Cactus oil (also known as prickly pear seed oil), is extracted from the seeds of the prickly pear cactus, which is native to Mexico and parts of North America. It is a powerhouse of essential vitamins, antioxidants and fatty acids that can help promote healthier skin.
1. Moisturizes the skin
Cactus oil is a great moisturizer for the skin due to its high content of linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid that is crucial for maintaining healthy skin. Linoleic acid is a type of omega-6 fatty acid that helps to strengthen the skin barrier and prevent water loss, keeping the skin hydrated and moisturized.
When applied topically, cactus oil absorbs quickly into the skin. Thus, it provides long-lasting hydration without leaving a greasy residue. Its lightweight and non-comedogenic texture make it suitable for all skin types, including those with oily or acne-prone skin.
2. Anti-aging properties
-boosts collagen production
Cactus oil is also rich in amino acids that help to stimulate the production of collagen in the skin. By boosting collagen production, cactus oil can help to improve skin elasticity, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and give the skin a more youthful appearance.
Cactus oil is rich in antioxidants such as vitamin E, which can help to neutralize free radicals that cause damage to the skin cells. Free radicals can lead to premature aging, including fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots. By reducing oxidative stress on the skin, cactus oil can help to keep the skin looking youthful and radiant.
-moisturization and hydration
Cactus oil is a rich source of essential fatty acids, including linoleic acid, which helps to strengthen the skin’s barrier and prevent moisture loss. By keeping the skin hydrated and moisturized, cactus oil can help to plump up the skin, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Cactus oil (prickly pear seed oil) has anti-inflammatory benefits for the skin due to its high content of compounds such as flavonoids (flavonoid work by inhibiting several pathways in the body, including the NF-kB pathway. This pathway is involved in the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which can contribute to inflammation in the skin) and betalains (betalains work by blocking the production of inflammatory mediators, such as cytokins).
3. Skin brightening properties
Cactus oil is rich in vitamin C (which is a powerful antioxidant that can help to brighten the skin, by inhibiting the production of melanin, the pigment that gives the skin its color, and can help to reduce the appearance of dark spots and hyperpigmentation), and it contains betalains (that are pigments found in cactus oil that have been shown to have skin brightening properties. They can help to reduce the appearance of dark spots and hyperpigmentation, giving the skin a brighter, more even complexion)
4. Provides natural UV protection
Cactus oil (aka prickly pear seed oil) contains vitamin E, which can help protect the skin from UV radiation Additionally, cactus oil is rich in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid that can help improve the skin barrier function and reduce water loss from the skin. A healthy skin barrier can better protect the skin from environmental stressors such as UV radiation.
5.Skin tightening properties
Cactus oil can help to tighten the skin do its astringent properties. It contains tannins, which are natural compounds found in plants that have astringent properties. Tannins work by constricting and tightening the skin’s tissues, which can help to reduce the appearance of pores and give the skin a smoother, more toned look.
Cactus oil, also known as prickly pear seed oil, is considered non-comedogenic, which means it is unlikely to clog pores or contribute to acne.
One reason for this is that cactus oil has a low comedogenic rating, typically ranging from 0 to 1 on a scale of 0 to 5. The comedogenic rating indicates how likely an ingredient is to clog pores and cause acne. Ingredients with a rating of 0-2 are considered non-comedogenic, while ingredients with a rating of 3-5 are more likely to cause breakouts.
Another reason why cactus oil is non-comedogenic is that it is quickly absorbed into the skin without leaving a greasy or heavy residue. This is due to its high content of linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid that is known to help regulate sebum production in the skin. When the skin produces too much sebum, it can contribute to clogged pores and acne. Linoleic acid can help balance sebum production and prevent excess oil buildup in the pores.
Overall, cactus oil is considered a safe and non-comedogenic ingredient for the skin, making it suitable for use in skincare products for all skin types, including acne-prone skin.
Side effects and how not to use it
Cactus oil is generally considered safe for most people. However, it can have some side effects for some individuals. Here are some of the potential side effects of cactus oil for skin:
Some people may be allergic to cactus oil, which can cause skin irritation, redness, and itching.
While cactus oil is often touted for its ability to hydrate and nourish the skin, it is also a rich oil that may be too heavy for some people, leading to clogged pores and acne breakouts.
Cactus oil contains high levels of vitamin E, which can increase skin sensitivity to the sun, leading to sunburns and other forms of sun damage.
Cactus oil can help hydrate the skin, but if used excessively or if you have naturally oily skin, it may lead to skin dryness.
Cactus oil has a bright yellow color, which can potentially stain clothes or bedding if not fully absorbed into the skin. If you experience any of these side effects, it is best to stop using cactus oil immediately and consult with a dermatologist.
Always patch test before deciding to use any new product. Apply any new product on your wrist, elbow or jawline first then cover the area.
If you don’t have any negative reaction following 24hours after application, then you can apply it on your skin.
This content does NOT provide medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is NOT a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult your own doctor for more information.