What is Prickly Pear Seed Oil

Prickly pear seed oil also known as barbary fig oil is a rare Moroccan sourced oil extracted from the black seeds of prickly pear cactus. The tiny seeds are first sun-dried before being carefully cold-pressed to extract the maximum amount of oil out of them. The oil has a lovely dark yellow color to it and a non-greasy texture that easily glides and absorbs into the skin. It has a natural, pungent smell to it. 

It's noteworthy that the prickly pear cactus also referred to as the Opuntia Ficus India plant is known to be a miracle plant that thrives in harsh desert environments by being able to survive long droughts while still bearing edible fruit. As such, prickly pear seed oil is the next miracle oil on the market because it's chock full of essential fatty acids, vitamins, amino acids, and antioxidants. 

Prickly pear seed oil tends to be on the pricier side because it takes 1 ton of prickly pear fruits or 1 million prickly pear seeds and 36 hours of labor to reap 1 liter of oil.


Composition + Properties

What makes prickly pear seed oil so unique is that it has the highest concentration of vitamin E and unsaturated fatty acids (up to 88%). It also has ample amounts of Vitamin K, polyphenols, betalains, phytosterols, and amino acids. 

Fatty acids

As previously mentioned prickly pear seed oil is high in essential fatty acids, our body can't produce them on its own and has to get them from our diet, also referred to as polyunsaturated fatty acids which are omega-3 and omega-6 fats.

Essential Fatty Acid Composition of Prickly Pear Seed Oil

Taken from The Organic Esthetician

The chart above can be a bit misleading since not all of the acids listed are essential fatty acids but I use it as a visual for you to better understand the breakdown of PPSO's composition. As shown above, prickly pear seed oil is mainly composed of linoleic acid– around 63% to be exact. Linoleic acid is also known as an omega-6 fatty acid and is a significant component that makes up ceramides. Ceramides are an essential component that makes up our skin barrier and natural moisturizing factor. Thus, topical application of linoleic acid can improve skin barrier function because it's partly responsible for the structure of our skin's cell membrane and in effect strengthens it.

Next down is oleic acid (omega-9 fatty acids) which makes up about 20% of PPSO. Oleic acid is different from linoleic acid in that it is a monounsaturated fatty acid and is deemed "non-essential" which means our body can produce it from things we eat. Thicker, waxier oils have higher percentages of oleic acid.

The next two– palmitic acid and stearic acid are saturated fats and are nonessential fatty acids. Palmitic acid is present in 11-13% and lastly, stearic acid makes up the remaining 2-4% of PPSO's fatty acid composition. 


Vitamins + Nutrients

Vitamin E and Vitamin K are the top two vitamins present in PPSO. Remarkably, PPSO has 150% more Vitamin E than Argan oil!

Polyphenols are found in foods with antioxidant properties and are what give fruits and vegetables their vibrant bright colors and as such are packed with antioxidants that fight off free radicals. So just as they protect plants likewise they protect the skin from UV radiation to reduce the signs of aging. Specifically, phenolic acids, a type of polyphenols, have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Similarly, flavonoids, another type of polyphenol, are the largest type of phytonutrients which are what give fruits and vegetables their vibrant bright colors. They exhibit powerful antioxidant activity and UV protection.

Betalains are a group of pigments found in few plants only those with a bright vibrant reddish hues like prickly pear cactus fruits. They behave as "a defense mechanism because they are accumulated when tissues are injured." This explains why PPSO is great at promoting wound healing and decreasing stretch marks. Like polyphenols, they fight free radicals and reduce inflammation. Betalains help strengthen the cells to make them resistant to toxins and harmful bacteria. They stimulate cell production to maintain firm, youthful skin.

Zinc is great at combating free radicals that cause acne and treating existing acne breakouts. 

Phytosterols exhibit UV protection and anti-inflammatory properties. Like ceramides, they play a key role in the makeup of the skin's stratum corneum, the skin's outermost protective barrier. As a result, they inhibit TEWL (transepidermal water loss), promote cellular turnover, and stimulate collagen production. 

Amino acids– PPSO is high in the amino acids methionine which protects the skin from pollutants and decreases the rate of cell aging and cysteine which is essential for producing collagen.


How It Benefits The Skin

Prickly pear seed oil is suitable for all skin types from dry aging skin to acne-prone skin. It's also an exceptional ingredient for treating a wide range of skincare conditions and problems.

Quells Dry Skin

Phytosterols make up the skin's stratum corneum thus, it fills in and smooths out the cracks of flaxy, dry skin. PPSO's high composition linoleic acid which as previously stated makes up ceramides which are a type of fatty acids that make up the skin's lipids which behave as the mortar between our skin cells. So the more fatty acids our skin has the more moisturized and plumped it is. Along with that oleic acid imparts moisture to the skin.

Moreover, phytosterols prevent TEWL to keep the skin properly hydrated, moisturized, and soft. Not only that linoleic acid is great at boosting "the skin's water-retaining process" so this oil is great for those with dehydrated skin as well and in repairing a comprised moisture barrier. 

