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Most of us want a product that “does it all” when it comes to skincare and beauty. This probably explains why you have been struggling with different skincare products. Fortunately, there is a new kid on the block that might solve all of your problems. We are talking about the prickly pear oil that is highly-moisturizing and soothing derived from a cactus plant.
How can you have healthy and gorgeous skin using prickly pear oil? Also known as the Barbary fig seed oil, prickly pear oil is extracted from the seeds of the prickly pear plant and is enriched with fatty acids and vitamins, which are skin-friendly components that can help you achieve better results. It also contains the rare D7 Stigmasterol chemical component that plays a critical role in ensuring cellular regeneration. Furthermore, the oil contains a powerful antioxidant, anti-aging, and anti-inflammatory properties that help to keep your skin healthy and good-looking.
In this post, we discuss some of the crucial benefits of prickly pear oil for the skin and how you can use it to have a healthy and gorgeous skin. Read on to discover the secrets of maintaining smooth and good-looking skin.
What Is Prickly Pear Oil?
Before we dive deep into our discussion, let us talk about the plant itself and how the oil is extracted. The Opuntia Ficus Indica plant belongs to the cactus family of plants and is commonly referred to as prickly pear.
Some people call it the Barbary Fig tree or the India Fig Opuntia. Native to Mexico and other parts of South America, this cactus plant can grow up to two meters high and withstands the hostile desert environment quite well. The plant also grows in the Northern parts of Africa, especially in Morocco.
Opuntia Ficus Indica is also referred to as the miracle plant due to its ability to survive long spells of drought and still produce healthy fruits that are edible. The fruit contains small black seeds from which the precious prickly pear oil is extracted.
The plant bears gorgeous, pink blossoms and fruits that are so nutritious. Pure seed oil sells for quite high prices, and it is for a good reason.
Its seeds are so tiny and pack a low concentration of oil. This makes the process of extracting oil extremely labor-intensive. For instance, approximately 800KG of prickly pear seeds need to be cold-pressed to produce about one liter of the prickly pear oil.
Everything has to be done carefully, and the extraction process has to be thorough to get the maximum amount of oil out of the seeds.
How Has the Prickly Pear Been Used Historically?
Over the years, this cactus plant has been used for many purposes. Not only has it been used for culinary purposes and healing, but it has also been used to make paint. The prickly pear’s versatility is quite extraordinary.
The Chinese use it to dress abscesses while Native Americans and Mexicans enjoy eating the fruit and making syrup out of it to treat asthma and whooping cough. In traditional Mexico, the plant was used to treat diabetes and high cholesterol.
In recent years, prickly pear oil has become a popular ingredient for use in skincare. But that is not all. In an exciting turn of events, scientists are now considering ways to use the plant as a sustainable energy source, although research is still at the early stages.
What Are the Major Components of Prickly Pear Oil that Make It So Effective?
All vegetable oils – prickly pear is both a vegetable and a fruit- contain essential and nonessential fatty acids. When the human skin doesn’t get enough of the essential fatty acids, its outer barrier is profoundly affected, increasing the risk of developing dry and irritated skin.
Among all the beauty products you will find on the market, prickly pear oil has the highest percentage of unsaturated fatty acids. These fatty acids are essential to stimulating healthy cell production and regeneration.
Here are the main components of prickly pear oil and how they help your skin:
Prickly pear oil contains about 88% of non-saturated fatty acids. It also contains approximately 60.5% linoleic acid, which is Omega-6 essential fatty acids that nourish and repair the skin. This component also strengthens the skin’s outer barrier allowing it to retain moisture for longer.
Fatty acids also fight inflammation and have strong acne-reducing properties that help to keep the skin smooth and good-looking. Linoleic acid also helps in healing minor burns and cold sores.
Polyphenols boast powerful antioxidant, anti-carcinogenic, and anti-inflammatory properties that are critical in keeping the skin healthy.
They also help in fighting oxidative stress, which occurs as a result of an imbalance between free radical production and your body’s ability to defend effectively against them. These compounds also help with redness, irritation, and can treat sun damage.
Vitamin E (Tocopherols)
Prickly pear contains almost 150% more vitamin E than any other beauty product on the market. Vitamin E is found in Tocopherols – a group of eight different organic chemical compounds that are found in prickly pear.
Vitamin E acts as a free radical scavenger that stops the free radicals from causing damage, which may lead to early signs of skin aging. The compound has serious anti-inflammatory properties that help wounds heal faster.
It can also repair sun damage caused by environmental pollution or UV rays.
Phytosterols are similar to cholesterol since they bind to water. This is great news to your skin because the water-binding Phytosterols help it retain moisture for longer periods making it appear strong and healthy.
The compounds also play a critical role in collagen production that helps to keep your skin young-looking and soft.
In fact, scientific studies have established that water-binding Phytosterols can reverse the effects of aging.
How Does Prickly Pear Oil Benefit Your Skin?
Let us now talk about some of the skin benefits you get from using prickly pear oil. Keep in mind that these benefits are universal and will help you, no matter the type of skin you have:
Prickly pear oil packs powerful anti-aging properties that rejuvenate the skin making it appear smooth, young, and good-looking. This is partially due to the amino acid content present in the oil.
Amino acids play a critical role in stimulating collagen production, improving skin elasticity, and preventing the formation of skin lines and wrinkles.
The oil is also rich in vitamin E and other antioxidants that help to fight free radicals in your skin, causing healing and preventing damage.
Improved skin hydration
With prickly pear skin oil, you say goodbye to dry and irritating skin and welcome a smooth and moisturized skin. Hydration is one of the most known properties of prickly pear oil. Not only does it moisturize your skin, but it does so in a unique way that makes it glow.
In addition to moisturizing your skin, the oil acts as a powerful anti-wrinkle serum that smoothens the outer skin layer, which prevents signs of skin aging from showing.
In fact, if you are looking to tackle signs of early aging before they happen, prickly pear oil is your best bet.
Ideal for any skin type
Individuals with sensitive skin usually have a hard time choosing beauty products that will serve them well. In most cases, such people are unable to use any type of oil because the effects can be devastating.
Another great benefit of prickly pear oil is that it works for almost all skin types thanks to its powerful moisturizing properties.
Instead of causing inflammation and that burning effect on sensitive skin, it will do the opposite- It will soothe and nourish it, leaving it feeling fresh and glowing.
Brightens dark spots
Prickly pear is also unmatched in its unique ability to brighten the skin and get rid of any dark spots. The oil packs relatively high levels of vitamin E and K and a wide range of other natural antioxidants that stimulate collagen production.
Increased collagen production improves the overall appearance of dark spots and uneven skin pigmentation. Vitamin K also helps to lighten dark under-eye circles hence minimizing spider veins.
The nutrients contained in prickly pear oil combined with its gentleness make it an incredible ingredient in highly sensitive skin cleansers. The oil helps to get rid of dirt from the surface of the skin while delivering deep nourishment when used as a cleanser or an ingredient in a cleanser.
It is also an effective ingredient when it comes to promoting skin hydration, healing skin damage, fighting signs of aging, and enhancing the overall appearance of your skin.
Prickly pear oil is a perfect choice when it comes to skincare. It boasts a wide range of healthy components that will keep your skin moisturized, smooth, and good-looking.
However, when it comes to buying prickly pear oil, we recommend searching for an option that is certified as 100% organic. If you are not careful, you may end up with generic products that will only bring you more stress and frustration.