As scientists parcel out exactly how the Earth’s natural elements can deeply nourish the entire body (skin included), one overwhelming truth has emerged: we needn’t look any further than nature to supply absolutely everything we need for beautiful skin.
With all the latest research, we’re understanding our own biology better than ever before, and bloggers, influencers, and beauty gurus alike are gushing over intentionally crafted serums and potent oils celebrated for their exciting benefits to the epidermis.
At the top of the “it” list for gorgeous skin? Prickly pear oil.
What Science Says: Unpacking the Health Benefits of Prickly Pear Oil
There’s so much to admire about this pure, perfect, life-giving oil that comes from a spiny fruit in the desert.
The luminous oil of the prickly pear (also called the Barbary fig, cactus pear, and other names describing the fruit of the Opuntia ficus indica), is plush with an abundance of complex essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals that you need for perpetually healthy and radiant skin.
Extremely rich in vitamin E and teeming with antioxidants, prickly pear oil is one of the most powerful, luxurious skincare ingredients that exists today.
But don’t just take our word for it! Here’s what the research is saying:
• A 2002 study concluded that prickly pear seed oil is a rich source of fatty acids (including omega-9 and omega-6), fat-soluble vitamins E and K, and phytosterols.1
• Phytosterols, abundant in prickly pears, encourage new collagen production according to a German study. This revolutionary discovery indicates that prickly pear oil can improve the skin’s vitality over time, despite the natural aging process.2
• Prickly pear oil is rich in amino acids, which stimulate collagen production to help refine, brighten, and tone skin.1
• In 2014, scientists found that the prickly pear seed contains 403 mg/kg of vitamin E, mostly in the form of γ-tocopherol (another form of vitamin E).3
To top it off, this skin brightening and tightening, fountain-of-youth elixir is free from synthetic chemicals, parabens, fragrances, sodium, gluten, and all of the other harmful gunk found in most of the classic anti-aging products. Derived solely from the goodness of nature, single-ingredient prickly pear oil is natural in every sense of the word—because beautiful and refreshed skin shouldn’t come with a safety warning.
Here’s what’s inside:
• Omega-6 Fatty Acids
These fatty acids play a crucial role in maintaining the structure and barrier function of the skin. With anti-inflammatory properties, omega-6 is ideal for soothing irritated and sensitive skin.4 Another prominent unsaturated omega-6 fatty acid present in prickly pear oil is linoleic acid, which helps to stimulate skin and hair growth.5
• Omega-9 Fatty Acids
With similar components to other fatty acids, omega-9 helps to promote healthy skin and hair cells by maintaining a high level of hydration within the dermis.4 And when oleic acid (a component of omega-9 fatty acids) combines with linoleic acid, skin becomes clearer and smoother.6
• Vitamin E
This powerful vitamin can restore skin elasticity and reduce the appearance of stretch marks. By decreasing the free radical damage that may result in hyperpigmentation, vitamin E is an antioxidant that promotes the circulation of blood, which conditions the skin.6
• Vitamin K
Studies show a connection between vitamin K and skin elasticity. Vitamin K also plays an important role in helping to strengthen weakened capillaries that are responsible for dark circles and bruising.6 There’s a world of difference between this natural retinol and synthetic forms of vitamin K that are found in many skincare products. In their synthetic form, fat soluble vitamins are exceptionally dangerous, as they can build up in your fatty tissues and cause toxicity.7 On the contrary, the natural vitamin K in prickly pear oil is both effective and safe for any chapter of life, even during pregnancy!
Beautiful Benefits of Prickly Pear Oil
The benefits of Valentia Prickly Pear Oil reach far beyond the impressive natural components that make up this invigorating oil. The power is in the details, so let’s take a deeper look:
Experience the glow of nature’s skin brightening solution.
Prickly pear oil is particularly renowned for its skin brightening properties. Linoleic acid nourishes the skin and eliminates dullness, darkness and discoloration, while the high levels of vitamin E have exceptional transformative properties for mature skin.
Rejoice in the power of protection.
Vitamin E and omega-6 also promote elasticity and protect the skin from damaging free radicals and UV light. Unfortunately, these dangerous free radicals exist in things we encounter in everyday life—cigarette smoke, greasy fried foods, pesticides, and polluted air. They are primarily associated with diseases like cancer, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s.8 UV light also takes a destructive toll on the skin. It plays a role in causing sunburn and cataracts, and even completely altering human DNA. 9
Leave dark circles in the dust.
