Table of Contents
Prickly pear seed oil, also known as bearberry fig oil and indian fig seed oil, is derived from the seeds of the fruit from the prickly pear cactus plant. The cactus from which the fruit grows on is belonging to the united states, mexico and south america. This silky, light-weight oil is acquired by pushing the tiny seeds remaining from fruit production, a byproduct of the food industry. The oil is usually cold-pressed and unrefined, which suggests that it is not deodorized, decolorized or otherwise treated. When choosing the very best oil for your face, you should always select unrefined as that helps the oil to retain most of its skin beneficial residential or commercial properties. 
Prickly pear seed oil facts
Prickly pear seed oil advantages and uses
|Scientific name||Opuntia cactus|
|Native||Prickly pear is native to south america and mexico. It is nutritious and edible cactus which is commonly grown in australia, south africa, southern europe and southwestern united states.|
|Common/english name||Oil of opuntia, cactus seed oil, indian fig oil, barbary fig oil, irritable cactus seed oil, indian fig seed oil, barbary fig seed oil|
|Name in other languages of prickly pear||Hindi: nagfani;
|Method of extraction||Cold pressed|
Prickly pears are members of the cactacceae or cactus household, which includes about 97 genera and 1,600 species. The species are discovered in europe, mediterranean countries, africa, southwestern united states, and northern mexico. Plants in the genus opuntia prefer a dry, hot climate and include seasonal shrubs, trees, and sneaking plants. Irritable pear can grow 5 to 8 m in height; its roots are shallow, however the plant can spread as much as 40 m in size over the ground. The stems are branched, leaves are cylindrical in shape, and the plant is covered with barb-tipped bristles (referred to as glochids) that are unique to opuntia. Its flowers, petals, and sepals are numerous in quantity and color. The oval, pear-shaped, purplish fruit is pulpy and sweet however might be covered with spines or bristles. The seeds within the pulp are disk-shaped and have various colors.
The medicinal components of the plant are found in the flowers, leaves or pads, and fruit.
Isorhamnetin-glucoside, kaempferol, luteolin, penduletin, piscidic acids, quercetrin, rutin, and β-sitosterol have been found in the flowers of irritable pear. The leaves or pads are abundant in mucilage and consist primarily of polysaccharides which contain galactose, arabinose, xylose, and rhamnose.
Irritable pear fruit is high in dietary worth. Ethanol-soluble carbohydrates are the most plentiful components of prickly pear fruit pulp and skin, making up 50% of the pulp and 30% of the skin. The betalain compounds are responsible for the various colors of the fruit. The skin consists of calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, manganese, sodium, and selenium. The edible pulp consists of biothiols, taurine, flavonols, tocopherols, and carotenoids. Nevertheless, commercial processing of juice elements results in some loss of vitamins a, e, and c. The seeds are rich in phosphorus and zinc. The oils from the seeds and peel are a good source of polyunsaturated fatty acids.
A number of older chemical analyses of enzymes from opuntia types are readily available. One research study documents the unpredictable constituents of irritable pear, while another identifies the constituents of o. Fragilis. Other studies discuss the chemistry of prickly pear, consisting of isolation of albumin amino acid structure in the fruits and fats of the seeds. 
Most of the plant parts benefit humans and animals both internally and externally and have actually been used throughout the world. For instance, in standard medicine, opuntia ficus indica has actually been utilized for the treatment of burns. The aztecs extracted the milky juice from the plant and mixed it with honey and egg yolk to supply a lotion to deal with burns. Prickly pear cactus has been used for wounds, edema, hyperlipidemia, weight problems and catarrhal gastritis. In mexican conventional medication, irritable pear cactus (nopal) is used for the treatment of diabetes and high cholesterol. Alcoholic extracts have been indicated for anti-inflammatory, hypoglycemic, and antiviral functions. The chinese dressed abscesses with the fleshy pad of the plant. The american indians utilized the fruit for food and likewise made syrup from it to deal with whooping cough and asthma.
Only recently, research study has actually started to reveal simply just how much the seeds of the irritable pear can so greatly benefit skin. Within the edible part of each prickly pear fruit there are numerous seeds. The seed amount can differ from 30% to 40% on a dry weight basis. These seeds consist of oil, and it is this nutrient-rich oil that is drawn out and then used on the skin. Today, oil can be pressed from the seeds and then used as a provider oil or component in cosmetics and skincare applications.