Boosts Skin Metabolism

Our skin's metabolism according to Dr. Neil Sadick, "refers to the biological processes that occur amongst the epidermal and dermal cells to regulate the rate of cell turnover, collagen production, and repair any damage that occurs due to UV light or aging."

A way to boost skin metabolism is by protecting your skin from free radicals through the application of antioxidant-rich ingredients. PPSO is potent in antioxidants since it's rich in vitamin E, amino acids, vitamin K, polyphenols, betalains, and phytosterols, all of which boosts cell renewal and collagen production. 

Treats Acneic Skin

Acneic skin is known to be low in linoleic acid. Thus, PPSO combats acne, reduces inflammation, and prevents future breakouts. Since it's high in linoleic acid it's a lightweight oil that easily sinks into your skin and is low on the comedogenic scale.

Likewise, those more prone to severe acne also have low levels of Vitamin E. The high concentration of Vitamin E in PPSO helps acne and acne scars heal faster. 

Zinc is another great ingredient for preventing acne, reducing inflammation, redness, and scarring.

Reduces Wrinkles

Vitamin E, betalains, and phytosterols are powerful antioxidants that fight premature aging by shielding the skin from free radicals and UV light and thus, prevents the formation of wrinkles since it boosts the skin's metabolism.

Likewise, the betalains present in PPSO protect the skin from premature aging and wrinkles. Oleic acid also possesses anti-aging benefits by properly moisturizing the skin.

Reduces Stretch Marks & Promotes Wound Healing

Betalains accumulate when tissues are injured. For this reason, PPSO whose cactus is one of the few plants that contains a high amount of betalains is great at promoting wound healing and decreasing stretch marks both of which are problems caused by disrupted skin tissue. Phytosterols also encourage the healing of injured layers of the skin.  

Reduces Dark Circles, & Dark Spots

Vitamin E, amino acids, Vitamin K, polyphenols, betalains, and phytosterols are great at stimulating cell renewal, and brightening your overall complexion thereby reducing redness, dark circles, and dark spots. Phytosterols are known to have skin-lightening properties as well. Similarly, oleic acid and all the vitamins and nutrients contained in PPSO combat free radical damage to aid in reducing dark spots.


How to Use It

Prickly pear seed oil is safe to use in pretty much every part of your body from your hair to the gentle under-eye area and in combination with your other skincare products. We recommend our prickly pear seed oil which is 100% pure and fresh safe for all in the family to use. 


Under Eyes

When: Use the best Prickly Pear Seed Elixir daily in the morning for a glowing complexion. Use it in the evening for extra hydration.

How: Drizzle 1 or 2 drops of the tip of your finger or directly on your under-eye. Applying the oil to your hands instead of a cotton pad avoids wasting any of the product from being absorbed into the cotton. You can rub your two indexes together to warm the oil. Massage the elixir under and around the eyes with your finger until complete absorption of the elixir. Facial massage helps stimulate your blood cells and promote firmer, toned facial skin. It is very good to prevent reduce puffiness and dark circles.

How it helps: The prickly pear seed oil will naturally help you will get rid of your eye bags, dark circles, puffy under eyes, and crow’s-feet wrinkles. No Venum injection is needed! Use the power of nature to get pure, young, and glowing skin.


On Face

When: Use the best Prickly Pear Seed Elixir daily in the morning for a glowing complexion. Use it in the evening for extra hydration.

How: Drizzle 2 or 3 drops of the tip of your finger or directly on your face: cheeks and around the mouth. Gently massage over the face until the prickly pear seed oil is fully absorbed. Facial massage helps stimulate your blood cells and promote firmer, toned facial skin. It helps prevent aging signs and wrinkles.

 How it helps: Use the prickly pear seed oil as a powerful natural anti-aging elixir that removes fine lines and dark spots. The prickly pear seed oil not only helps you reduce aging signs, wrinkles, fine lines, and dark spots but can also reduce sun damages and help you with skin problems like acne, eczema, rosacea, or redness


On Décolleté

When: Once in the morning. Part of your morning routine, the prickly pear seed elixir helps you keep a beautiful skin that will gently highlight your décolleté

How: Drizzle 2 drops of prickly pear seed oil on the top of your décolleté. Massage from your decollete to your neckline with your palm until complete absorption of the elixir. A massage helps stimulate your blood cells, promote firmer, toned skin and facilitate complete absorption for intense moisturizing. 

How it helps: Get rid of your wrinkles, strengthen and moisturize your neckline (no more turtle-looking necklines). Thanks to its high and antioxidants, the prickly pear seed oil fights free radicals to give skin a natural glow. The wrinkles on your neckline will disappear and your skin will be glowy and dewy.


To Boost Your Favorite Cream

How: Add 1-2 drops of our prickly pear seed oil to your day or night cream before using it. Use your cream as usual. Gives your skin a nice elastic, supple, and glowy look.

How it helps: Since PPSO is pricey it's wise to lengthen the number of uses out of it. That's why mixing it into a cream prevents you from solely relying on it as a moisturizer each day which will make it quickly run out. It will also boost the moisturizing power of your cream and ensure that each part of your face gets a taste of this amazing oil.

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