Prickly Pear Seed Oil for Skin: Benefits, How to Use

Prickly Pear Seed Oil for Skin: Benefits, How to Use

With the notion of luxurious skincare practices often inspiring visions full of silky-smooth products, warm velvety towels, and herbaceous aromas, it’s hard to imagine how a spiny, pokey plant could ever factor in. But here at Fleur & Bee, we love a pleasant surprise, and this week, you just may be in for one, too! Venture to the waterless landscapes of the western world to meet and greet one of skincare’s best kept secrets: prickly pear seed oil! Or don’t, and just take our word for it... OR, even better– read all about this desert prize and its glorious skin benefits in your favorite weekly blog!


Ingredient Category: Hydrator, Antioxidant, Vasoconstrictor, Antibacterial, Anti-Inflammatory

Main Benefit: Prickly pear seed oil is like an oasis for your skin, offering life-giving nutrients that retain hydration, while also imparting a variety of other benefits for a youthful, glowing, and healthy complexion.

Find It In: Just Dew It Hydrating Serum.


Looking for a serum rich in prickly pear seed oil? We've got you.

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What Is Prickly Pear Seed Oil?

It’s probably not surprising to learn that prickly pear seed oil is the concentrated oil from the seeds of prickly pear. But did you know that prickly pear is not really a pear at all?…Well, at least not the kind you are likely thinking of.

Prickly pear is a cactus of the botanical genus Opuntia; which, depending on locale, may go by a variety of monikers (i.e., nopal [or nopales pl.], paddle cactus, pear cactus, or sabra). Native to the western hemisphere, specifically the Americas, this drought tolerant gem is a notorious symbol in Mexican and Southwestern American culture, but can now be found all over the world.

It offers a stunning desert display - beautiful large and ovular paddle-like green pads, most of which are spiny, extend from this trunk-forming segmented cactus, with its crowns potentially growing to expansive sizes of over 10 ft in diameter! It’s easily recognized by its distinctive, brightly colored flowers and equally vibrant (and delicious) fruits!

Prickly pear has many uses, including the topical application of opened pads upon wounds and warts to accelerate healing, and even the steeping of the pads for a tea that has been used as a respiratory curative. However, since ancient times, it’s been most widely used as a versatile and nutritious food. The plant’s verdant pads are stripped of their spines, boiled, and eaten as a vegetable in the southwest, especially in Mexico. This dish, known as “nopales”, is popularly eaten alongside meats, or in tortillas as the filling in vegetarian and vegan tacos. The fuchsia fruit, otherwise known as “tuna”, is high in fiber, carotenoids, and antioxidants, rendering it insanely nutritious. Its syrupy sweetness makes the perfect base for cocktails, dressings, aguas frescas (or fruit-infused, water-based refreshments), and even salads… just be sure to discard that spikey peel …but you just might want to hold onto the seeds!

Prickly pear seeds and their oil boast some serious benefits, especially for your skin. While harboring your prickly pear seeds will realistically do you little good, (it takes somewhere in the realm of one million seeds to make even just one measly little liter of prickly pear seed oil!), getting better acquainted with what prickly pear seed oil can do for your complexion and incorporating it into your routine can totally help level up your skincare game!

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Prickly Pear Seed Oil Skin Benefits

Prickly pear seed oil helps skin retain moisture for optimum hydration.

Full of vitamins like K and E (prickly pear seed oil actually contains the highest vitamin E concentration of any skincare oil on the market!), it helps infuse the skin with life-giving nutrients. And, similar to how a cactus can thrive in waterless drought conditions due to its unmatched ability to retain high amounts of water for extended periods, these abundant nutrients in prickly pear seed oil help the skin retain moisture for sustained hydration. Further, with a high concentration of linoleic acid, and a light yet rich occlusive consistency, prickly pear seed oil also helps reinforce the skin barrier to protect it from moisture loss.

It can help minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

With all these vitamins and added hydration, it then makes sense that prickly pear seed oil may help reduce the signs of aging, specifically by minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Its high concentration of essential fatty acids and antioxidants nourish and protect the skin, helping to revive its appearance and protect it from future damage. It is also chock full of amino acids, which when absorbed into deeper layers of the skin, may help stimulate the production of proteins that can potentially strengthen and visibly volumize the skin’s connective tissues, amplifying its elasticity, preventing the formation of new wrinkles, and resulting in a more youthful appearance. This all makes prickly pear seed oil especially helpful in skincare regimens built for those with mature skin or for folks who are just trying to stay one step ahead of that ticking time clock!

It brightens skin and can help fade dark spots.

Say “bye-bye bags and hello glow!” Prickly pear seed oil contains an impressive amount of vitamin K, which has been known to flush pigment from the skin and constrict blood vessels. This can help to brighten your complexion and fade dark spots for a more even tone, particularly in the under-eye area where things tend to get a bit heavy.

Prickly pear seed oil helps clarify your skin.

Despite being an oil, its antibacterial properties and high concentration of zinc helps prickly pear seed oil slow your skin’s production of excess sebum. Kick clogged and dirty pores to the curb to not only minimize their appearance, but to also pave the way for fundamentally cleaner, clearer skin.

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How to Use Prickly Pear Seed Oil

Our favorite way to use prickly pear seed oil is in our hydrating serum, Just Dew It! This next level serum is formulated with 14 nourishing actives and features prickly pear seed oil to instantly revitalize your thirsty skin. Minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and brighten your complexion with this one-stop-shop for all your prickly pear needs! This smooth, rich gel is conveniently formulated for all skin types, with a fast-acting formula that should yield full results in only two weeks when used daily!

Just Dew It

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Otherwise, prickly pear seed oil should theoretically be gentle enough for all skin types to apply directly to the skin, after having conducted a thorough patch test, of course. That being said, getting your hands on authentic, undiluted, prickly pear seed oil can be a bit tricky. The market is flooded with a variety of options with prices of teensy apothecary bottles ranging anywhere from 20 dollars well into the hundreds… and the highest dollar doesn’t necessarily signify the highest quality. But we can vouch for this one! If going this route, gently dab a drop or two onto freshly cleansed skin, after a toner or just before your favorite moisturizer. Prickly pear seed oil can be applied as part of both your morning and evening routine. For best results, use daily.

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