Anatomy of the skin’s epidermis
The epidermis, or outer layer of human skin, is covered and secured by a layer of lipids and sweat referred to as the acid mantle. The lipid part of the acid mantle is comprised of sebum from sebaceous glands as well as lipids from the stratum corneum (the outermost layer of the epidermis) the sweat of the acid mantle is that secreted by sweat glands. The acid mantle has an acidic ph. The ph is the measurement of level of acidity or alkalinity of a body fluid. With a ph in between 4 and 6.5, the skin is protected from bacterial and fungal infection along with water loss. The acid mantle likewise supports the barrier function of the stratum corneum. If the acid mantle loses its acidity, the skin ends up being prone to harm and infection along with inflammation and sensitivity.
The stratum corneum has a brick-and-mortar type design. Corneocytes are the cells that form the brick-like layer. The mortar is made up of a complex of intercellular lipids that holds the moisture in between the corneocytes. The stratum corneum preserves the water level of the skin below and controls and minimizes what is referred to as transepidermal water loss (tewl). Tewl is the natural wetness flow out from much deeper skin layers to be lost eventually by evaporation from the skin surface area. With the brick-and-mortar design, the cells in the stratum corneum (the corneocytes) form a water-retaining barrier embedded in a lipid matrix.
The primary lipids that make up the mortar of the stratum corneum consist of ceramides (roughly 40-50%), cholesterol (20-25%), and fatty acids (10-25%). It is this mortar of lipids that serves to prevent water loss through the stratum corneum. These lipids and the natural moisturizing element (nmf) of the stratum corneum are crucial in maintaining the water level of the skin along with reducing tewl. The nmf, which is housed within the corneocytes, is made up of complimentary amino acids and their derivatives, urocanic acid, inorganic salts, sugars, lactic acid, and urea. Nmf elements are extremely efficient humectants that attract and bind water from the environment, drawing it into the corneocytes. These compounds are responsible for keeping the skin moist and pliable by bring in and holding water. They can hold large quantities of water in the skin cells and are also efficient in taking in water from the atmosphere and/or products applied to the skin. The lipids serve to prevent water loss from happening in the nmf.
The stratum corneum skin barrier function– typical versus dry skin
Fats in the skin lubricate, soften, and secure skin and avoid moisture loss from the skin. Both necessary and non-essential fatty acids play different and vital functions in proper skin function. The two kinds of essential fats (efas) are linoleic acid and alpha-linoleic acid. Efas are called necessary due to the fact that they are absolutely important in our bodies, however our bodies can not manufacture them. We must, therefore, consume them in our diets or use them to our skin. All other fatty acids discovered in the skin simply are referred to as fats. These consist of palmitic acid, oleic acid, myristic acid, stearic acid, and others. Non-essential fats can be produced by the body, although they can still be consumed from a few of the food that we consume or applied to the skin.
Parts of vegetable/herbal/nut/ seed oils and their impact on skin
A shortage in stratum corneum lipids may contribute to dehydrated skin or xerosis (an unusual dryness of the skin or mucous membranes). Factors that may trigger such condition include age, low humidity in the environment, cold or heat exposure (e.g. Sunburn, wind burn, or frostbite), diet, genetics, and indoor heating. Elements that can break down the protective lipid layer and increase tewl include taking long, hot showers in the winter, using severe cleaning agents or solvents, excessive hand cleaning, and applying irritating chemicals. When the skin barrier breaks down, one may see dry, scratchy, flaky, rough, and dull skin and can even establish fissures and fractures. Whether a person has healthy, flexible skin or suffers from typical skin disorders, maintenance of a healthy skin barrier is vital. A day-to-day skin programs must be followed regularly to maintain the health of the skin.
One remarkable method to assist keep the health of the skin is to apply vegetable/herbal/nut/ seed oils onto the skin. These oils, along with creams, lotions, lotions, butters, and balms soften and smooth the skin surface area, keep skin’s tone and flexibility, avoid tewl, and support the lipid matrix. Veggie and seed oils, beeswax, squalene, lanolin, and shea butter supply nutrients to and have a hydrating effect on the skin. They are called occlusive substances and form a barrier on the surface of the skin helping to reduce tewl. Thus, veggie oils are extremely biocompatible to the skin and keep the health of the stratum corneum.
