Scientific Name: Opuntia ficus-indica
Other Names: Prickly Pear Oil is also known as cactus oil and Barbary fig seed oil
Origin: The prickly pear is native to Mexico and N. America. It can now be found in Morocco, Tunisia and South Africa.
Colour and Smell: Its colour ranges from clear to yellow to light green. It has a light nutty smell. Some say a bit like vegetable oil.
Texture: Prickly pear oil is a light oil with a thin texture.
Shelf Life: 1 – 2 years
Prickly Pear Oil is rich in many properties that make it nutritious and healing for the skin. Some of these components include:
Vitamin A, Vitamin B, Vitamin E, Minerals (magnesium, manganese, iron, copper, potassium, phosphorous), Linoleic acid, Oleic acid, Palmitic acid, Stearic acid.
Prickly pear oil has such a light consistency and is a great choice for oily skin. It is one of the few oils that can be safely used on acne prone skin. That’s because it has a comedogenic rating of zero, meaning it won’t clog pores. Used as a moisturizer on its own or mixed up with anti-acne essential oils such are lavender or tea tree.
To make prickly pear oil more spreadable for massage, it should be used with heavier oils like avocado oil or castor oil.
Prickly pear oil has anti-ageing properties that prevent fine lines and reduce wrinkles it also has healing properties that help reduce dark circles around the eyes.
Unlike other oils, when used on hair, prickly pear gives hair a sleek, tangle-free sheen without leaving it heavy or oily.