Oils have always been essential in skincare, from argan, coconut, to rosehip, the benefits go on and on. The latest to join the fame is prickly pear, a highly moisturising and softening oil.
Prickly pear seed oil is an oil that’s derived from the prickly pear, a member of the cactus family. You might know it by its other names: barbary fig oil, or Indian fig oil, but the benefits are all the same. It’s been used for centuries to treat burns and illnesses, the Chinese used it to dress abscesses and in traditional Mexican medicine, it was even used to treat diabetes and high cholesterol.
Native to Morocco, like argan oil, prickly pear oil takes three to four days to extract the fruit from the seeds. Because the process is so laborious and requires so much patience and manual work, it makes for one of the most expensive beauty oils in the industry.
How does prickly pear seed oil benefit the skin?
Prickly pear seed oil has the highest amount of vitamin E in any beauty oil, in fact, it has 150 per cent more than argan oil. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that helps reduce free radical damage and slow down the ageing process of cells. What this means is that it targets signs like damaged collagen, dryness, or appearance of fine lines.
There is also a high content of linoleic acid, an anti-inflammatory, and moisture-retentive fatty acid that helps plump and firm the skin. This even has helpful effects on blackheads and acne. Then, there’s vitamin K, a vitamin that can help decrease dark eye circles and promote healing when it comes to skincare.
If you want to start adding this super-ingredient into your skincare routine, here’s a list of products that use it in their ingredients.
This article first appeared in The Singapore Women’s Weekly.