Veggie oils can be used to dilute and bring important oils onto skin. They can likewise be therapeutic compounds, because they contain the following chemical components: 1.) Important and non-essential fatty acids, 2.) Fat-soluble vitamins, 3.) Sterols/phytosterols, and 4.) Polyphenols/phenolic substances.
Component 1– essential and non-essential fats: vegetable oils consist of differing amounts of efas and non-essential fats. When efas are deficient in the skin, the integrity of the skin suffers. A shortage can cause a disruption in the epidermic homeostasis which affects the barrier function of the skin. This can then lead to tewl which can then lead to skin disorders such as dryness, scaliness, soreness, dermatitis, and other signs of inflammation. Diet plan, age, and specific diseases like diabetes contribute to an efa shortage. The efas present in vegetable oils assist bring back the skin barrier and treat inflammatory conditions of the skin consisting of dermatitis, psoriasis, and eczema. They help injuries recover and help in the prevention of wrinkles.
As discussed earlier, linoleic acid (la) is among the two types of efas. La, the most plentiful polyunsaturated fatty acid (pufa) exists in the epidermis. Pufas are fats with two or more carbon double bonds. They include omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. They are extremely unsteady and readily oxidize when exposed to oxygen and light. When tocopherols such as vitamin e are present in a pufa-rich vegetable oil, the oil’s lipids become more stable. Linoleic acid, an omega 6 fat, is a necessary fatty acid in the skin that is required for the formation and maintenance of the cutaneous barrier to water loss. If the water content of the stratum corneum (commonly caused by a breakdown or attack to the skin barrier) falls listed below 10% the natural functions of it suffer and the skin ends up being dry (dehydrated), scaly, and less flexible, all the indications of xerosis. The most typical locations people experience xerosis are on the arms and legs. Linoleic acid is crucial to the correct growth and advancement of the epidermis. It also is required for synthesis of the crucial long-chain ceramides needed to protect versus dry skin. Veggie oils abundant in linoleic acid consist of: safflower, sunflower/not high oleic acid variation, flax seed, hemp seed, wheatgerm, walnut, and sesame oil. Macadamia nut and sea buckthorn oils are all rich in palmitic acid. The other kind of essential fat found in vegetable oils is called alpha-linoleic acid (ala). It reduces swelling when applied topically and can minimize acne.
Part 2– fat-soluble vitamins: vitamin e, or tocopherols, is a potent antioxidant found in vegetable oils. Antioxidants prevent free radicals from triggering cell damage. Skin is prone to aging from complimentary radicals due to the fact that the complimentary radicals damage the collagen (the main element in connective skin tissue) and elastin fibers in the skin. Tocopherols work as free radical scavengers. Vitamin e helps recover, repair, and restore skin. There are a number of kinds of tocopherols including alpha (α), beta (β), gamma (γ), and delta (δ) tocopherols. Veggie oils are likewise a good source of fat-soluble vitamins a, d, and k. As specified above, when tocopherols such as vitamin e exist in a pufa-rich vegetable oil, the oil’s lipids become more steady.
Part 3– sterols/phytosterols: phytosterols are components discovered in veggie oils that look like cholesterol elements. Like cholesterol, phytosterols have a water-binding capability that may help preserve a healthy skin barrier function. When phytosterols are used topically on the skin, anti-aging benefits may occur. They not only stop the slow-down of collagen production triggered by sun damage, but they can likewise motivate new collagen production.
Component 4– polyphenols/phenolic substances: polyphenols are found in veggie oils and are a big class of chemical substances called phenolic compounds. Whether consumed or applied topically, they supply the body with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, and oxidative stress prevention. Polyphenols prevent skin damage from sunshine’s uv rays and can ameliorate negative skin reactions following uv exposure consisting of skin damage, erythema (redness or rash resulting from capillary congestion), and lipid peroxidation (oxidative wear and tear of lipids). 
According to the usda, 100 grams/3.5 ounces of irritable pear cactus includes about:.
