When you think about oils used in skin care, prickly pear oil is probably not the first that comes to mind. Instead, staples like coconut and jojoba oil — and even newcomers to the facial oil scene like plum oil – get all the attention.
But prickly pear seed oil, a nourishing and moisturizing oil derived from the seeds of the prickly pear cactus, might be the new secret weapon in your skincare routine (via Mun Skin). Fans of the oil, including dewy-skinned celebrity chef, Nigella Lawson, love it for its ability to brighten skin and fight signs of aging (via Indagare Beauty).
Though prickly pear seed oil might be a relative newcomer to the modern beauty scene, the prickly pear fruit is incredibly versatile and has been used for healing and culinary purposes for centuries (via Mun Skin). Aztecs used the fruit to treat burns, Chinese healers used it to dress wounds, and Native Americans made a syrup with the fruit to treat asthma. Prickly pear is also important in the Mexican culture, where it was historically used to treat diabetes and high cholesterol.
Prickly pear is also a very sustainable crop, which means you can reach for prickly pear oil without worrying that you’re having a negative impact on the environment (via Byrdie).
Prickly pear oil contains vitamins and nutrients that are beneficial for your skin
Prickly pear oil is packed with skin care super ingredients, including vitamin E (via Healthline). According to natural skincare line, Kypris, prickly pear oil contains triple the amount of vitamin E contained in argan oil. Vitamin E is a natural antioxidant that assists with cellular restoration, which helps repair sun damage and combat scarring and hyperpigmentation (via Allure).
In addition to vitamin E, prickly pear is also extremely high in essential fatty acids, omega-6 and omega-9. It also contains vitamin K, which can brighten dark under-eye circles and promote skin elasticity, and amino acids, which promote collagen production to keep your skin looking youthful (via Byrdie).
This combination of skin super-ingredients makes for a powerful, multi-purpose oil. Regular use of the oil can help reduce the appearance of acne, fine lines, and dark spots (via NM Botanical). It can also tighten pores and slow the signs of aging through its naturally collagen stimulating properties. And, it’s incredibly hydrating.
Prickly pear oil can be used for more than your face: it is also very nourishing for the scalp and hair. The oil’s natural anti-inflammatory properties help replenish the scalp and vitamin E acts as a frizz-fighting natural conditioner.
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