Prickly Pear Oil

  • Active Oil
  • INCI: Opuntia Ficus-Indica (Prickly Pear) Seed Oil
  • Comedogenicity: 0
  • Composition: Linoleic acid (up to approx. 70 %), oleic acid (up to approx. 20 %), palmitic acid (up to approx. 15 %), stearic acid (up to approx. 3 %), tocopherols, phytosterols.
  • Cosmetic use: Aging, mature, dry skin.


The prickly pear grows in dry and semi-dry areas. It is found in North Africa, Central America, the Caribbean and parts of Australia. The prickly pear grows shrubby or tree-like and reaches a height of about 5 metres. The oval, elongated stems are between 20 and 60 cm long and are covered with glochids. These consist of many piercing bristles, which fall off easily when touched. The prickly pear can be cultivated thornless or it possesses one to two thorns.  The flowers are located at the ends of the stems and are yellow to red. The fruits of the prickly pear are yellow to red berries, which are also covered with glochids and thorns. Inside the fruits are black seeds with a relatively low oil content.

Extraction of Prickly Pear Oil

After ripening, the fruits are selected on the basis of colour, pH of the flesh and total titratable acidity. For a gentle oil extraction of the golden yellow prickly pear seed oil the fruits are peeled and seeded. The seeds are washed, dried and then cold-pressed. Another option is to extract the oil from the ground seeds using chloroform/methanol.

Cosmetic use of Prickly Pear Oil

The combination of the ingredients of the oil makes it a good addition to every skin care regime. The high content of linoleic acid relieves pain and soothes skin irritations. The water-repellent properties of the oil’s prostaglandins support wound healing and protect against dehydration. 

In addition, prickly pear oil has a high concentration of tocopherols, which are responsible for the antioxidant effect of the oil. These counteract the aging process and can prevent cell damage caused by oxidative stress from free radical formation. The oil supports natural cell renewal and slows down the formation of fine wrinkles. Age and pigment spots also fade when the oil is used regularly.