Haven’t we all wondered at some point in our life about that one magic ingredient that can transform our skin into a smooth and flawless delight? The good news is that this magic potion exists, although it is less discussed – prickly pear oil!
The ingredient is natural and commonly known as the Barbary fig oil. It is derived from a special species of cactus, named Opuntia Ficus Indica. Availability for extracting this oil is limited, labor-intensive and lengthy process. It takes half a ton of the fruits to produce only 5 liters of the oil. Each seed contains only 5% oil.
Prickly Pear oil is found in some parts of the United States and also in Australia, Africa and the major exporter of this is Morocco. The difficult process of extraction quite obviously makes it costly but it is worth the money because incorporating this into your daily skincare regime can give significant results.
Origin of prickly pear seed oil
It comes from the seed of a commercially important cactus plant that is grown primarily as a fruit crop in the arid and semi-arid regions of Mexico. The pad and the flesh of the fruit can be consumed and it can be used in the making of wine.
The use of prickly pear seed oil in skincare and beauty treatment was largely unidentified until recent times. Traditionally it has been known to cure minor cuts and burns, digestive problems and even congestion. The fruit has therapeutic properties that promote a healthy metabolism.
Other than medicinal or therapeutic uses, it serves different purposes. The cochineal dye derived from parasites living in the plant body can be used for food coloring.
What ingredients does Prickly Pear Seed Oil contain?
This magic oil contains special ingredients which makes it so amazing!
Unsaturated fatty acids
The prickly pear seed oil has the highest percentage of both essential and non-essential fatty acids.
It contains 60.5% of linoleic acid, which has a plethora of skin rejuvenating properties. It strengthens the epidermal layer and regenerates the cells with nourishment. Its therapeutic properties cure minor cuts and burns and even cold sores.
Dry and irritated cuticles can benefit from the usage of this oil suffused with linoleic acid. It further forms a protective layer over weak and brittle hair.
It contains 20.6 % oleic. It is a natural moisture lock that enables easy penetration of other skin-benefitting ingredients.
It also contains 13.9% palmitic. This acid is generally found in palm tree oil. It includes a lot of antioxidants that help in fighting free radicals. Free radicles are unstable molecules that can create havoc on your skin by causing wear and tear to your skin cells.
Anti-oxidants are necessary to fight these free radicals. As the body ages, these free radicals increase in frequency as well. Therefore to combat the damage, palmitic acid as a rich source of anti-oxidants is ideal. Regular use of prickly pear seed oil can keep your skin from aging.
The oil contains 150% more Vitamin E than Argan oil. Vitamin E does absolute wonders for the skin. Almost all moisturizers that you will find in the market have Vitamin E as their key ingredient. This is mainly because of its ability to cure the skin almost of any problems.
Most importantly, Vitamin E protects those cells of the skin that produce elastin and collagen, thus making the skin young and beautiful. It also protects the skin from the UV rays of the sun. Sunburnt and irritated skin is restored by the use of Vitamin E. Thus, the oil can also act as a supplement of Vitamin E.
The polyphenol content in prickly pear seed oil makes it a magic elixir. Polyphenols are micronutrients that are full of antioxidants that help fight free radicals. Most importantly, it can resist cardiovascular diseases and even treat diabetes.
Phytosterols, like cholesterols, are water-retaining agents. The phytosterol content in the prickly pear seed oil keeps the skin hydrated by retaining moisture. Like Vitamin E, it also contributes to collagen production, leaving the skin young and soft.
Why is prickly pear seed oil such a blessing?
Of all the available beauty oils in the market, prickly pear seed oil has the highest content of fatty acids that help in stimulating skin cells and imparts that natural and healthy glow in the face.
It is rich in Vitamin E and contains a considerable amount of fatty acids like omega 6 and 9, antioxidants, polyphenols, amino acids, and vitamin K. Vitamin E nourishes and hydrates your skin while preventing it from fine lines and wrinkles.
The presence of linoleic and oleic acid helps the skin achieve that perfect balance that is needed for beautiful skin.
9 Skin Benefits of Prickly Pear Seed Oil
1. Acts as a daily moisturizer
Rich in Vitamin E and fatty acids, prickly pear seed oil moisturizes your skin, leaving it soft and supple. You can use it all year round as a night moisturizer or even beneath makeup.
2. Prevents fine lines and wrinkles
Tired of the anti-aging creams available in the market? Maybe it is time for you to go all-natural with 100% guaranteed results. As the body ages, it loses its ability to produce enough elastins, and consequently, the breaking down of collagen results in the loss of elasticity of the skin. This causes fine lines and wrinkles.
