The prickly pear is found in North Africa, Central America and the Caribbean, as well as parts of Australia. The cactus plant thrives best in a dry and hot climate, as is typical for desert regions, but is nonetheless stable against other weather influences. The fruits and leaves of the prickly pear are edible. The plant is valued in Mexican cuisine, and in Egypt the tin shoki are sold on donkey carts on every street corner during the season. Prickly pears reach a height of up to six meters and form egg-shaped fruits with a rich orange-yellow hue. In contrast to other cactus species, the thorns of the prickly pear are not particularly pronounced and sometimes even completely absent.
While the processing of the fruits and leaves into dishes and juices of all kinds is well known, only a few people know that a very rich oil can be obtained from the prickly pear. This oil is ideal for cosmetic applications, as it improves the skin and thus prevents the first wrinkles and aging of the skin. In order to obtain the prickly pear seed oil, the best fruits are harvested by hand, peeled and carefully pitted. The bowls are used as animal feed or sometimes simply disposed of. The kernels are then washed, air-dried and their weight calculated. They are then stored in a cool and dark place until further use. In order to achieve the optimal quality of prickly pear seed oil, the seeds are only pressed when there is a need for this oil. In order to ensure that processing is as gentle as possible and that the valuable components of the kernels are protected, a cold pressing process is used to extract oil. Before that, however, the cores are heated again to 50 degrees, as they have become relatively hard due to storage. The heat ensures that they become a little softer and more supple again. Prickly pear seed oil is a very high-quality product, as around 450 kilograms of fruit are necessary to obtain one liter of oil. That means about 4000 fruits that contain almost a million pips. But the work does not end there. So that the prickly pear seed oil gets its typical golden yellow color, it is filtered several times. In smaller factories, this is often done by hand. This also explains why prickly pear seed oil has its price. Unfortunately, there are black sheep on the market who obtain the oil through heat treatment and the addition of chemicals. As a result, not only are the active ingredients lost, but dangerous chemical residues also remain in the oil.
Prickly pear seed oil contains lots of essential fatty acids in very high concentrations. The oil has a proportion of unsaturated fatty acids of more than 88 percent, of which the content of linoleic acid, which is also known as omega-6 fatty acids, is around 70 percent. Linoleic acid is a doubly unsaturated fatty acid. As an essential fatty acid, it is required by the body for various metabolic processes, but the body is not able to produce it itself. Prickly pear seed oil closes this gap, which makes it very valuable from a nutritional and physiological point of view and is therefore highly recommended as a dietary supplement. Linoleic acid also stimulates the production of prostaglandin. This tissue hormone supports blood clotting and thus prevents all kinds of inflammatory processes in the body, which makes prickly pear seed oil ideal for use in skin care products.
The oil also has a high concentration of tocopherols, 720 milligrams per liter. The term tocopherols encompasses several compounds whose chemical structure is very similar. In prickly pear seed oil, the proportion of gamma tocopherol is 81.9 percent, of beta tocopherol 3 percent, as well as delta tocopherol 1.2 percent and alpha tocopherol 13.9 percent. Alpha tocopherol is often referred to as vitamin E, but this is incorrect. The term vitamin E encompasses a group of sixteen different fat-soluble chemical compounds. This also includes the tocopherols. These substances are responsible for the antioxidant effect of prickly pear seed oil. Above all, they ensure that the unsaturated fatty acids contained in the oil are not destroyed by free radicals. Because free radicals are responsible for the skin aging process. They arise when the organism is exposed to cigarette smoke, environmental toxins, ionized radiation from cell phones, computers or television, alcohol, drugs and increased physical exertion. The prickly pear seed oil is able to form a barrier that stops free radicals and protects the immune cells. For this reason, tocopherols are also known as radical scavengers.
Prickly pear seed oil not only comes up with many excellent nutrients, but has recently been used more and more externally as a remedy for all kinds of aging processes, mainly due to the antioxidants. The oil is either used pure or can be mixed with creams and lotions. The body can absorb the essential fatty acids contained in prickly pear seed oil very well. The linoleic acid ensures that pain is relieved and skin irritations are soothed. The water-repellent properties of the prostaglandins contained protect against drying out and stimulate wound healing.
As early as 2003, prickly pear seed oil was examined for an antioxidant effect for internal and external use. The result of the study showed that the oil can prevent cell damage caused by oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is understood to be cell damage caused by so-called free radicals. By preventing this cell damage as well as the contained ingredients betanin and indicaxathin, prickly pear seed oil is a real fountain of youth for the skin. The oil supports natural cell renewal, slows down the formation of fine lines, dark circles and the notorious shadows under the eyes. Age and pigment spots fade significantly with the application, the same is observed with crow’s feet. The positive effects appear after a relatively short application. The complexion is much more vital, firmer and healthier, because the active ingredients contained in prickly pear seed oil also have a moisturizing effect.
The face, neck and hands are the main areas where the skin care oil is used. It is also possible to perform massages or other healing treatments with prickly pear seed oil. Oils that have a high linoleic acid content such as prickly pear seed oil are used in the treatment of neurodermatitis. Prickly pear seed oil is applied to the cleansed skin of the face and neck and massaged in with gentle movements. It can also be tapped in. The oil is quickly absorbed by the skin and does not become greasy.
