WHAT EVEN IS PRICKLY PEAR SEED OIL!?
Firstly, it doesn’t actually come from pear… native to Mexico and South America, prickly pear seed oil is derived from the seeds of the Opuntia Ficus Indica cactus. The oil itself is however known to be most widely sourced from Morocco, and has been a beauty secret of their Berber women for centuries. We know, cactus probably isn’t something that you’d be in a rush to put on your face, but it’s what’s inside that we’re interested in. The oil of desert plants is widely touted for their hydrating abilities, think aloe vera, due to how sparsely populated their natural environments are.
Not just an essential when it comes to beauty, prickly pear has become somewhat of a superfood - widely found in it’s distilled or syrup form in juices and it’s been a key staple of Mexican cuisine for pretty much forever.
WHY PRICKLY PEAR SEED OIL IS A LUNEIA-APPROVED SKINCARE ESSENTIAL
It’s jam packed full of Vitamin E
That’s right. prickly pear seed oil is bursting at the seams with all that Vitamin E goodness we talked about in our ingredients spotlight.
In fact, prickly pear contains the highest Vitamin E hit of all its rival beauty oils on the market, a HUGE 150% more than argan oil. The benefits don’t stop there, as prickly pear seed oil is also rich in those essential fatty acids that keep skin healthy, like omega 6, omega 9, antioxidants and Vitamin K.
Wait, what is Vitamin K?
We think this is where this superhero oil gets extra interesting. The Vitamin K in prickly pear seed oil is proven to help minimise the appearance of hyperpigmentation and those pesky under-eye dark circles. GAME CHANGING.
It’s antioxidant rich
Packed full of potent antioxidants, known as betalains, prickly pear seed oil works to shield the skin against free radicals that cause damage, like pollution and UVA rays, with the aim to prevent premature wrinkling, although that’s absolutely no substitute for SPF though, babe.
Betalains, which are the yellow and red pigments found in plants, are found in their highest levels in prickly pear than any other, including widely touted superfoods like acai, goji berries and beetroot. If you ask us, that’s a next level antioxidant hit.
The fatty acid factor
Like all vegetable oils, prickly pear seed oil is made up of a blend of essential and non-essential fatty acids. When our skin lacks the essential fatty acids it needs, its barrier is left compromised meaning it’s at risk of becoming irritated and lacking in glow. Notably, our beloved prickly pear seed oil contains the highest percentage of unsaturated fatty acids - a whopping 88 percent - which are essential to the stimulation of cell turnover.
Prickly pear seed oil contains high levels of linoleic acid and oleic acid, both working in unison to restore the elasticity of the skin whilst offering a much needed surge of hydration.
Linoleic acid is renowned for strengthening the skin’s barrier, working hard to help retain moisture and fight inflammation, whilst oleic acid assists other ingredients to easily penetrate the skin, whilst also sealing in all that lovely moisture. The remainder of its consistency is a blend of palmitic and stearic acid, which offer further anti-aging, hydrating and cleansing benefits.
The linoleic acids levels in prickly pear seed oil help balance skin, making them an essential for anyone with acne or blackheads. Prickly pear seed oil is also super rich in amino acids, which help to stimulate collagen production, promoting faster cell turnover and fresh, plump skin.
SHOULD I BE USING PRICKLY PEAR SEED OIL?
Here at Luneia, we couldn’t be without prickly pear seed oil in our routine, and luckily for most, it’s a pretty universal skin saviour. That high fatty acid content means that prickly pear seed oil works well to calm inflammation, making it a go-to for soothing the redness of rosacea sufferers. Talking of skin conditions, it’s also great for those that are prone to acne breakouts, offering it’s second to none ability to prevent the hardening of sebum (that can lead to breakouts) and boasting non-comedogenic credentials.
Being the fast to absorb super oil that it is, prickly pear seed oil is quick to penetrate the skin, without leaving any residue behind, making it better still for those prone to skin that lacks balance, and pretty much everyone else.
Better still, it’s of serious benefit to mature skin - either as a preventative or as means to address the signs of aging that are already there, thanks to those skin-softening, plumping effects. You don’t want to miss the almost instant glow it’ll give!