The prickly pear seed oil contains 60.5% of linoleic acid that imparts strength to the skin barrier helping it retain its natural moisturizers. It acts as a moisture lock therapeutic oil. Further, it contains 150% more Vitamin E than Argan oil. Vitamin E protects those skin cells that produce elastins and collagens, hence keeping the skin hydrated and young.
3. Prevents breakouts and pimples
Pimples are the enemy of flawless skin, and frequent breakouts can leave ugly marks on your skin. Your go-to oil must be prickly pear seed oil as it gives the perfect solution to your problem of pimples or acne. Pimples generally occur due to clogged pores. Pores clog as a result of the solidification of sebum. These tend to happen in skin types where the oleic acid content is greater than that of linoleic acid.
Using prickly pear seed oil that is high in linoleic acid helps maintain this perfect balance and keeps the pores from getting clogged. Regular use of the oil can help you get rid of these skin problems effectively and with ease.
4. Imparts natural glow to your skin
It often happens that your skin loses its natural glow, giving you a dull appearance. The problem of hyperpigmentation is also a serious one. This happens mostly due to melanin accumulation in specific spots that causes concentrated dark patches all over your skin. The unique combination of Vitamin E and K in prickly pear seed oil helps fight pigmentation, giving you an even skin tone leaving it soft, supple, and glowing.
5. Acts as a cuticle oil
We live in the era of nail accessories like Acrylic or fake nails that leaves our cuticle exposed to harsh chemical treatments. This leaves the nail bed dry and irritated. Prickly pear seed oil with its rich fatty acid content is ideal for keeping your cuticle moisturized and healthy.
6. Say goodbye to your dark circles
Are you one of the unfortunate souls who wakes up with huge dark bags under the eyes? Worry no more. The beauty elixir you need is the prickly pear seed oil. Its Vitamin E content instantly brightens up under eyes and takes care of any puffiness that might exist. The regular application leaves your under eyes evenly toned, and soon enough, you’ll not need your concealer to hide that dark patch.
7. A light moisturizer for oily skinned beauties
It’s time that we do away with the myth that people with oily skin do not require moisturizers. All types of skin need to be moisturized regularly. But it is essential that the ones with oily skin use moisturizers that are light and do not block the pores of the skin that might result in breakouts. Its non-comedogenic properties make it ideal for the usage of all skin types.
8. A natural hair conditioner
Frizzy hair can spoil your entire look. Say bye-bye to frizzy hair and increase the number of your good hair days by replacing your ordinary hair oil with the prickly pear seed oil. Vitamin E and an ample amount of fatty acids in the oil nourish your scalp and moisturizes your hair from within. It keeps hair from becoming brittle and weak and rescues split ends. Major beauty brands are now harnessing the goodness of this oil as it has proved to do wonders for both skin and hair.
9. Treats minor cuts and burns
This magic potion has anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties. It can be used to treat minor cuts and burns.
How to use Prickly Pear Oil and incorporate it into your daily beauty regime?
- Apply a few drops of the oil before going to bed all over your face, neck, and hands. It will leave your skin soft throughout the day.
- You can add a few drops of the oil in your regular moisturizing cream or serum and then apply it in your face and body. This will enrich the effectiveness of the oil.
- Apply a few drops of the oil on your cuticles after a manicure. You will be surprised by the results.
- For spot treatment of acne or pimples, apply the oil on the affected areas twice daily. Continued usage will eventually cure them and prevent further breakouts.
- Those who are suffering from dark circles should massage the oil gently under the eyes using your ring finger. Relax and go off to sleep immediately after doing this. You’ll see visible results the next morning. Prolonged usage will completely remove the dark patches underneath your eyes.
- For healthy and shiny hair, massage prickly pear seed oil onto your scalp gently. Keep it overnight and then gently wash it off with a mild shampoo.
- Prickly pear seeds oil may be used to treat minor cuts and burns. Bleeding of the skin due to excessive dryness can also be treated using prickly pear seed oil.
The prickly pear seed oil is an all-encompassing magic tonic that can take care of all your skin and hair problems. Although a bit on the pricey side, this beauty oil is worth all the hype.
From rejuvenating your skin to imparting brightness and a healthy glow, this oil does it all. Incorporate this is your daily skincare to achieve that flawless look for yourself.
The best part about it is that it can be used by all irrespective of skin type, age, or gender. Get your hands on this oil to unlock the beauty that you’ve been dreaming of for ages.