Prickly pear seed oil is also a miracle cure for the hair. Because the oil extracted from the seeds smooths the hair structure, while at the same time the shine and suppleness of the hair are restored. It is ideal to give your hair and scalp a regular oil massage to strengthen the hair fibers. Because this application not only relaxes, but the active ingredients from the prickly pear seed oil can penetrate deep into the skin. This is the best way for the caring effects to unfold. In addition, the oil is of course also suitable for massaging it into the ends of the hair like a cure to strengthen them.
Prickly pear seed oil can be mixed with Hyraloron gel and is an excellent make-up remover. If the oil is applied to the nails, the surface becomes noticeably smoother. This gives the fingernails a more well-groomed impression overall. The amino acid Polin is abundantly contained in prickly pear seed oil. It is important for the regeneration of connective tissue and cartilage, which is an advantage when prickly pear seed oil is used for massage and body care for cellulite. After showering or bathing, the oil should be applied sparingly and gently massaged into the slightly damp skin. Prickly pear seed oil is the right choice if you are looking for cosmetics that are sustainable but at the same time convince with a high concentration of active ingredients. Astonishing results are already apparent after a short period of use. But even in the long term, the world’s most expensive oil can be used without any problems.
Many are initially shocked when they are confronted with the relatively high price of prickly pear seed oil. Around 20 euros have to be paid for 80 milliliters. The reason for this high price is the complex manufacturing process. Because prickly pear seed oil is a product that is made by hand. In addition to the harvest and the immense processing effort, there is also the impressive number of seeds required. Confusion is often caused by names, which often include cactus oil or prickly pear blossom oil. In the case of products that are offered under these names, it can be assumed that no cold pressing process took place. Either the oil was produced by means of maceration.
This refers to the soaking of the prickly pear blossoms in another oil at room temperature. These oils only have a hint of the effects of pure prickly pear seed oil, but are used in industry because of their low price. You should therefore keep your eyes open when cosmetics containing prickly pear ingredients are offered. Because if it contains pure prickly pear seed oil, it must also be on the label. The pure oil should therefore be obtained by cold pressing. If other ingredients such as fragrances, colorings, preservatives, or other additives are listed on the label, it is a product that has been stretched. This is not prohibited, but in no way justifies a high price. Ideally, the oil is offered in bottles made of dark glass, if not, it should be decanted at home. Depending on the intended use, a pipette can be useful for more precise dosing of the prickly pear seed oil.
Free radicals are one of the main causes of premature aging. They are formed by the body itself, for example, through stress or excessive solar radiation, but also often get on and into the organism through a polluted environment. They contribute to skin aging by deactivating the repair mechanisms of the skin cells.
Due to its influence on free radicals, prickly pear seed oil has a protective and accelerating effect on natural cell renewal. It also prevents smaller wrinkles and can reduce them. Prickly pear seed oil also helps against dark circles and dark circles. It is therefore an all-round anti-aging product.
In addition to these effects, which speak in favor of long-term use of prickly pear seed oil, it also has cosmetic properties that unfold with short use. After just a few applications, it helps to create a healthier and more natural complexion. It has a supportive effect in the treatment of skin irritations and is moisturizing.
Its revitalizing effect makes it just as suitable for hair and nail care as it is for use on the skin. Brittle nails become visibly smoother and firmer after treatment with prickly pear seed oil; the same applies to hair treated with prickly pear seed oil. Furthermore, prickly pear seed oil can also be used perfectly as a nourishing massage oil.
The main areas of application for prickly pear seed oil are the face, neck and hands. When used as a massage oil or when used specifically to support a healing process, it can also be used on other parts of the body. Oils with a high proportion of linoleic acid, such as prickly pear seed oil or evening primrose oil, are used to support the treatment of neurodermatitis diseases, both internally and externally.
Due to its naturalness and its positive effects on the human body, prickly pear seed oil is the right solution for people who not only pay attention to their beauty, but also to the sustainability of their beauty products. In addition to the short-term beauty-promoting effect, prickly pear seed oil also has active ingredients that have a long-term effect. It is therefore recommended for both single and long-term use. Conclusion: Prickly pear seed oil is rightly the most valuable (and unfortunately also the most expensive) oil in the world.
Prickly pear seed oil is a rich compound of essential fatty acids. More than 85 percent of it is unsaturated and therefore very valuable for the human body. The predominant unsaturated fatty acid is linoleic acid. This is used both in medicine and in cosmetics for skin care products. When used on the skin, it has an anti-inflammatory effect, prevents irritation and also relieves pain.
Linoleic acid stimulates the body to produce prostaglandins. These are tissue hormones that can have a positive effect on blood clotting, inflammation and pain. However, this only happens if the prickly pear seed oil is also used as a dietary supplement.
Linoleic acid has a positive effect on the formation of new skin layers both internally and externally. For example, the linoleic acid and thus all of the prickly pear seed oil has a hydrophobic effect and protects the skin from drying out and flaking.