New to the skin-care industry, Prickly Pear Seed oil has earned immediate recognition for the benefits of its outstanding bioactive constituents when used in body/skin care and cosmetic applications. Our organic Prickly Pear Seed oil is a rich-textured, nourishing oil that is quickly and easily absorbed by the skin, and is a fine source of vitamins A, E and K, fatty acids, phytosterols, and polyphenols, including linoleic acid (Omega 6) at 56-77%, palmitic acid at 10-15%, oleic acid at 10-20%, and stearic acid at 2-6%.1,2,3
The Prickly Pear plant – also known as Barbary fig, cactus pear, Nopal and a host of other common names4 – is a species of cacti that is probably indigenous to Mexico5 and has been naturalized and widely cultivated in the southern United States, the Mediterranean region, and other arid to semi-arid parts of the world.6 In the Northern Hemisphere, flowers appear from spring to early summer, followed by fruits that ripen from summer through late fall7, the seeds of which are the source of this amazing oil. Because very small amounts of oil are contained in the seeds (about 5%8), one metric ton of fruit is required to produce one liter of Prickly Pear Seed oil, thus the explanation for its relatively high cost.9
For additional information regarding the bioactive benefits of Prickly Pear Seed oil, please see:
- “Oil Cactus Pear (Opuntia ficus-indica L.),” by Mohamed Fawzy Ramadan and Jörg-Thomas Mörsel, (2003) Food Chemistry 82, pp. 339-345. http://www.nopaltunisie.com/images/rech/oil.pdf
- “Fatty acids Sterols and Vitamin E composition of seed oil of Opuntia Ficus Indica and Opuntia Dillenii from Morocco,” by Z. Ghazi, M. Ramdani, et al., (2013) Journal of Materials and Environmental Science 4(6), pp. 967-972.
- “Pharmacological actions of Opuntia ficus indica: A Review,” by M. Kaur, A. Kaur, and R. Sharma, (2012) Journal of Applied Pharmaceutical Science 02(07), pp. 15-18.
- “Nopal Cactus (Opuntia-ficus indica) as a Source of Bioactive Compounds for Nutrition, Health and Disease” by K. El-Mostafa, Y. El Kharrassi, et al., (2014) Molecules 19(9), pp. 14879-14901. doi:10.3390/molecules190914879.
- “Chemical Characterization of Prickly Pear Seed Oil, Opuntia ficus-indica,” by W.N. Sawaya and P. Khan, (1982) Journal of Food Science, 47(6), pp. 2060–2061. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2621.1982.tb12946.x
Storage Suggestions: We recommend refrigeration and use within 1-2 years of the purchase date.
Blending Suggestions: Depending on the type of product you are formulating, you can use between 2% to 100%. For a massage oil, we suggest combining 5% to 20% Prickly Pear Seed oil with 80% to 95% of another carrier oil, or a combination of other carrier oils, such as Tamanu Oil or Argan Oil.
Solubility: Soluble in fixed oils, insoluble in alcohol.
Appearance: Greenish-yellow, transparent, somewhat viscous liquid vegetable oil.
Aromatic Profile: Fatty/oily with a faint tart, fruit-like aroma.
Safety Considerations: None known.
- Fawzy Ramadan and Jörg-Thomas Mörsel, “Oil Cactus Pear (Opuntia ficus-indica L.),” (2013) Food Chemistry 82, pp. 339-345.
- El-Mostafa, K., Y. El Kharrassi, et al., “Nopal Cactus (Opuntia-ficus indica) as a Source of Bioactive Compounds for Nutrition, Health and Disease,” (2014) Molecules 19(9), pp. 14879-14901. doi:10.3390/molecules190914879.
- Industry communication.
- U.S. National Plant Germplasm System, https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxonomydetail.aspx?25840
- Savio, Yvonne. “Prickly Pear Cactus Production,” (1989) UC Small Farm Program, University of California Cooperative Extension. http://sfp.ucdavis.edu/pubs/brochures/Pricklypear/
- Industry communication.