THE TWO SIDES TO THE BEAUTY OF THE PRICKLY PEAR CACTUS

Special, delicious, but difficult to collect fruit, prickly pear is also known for its nutritional value. In recent years, however, we have discovered a new quality to it: the oil that comes from its seeds is a small miracle for the skin. The CODE Magazine decodes its properties.

For beauty editors and beauty addicts alike, there is no better skincare secret than a do-it-all oil with no less than the following properties: hydrating, firming, anti-ageing, softening, glowing. That explains our soft spot for coconut and argan oil over the past few years. Yet, nature has still to offer, and we have come across a new-kid-on-the-block that seems to outshines all the rest. We are talking about the oil that comes from prickly pear seeds.

THE PRICKLY PEAR

Sweet and soft fruit on the inside, many small thorns on the outside that cause long hours of itching and severe pain to the careless, greedy person who will rush to taste it without being extremely cautious with the way to hold it (never bear-handed!). The prickly pear or nopal – Opuntia, in ancient Greek – belongs to the cactus family and thrives mainly in Mexico, where there are hundreds of species and the Caribbean islands.

However, it is also intertwined with the Greek countryside due to its nature: prickly pear being a cactus, it quickly conquered the arid Greek islands, but also the rocky areas of the country, such as Mani.

It is very popular with the Mexican cuisine, and in countries such as Malta it is used for the production of the popular liqueur “bajtra”. As a cactus fruit, however, it has yet another property: the deep moisturizing and antioxidant action of its ingredients, essential, above all, to the plant itself, which must survive under difficult circumstances (extensive exposure to sunlight, minimum water etc).

PRICKLY PEAR OIL: LIQUID GOLD 

The oil from the prickly pear seeds is dense, it has a deep golden colour and a natural smell reminiscent of warm earth. It is considered one of the most expensive oils in the world, and rightfully so since the production of a single litre of oil requires 25kg of seeds (or a ton of fruit).

In any case, the oil is worth it, since the combination of its active ingredients is far from common: in addition to vitamin E, prickly pear oil contains vitamin K (acts on hyperpigmentation, and persistent dark circles), amino acids (favour the production of collagen and cell renewal), betaine, phytosterols and polyphenols (with proven anti-ageing and antioxidant activity), fatty acids, mainly linoleic and oleic (contribute to the elasticity of the skin, and, to a certain extent, to the restoration of skin firmness).

Last but not least, independent studies show that the combination of its active ingredients offers relief and soothes rosacea, a skin situation that is difficult to treat.

HOW TO USE IT

Prickly pear oil is used as an ingredient in creams, but you will also find in its pure form as dry oil for the face. If you have been avoiding face oils thinking that they may be “heavy” or too oily for your skin, apply these two secrets of use and enjoy their unique action without concerns.

  1. Oils, more than any other skincare product, must be applied on perfectly clean skin. It doesn’t make a difference if you prefer emulsions, micellar waters or other cleansing products. Whatever your favourite cleansing routine may be, the important thing is to follow it and apply the product on clean skin, free from makeup residue, so that it can properly absorb the oil.
  2. Always apply the recommended dose (usually 1 to 3 drops) which, believe us, is enough for the skin to make the most of the properties of the product and absorb it completely, leaving the skin oil-free.

Prickly Pear Oil is very rich in fatty acids, amino acids, omega-6 & 9, vitamin Ε and vitamin Κ.

the CODE PICKS

We have discovered, used and totally recommend the two face oils by Opuntia Luxury Oils. This is why:

– Opuntia Luxury Oils dry oils for the face, if combined, make a total skincare system (day oil and night oil), and can be used either as a 24/7 treatment or separately, depending on the needs of your skin.

 – Their all-natural blend is based on the “all skin types” principle, meaning that the product aims at the skin’s basic mechanism, regardless of its type. The products offer in-deep relief and restoration of the skin’s functions, making them ideal -and visibly effective- for every skin type.

– In addition to prickly pear oil, the two products are enriched with a blend of vegetable oils and extracts – geranium bourbon, neroli, Spanish sage, among others – which enhance the properties of prickly pear oil, have amazing herbal aromas and create two unique end products.

They are unisex.

– The skin absorbs them extremely quickly and they smell great.

Remember that, when it comes to the use of any given product, no matter how innovative, there is always the sensory factor – how your senses react to it and how you feel – which cannot be overlooked.

If you have already tried Opuntia Luxury Oils products, we would like you to share your experience with us. If not, well, maybe it is high time you tried them out!

CREDITS:

Words:
Charitomeni Vonta

Photos:
Courtesy of Opuntia Luxury Oils