Prickly pear might look like the sort of thing you’d give the side-eye to in a grocery aisle, but its one of the latest natural skincare ingredients to cause excitement in the beauty industry.
Despite it being a fairly new addition to the European mainstream, it’s possible that you’ve already heard of it, if not as an ingredient in beauty products, then as an ingredient in your favourite cocktail bar or smoothie joint. That’s right, not only is prickly pear a great topical ingredient, it’s also well on its way to gaining the accolade of superfood.
Pretty impressive, huh?
What Is Prickly Pear?
Despite its, well… prickly appearance, the extract carries a host of properties that contribute to good internal and external health. An anti-inflammatory high in antioxidants and carotenoids, prickly pear is a lot like aloe vera, but even better.
A member of the cactus family, prickly pear is native to the Americas, and also known as opuntia, sabra, nopal, nostle, tuna or paddle cactus. From the large paddle-shaped cactus, a pink fruit grows which can be harvested for its health benefits.
Mexican and Native American peoples have used both the pads and the fruit of the prickly pear plant for generations, both as a food and as medicine. In particular, the pulp of the prickly pear fruit was used to heal cuts and skin complaints.
Being a natural anti-inflammatory and offering impressive hydrating properties, prickly pear extract is gaining superstar status for its effectiveness on dry, sensitive and ageing skin.
How Does It Work?
Any plant that can survive in extremely high temperatures and an arid climate must be doing something right, and the prickly pear is no exception. Despite being a rather unassuming plant from the outside, the fruit of the prickly pear is packed full of essential fatty acids, omegas 6 and 9, and amino acids.
The combination of these compounds nourishes the skin on a cellular level, stimulating collagen and encouraging cell turnover. These properties make prickly pear a fantastic ingredient in moisturisers aimed at mature or dry skin.
And that’s not even the full extent of the benefits! Prickly pear is also high in vitamin K, which brightens skin and aids elasticity. It also has the highest amount of natural antioxidant, vitamin E, of any beauty oil available, around 150% more than argan oil – it’s no wonder it’s so popular with skincare gurus!
Who Can Benefit From Using Prickly Pear?
If you’re looking for a facial skincare product that can boost hydration, help to regenerate ageing skin, or balance hyperpigmentation, prickly pear is a great choice.
Much like its fellow cacti, aloe vera, prickly pear’s natural anti-inflammatory properties and its gentle nature make it suitable for use even with the most sensitive skin.
What Products Contain Prickly Pear?
At allbeauty, we stock a wide variety of skincare brands which contain prickly pear extract, so whatever your skin needs, you’ll find a product to suit. Here are just a few of our favourites:
Sisleÿa Radiance Anti-Aging Concentrate by Sisley
Combining prickly pear extract with vitamin A, this anti-ageing concentrate promotes radiant skin by reducing pigmentation, encouraging cell renewal and brightening the complexion.
Sisley Anti-Aging Care
Sisleÿa Radiance Anti-Aging Concentrate 30ml
RRP £335.00 (Save 33%)
Hyséac R Restructuring Skin Care by Uriage Eau Thermale
Designed to offer intense hydration to the skin following a chemical or similarly abrasive treatment, the Hyséac R formulation soothes and moisturises skin while improving the skin barrier.
Foaming Cream-Milk by Embryolisse. Laboratoires
Particularly beneficial for sensitive or dry complexions, this foaming milk cleanses the skin without drying. Instead, it soothes, moisturises and restores the skin barrier.