Found in some of the most arid countries on earth, the Prickly Pear Plant can seem more like a painful beauty experiment rather than a new skincare regimen; but don’t let these spikes fool you.
Opuntia Ficus Indica, also known as Prickly Pear or Barbary Fig Seed Oil is a relatively new oil in the beauty world – but be ready, because this oil is going to take the beauty world by storm. We can confidently say bye to Argan Oil and hello to Prickly Pear Oil !
What is Prickly Pear?
Otherwise known as the Optunia Ficus Indica, the Prickly Pear plant produces some of the finest fruit bearing seeds newly introduced to the beauty market. These tiny seeds are what hold the secret to youthful and flawless skin; as the oil contained inside this bright pink fruit bore 150% more Vitamin E than the age old Argan oil. According to Allure, the prickly pear contains amino acids, vitamin B, calcium, beta-carotene, magnesium, and iron, and “it is just as good slathered on your skin as it is ingested.” Seems like using the plant is totally worth a try, right? And if that’s not too good to be true already, it’s perfect for all skin types! Repère Care founder Sara Chemseddine, whose skincare line is prickly bear-based, told us , “It’s great for all skin types…You will instantly feel the skin-softening effects and the see glowing and radiant skin”
How It’s Made
It takes roughly 1 million tiny prickly pear seeds and 36 hours of manual labor to produce 1 liter of this golden oil, making the price tag associated to these products totally worth it.
It’s a true labor of love; once the seeds are harvested, they are cold pressed by hand using only rocks. Once the raw oil is extracted, it is bottled and ready for shipment. Due to this extremely time consuming process, it makes the Prickly Pear oil one of the most expensive raw materials to be used in beauty products.
So here are the 5 miracle benefits of Prickly Pear Seed Oil
1. Anti-Aging & Anti-Inflammatory
Since the Prickly Pear Seed Oil contains the highest levels of Betalains, it gives prickly pear oil products super antioxidant strength with powerful anti-aging effects. Aging signs which include fines lines and wrinkles are a result of the body’s inability to produce collagen in sufficient amounts. The lack of collagen is often a symptom of age and inflammation in the body and the skin. According to Dermatologist Jeannette Graf, “The fruit reduces inflammation, and anything that is anti-inflammatory is also anti-aging because inflammation is the first event that occurs in aging.”
The essential fatty acids in the Prickly Pear Seed Oil keep the upper layers of the skin hydrated which also tightens your pores without clogging them and causing further breakouts.
2. Fantastic For Sensitive Skin
Even for people with eczema and other skin ailments, this non-irritating, deep nourishing oil will reduce inflammation caused by various skin problems while it deeply moisturizes the skin, leaving it soft and supple. Choose products that use natural ingredients, or try a DIY recipe and enjoy a face mask with a candle light bath.
3. Quick Absorbing While Tightening Pores
Due to the high Linoleic Acid content (60%) of the oil, it remains light in texture and absorbs well into the skin, while the high essential fatty acid content tightens pores, keeps the collagen layer moist and healthy, fights inflammation and reduces acne flares. Products made from the prickly pear seed oil are highly recommended for individuals that suffer from acne, thanks to its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.
4. Brightens Dark Spots
Since it contains Vitamin K, it is known to brighten skin by reducing dark spots and under-eye circles while promoting your skins elasticity. Aside from under eye dark circle reduction, many individuals use the prickly pear seed oil as an ointment to reduce scars after incidental burns and sun burns.
5. Prevents Wrinkles
Because of the high Vitamin E content (roughly 150% more than Argan oil), and the highest percentage of unsaturated fatty acids of around 88%, the Prickly Pear Seed Oil increases cell renewal by stimulating healthy cell production and turnover. Inflammation is a leading cause for aging skin, but thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, the Prickly Pear Seed oil effectively calms irritations and inflammations of the skin, therefore slowing the aging process.
PRICKLY PEAR SEED OIL FATTY ACID COMPOSITION
- Oleic Acid 20.6%
- Linoleic Acid 60.5%
- Stearic Acid 3.2%
- Palmitic Acid 13.9%
- Tocopherol 895 mg/kg (almost 150% more Tocopherol than Argan oil)
Who Is Repère Care
I was able to get ahold of Sara Chemseddine, the Owner of Repère Care here in Dubai, where she spoke into great detail on the immense benefits of her cold pressed Prickly Pear oil products. She told me that “Our products are formulated with 5 times more, 100% organic prickly pear seed oil than any other product on the market,” and that she specifically works with local farmers who cultivate her raw materials in Morocco. Knowing every step of her formulation process, Sara is able to create and fine tune products as needed in order to fit the skincare market on a global scale.
Sara has recently launched her brand in early 2017, where she focuses on bringing only the highest quality products to market that rival some of the bigger name brands in the skincare business. Her niche business targets men and women who want alternative skincare products that are not filled with secretive chemicals that the larger brands use, which is why she is so passion