Dark circles under the eyes can be due to lack of sleep, dehydration, and oxidative stress. Vitamin K keeps your skin glowing and bright, especially in the delicate areas beneath your eyes.
Enjoy softer, dewier skin without the grease.
Valentia Prickly Pear Oil has an astonishingly high percentage (over 80%) of unsaturated fatty acids with a linoleic acid content of 62%. This is what allows the oil to quickly absorb into your skin, leaving behind softer skin with no greasy residue.
Revitalize your complexion.
Prickly pear oil can strengthen the walls of your blood vessels, reducing stretch marks, under-eye circles, and spider veins to reinvigorate your skin so that you wake up looking and feeling inspired and ready for the day, every day.
Tap into your natural beauty.
By stimulating healthy cell regeneration and promoting a highly functional skin barrier, the omega-6 in prickly pear oil gives your skin a plump, smooth texture and a vibrant, healthy appearance. This means that your skin will naturally lock in moisture for unsurpassed suppleness. That fresh-face, natural beauty look we all secretly swoon over has never been easier or more attainable!
Turn back time.
The impressive content of linoleic acid in prickly pear oil can hydrate even the most dehydrated skin. Though appropriate for all skin types, this miracle oil works especially well for mature skin. Essential fatty acids promote collagen formation, which in turn helps to moisturize skin.
Beautify your hands and nails along the way.
Valentia Prickly Pear Oil is luxuriously rich, and is wonderful for nourishing dry skin and brittle nails. It promotes healthy growth and softens cuticles while easing the drying, irritating effects of chemical-laden nail polish and nail polish remover. Simply apply a few drops to your hands and/or dry cuticles and nails to strengthen and condition them.
At Valentia, we believe that every skincare product we produce is special—just like you. And we are confident that our premium Valentia Prickly Pear Oil will unlock your skin’s beauty in a way you have never experienced before. No matter what life throws at you, whether it’s fine lines, dull spots, stretch marks, or just dehydrated, environmentally-damaged skin, this wonder oil will likely leave you in awe.
Valentia Prickly Pear Oil is sourced with care and stored in dark amber glass that protects its ultra-powerful, therapeutic properties. Extracted from organic prickly pear seeds from Tunisia and cold-pressed in small batches to maintain freshness, our oil is USDA Certified Organic, 100% pure, unrefined, virgin, and never tested on animals. The best of what nature has to offer is finally here.
1. Ramadan, M.F., & Morsel, J.T. (2003). Oil cactus pear (Opuntia ficus-indica L.). Food Chemistry 82(3), 339-345.
2. Moβhammer, M.R., Stintzing, F.C., & Carle, R. (2006). Cactus Pear Fruits (Opuntia spp.): A review of processing technologies and current uses. Journal of the Professional Association for Cactus Development, 8, 1-25.
3. Ghazi, Z., Ramdani, M., Fauconnier, M.L., El Mahi, B., & Cheikh, R. (2013). Fatty acids sterols and vitamin E composition of seed oil of Opuntia Ficus Indica and Opuntia Dillenii from Morocco. Journal of Materials and Environmental Science, 4(6), 967-972.
4. Angelo, G., Oregon State University. (2012). Essential fatty acids & skin health. Retrieved from http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/health-disease/skin-health/essential-fatty-acids
5. Letawe, C., Boone, M., & Pierard, G.E. (1998). Digital image analysis of the effect of topically applied linoleic acid on acne microcomedones. Clinical and Experimental Dermatology, 23(2): 56-8.
6. Michels, A.J., Oregon State University. (2011). Skin health. Retrieved from http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/health-disease/skin-health
7. Ehrlich, S.D., University of Maryland Medical Center. (2013). Vitamin K. Retrieved from http://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/vitamin-k
8. V. Lobo, Patil, A., Phatak, A., & Chandra, N. (2010). Free radicals, antioxidants and functional foods: Impact on human health. Pharmacognosy Review, 4(8): 118–126.
9. Allen, J. (2001). Ultraviolet radiation: How it affects life on Earth: NASA Earth Observatory. Retrieved from https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/UVB/