A cactus originating in the Americas, the Opuntia (or prickly pear) has spread throughout arid, inhospitable areas of the world, successfully adapting itself to retain moisture, protect and detoxify, all noted desirable characteristics in skincare.
The sun loving fruit are rich in sources of betalains (highly charged antioxidants found in superfoods like beetroot and acai) and a little known secret is that they also have THE highest concentration of vitamin E found in any beauty oil, as an example 150% more than Argan Oil.
We’ve chosen Opuntia seed oil for its tool chest of properties, such as essential fatty acids, including linoleic acid. These fatty acids provide powerful assistance in calming skin inflammation and redness, also helping acne-prone skin by deterring sebum hardening, leaving skin clearer and more even. They are also adept at restoring the skin’s lipids, giving increased elasticity, and a youthful plump feel to well hydrated skin.
These characteristics are not all recent discoveries. Historically Mexican medicine is known to have treated inflammatory diseases and cardiovascular conditions with Opuntia juice.
Among the healing properties of the prickly pear is Vitamin K, which also has skin brightening benefits, reducing the appearance of dark spots and hyperpigmentation. American dermatologist Dr Hadley King, notes "Prickly pear seed oil is a highly moisturising oil derived from a cactus. It softens the skin and gives a luminous glow."
There may be even more useful gizmos to be found in the Opuntia toolbox, current research is looking into new areas, including a viable use as a hangover cure.
Maybe that was what Baloo the Bear meant when he considered it A Bare Necessity for Life?