit of a plant in the Cactaceae or cactus family that grows in arid and semi-arid regions.

Considered to be one of the most effective anti-aging beauty oils, the prickly pear seed oil is cold-pressed from the tiny seeds, which contain impressive amounts of skin nutrients like antioxidants, sterols, omega-6 fatty acids, naturally occurring carotenoids, flavonoids, vitamins C and E. The oil’s ability to maintain moisture in skin cells emulates the cactus's extraordinary capacity to maintain moisture in its cells and even thrive in severe drought and harsh conditions.

History of Prickly Pear Use

Almost all part of the plant were used by humans and animals throughout the world since old times. In traditional medicine, Opuntia ficus-indica was used for the treatment of burns, wounds, edema, obesity and gastritis. The Aztecs extracted the milky juice from the plant and mixed it with honey and egg yolk to make an ointment to treat burns. In Mexican traditional medicine, prickly pear cactus was used for the treatment of diabetes and high cholesterol. Alcoholic extracts were recommended for anti-inflammatory, hypoglycemic and antiviral purposes. The Chinese dressed abscesses with the fleshy pad of the plant. The American Indians used the fruit for food and also made syrup from it to treat whooping cough and asthma. Berber women applied the oil extracted from the seeds to protect their skin against the inhospitable dry conditions of the desert.

Prickly pear seed oil is now recognized for its anti-aging properties and considered one of the most valuable beauty oils in the cosmetics industry. The small prickly pear fruit also contains numerous effective chemical ingredients that are now being used by pharmaceutical laboratories for medicinal purposes.

 

Prickly Pear Seed Oil Skin Benefits

 

1. Nourishes, Moisturizes and Softens the Skin

Prickly pear seed oil intensely hydrates the skin and due to its high vitamin E and linoleic acid content soothes even the most dehydrated skin. It is deeply penetrating and will leave your skin softer than any other oil can. I still remember the very first time I used the oil. I woke up to the most velvety skin I ever had and couldn’t stop touching my face. Yes, you'll see and feel the difference immediately!

2. Slows Skin Aging

    With its remarkably high concentration of vitamin E, fatty acids, phytosterols and polyphenols, prickly pear seed oil promotes cell renewal, soothes, hydrates, plumps the skin, reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, adds firmness and reduces inflammation that can damage collagen.

    • Vitamin E - This naturally occurring antioxidant found in prickly pear seed oil in high quantities (almost 150% more than in Argan oil) acts as a free radicals scavenger, preventing them from causing damage that leads to skin aging. It also has serious anti-inflammatory properties, helping wounds heal faster, and can even repair damage caused by UV rays and environmental pollution. Vitamin E is a wonderful moisturizer, hydrating skin while preventing further water loss and diminishing the appearances of wrinkles and fine lines.
    • Fatty acids - Linoleic acid (present at a concentration of ≈ 60%!!!) is an omega-6 EFA (essential fatty acid) that nourishes, repair and strengthens our skin’s barrier, allowing it to better retain moisture. Sometimes referred to as vitamin F, this fatty acid fights inflammation, helps soften the skin and has acne-reducing and healing properties. Oleic acid (≈ 20%) seals in moisture and helps other beneficial ingredients more easily penetrate the skin. Palmitic acid (≈14%) has antioxidant and healing properties, and can even help with dermatitis and eczema. It’s found naturally in our skin, but quantities diminish as we age.
    • Phytosterols - These are cholesterol-like molecules that bind to water and help the skin retain moisture, making for a strong, healthy skin barrier. They also assist in collagen production, keeping our skin youthful, soft and supple, and have even been found to reverse the effects of aging.
    • Polyphenols - These compounds not only have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties, they also prevent and treat sun damage, and can help with redness and irritation.

    3. Brightens Skin, Age Spots and Under-Eye Dark Circles

    This oil has high levels of vitamin K, which is known for its ability to brighten skin and reduce the appearance of under-eye circles, hyper-pigmentation, redness 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.

    4. Offers Exceptional Antioxidant Protection

      Possessing some of the highest levels of vitamin E (see above), vitamin C, carotenoids (provitamin A) and polyphenols, prickly pear seed oil provides exceptional antioxidant protection against free radicals damage and reduces inflammation that can decrease collagen production.

