Ingredient Highlight – Prickly Pear

Image by mali maeder via Canva

Prickly Pear is one of these ingredients that is on everyone’s radar at the moment. Rightly so, as it has plenty of benefits for the skin.

What is Prickly Pear?

The Latin name for Prickly Pear is Optunia ficus-indica stem (another name for it is Barbary fig). It is a cactus native to Mexico and South America, but it is present in other parts of the globe, too (like Africa, the US, and the Mediterranean). The plant itself consists out of fruit, flowers, seeds, and pads. For centuries, Native Americans and Mexicans used it for medicinal purposes to treat various ailments.

What are the benefits of Prickly Pear for the skin?

The beauty of Prickly Pear oil is it works well for all skin types.

Prickly Pear oil is rich is non-essential fatty acids that are crucial for the health of our skin. It has 60% Linoleic acid content (Omega-6), which has a plethora of benefits for the skin. It nourishes the skin and helps the healing process. Likewise, it soothes inflammation and softens the skin. Skin types prone to breakouts tolerate it well. Linoleic acid strengthens the moisture barrier and prevents moisture loss. 20% Oleic acid content is important because it helps retain moisture.

Vitamin E (also known as tocopherol) is another ingredient we discussed at length. It is a natural antioxidant that prevents free radical damage, protects the existing collagen and elastin, and hydrates the skin. Last, but not least, vitamin E has anti-inflammatory properties. Vitamin K is another vitamin present in abundance. It improves the skin’s elasticity and strengthens weakened capillaries (that can lead to dark circles).

Prickly Pear oil is rich in phytosterols and polyphenols.

Phytosterols are plant sterols that have a similar structure to cholesterol, which keeps our skin healthy by maintaining a strong moisture barrier and prevents moisture loss. Unlike cholesterol, phytosterols are well tolerated by the skin when applied topically. They also assist with collagen production. On the other hand, polyphenols have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. They soothe the skin and protect it against environmental stressors.

Ishtar products that contain Prickly Pear extract

1% Bioactive Retinol serum and 2.5% Bioactive Retinol serum

Both of our Retinol serums contain Prickly Pear extract. Plenty of research backs up the benefits of retinol for the skin. It improves the skin’s texture, minimises the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and helps sustain collagen.

Our formula uses Rovisome technology. Rovisomes are types of liposomes that encapsulate retinol in a phospholipid (lecithin) shell. The retinol molecule retains its potency and reaches deeper layers of the skin. Prickly Pear extract contains polysaccharides, natural molecules that hydrate and soothe the skin. Hydrolyzed Glycosaminoglycans are natural polysaccharides with fantastic hydration benefits for the skin.

For customers new to Retinol-based skincare, we recommend starting with our 1% Bioactive Retinol serum. For customers who have experience with Retinol-based skincare, we recommend the 2.5% Bioactive Retinol serum.

EFA Hydrocharge With White Tea, Microalgae and Hyaluronic Liposomes

Stress does have an impact on our skin. It sets in motion many biochemical reactions that can lead to inflammation, irritation, and early signs of aging. Our Hydrocharge oil hydrates the skin and combats stress-induced skin damage.

The formula contains organic White Tea extract. It is high in catechins, antioxidants that inhibit MMP (enzymes in the skin that degrade collagen and elastin).
Another ingredient is Microalgae extract. It is a unique plankton that protects the skin against stress reactions related to cortisol and adrenaline.
Anhydrous Hyaluronic Acid Liposomes with Tripeptide-29 is a liposome complex with a dual effect on the skin. It enables the slow release of Hyaluronic acid. It hydrates, reduces inflammation, and encourages collagen synthesis. Tripeptide-29 also boosts collagen production.
An enriching blend of oils (Andiroba, Prickly Pear, Tomato Seed, Squalane, and Oat Kernel) nourishes and soothes the skin. A blend of fatty acids improves the skin’s barrier function.

Roberta Striga