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Prickly Pear, Organic

Opuntia ficus-indica

Cold pressed

Therapeutic; beauty and hair products

Prickly pear, also known as Barbary fig and cactus pear, is a member of the cactus family.  It is thought to originate in Mexico and is now cultivated and naturalized in many regions with hot, dry climates including the Middle East, South America, Malta, Spain, Sicily and the southern states of the US. 

The cactus is known mainly for its large sweet fruits that taste a little like very sweet watermelon.  The oil is extracted from the black seeds contained within the fruit.  A thousand kilos of the fruit are required to yield one kilo of oil from the seeds and this ratio is reflected in the oil’s price.  However, the oil can be used fairly sparingly and its benefits still enjoyed.  It is recommended to use up to a maximum of 10% of the oil in any skincare or other body-care formula. 

The oil is light, penetrates and absorbs easily and is suitable for all skin types.  Its antioxidant level is very high, making it excellent for treating and firming mature skin, smoothing wrinkles and rejuvenating the skin.  The linoleic (omega 6 fatty acid content) makes it good for treating dry, damaged skin and helping to heal conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.  A small amount can be used on bags or shadows under the eyes where it will help to firm and smooth the skin. 

Common Uses: skincare formulas for tired, lacklustre and mature skin; hair-care products, especially for nourishing and smoothing dry, damaged hair; facial and body-care products; moisturisers; skin toners; added (sparingly) to massage blends; nail-care.