Imagine a cactus with long spines and microscopic prickles whose fruit clusters bloom in August in beautiful berry shades and the occasional luminous yellow flower appears. Its sculptural beauty is quirky yet appealing, how it grows in varying and alternating angles. It survives and thrives in desert-like conditions, needing very little water and yet its nutritional properties are outstanding for both human health and the skin. A true botanical hero.
This plant with ancient origins is no other than the Prickly Pear cactus or Opuntia Ficus Indica. The name ‘Opuntia’ originates from the ancient city Opus, believed to be one of the oldest towns in Greece, capital of the region Opuntia Locris. The nutrient-rich plant Opuntia Ficus Indica grew wildly and amply in this region. According to Homer's Iliad, Opus was known for its glory and traditions and Pindar, the greatest lyric poet of ancient Greece, devoted his ninth Olympian ode to the city.
Also known as ‘the miracle plant’, Opuntia beautifies the Mediterranean landscape, possessing vital components for timeless beauty. From the fruit’s tiny seeds, however arduous to produce due to the spiny fruit and the process of separating the seeds from the flesh, comes one of the most effective skin nourishing botanical oils, cold pressed, virgin and unrefined.
In older times, the plant was used to heal burns and wounds and in modern day it’s being re-discovered for its various healing and anti-aging benefits. The Opuntia fruit contains all 24 betalains (more than Pomegranate, Blueberry, Goji), known antioxidants with super anti-aging effects that detoxify the body at the cellular level.
Ready-to-use, after being freshly cold-pressed, the Opuntia oil is perfect for applying to the face and just a few drops go a long way. When we tried this oil for the first time, we were first-of-all amazed by its satiny yet light texture and that it didn’t clog the pores nor leave greasiness on the skin. The highly moisturizing fruit seed oil rapidly absorbs, and deeply penetrates, leaving the skin glowing with a velvety soft texture and improved skin elasticity. The skin feels hydrated for hours and hours after applying just a few drops. Last but not least, the scent of the oil is earthy and gentle enough to use without overcoming beautiful essential oil mixtures.
When researching more about Prickly Pear seed oil properties, we were amazed by its properties and benefits. Prickly Pear seed oil improves skin elasticity, helps skin retain moisture and protects it from environmental stressors. It contains the highest percentage (~88%) of unsaturated fatty acids, more than any other beauty oil. Its high Linoleic Acid (Omega-6 fatty acid) content makes it an excellent hydrator for the skin and with its perfect ratio to Omega-9 (Oleic Acid), it helps skin retain the moisture. The oil is rich in phytosterols making it extremely skin-nourishing. The highest quality virgin Opuntia oil is obtained by cold-pressing the seeds of the fruit ensuring there is no exposure to heat or light. Each seed contains merely 5% of oil making it one of the most precious beauty oils in the world.
Moreover, Prickly Pear seed oil calms inflammation for acne-prone skin and hydrates the driest of skin. It also improves skin elasticity through collagen stimulating amino acids. Other benefits of Opuntia oil that we LOVE:
It's rich in polyphenols, flavonoids and tannins that protect skin damages induced from sunlight, thus preventing the spread of free radicals and slowing skin aging
Its Vitamin K content helps brighten the skin reducing black under-eye circles and dark spots
It's suitable for all skin types!
Opuntia oil immediately became our “star” oil! This intricately cool cactus produces some liquid gold and we have chosen to incorporate it into all of our products. Blended with other pure oils and essences, the hand-crafted elixirs promote luminous and smooth skin, offering proper skincare for both men and women.
Opuntia Luxury Oils was conceived under the Hellenic sun on a wild and secluded Mykonian beach, dreaming of an effective and natural solution for damaged, lackluster skin. A moment of illumination while sunken into nature, led to a journey of intense immersion into the world of natural perfumery and skincare.
Like the Mediterranean landscapes with their unique variations, these oils offer access to a world of abundance. When we vacation in the Greek islands each summer and see the Opuntia cactus’s fantastic outline adding character to craggy cliffs and decorating wild beaches or even potted at restaurants, we smile 😊
Enjoy our premium Prickly Pear seed oil products with 10% off using the promo code OPUNTIA2019.