- 40 calories
- 10 grams carbohydrates
- 5 grams fiber
- Less than 1 gram of fat or protein
- 85 milligrams magnesium (24 percent dv)
- 14 milligrams vitamin c (17 percent dv)
- Milligram riboflavin/vitamin b2( 8 percent dv)
- Milligram vitamin b6 (8 percent dv)
- 56 milligram calcium (6 percent dv)
- 220 milligrams potassium (5 percent dv)
1. Has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant impacts
Research research studies have actually discovered irritable pear fruit and pods are rich in flavonoids, carotenoid and polyphenol anti-oxidants, as well as vitamin c. In particular studies, substances that have actually been identified in this plant include: gallic acid, vanillic acid, catechins, betalain, betanin and indicaxanthin.
There’s proof that these phytochemicals can support the immune system, help to secure skin health, and ward off free radical damage and inflammation that add to aging and illness. There’s some evidence that prickly pear cactus also has anti-clastogenic capabilities, implying it protects dna from damage.
In addition, juice from the cactus, which has a high antioxidant material, has actually been found to have the capacity to capture complimentary radicals and minimize oxidative stress related to exercise.
2. Supplies vital minerals and fats
Records indicate that during the “tuna harvest” in latin america and the southwest u.s., irritable pear was most likely the most crucial food offered in the region for many years (along with pecans and buffalo).
The pods and fruit of this cactus supply crucial minerals like calcium, potassium and magnesium. These necessary minerals work as electrolytes and are needed for lots of functions, including bone, heart, nerve and muscle health.
Studies taking a look at the fatty acid profile of prickly pear seed oil show that it’s also abundant in vital unsaturated fats, including linoleic acid (61.01%), followed by oleic acid (25.52%) and palmitic acid (12.23%). These have benefits consisting of safeguarding the heart and controlling swelling.
3. Good source of fiber that supports metabolic health
Cactus fruit and is a good source of carbs and dietary fiber, especially soluble fiber. Consuming it may assist to enhance gut health and decrease digestion problems like irregularity and diarrhea.
Due to the fact that they provide fiber (or pectin) and low in sugar, the immature pads, or nopalitos, have also been utilized to help control or prevent type 2 diabetes. Some research recommends that the pads which contain soluble fibers and a thick mucilage might have a natural hypoglycemic impacts, suggesting they can reduce high blood glucose levels.
One method which this plant can decrease blood sugar levels and lower high cholesterol is by decreasing absorption of these compounds in the stomach and intestinal tract. Some studies demonstrate that when grownups with high cholesterol follow a healthy diet plan and consume prickly pear supplements it can reduce overall cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (ldl or “bad”) cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Irritable pear pads also consist of high levels of amylose, a starch that breaks down into basic sugars slowly, offering energy however helping to prevent a spike in blood sugar level.
4. Might include anti-bacterial and antiviral properties
According to folklore medicine, what is the benefit of prickly pear for warding off infections and infections? While research on the topic is limited, this plant has actually long been used for its antiviral and anti-bacterial results, such as protecting against urinary tract infections, skin infections, and even tuberculosis and hepatitis.
There’s some proof that mucilage from the mature pads can eliminate bacteria that add to infections. Fully grown pads have actually likewise been utilized as natural antiseptics for skin wounds when they are pressed against the skin.
5. Used to treat bigger prostate
While more research on this topic is required, some research studies have discovered that powdered prickly pear supplements might reduce symptoms of enlarged prostate, such as advises to urinate regularly even with the bladder in empty.
Prickly pear cactuses grow in lots of warm parts of the world, including in the southwest u.s., australia, southern africa, mexico and other latin american countries, and throughout the mediterranean. While this cactus is most widely grown for its edible fruit and paddles (or pads/nopales), practically every part of the plant can be utilized in some way.
Historically, there have been many usages for prickly pear fruits, juices, teas, pads and seeds in folklore and traditional medications. Some examples of how this plant was utilized include:
- Fighting viruses and infections
- Assisting to deal with wounds and burns
- Treating diarrhea
- Fending off diabetes, cardiovascular disease, prostate illness and other inflammatory illness
- Alleviating gastric ulcers
- Minimizing discomfort
- Stopping bleeding
- Not just is the fruit from this cactus eaten, but prickly pear seed oil and extracts are also readily available. These are used as supplements and made from the dark, tough seeds of the cactus fruit. Each prickly pear fruit contains about 50 seeds.
