Looking for the next big thing in skincare? Forget newly synthesized chemicals and “cutting edge” man-made compounds. The secret you’re looking for has been in nature all along, and it can be found in a prickly pear cactus!
Allow me to present: the prickly pear.
What Is Prickly Pear?
Prickly pear is a hardy breed of cactus that grows in warm, dry climates. You can spot it in Mexico, Australia, northern Africa, and the Caribbean, to name a few.
This international cactus has quite the array of aliases: barbary fig, nopal, opuntia, paddle cactus...the list goes on!
But most often, English-speakers refer to this plant simply as prickly pear.
(Side note: am I the only one who hears the words “prickly pear” and goes immediately to the Jungle Book in my head?)
As you might recall from “Bear Necessities,” the appetizingly red fruit of the prickly pear cactus isn't just cute or filled with skin benefits — this fruit is also 100% edible. It’s not unusual to see prickly pear as an ingredient in jams, slaws, or a refreshing agua fresca.
And actually, the green “paddles” are edible as well! And guess what? These paddles are actually considered vegetables! With a texture reminiscent of okra, they are best grilled or boiled. If you are into Mexican food, look for these nopales in salads, chilis, or served up with eggs.
But I digress. Today, we’re not here to talk about the fruit or the paddles. We’re here for the seeds.
Extracting Prickly Pear Seed Oil
Prickly pear seeds are dense with nutrients, which can be used both cosmetically and medicinally. Some cultures have recognized the power of prickly pear seeds for centuries, using it to salve burns, heal wounds, and treat skin conditions.
At Averr Aglow, our prickly pear seed oil is sourced from Morocco and Tunisia, where it is considered a beauty cornerstone, valued for nourishing and hydrating both the hair and skin.
But not any old oil will do! Oil-extraction methods like solvent extraction are damaging, stripping oils of their beneficial compounds.
In our products, Averr Aglow uses superior cold-pressed prickly pear seed oil.
Cold pressing takes the raw, uncooked seeds and literally squeezes the oil out, resulting in a pure, unadulterated product. Just like vegetable oil, these oils are ideal for cooking or cosmetics because cold pressing maintains the precious natural antioxidants and vitamins within.
That’s why Averr Aglow chooses cold-pressed prickly pear seed oil. We want to ensure top quality and help our customers reap the full benefit of this incredible ingredient!
Prickly Pear Seed Oil Components
Like we've said before, the prickly pear cactus is both a fruit AND a vegetable, so you can only imagine all the goodies this potent antioxidant brings to your skin!
- Vitamin E - super moisturizing, reduces fine lines and wrinkles, and promotes collagen production
- Fatty Acids - prickly pear seed oil actually has TONS of non-essential and essential fatty acids that are great for your skin. This includes linoleic acid which is an omega-6 fatty acid, oleic acid, and palmitic acid.
Prickly Pear Oil Skin Benefits
Did someone say nourishment? Because prickly pear seed oil is brimming with vitamins and essential fatty acids, ready to deliver the gorgeous complexion you’ve been waiting for!
- For acne-prone skin : Are you a breakout queen? Prickly pear seed oil is perfect for inflammatory conditions like acne. It fights inflammation without clogging pores or irritating your sensitive skin. Applied to existing blemishes, prickly pear’s wound healing properties may help your skin recover faster. Its antimicrobial and antifungal properties also help discourage infections, which is good news for anyone who gets cysts or pimples. (And don’t get us started on fungal acne!)
- Oil balancing : Oily or dry skin? Prickly pear seed oil locks in moisture, helping your skin balance itself without interfering with your natural hydration. No more flaking skin or overzealous oil production! Meanwhile, fatty acids help keep your collagen moist and healthy, resulting in tighter pores for a satiny, smooth-skin appearance.
- Reducing environmental damage : Prickly pear oil is richly endowed with antioxidants, such as super-powerful Betalains, which fight inflammation and improve your skin’s defenses at a cellular level. In fact, prickly pear contains the highest level of Betalains in any known plant! Thanks to these effective antioxidants, prickly pear seed oil can help protect your skin from environmental damage — particularly from free radicals and airborne pollutants. This vital defense helps keep your complexion smooth, clear, and youthful!
- Age-defying : Speaking of youthful, prickly pear is uniquely qualified to support your skin on its anti-aging journey. In addition to deterring premature aging from environmental damage, prickly pear also has the highest levels of vitamin E in any plant oil — higher even than argan oil! Vitamin E helps prevent wrinkles and fine lines, keeping you an ageless mystery.
- Skin repair : But even if your skin is damaged already, it’s not too late. Prickly pear seed oil can also help rejuvenate your skin, brightening your complexion and reducing hyperpigmentation with nutrients like vitamin K and linoleic acid. (Bonus tip : vitamin K is also great for diminishing under-eye dark circles and spider veins!)
- Anti-inflammatory properties : Since prickly pear oil has nearly 150% more Vitamin E than argan oil, you can only image the skin benefits this skincare product can bring. The highly concentrated Vitamin E helps reduce redness, prevents UV skin damage, and protects from harmful environmental factors.
Suitable for all skin types, there’s no reason to hesitate — you need throw those expensive beauty oils out and get this cactus oil ingredient in your life and skincare routine ASAP!
Adding Prickly Pear to Your Clear Skin Routine
You came, you saw, and now it’s time to conquer. Lay aside those harsh, skin-stripping synthetics and revitalize your skin with the natural power of prickly pear!
Prickly pear seed oil is safe for skin and available on its own, no carrier oil required. So if you’re feeling inspired, you can always impulse-buy a bottle and press it straight onto your skin. You do you!
(Just remember: cold-pressed prickly pear seed oil is the way to go for the highest concentration of vitamins and nutrients.)
Or, for best results, you can find products specially formulated with prickly pear to boost and complement its many skin-positive effects.
Our Perfectionist Overnight Serum blends super-effective prickly pear with other nutrient-dense ingredients like acai and passionfruit, working in perfect radiant-skin harmony! Highly restorative, this lush serum helps refine your skin while vanishing breakouts and imperfections.
Soothing. Hydrating. Balancing. Called a “miracle potion” by our customers, this serum can help you uncover the gorgeous, glowing skin you’ve been dreaming of!
Plus, it’s pretty, and it smells nice. xx
So experience the magic of prickly pear, and say hello to the best skin of your life!