      5. Absorbs Easily and Deeply into the Skin

        This light oil absorbs easily and completely into the skin, without leaving it feeling greasy, and provides essential natural lipids and nutrients that, with regular use, will make your skin appear velvety soft, more elastic, brighter and firmer.

        6. Doesn’t Clog Pores

        The comedogenic rate of prickly pear oil is 0 out of 5. This means that you can safely use it every day, without fear of clogging your pores or causing acne, even if you have acne-prone skin. In fact, it helps balance your skin’s oils, so you are less prone to breakouts. Your pores will also appear smaller, due to the astringent effect of the tannins contained in the oil.

        7. Ideal for all skin types

        This oil is non-irritating, deeply nourishing, soothing and gentle enough for all skin types, including sensitive, problematic or acne-prone skin.

        Prickly Pear Seed oil Fatty Acid Composition

        • Linoleic Acid      60.5%
        • Oleic Acid           20.6%
        • Palmitic Acid     13.9%
        • Stearic Acid        3.2%
        • Palmitoleic         1%
        • Linolenic            1%
        • Tocopherol     895 mg/kg

        I love this oil so much, I really wanted to have it as a standalone product to fully showcase its greatness. The Prickly Pear Seed Oil Roll-on is 100% pure, unadulterated, unrefined, cold-pressed, organic prickly pear seed oil. It comes with a stainless steel roll-on applicator, which allows for targeted, economical application of the oil directly on the area of interest: fine lines, wrinkles, under-eye dark circles, age spots. You can use it by itself or under your face cream for an added protection.

        Prickly pear seed oil is also the star of my new Precious Oils Face Serum. In this truly luxurious facial oil serum, prickly pear oil is blended with other amazing organic, cold pressed, unrefined oils like Baobab, Sacha Inchi, Argan and Jojoba oil, fortified with Bisabolol and infused with Rose, German Chamomile and Helichrysum essential oils. More about these valuable ingredients in a future post.

        If your skin is in need of extra nourishment, plumpness, elasticity, brightness, I wholeheartedly recommend that you experience the powerful benefits of the prickly pear seed oil. You'll be glad you did.

        I want to share with you the joy of adding these new products to my skincare line and extend an invitation to take advantage of our Launch Celebration Sale. Get your Prickly Pear Seed Oil Roll-on and/or Precious Oils Face Serum at 20% off now until Sunday.

        Important notes: Sale ends Sunday, April 8, at 11:59 pm EST. Enter code PRICKLYPEAR at checkout. Limited quantities available, product may become unavailable before the end of sale. Shipping to Canada and U.S. only.

        If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to leave them in the Comments section below or email them to simona@sheerblends.com.

        Here’s to a beautiful, healthier you!

        Simona

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        Supporting Research:

        Chougui, N.; Tamendjari, A.; Hamidj, W.; Hallal, S.; Barras, A.; Richard, T.; Larbat, R. (2013). Oil composition and characterization of phenolic compounds of Opuntia ficus-indica seeds. Food Chemistry 139: 796-803.

        Dunn, Shannon. “Beauty of the Barbary.” WellBeing Natural Health & Living News, 15 Jan 2013.

        Ghazi, Z.; Ramdani, M.; Fauconnier, M.L.; El Mahi, B.; Cheikh, R. (2013). Fatty acids Sterols and Vitamin E composition of seed oil of Opuntia Ficus Indica and Opuntia Dillenii from Morocco. Journal of Materials and Environmental Science 4(6): 967-972.

        Kaur, M.; Kaur, A.; Sharma, R. (2012) Pharmacological actions of Opuntia ficus indica: A Review. Journal of Applied Pharmaceutical Science 02(07): 15-18.

        Ramadan, M.F. and J.-T. Mörsel (2003). Oil cactus Pear (Opuntia ficus-indica L.). Food Chemistry 82: 339-345.

        Tlili, N.; Bargougui, A.; Elfalleh, W.; Triki, S.; Nasri, N. (2011). Phenolic compounds, protein, lipid content and fatty acids compositions of cactus seeds. Journal of Medicinal Plants Research 5(18): 4519-4524.

        Leyendecker, Billie A. “Prickly Pear Seed Oil and the Skin”. The School for Aromatic Studies.