Prickly pear extract and oils are used in skin care and for hair care– added to items like serums, shampoos, conditioners and styling products– due to the fact that the oil has hydrating and anti-aging results, similar to olive oil. It may assist to decrease winkle formation and other indications of aging, deal with injuries and burns, freshen the look of dull skin, and enhance hair and nails.
Furthermore, some large species of prickly pear flowers are grown for ornamental/decorative purposes. These species consist of the engelmann irritable pear (o. Engelmannii) and the beavertail cactus (o. Basilaris). These can be found throughout the southwestern u.s., such as in texas and arizona.
Prickly pear plants tend to grow rapidly with appropriate wetness and spread quickly, often growing a lot that they are thought about to be invasive. 
Why utilize prickly pear oil for anti-aging
Regardless of its historical origins, prickly pear seed oil has really just began making waves in the skin care industry for the in 2015 or two. Perhaps it’s because of its intimidating botanical origins or its difficulty to produce, but in either case, we must all be considering including prickly pear seed oil into our skin care regimen.
High levels of anti-oxidants
Natural skin products are often known for their multi-beneficial powers and prickly pear seed oil is no exception. Anti-oxidants are particularly crucial in the fight versus aging skin because these natural compounds work to rid the skin of totally free radicals that are the underlying reason for aging skin.
While other natural oils likewise consist of antioxidants, prickly pear seed oil boats the greatest concentration of them, making each drop approximately 150% more effective than other appeal oils on the marketplace. Belatins, the taxonomic name for the antioxidants in prickly pear oil, are likewise discovered in other fruits and berries such as pomegranates, goji berries, and blueberries, however the prickly pear cactus is one of the only plants that have as much power in its topical application.
Of course, blueberries are exceptionally helpful for your general health and health, however a topical application of these anti-oxidants targets your skincare issues straight, producing much faster results.
Brightens and tightens up
Unsaturated fatty acids are likewise a substance present in prickly pear oil, and while we’re typically informed to avoid consuming high-fat foods, fatty acids work as anti-inflammatories on the skin. If you have actually ever questioned why your skin gets irritated quickly or turns red without much prodding, it most likely means you’re missing out on the presence of fats in your skin care routine.
The topical application of fatty acids in fact works to lighten up dark areas of your skin. From under eye circles to sun damage, prickly pear oil works rapidly to even out your complexion and illuminate your skin.
Another natural compound in the oil, linoleic acid, is a collagen-boosting substance that renews skin cells and promotes the revival of additional skin cells. This process gives the appearance of more youthful, firmer skin with increased elasticity.
Works with all skin types
In addition to its powerful compounds, prickly pear seed oil is also non-condegemic, suggesting it will never obstruct your pores and deals with all skin types. If you’re reluctant about using an oil on your skin– especially if you fight with oily skin – you’re in luck. Prickly pear oil also takes in into the skin easily, so you’ll never ever have to fret about going out the door or heading to sleep with excess oil on your skin.
How to utilize prickly pear seed oil for anti-aging
Although most recognize with different kinds of skin care products, appeal oil is typically the hardest to master. With prickly pear oil you’ll never need to stress over the oil simply sitting on top of your skin, but if you’re still anxious about using the oil straight to your skin these easy usage suggestions will relieve your shift into the oil.
- Apply the oil after you’ve cleansed and toned for maximum absorption and impact.
- Utilize the oil in place of your moisturizer if your skin is well-hydrated.
- You’ll just need a drop or more. It goes a long way so don’t use as kindly as a moisturizer.
- Massage the oil into your skin, taking unique care with any dark spots or other areas of concern.
- Never ever waste a drop of the oil. Massage the remaining oil into your hands – including your cuticles – for stunning hands and nails. 
Know the advantages of prickly pear seed oil for your hair
Holy grail for dry hair: prickly pear seed oil contains a massive amount of vitamin e oil than any other plant oil in the market, including argan oil. Vitamin e will work to moisturize dry hair and give your hair the hydration it requires. Prickly pear oil will assist your hair to hold onto water even in the driest and most popular weather condition.
Saviour of curly hair: the damp and heat conditions can be a suffering for individuals with curly hair. The prickly pear oil is rich in fats which help in keeping your hair soft and glossy, even under the scorching sun.
For damaged hair: the oleic acid in prickly pear seed oil holds water loss in skin and hair, which seals moisture into the hair and helps keeping this wetness enables your hair to be more versatile, softer and flexible.
Ideal for oily hair: prickly pear seed is abundant in anti-oxidants which promote the stimulation of the collagen and permits your scalp stay healthy while tightening up the pores and hair follicles on your head which lowers oil production without leaving your hair and scalp dry.
Reliable for an itchy scalp: palmitic acid is known for its regenerative recovery residential or commercial properties. Scalp concerns like dandruff, dermatitis, dryness or perhaps sunburn can be treated by palmitic acid present in the oil.
Results in hair development: omega-6 and omega-9 are another crucial components in prickly pear seed oil. It has fantastic regenerative homes for hair that enables promoting healthy scalp conditions leading to hair development. 
Does prickly pear oil advantage all hair types?
Toth says all hair types would take advantage of adding prickly pear oil to their strands. However, specific hair types would benefit more than others. “it’s most helpful for dry, porous hair types such as extremely textured, curly, wavy, chemically processed, and colored,” he describes. 
Alternatives to prickly pear oil
If you have actually chosen prickly pear oil isn’t for you and you wish to discover a natural oil with a few of the same homes, here are some other alternatives:.
- Coconut oil, which is anti-bacterial and ultra hydrating
- Argan oil, which is a terrific daily moisturizer, even for those with acne-prone skin
- Rosehip seed oil, which is hydrating and avoids skin damage
- Marula oil, which is anti-bacterial and avoids skin damage while hydrating the skin
- Jojoba oil, which helps combat acne, moisturizes, and secures the skin from sun damage 
Keep in mind
Bear in mind that prickly pear oil is among the more costly oils on the marketplace due to its high need and difficulty to produce.
When shopping around, it’s excellent to bear in mind prickly pear oil is often called barbary fig seed oil, too. There is an indian variety of the oil, along with the moroccan variety. Know that while the indian range is good the moroccan variety is substantially more potent. 
In regards to negative effects, some research has revealed that when consumed it can cause issues like indigestion and bloating.
When used topically, nevertheless, prickly pear oil is typically considered safe on all skin types.
The only potential danger is if you have an allergy to the fruit. 
The bottom line
Prickly pear seed oil is a highly-moisturizing, skin-softening oil originated from a cactus. Prickly pear oil advantages the skin with it’s remarkable hydrating and anti-aging properties. The irritable pear is called “the miracle plant” because of its numerous medicinal usages throughout the centuries. Rich in protein, essential fatty acids, and vitamins e and k this precious, organic oil transforms the skin by refining and tightening pores, decreasing soreness and swelling, lightening up under the eyes, lightening dark areas, brightening complexion and bring back skins flexibility. Deeply hydrating because of its high linoleic acid content, prickly pear seed oil is rapidly soaked up into the skin and deeply permeates the layers to nourish and soften. Prickly pear seed oil is non-comedogenic, you can utilize it daily, best after cleansing and exfoliating your skin– without fear of blocking pores. Prickly pear seed oil in fact comes from the prickly pear cactus, which is often called the barbary fig. The cactus grows fruit pods which contain small seeds, and these seeds are filled with a nutrient-rich oil that’s drawn out and used in skin care. The plant will grow up to 2 meters in height and stand up to dry weather and the deficiency of water. This plant flourishes in several dry and hot places of the world and most effectively in morocco. 
Prickly pear oil is a precious oil, extremely appropriate to eliminate your insecurities. It permits you to moisturize your body, secure your skin, improve sensitive and dry skin, regulate the sebum level of oily skin … and numerous other benefits that you can check out at the top of our article.
This is a vital oil that ought to be included in your items. Make it a part of your routine and you will not regret it. So look after your skin, take care of your hair, take care of your body, and finally take care of yourself, due to the fact that no one else will do it for you.